I say this every single time I go to such an event, but shit, listening to writers read their work for an audience is always so refreshing. Paul and I were once talking about the places where we feel the most ourselves, and my pick was in a roomful of writers after a reading. I love talking to people, I love hearing their work, and I love that feeling that I get to go out and create. There’s nothing better than that, really, and probably no greater compliment a writer could get.

We went out for Emily’s capstone reading. The capstones have changed in the years since I graduated, and I’m totally jealous–ours was kind of a chapbook with one piece of everyone’s compiled, and now they all get their capstone manuscripts turned into a chapbook that they sell. It’s super cool.

Emily was great–she got emotional, but it was heavy shit. And she did a great job reading it, and I’m looking forward to adding her chapbook to my massive reading stack. All the other student writers, plus more established guests, were great, too. My former professor asked if I’d be back at all during the week, and if my day had panned out a little better (read: if I hadn’t worked late), I probably would’ve gone back out. If I didn’t live an hour away, I definitely would’ve gone back out, and if I didn’t have tickets to see Cher tomorrow night, I’d definitely be back for that. I’d be there all the time if I lived closer, honestly.

Paul and I kind of ran out the door to get there on time, so we were hungry when the readings all ended and went out with Emily and a couple of her friends to the one restaurant you can count on late in the evening, Taco Bell, then headed home.

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We’re currently under a tornado warning, so…that’s cool. A part of the country that almost never gets them. The sky is ominously black–this color is generally only seen in short, intense summer storms, and even then, it’s kind of rare. And just two or three hours ago, I commented on what a bright, warm day it turned into after morning rains. Figures.

Yesterday was Record Store Day, and not wanting Paul to miss his tai chi class or get dragged along for something he doesn’t really care about, I hit the record stores on my own. I strategized–I looked at the list of participating stores and figured Greensburg wouldn’t be as crowded as the Pittsburgh stores, so I decided to head that way, and then if I felt like it, hit Monroeville a half-hour away and then Pittsburgh on my way home, since I’d have to pass through the city anyway. It’s a very large, ambitious circle, but I was excited.

Turns out the two Greensburg stores were a bust–they weren’t actually participating. So I was annoyed at having wasted an hour. Had I known that, I probably would’ve just started in Monroeville, or even said fuck it and started in Pittsburgh. Monroeville is also annoying to drive in, strangely. There have been multiple occasions where we turn into the wrong plaza or parking lot and think, “Oh, it’s fine, they probably connect,” and they never do. And I don’t know if it’s because it was a nice day or because Steel City Con was going or what, but traffic was a bitch, too. Oh, and there was a shooting in the mall the night before.

So after some annoyances with unreliable GPS, those pesky not connected parking lots, and traffic, I made it to the one participating record store and did at least grab a couple of the things I wanted. Then I took myself to Panera Bread, got a chai, and finished it sitting in traffic coming back through Pittsburgh. I didn’t really feel like trying my luck in Pittsburgh, especially since I knew we’d be back for brunch this morning. I figured I’d just take my chances with it then.

Dom and Tina have been doing brunches all month long, but this is the first one we’ve been able to make it to. Last weekend, since we were going to the movies in the evening, we skipped it because it didn’t make sense to either drive out, back, then back out or drive out and dick around, and the weekend before that we were exhausted from a couple days of running errands and dog-sitting, plus Kelly and Brandon’s baby shower, and we agreed to meet up with Julie and Michael for coffee on their way home to Erie. We were glad to be able to go this weekend. It’s always delicious.

And with full stomachs, we hit the record stores on the South Side, and I redeemed my Record Store Day. First, Dave’s Music Mine, my favorite one in town, was mostly cleaned out of this year’s released but did have a good few from previous years, and I snagged a lot of Bowie releases and a little Cure, plus some CDs, including from some local bands. I try to keep up with a lot of them, but not as many places seem as dedicated to supporting the local scene. I was really, really happy to find a whole section to be able to grab albums from bands I’ve been streaming.

