These are the thoughts and observations of me — a woman of a certain age. (Oh, my, God, I'm 65!) I'm single. I'm successful enough (independent, self supporting). I live just outside Chicago, the best city in the world. I'm an aunt and a friend. I feel that voices like mine are rather underrepresented online or in print. So here I am. If my musings resonate with you, please visit my blog again sometime.
1. My biggest barrier to weight loss is... motivation. I don't like being fat, but I don't care enough to do anything about it.
2. What is your relationship with food like? I don't know. I eat when I'm hungry, I eat what I like. I have no response beyond that.
3. What was the last time you had fun that made you smile for a few days TCM had a Hitchcock marathon on Thanksgiving, and #TCMParty on Twitter was a fun way to watch with fellow fans (nerds) who are always very funny.
4. What are triggers in your life that lead to eating? Boredom. Hunger. Time of day.
5. What inspires you to be healthier Worry about my always sensitive gastrointestinal tract. I'm careful to eat more fiber.
6. Name two foods that you think are “bad” Spicy chili and any wine. Because they literally make me sick.
7. Are your expectations for yourself too high? In some things, yes. In most things, no.
8. Would you like more fun in your life? Yes
9. What is your one comfort food? A cheesey, gooey ham and cheese omelette.
10. How would you give someone encouragement? Focused time
11. Do you get enough sleep? No. I don't sleep well. I hope that, in 2021, my new insurance carrier will approve a sleep study.
12. What activities make you feel more relaxed Books, movies or work. I find that if my mind is fully engaged, I'm less anxious.
13. Where do you need to practice forgiveness in your life? I need to put the past in its place. I'll never get answers from people who are dead.
14. What is one thing you have not done because of how you looked? Skinny dipped
15. What would you like more of in your life? Love, of course! As the Lads from Liverpool tell us, "Love Is All You Need."
I just binged on Season 4 of The Crown. Because it's the Diana Season, it's my favorite thus far. Considering how well I know Diana's saga, I was surprised by how thoroughly I was drawn into her episodes.
Over the years, I have warmed a bit to Camilla Parker Bowles, now HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Diana's boys seem to bear her no ill will. She's been a workhorse during the corona virus crisis -- taking care of Charles herself when he came down with the virus, celebrating first responders, encouraging children to participate in a lockdown reading challenge ... watching The Royals in action, modeling good behavior during the pandemic. has made me see the wisdom of having designated "heads of state." All we have on this side of the pond is the First Family, and I think we can agree that over the last four years, this First Family has, at best, phoned it in.
I can also appreciate the romance between "Fred and Gladys," as they call each other. They have loved one another for a very long time, they waited forever to be together, and overcame obstacles we can never understand.
But then there's Diana. She was collateral damage. A fragile, sensitive teenager in love who became heartbroken and disillusioned on the world stage. It was hard to watch her struggle again last night, just as it was hard in real time. And because we know how her story will end in that Paris tunnel.
Of course, The Crown is a drama and not a documentary. So maybe the series' decidedly pro-Diana spin isn't fair. But, as always, she tugs at my heart.
Speaking of heart, I still cannot abide Margaret Thatcher's complete lack of one. She's a major character this season and while I admire her for all she overcame to reach the position of Prime Minister, I still find her politics appalling. I have always believed that it's the role of government to do for the individual what the individual can't do for himself, and that, as Dr. King said, "It's a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps."
Saturday 9: Black (2016) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) This song was chosen because yesterday was Black Friday,
the traditional day of sales. Have you begun your Christmas shopping? Almost done! This year, with everyone celebrating remotely, I've got to get packages in the mail in a timely fashion. Shipping boxes will be the challenge this year.
2) Was there an adult beverage served with your Thanksgiving feast? Celebrated with my first glass of Baileys of the season.
3) Did any pets enjoy scraps from your Thanksgiving table? Technically, no. Though I did let my cat Reynaldo lick the gravy off my plate.
4) Are there any Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator right now? No.
5) Football is a popular Thanksgiving weekend pastime. Will you be watching any
games over the next few days? If yes, which team(s) are you rooting for? No football for me.
