Sunday, June 25, 2023

Sunday Stealing


1. Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car? I haven't ridden a horse in a million years. Let's do it!

2. Who is your favorite author? William Goldman. He was wildly successful, but don't hold that against him. He won two Oscars: original screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and adapted screenplay for All the President's Men. Deep Throat never said, "Follow the money." William Goldman did. But now legal analysts quote it when discussing any political scandal, and that makes me smile. Goldman also helped Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (then first-time scriptwriters) on Good Will Hunting, for which they won Oscars.

He has a place in my heart for two novels that he turned into entertaining movies, but the books were so much better: The Princess Bride and Magic. The Princess Bride is a story of childhood dreams and adult disillusionment masquerading as a fairy tale. Magic is a thriller that begins with a murder investigation but is really about reckoning and self doubt. Goldman is also really funny. There's a moment in Magic where I literally laughed out loud, even though I was all alone and scared to death by the action. 

He died in 2018. His work is so much a part of my life that I don't really get that he's gone.

3. Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why? Hawaii. Because I went there twice in my 20s and that was a long time ago. I long to return. To circle back to question #1, one of my most amazing memories is riding horseback in Hilo. It was beautiful.

4. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? I used to always answer this with mid-19th century America because I've read so much about it. But it's summertime and I can't imagine how uncomfortable it was to be a woman back then. Here's Sally Field on set as Mary in Spielberg's Lincoln. It's a historically accurate dress and I bet it was fucking miserable in hot weather. So now I've decided I'll just stay here in the ac, thank you.

5.  What's your favorite zoo animal? Okapis. I love them. They are rather rare, but we have them here in Chicagoland at the Brookfield Zoo. They look like they're part zebra but they aren't, they are in the giraffe family. Very shy, they make these cute little clucking noises at others in their herd but are silent with other animals (including us). They're herbivores and like to hang out on riverbanks where there's lots of green leaves and buds to munch on. (This makes me want to visit the zoo again.)

6.  What's the tallest building you've been to the top of? I worked for five years in the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) which is 110 stories. I worked for more than a decade in the AON Center, which is 83 stories. As a tourist, I visited the CN Tower in Toronto, which is taller than either AON or Sears Tower but I must tell you, once you get that high up it's hard to differentiate. You're just way up and can see forever. PS In the 1980s I visited the World Trade Center and remember very little about it. I mean, I was working at Sears at the time and was all, "Another tall building? Yawn." In light of what happened, I'm sorry I didn't pay more attention. I don't regret much in life, but I regret that.

7. How often do you buy clothes? Seldom. I pretty much wear jeans and Cubs/Beatles/vacation destination t-shirts every day. Saturday I went to dinner with friends at an Irish dive bar and wore one of my "work" blouses, just because. BTW, my friend Nancy was wearing a t-shirt from her company's recent kickball outing because, well, it was an Irish dive bar.

8. What was the last thing you recorded on TV? Holiday from TCM. Holiday is my favorite Hepburn movie. TCM is my favorite channel. Don't get me started! I'm still in battle mode. #SaveTCM!

TCM is embattled! Please tweet #SaveTCM.

9.  What was the last book you read? I just finished Maggie Haberman's study of Donald Trump, Confidence Man. It's straight up, factual reporting (hell, Trump even granted her post-Presidency one-on-one interviews!) and though it's dry at times, it's important since he's running for office again.

10. What's your favorite type of foreign food? Italian. Love, love, love the cheese.

11. What kitchen appliance do you use every day? Microwave

12. How old were you when you learned Santa wasn't real? How did you find out? I figured it out. I was suspicious that Santa handled things differently in different houses. For example, at my oldest friend's home, she knew which gifts were from Santa because he didn't wrap his and there were no tags. Here we were, across the alley, and our Santa gifts were in special paper and the tags were written in block letters. What the hey? My older sister, never the sharpest knife in the drawer, was shocked, SHOCKED, I TELL YOU! when we were told the truth and cried and cried. My dad wasn't much into the father thing, but he handled this chore with care and sensitivity. Nicely done, Daddy.

13.  What was your favorite subject in school? It was a tie between American history and English.

14. What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten? I was very proud of myself for eating breaded alligator at Taste of Chicago. To be honest, I don't remember how it tasted. I just recall being all, "Hey! I'm eating alligator.' 

15. What's your favorite family recipe? I don't cook. My grandmothers did, though. Icky Grandma made a good pot roast and my Nice Grandma made the best dinner rolls. My affection for the dinner rolls always surprised her, as she was far more proud of her cookies.

"That's the most American sentence ever!"

My friend Nancy likes it that I make her husband laugh. I'm happy to do it. Although at dinner Saturday, when I made him spit his Miller Genuine Draft, and I didn't mean to.

When I swung into the booth, the first thing I asked was about the coup attempt in Russia. I said I started the day watching the coverage and was riveted, but then the Cubs game started. 

"That's the most American sentence ever!" Paul said, when he recovered. "Maybe the geopolitical balance of power is shifting, but the baseball game is on."

Well, yeah. What's your point?

His laughter was kind, so I didn't mind. Besides, it wasn't any baseball game. The Cubs were playing the Cards -- always an event -- and in LONDON!

I'm proud to say that there were enough Cub fans representing us in Jolly Old England that this celebratory post-game rendition of "Go, Cubs, Go" sounded great.


Paul paid for dinner, too. So there's that. (Though I left the tip.)