There’s one more store right down the road, and honestly, I think it gets overlooked by the Record Store Day crowds. But I came out with some of the popular and harder-to-find releases with the year’s Fleetwood Mac and Mumford & Sons releases.

When all was said and done, I spent a lot of money, but I was really happy. I haven’t actually gone out for a Record Store Day in a few years, maybe not since the year I spent it in State College. One year I was working that Saturday and didn’t want to bother with going afterwards, and last year, strangely, not many releases stood out to me. So I was glad to get back at it and come out with a lot of great stuff–almost everything on my wish list. There’s maybe only one I didn’t find, and that was the soundtrack to The Crow.

I love Record Store Day. I really do. It’s perfect for music nerds, and if my initial Saturday trip had gone better, I honestly would’ve loved having a day to myself drinking chai and buying music. I love it. I loved the trip today, too, with Paul coming along, but having some me-time in the form of tea and music is a pretty great way to go, especially when the whole point of the day is to help boost sales of indie record stores. And I can assure you, they all benefitted from me.

Then we got groceries, hit the gym, which felt great after a couple of weeks of inconsistency workout time, and now the day’s almost over already. So here’s to hoping my evening isn’t interrupted by a damn tornado.

Saturday 9: April Love

April Love (1957). Unfamiliar with this week’s song? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Pat Boone sings that April love is a wonder reserved for the very young. Do you think the sensation of falling in love changes as we grow older? I mean, I fell in love with my husband at about 21 and I’m 29 now, so I couldn’t tell ya. But I’d say no. The things you fall in love with probably change, though.

2) “April Love” reached #1 on the charts. Between this song and “Love Letters in the Sand,” Pat Boone had a career year. Only one artist sold more records in 1957: Elvis Presley. When you think of Elvis, what’s the first song that comes to mind? “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” I played it at my wedding.

3) Pat was extremely busy in high school. He wrote for the school paper, ran track, and acted in school plays. Share a memory of your extracurricular activities during high school. I was in our musical my junior and senior years, and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

4) It was his track coach who introduced Pat to the new girl in school, Shirley Foley. Three years later Pat and Shirley married, and remained man and wife for 65 years, until her death earlier this year. Who is the longest married couple you know? My mom’s Aunt Shirley and Uncle Bill, who I believe hit the 60-year mark. I do know that at weddings where they do the thing where they have couples come on the dance floor and then gradually have them leave until the ones left have been married the longest, they win every time.

5) Pat has lived in the same house for more than 60 years. He once received an offer to sell it for $18,000,000 but turned it down because it’s the Boone family home and he simply doesn’t want to leave. Do you plan on moving in the foreseeable future? No, we’ve only been in this house a year. That said, my husband’s company is moving to Mexico and he’s back in the job hunt. I’m very strongly against moving, but there are a few areas where if he’d get hired there, I’d consider it.

6) Pat has a warm friendship with his neighbors, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. Pat has mentioned in interviews that he has enjoyed bike rides around Beverly Hills with Sharon. Tell us about one of your neighbors. So we’re the babies of the neighborhood–most of our neighbors are closer in age to our parents. But the ones we see and talk tot he most are right next to us and, like, in their 80s. They’re really sweet and have a really cute dog.

7) Mr. Boone was very critical of Barack Obama, enthusiastically supports Donald Trump, and has appeared on Fox News to express his views. How do you feel about celebrities talking politics? Honestly, they have every right to–they live here, they work here, the pay taxes here, and the policies can affect them and their families, too, so I don’t care if they do it. Even if I disagree, that’s their right. I actually get frustrated when people say celebrities should stick to whatever it is they’re famous for. If you disagree with them, fine. If you choose to only support musicians and actors you agree with, fine. But don’t tell them to shut up.

8) In 1957, the year this song was popular, Dr. Ian Donald pioneered the use of ultrasound technology. Today ultrasounds are commonly used by doctors in diagnosing conditions affecting the eyes, blood vessels, kidneys, gall bladder and more. Have you ever had an ultrasound? I have not.

