Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday 9: Call Me (Montez, not Blondie)

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Call Me" (1965)
by Chris Montez

1. Chris Montez sings that you can always call him, regardless of the hour. Do you believe that it's ever too late to phone someone?
Depends on who's calling and why. I'm usually not comfortable calling anyone after about 8pm unless it's really an emergency. If it's someone calling me — well, I guess the same rule applies. But there are people who can definitely call me at any hour if they need to. (Lookin' at you, Lissy-Lou. Hey I'm a poet!) 
2. He insists that you can depend on him, even when your friends desert you. Who is someone you can trust to have your back, no matter what?
My husband. The most dependable person I've ever known. 
3. Billy Crystal serenades Meg Ryan — via answering machine — with "Call Me" in When Harry Met Sally. Answering machines have been replaced by voice mail. Who most recently left you a voice mail?
Hmmm. Probably CVS letting us know a prescription was ready to be picked up. Or one of those robots telling me that I qualify for much lower rates on something. See how exciting my life is?
4. Chris Montez is a graduate of El Camino College in Torrance, California. The average daytime temperature in November in Torrance is 70º. How is the weather where you are today?
Sunny and warmer than it's been the last few days (writing this on Thursday morning). I think it's supposed to be in the 70s here today, too. The hubby is actually outside right now, tidying the yard a bit. The red cedar is keeping me indoors. 
5. Today Chris actively promotes a healthy lifestyle to children. He was honored for his efforts by the group SOPA (Stop Obesity, Promote Activity). Do you believe you get enough exercise?   
Not really. I do try to exercise everyday, but I could probably use more. We recently bought a new treadmill and I'm trying to use it more. Treadmill walking is boring, but much better than walking outside when it's cold or rainy.
6. Released in late 1965, "Call Me" became a big hit in 1966, reaching #2 on the charts. Even though it sold millions of copies and was certified as a Gold Record, it never hit #1. Is winning, or being the best, important to you?
Sometimes. However, I've never been hugely competitive. If I really care about something, I'll make a big effort, but it has to be really important.
7. In 1966, when this was playing on juke boxes, kids were watching Batman and Star Trek. If you had your choice of watching an episode right now, which would you choose: Star Trek or Batman?
Definitely Star Trek (I've always been a Trekkie).  
But I used to enjoy the old Batman TV show, too. Haven't seen any of the Batman movies because I don't want to spoil my memories of Adam West as the kitschy super hero.  
8. Also in 1966, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was born. Do you enjoy cooking?
Hate it. Never have liked cooking and never have been any good at it. One goes with the other, I guess. Love to watch other people cook, though. 
9. Random question — You have the opportunity to perform in the circus! Would you rather be shot from a cannon, or put your head in the lion's mouth?
Those are my only choices? I guess I'd pick the cannon since big cats are pretty terrifying. (Remember Roy Horn and the tiger?) But I'd much rather perform on the high wire or trapeze. As a kid, I thought I'd like to join the circus when I grew up. I used to climb up and walk around on the top bar of my swing set in the backyard. Drove my mother crazy, but I was really good at it. And lucky — never broke a bone and I'm still alive to tell the tale. 

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Live long and prosper.

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday 9: Black Magic Woman

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Black Magic Woman" (1970)