This week's song is by Dierks Bentley. He wrote it for
his wife, Cassidy Black, who appears in the video. They met in eighth
grade, dated on and off, and then eloped when they were in their late
20s. Has anyone ever surprised you by going off and suddenly getting
married? No. But I think it sounds terribly romantic.
7) 2016 was a good year for Bentley. This song was one of
three hits he had that year, he co-hosted the CMAs and was nominated for Male
Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year. As 2020 winds to an end, do you
feel it's been a successful year? The year, obviously, hasn't been great. But even the worst times come with bright spots. I've done some good work for my client and I'm proud of it.
8) In 2016, David Bowie died. Do you have a favorite Bowie
song? "Let's Dance," I suppose. I'm not really a Bowie fan, but I have good memories attached to that song.
9) Also in 2016, CBS telecast reran How the Grinch Stole Christmas for
the 50th time. What's your favorite Dr. Seuss story? One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I specifically remember a family gettogether at my least favorite grandmother's house when I was five or six. I escaped to the spare bedroom, found this book and was excited and proud that I could read the whole thing by myself.
I'm thankful that TCM is giving me a night-into-day Hitchcock marathon! It begins with Rear Window, which is one of his more accessible movies -- visually perfect, terrific cast, great plot.
And it has THE GREEN SUIT. In just about all of filmdom, I can think of no outfit I love more. Edith Head, celadon green (which would be a good color on me). I love how it goes from prim to seductive, just by removing the jacket. Sigh.
My friends, John and Gregory, and I traditionally spend "Orphans' Thanksgiving" or "Friendsgiving" together. But Gregory has refused to even entertain ways we could celebrate, feeling that because of our ages (I'm the baby at 63) we should forgo it this year. I respect that, and see the wisdom in it.
But my wish is that next year the three of us are together -- dressed in our holiday best, seated in a booth, near Chicago's official tree and watching the skaters twirl around the Millennium Park rink.
In the meantime, I'm recalling what our minister reminded us last week ... no matter how uncomfortable or unfamiliar the world feels right now, there is still much to be thankful for. So now I'm going to focus on those positives ...
• Our minister loves us enough to keep our doors closed and continues leading our worship online
• I have good health insurance and a doctor I trust nearby
• All the same, I'm grateful that I just took my temperature and it's 98.3º
• My furbabies are purring and playing and cleaning their plates (I feel my responsibility for their safety keenly and am grateful they're OK)
• I have not missed a paycheck and have the flexibility to work from home
• My new boss is a mensch
• My newly-wedded niece is still basking in the joy of having her wedding on the day she wantd
• My nephew, who has battled depression in the past, seems to be finding his footing in the world
• I will soon no longer have to worry about what hate mongering or conspiracy theory my President has tweeted overnight
• I am surrounded by books and magazines and have a DVR filled with movies to nourish me when I'm lonesome
What about you? What thoughts lighten your spirit with gratitude today?
My birthday last Sunday was a massive nothingburger, and it hurt me deeply. I did receive three gifts -- thoughtful ones, coincidentally all from Florida. My aunt sent me an "Anthony Rizzo #1 Fan!" shirt, my cousin Rose sent a TCM classic movie quiz book, and Henry sent me Joely Fisher's memoir.*
Kathy, who is suffering cognitive issues, managed to remember, and that touched me. One of my late mother's friends, now in her 80s, got me a card exactly on time. That made me feel special.
• John called a few days before and freely admitted he just forgot. He flipped his calendar page, and there it was, my birthday! After more than 35 years of celebrating it together, I guess I was supposed to find this amusing. He told me how upset he's been about losing Taylor, the bartender/manager of his favorite bar. Sick of the virus and Illinois' restrictions, she packed up and moved to Florida (where life is, apparently, cheaper). I guess I'm supposed to accept this as a good reason. He also promised that, after Thanksgiving, we'll get together somewhere outside to celebrate. No we won't. After Thanksgiving it will fucking be December. Up until this week, we've had an unseasonably warm and dry autumn. We could have comfortably dined al fresco when it was in the 60s and 70s. But he was too sad about Taylor and the closing of his favorite bar to consider this.
35 years. He forgot. Oh, and by the way, he had a birthday during the pandemic and I celebrated it.