9) Random question: You’re sitting alone in a restaurant, waiting for a friend. The waiter brings you a drink and the compliments of a member of the opposite sex seated at the bar. What’s your reaction? Are you flattered, shocked, embarrassed, intrigued or annoyed? Probably a weird combination of flattered and annoyed. I’m married, so I’m obviously not interested and honestly probably don’t want to be bothered, and lately, I’ve been interested in the dynamics of buying alcohol for someone. But I’m also flattered that someone did it. Probably a little shocked, too.

Friday 5: More and More Clichés

  1. When you were packed in tighter than a can of sardines? My last general-admission concert, which would’ve been Jukebox the Ghost.
  2. When are you cool as a cucumber? Almost always.
  3. When were you most recently happy as a clam? This morning when I bought tickets to Anberlin’s first tour in five years!
  4. What’s as slippery as an eel? My bathtub after I’ve used Lush bath oils.
  5. When are you as tough as nails? I almost used this as my answer to #2, but when things are getting rough. I have my weaknesses, but I generally keep my shit together. Like now–my dad has cancer, but I’m not freaking out.

As always, from Friday 5.

Friday night, we stopped by my parents’ house, grabbing dinner at Fiesta Azteca on our way in. Mostly, I needed to squeeze in a time to finish up our taxes with my accountant mother, plus pick up doggy stairs she wasn’t using anymore to give to Terra, but we hung around for a bit, played with the dog, and had a chill evening. My dad’s doing well–definitely feeling better than he was last weekend, days post-chemo.

Saturday night, we met up with Katie and Jacob and cousin Chelsea for Emily’s show at school. Typically, they stick to plays–that’s all Paul and I have seen her in since she started college–but once every four years, they do a musical, and this year, sticking with a monster theme of the school year’s previous shows, they did Young Frankenstein.

And it was great. Paul and I have seen the musical before and knew it was a good time, but Katie said it’s probably her favorite musical now. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with Mel Brooks’ humor.

We went to Primanti’s for dinner after and had some drinks and good conversation before, as always, heading our separate ways and vowing to do it again soon.

And Sunday night, it was off to the movies with Terra and Jon to see Pet Sematary. Paul wasn’t crazy about going, not being a horror fan. He was also outnumbered, and if you’d paid attention to all four of us during the movie, you would’ve been able to tell which of us were horror fans. I cracked the occasional joke, Terra laughed, and the two of us plus Jon never really reacted to anything except children getting hit by trucks. Paul, on the other hand, spent much of the second half either closing his eyes or covering his ears or both.

The three of us also being the ones who had bother read the book and seen the first movie, we really liked it. We all found it to be an improvement over the original movie but still not as good as the book, and I’m debating exploring some of this in a separate post. I love that book and there’s so much good stuff in it that was cut out of both movies. I would love to see a faithful adaptation. I guess I would say one of my biggest complaints, though, is unnecessary jump scares early on. There’s not a whole hell of a lot of scary stuff in the beginning, and I get the sense that they threw in a few jump scares just for the sake of it because they felt like they couldn’t do nothing. And I guess that’s the problem with a lot of current horror–there’s an impulse to be constantly getting a reaction out of the audience, even when with source material like Pet Sematary, it’s more of a slow burn, and a really effective one at that. Now I’m rambling.

At that point, Terra and Jon had been gone all day, while Paul and I had only left the house for the first time. So they headed home to tend to the pets while Paul and I went for a late dinner at Bahama Breeze, because I love a gimmicky chain restaurant where I can eat pineapple and coconut on almost anything.

And now it’s back to the work week. Record Store Day is this weekend, so I’m trying to decide whether to go to Pittsburgh or Greensburg. I feel like the Pittsburgh stores are more likely to have the releases I want while the Greensburg stores are less likely to be crowded.

Saturday 9: If I Could Turn Back Time

Saturday 9: If I Could Turn Back Time (1989)
 
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

Fun fact, I am going to see Cher in about two weeks!

