Friday, March 31, 2023

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Fool (If You Think It's Over) (1978)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. (I love this song.)

1) Do you have any pranks planned for April Fool's Day? Nope.
2) When Crazy Sam was a little girl, she once pranked her mother by putting bubble wrap under the bath mat so Mom heard a POP when she stepped on it. When you find bubble wrap, can you resist popping it? Yes. I find it very resistible.

3) This week's song is about a wise man counseling a heartbroken younger person.
Chris Rea, who wrote and performs this song, says it was inspired by watching his kid sister endure her first breakup. Were you in love at 17? Do you remember the object of your affections? I don't recall exactly who I was crushing on at 17, but one of my teen-aged imaginary lovers died on March 13 and attention must be paid. This is Joe Pepitone. He was the Cubs first baseman for 2.5 colorful seasons and I adored him. In fact, I had this very baseball card tucked into my bedroom mirror. Thursday was Opening Day at Wrigley Field and there was a moment of silence in his memory. I loved that. A new season was beginning with new ballplayers (only 3 of the starting 9 were Cubs last season) and they took a moment to say farewell to one of the lions of my long-ago girlhood. A perfect moment. To borrow from Moneyball ...


4) She's dressed in black as she mourns the end of her romance. Does your wardrobe include a lot of black? I used to, but not anymore. I grew tired of battling the cat fur.
5) He offers to treat her to her first glass of good wine. Do you prefer white or red? Wine gives me migraines, so I'll pass.
6) Chris' own teenage romance was highly successful. He met Joan Lesley while still in school and they have been married since 1968. Whose was the most recent wedding you have attended? My niece in 2020.
7) Chris Rea is a passionate race car fan and once worked as a pit mechanic for a Formula One race. Do you watch auto racing? Nope.

8) In 1978, when this song was popular, Laverne and Shirley was America's #1 TV show. It's still available via cable and streaming today. Are/were you a fan? Nope.

9) Random question: What are you grateful for this morning? My cat,
Constance Mackenzie, is healthy and happy. She's had some dental issues made more complicated by her old age and heart murmur. My regular vet referred her to a specialist, who did a deep cleaning and an extraction and a biopsy. Connie received terrific care and now she's bright-eyed, alert and comfortable again.

Ladies who lunch

Today was a good day. It felt so normal. Like it could have happened before covid.

I met Joanna at Miller's Pub. It's a classic, old-school Chicago restaurant. Laminated menu. Lots of burgers, chops and chicken. Framed photos on the wall of the luminaries who have dined here before. (We sat across from the Wicked Witch of the West herself, Margaret Hamilton, whose autographed photo was displayed beside Ghostbuster Harold Ramis. I passed Joey Bishop on my way to the ladies room.)

I took the train and wandered through the Loop. I was surrounded by people! Not as many as an afternoon in February 2000, but more than I've seen in a while. It made me happy.

I strolled on my way to the restaurant and saw this. The Huntington Bank branch on the corner of Madison and Wabash was a place of worship before The Fire. I've passed this corner dozens of times and never noticed this plaque before. For a moment I felt a tremendous kinship with the Chicagoans who were here before me.


It was nice to catch up with Joanna. She and I email and text regularly but this is the first time I've seen her in 2023. I loved her yellow raincoat. I told her she looked veddy veddy British, which makes sense she'd ordered the coat from a department store in London. She always puts such care into her appearance that I upped my game a bit. Sure, I was wearing jeans and tennies, but I chose a pullover instead of a Cubs t-shirt.

She's been working very hard, is tired, and I sense that she's a little jealous that I'm retired. Two years older than I am, she's long been self-employed and hasn't had the benefit of decades of 401(k) contributions. But that isn't why my heart went out to her today. She's been seeing Sid since 2019 and has been crazy about him since they met. A successful businessman, he retired because of a stroke and she's enjoyed being part of the new chapter of his life. But his health and especially his cognition are failing and she knows she's in the midst of a long goodbye. As she talked about him, she still laughed at things he says to her every day. He amuses her, she loves him, and he's fading away. Heartbreaking.

