Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tuesday 4

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

1. Have you built snowmen, women or even entire families of snow people like little sister Tootie did in Meet Me in St. Louis? Did you use a carrot for the nose? Tell us all about how it. We had a big backyard to play in during our long Chicago winters, so I'm sure we built snowmen. I only specifically recall one, though. We gave him a gray scarf. His eyes were lumps of coal and his nose was a potato that had seen better days.

2. Are you hoping for snowmen to melt soon in hotter weather? Tell us about your favorite time of year and please let us know why you love it. List some ingredient of that season that make it special for you. I enjoy living where we have four distinct seasons, and there are things to appreciate in each one. But I am eager for April because I want baseball to start. I miss my Cubs!

Soon, Rizzo will be thrilling me again every day

3. Remember bundling up as a child? It took so long to do then you had to go potty and all those layers had to come off again! Is dressing up something you enjoy doing? Why? In this way, I'm like a toddler. I don't mind being dressed in layers. I just hate the process of putting the layers on and taking them off.

4. In Frozen, the little girl desperately wants to reconnect with her sister and reminds her of the
Not us, but it could be
happy times of building snowmen.  Are you disconnected from anyone you'd love to reunite with?
What happy times with friends and siblings brings you fond memories and smiles to you? I miss my oldest friend all the time, but these questions have piqued particular longing. We've been friends since Kindergarten, and her dad used to take us sledding and then for hot chocolate. Those sunny winter Sundays are among my most cherished girlhood memories. Alas, she moved to Southern California about 8 years ago, and distance and circumstances make it hard for us to remain as close as I'd like.

Monday, January 27, 2020

I'm some people

Yesterday was my first full day out of the house since in a week. I tried to do too much, and I made myself sick again. Sometimes, I'm a real idiot.

I got up early and took the 8:55 train out west to visit Kathy in Dekalb. Between the train and then the car ride, it takes about 90 minutes. To keep from disturbing my fellow commuters with my hacking cough, I sucked a couple of medicated lozenges.

Kathy and I had a lovely brunch and then sat in her apartment and blabbed for a while. Then we were off to see Casablanca at Dekalb's historic Egyptian Theater (see below). Before the movie, I consumed another pair of lozenges.

Naturally, I loved the movie. I've seen Casablanca easily 20 times, and it still entertains and moves me. Usually when I see it, I'm touched by Bogart. Rick Blaine is a very nearly perfect man, and it hurts to see a heart like his broken. But yesterday, I was impressed by how good Bergman is as Ilsa. She really shines in that scene in Le Belle Aurore, when she knows Victor is alive but can't tell Rick.

After the movie, we went to a family birthday party. Since kids would be present, and I didn't want to cough on them, I sucked another pair of lozenges. Then I traveled another 90 minutes home.

I was in bed, exhausted, by 8:00 PM. While it's not like I plowed the back 40 or anything, it was more exertion than I'd had in a week.

I was awakened by stomach cramps at midnight. Diarrhea inevitably followed. I hadn't realized that, in some people, these lozenges "can have a laxative effect."

I'm "some people."

All this travel and intestinal unrest set my recovery back, and Monday was another WFM day.

Here's Looking at You, Kid

On Sunday, I went to see Casablanca at the Egyptian Theater in Dekalb. Built in the 1920s, it was one of a chain of themed theaters designed by Elmer F. Behrns. They're historic, and the one in Hollywood -- Grauman's Egyptian Theater -- is a TCM Film Festival venue.

The one in Dekalb is much smaller and, frankly, in sadder shape than her glittery Hollywood sister. But remodeling and renovation is underway! And Sunday's event was a fundraiser to help restore her to her former glory.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sunday Stealing


 How do you get past the gray skies during winter? I don't. Gray skies don't bother me.

 Do you like snow? Why or why not? Yes. It's pretty (at least when it first falls).

 What are your favorite activities to do during the winter? Cocooning! Though I do like walking outside during the winter.

 What does a perfect winter day look like to you? 35º, sunny, with shoveled sidewalks  and sunny skies.