1) The official video for this song was filmed on board the battleship USS Missouri. When is the last time you were on a boat or ship? It’s been a really, really long time. Probably in my pre-teen years, when my uncle had a boat and we’d spend the night out on the water sometimes when we visited him. That was really cool and a lot of fun.

2) This song was written by Diane Warren. Ms. Warren has written love songs recorded by Celine Dion, Toni Braxton, LeAnn Rimes and more, yet she’s never married and has really only had one serious romantic relationship. She acknowledges this makes her an unusual spokeswoman for the glory and pain of love. When you have a relationship problem, who do you go to for advice? I usually just vent to my best friend. I’ve never really felt like I needed advice–just someone to talk to. That said, she did give me wonderful words of wisdom once. “If you break up, you have to start all over with someone else.” It ends up putting the dumb disagreements in perspective. Sure, if it had been a major issue, that would’ve been different, but it made me go, “Yeah, I don’t want that.”

3) In this song, Cher wishes she could turn back time and have a different conversation with a former lover, changing what she said to him. Here at Saturday 9, we’re not so ambitious with our time travel. We’re only going back to yesterday. Is there anything you’d do differently? I’d try to be more productive, but honestly, in the time I had, I don’t know that there was much room to do more.

4) In 1966, Cher and her then-husband Sonny sang at a private birthday party for Jacqueline Kennedy. At first, Cher didn’t want to do it, thinking that performing to a small gathering would be awkward. But it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity for her. That night, she met Diana Vreeland, the editor of Vogue. Vreeland liked Cher’s look so much she set up a photo shoot. Cher, who always loved experimenting with hair and makeup, enjoyed the shoot immensely. Tell us about a social gathering where you had an unexpectedly good time. Maybe not unexpected, but it is not rare for me to come out of hanging out with someone genuinely wanting to do it more often.

5) At that same party, Cher said she was surprised by how big Jackie’s hands were. Do you like your hands? I quite like them, actually. They’re small, but not, like, disproportionately so. Maybe just dainty and feminine enough.

6) One night, before a performance in Detroit, Cher saw a little furry something under one of her tour buses. It was a kitten that that she named Mr. Big, hoping he would grow into the name. He did, and the tomcat was her constant companion for four years until he died of a congenital heart ailment. She has said that she will “never not miss him.” Is there a furry companion who has a special place in your memories? All of the pets I’ve had, really, especially when they’re all associated with different times in my life. It’s like looking back at past friendships.

7) Cher recently appeared in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. It’s the second movie based on the music of ABBA. What’s your favorite ABBA song? I love ABBA so much. So much. Like, no one did catchy pop on their level, where it was so consistently catchy and good and they never fell short, and they have so many songs I absolutely adore. There’s a reason they got two musicals out of the band’s music. So I will give you two–“Waterloo” always sticks in my head after I hear it, but I’m also having a phase right now with “The Visitors,” which I think is a vastly underrated not just as an ABBA song but also as a glorious pop song in general, with all this great synth work. It’s a good example of how my husband says ABBA manages to squeeze multiple hooks into one song. I also really loved in the Mamma Mia sequel the whole sequence with “Why Did It Have to Be Me?” Speaking of that movie, their “Waterloo” is a work of campy art. I really wasn’t kidding when I said I really love ABBA. I could keep going.

8) In 1989 — the year this song was popular — Mattel released a series of special “Scarlett O’Hara” Barbie doll to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gone with the Wind. Did you enjoy the classic movie? Have you read the book? I’ve never seen it or watched it. I’ll get around to it eventually.

9) Random question — Check your spam folder and tell us one of the subject lines. “Zara has unlocked her private photos for you!”