But she's a survivor. She's looking ahead, too. The cost of living here is too expensive and she's considering a move to Kalamazoo. Or Paris. I tried not to laugh but that's so Joanna. She of the Paddington Bear raincoat. She always has one foot in the Midwest as her soul soars over the ocean.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

And so it begins

Today was Opening Day! And it was all good. I was emotionally invested in three games, three time zones, and I have nothing but positive news to report. In chronological order ...

 Anthony Rizzo got a single at his first at-bat of 2023 season. So now I can breathe.

Our awesome new short stop, Dansby Swanson, lived up to the hype. 3 hits and some very flashy glovework.

This game is still going on, but let's face it: the Padres aren't going to get 6 runs in this inning. I'm happy about this outcome because Kris Bryant got three hits. He was hurt most of last year and there were nasty whispers that he isn't worth his big contract. I want only good things for Kris Bryant. He was one of my 2016 Cubs!

Hopefully, this is finally the beginning of the end

Today, Donald J. Trump was indicted. The details are not yet known, but it's likely tied to hush money paid to a porn star to keep their liaison secret. Is it a federal election crime? A white collar bookkeeping crime? The details will be shared soon. 

He now dismisses the porn star as "Horseface." Of course he does. She was good enough to bed, but now she must be insulted and demeaned. That's how he rolls.

It will forever gall me that people wrap themselves in my Christian faith and then defend this man. He's crass, he's cruel. He applauds and encourages vulgarity and racism (why do you suppose he still insists on calling Covid "the China Virus?"). He not only doesn't care who he hurts, he believes inflicting pain makes him appear strong. Which book of the New Testament endorses that?

46% of the country voted for him in 2016. Even after this.


Clearly he was right. Even after all the hate and division he's wrought since coming down that escalator in 2015 and declaring for President, even after encouraging an insurrection, 41% of the country says they view him "favorably."

Donald Trump may not lose a single voter because of this lawlessness, but he's still accountable for his actions. I hope this indictment is the first of many, because I fear it will take more exposure to finally break the fever so his supporters will see who they have been slavishly following.

Because I insist on believing that his voters are following him. That most of them are good people at heart and just have to be awakened. (Ah! "Woke!") But I'm terrified I'm wrong and they aren't following him. What if he's reflecting them? What if he's just the megaphone broadcasting their views?

No, I can't believe 40% of my countrymen are like this man.

I've got to have faith.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Thursday Thirteen #303


Thirteen popular items at the grocery store. Since I'm not very domestic, I've often wondered if my grocery cart is unique compared my neighbors. So I checked and here are 13 of the most popular items on my local store's website.

I purchase none of them. Either they don't interest me (coffee) or the sizes are too big (I buy my milk by the quart, and there's no way I'm hauling 92 oz. of Tide down to the laundry room).

1. Charmin bath tissue (24 rolls)

2. Chicken thighs (5.5 lb. value pack)

3. Tide (92 oz. size)

4. Honey Nut Cheerios (18.8 oz.)

5. Store brand bottled water (24 pack)

6. Whole milk (1/2 gallon)

7. Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes (192 count)

8. Pepsi (12 can pack)

9. Store brand medium roast coffee pods (80 count)

10. Cage-free large eggs (18 count)

11. Brawny paper towels (8 rolls)

12. Zatarain's Blackened Chicken Alfredo (frozen)

13. Fat-free shredded mozzarella

What about you? I realize that this list is influenced by what was on sale this week. But still, do any of these items land in your grocery cart?

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

PS I can no longer participate in WWW.WEDNESDAY via that link because her blog won't accept Blogger comments. I mention this only to save you the frustration I experienced trying to link up.

