Monday, August 31, 2020

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 31

Today's happiness -- Reconnecting. I talked to my oldest friend for about an hour tonight. YEA!

She's the one I wanted to talk to about the plumbing, Because she would understand what a terrible housekeeper I am (she's just as bad) and how helpless I feel. And because she's known me so long and so well.

I do feel better. I won't totally relax until about 1:00 tomorrow when I see how the combination Flex Seal/Wrap Fix Self Fusing Tape combo holds. But she was very supportive and said all the right things and made me laugh.

I have missed her.
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.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

It happened

You know The Bad Thing I've been dreading? I think I know what it is. The pipe under my kitchen sink is leaking like the Mississippi River. It probably has been for a while, judging from the musty smell down there.

Of course I found it on a Sunday night when everything is closed. I keep nothing under the sink but plastic bags, and it had occurred to me that, with stores preferring we not shop with our own canvas bags due to germs and Covid19, I have more than bags in here than I can use in a lifetime. The little task I gave myself to do was get rid of some of those plastic bags. That's when I discovered the smell and the icky brown water. Oh, well. At least I got rid a lot of the bags. (Like a black Hefty garbage full.)

I suppose it doesn't matter that I can't reach a plumber right now because I couldn't have one here tomorrow anyway. I have to work from here. I may have Zoom meetings or conference calls, and this place just isn't big enough for me to do that without disturbance.

Naturally I freaked out. Freaking out is what I do. Then I went online and did some research. Consumers agree that Flex Seal won't repair it forever, but will hold it for awhile. Awhile is all I need. I ordered the spray and the tape from WalMart* and, hopefully, can go over and pick it up tomorrow -- either at lunchtime or after work. I'll have to go 24 hours without my kitchen sink, but I can make do with buckets of water, like I did in Girl Scouts.

For tonight, I wrapped an old dishtowel around the leak and tied it with a string. That should slow it down. There's a bucket there to catch the rest. A bowl of vinegar should help with the musty smell. After Labor Day, I have to get a plumber in here to replace that pipe.

There's something Snarky Pants calls "pre-knowing." When your thoughts show you something that you're sure will happen. I think this is at least part of what I've been wrestling with these past few weeks.

My shrink tells me to remind myself that I'm home and I'm safe. If this is the worst that happens to me for a while, I'll be OK. I'm unhappy, I'm a little scared, but I'm OK. Worse things than this happen to people every day.

*Neither of the local, independent hardware stores have it in stock! Which is too bad, because I'd prefer to shop in a small store.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 30

Today's happiness -- Cubs win! And against the Reds, thank you very much!

During spring training, way back before the corona virus, everyone was predicting that the Reds were the team in the Central to be reckoned with. The Cubs were too old, too slow, and the pitching was too unreliable to be taken seriously.

That was then, this is now. My guys just split a four game series with the Reds in a record breaking way. All three outfielders (Schwarber, Happ and Heyward) hit two home runs each! Final score: 10-1. 

NL Central standings: Cubs in first place by 3.5 games.
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.

Sunday Stealing

Live Journal 5000

1. Who is the hottest celebrity you can think of? It changes. Right now, Rob Lowe. I rewatched The West Wing on Netflix and seeing Sam Seaborn again almost took my breath away. Which is weird because when the show was on in real time, it was Josh (Bradley Whitford) that I crushed on. BTW, in five years, when I look back on this post, I will be startled to read this response because I will be in love with some other celebrity.

2. Do you ever get so nervous that you can't even think? Yes. Now. I have such an overwhelming feeling of dread these days and I can't shake it.

3. Do you sing when there is no music? Yes, but only to myself.

4.Who was the best political leader in history and why? I can only speak to American history. I mean, I'm not prepared to compare/contrast FDR and Winston Churchill, and I know nothing about who was in the Consuls of the Roman Republic. But I am enthralled and inspired by Abraham Lincoln: his wisdom, his compassion, his curiosity, his love of country and respect for mankind. He was also a very savvy politician.

5 If you could dance with anyone in the world right now, who would it be and what song would you dance to? It would be my grandpa. I would let him choose the song. He died when I was in high school, and I just learned recently that in the early 1930s, he worked a second job. On weekends he played bass for a dance band! I had no idea! He was a short man, and he told my aunt he heard people snicker when he dragged his instrument onto the bus because it was bigger than he was. He said he was proud to do it because he was supporting his family. If I could twirl the dance floor with him, I'd ask him to tell me more about that chapter of his life.

