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.