1. What are you currently reading? Madam President by Nicolle Wallace.  Charlotte Kramer, America's first woman POTUS, is in her second term. She has welcomed a CBS news crew into the White House to share "a day in the life" for 60 Minutes. She couldn't possibly have known that today would be a tragic day in American history and the most important of her Presidency.
I'm loving this book so far. Because President Kramer surrounds herself with powerful women and, for the most part, they get along remarkably well. I like imagining a world where badass women shape foreign policy while comparing notes on the latest from Christian Louboutin. 
It's not silly, exactly. But it is from a parallel universe. Madam President was published in the spring of 2016, before Donald Trump and all the MAGA divisive chaos and vulgarity. It's refreshing but also naive to consider a White House where the President and Vice President are both women and from different parties.  Female public servants who are fond of one another and serious about serving the country? Seems like a fantasy now.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson. This is a memoir about the author's battle with autoimmune disease, depression, and anxiety. She discusses it all  with admirable frankness and humor. And yes, I recommend it.
But for the compassion and candor, not the humor. While the book was funny at times, the yuks were overdone and, at least to me, often more forced than funny. Film critic Roger Ebert once said that comedies were the hardest to review because everyone's sense of humor is personal and different, so maybe the problem is me and not Jenny. But at times I simply wanted to scream at her, "Stop being Shecky Lawson and just tell your story!"

Because here's the thing: when she's not imitating Mrs. Maisel, she's genuinely touching. There was a passage in particular about her passion for saving buttons, what they mean to her, and what she hopes they will mean to whoever takes them over when she dies. It was a lovely piece of writing. I wish she did that more often.

3. What will read next? I don't know.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Sunday Stealing


1. Working on anything exciting lately? I don't know how exciting this is, but I'm slowly divesting myself of all the stuff in this condo. Next up: sorting through the bath towels toward a donation to the local animal shelter.

2. What was the highlight of the day today? I'm doing this Saturday night. I've spent most of today fixating on next month's TCM Classic Film Festival. Four days of classic movies on the big screen, surrounded by fellow film nerds! Bliss!
The official schedule just dropped Friday and we've been planning our strategies. At any given time we have up to five movies to choose from. These movies are on different screens in three different locations. If I choose the one at the TCL Chinese, when it's over will I have time to get the special screening poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel? Do I want to finally see a movie I've loved my whole life on the big screen,  or discover a gem from the 1930s I've only read about? Would I rather compromise on my choices to share the festival experience with members of my movie group or go off on my own? It's as delightful as it is impossible. Here's a photo of us working out the logistics.
Photo by

3. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends? Fart around on the internet and watch movies. Starting next week that answer will change to, "Fart around on the internet and watch the Cubs."
4. What are your favorite restaurants? The nearby sports bar that serves the best New England clam chowder. They have great tater tots, too.
5. Do you follow any sports? If you have to ask, you don't read this blog often. I kinda like baseball.
6. What is your biggest fear? I am terrified every time I fly.
7. What is your biggest regret? As someone once said, "Regrets? I've had a few, but then again too few to mention." I wish I could remember who that wise man was.
8. When you were growing up, what was your dream job? I wanted to be a singer. That was before I learned I was tone deaf.

9. Do you say ‘sherbet’ or ‘sherbert?' While I spell it right I pronounce it wrong, which means I add that second "r."
10. Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Nope.
11. What is your favorite food at a cocktail party? Bacon-wrapped dates. They're delicious, but I only ever see them at parties.
12. Who is a book character most like you? Do you know the Andy Carpenter mysteries? I think I'm like Laurie, Andy's work partner and wife. She's much better at derring-do than I ever could be, but we both think Andy is terrific. Some of her retorts when they bicker sound like things I'd say, too. 
13. Do you read reviews before you go to movies? Yes.
14. How do you feel about cilantro? I feel that it tastes like soap.
15. Have you ever cried in public? Yes, but I can probably count the times on one hand.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

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

1) In this week's song, BJ Thomas sings that he knows it won't be long until he finds happiness. What are you looking forward to today? What's going to make you smile?