6 Finish this sentence your own way. There are two types of people in the world... Those who use the Oxford comma, and those who are wrong.


7 What have you saved since elementary school? I have some class photos around here somewhere.


8 Have you ever won an award? Yes

9. Do you feel more connected to the sun or the moon? Neither. I look at the sky a lot, but it's the color of the sky that intrigues me, not the moon, sun or stars.


10 Do flaws make people interesting to you? Oh, yes.


11 Who is your favorite historical figure? JBKO. She is best remembered today for her clothes, which is unfortunate because she was one of our hardest working and most influential First Ladies. In less than three years she:

•  Restored the White House and took us on a televised tour, winning an Emmy
•  Financed the restoration with funds raised by the first-ever White House Guide Book (she  chose all the photos, foreshadowing her future career in publishing)
•  Personally convinced the French Minister of Cultural Affairs to allow the Mona Lisa to travel to the United States (the first time the painting had left French soil since WWI)
•  Represented the United States flawlessly on solo trips to Greece, Pakistan and India
•  Oversaw the design of the White House Rose Garden
•  Responsible for Air Force One's iconic design

She did all this while enduring a difficult White House pregnancy that culminated with the death of her baby in 1963. We all know the circumstances that caused her to leave the White House for good four months later.

There's courage and accomplishment that I can appreciate but not relate to, like war heroism. But I understand how hard all the above must have been for her, especially while dealing with relentless international press scrutiny. Really, no one but Princess Diana could understand what it was like to be Jackie. She endured much and accomplished more and did it all with dignity.

The First Lady welcomes Andre Malraux and the Mona Lisa to the White House

12. White bread or wheat bread? Depends on what we're having

13. Do you usually do things fast or right? Fast


14. Are you or have you ever been in a band? No

15. Here are 4 statements about me. Only one of them is true. Which one is it?*
a) I just got a third cat and I'm so excited
b) I have a four octave soprano voice
c) I am very particular about my manicure
d) I've recently switched my soda allegiance from Coke to Dr. Pepper
16. Would you wear a thong bathing suit in public? No. And you don't want me to.

17. Have you thought about death today? Yes, in answering about Jackie.

18. What is your favorite breakfast? Lately I've been gravitating toward gooey cheese omelettes.

19. Are you the life of the party? No.

20. If you hit an animal with your car would you get out to try and make sure it was okay? Of course!

21. When do you get your most peaceful and satisfying sleep? I don't even remember. Sleep is a big issue for me.

22. What thought gets you out of bed in the morning? That next paycheck.

23. What are you a member of? The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, my movie group, my church, the Democratic Party, Planned Parenthood and The World Wildlife Fund. (The last is in my mom's name. I started getting her mail after she died and learned she was a dues paying member. I maintain it because she'd want me to.)

24. Name one place you refuse to ever go. Anything with TRUMP emblazoned upon it

25. When (and if) people (or animals) go to heaven, do they become angels? Kinda sorta. I believe I will be reunited with my beloved pets when I get to Heaven. Yes, I know that's not in the Bible. No, I don't care. Leave me alone with what comforts me.

*Only d) is true

Saturday, August 29, 2020

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 29

Today's happiness -- Annie Hayworth. I think she's the most interesting, and the most sympathetic, character in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Today, she got her due. 

Will got me in to a virtual movie festival devoted to horror and I "attended" a lecture/Q&A about The Birds. Now I'm not a big horror fan, but I do love Hitch and it was great fun to discuss this movie with a new and different crowd of movie nerds. We all seemed to be Team Annie. Yea!

Also, it was free!
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 am safe.

I am safe. That was the mantra I landed on with my shrink this afternoon.

Lately I've been filled with dread. Having nightmares and waking up terrified of ... I'm not sure. I'm scared. I fear that something big and very bad is about to happen.  I can't shake it.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm in therapy.

She told me to try to stay in the moment. Don't worry about the pandemic, civil unrest, hurricane season or the ramifications of a Trump reelection. Just concentrate on now. And right now, I am safe and healthy in my own home.

I am safe.

She told me I'm not alone in this, that many patients have mentioned similar feelings to her. Country Dew was kind enough to tell me the same thing.

