Tuesday, April 13, 2021

WWW.WEDNESDAY

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? The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood by Jane Leavy. Yes, this book is about baseball. That's why I picked it up! It's April, and all I want to think about is the crack of the bat and a ball sailing through the sky. And this biography of one of the game's greatest delivers with plenty of onfield heroics. Mickey Mantle remains justifiably famous for playing hurt and still coming through with the big hit when it when it was needed most. Looked at through today's sabermetrics, Leavy confirms that Mantle was truly a cut above and The Mick richly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as The Babe and Joltin' Joe.
 
What Leavy puts forth in her intro and delivers on throughout is something unexpected and poignant. Mantle was in many ways Elvis' opposite-but-equal. The blond ballplayer with the toothy grin came of age at almost the same time as dark haired rocker with the sexy sneer. They were both ridiculously gifted and both cracked under the pressure of iconography, giving into excess (women and drugs for Elvis, women and booze for Mickey). They died as shocking parodies of themselves (Fat Elvis, Skeletal Mickey). 

And yet, as Leavy also admits, it doesn't matter. Baseball fans still love Mickey Mantle and his memorabilia is worth more at auction than any other major leaguer's, just as tens of thousands of fans still visited Graceland, even during a pandemic.

So far I'm loving this book. It's a compassionate look at an American hero, what we expected of him, what he delivered in spades, and where he came up short (and why).
 
2. What did you recently finish reading? Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody by Barbara Ross. This is book #1 in a new series by the author of the popular Maine Clambake Series. It ticks all the boxes that qualify it as a cozy mystery.

•  Female heroine/amateur sleuth: Jane is both. Retired from a long career with the phone company, she is getting bored. Her friend recognizes her abilities as a diplomat and problem solver and recommends her for a job at a senior living facility. Where, most unexpectedly, she finds herself involved with a murder.

•  Murder in a tight-knit community: Soon after Jane arrives at Walden Pond Senior Living, someone gets dead. Which of the residents did it? Or could it have been one of the staff? The author amusingly compares the denizens of the retirement village to the cliquish students and faculty of a high school.
 
•  Sex and violence take place out of view: The sex is gossiped about but not detailed (nothing escapes the Walden Pond grapevine). The murders are discovered after the fact. (OOPS! I just let slip that there was a second murder!)
 
•  The murderer's motive is easily understandable: Remember how Son of Sam maintained he killed because his neighbor's dog told him to? You won't find any such nutsy bananas here at Walden Pond. The possible motives the author dangles before us are relateable: lust, greed or revenge.

It did have a message that elevated it above many books in the genre: No one is all bad. Or, as my minister likes to remind us, it's wrong to judge someone's entire life by their worst moment, no matter how bad that moment might be.

Taken on its cozy mystery terms, I enjoyed it and may return to solve more murders with Jane Darrowfield.
 
 
3. What will read next?  I don't know.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Sunday Stealing

MONDAY MORNING MEME

1. You have just been hired to clean your own home, what is your first complaint? There's so much paper and junk everywhere, I can't find the furniture to dust it.

2. Are you able to ignore a ringing telephone? Define "ignore." Once I check who it is, I can be very willing to let it go voice mail.

3. How often do you allow a ringing phone to go to voice mail? See above. Last Tuesday was our local election. I got a ton of robocalls about the community college school board.

4. Do you answer your cell phone, out in public, every time it rings? Or do you silence it and get back to it when you’re in a more private area? When my phone is in my purse, I let my purse ring. When I'm out with friends -- which I haven't been in months -- I'll wait until our get-together is over before I check it.

5. How often would you say you’re on your home phone? Your cell phone? I still have a landline and during this year of working from home, I'm glad I kept it. Landline = personal; cell phone = work. Obviously I prefer the landline calls. They tend to be more fun. (Unless you want to discuss the community college board candidates.)

6. Do you like talking on the phone or do you view it as a necessary communication tool? Yes on both counts. Depends on who I'm talking to and what we're talking about. What I'm not a fan of is texting. It's so hard for me to compose a cogent message using my fat thumbs.