I'm going to watch this week's movie group film, Johnny Apollo. Tyrone Power is a classic movie star I've heard/read more about than actually watched. Last week I saw him in Witness for the Prosecution, now this, and I'm happy to fill this gap in my cinematic knowledge.

2) BJ Thomas met his wife Gloria at a bar. She was there with his drummer, but BJ let his friend know he felt a connection to Gloria and was going to drive her home. BJ and Gloria were married for 50 years, until his death. Have you and a friend ever found yourselves attracted to the same person? If yes, how did you handle it? Back in the long-ago 1980s, my friend Mindy and I were both twitterpated by the same handsome coworker. We compared notes and decided how we would share him (we'd each get him 3 days/week, and on Sunday he could roam free). Fortunately, he chose another girl entirely, so we all lived happily ever after.
3) This song is from Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, which has been called "the most entertaining Western ever made." Do you enjoy Westerns? I now enjoy the TV Westerns (Bonanza, Gunsmoke) I avoided as a kid. I don't why.

4) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of the most popular movies Paul Newman made, but he liked to say his "favorite role is philanthropist." He raised an amazing $500 million for children's charities through his Newman's Own brand. The most popular Newman's Own product is salad dressing. What flavor of salad dressing would we find in your kitchen right now? Thousand island and honey mustard.
5) Burt Bacharach won the first of his three Oscars for this song. Yet 20th Century Fox originally wanted to cut the song from the movie, maintaining that that song and the famous "bicycle sequence" between Paul Newman and Katharine Ross were anachronistic and made the movie too long. Burt and the movie's director George Roy Hill fought for it, insisting that it helped define the optimistic character of Butch. Tell us about a time you were glad you stood your ground. The last big work battle of my career. Alex, the executive creative director brought in for a specific project, wanted us to do expensive, high-profile stunts that would get a lot of industry buzz and win awards for the agency. I argued for us to stay within or under budget and do "smaller" things that would get our client measurable results. After all, it was the client's money. They should always come first. Alex won, and within six months the client fired the agency and I lost my job. Others lost their jobs, too. Life isn't fair.

But isn't it a lovely jaw? Sigh.
6) Edith Head also won an Oscar for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. She said that Robert Redford, who played Sundance, presented a wardrobe problem. His jawline is too strong so she had to create special wider-brimmed hats to balance it. If you could magically change one of your physical features, which would you choose? And which feature would you never change? I wish my face wasn't so damn round. Even when I was a size 6, I had chubby cheeks. On the plus side of the ledger, I like my dimples.

7) In 1969, when this song was a hit, The Beatles played their last concert on the roof of Abbey Road Studios. When did you last climb onto the roof? I've only been up on this building's roof once. I accompanied the inspector when he checked it before I made an offer on this condo. He said it was fine but I had no idea what he was looking at or for.

8) Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries sold at a brisk pace at Christmastime 1969. They're still popular today. Were you a fan? Yes! I read all the Nancy Drew books I could get my hands on: from The Secret of the Old Clock to The Mystery of the 99 Steps (newly published when I was 8 and at height of my Nancy-mania). That's 43
books in all. I don't recall the plots, but I still remember Nancy, her friends Bess and George, housekeeper Hannah, boyfriend Ned, and father, attorney Carson Drew. Her dad is the one who gave her the blue roadster for her 16th birthday. I often have to ask Alexa to call my lost cellphone, but I remember the blue roadster!

9) Random question: Do you consider yourself old fashioned? At times.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Thursday Thirteen #302

Thirteen "Dad Jokes." After doing TT's about Titanic, trips to the doctor and time in the dentist's chair, I thought I'd lighten the mood a bit. Some of these jokes will make you smile. Some will ... well, consider yourself warned.