Friday 5: On the Edge of Town

  1. If everything else about your life stayed the same, how well could you get by living homeless for a year? I’d have to deal with Pennsylvania winters, and granted, sometimes we get years that aren’t so bad, but the cold would be rough. I’d look into staying with friends and family if I had to.
  2. What song do you want played at your funeral? My mom always jokes she wants me to learn “Don’t Fear the Reaper” on guitar to play at her funeral, so I’m gonna have to steal her song choice there. “Ave Maria” is always beautiful, though, although I’ll forever associate it with my grandma’s funeral.
  3. If you could have anyone to do it, who would you like to be the pallbearers at your funeral? I don’t know! I’d want it to be people close to me, though.
  4. Who is someone you encounter occasionally in passing, with whom you think you could be good friends if you knew each other socially? There are a couple coworkers who I think I’d have a great time with. There are also a few people who I am friends with but think I’d be closer to if we saw each other more.
  5. Is there anything useful to be made of empty prescription pill bottles? I’m sure someone out there somewhere has some clever Pinterest-worthy up-cycling idea, but honestly, I think the most useful thing that could be done is recycling. I appreciate the goals of up-cycling, but I have my issues with it–at a certain point, I don’t want a bunch of shit in my house that’s essentially pretty garbage, so I’d much rather recycle the items in question. No, Internet, I don’t want to know how to make my recyclables into something I might not even need, I want to get rid of them.

From Friday 5.

So on top of my dad starting his cancer treatments and staying in Philadelphia longer, leaving my brother and I to handle dog-sitting, my brother and his wife were having a baby shower the next day, and my mom had volunteered to take on the Pinterest-inspired baby carriage made out of a watermelon. With them getting in late Friday night, she had limited time to do it and asked that if we could, grab fruit. I intended to, but it became clear pretty quickly that I didn’t have time to both buy fruit and take it to the house before we went to the musical, so it made more sense to just go right to the house and let the dog out for a bit.

My parents got home, bought what they needed, and my mom was texting me while we were at Eat ‘N’ Park saying that she might need me to come over earlier in the morning to help her. But then when she was like, “I feel like I’m gonna have a breakdown,” I was like ah fuck it, I’ll just go over in the morning. Now, if we’d had this conversation a few hours prior, I would’ve just packed a bag and stayed overnight, but instead, Paul and I went home. Of course, of all nights, this was when I had trouble sleeping, and then we had to get up early and go. My plan was shower, get dressed, put some makeup on, and pack the rest with me to finish up later, and that plan, at least, pretty much worked.

We had to make a quick stop for a gift bag and some other things for the shower, and of course, my mom asked for fruit dip just after we’d already left and hit the road. I know of a pretty easy recipe for one, so we stopped at a Giant Eagle near my parents’ house, grabbed the ingredients, and by this time, it was starting to get late, so it was all hands on deck in the kitchen–Paul joked that he’s already used to being conscripted by his family for various things, so he had no problem being asked to do this and that and this. I threw my dip together, we mixed a fruit salad, my mom finished up the baby carriage, and we all got our faces put on and got in the car and were running quite late but not technically late to the shower…and yet some of the guests beat us there. Yoi.

The watermelon baby carriage turned out really cute, too. My mom seemed like she wasn’t so sure about it, but everyone loved it. My favorite part about it, though, is you make a little baby out of a grapefruit to put in it, with little blueberries for eyes and a pacifier, and since the baby is a girl, little bows on its head. So my mom assembled it, put the little blueberry eyes on and…one fell off onto the floor, where it was promptly eaten by the dog. She texted me while I was driving and Paul read it to me, and I laughed and laughed and laughed.

The shower was really nice and fun. I made a playlist I was quite proud of, even if only Brandon really gave a shit–I’m particularly proud of the fact that one of the first songs on it was Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams,” which they played when they left the church at their wedding. I mean…is there a more appropriate kick-off to a baby shower playlist than the parents’ wedding song?

And of course, those of us waiting to be aunties (and grandparents) went overboard. I may say that gender roles are bullshit and mean it, but damn it if I didn’t go all-in on cute girlie clothes. We all did. It’s a good thing our gifts were pretty much the last ones opened, because they took forever. And then the other day, I bought even more shit, and I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on.