 What are your favorite meals/food you enjoy eating during the winter? Pasta. Lately I've been eating a lot of lasagna.

What is your favorite winter holiday and why? I like Thanksgiving, because it's so positive and low key. Christmas can be a little hectic, and there are so many more expectations on it.

What is your favorite pizza flavor and toppings. Cheese and sausage.

What are some items in your daily bag/ backpack. Wallet, phone, day planner, glasses, contact lens case, contact lens solution, pain killers, Immodium, makeup, hairbrush.

Your favorite snacks. It changes. Lately, it's peanut butter. Before that, it was graham crackers.

Some foreign countries that you would like to visit. England, Canada ... Actually, I don't fantasize much about foreign countries. There are too many places in the US I'd like to revisit.

What things that remind you of home I don't quite get the question, as I'm sitting here at home right now. When I'm away for a while, I miss my cats.

If you have one, some items from your Amazon Wishlist I don't have one.

What was your favorite Christmas gift? The Hollywood Book Club. It's a book of old-school portraits of classic Hollywood stars reading. It's a lovely little union of two of my favorite things: books and movies. It was from Patrick, a new-ish friend I met through Henry and Reg in Key West, and I was delighted that he gets me.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Saturday 9

Go Where Baby Lives (1957)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here

1) The lyrics tell us that the girl of his dreams lives up on a hill. Is there a hill near your home? Or is the terrain pretty flat where you are? Very flat. I'm always awed when I see mountains. Like in the limo from the airport last spring when I visited Los Angeles. The driver was amused by how I nearly pressed my nose to the window as we passed the mountains. He drives through them every day, so he's used to them. But I was thrilled.

2) Another clue to her whereabouts is that she's about a mile from town. Will you be staying close to home this weekend, or will you be traveling a mile or more? Maybe. My friend Kathy invited me to visit her in Dekalb, which is about 50 miles away. We'll see if that actually comes off. I'm recovering from bronchitis (see post below) and there's snow predicted. Kathy was going to pick me up at the train station, and she's not confident the roads will be cleared by Sunday noon.

3) Sam admits she's crazy about the sax solo. Is there a particular musical instrument that you love to listen to? I especially love the horn riff on "Silly Love Songs." (Comes in at about 2:35.) It's played by trombone, trumpet and sax, I believe. 


4) This is the only record The Strollers made for States, a company based out of Chicago. States was only in existence for five years (1952-57) and this was the 63rd or 64 records released before they went out of business. Tell us about a business in your neighborhood that recently closed their doors. Until December 27, there was a French cafe here in town. It was a fixture on that corner for nearly 30 years. I didn't go often -- it was always crowded and I don't like waiting -- but last month, my friend Nancy and her husband and I stopped there for dinner, to celebrate the holidays and to say "goodbye." Our waitress was so sweet. She looked all of 25 and said this was the only job she'd ever had. Oh well, things change. I'm sure something new will move in there and it will be a watering hole for a new generation.

5) More than 60 years after its initial release, this song enjoyed new popularity when Xfinity used it in commercials for their wifi. What company is your internet service provider? Are you happy with it? Xfinity. Yes, I'm happy with it. I've got a bundle -- TV, wifi and yes, a landline -- and each service is there when I need it. I'm not cutting the cord until I'm forced to.

6) In researching this week's song, Sam googled "strollers" and was surprised to discover how many different types of baby buggies are available today. When did you most recently push a child in a stroller? More than a decade.

7) In 1957, the year this song was released, President Eisenhower celebrated his second inaugural with a parade featuring more than 50 marching bands. The mercury never quite reached 45º that day. How's the weather outside your front door? The mercury never reached 45º here today, either. It's 34º and raining and snow is predicted.

8) One of the best-selling books of 1957 was Peyton Place. This steamy saga of small town life launched two films, two television series, and several made-for-tv movies. Is there a book that you enjoyed that was successfully turned to a movie? Many! Here are some of the very best.

9) A Peyton Place-inspired question: Can a man be physically unfaithful to a woman, but still love her? I suppose ... but I feel sorry for him. He must feel very guilty.