1. Why do you need two pairs of socks for golf? In case you get a hole in one.

2. What does a tick have in common with the Eiffel Tower? They're both Paris sites.

3. Why do seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over the bay we'd call them bagels.

4. Where do you learn how to make a banana split? Sundae school.

5. Why won't eggs tell one another jokes? They're afraid they'll crack each other up.

6. Why can't a nose be 12" long? Because then it would be a foot.

7. What did the cop say to his belly button? You're under a vest.

8. Why do nurses prefer red crayons? They have to draw blood.

9. How can you identify a dad joke? Easy! It's apparent.

10. How can you tell a dogwood tree? By its bark.

11. Why can't a kangaroo jump higher than a house? Because houses can't jump.

12. How do you stop a bull from charging? Cancel its credit card.

13. What do you call two monkeys who share an Amazon account? Prime mates.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


 WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

PS I can no longer participate in WWW.WEDNESDAY via that link because her blog won't accept Blogger comments. I mention this only to save you the frustration I experienced trying to link up.

1. What are you currently reading? Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson. I've been hearing about Jenny Lawson forever. My oldest friend is a big fan. Goodreads and Amazon algorithms keep recommending her. And so here Jenny and I are.
So far this is about "the art of mortification." It's a memoir about the author's battle with autoimmune disease, depression, and anxiety. It's about the odd behavior and questionable decisions that have made up her life, and she shares these with admirable frankness and humor. So far I'm enjoying it, though not as I thought I would. I don't think Jenny is as funny as Jenny does. It's a little precious at times. But her heartbreaking candor when she gets around to seriously discussing her medical and mental issues is brave and touching.

2. What did you recently finish reading? What Happened to the Bennetts? by Lisa Scottoline. A family leaves the house one evening for their daughter's field hockey game. By the end of the night, everything changes. They are car jacked, and nothing -- NOTHING -- will ever be same again. 
Their entire lives changes on a dime. Scottoline gives us three-dimensional characters, which lends this story of crime and revenge resonance. There are savvy insights about the power of social media, too.  I enjoyed this, and the intricate plotting. I thought I had it figured out but I was wrong, and I love being fooled.

But geez, it was tooooo long! The action passages, with all the gunplay, went on and on and on. I wanted to skip them but didn't because even though they were boring, I was afraid Scottoline (craftsman that she is) would slip another plot twist in on me. 
Did I like this book? At times. Do I recommend it? It was entertaining but ultimately, I don't think I'll remember much about it in six months.
SPOILER ALERT: Nobody hurts the dog.

3. What will read next? I don't know.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Pasta and time travel

Guess who's happy. My oldest friend! She's been really low lately -- and her lows can be loooow -- but she decided to change her life. She joined a seniors-only dating service and was paired with a 60-something graphic designer who lives less than 5 miles from her. In the past week they've seen one another at least three times, including a dinner date at his place for fettuccine and an Outlander binge. She says she's too busy to talk, and this makes me happy because I believe her. She goes through periods where she doesn't answer my emails or pick up when I call because she's blue or hiding things from me or being pissy. No, this time she's actually occupied spending time with someone else. Going outside. Interacting with a person who isn't her cousin or daughter (who are practically the only people she's spoken to in years).

I'm delighted! Perhaps I should be more cautiously optimistic, because she has a tendency to idolize men and they can't live up to her expectations. But you know what? That may not happen for months ... or years ... or at all! What leads me to say this?

Guess who was wrong. That would be me! I was so sure that my oldest friend was embarking on one of her manic phases. When she gets like this, she becomes uncharacteristically driven and makes big, irreparable moves that aren't in her own best interest. I lost sleep, thinking of her either being scammed by this guy or traveling with him to Tijuana where they would celebrate their quicky marriage with matching tattoos. However, while I was tossing and turning, she was planning a day of pasta and time travel.   