After the shower, we took a drive out to finally see Katie and Jacob’s new house, although it’s still a work in progress, albeit pretty minor. But it’s a nice house, and it’s exciting that we’re all at these points in our lives. At the shower, Katie mentioned how weird it was that my brother is having a kid, and then I pointed out that it was just about a year to the day of when we closed on our house. And Julie’s getting married next month and got her dress at my aunt’s shop, so on top of baby excitement, there’s excitement for yet another wedding just around the corner. And maybe the weirdest of all, I spent most of the shower sitting with all the siblings-in-law, the youngest of whom is now a teenager and was 8 when Paul and I started dating. And I kept thinking about how we were at his high-school musical. We’re, like, grownups. Weird.

When we got home, we crashed. I’d been running nonstop since Wednesday–out to get Seger, then back home Thursday, then back out Friday night, then back home for basically a few hours before spending a morning running errands and getting ready for the shower.

I declared Sunday would be a day of rest, but we did venture out briefly–with Julie and Michael in town, it made sense to hang out as much as possible before they went home to Erie, so we met up for coffee in town. It helps that we’re conveniently on the way back, situated right off the interstate. They’ll be back for Julie’s bridal shower in May. I’d love to squeeze in a trip up before that, but that’s probably unlikely. But hey, if we can swing one over the summer and enjoy Erie’s beaches and wine, great.

And just like that, we’re almost at the end of another work week. Paul got the cold I had last week, I’m mostly in a good gym routine, I caught up on laundry, finally, and we’re heading out with siblings and cousins at Emily’s show this weekend. At least it’s a little slower this week–my parents were traveling again, but nothing unexpected popped up and they’re already home. I’m sure Seger is grateful, although he does make for adorable doggy daycare Facebook posts.

Last week was chaos.

My parents went back out to Philadelphia to talk to more doctors about my dad’s cancer, and not wanting my brother and I to use up all of our vacation days dog-sitting, they sent him to a nearby doggie daycare.

(The place posts the doggies in their care to social media, so Seger had a couple of pretty adorable Facebook posts about him–some of him playing, a funny one about how displeased he looks post-bath. But my dad comments on just about every single one, and I think it’s the cutest thing.)

I can’t remember the details now, but they ended up extending their stay–it was to see a certain doctor, but at this point, they’ve seen so many people that I can’t remember exactly who or why. And they figured they might as well tackle his first chemo treatment while they were at it, which meant they had to stay even longer. So they checked to see if we could work out dog-sitting for Thursday and Friday. The plan we came up with was I’d take off Thursday and Brandon would come over that evening and dog-sit Friday, and I’d go over in the evening if needed. While squeezing in a trip to Paul’s youngest brother’s high-school musical that night, too, with Brandon and Kelly’s baby shower the next morning.

So I picked Seger up Wednesday night, and he was adorably excited to see me, jumping all over me even though he’s not supposed to. And then within about a minute of being in my car, he peed. Maybe he was mad. Maybe he just really had to pee. Maybe he decided my car smelled nothing like him and he had to do something about it.

But the evening was otherwise good–he’s a snuggly dog anyway, so he was right at my side the entire time I was over. We lounged Thursday, took a nice walk, and threw together a dinner and stuck around a little bit after Brandon showed up.

So…his instructions from me were that if he needed me to go back out Friday evening to get Seger to let me know. We were able to work our schedules out so that neither of us called off work, but Seger would be in his crate, and although he can handle a few hours, he’s not used to being in there during the day. But of course, they needed to set up for the baby shower, and I didn’t find this out until later, in the afternoon when I was in the middle of getting ready for the musical, thinking all was well. If he’d said something, I probably would’ve thrown some shit in a bag, played with Seger for a bit, then gotten ready for the musical and had Paul come out in a separate car–or even just told his sister Emily we had to bail, although I really didn’t want to do that. So as soon as Paul got in from work, we drove straight to my parents’ house, and when I took Seger out, I could tell by how little he peed that he’d probably peed in his crate, and we probably only just got there a tiny bit too late.