• Kathleen sent me a chirpy little IM on my birthday (after she saw the reminder on Facebook). It's been such a "weird" year that she's decided to "spring" my birthday dinner on me when I least expect it. Right. Why didn't she put that message in a Hallmark card and drop it in the mail? She fucking forgot. We're not having any dinner together, outdoors in the snow.
Meanwhile, her son reached out to me and asked me to record a little message for Kathleen's upcoming birthday. I did it, and I have her gift here. I will take it to the post office.
• Joanna really wishes me happiness this year. She didn't even pretend to have remembered before the Facebook reminder. She had a birthday during the pandemic and I celebrated it.
• My oldest friend, now in California and without a car, just couldn't get to the post office. But she did text and phone. Her birthday is December 11. I have her present right here, and will mail it next week.
• Mindy just completely forgot. I don't know who reminded her, because she doesn't do social media. But Sunday night I got a cryptic text telling me my gift would be "available for pick up" some time this week. I wonder where I'll have to go in the snow to pick it up. Her birthday was November 1. I sent her a pair of books. For the past three weeks she's being promising to schedule a Zoom call to thank me and catch up. Three weeks.
I know, I know.
There's a pandemic and everyone is worried about what to do about their families over Thanksgiving. The freak in the White House put every citizen's safety and security at risk as he held our nation hostage for more than two weeks, spread conspiracy theories and held up the transition.
But all those things apply to me, too. I've been scared and stressed, just like every other American with a fully functioning brain. And I manage to remember and celebrate my friends.
I will get over this. But it will take time. I am trying not to feel as though I just don't matter.
*I don't really know who Joely Fisher is in her own right, but she's Carrie Fisher's half sister, and Henry knew I recently read brother Todd Fisher's memoir of his famous family.
I'm worried about Darius, the lifer at Western Illinois Correctional Facility that I correspond with through my church's penpal program. It's been more than a month since I've heard from him.
Maybe he was moved to another facility. I've learned how often that happens.
Or maybe he got bored with writing to me. That would surprise, but not shock, me. At the beginning of our correspondence, he indicated that he hoped for in-person visits from me. I made it clear that I was committed to answering his every letter, but that was all.
Or maybe he's ill. I checked the stats, and 62 inmates have been confirmed to have the corona virus, and 49 have recovered. Does that mean the remaining 13 are dead? I don't know.
I understand, and agree, that Darius did something society can't forgive, and that prison is where he belongs.
I also believe what the Book of Matthew tells us: "Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters, you did for me."
So I hold Darius in my heart, and am grateful to him in a way. I'm not sure that, before I enrolled in this penpal program, I gave the incarcerated one moment's thought. I'm glad he taught me that my heart has room in it for them, too.
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?Mrs. McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie. The McGinty murder trial was in all the papers, but Hercule Poirot was uninterested. A little old lady was bludgeoned and robbed of a small amount of money and her boarder was found guilty after overwhelming evidence was presented in court. Our favorite sleuth dismissed the public's fascination with the tawdry case as just another indication of how "senseless, cruel and brutal" England had become.
Then his friend, Superintendant Spence, reached out to discuss the McGinty case. Spence was sure that the wrong man had been convicted -- the evidence was just too convincing -- and would soon be executed. Now Poirot is interested because he's offended. Hanging an innocent man would be wrong ... uncivilized, even. Poirot responds to Spence's plea for help and we're on our way.
So far I'm liking the book because I just enjoy being in Poirot's (egg-shaped) head so much!
Kennedy presents biographers with a challenge: the 35th President is at once familiar and elusive. We know he was capable of inspiring us with soaring rhetoric, but we don't know what inspired him. We also know that, on the one hand, he had the drive and discipline to become the youngest man ever elected to the Presidency, and yet lacked the self-control to keep his zipper shut.
Logevall comes very near to solving the riddle. The evidence points to the famous Kennedy Clan, but not in the ways often assumed. Because his parents concentrated their expectations and aspirations on their eldest son -- the stronger, more handsome Joe, Jr. -- their second son was given space to develop his own personality. He was naturally funnier and more charming than Joe, and more original and rebellious than the older son could ever be allowed to be. Because Jack was spent so much of his childhood and adolescence alone in his sick bed, he became more bookish, curious and creative. He also developed a physical courage and self-sufficiency that not only surprised his family, it helped save the lives of his crew and made him a Naval hero in WWII.