Hard for me to get my mind around

I finally went to the doctor on Wednesday. I'd been feeling really rundown and sick for more than a week and it finally dawned on me that this was not just a cold.

But here's the thing: I don't have a doctor. My long-time GP retired last summer, and I just received a letter from her successor, saying that he's moved on, also. I don't much mind, because I didn't know him well and, frankly, what I knew I didn't like. But it did leave me in a bind now that I need treatment.

I went down to the walk-in clinic just a half mile from my house. What a lucky choice that was! The nurse practitioner,  Ruth, was terrific! She was thorough, communicative, compassionate. She took the wheezing in my chest seriously and didn't like the level of oxygen in my blood. This confused her, as she repeated that I didn't "present" as sick as the test indicated I was.

She decided to send me for a chest x-ray. This was news I wasn't expecting. But, she told me, hypoxemia is serious in patients "our age." Over 55. AARP members. Old broads. It could account for my fatigue, and if it continued, it might lead to COPD and/or organ damage.

What the hey! I thought it was a cold with a tenacious cough! Then she added the word I was afraid was coming but hoped not to hear: pneumonia.

There's a disconnect between my age and how I feel. I've heard of "elderly," "senior" patients for whom colds and flu turn into pneumonia. I just don't feel elderly or senior yet. But, I'm 62, so I have to accept this.

My history of c. diff complicates things. Up to 25% of c. diff patients suffer recurrence. Antibiotics are a dicey issue for me. As a nurse practitioner, Ruth didn't want to prescribe antibiotics that could awaken any dormant c. diff germies. Yet if it turned out to be pneumonia, I would need a higher level of care than she could give me.


So I went to immediate care, x-ray order in hand. The entire process -- from check in to photographs -- took 30 minutes. I don't think I've had a chest x-ray before. Takes less time than a mammogram.

By end of day Wednesday, I had my diagnosis: bronchitis. Yea! So much less serious than pneumonia. The radiologist also reported that my spine curves. Yes, we know that now. Isn't it funny how I went decades with no one talking about my back, and now a chiropractor and radiologist are all about my "scoliosis?"

I worked from home Thursday and today. Attended a meeting over the phone, made a few revisions from my dining room table, but mostly I took it easy and was careful to puff on my inhaler every six hours.

And am reminding myself that I have to take stuff like this more seriously going forward. I get mad at John and Henry for not listening to their doctors, and here I am, with no doctor of my own.

Ruth gave me a folder of general practitioners she's familiar with at the nearby hospital. I'll have to look them over and see if there's one that looks like a good match.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tuesday 4

1. Do you have a hobby or a special interest?  Do you quilt, crochet, cook, sew, collect things, sing, play an instrument, love dolls , politics, learning, reading, biking, hiking, camping, swimming, flower arranging, watching TV? Do you love to entertain, set a beautiful table or just take a walk? Share it with us won't you?
  Why do you enjoy it? Can you tell us how you became interested or what particularly interests
you about your hobby.
Would you share some photos or pictures of your hobbies or interests or lovely things you've seen along the way?

I read. Books and magazines and blogs and newspapers and anything that falls into my hands. I prefer reading pages I can turn to a screen I can scroll. 

I like the escape of reading. It's a personal and private adventure. It's a way to learn. And, as one who spends a great deal of her life on public transportation, it provides me a little armor.

2.  Gardening is a hobby for some.
Do you garden or grow house plants?
 What do you like about it? What are your favorite plants inside or out? Pictures? We'd love to see  photos of you house or garden plants or hear about ideas you have for growing things or creating beauty with plants around the house.

I have two philodendrons -- one large and one massive. They used to be in my office but now they're dominating my den. My dream is to figure out how to drape them around the room, safe from the cats' curious paws. My model for this -- as she is for many things -- is Katharine Hepburn.

From Desk Set

3. If you could design a dream garden or park , how would you do it? What would it contain.? Maybe include a picture from the net of one you think closely fits your dream garden.