So tonight, before I go to bed, I'm going to take some nice Valerian root and curl up with a big picture book about Princess Diana. I love Princess Diana. Maybe I'll dig up a Jackie photo book and make it a double feature of beauty and grace and nostalgia. That will help me feel safe.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Buttered Popcorn (1961)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This Saturday, the treat's on Sam. Will you have buttered popcorn, caramel corn or cheese popcorn? I think I'm in the mood for caramel corn.

2) This record represents the Supremes as they are seldom heard. Florence Ballard is singing lead, with background vocals provided by Mary Wilson, Barbara Martin and Diane Ross. That's right, "Diane." Her parents meant for her to be named "Diane," and that's what old friends and family still call her, but the hospital mistakenly put her name down as "Diana." Motown execs thought "Diana Ross" had a better sound and the rest, as they say, is history. Do you often make typos? Or are you careful and precise at the keyboard? If I'm in a hurry, I make a million typos. If you're a regular reader, you've probably noticed this. I'm lucky in that everything I do for my job is checked over by a professional proofreader.

3) Barbara Martin left the Supremes in 1962, before they reached stardom, because she was a new mom and wanted to stay home with her baby. Have you ever found yourself in the difficult position of having to choose between your personal and professional lives? I was working way out in a business park near O'Hare Airport. I was working really hard and learning a lot. I loved being the agency "go-to girl" (a designation I have since grown tired of). The commute was a nightmare. So I ended up spending more and more time at the office and less and less time in the city with my then boyfriend. 

He didn't like to plan. I simply couldn't be spontaneous, and he bristled at my suggestion that we set Tuesday nights aside for one another, no matter what. (I don't recall why Tuesday; knowing me, it probably had to do with nothing being on TV that night.) Anyway, we broke up when he found a younger, very blonde woman who could better cater to his spur-of-the-moment whims.

I cried a lot at the time because it hurt my vanity and because, well, let's say in one crucial way we were extremely compatible. But we clearly didn't appreciate one another and, in retrospect, I'm not even sure we liked each each other very much. So the breakup was fine.

4) Florence Ballard's cousin, Hank, wrote the famous Chubby Checkers dance record, "The Twist." When did you last get on your feet and dance? I don't recall. I hate it when people use the pandemic as an excuse for not answering questions, but in this case I must plead the (Covid) 19th. Following the rules doesn't give me many opportunities to cut a rug.

5) Mary Wilson stayed with the group until it disbanded in 1977. She has said that one of her most memorable moments came in 1968, when the group performed for Princess Margaret. Mary recalled that the Princess loudly asked if Mary's hair was real or a wig. Mary was shocked, expecting better behavior from a royal. Tell us a time when someone's behavior shocked you. Have you ever heard of Pam Bondi? She's a Florida lawyer and politician who spoke at the RNC, railing against the lawlessness and nepotism exhibited by Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. She gave this speech on the very day the New York AG sought to depose President Trump's son, Eric, regarding financial fraud within The Trump Organization. The very day! What chutzpah! As an adult with a functioning brain, I was insulted. I didn't watch another moment of the convention.

6) In 1961, when this song was released, the TV show Hazel premiered and was a top 5 hit for NBC. Oscar winner Shirley Booth played the title character, a very capable and lovable maid. If Crazy Sam could have a maid for just a few hours today, she'd love to have her refrigerator cleaned and kitchen cabinets organized. If you could have a pair of helping hands around your house this afternoon, what would you ask the maid to do? First we'd clean up in my bedroom. Those makeup and cologne bottles on the dresser are dust magnets. Then we'd move to the kitchen. My cabinets are neat and organized because I leave everything on the counter. Please, Hazel, help me! I need to buckle down, stay on task, and throw stuff away.

7) Also in 1961, President John F. Kennedy appeared on the cover of Time as their Man of the Year. Are there any magazines in your home right now? If so, who is on the cover? I've been looking at this issue of AARP magazine for weeks now. I'm going to get to it, honest I am. Now that I'm working from home, it's like Alan Alda is my officemate.

8) Ernest Hemingway died in 1961. Have you read any of his works? I had to read A Farewell to Arms in high school. I loved the style and hated the substance. Unfortunately I discovered Ernie and feminism at the same time, and that's not the most flattering prism to view his work through. I suppose I should give him another try, now that I've matured a lot and mellowed a bit.

9) Random question: How many pancakes are in the perfect stack? I prefer a short stack of three. Butter and syrup mandatory (powdered sugar optional). Unless we're talking silver dollar pancakes. Then it's six. 