The costar of this book is patriarch Joe Kennedy, Sr. He came to understand and appreciate his second son's strengths and supported him but didn't dominate him. Certainly old Joe damaged his children, too (his womanizing corrupted his sons' relationships not only to their mother but women in general, and there was, of course, Rosemary), but I had no doubt that he loved and valued them, too.
3. What will read next? Mystery? Another biography? I'm not sure. But it won't be Meet Me in Monaco. I finally got this popular chick-lit from the library and found it simply didn't grab me. It wasn't any one thing, I just found myself not caring about the characters. Maybe it's me.
The Cubs and team president/boy genius Theo Epstein have parted company. I was shocked at the news, but have gradually accepted what I cannot change.
He built this Cub team. Without him as architect of this roster, I wouldn't have an armoire filled with Cubs playoff t-shirts. 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020. And, oh, yeah, there was 2016! The year when the Cubs went from Lovable Losers to World Champions!
I don't like this. There is a prevailing trade-them-all attitude in the air.
Theo brought Joe Maddon, the skipper I loved so, to Chicago and now
then escorted him to the city limits. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester are
both gone. And now there are whispers that Javier Baez and Kyle
Schwarber -- two players Theo considered untouchable -- are on the
block. And Kris Byrant, who puts the BRY in BRYZZO, too.
But, so far, no one is talking about wresting my darling Anthony Rizzo away. I don't see how they can. He's not only the team leader on the field, the city has come to love him for his philanthropic work. Last week, he raised $850,000 to battle pediatric cancer. (And what did you do last week?)
There's a school of thought that it's time. This team is older now, and athletes have a short shelf life. They will never win another World Series together, so let's break them up.
I don't subscribe to this school of thought. My dad never saw the Cubs win the World Series. Neither did his parents. Nor my uncle. I would feel beyond greedy to expect to see TWO World Series championships! I just want to watch guys I've come to love take the field in pinstripes, perform admirably, and keep me company on sunny summer afternoons.
Is that really too much to ask?
Apparently, for those who have some sort of fetish for winning.
Being a nerd, I spent my Friday night watching a documentary about the 1960 Wisconsin Primary. As a film, I appreciated it. The action feels spontaneous and authentic. You're just there in the car with Humphrey or the hotel room with Kennedy, watching history unfold minute-by-minute. I can see why Oscar-winning directors like Scorcese, Redford and Pollack championed its preservation.
As an American, I found it downright inspiring. Here were two Senators, crisscrossing Wisconsin in April, vying for votes. And guess what: they never derided one another. After the Trump-era's nauseating nicknames (Crooked Hillary, Sleepy Joe Biden, Low Energy Jeb, Pocahontas ...), this left me giddy. As Trump recedes, I hope we can go back to the future.
Hubert Humphrey concentrates his efforts on the farmers, who are just naturally less effusive and so his events have less juice than JFK's. But they're listening, and they care about what Humphrey is saying. Kennedy is a rock star in the metropolitan and ethnic areas. It's especially touching to see the men trade places: No one seems to know/care about Humphrey in the city and factory workers shake Kennedy's hand without even looking at him. You can practically see their "Yeah, whatever" thought bubbles. There is a beautiful humility in these moments as Kennedy and Humphrey asked apathetic citizens for their votes.
I noticed things in ways the filmmakers couldn't have intended because in real time, they didn't have the benefit of hindsight.
• While Humphrey tends to be filmed straight on, it's spooky how many shots are framed over JFK's shoulder so that we see the back of his head. As Lee Harvey Oswald did.
• On election night, Kennedy is almost as interested in Nixon's Wisconsin vote total in the Republican primary as he is in his own. He was already thinking ahead to the general, and knew he'd have more trouble with Nixon than Humphrey. (He beat Humphrey in the Wisconsin primary, but lost the state to Nixon in November.)