One of my favorite places is Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs, AR. It's one of many vacation spots that I've visited and long to return to. It's green and lush, with a winding trail up to the top of Hot Springs Mountain and an observation deck. Plus it has its own waterfall. Which is all my way of saying that my dream park would be anchored by a waterfall.

A waterfall of natural hot spring water.

4. Do you like being outdoors? If so, what attracts you to the great outdoors and if not, what keeps you inside?
Do you walk in the rain?Are there parks near you that you like to visit?

The thing I like best about being outdoors is checking out the color of the sky. I love all the shades of blue and grey and black. There's a little park by the library that I cut through when the weather is good (and I have time).

Sunday, January 19, 2020

And what did you do today?

I took a bath and shaved my legs!

Then I got dressed and took out the trash. I didn't cheat and use the chute. I went all the way down to the dumpster.

I walked all the way around to the front of the building (!) and picked up my mail.

I came back up and washed down my George Foreman grill.

I changed my sheets and towels.

I sorted my laundry (whites, darks and colors).

I put on fresh pajamas and got back into bed.

When you're sick, this feels like a productive day!

Maybe this flurry of activity means I'm on the mend.

A bright spot

I've felt crappy all week, and that has colored my outlook. I shouldn't let that happen. Nothing is ever all bad, and there's always something to be happy about.

This week, it was dinner with John. We met at Infield's, the little sports-themed bar in the basement of Macy's.* We had a lovely time.

I approached it with some trepidation. I've been having a terrible time getting hold of John since Thanksgiving! He refuses to do Facebook, seldom checks his email, can't access his voicemail, and is spotty about responding to texts. If my text doesn't fortuitously reach him at the moment he's looking at his phone, it can go unread for days (forever?).

I told him as sternly as possible that this is a shitty practice. He is 64, with heart disease and diabetes. He's been hospitalized for both. How do I know he's OK?

He apologized. It turns out that much his self-imposed isolation comes from the blues. Garden variety depression. I'm not making light of it, but I'm relieved because it's something I can understand.

John was laid off in September. His severance was up in mid-October, and now he's collecting unemployment. He's getting by, but barely. He knows that he has to seriously begin looking for work, but he doesn't know what he wants to/can do. Since January 6 -- the day everyone at his old office returned to work -- he's felt aimless and adrift.

I told him I'd help in anyway I can. I invited him to enjoy my gift card to Tao with me, and that made him happy. We laughed a lot. I enjoyed my burger -- really, if you're ever at Infield's, get the plain, old, no-frills burger; it's very good. I was home and back in bed by 9:15 PM. (Hey! Don't judge me! I'm sick!)

*The name was once a pun. This Macy's was originally Marshall Field's flagship store. So "Infield's" meant not only baseball diamond, but also "In Field's."

Saturday, January 18, 2020

I. Am. Sick. Dammit!

Today I got calls from both Reg and Henry. Reg didn't get through, but Henry did. He was tearful, angry, depressed, and miserable.

About New Year's Eve, where he was alone in the hospital. About his wedding and class rings, which he lost when he was airlifted to the hospital back in October 2018. He insists they were stolen by a hospital worker.

I don't know what triggered all this. I couldn't get him to tell me. He sounded tired and drunk and was completely unreasonable. As near as I can tell, he saw his GP today, and that doctor recommended a psychologist. I don't know why this would rattle him so.

I told him I'd been in therapy. I told him I thought this was positive. (I actually said "Yea!") I told him a shrink could help him be strong, independent and happy. That's my mantra with Henry: strong, independent and happy.

New Year's Eve ... the rings ... New Year's Eve ... the rings ... over and over.

Now it's nearly 7:00 on Saturday evening and I'm still in my nightshirt because I am sick. I have been sick all week. I am achy. I am tired. I am coughing. I can't breathe. I don't want to hear about New Year's Eve (18 days ago) and the fucking rings (more than a year). Henry can be very selfish.

I don't believe Henry is serious about suicide, but I am not a doctor. I am not a shrink. Henry is in Key West. I am in Chicago. It's not like I can just get in an Uber and check on him.