7. When did you last go for a bike ride? Years ago! A decade, perhaps. Henry and I pedaled around the Key West Botanical Garden. I admit I was wobbly at first, but ultimately I performed admirably.

8. Do you own a bike? Nope.

9. Given the most popular New Year’s resolution of losing weight, would you consider putting bicycle riding as one of your exercise options? Why or why not? No. My mind wanders too much. I don't deserve to operate any vehicle in traffic.

10. If you had to name a smell that always makes you nostalgic, what would it be? What sorts of memories does the smell evoke? Black licorice. My favorite grandpa sucked on licorice throat lozenges. When I smell black licorice, I smile, remembering how much he loved me. Every kid should have someone like my favorite grandpa in her life

11. What did you do over the weekend? No detail is too small. This is your journal, so tell us about the mundane tasks in your life. Laundry. Hair cut. Talked to Henry on the phone. Watched my Cubs not do especially well in Pittsburgh.

12. If it weren’t for my blog, I’d keep a paper journal.

13. When was the last time you replied “because I said so”? Do you find yourself saying that a lot? Or do you prefer to tell people WHY you want them to do something for you. I don't recall ever saying that. Maybe because I've never been a mom.

14. What is the worst gift you’ve ever received? My friend Kathy loves jigsaw puzzles and so, when I had covid, she very kindly sent me a pair of them. I hate jigsaw puzzles. But she meant well, and I loved it that she was thinking of me. And, when things open up a bit more, the puzzles are going to Goodwill so someone else will enjoy them.

I'm on the left, my mom is on the right
15.  Tell us the worst gift you’ve ever given. What was the reaction of the recipient? My mom was in her early 50s when she became a widow. For the first Mother's Day after my dad's death, I wanted to give her something to liven up her look and make her feel happy and pretty. I chose a bright blue blouse with silver ornamentation on the shoulders running down the sleeves. She hated it. Really hated it. I think of me and my mom whenever I watch the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy gives Ethel the printed slacks. Defensively, Lucy says, "I saw them in Harper's Bazaar." "They certainly are bizarre," Ethel retorts.
 

 

 

Friday, April 09, 2021

Saturday 9

The Bones (2019)

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


1) The lyrics compare a relationship to a house, saying that despite superficial problems like peeling paint or broken glass, the foundation can still be solid and strong. What home improvement project is next on your list? I am having my bedroom air conditioner re-installed with a bracket so it won't hang out the window at an angle. Not a very exciting answer, is it?

2) Maren Morris sings that she knows she and her lover can face any storm. Are you afraid of thunder and lightening? Nope.

3) The video for this song shows Maren and her husband, singer/songwriter Ryan Hurd, on the beach in Maui. Would you rather go for a long walk along a beach or a hike in the woods? The woods. My skin burns so easily and water is very reflective.
 
4) "The Bones" won Morris and her collaborators (Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz) the 2020 CMA "Song of the Year" Award. Here's your chance to pat yourself on the back. What's something you have done well lately? (Go ahead. We want to hear about it!) My day-to-day client contact kept telling me in her emails that "Sara" likes my work. Yeah, whatever. I don't know this "Sara." After all, she never shows up at our meetings. I finally asked my coworkers why I'm supposed to care about "Sara." Turns out she's the Chief Marketing Officer for her whole damn company. "Sara" decides where their $25 million marketing budget is spent, so it's very important that she appreciates my efforts. I'm now quite proud of her praise.

5) The song was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song. For the awards show last month, Maren put a lot of work into her look, including lightening her hair and lipstick and reshaping her brows. She was surprised when saw on social media that people confused her with reality star Khloe Kardashian. How long does it take you to prepare to face the world (on an average day, not for an internationally telecast awards show)? It takes as long as I allow it to. I can shower, do my hair and makeup and brush my teeth in 30 minutes ... or two hours. I am  easily distracted. Going from the bathroom to the bedroom for my eye shadow/mascara, it could occur to me that I'm thirsty. So I take a detour to the kitchen, where my phone is charging. Oh, look, I have a text from John! I can't just answer it -- I always attach a gif. Why did I come in the kitchen? Oh yeah, ice water. You see the problem ...
 