Have I learned from this? Yes. Will I over-react and waste my time worrying? Most likely. But I hope when that happens I'll remember this episode and talk myself down.

Photo by Sdf Rahbar on Unsplash

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Sunday Stealing

One to Ten 

One song that describes my life. "Hard Candy Christmas." I've had this internal dialog with myself countless times. I battle the blues but I always bounce back.

Two things I wish I had more of in my life. Money and self discipline.

Three ways I relax. Short naps, long showers, cuddling a cat.

Four of my best accomplishments. 1) The cats I've rescued. I've given good lives to animals other disposed of. 2) My relationships with my oldest friend and John. Those friendships are 60 and 40 years old respectively. We aren't connected by blood, just love and commitment. 3) The influence I've had. Since I retired in October, I've heard from former coworkers that I was a mentor and role model. Who knew? 4) My career. I spent 40+ years in advertising and maintained my integrity. Do not think that was easy.

Arriving today by 10:00 PM!
Five things I am looking forward to.
1) Celebrating Elaine's birthday today. She wants deli and so she shall have deli. I also picked up souvenirs for her when I was in John's Pass during my visit with my Cousin Rose. She's been a good and generous new friend and I'm happy to do these little things for her. 2) A clean bill of health for my cat. Constance MacKenzie and I are going to the vet tomorrow for a followup to her dental surgery. 3) My Amazon delivery. I'm getting a new toilet paper holder, and it's the little things that mean a lot. 4) Writing my Letters Against Isolation for the week. 
5) Donald Trump's indictment. No one should be able to avoid legal consequences by threatening "protests." (As if the January 6 riot was a "protest.") What an undignified, unprincipled, unpatriotic narcissist we elected.

Six things I am grateful for. 1) My friends. 2) My sense of humor. 3) My resilience. 4) My cats. 5) My enthusiasm. 6) My faith.

Seven facts about me. 1) I say I'm 5'2 but that was always a lie. I suspect that now I'm closer to 5' even. 2) I'm the only one in my family with green eyes and I enjoy that. 3) I love baseball so much sometimes my heart hurts. 4) I'm always filled with anticipation when I settle into my seat in the dark and wait for the movie to start. 5) I was born at the stroke of midnight. 6) The hospital where I was born became a mental health facility. My dad used to tease me that it foreshadowed things to come. 7) Paul McCartney's voice always, always lifts my spirits.

Eight things I can see from where I am sitting.
1) My striped slipper socks.2) My glasses. 3) A stack of books. 4) A teddy bear with a t-shirt that says, "Someone at Florida Keys Community College loves me." It's a long-ago gift from my dear friend Henry. 5) A fan. It gets very hot in this apartment so I never put it away. 6) Connie Cat. 7) A wastebasket. 8) This framed Thomas McKnight print.

Nine words I would use to describe myself. 1) Short. 2) Pudgy. 3) Fun. 4) Loyal. 5) Loving. 6) Smart. 7) Opinionated. 8) Passionate. 9) Verbal.

Before she became an icon
Ten little things that make me happy.
1) A cat's purr. 2) Freshly laundered bedsheets and bath towels. 3) Bargains at the Dollar Store. 4) Clicking through the channels and landing on the original Law & Order. 5) Anthony Rizzo digging one out of the dirt. 6) My scent of lavender. 7) The color of the sky, regardless of the weather. 8) Finding forgotten money in my pocket. 9) Chocolate. 10) Discovering new-to-me photos of my all-time idol, JBKO. Here's the young wife of Sen. John F. Kennedy in 1954, continuing her education at Georgetown University.  

I, on the other hand, was wearing long underwear

It was about 20º today, 15º with the windchill. Snow flurries, too. I was bundled up because, after my hair cut and lunch with my nephew, I was walking about half a mile to CVS where I could stock up on essentials while taking advantage of my 30% off coupon and earn double rewards.*

My nephew met me at the salon, a little late. We'd had a miscommunication, not his fault or mine but the stylist's. Not a big deal. But my nephew arrived on foot -- his car isn't running well -- a little disheveled. Then we walked to the restaurant, stopping along the way at the convenience store so I could pick up a lottery ticket. 