I have called Reg, who is asleep because he has to be at work at 4:00 AM. I have called Patrick, who is staying with them. I believe he's on a date and isn't answering.

I don't want to involve the police for a wellness check. I worry what the legal ramifications would be of that. Would they try to take Henry away?

I wish Reg or Patrick would call me back.

I am sick. I am trying to be empathetic, I am working at remembering that everyone is doing the best he can, but I am sick.

Saturday 9

Miss Independent (2003)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here

1) The song begins with Kelly describing a woman who is "independent" and "self-sufficient." Are you feeling especially independent and self-sufficient this morning? Or is there a particular task on your to-do list that you wish you had help with?  My home is such a mess. I wish Marie Kondo would come by and help me get organized.

2) Kelly especially enjoys that this song was a hit, because she had to argue with the record company to even include it on her album. Tell us about a time you're glad fought to get your way. There have been creative projects at work that I believe came out better because I dug my heels in.
3) The video depicts a very lively party that spills from the house to the pool area. What's the last party you attended? Was it held indoors, outdoors, or did the revelers enjoy themselves both inside and outside? It was Christmas night. We began in my friends' living room, and then two of us peeled off and continued our celebration with pizza at an outdoor bar near the ocean. (It was Key West, where my holidays are festive, if not conventional.)

4)The partiers are playing with "silly string." Have you ever indulged in a "silly string" battle? Nope.

5) Kelly Clarkson has a new daytime talk show. Who hosted the last entertainment talk show (as opposed to news) that you watched? Johnny Carson. I was just flipping through channels and stumbled upon an episode of The Tonight Show from 1981. This is why I'm reluctant to "cut the cord" and give up cable. I'm forever accidentally landing on shows that I didn't know I had access to. (PS Most of his monologue was about Ronald Reagan. It's a myth that Johnny wasn't political.)

6) Kelly Clarkson told a foodie website that one of her favorite foods is sushi (especially California rolls). She said she's surprised how fond she is of it, since as a kid, sushi is a food she wouldn't even try. Tell us about something you had to be convinced to try, or do, that you were surprised to find you enjoyed. Spinach artichoke dip.

7) In 2003, when "Miss Independent" was released, Microsoft and Sony were furiously competing for gamers' attention. Do you own Playstation or Xbox, neither or both? Nope

8) Also in 2003, the best-selling cookbook was The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. It features foolproof recipes for old favorites like waffles, pancakes, flat breads and crackers. When you look for a new recipe, are you searching for an easier/better way to make something familiar, or are you more likely looking to try something new? I don't cook.

9) Random question: Which has gotten you in more trouble -- love or money? To be honest, I have no talent for handling either.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Back to bed

I don't have much of a cough. I'm not too congested. To borrow from Zuzu, I don't have a smidge of temperature. And yet I'm soooo achy and exhausted! All I want to do is stay in bed. Which is where I'm going now.

Nighty night!

This is our president

This is how the most powerful man in the free world chooses to use social media.

This is the message he wants to communicate.

This is the retweet of a bigot.

I pray our fellow citizens vote their consciences this November.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday Stealing

Book Mama as a wee one
Food meme Stolen from Book Mama, who stole it from Jenefur.  

Book Mama was important to me. She was all passion and love. We lost her suddenly in June and I miss her still. To read more about this truly wonderful woman, click here.


04. CORN MUFFIN or ENGLISH MUFFIN? Oooh! Depends on my mood.
05. PANCAKES or FRENCH TOAST? Though I do enjoy French Toast on occasion.
07. RICE or PASTA?

08. CAKE or PIE? What cake? Which pie?

10. HOT DOGS or HAMBURGERS? Except at the ball park, of course.



14. LEMONADE or ICED TEA? But only if the lemonade is all natural. Artificial flavors give me a headache. Literally. They trigger my migraines.









25. BLACK OLIVES or GREEN OLIVES? I won't eat either, and you can't make me.
26. ONION or GARLIC? I won't eat either, and you can't make me. 