6) Experimenting with hair and makeup comes naturally to Maren. Her parents have owned the same hair salon for decades. She and her sister played there as children and took turns working the reception desk when they were in high school. Do you have a hair appointment scheduled? Saturday. I may be having my locks shorn as you read this.
 
7) Mom and Dad do not go out of their way to play Maren's songs in their salon. They don't want to "bombard" clients with her music, just because she's their daughter. But, if one of Maren's songs happens to come on, they are naturally very proud. Where were you the last time you had to listen to someone else's choice of music? (Bank, doctor's office, friend's car, etc.) Did you enjoy it, or did you wish you could change the station? En route to the dermatologist last week, I heard Van Morrison's "Moondance" in the Uber. Then, when I was checking in at the reception desk, I heard "Moondance" again! What are the odds? I mentioned this to the girl at the desk, who was nowhere near as amazed by this coincidence as I was.
 
8) Maren says her favorite foods are tacos and tortillas. When did you most recently eat Mexican food? A long, long time ago. I don't even remember.

9) Random question: What do you call that thing in your living room? Is it a sofa, couch, or a davenport? Sofa.




My wish is its command

The new TV is set up. The first thing I asked my voice remote was for A Hard Day's Night, and there it was!

The picture is beautiful. Paul is beautiful. The sound is fabulous. Paul is fabulous.

I can't wait to watch the Cubs! (But I must; no game today.)

I still have to program Netflix* and Amazon Prime into it. And my DVD player is now a useless paperweight that will have to be replaced. 

But these are quibbles. More channels, higher quality and a remote I can boss around. Welcome to 2015, Gal!


 *Thanks, Snarky!

RIP Prince Philip

In the spring of 1965, 4-year-old John Kennedy Jr. was feeling overwhelmed at the dedication of the Runnymede Memorial to his father and instinctively grabbed Prince Philip's hand. It is against protocol for anyone to initiate physical contact with HRH. The Royal must offer his or her hand first. Prince Philip let the rules slide and squeezed back. I liked him for that.



Thursday, April 08, 2021

I'm not reaching out this time

Ever since my friend Henry came home after his initial hospital stay -- the result of a terrible accident that left him in a coma -- I have been frustrated and scared. Because neither he nor his husband, Reg, have received the care and therapy they so desperately need.

 

Henry should have received occupational therapy or perhaps cognitive behavioral therapy. He has sustained substantial damage to his frontal lobe. He has trouble reasoning. He knows this and is trying to make sense of it, and he can't. This leaves him irritable and paranoid, and he forever sees himself at the mercy of dark forces. He needs help navigating his world. He needs to learn to control his anger, to reinterpret the distorted signals his injured brain picks up. 

 

He has never received this care.

 

There was so much emphasis on getting him back from the hospital in Miami and home to Key West that it was not a priority. Since he has been home, he's been under the regular care of a family medicine specialist. No, it doesn't make sense. Henry should be consulting a neurologist regularly, one who can get him the therapy he needs. 

 

First, this didn't happen because we were all joining Henry in the fiction that he didn't have a brain injury. I never thought this was the wisest course of action, but Reg did. Reg believed that once Henry accepted the brain injury on his own, it could be treated. I think that was a bad choice, but it was one made from love. I have always respected Reg's role as primary caregiver and have kept my mouth shut. To be honest, I would have re-enforced that diagnosis from the moment Henry came out of the coma, thereby normalizing it. But Reg wanted domestic tranquility and believed more in the power of peace than intervention. OK, what's done is done.

 

But it's now spring 2021, and all so nearly three years have gone by. Three years of Henry trying to do his much-loved job at the library, and failing. Three years of him lashing out at coworkers and patrons. Three years of the County he works for trying to figure out how to make the unworkable work.