1. Black is this week's signature color because Friday, November 23, was "Black Friday," when retailers cut their prices and consumers flock to the stores. Did you score any "Black Friday" bargains?
Well, I'm actually starting this on Thanksgiving while I'm waiting for the turkey to get done. So no Friday anything yet. But it's not likely I'll be going out to do any major shopping on Friday. Too many crowds. Might buy something online.
2. On busy shopping days, carts often litter parking lots. After loading your items into your car, are you careful to return your shopping cart to the store or the designated cart receptacle?
Most of the time. If the weather is really bad or if my knees are giving me trouble, I might not be so conscientious about it. I sort of miss the old days when the stores had people to help you carry your stuff to your car. 
3. Who on your gift list is hardest to buy for?
Everybody. I'm a terrible gift-picker-outer. Never know what to give anyone. 
4. Feasting and football are also popular Thanksgiving weekend pastimes. Do your Thursday-Sunday plans include enjoying leftovers or watching a game?
There will definitely be football watching in our house. The Cowboys play today (Thursday), and the Longhorns have a game tomorrow. As for leftovers — I've tried to plan it so we won't have a LOT of leftovers this year, but the hubby loves eating the leftovers, so there will be SOME. [Update: We forgot to watch the UT game on Friday! Fortunately, they won without our support.]
5. Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is an annual event. It began in 1924 as a local event in New York. Today it's nationally televised. Did you watch it?
I'm watching it right now. Well, not exactly watching, but it's on. I usually turn it on every year, but I don't really pay strict attention. So far, the Google ads have been more entertaining than the parade.
6. What did you give thanks for on Thanksgiving 2018?
Well, I'm thankful that M and I are both still here and doing pretty well, health-wise. I'm thankful that a couple of health scares this year weren't serious. Thankful for family and friends, and that the weather here isn't as awful as it is in most of the country right now. Actually, for me personally, things are going OK at the moment, so I've got quite a lot to be thankful for. 
7. At the first Thanksgiving, there were no forks. Pilgrims ate with spoons and knives, and forks didn't become popular until the 18th century. Think about your Thanksgiving place setting. Did you have both a salad and a dinner fork?
No. If we were having guests, we might add a salad fork. If we were having salad. Which we're not.
8. Pies are a popular Thanksgiving dessert. What kind of pie did you enjoy? Or did you have ice cream? Or did you skip dessert?
Haven't had dessert yet, but it's going to be pumpkin pie. No ice cream or topping this year. I usually have Cool Whip, but forgot to buy it this year. 
9. This week's featured band, Santana, was named for its founder, Carlos Santana. He was born in Mexico. When at a Mexican restaurant, what do you usually order?
Well, since we live in central Texas, we eat a lot of Mexican food. In some parts of the Austin area, there is literally a Mexican restaurant on every corner. And one in the middle of the block, too. I love it, even though it doesn't always love me. But I don't really have any one item that I always order. I do love tamales, but not every Mexican restaurant has them. I guess the one thing I usually do have is guacamole. Hmmm. Why am I so hungry all of a sudden?

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Saturday 9: Sentimental Journey

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Sentimental Journey" (1945)