We ate and gabbed. We talked baseball and The Boss. I'm very excited that he's not only discovered Bruce Springsteen, he's going to the summer concert at Wrigley Field! I love how much we have in common. I love how he still enjoys spending time with me.

We're alike in ways beyond our passion for baseball in music. For it was at the restaurant I saw he was wearing his Cubs sandals. 

Let that sink in: he wandered through the below freezing wind and snow in his Cubs sandals. He was afraid he was going to late and didn't take the time (which would have been what? 3 minutes?) to put on shoes and socks. 

I was worried about him walking home that way. Some may say that, at 22, he should know better, but I'm not judging him. For I remember that long ago Chicago February, Valentine's Day, when I wanted my lover to see me in my new strappy heels. He liked my legs and and not only did the shoes make them good great, they matched the belt I was wearing with my purple dress. (I remember the dress, too.) On the way to the restaurant, my cab got stuck in traffic. I could see my destination -- less than three blocks. So I paid the driver and got out in the middle of the street, tottering on those heels on the cold, rain-slicked streets, feeling the water seep into my shoes. My legs may have looked good, but my feet were cold and miserable all night. But I just couldn't sit in that cab a moment longer.

Blood will tell.

*I am now but a poor retiree on a fixed income and these things are more important to me now.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: The Rocky Road to Dublin (2008)

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

1) This song is about a young man who leaves home to seek his fortune. How old were you when you first moved out on your own? 18. I loved that teeny-tiny apartment. I don't know that I could handle a third-floor walk up anymore, though! Traversing that spiral staircase with laundry or groceries was a challenge when I was a teenager.

2) He leaps onto a ship but the captain makes him sleep in the hold with pigs. Have you ever taken a cruise? (If so, we hope you had better accommodations.) I've never taken a cruise.
I took this myself! The closest I've ever been to HIM.
3) This recording of the song is by The High Kings. Well established in Ireland, their career reached new heights in March 2012. Right after playing for the Lord Mayor of London's St. Patrick's Day celebration, they flew to Washington to perform for President Obama at the White House St. Patrick's Day concert. Tell us about a time when you were so happy, you had to pinch yourself to make sure you weren't dreaming. Summer of 2011. Sir Paul McCartney played two nights at Wrigley Field and I was there both nights! My favorite person in my favorite place. The timing was very important to me. It was during my cancer scare which resulted in a hysterectomy (everything turned out to be, blessedly, benign) and I really needed the distraction and respite as I waited for my surgery to be scheduled.
4) This song was chosen because Friday was St. Patrick's Day. Do you celebrate this holiday? I have. I probably will again. But I didn't really this year.
5) Leprechauns are a symbol of St. Patrick's Day. These small Irish fairies are said to live in the forest, guarding their gold. Do you often wear gold? No. I prefer silver.

6) McDonald's has made Shamrock Shakes a St. Patrick's Day tradition. McDonald's began adding the drive-thru window to their restaurants in the 1970s. Would you rather order from the restaurant counter or the drive-thru? I don't have a car, so the drive-thru would be pretty dangerous.

7) A four-leaf clover is considered good luck. Do you have a lucky charm? I did, but I lost it. Which made me very sad.
8) Thinking of Lucky Charms, they are magically delicious. What breakfast cereal is in your kitchen right now? I have oatmeal. Does that count?