 

Reg should have received support as a caregiver. It's not a talent, it's a skill. He's never learned it. He won't. I've recommended online support groups. His old friend Patrick has researched local Key West psychologists who have experience in this -- after all, many partners and parents in Key West have nursed loved ones through AIDS, and Florida has an aging retirement population. Reg won't do it. Patrick thinks it's because he doesn't want to confront his own drinking. I suspect there are issues from his past he's afraid will come up (I know Reg was sexually abused as a child).

 

Instead, Reg stubbornly insists on handling Henry's care by himself. He's not good at it. He likes to remind all of us (in Facebook posts) that he has cut Henry's hair and nails, changed his catheter, and nursed him through seizures. True. Laudable. 

 

But he's short-tempered with Henry. He's positively operatic on Facebook, leaving long and rambling posts that violate his husband's privacy. He seems to live for the likes and heart icons of his followers. This is human, I suppose. But it's insufficient and a fucking waste. He needs real support, real care from professionals who are learned though not loving. It's available. He won't take it.

 

I have been afraid of two things. One is Key West hurricane season. Their home is not built to standards so if they are in the path of a storm, they'll have to evacuate. Before the accident, the last time evacuation was required, Henry and Reg joined friends of Henry's in a big, sturdy house. Three couples in the same home. Today, Henry is irritable, paranoid and argumentative under the best circumstances. This ramifications of this terrify me. I can see an angry Henry running out of the house and into the storm.


The second is that Henry will lose his job. He'll never get another, not in his condition. Reg is an independent bookkeeper and a bartender -- he works hard but all their benefits come from Henry's job. Plus, Henry needs the stability, the routine and the identity he gets from being a library assistant. 


On Monday, Henry was placed on administrative leave. He argues with the patrons. His bosses say he is unreasonable. He says the patrons marginalize him because he is a gay brown man in Trump's America. He is wrong, of course. Do I believe the MAGA crowd is racist and homophobic? Well, they voted for a man who is. Do I believe they are Key West residents who frequent the library? Of course not.


Reg is furious. The county won't discuss Henry's employment dispute with him. Of course they won't. The people who complained about Henry have rights. I know this, I've been a boss and understand a little something of employment law. I could help. I could recommend that Henry (not Reg) request copies of the terms of his administrative leave. Maybe we could work on a plan that could satisfy the county and get Henry back behind the desk at the library.


But Reg is unreasonable. He wants to complain (and I appreciate how much he's hurting) but I don't want to listen. I don't want to hear how three years ago he shaved Henry's face and cut his nails and changed his catheter. I want to hear about the neurologist who is scanning Henry's brain for changes and prescribing medication accordingly, the therapist who is teaching Henry coping skills, the support group where Reg is gaining insights from other caregivers.


It's Thursday. Henry has not phoned me himself yet. And I'm not reaching out to him. Not this time. They are about to lose their health benefits and possibly their home (they need two incomes to make the mortgage and who is going to hire Henry now). I can't help them. I don't have a pot of money under my bed. I am 63. I am making the money now that will support me through retirement.


Lest you think I sound selfish, consider this: A week ago Tuesday,  Henry had a tooth pulled. As soon as the procedure was scheduled, he called me to tell me how frightened he was. I sent him a get well card  filled with turtles -- Henry and I have visited the Key West Turtle Cannery Museum -- and a $25 Walgreens gift card to pay for his antibiotics. Neither Henry nor Reg acknowledged it.


They're too into their own pain, their own drama, their own sturm und drang to appreciate what I can do to support them. 


I love these men. I do. They are good people in a terrible situation. But they have willingly taken it from terrible to impossible, and I am learning my own limitations. I cannot help them anymore. They have to help themselves ... somehow.

 

There's a quote from the Old Testament I would to like to share with them:

The Lord said, "I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

 

It's my prayer for them. It doesn't have to be this way for them. God doesn't intend for it to be this way. They have made it this way. I pray they find their way out. 

 


 

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Your daily dose of cuteness

 

7-year-old Anthony Rizzo of the Parkland Pirates, posing with his father/coach, John.


Rizz today, still waiting for the Cubs to offer him a contract that is not an insult. I cannot lose him. It would break my heart.