I knew it was a bad idea at the time

It was raining like crazy Friday night. So much came down so fast that the sewers were having trouble handling it and streets that were dry when I went into my movie group meetup at 6:45 were flooded by the time I left around 9:00. I didn't want to deal with the expressways in such weather, so instead of taking an Uber home, I had the driver take me to the train station. Better to get home via the rails than the roads.

I had about 20 minutes to spare before the train, I hadn't eaten since lunch, and so I checked out the food court. McDonald's had a line, but Arby's was beckoning me. I haven't had a beef 'n' cheddar in forever! Look how tasty the menu photo looks! And it was delicious. But as I enjoyed it -- and I did -- I wondered, "Why don't I eat these more often? Is there a reason?"

I woke up slowly on Saturday, unable to shake the sluggishness. I had no appetite, but I did endure a sudden and blissfully brief episode of something you don't want to read about. I did my grocery shopping but that's it. I just napped some more.

A wasted day. UGH!

So beef 'n' cheddar, while I love you, I must remember to admire you from afar. (I think it's the modified ranch dressing they use that makes it taste good, but disturbs me so.)

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Saturday 9

Sultans of Swing (1978)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here

1) The song begins by mentioning how it feels to shiver on a rainy night. As you answer these questions, is it chilly ... or rainy ... or dark? It's rainy. Apparently we are destined to receive an almost biblical amount of precipitation this weekend. At least it will be varied -- rain, sleet, snow ...

2) The lyrics describe a bar at closing time, when the owner announces, "Goodnight, now, it's time to go home." Can you recall a time when you lingered until you closed the joint? My birthday party in November. Mindy, John and I stayed at the tavern until last call ... of course, they close at 9:15, so it's not that impressive. Now I do recall the night, a couple springs ago, when Joanna and I stayed at the tapas restaurant for hours and hours and hours -- even after the band went home. That was epic. (And, as I recall, we weren't even drinking. Just blabbing and blabbing.)

3) This song was written years before it was recorded, back in the days before Dire Straits was a success. Composer/lead singer/lead guitarist Mark Knopfler recalls that, when he was working on "Sultans of Swing," he was worried about paying his gas bill. Is anything troubling you this Saturday? Of course. Trump is still President. On a much lighter note, I am happy to report that Bank of America finally cashed my credit card payment. I mailed it without a statement, just a note with my account information, back on December 19. I wanted to take care of it before I went on Christmas vacation so I wouldn't forget. It was beginning to bother me that after three weeks it still hadn't cleared. (OK, it wasn't beginning to bother me. I was obsessing.) Anyway, it cleared, my account has been credited, and I can move on.

4) When this song was popular, Sam often played it on the jukebox because, well, who doesn't like Dire Straits? 40 years later, both that  jukebox and the bar it was in are gone. Have you recently been in a restaurant or bar that has a jukebox? Yes. The Billy Goat Tavern has a jukebox. I don't play it if the bar denizens are watching a game, but they have one and it works.


5) In 1978, the year "Sultans of Swing" topped the charts, Garfield first appeared in newspapers all around the United States. Over the years, it was revealed that the cartoon cat loved lasagna and hated raisins. What's a food you love? What's one that you hate? I love lasagna, too, Garfield. And steak, pizza and ice cream. I don't like raw tomatoes or anything with too much spice or pepper.

6) One of People magazine's top-selling issues of 1978 featured Carrie Fisher and Darth Vader on the cover. The article celebrated the theatrical re-release of Star Wars and announced that the cast was on board for a sequel. How many Star Wars movies have you seen? Just the first. I recall it was too noisy and bright to sleep through. I really don't like sci-fi.

7) The most popular movie of 1978 was Grease. What's your favorite song from the Grease soundtrack? Summer Nights. (Tell me more, tell me more ...)

8) In 1978, Yves St. Laurent made fashion news by putting his female runway models in menswear-inspired suits, complete with neckties and pocket squares. Do you know how to tie a windsor knot? Can you fold a handkerchief into a pocket square? Nope.