• Jackie was not yet JACKIE. She was just some politician's wife, an appendage of her husband. She waded through a waiting crowd and ... nothing. He followed her by a few seconds and was greeted by cheers and pandemonium. There's a lovely shot of her clasping and reclasping her white gloved hands behind her back, betraying her nervousness as she spoke Polish to the largely immigrant crowd. I wanted to say, "Girl, calm down! You're thisclose to being an icon!"
with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) Annie sings that she feels she's walking on broken glass. What's the most recent item you broke? I can't think of anything, which is weird because I'm such a klutz. It seems I'm always dropping things and cracking/breaking them. The dinner plate I use most nights is chipped. I did that right after I bought the new stoneware. Literally, as I was bringing the service for 4 up to my apartment, I chipped one of the dinner plates. Hadn't even taken them out of the carton yet. That is so me.
2) She sings about being cut until she bleeds. Tell us about a time you needed stitches. In Spring 2013, I had the beauty mark near my lip removed. (On my arm, it would have been a mole.) My dermatologist wanted it biopsied but because it was on such a prominent spot on my face, he didn't want to remove it himself. He sent me to a plastic surgeon, and it was an interesting experience. While she was carving, I didn't feel a thing. So I was surprised to see three very thick black stitches. When the anesthetic wore off, the site throbbed and looked awful. But damn, she was a good surgeon. Today the scar is barely visible. (Most important: the mole turned out to be benign.)
3) This week's featured artist, Annie Lennox, was born on Christmas Day. Do you know anyone whose birthday falls on a holiday? Some years, my birthday falls on Thanksgiving. 4) When Annie met Dave Stewart, with whom
she'd form the duo The Eurthmyics, she was living in Australia and
staying in a tiny apartment called a bedsit. The occupant has his/her
own combination bedroom/livingroom with cooking facilities, but must
share a bathroom. Tell us about one of your early apartments. Third floor walk up in an old Victorian. Two rooms with a separate kitchen. Tub, but no shower. It was tiny, but I was very happy there for a long time. 5) After the Eurythmics broke up, Annie went out on her own. Would you rather work independently, or as part of a group? I'm pretty independent.
6) Among her many honors, Annie Lennox
was named chancellor of Scotland's Glasgow Calledonia University. What's
the last college campus you visited? What brought you there? Last year, I went to Western Illinois University to visit my nephew. This year, it hasn't been possible. WIU is being strict about their covid protocols. Even their mascot, Rocky the Bulldog, wears a mask. (Good for you, Rocky!)
7) In 1992, the year this song was
recorded, compact discs outsold cassette tapes for the first time. Back
in the day, did you enjoy making your own mix tapes? It was an obsession of mine back in the long-ago 80s.
8) Also in 1992, Johnny Carson made his last appearance as host of The Tonight Show. The catchphrase, "Here's Johnny!" was associated with the show. Can you think of another popular TV catchphrase?Laura Petrie: "Oh, Rob!"
9) Random question: Think of your past week. Now look ahead to the coming week. Would you like it to be more, or less, exciting? More exciting, thank you. But I'd like to request only good news.
My art director and I have worked together -- day in/day out, more or less well but not always without friction -- for the last 16 years. Our relationship is close and complicated, because I'm easily exasperated and she can be competitive. But we know each other well and are interdependent.
She has breast cancer. The corona virus makes this more complicated. No one from her family (in California) can fly in. Once chemo begins, she's been warned to keep her circle very small because she'll be especially vulnerable to infection. Her boyfriend has two teenagers that live with their mother. When treatment starts, will he choose her or his kids?
Oh yeah, and it's a rather large lump 2cm x 2 cm. Stage 2. Her oncologist wants to shrink the tumor with chemo to minimize the amount of cutting they have to do when the time comes to remove it.
She calls me a lot, even when she there's no work to discuss. I don't know what to do, exactly. I don't want to diminish what she's going through: the woman does have cancer. On the other hand, I can only recite the bright side of the situation -- we have great insurance, she lives within walking distance to a world-class hospital with a reputation for cancer treatment, our new boss is far more sensitive to her situation than our old one would have been -- so many times. It begins to sound rote and condescending.
