Friday, September 29, 2023

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: On a Clear Day (1970)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) Is today a clear day where you are? I'm doing this Friday night, but Friday was a beautiful day. 70ยบ and sunny.
2) Streisand sings that today she's "astounded." What has recently shocked or greatly surprised you? The continuing casual cruelty of Donald Trump and his supporters. I just read that at a California rally he made jokes about the attack on Paul Pelosi, and the MAGA faithful laughed. Folks, if you don't want to be called "deplorable," try not acting deplorably.

3) Streisand's voice astounded people from an early age. She began performing in New York clubs when she was only 18, too young to order a drink in the establishments where she sang. Do you remember the first adult beverage you ordered at a restaurant or bar? For awhile in the mid-1970s, we could order beer and wine at 18, so it was probably a Miller Lite. I remember the bar more clearly than the drink. It was torn down about 10 years ago and condos went up in its place.

4) Barbra has discussed the importance of her Jewish faith in her life and has enlisted the guidance of Reform, Conservative and and Orthodox rabbis as she explored her religion's complexities. Do you enjoy discussing religion? Depends on who I'm discussing it with. I love it when, within our congregation, we discuss how to "put our faith on its feet." I'm less enthusiastic when other Christians try to tell me how to be a Christian. (BTW, if you are amused by Donald Trump, I don't want you to advise me about how to practice my faith.)

5) Taylor Swift just passed Barbra Streisand as the woman with the most #1 albums (12). What's the last album you purchased? I don't even recall. This makes me sad. I used to love lying on my tummy in my bedroom, listening to an album and reading pouring over the liner notes. It was a different world.
6) The lyrics to "On a Clear Day" were written by Alan Jay Lerner. He attended Choate, a private boarding school in CT, at the same time as John F. Kennedy. While JFK was in the White House, Lerner had two major Broadway hits -- Camelot and My Fair Lady -- running concurrently. Obviously those two Choate alumni did very well. Have you been to any of your class reunions? Have you been surprised, pleasantly or less so, by how any of your classmates turned out? I have no interest in attending reunions. My oldest friend is plugged into that world and reports back to me. George, who was among the grossest boys in our grade school, is a very successful investment banker. This fascinates me. I can't imagine taking financial advice from someone ate paste and wiped his boogers on his desk. (Of course, I'm pretty sure he no longer does that.)

7) The music was written by Burton Lane. In the 1930s, Lane worked for MGM Studios in Hollywood. After he heard Judy Garland perform at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles, he brought her to the attention of his studio bosses and the rest, as they say, is history. Lane and Garland later worked together when Judy was an established star. He wrote the song, "How About You?" for her to sing in Babes on Broadway and received an Oscar nomination. Judy's best known movie has to be The Wizard of Oz. How many times have you seen it? About a gazillion. I had a particularly wonderful time watching the Sing-Along Wizard of Oz with my niece, who was then about 10. It was delightful to experience it with an interactive audience. She was especially tickled by the row of men behind us, wearing spray painted shoe boxes on their heads (they were the yellow brick road, get it?).

8) In 1970, Glenn Frey formed the Eagles. What's your favorite Eagles song? Oh, sweet darlin', that would be The Best of My Love.

9) Random question: Which would upset you more, being trapped in an elevator or stranded atop a mountain in a ski lift? I don't think either one would upset me, unless I had to pee. I've been trapped in an elevator and it was no big deal. I know how to dress for the cold, so I think I'd be OK on the ski lift for a while until I was rescued. Of course, much of the experience would depend on who I was with. I don't want to be stranded/trapped with someone who is freaking out.


What the well-dressed cat is wearing this Fall

Roy Hobbs spent Wednesday at the vet. He had to be anesthetized to have his teeth cleaned and, while he was out, a mole on his chest was removed and sent off to be biopsied. The incision wasn't deep or long and only required three stitches. Still, it's important that he not lick or chew the area. so precautions were taken.

First he modeled the cone they gave him at the hospital.

He was miserable. He walked with great difficulty and panted like a dog, even though there is no real reason for a cone to cause that level of discomfort. Still, I couldn't bear to see him so unhappy. So I ordered a donut from Petco.

It would be a wild exaggeration to say he liked this, but he tolerated it better. He ate and drank while wearing it, jumped on the bed and purred.

In the morning, I woke up to a much happier cat. That's because he had somehow gotten out of the collar and stashed it behind the TV table.