9) Random question: Think of your upcoming week. Which day will be the busiest? I have something going on every day Saturday through Wednesday. Some of it fun (lunch with my nephew, celebrating Elaine's birthday), some of it not (dental checks for both me and my cat Connie). It's hard to say which day will be the busiest, or the most expensive.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Thursday Thirteen #301

Thirteen reasons to go to the dentist. It seems my life consists of watching baseball and going to the dentist. The first is my passion, the second my avocation. There is so much wrong with so many teeth I shan't enumerate my maladies here. Instead I'll share 13 common reasons dentists and dental insurance companies report that we climb into the chair.

1. Annual check up. 'Nuff said.

2. Accidents. Patients make more emergency appointments in spring and summer, injuring their teeth in sports or DIY projects in the yard or garage.

3. Other medical treatments. Radiation, hormone replacement therapy, and certain prescription drugs can have an impact on teeth and gums.

4. Pregnancy. Hormones can accelerate tooth decay and gingivitis.

5. Sensitivity to hot or cold. This could mean your teeth have worn down to the point that the root or nerve are exposed.

6. Pain. Toothaches can be brutal.

7. Swelling in your face or neck. This could be caused by a tooth problem you can't see, like gum disease or infected roots.

8. Bleeding gums. Even a little blood in the sink on a regular basis warrants attention, because gum disease won't get better on its own.

9. Dry mouth. Not producing enough saliva can lead to tooth decay.

10. Bad breath. It's not only embarrassing, it could indicate oral infection.

11. Your jaw pops or locks. Trouble opening and closing your mouth could be temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

12. Tongue trouble. Sores and spots on your tongue could be caused by simple irritation or something more serious and you should get them checked out.

13. A better smile. Dentists are your go-to for tooth whitening.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.

It won't be my fault. My shrink said so!

Tuesday was my weekly Zoom session with my shrink. I'm trying to make progress, really I am. At least now I'm asking the right questions.

I'm very worried about my oldest friend. She is bipolar, and when she is in the manic phase she makes very bad, sometimes irreparable, decisions. I believe that could be where she's heading now. It scares me.

After months of insisting she's happier now than she's ever been -- even though she has not made a single friend since she moved to California over a decade ago, is unemployed, has health/mobility issues, and is living in a granny flat behind a bigger house that's inhabited by people she barely knows and doesn't especially like and has a landlady who is pressuring her to move NOW -- she is now suddenly saying she's "sick of being a shut-in." 

What a zero-to-sixty change in attitude! That's a red flag.

So what is she doing to change her life? Is she concentrating on getting healthy, or joining a book club, or taking a class? No, she impulsively joined an online dating service. She even admitted she did it on impulse. Impulsivity is a red flag.

We've been here before. She imbues males with the power to rescue.* She's always disappointed. Not only that, she had her first date pick her up and drop her off at home. So this man that she met online now knows that she's physically vulnerable, alone, tucked in back of the big house. This upsets me because I'd prefer she not be the subject of a true-crime podcast.

Bad judgement is a red flag, too.

Here I am, 2,000 miles away. Helpless to help. I'm afraid of what's happening, and there's nothing I can do. It's massively distressing.

My shrink tells me that:

1) I'm not wrong. I am unable to help. She's going to do what she's going to do and I can't stop her.

2) Anything that happens has nothing to do with me. While that's painful and frustrating, it's also liberating. None of this is my fault.

3) It could go well. This man she went out with might call her back. They could have a happy relationship. After all, my friend is funny, pretty and kind. She has a lot to offer! And by dating him, she could meet his friends and expand her world. All that would be good. In fact, nothing would make me happier.

This is what my Cousin Rose was so artlessly trying to tell me when I visited her in Tampa. Next time I write to her, I must tell her I understand it better now. I know Rose loves me and means well and besides, she's right.

On a small, micro-level, I felt better when I logged off than when I logged on. That's a victory, isn't it?

*When she was summoned to the principal's office to discuss her grade-school-aged daughter's behavior problems, she pulled her son from high school to accompany her. That was when she still lived here and had friends and neighbors she could have asked for support. Yet somehow she believed her son's pubescent Y chromosome was going to protect her.

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