We didn’t have a lot of time, so I fed him–although he wasn’t super interested in that and hadn’t been since I’d picked him up the day before–and played with him, knowing he was gonna have to go back in his crate for just a little longer, maybe an hour or so. I hoped he’d get some fun in and the last little stretch wouldn’t be so bad, and it sounds like he did do okay. Brandon and Kelly popped back in sometime while we were at the musical, so he got the honor of cleaning up the crate pad proper since all I had time to do was pull it out and throw a clean one in, and then my parents were back.

As for the musical, they did Mamma Mia, which was an odd choice for a Catholic school, given the plot, but I had myself a good time. Paul was cringing at teenagers delivering some of the adult jokes, but I figured it wasn’t much different from what they probably say to each other every day, so I let myself enjoy it. I was also having a sweet one-woman dance party and lip sync. It’s a good thing no one was behind us.

Afterwards, we all went out for a late dinner at Eat ‘N’ Park–my in-laws included–and Paul and I got home in time to get a few hours of sleep before we got to face the chaos of prepping for a baby shower.

Saturday 9: The Fool on the Hill

Saturday 9: The Fool on the Hill (1968)

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

Chosen because Monday is April Fool’s Day.

1) As an April Fool’s prank, Taco Bell once announced they had purchased The Liberty Bell and renamed it The Taco Liberty Bell. Describe your perfect taco. Since I’m a vegetarian, tofu, with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and some kind of salsa or sauce.

2) Similarly, as an April Fool’s prank, the Ford Motor Co. was supposed to wipe out the national deficit by purchasing the naming rites to a beloved monument, renaming it the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial. What model car do you drive? Honda Civic.

3) In 1998, Burger King got in on the April Fool’s Day fun by promoting a special “Left-Handed Whopper,” designed to be easier for a leftie to hold. Describe your perfect burger. A veggie burger, of course, but, like, a good, solid one–some veggie burgers are really crumbly and fall apart easily, making for a messy eating experience. As for topics, something fun. I really like an interesting, creative burger. I’ve been to places that have had toppings like goat cheese and apple, and I love stuff like that.

4) In 1962, when color TV was still new, a Swedish station pranked viewers by telling them they could convert their black/white sets to color by cutting up a nylon stocking and stretching it across the screen. Of course, in 1962, more women wore nylons and screens were smaller. How big is your TV? Are there any nylon stockings in your home? It’s a decent-sized one, considering. I don’t know the actual measurements, though. As for nylons, not really, but I have many a pair of lace tights.

5) In 1957, the BBC ran an April Fool’s story about how the Swiss were enjoying a “bumper spaghetti crop,” with spaghetti literally growing on trees. Viewers who called the station, asking how to grow a spaghetti tree of their own, were told to place a sprig of spaghetti in a can of tomato sauce and hope for the best. Have you ever fallen for an April Fool’s prank? The only one that really stands out is one year in high school, when my mom came to wake me up, she told me school had been canceled because of a water-main break, and I’ll believe anything first thing in the morning. Some social-media posts sometimes get me, but I generally remember what day it is pretty quick.

6) When Crazy Sam was growing up, her mother would surprise her on April Fool’s Day by slipping a rubber worm or plastic spider in her lunch box. When you were in school, did you more frequently brown bag it or buy your lunch in the cafeteria line? When I was in elementary school, buying lunch wasn’t an option, so when I got to middle school, I was kind of looking forward to buying my lunch and did it almost every day. And then in high school, I didn’t really want to bother and went back to brown-bagging it. I ate in the cafeteria pretty much every day in college, though.

7) This week’s song was an international hit for Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66. Because of the song’s bossa nova arrangement, everyone assumed the lead singer, Lani Hall, was Brazilian. She was a folk singer from Chicago. Sergio Mendes discovered her at a charity benefit. Can you think of a time when doing good really paid off for you? Not on that level! But it always makes me feel good.

8) In 1968, when this record was popular, Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada. Today his son holds that office. When did you most recently visit our neighbor to the north? Not since I was a kid at Niagara Falls.

9) Random question: Name three websites you visit every day. Not counting any social media, eBay, NPR, and my online banking.