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 28

Today's happiness -- Afternoon nap. Or rather, the freedom to take an afternoon nap.

We had our BIG presentation between 10:30 and 11:30. We have summer hours, so work ends at 1:00 on Fridays. I was able to celebrate the presentation and the end of summer by taking myself out for a big lunch and then coming home and taking a luxurious nap.

I loved these free Friday afternoons.

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.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 27

Today's happiness -- Peyton Place. This nighttime soap ran for five years (1964-1969). My parents watched it during the early years, but made me leave the room. By forbidding it, my parents cemented my fascination and curiosity. In 2013 I got the series on DVD and binged on all but the last season.

Today it came up, out of the blue, when I was Zooming with Will. He asked me to help him see how Zoom works with his new computer and camera. Somehow he ended up quizzing me -- going through a list of actors and actresses who appeared on Peyton Place and asking me who they played. My encyclopedic knowledge of this crap delighted him. This time with Will was the lightest, silliest hour of my day.

THIS JUST IN: Will found out Friday morning that his aunt -- his late mom's baby sister -- died last night. For reasons of both finance and Covid, he doesn't think he can attend the service in Long Island. I'm glad that we could spend some time Thursday being goofy.

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've got a feeling

This is what I'm channeling

Remember that great scene toward the end of Gone with the Wind? Scarlett goes running through the streets of pre-dawn Atlanta, trying to get to her home and to Rhett, and she finds herself enveloped in fog. It's like she actually living in her recurring nightmare.

That's me these days. I feel oppressed by a feeling of foreboding. I don't know for sure what I'm dreading, but I'm sure something bad is going to happen.

Maybe it's work. I don't know. Things have been challenging and frustrating, but then, I work in advertising. It's supposed to be challenging and frustrating. My most recent efforts have been part of a large-scale effort, and as crappy as it's been, I have seen first hand that the other creative team isn't being treated any better.

Maybe it's financial. My place is a mess. Being home everlastingly these days, I'm more aware than ever before that it needs work. New windows, new flooring. The kitchen could stand a refresh. But I don't have the money. I imagine it would cost $10,000 to get it the way I want it, and I don't have that cash in a box under my bed. Also, where would my cats and I go when the work was being done. There's a pandemic! (I am, however, having some work done next week. Maybe I'd feel better if I concentrate on what I am doing and not on what still needs to be done.)

Maybe it's being on the condo board. No maybe about this one. I discovered during the last week that everyone who lives in this building seems to hate me and Brian, the other boardmember. It makes me want to stand in the hall and shout, "Fuck you all."

Maybe it's personal. It's been 10 more days since I've heard from my oldest friend. I miss her. But I guess she's simply not able to be my friend these days. I miss getting together with all my friends these days. Pandemic is getting to me.

Maybe it's the world. A 17-year-old boy took an AR-15 style rifle and killed two people during civil unrest in Kenosha. Think about that: If you're white, you can be underage and walk around with an automatic weapon and no one bothers you. If you're black, a cop will kneel on your neck if you're suspected of passing a fake $20 bill. It doesn't help that this is going on at the same time as the RNC. What a tone-deaf, screeching crew of Marie Antoinettes that's been!

Maybe it's baseball. The Cubs are still in first place, they've been struggling.

But anyway, I'm worried about something very bad, but I don't know what. I hope I'm just worrying about nothing again. Like I do.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 26

Today's happiness -- Powerpoint karaoke. Played this online game during a team meeting and it was a lot of fun. Good team building, too. A coworker who previously bugged the living crap out of me now no longer makes my teeth hurt. I may not like him, but I appreciate how game he was.
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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 25

Today's happiness -- The leggings fit! I ordered a pair of black leggings from Land's End and they're absolutely fine. I'm relieved. It's not always easy to find nice clothes in plus petite.

I have plans for these leggings. I'm wearing them with a garnet-colored duster and camisole to my niece's wedding. I already had pretty, comfortable shoes that will be just right.

The duster is at the tailor. I bought it a little big and consequently had to shorten the sleeves. I'm not seamstress enough to attempt that myself. Once I pick the duster up on Friday, my bridal outfit will be done.
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.

Monday, August 24, 2020

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 24

Today's happiness -- A thank you note. My friend Nancy handwrote a card and dropped it in the mail.