So I babble. I tell her tales of Henry and Key West in anticipation of my upcoming trip. Last night I shared my fascination with dynastic families where everyone is successful -- like Chicago's Emanuel brothers (Mayor Rahm, Dr. Ezekial and superagent Ari). It seems random to me, just sharing whatever pops into my head, but she keeps calling.
In a way, she reminds me of a toddler on a trike. When they tumble, there's often that split second when they look to you to see how you react to the mishap. If you gasp, they cry. If you smile and say, "Oh well, that happens," they get back on the bike. I think my normalcy in dealing with my art director comforts her.
At least I hope so. I know that she's looking to me for support that she feels I can give and I don't want to disappoint her.
Here's a true-life tale about a gal and her digital timer. I was complaining to my shrink that I am forever lazy, lack discipline and can't get out of my own way. That instead of attacking one of the BIG things in my life that needs doing -- sorting and parting with books, cleaning out the closets, exercising -- all I do is fart around on the internet and nap. And my self loathing grows.
She suggested I get a timer and set it for five minutes each day. Just five minutes.
Five minutes spent on my books. Five minutes spent doing steps on my lateral thigh trainer. Five minutes organizing paperwork that I've let build up.
In December, I'm supposed to bump it up to 7 minutes a day. Then 10 in January.
It sounded silly when she suggested it. Five minutes? I mean, really!
Maybe I don't know better than everyone about everything. Maybe she did something to earn all those letters after her name.
It works! It makes whatever I'm about to tackle feel manageable, feel doable. It makes me happy. And I'm seeing an improvement in my overstuffed den.
My aunt is a Trumper, and very outspoken about it. Four years ago, it caused a rift between her and her oldest son and grandchildren that still hasn't healed. Her son (my cousin) has a hard time accepting that his mother is "a racist homophobe." I can see why he's disheartened, but I still refuse to believe it. Before he was born, when my aunt was still living at home with my grandparents, she had President Kennedy's photo in a frame in her bedroom. I insist on believing that if she ever watched anything but Fox or read a newspaper, she wouldn't be aggrieved and angry 24/7 and would regain a compassionate, real world perspective. At any rate, I have gotten around this problem by simply refusing to engage with her on politics.
I quit following her on Facebook months ago. I stay in contact with her, via email, but I stopped acknowledging or even looking at her social media feed. I assumed she had stopped looking at mine.
Well, last week I found that wasn't true. After Joe Biden hit 270, I opined that our (current) President is really not interested in a free and fair election. He is only interested in winning. I reasoned that his own election night criteria for questioning PA's results -- that Philadelphia is known for corruption and Pennsylvania is is run by Democrats -- also applies to FL. That state's results were also very close. It's not like corruption is unknown in Miami-Dade, and Ron DeSantis is such a Trump loyalist that Don Jr. gives him regular shout outs on Twitter. Why isn't he insisting on a second look at FL then? Oh, yeah, because Trump won FL.
My aunt was livid. She thought I was saying that Florida's vote was "rigged." I wasn't. I don't think it was. I don't think Pennsylvania's was, either. My point is that our President is completely self serving and self interested.
She told me I "need to take this down." Um ... no. I really don't. She lectured me. She was unhinged and unreasonable. I didn't delete her comments, but I hid them. I didn't want my friends challenging her. That would not go well.
We went a week without contact. She may be my aunt and godmother, but on some level, we are both just women and she has no right to speak to me that way. I don't speak to her that way. I don't scroll up and down her Facebook feed and dress her down.
Today she reached out to tell me how excited she is about my birthday present. She tagged me on a jokey Facebook post about grammar.
She is telling me, in her own way, that she's sorry. I accept it. I don't need to hear the words.
I wonder how many other families Trump has divided.
I hope that, once we have a gentleman back in the Oval Office, we will be able to disagree again without the fury of the Trump years. I think his all-caps Tweets just overheat everything.
This week, Meme Mistress Sykes suggests we post photos for each answer. I'm going to let Blogger's search function choose my pix. The photos/illustrations you see here are what came up first when I searched my blog for these keywords.
This was an interesting exercise. Some of these posts felt new to me! I guess I should read my own blog more often.