1. Doris sings that she has her bag packed. Tell us about your luggage. Is your bag easy to spot on the luggage carousel?
Usually. All my luggage is very old and banged up. I've thought about updating with something newer and easier to handle, but mine is so distinctive and stuff-able, I really hate to change.
2. The release of this song coincided with VE Day, and so it meant a great deal to troops returning home from Europe. What song has sentimental value for you? Why?
There are several songs that have very personal meaning for me. But I think the one with the most "sentimental" value is an oldie from my mom's day (just like this one) -- Deep Purple (see a clip of Artie Shaw's orchestra performing it HERE). She always said that she and my father thought of it as their song, and after he was gone (he died at 36, when I was 10), she always got a little emotional whenever she heard it. 
3. As a young girl, Doris was passionate about dance. Concentrating in the studio and performing on stage helped distract her from heartache and embarrassment over her parents' divorce. When you want to escape from what's troubling you, what do you do?
Talk to the hubby. That usually does the trick.
4. Her dancing days came to an end when, at age 15, she was in a car accident and damaged her leg. During her recovery, she discovered how much she enjoyed singing with the radio, and was delighted to find others enjoyed hearing her. Tell us about a time you unexpectedly found happiness or success.
I think I've been pretty lucky in life, and have had quite a lot of happiness so far. (Taking a little break here to knock on wood.) But I guess the most recent time I found unexpected success was when we found the house we're living in now. We leased it almost sight-unseen when we moved from Virginia to Texas a few years ago, and didn't expect to love it so much. But it was such a great house, we decided to buy it after we'd lived in it for a few months. Didn't have to MOVE again. That was REAL happiness. 
5. She moved from singer to actress in the late 1940s and was a major movie star for 25 years. She was paired with the most popular leading men of her time — everyone from Clark Gable to Frank Sinatra to Rock Hudson. If you could share a kiss with any actor or actress, who would you choose?
What a question! Maybe Robert Redford. Or Denzel Washington. Or Sam Elliott. All still very kissable guys even though they're getting older. Or, if he was still with us, Steve McQueen, my all-time fave movie star. 
6. 1968 was a terrible year for Doris. First, she suddenly became a widow. Then she discovered that her late husband and his business partner had squandered her money and she had to file for bankruptcy. Oh, wait! There's more! She also found that, in his role as her manager, her late husband had, without her knowledge, committed her to a weekly TV series. Do you have a 1968? What year you can point to and say, "Wow, I'm glad that's over"?
Well, I was pretty happy to see the end of 2017 — that was one of the most depressing years I've lived through. So far, 2018 has been better than that one, but it's not over yet.
7. After retiring from show business, she became an advocate for animal welfare. She has said we should be more sensitive to the loneliness, sadness and guilt people feel when they lose a pet. Think of a time you were grieving. What words or gestures helped you through? Conversely, what's something no one should ever say to someone who is hurting?
I have no idea how to answer this one. But I do agree with Doris about the loss of a pet. That experience can be just as traumatic as losing a human loved one, and should never be made light of.
8. Doris' only child was her son, record producer Terry Melcher. Terry had a successful, years-long collaboration with The Beach Boys. Do you have a favorite Beach Boys song?
I love ALL the Beach Boys music, but I guess my favorites are Fun Fun Fun and I Get Around — they were some of my favorites in high school and I still love singing along when I hear them today. 
9. Random question: What's one thing you've never done, but have always wanted to try?
I know it's a no-no at my age, but if I were just a little younger I'd love to try ice skating. Even though I really hate the cold, I've always thought it looked like fun.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Stealing: Sleepy Rambles

Time for a little Sunday Stealing (hosted by Bev Sykes)  -- questions lifted from all over the blogosphere. This week's list was stolen from Sleepy Rambles.

1. What is on your mind right now?
Mostly medical stuff, unfortunately. 
2. Do you know anyone who has attended Harvard University?
3. How many books are in the room you’re in?
I haven't counted them. We've turned a bedroom into a "study" where we keep most of our books. I've tried to keep them out of the living/dining room area (where I am right now), but we ended up putting one bookcase in here, too. Mostly art books. 

4. Do you save at least 15 percent of your income?
No idea. The Hubby is our financial officer. We save, but I don't really know what percentage.
5. When was the last time you had a rainy day spent at home?
Please don't get me started on rainy days. Parts of our area are still underwater from all the flooding we've had lately. But, to answer the question — I try not to go out when it's raining, so I spend most rainy days at home.
6. When was the last time you stayed home from school/work?
N/A — I'm retired.
7. Do you write “yes” or “no” answers to surveys or do you explain more?
Depends on the survey and the mood I'm in.
8. Is there any type of medicine you can’t take? For what reason?
Hmmmm. Strange question.
9. Do you have a favorite pair of pajamas? What do they look like?
I wear nighties. I do have a favorite. It looks just like a nightie.
10. Would you rather have potato or chicken noodle soup if you had to?
That would probably depend on who's making the soup. I like them both.
11. Do you believe that when a person appears in your dreams, that person wants to see you?
12. When’s the last time you saw your mom?
My mother died over 15 years ago. I was with her when she died.
13. What is one food you could eat for a month, straight, and not get sick of?
Pasta. But not for breakfast.
14. Have you ever spray painted something about your love somewhere?
No. The only thing I've ever spray painted was a bunch of pinecones for Christmas one year. I did love the pinecones, though.
15. Do you live in a town where basically everyone knows everyone else?
No. Our community is pretty small, but not that small.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday 9: Alfred Hitchcock Presents