Her son died suddenly last month, and I was honored that Nancy reached out to me for comfort. But I was scared, too. I've never been a mother, so I can't even pretend to know what it's like to lose a child. And she's Jewish, so I can't encourage her to take comfort in knowing Nick is in a better place because she doesn't know that at all.

I have sent her silly cards, ate fried chicken with her, and checked in regularly. Apparently that's what she needs.

"Gal, I am so grateful for your friendship. It's been a light for me during this dark time."

Those words made me so happy, because I didn't want to fail her when she needs me.

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.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

It's gotta be bad if he admits it

Checked in with my nephew this afternoon. He just woke up in his college dorm room for the first time since the world's longest spring break.

He described the beginning of his junior year as "weird." He looks forward to seeing and spending time with his professors, who just weren't as accessible as he would have liked with online learning, but he also came right out and said, "It's scary."

Here's hoping it all goes smoothly and that he at least gets to stay until Christmas. (Though I will see him in October when we all get together for his sister's wedding.)

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 23

Today's happiness -- The old standbys. Two things made me very happy today.
1) The Cubs won! My guys have hit a skid lately, losing 6 of their last 10. That they snapped the streak against the White Sox was really pretty great. BTW, the Sox are very good this year, too. Good enough to win two of three games against the Cubs. I imagine that somewhere out there in Chicago is a gal who loves the Sox as much as I love the Cubs, and I'm happy for her.

2) People Will Talk. This 1951 movie is this week's movie group selection. It's talky and fanciful, and not one I would have stayed with on my own. But I'm glad I stuck it out because Cary Grant is so charming and special in it. Really, that man could do anything. He's as graceful as the athlete he once was, and his comedic timing made me accept dialog that no one else could put over.

Baseball + a movie = bliss. I intended to do a lot today and accomplished none of it. But I'm still pretty happy.

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.

Sunday Stealing


1. How old is the oldest expired thing in your refrigerator? I just dumped the remnants of a 1/2 gallon of 2% milk down the drain. This is why I'd prefer not to buy the 1/2 gallon, even though it's "a better deal." I hate the waste of it. But they were out of the quarts when I went grocery shopping 10 days ago so ...

2. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done on a date? I went bowling. That's not weird, I rather enjoy bowling. It's just that the guy who asked me out had (1) just cut his finger doing something DIY and (2) was obsessed with his new khakis. After he would release the ball -- every time! -- he would put on a fresh Band Aid because he was afraid the holes in the ball has loosened the "old" one. He wasn't worried about infection, he didn't want to get blood on his pants. I kept offering, "We don't have to bowl. Let's go sit at the bar and talk." I don't recall if we actually finished the game, I just remember how annoyed I was. Oh yeah, and he was a funny kisser. He pulled me to him with a hand on top of my head and the other under my chin. The bowling date was our third date. We didn't have a fourth. I felt bad that I hurt his feelings by cutting it off, but this was not going to go anywhere.

3. What animal most closely resembles your eating style? I have no answer for this. Sorry.

4. Have you ever sent someone a text you didn’t mean to? Technically speaking, no. Because it was my cat Reynaldo who did it. Last month he walked across my phone while it was charging and randomly sent a newish friend a scary Pennywise gif. Oh well, if you're going to be in my life, you'd better get to know Reynaldo.


5. If you could learn any language fluently, which would it be? Spanish

6. Would you rather be bald or covered head to toe with hair? Hairy. It's easier to shave than it is to grow new hair.

7. Do you think you’re brave? Not really. I don't take chances. I'm tough, but that's something a little different.

8. What horror fiction character scares you the most? Actually, it's Pennywise. The book IT scared the bejesus out of me. Maybe Reynaldo's random GIF wasn't so random after all.

9. What food do you crave more than any other? Chocolate

10. Which holiday would you erase from the calendars, if you could? New Year's Eve. It's just another day, people.

11. What’s the most clever word you know?


12. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? I suspect it will be sudden.

13. What do you collect that nobody knows about? I have a ton of mid-century movie mags around here somewhere.

14. Have you ever eaten only candy for dinner? Yes.

15. Have you ever taken anything illegally across a border? Just that family I was trying to hide from Judge Jeanine Piro.

16. Have you ever blown your nose in anything other than a tissue? No.

17. Are you a good time manager? Ha! No.

18. Has life been hard on you? At times. There were difficult people in my childhood and they left their everlasting mark.