I give up. I just really, really hope he leaves those three stitches alone, because the cone and the collar are a major failure.


Oh, shut up!

Every day I try to be more Melly and less Scarlett. Meaning I try to see the good in everyone, I try to be kind, I want to want to help. But I admit it: no one brings out the willful, selfish, snark in me faster than my friend Kathy.

She is cognitively impaired. Is it Alzheimer's? I don't know for sure. Three or four years ago, when she was still high functioning but beginning to fail, she got furious if anyone mentioned she should see a doctor. 

Now she's far worse. Her phone is her lifeline. She is on social media constantly, commenting on everything -- even when she doesn't understand it. I try to protect her by hiding most of her comments and straight-up deleting others. Most of the time, it's Melanie who is guiding me. 

But this morning I woke up to her splashing all caps all over my Facebook feed: I DO NOT USE MESSENGER. I seethed but just clicked delete, delete, delete to every one of her comments. Here's the thing -- Kathy does use Messenger. All the time. She sent me an IM yesterday via Messenger about my cat and I responded with a "thumbs up," which somehow pissed her off. 

Then I checked my phone and there was a text: NO MESSENGER! I DO NOT USE MESSENGER!

We just did this last month. She sent me an IM via Messenger asking me what books I'd recommend. Now let's face it: Kathy no longer retains anything she reads, so nothing I say will make any difference. But I didn't want to hurt her feelings by ignoring her. Since Messenger upsets her so, I sent her an email that began: You sent me a Facebook IM asking me about books, but I know you don't like receiving IMs so I'm answering you here ...

Her response: Thanks for the books but what is an IM?

Me: IM = Instant Message. Or Facebook Messenger. It's what you sent me yesterday. You have made it clear that you don't like to receive them. So rather than responding to you by hitting reply to your message, I sent you an email. (See attached.) The attachment was a screenshot of the Facebook Messenger message she sent.

Her response: Thnx, Gal.

Here we are weeks later, doing the same thing. If I ignore her, she's going to hound me about why we are no longer "connected." So how to answer?

I admit I was feeling distinctly Scarlett. I wanted to say, "Oh, shut up!" I wanted to say, "Listen, I don't care if I never hear from you ever again." 

But I took a deep breath and stopped myself. Instead I texted back: I do not initiate Facebook Messenger messages. What I sent you yesterday was in response to the one you sent me.

Her response: Thnx, Gal.

I know we will go through this again in a week or two. What is especially disturbing to me is that Kathy has more than 100 Facebook friends. It's depressing to contemplate how many other people have explained to her -- repeatedly -- that she does use Messenger.

God, I wish someone in her family would delete Facebook from her fucking phone. See? There's Scarlett again. I'm glad Melanie is sitting on my shoulder, reminding me that it costs me nothing to be kind to a 76-year-old woman who is doing her best and must feel frightened and isolated.

It was a really good day

My nephew and I spent last Friday within The Friendly Confines. It was a beautiful day, mild and bright, the first really sunny one in nearly a week. It was important to me because the game/lunch/dinner was my birthday present to him and because it was the Rockies. Yes, the Rockies are one of the worst teams in baseball. They are also the team who gave former Cub Kris Bryant a $200,000,000/no trade contract. I love Kris Bryant. I'm glad he's rich and can count on never uprooting his family again. But Rockies fans will never love him like Cub fans love him.


I was delighted to be one of those 38,000 fans who rose to applaud KB. And yes, I got choked up when I tried to take the below picture. Kris Bryant amid the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard and the ivy is what the Good Lord intended. If I got this upset about the man who put the BRY in Bryzzo, I just imagine what a puddle I'll be if his infield partner, Anthony RiZZO, finally comes home when the Yankees play the Cubs in 2024.

This home stand against the Rockies was the last really good string of games the Cubs managed this season. They've only won 4 of their last 10 and their playoff hopes are now very dim. But that's OK. This team played better than anyone -- including me -- expected this year and will be even better in 2024.

I gifted my nephew with two of his favorite things: baseball and dairy. During the game he had a Home Run Inn cheese pizza and afterward we went to Shake Shack. How has this young man never had a Shake Shack shake? I am proud I was able to right this egregious wrong.

He selected chocolate with whipped cream and a cherry

I am grateful that my nephew is willing to spend a 12 hour day with his old fart aunt, because I truly enjoy his company.