Sunday, August 01, 2021

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 1

Today's happiness -- Dense, leafy trees. It's 74ยบ today. Perfect weather. Too nice to waste indoors. So I took a nice, long walk to the other side of town (Dollar Tree) and back. A little less than two miles in all.
The best part of my jaunt is that I took side streets as much as possible. Between the two busy streets, where multi-unit buildings like mine are, my neighborhood has quite a few massive old Victorians on nice big lawns with big old trees. It was lovely to walk down the avenue and look up into the thick green that provided shade from the late afternoon sun.

By the time I got home, I was relaxed and a little sleepy and satisfied. We get so few of these picture-perfect (not too hot) summer days, I'm happy I was able to be out in it and enjoy it.

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. Have Your Ever Driven Drunk Or Even Slightly Buzzed? No. I don't have a car. Not that I would if I had a car.

2. What Was The Funniest Moment In Your Life? I can't choose just one. But I'm sure it involved my oldest friend. She always makes me laugh.

3. What Kind Of Things Really Makes You Laugh? Irreverence. Also, the unexpected.

4. If You Could Jump Into A Pool Full Of Something, What Would It Be? M&Ms

5. Which Habit Are You Proudest Of Breaking? Nothing comes to mind. I guess I'm just a mass of maintained bad habits.

6. Which Animal Do You Find The Sexiest Of All? The human animal.

7. What’s The Weirdest Nickname You’ve Ever Had? A toss up between "Avenger Bunny" and "Smurfette."

8, What Do You Wish You Were Really Good At? Housework

9. If You Were A Dog, What Kind Of Dog Would You Be? A mutt

10. What’s The Most Spontaneous Thing You’ve Ever Done? My 2016 trip to Graceland. I was just so fucking bummed about Donald Trump's election, and something unique and expensive and completely futile needed to be done!

11. If You Had A Time Machine, Would You Go Back In Time Or Visit The Future? Wow. Great question! I think I'd prefer the distant past or the near future (like two years from now).

12. What Was The Last Show You Binge-Watched? Sex and the City

Eager for the reboot

13. If You Had To Rename Yourself, What Name Would You Choose? Julie. I've always felt like a Julie.

14. What Did You Do During The Summers When You Were Growing Up? We went to a little resort in Wisconsin and lived in a cabin. I felt like a hostage. Truly, I hated it. I wanted to be home with my friends.

15. If You Go To A Restaurant And Have Terrible Service, Is It Ever OK Not To Tip?
No. If you don't tip at all, the server may think you just forgot. If you want to make a statement about the service, leave a lousy tip.


That felt good

I was downtown, along The River, on both Friday and Saturday. I had to drop this Mac off, and then retrieve it, from the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue. 

It felt like an event, which is weird because pre-pandemic, this is the neighborhood where I worked so I was here all the time.

And I've missed it. There are things about work from home I enjoy: sleeping until 8:00 AM, waiting until after I check my emails to shower (usually 9:30), never wearing grownup clothes or shoes, washing dishes or vacuuming between meetings, and, of course, cuddling the cats all day long.

But then there's The River! I've always preferred the green river water to the blue of Lake Michigan. I like how The River wends its way through the city, insinuating itself into our lives.

As I walked along The River to the Apple Store, I saw certain benches and my cheeks got hot, because I remember those long-ago nights when I shared a kiss or two with the guy I was dating. The River has made a special appearance in the recurring nightmare I have when I'm stressed: I'm trying to rescue a shaggy white dog, or sometimes my girlhood cat Tommy, from drowning so I dive in and hang onto the pillar under the bridge with one hand while holding on to the critter with the other, praying to be rescued from the water myself.

This is a part of my life I hope to get back soon. Of course, with Lollapalooza, I was scared of the Delta Variant. We'll see how I feel two weeks from today. Fingers crossed that the vaccine protects me!

It's Who We Are

When Anthony Rizzo was traded, I heard from everybody. Former coworkers and friends reached out who I hadn't communicated with since Christmas. Snarkypants sent a card.* People who don't share my passion for baseball respected the place this Cub team and this player have in my heart.

And there was my family. It was my nephew who actually gave me the news (a one-word text: YANKEES?). My sister, which whom I have a complicated-at-best relationship, was all over my Facebook page. So was my Cousin Rose. From my dad's side of the family, I heard from both my cousin and his mom, who is my aunt/godmother. They don't talk to one another -- their relationship is a casualty of Donald Trump -- but they both reached out to me.

We are now different faiths, with some of us not worshiping at all. We certainly hold different political views. We are in different parts of the country.

But in this family, we are Cub fans. As were our parents and their parents. We're all about sunshine, ivy and the crack of the bat.


*OK, she sent it before the trade, but it arrived that night -- when I really needed it.

Meet my new best friend

OK, we've never met. But let's not allow reality to cloud our fantasy here.

Her name is Suzyn Waldman. She has been doing Yankee games -- color commentary, not play-by-play -- on the radio since 1987. Think about that: a woman on-air broadcasting major league baseball in the biggest media market in the country. For more than 30 years! How did I not know about her?

When Anthony Rizzo was so cruelly ripped from me Chicago, I began  following his new team, the Yankees. I heard this woman interviewing Rizz on the pre-game show. I figured that either 1) WFAN's regular pre-game host had the day off or 2) it was going to be a fluff interview. You know, asking Rizz about his dog, Kevin, or something similar.* No, she asked him about how he changes his stance on 2-0 and his philosophy of team at bats.† She knows her shit. When she went on to do the game itself, I had to Google her.

Brett Gardner is the oldest player on the Yankee roster at 37. He was not quite four years old when Suzyn Waldman first went on the air at WFAN. She is a trailblazer, and she deserves respect and attention beyond the Yankee universe.


*Though she did ask him about the Italian ice named after him at a New Jersey pastry shop, about 15 miles from Yankee Stadium. Glad to see he's getting some love.

†Rizz likes his at-bats to be as long as possible, fouling off bad pitches when he can, leaving the pitcher a little more tired for the batter who follows him in the line up. Apparently this is not how the Yankees have been doing it lately, and Suzyn is a fan.