Tuesday, April 06, 2021

WWW.WEDNESDAY

 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? Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody by Barbara Ross. This is book #1 in a new series by the author of the popular Maine Clambake Series. The library didn't have #1 in the Maine series, so I snapped this one up instead.
 
Set in Concord, MA, this book introduces us to Jane Darrowfield. She's recently retired from a corporate job with the phone company. She lives alone and has organized/reorganized her home. She traveled to Italy. She was just starting on a garden renovation when she received an intriguing phone call. The Walden Spring retirement community is having morale/social trouble, and Jane has earned a reputation in the community as a diplomat and problem solver. Maybe a staff job would be a nice new career for her. She's surprised when she's asked to move in, because maybe living at Walden Spring would help her get an inside perspective on the social cliques that seem to be at the heart of much of the trouble. She's shocked when a Walden Spring resident is found murdered on the golf course.
 
This book is a fortuitous fit for me at this time of my life. Four of my friends are now retired -- though only one did it on her own timeline and is enjoying the stereotypical golf/sun/travel life and the others have money woes. I know that I'm at my last fulltime job in my chosen profession and I wonder what the future will hold. So I'm enjoying reading about characters that feel more and more like me and my friends than some cozy mystery series.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello. As I read this book -- and then rewatched the film, of course -- I realized the much of the power of the movie Psycho is the character of Norman. Yes, he's twitchy and hesitant and weird. And OK, so he commits two murders on camera and it's revealed he likely killed four more people. But he's also handsome, vulnerable and so very damaged. He's the victim of sexual child abuse in a town and at a time when these things weren't discussed at all. Even with the iconic shower scene, I can't help feeling sorry for Norman. He wasn't born bad, he was created by his mother. The real villain of Psycho was dead ten years before the movie opens: Mother is the monster.
 
I learned through this book that the movie iteration of Norman was Hitchcock's idea. The bones of plot, the basic points, were all in the novel Psycho by Robert Bloch. Even the famous shower murder. So the blueprint of how to shock us was there by the time Hitch got his hands on it. But Bloch's Norman was bulky and strong, prematurely balding, alcoholic and addicted to porn. The movie Norman's quirky fragility came from Hitchcock and Anthony Perkins, who threw himself all in. We got a villain who looks and behaves nothing like we expect a villain to look or behave. 

If you're interested in how (great) movies are made, pick up this book. It's a treasure trove.
 
3. What will read next?  Time for a biography.


Monday, April 05, 2021

Stop the steal!

When I worked on then Senator John Kerry's 2004 Presidential election campaign, I was among the volunteers who handled the money. In those long ago days, the contributions came in mostly by mail. I "second checked" the paperwork before we packed up the funds and sent them to the campaign office in Boston. Were the checks made out correctly and signed? Did the name/address on the check match the contribution form? Was the contribution form filled out completely? If something was amiss, the check was returned.

I know. I'm the one who returned the checks. It broke my heart to do because I also worked the phones, soliciting the checks. 

You can imagine how this story about the Trump campaign disgusts me. 

Read the full article here

 

Beginning last summer -- when the nation was in the midst of a pandemic and many were struggling financially -- the Trump campaign sent supporters emails with pre-checked boxes, authorizing recurring donations.

Donors were unwittingly making monthly campaign contributions, with funds automatically coming from their credit/debit card accounts.

"According to the Times, several banks and one of the nation's larger credit-card companies confirmed that, at one point late in 2020, these cases accounted for up to 3% of all fraud complaints received."

Donald Trump's campaign ripped off its own supporters, and had to be forced to refund the money.

The former President reminds me of Texas Guinan. During Prohibition, she greeted nightclub patrons with, "Hello, Suckers! Come on in and leave your wallet on the bar." They loved her audacity and kept coming back to her place to party.


Sunday, April 04, 2021

The movies can't change, so I must have

I have been having my own little film festival, going through my DVR before I lose all the movies I've collected over the years. This weekend I watched Three Days of the Condor.

I used to love this movie. First when I saw it at the theater when I was still in high school, then in repeated viewings -- Blockbuster rental, cable and now, finally, DVR. I recalled it as suspenseful and fast moving, with a little romance thrown in.