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

Theme from
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents"

1. The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was born in England. Name another pop culture contribution England has made.
First thing that comes to mind has to be the Fab Four — the Beatles! But I suppose Chaucer and Shakespeare were also the "pop culture" kings of their days.
2. This week's song is recognized as the theme to Hitchcock's long-running TV show, but "Funeral March for a Marionnette" is a classic piece written for piano in the late 1870s by Charles Gounod. Do you often listen to classical music?
Not as often as I used to. These days I mostly listen to jazz, which I think of as sort of modern classical.
3. Janet Leigh's shower scene in  Hitchcock's Psycho is considered one of the scariest sequences ever filmed. What's the most frightening movie you've ever seen?
I love scary movies (though not the really gory ones), so I've seen a lot of them. It would be hard to name just one as scariest. I think my all-time favorite is the old Ray Milland film, "The Uninvited" (from 1944). But the ones that probably scared me the most, the first time I saw them, were "The Haunting" (the 1963 original, not any of the remakes) and "The Innocents" (the 1961 film based on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, with Deborah Kerr as the haunted governess). And one more — "The Changeling" from 1980, with George C. Scott as a composer who moves into a wonderfully scary haunted house after his wife and daughter die in an accident.
4. Hitchcock admitted that he "never trusted birds," and he took that fear and turned it into the movie, The Birds. Is there a member of the animal kingdom that just gives you "the creeps?"
Not sure about animals, but there are quite a few insects that spook me. 
5. Halloween will soon be upon us. Will you carve a jack o'lantern this year?
Not likely. Actually, I don't think I've ever carved a jack o'lantern. 
6. What candy will trick or treaters get at your house?
We don't really get trick or treaters at our house. We live in an area where there just aren't many children. I usually buy a bag of snack-size Kit-Kats or M&Ms or something, just in case. But I always end up eating them myself.... Which is one of the reasons Halloween is my favorite holiday.
7.  When you went trick or treating, did you prefer fantasy costumes (like a storybook character) or scary ones (like a monster)?
Mostly fantasy. I think I did go as a ghost one year. And as a witch, at least once. But other years, I was a clown or a gypsy or a pirate or Peter Pan or Snow White or some other fantasy figure.
8.  Which candy was your favorite? Which one were you disappointed to find in your trick or treat bag?
OK, we're talking a looong time ago, back before all trick-or-treat candy had to be store-bought and hermetically sealed. And back in those bad old days, my favorite things on Halloween were the homemade popcorn balls some people would hand out. Also always loved candy corn and Tootsie Rolls. Can't really think of any candy I would have been disappointed with.
9. Which do you find scarier — cemeteries or haunted houses?
In movies? I'd say haunted houses. In real life — at my age, cemeteries are getting scarier and scarier. 

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Friday, October 5, 2018

SkyWatch Friday: Dumpling Clouds

I might have mentioned this before -- I am not a fan of rainy weather. And we have had SOOOOO much rain lately. Not nearly as much as some parts of the country, but a lot more than usual for this part of the world. Feel like I've been transported from central Texas to Seattle. (Not that I have anything against Seattle. I hear it's a lovely place.) But if I hear one more person say "Well, we need the rain," I'm gonna scream really loud and for a really long time.

This September was one of the wettest months on record around the Austin area, and even though the weather has been a little better the last few days, we do have more rain predicted for this weekend. Whoopee.

But the rain has produced some really interesting clouds, like these from a week or so ago. I think these are called cirrocumulus clouds, but I always think of them as "dumpling clouds" because when I was a kid, they always reminded me of my Aunt Gussie's chicken and dumplings. Yum.

For more sky shots, click on the button above.

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