19. What is the absolute worst song in the world? I haven't got it narrowed down to one, but I promise you it's by Barry Manilow.

20. What is your culinary specialty? I plop a salmon filet on my George Foreman grill and let it sizzle as I toss a salad. Good and good for you!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 22

Today's happiness --  Good hair. Today I had the whole shebang -- cut, color and highlights. After those dark, pandemic days when I had a mullett, I appreciate a fresh hair cut so much more than I did before.

It was also nice to talk to Tony. I've known him, literally, for decades. I know his kids. So it was comforting to discuss my friend Nancy with him. She lost her son suddenly last month. I want to be a good friend to her, but I've never been a parent so I'm not sure I'm coming through. Not that Tony has lost one of his kids -- they're both healthy and fine. But he shared some insights about parenting that I will keep backpocket next time I talk to her.
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.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Saturday 9

I See Love (2010)

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

1) This is the theme from Mike and Molly, a TV show that ran from 2010 to 2016. Were you a fan? No. I watched it a couple of times over the years and never found it funny. Which is strange, because I enjoy Melissa McCarthy on the big screen.

2) Molly was played by Melissa McCarthy. Today she's one of Hollywood's best-paid actresses, but when she began her career, she was barely scraping by. She recently recalled the time when, as a struggling actress, she was rejected at the ATM because it only gave out $20s and she didn't have even that much in her checking account. How often do you visit the ATM? Several times a week? Several times a month? Never? Several times/week. This question makes me think of my mom. She never used an ATM, not once in her life. She was intimidated by technology. Last year, when I worked at the library charity book sale, I met another woman like that. For her, it was an almost political decision. She won't use ATMs if a teller is on duty and she won't use self checkout at the grocery store. She wants to preserve jobs.

3) When she was broke, Melissa couldn't afford blueberries and avocados.  Now she savors them. When you're a few bucks ahead, what do you splurge on? Oh, golly. Before the pandemic, I would have said good grub at a nice restaurant. Or maybe I'd specify Stoli instead of the well vodka. Now I'll go with the really durable paper towels, like Viva or Bounty.

4) Mike was played by Billy Gardell. He was working at a comedy club, cleaning the bathrooms and answering the phone. He used to crack jokes with other employees and finally one of his coworkers dared him to go onstage on "open mic night." A comedy career was born. Tell us about someone who pushed you to make the right move. Back on August 11, my art director pushed me to speak up more forcefully and make myself heard at work. She was right. I'm grateful to her.

5) On the show, Mike's best friend was his fellow officer, Carl McMillan. Carl was not especially motivated and still lived with his grandmother, well into his 30s. How old were you when you moved out of the house for good? 18

6) Mike's and Molly's mothers are different as night and day and frequently did not get along. Have you ever had in-law trouble? No, because I've never had in-laws.

7) This week's song was written by Keb Mo. He switches among several different guitars when he works -- electric, acoustic and resonator. Can you play guitar? Nope.

8) In 2010, when this show premiered, Apple introduced the iPad. Do you use a tablet? I couldn't wait to get one. I used my Kindle for less than a year and put it aside. I don't even know where it is.

9) This week's random question gives you an opportunity to brag: What's something you do better than most people? I'd be great at an animal shelter. Like Ellie Mae, I'm good with critters.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 21

Today's happiness --  The good old days. I admit that it's getting to me. I try to remember that we're all in this pandemic together ... that -- for the most part -- we're each doing the best we can ... that I'm lucky to be healthy and working ... that staying home, wearing a mask and social distancing is for the public good.

But just because I'm patriotic doesn't mean I'm a saint. I miss my old life! I want to watch blockbuster movies in a cool, dark theater ... go to Wrigley Field with my nephew ... visit the Chicago History Museum with John ... wander the River Walk with Joanna ... work the annual summer library book sale ... I miss doing things and seeing people without worrying about exposure to the corona virus.

Today I took action. I went to my favorite neighborhood bar. I hadn't been there since February. They had outdoor seating and a limited lunch menu, but the noonday sun was getting hot so I asked if I could go in. It was almost silent in there. All the booths were blocked off with caution tape, and there were only three slots at the bar.

No matter. I read my magazine and watched golf (even though I had no idea what I was looking at) and very happily enjoyed the shrimp basket and a Coke. It felt so good to be perched on that tall stool again. So normal.

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.