Friday, February 18, 2022

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy) 1972

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

1) The lyrics tell us that every Sunday afternoon we can find Roy at the racetrack. What are your plans for Sunday? John, Vanessa and I are going to see Lady Sings the Blues on the big screen! It's the 50th anniversary of the movie that introduced a much younger Gal to Billie Holiday, and all three of us are massive fans of Miss Diana Ross. Plus, it's been too long since we've been together.
2) Roy is fearless behind the wheel of his '57 Chevrolet. But it's just natural to feel fear every now and again. What scares you? I have a serious fear of flying.
3) Roy's been photographed grinning with a toothpick in his mouth. Do you often use toothpicks? If so, do you carry them with you? Never use them. When I was a little gal, I recall restaurants had big bowls of them near the register. Two toothpicks wrapped in cellophane. I haven't seen that in decades. I wonder why. Are toothpicks no longer in vogue? Is it too expensive to give them away?
4) Legend has it Roy learned to drive fast when he ran moonshine out of Alabama. Moonshine usually refers to illegally produced whiskey. What was the last alcoholic beverage you drank? I had a margarita with dinner last Friday. I'm not much of a party girl these days.

5) This week's featured artist, Jim Croce, attended Villanova University, where he played in a band that performed at fraternity parties. When his band was chosen to tour Africa as part of a cultural exchange program, he was excited to learn his host countries' customs. Have you ever traveled overseas? What did your trip teach you? Right after high school I visited France, Switzerland and Germany. I remember thinking the Swiss are just so smart. Walking around we heard German and French spoken, and everyone seemed to understand me perfectly when I spoke English. I wish I was more proficient at languages. It would open my world up so much.

6) Jim met his future wife, Ingrid, at a party. They discovered that they both loved Joan Baez and Woody Guthrie. Tell us about one of your friends, and what you two bonded over. My newest friend is Elaine. I met her through movie group, so our love of classic film brought us together. We're also both doting pet parents. My late cat, Reynaldo, sealed the deal. Elaine so looked forward to Rey crashing our Zoom movie Meet Ups.
Rey was always by my side, no matter what I was doing

7) Early in their marriage, while Jim was working hard to launch his music career, Ingrid helped make ends meet by baking bread and canning fruits and vegetables. Do you have any frugal cooking tips or "cheap eats" recipes to share? I bought chuck steak and found it rather tough. I usually marinade beef using barbecue sauce, but I didn't have any. So I improvised using honey mustard salad dressing. It was very good! Lent the beef kind of an Asian flavor. Since chuck is affordable and I got the salad dressing at The Dollar Store, this was the very definition of "cheap eats."

8) In 1972, Mark Spitz became a sensation, winning seven Gold Medals for swimming. After making money in endorsements and TV appearances, he settled into a career as a realtor in Los Angeles. Are you contemplating a change in residence anytime soon? Nope.

9) Random question: Which of these "top ten" lists would you prefer to be on -- the sexiest, the smartest or the richest? 20 years ago, I would have said sexy. 10 years ago, I would have chosen smart. But now?


Yeah, it's the salt

My former coworker, Warren, lives his life on Facebook. He posts at least once a day, every day. Two posts this week captured my attention. First, on Wednesday afternoon, he went to lunch at a new (to him) bar. He had a bowl of clam chowder with bacon (which looked delicious) and, according to his receipt, a hard seltzer and a beer. That's two drinks at lunch on a Wednesday afternoon. It wasn't a special occasion, he wasn't celebrating anything. He just enjoys spending time in bars, and the best way to get good service is to run up a tab.

Then yesterday, he posted that even though he takes his blood pressure medicine every day, his numbers are worrisome. He took us on a tour of kitchen cabinet and showed all the cans of tuna and vegetables and the jars of peanut butter he's going to throw away because they contain too much salt ... and clearly salt is at the root of his bp problem.

I don't usually engage Warren on Facebook because he makes me sad. For all that he complains that he is lonely, that he is always broke, that he feels lost and adrift, he doesn't really want to change his life. For all that he says he wants to "serve God," he has refused my help to match him with a local charity because he simply doesn't have time. He does, however, have time to hang around in bars several nights a week for hours at a time, buying drinks for people half his 54 years who don't take him seriously. I can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. I'm learning that.

But this! Throwing away an entire cabinet of tuna and gravy and green beans! No! Food insecurity is such a big deal here in Chicagoland. More than 760,000 of our neighbors here in Cook County lack consistent access to the food they need for 3 meals/day. I simply cannot sit back and watch someone throw non-perishable food away. I had to call him out on that!

I advised him NOT to throw the food away. Why not just not add salt to it when he sits down to eat it, and then be more careful reading labels next time he goes grocery shopping? After all, he's always complaining about being broke (I didn't mention that he spends more on booze than food) and that stress can have an impact on his blood pressure. I advised him if he must get rid of these canned goods, he should donate them, not toss them.

When I had his attention, I recommended he take baby steps, make small changes and then celebrate them. "Reduce salt at each meal, walk more, limit yourself to one drink a day," I posted. 

Because let's face it. When you down two drinks at lunch on Wednesday, and you go to the bars every night, sodium is not the problem.

He thanked me for the advice. Let's see if he takes it. OK, I doubt he will. But I have to try.