Sunday, October 01, 2023

Self Portrait


The Cubs have been eliminated from post-season play. In a way, it's a blessing. This team has been out of gas, banged up and tired, for the last week and I've felt terrible watching them lose heartbreaker after heartbreaker. This is a charismatic, entertaining roster and I've become very fond of them (as is my wont). I hope they each have fun in the sun over the winter and I'll be back here for them come April.

Still, I am melancholy. I love baseball. I will miss it. 

This does free up my time, though. I can go to the movies. My friend Elaine wants to take a road trip. Kathleen wants to go to dinner. John and Gregory want to take a day trip to visit Kathy. Now I can do all those things without being one of those obnoxious folks who is forever checking her phone to see what the score is.

Which is all well and good. But I'd rather be watching Cubs baseball.

Sunday Stealing


1. the last song you heard: "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer. I hate that song and wish I had a better answer, but it's what was playing on my shower radio while I scrubbed the tub.

2. the last food you ate: A slice of thin crust cheese pizza

3. the last drink you had: Water

4. the last line in a book/newspaper or magazine you read: "I like the movie." Richard Roeper's review of Dumb Money in the Chicago Sun Times.

5. the last movie you saw: The Trouble with Angels. I dearly love it and never tire of it.

6. the last TV show you watched: The news is on right now

7. the last news you read about your hometown. Read? As opposed to saw on the TV news? Hmmm ... I guess that would be an email about my congregation's annual fund drive which emphasized our deep ties to our community.

9. the last video you watched on YouTube A documentary about socialite Ann Woodward, aka Mrs. Bang Bang. A court ruled she accidentally shot her husband in their home. No one believed it, though. Ann is going to be front and center again this winter when her saga is featured in this season of FX's Feud.

10. the last thing you bought at the supermarket. Italian sugar cookies.

11. the last time you were on an airplane. LAX-ORD in April.

12. the last long drive in a car. I was stuck in a traffic jam and it took me more than hour to travel less than 10 miles. I didn't handle this well.

13. the last telephone conversation you had. My oldest friend (see post below).

14. the last letter you wrote. For Letters Against Isolation

15. the last concert you attended I think it was Diana Ross in Las Vegas


She sounds so old!

I have been spending more time -- on the phone and online -- with my oldest friend lately. This is a relief. She is bipolar and dealing with chronic physical issues, so I worry about her. She also lives in an area where quality medical care is not readily available. 

Hearing from her is a double-edged sword, though. I know what's going on with her, which is good, but what I'm hearing doesn't delight me. She has gotten herself into a difficult situation financially and at this point in our lives, I don't see how she can rebound. She is overweight, diabetic and saddled with mobility issues. We could argue that she did this to herself, too, or at least colluded with Mother Nature to find herself here. But what good does woulda/shoulda/coulda do at this point?

It's the sound of her voice that haunts me right now. Her reedy voice makes her sound like an old woman. Maybe I sound that way, too, and just don't realize it. 

This all also makes me more grateful for what I have. I am healthier today than I was a year ago. While I'm terrible at yoga, at least I can do it and it helps my back. One of the things my instructor says each week is to think about someone who can't "be on the mat" and dedicate the practice to that person. I always think of my oldest friend or Henry. Similarly, I should start thinking of her when I look at the cup of water I keep beside me. Hydrating is the easiest thing I can do to improve my health and there's no reason not to do it.

Maybe that's what our relationship is about now. I'm here to help her through the tough times. Her example is to help me avoid pitfalls.