9) Random question: You're visiting a friend. He graciously offers you the use of his super-expensive, brand-new luxury sedan for the duration of your stay. Do you take him up on it? Or do you rent a car instead? I don't drive, so if the car doesn't come with driver, I'll stick with cabs and ubers. 


A happy night of lust, betrayal, mayhem and murder

Last night was our first movie meet-up of the new year. It was well attended, despite what felt like a positively biblical amount of rain. I was so happy for our moderator, Will. He works hard on his pre/post movie presentations. And he found us a new venue -- the recital hall of piano showroom. At first blush it seemed like an odd choice for showing classic movies, but really it worked well. The acoustics are awesome, there's ample seating, the bathrooms are pristine and the room is downright elegant (blond wood floors, exposed brick walls).  Even better, it's still in approximately the same neighborhood as our old meeting spot, which is important to Will because he lives in that community and wants to bring incremental foot traffic and attention to that part of town.

The movie itself was just OK. This surprised me, because Criss Cross (1949) is much lauded among film noir aficionados. My TV boyfriend, TCM's Eddie Muller, is a huge fan. I found too many niggling plot holes. But it looked good on the big screen, Yvonne DeCarlo was a revelation (who knew Lily Munster could be so amoral?) and the crowd loved it.

And Betty annoyed me. Betty always annoys me, especially when Joanna isn't there to diffuse our encounters. Betty grabs me and pulls me into her photos ... and with Betty, it seems every moment must be photographed. She asks me again and again about this year's TCM Film Festival and then says, "Oh yeah, you can't afford it this year. That's OK." Gee, is it OK with you, Betty? Really? That means the world to me! (I have to work on my annoyance level, as she seems to sincerely love these movies, enjoy the Meet Ups and even like me. It wouldn't kill me to be nicer.)

A load of whites and half a sock drawer

In my ongoing quest to do MORE toward my goals of being healthier, more financially responsible and more organized, I'm committed to make better use of my evenings.

Crashing on the sofa after work is not productive. Seductive, yes. We have "open seating" at the office, and sitting out in the open, feeling piteously exposed for 40 hours/week, exhausts me. Literally exhausts me. I fell into a ridiculously bad habit of falling asleep in front of the TV, then waking up at 2:30 or 3:00 AM. Not a productive way to live my life.

So Thursday night, I took on my underwear. I bleached my whites and sorted through my my colored socks. I rid myself of several pairs of black trouser socks that are so tight and uncomfortable they feel like compression stockings! And yet I never tossed them before. I'd just waste time putting them on, find they didn't fit, putting them back and grabbing another pair. (Silly Gal!)

Wednesday, January 08, 2020


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading?
Cary Grant by Marc Elliott.The most suave, elegant leading man Hollywood ever produced, Cary Grant's career is even more impressive when viewed in context. 

His parents were ridiculously mismatched -- Dad was a hard drinking ladies' man, Mom was pious and parsimonious. By the time he was 9, both of his parents were gone. Dad left to start a new family and Mom "disappeared." Consequently, Cary Grant suffered a lifelong fear of abandonment and poverty that no amount of success could assuage. Yet he exuded such confidence, such self sufficiency that Ian Fleming used him as the model for James Bond in his 007 novels.

I am enjoying this biography, but it makes me sad that he endured all he did and chapter after chapter, I find myself wanting to give him a hug.

  2. What did you recently finish reading? A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny.  CC de Poitiers is a very unlikable murder victim. Of course, even the odious deserve justice. Much of the tension of this engaging mystery comes from the fact that most of the suspects are more sympathetic and worthy than CC. You don't want to find that any of them did it.

I unexpectedly slipped this book in ahead of Cary because I wanted to read a book set at Christmas over Christmas. It was a good choice. The author uses the holiday to add emotional dimension but she's never mawkish.  

3.  What will you read next? Both the bio and the mystery have been rather serious, so I'm in the mood for chick lit. Meg Cabot is a tried-and-true practitioner of the genre, so I'll reach for No Judgments.