1. Something held together with ribbon, string, or rope.
John Legend sings he loves his woman's "perfect imperfections." Tell us
something quirky or imperfect about a loved one that you would not
change. No matter what is going on in her life -- and it seems there's always a lot going on her in her life! -- my oldest friend always begins each conversation with, "Hi, Dear! What's new with you?" I swear, if her arm were just gnawed upon by a bear and she had a tourniquet on what was left, she'd still open the phone call with a perky, "Hi, Dear! What's new with you?" The incongruity is wacky, but so uniquely her. 2)
John wrote this love song to his wife, Chrissy Teigen. The couple
recently lost their baby after pregnancy complications. To whom did you
most recently send a sympathy (or "thinking of you") card or message? My art director has been diagnosed with cancer. I sent her a card letting her know she can lean on me.
While adventurous in his creative career choices, John admits his taste
in food leans toward the tried and true. His favorites are chicken
(rotisserie or fried), macaroni and cheese, and steamed vegetables.
What's on your weekend menu? I don't know, specifically, but I'm in a carnivorous mood. Beef would be good. 4)
When he was growing up, John's mother, Phyllis, helped support the
family as a seamstress. Are you any good with a needle and thread? I can hem and mend, but that's it.
5) As a child, he was such a big fan of Andy Griffith and Matlock
that he wanted to be a lawyer. If you grew up to have the same
occupation as the TV character you liked best as a kid, what would you
be doing? I'd be an underemployed actress who has many adventures, impossibly thick eyelashes and a fabulous wardrobe.
6) John is a judge on The Voice. Do you watch that show? Or America's Got Talent, or American Idol? I watch Idol on occasion. The Voice has too many rules about teams and steals and I get confused and bored. 7) In
2013, the year this song was popular, twin baby pandas were born at Zoo
Atlanta. Their panda parents had been given to the US as a gift from the
Chinese, with the understanding that any offspring would be given to
China. So, in 2016, the panda cubs were flown to a Chinese conservation
center. They had a hard time adjusting at first, confused by jet lag,
unresponsive when spoken to in Chinese, unimpressed by their new diet.
Have you ever found yourself similarly overwhelmed when you traveled far
from home? (BTW, the pandas are doing just fine now in their permanent
Chinese home.) I remember having a terrible time adjusting when I got home from my one and only trip to Europe. All I wanted to do was sleep, and sleep some more. 8)
Also in 2013, The Pope posted his first tweet. What social media platforms do you regularly use? Facebook and Twitter. 9) Random question: Have you ever a) written something on a public wall or b) carved anything into a tree of bench? What is the statute of limitations?
Because of the spike in covid cases, we may be on our way to another shutdown. And it's supposed to rain all weekend. Those two factors combined made me really want to get to the vet's office this afternoon. Both Reynaldo and Connie are on prescription cat food and I want to fill my larder but I don't want to haul the cans across town in the rain.
I sent an email to my teammates, saying I was knocking off at 4:00 and I was honest about why. My new boss answered almost instantly: "Of course! This is important. Let me know if there's anything you need me to block and tackle so you can take the time."
For. My. Cats.
My boss was willing to take over my projects this afternoon so I could pick up kibble. He's been my boss for about two months now, and he's been terrific. Last week, when I was off on vacation, he actually told me to stop monitoring my emails. He kicked off this week by telling me how well I handled a presentation.
My head is spinning.
My old boss never covered for me. He wasn't involved enough in what I did and wasn't interested in learning. That meant I often had to answer emails and handle calls from my vacation. I always knew it wasn't fair, but I'd gotten used to it. It did always bug me, however, that my boss expected me to cover for him, which often meant I'd be doing jobs (his and mine) for a week at a time.
That was then. This is now. My new boss is supportive. My new boss is kind. My new boss appreciates that there are things I am uniquely qualified to contribute.
I'm delighted and relieved.
This fellow deserves some credit, too. Since I live my life on Zoom, all my coworkers have gotten to know Reynaldo. He's often in my lap as I work. The mic has caught him yowling on occasion. My first meeting with my new boss, I wasn't aware Reynaldo was photobombing from the counter behind me. I used to apologize for his furry intrusions, but was told by no less than the VP in charge of market research that I "should never apologize for Reynaldo!" He's a member of the team.