This weekend, I thought superficial and not especially engaging.

How can that be? I adore circa 1970s Robert Redford! Sydney Pollack is one of my favorite directors! I always thought they did their best work together. And yet this weekend, I was all "eh."

And interestingly, Faye Dunaway -- an actress I usually dismiss as pretentious* -- struck me as warm and funny.

Go figure.

*Except as Bonnie. I loved her in Bonnie and Clyde.

Celebrate spring

 First pitch @ 1:20 PM.



Saturday, April 03, 2021

Sunday Stealing

Etsy: Does the Bride Really Know the Groom? 

This is an Etsy bridal shower game.

 
1. What’s your favorite kind of cake? Chocolate (which is my answer for most sweets-related questions).


2. What’s your favorite cocktail? It changes. This past week has been unseasonably cool here in Chicagoland and I thoroughly enjoyed warming up with a mug of spiked hot chocolate. The rum gave it a nice kick. Once spring starts feeling more like spring, and vaccinations enable me to go out with friends, I predict I'll switch to Negroni.


3. If you are alone for the evening, what do you fix yourself for dinner? I'm always alone for dinner. Especially because of covid. (You can't stop taking it seriously, just because you're bored with it.) Anyway, I usually make myself a main dish of some sort of protein (last week it's been chicken) and then I mix up the sides so I don't get bored: mashed potatoes, corn, peas, salad ...


4. What make was your first car? A Chevy Impala. It was a seriously big boat of a car.

 
5. What is your height? I always say 5'2, but to be honest, I haven't been measured in decades. I think I'm lying and I'm closer to 5'.


6. What was your least favorite toy as a child? I don't recall anything specific, but I did find jigsaw puzzles to be a disappointment as a gift.


7. What’s your favorite cartoon character? Mr. Peabody (and his boy Sherman, of course).

Every dog should have a boy

 

8. What’s your dream car? One that comes with a chauffeur.


9. What’s your favorite pizza topping? Sausage.


10. What’s your favorite sports team? I love any excuse to post a photo of my all-time favorite-most Cub, Anthony Rizzo.


11. What’s your favorite TV show? This Is Us.

 
12. What is your favorite ice cream? Mint chocolate chip.


13. What is your favorite song? All My Loving by the Beatles. The sweetest, most romantic song sung by The Cute One. The guitars sound very rough and jangly on this, but I'm so impressed by their harmonies. Remember, at the height of Beatlemania, they couldn't hear one another well over the screaming girls. Nicely done, Lads, nicely done.


 
14. What’s your least favorite chore? Picking up after myself.


15. What was your first job? Babysitting

 


 

She's sad and lonely, but she doesn't have to be!

I spoke to my friend Kathy last night, and it made me sad to hear her so sad. She's 73 and has had Shot #1. She's still self-isolating until two weeks after she receives Shot #2, which will put her into May. Of course this is wise, but it's getting to her. Kathy has had cognitive issues for a while, and the pandemic is especially difficult for her peace of mind.

For example, she told me how she misses her 55-year-old daughter, who relocated to Colorado. But, she said, she's glad that her daughter got out of "MAGA Country" (Illinois) to fulfill her dream of teaching Pilates and working part-time in a health food store.

What the ever-loving fuck? Illinois is MAGA Country? With a Democratic governor and two Democratic Senators? And there are three Pilates studios right here in my neighborhood! I pointed this out to Kathy, who was dismissive. She lives in DeKalb now, a college town 65 miles outside of Chicago, and she insists it's filled with "Trumpers." She says this makes her feel lonely.

DeKalb is NOT filled with "Trumpers." Kathy's adult grandchildren are anti-vax Trumpers and this makes her sad, but they do not represent her adopted hometown. It's the home of Northern Illinois University. There's an academic community and tons of students, two groups not usually found under MAGA caps. I pointed this out to her, too. She clucked. 

She is sad and lonely and skeptical of her neighbors, but she shouldn't be! She shouldn't judge everyone in town by her adult grandchildren, though her adult grandchildren are the only ones she has consistent contact with. (Minimal physical contact, since they refuse to mask so she doesn't let them in her home. They talk on the phone regularly, though, and the kids are very good about helping her with her shopping.)

I recommended that, after she gets her second shot, she join a book or movie group through her library. Or maybe find someone to go on walks with her (she enjoys hiking around town and through the forest preserve). She doesn't want to spoil a nice sunny day listening to someone claim Trump was robbed.

Of course she doesn't. We're all tired of The Big Lie. But she likely wouldn't find a person like that! I sent her these screen grabs this morning. The first one is the final 2020 vote tally for the State of Illinois, the second for her new home.


 

 

This may sound corny, but it's Easter weekend and I especially want to be compassionate and helpful. I want to help Kathy with her feelings of isolation and "otherness." But I can't convince her that she's doing this to herself! That's she's judging a community of 45,000 by the four young people she talks to most often, her adult grandchildren.

But I can't reach her, and it makes me sad. I wish she believed in God. Maybe a nice, progressive worship community could succeed where I'm failing.


Friday, April 02, 2021

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Here Comes Peter Cottontail (from the archives)

1) Which do you prefer: colored hard-boiled eggs, chocolate marshmallow eggs, or plastic eggs with coins inside? C
olored hard-boiled eggs. It once would have been plastic eggs with coins inside, if the coins were quarters, because I need them for laundry. But as a member of the condo board, I now in charge of collecting the quarters from the washers/dryers and taking them to the bank. I'm swimming in quarters now!

2) What's your favorite color of Peeps (yellow, purple, or pink)? Yellow. Though I must admit I don't really like Peeps and haven't eaten one in ... could it be? ... a decade.

I enjoy Peep-inspired art

3) All this talk of sweets is making Sam hungry. What's for lunch? Saturday I'll be having leftover barbecue chicken. I'm going to the dentist Saturday AM and, if he can repair my tooth himself and doesn't send me to the oral surgeon, I may not be in the mood for anything more. Sunday is Easter, and Easter means ham.

4) This song was introduced by country singer Gene Autry and it's still a favorite. Please share some of the lyrics. (And you're on your own; Sam didn't include a link to the song this week.) "Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail. Hippity-hoppity Easter's on its way."

5) Gene Autry was so popular that a town in Oklahoma named itself for him. Have you ever been to Oklahoma? Nope.

6) He and his horse Champion also had a TV show. Can you name another famous horse? Velvet's beloved horse, The Pie.

7) Gene Autry also recorded "Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer," and it was, of course, wildly popular, too. Who is your favorite recording artist? The Beatles. Always and forever.

8) In 1950, the year Autry recorded this song, Diner's Club issued the first credit card. Think of the last thing you purchased. Did you use cash, a credit card, a debit card, an e-wallet service (Visa Checkout, Paypal, Google Pay, Apple Pay ...) or a check? Cash.

9) Easter is recognized as the start of the spring season. What are you looking forward to this spring? The crack of the bat. Especially Anthony Rizzo's bat. He's my all-time favorite-most Cub. It looks like this could be his last season here, and I want to treasure every moment.


 

 




A beautiful sight!

Chicago Sun-Times
Yesterday, for the first time in a year, fans re-entered The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field! As you can see from the gloved gentleman at right, it was cold on Opening Day. (It's always cold on Opening Day.) The wind chill was in the upper 20ºs.

But that really doesn't matter, because baseball is back and the Cubs are home. With the Biden Administration's welcome emphasis on masks and vaccinations, I may even be emboldened to go to a game this year. How I missed the bricks and ivy last year!

Anthony Rizzo got a double with his first at bat and brought a runner home later in the game. He also participated in a rather balletic play at first. The game didn't end as I would have wanted, but still, it was baseball! 

Cubs President Jed Hoyer told reporters that he is "very optimistic" that he and Rizz will come to terms on a contract extension. (See post below.) This is huge. I cannot accept that I just saw my all-time favorite-most Cub take the field for his last Opening Day in Cubbie blue.