Saturday 9: Ooh La La

Saturday 9: Ooh La La (2013)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) “Ooh la la” is defined as an interjection said when you think someone or something is “surprising, unusual or attractive.” Looking back over this week, did you come across anything that deserves an “ooh la la?” Hmm, not really.

2) In this song, Britney Spears sings that she’s eager to accompany you, even if you’re not a millionaire. But let’s say you suddenly become really rich. What’s the first leisure trip you would take with your new funds? Who would you bring along? I’d go to a beach with my husband.

3) Britney is eager to dance with you, even if you don’t wear designer clothes. Let’s say you need to add a blouse (or shirt) to your wardrobe. Where’s your go-to for clothes shopping? Depends on the occasion, but I get a lot from New York & Company.

4) The video begins with Britney at the movies with her two young sons. Will you be seeing any family members this weekend? I don’t think so, but if I do, it’ll be siblings-in-law.

5) This is a theme from the movie Smurfs 2. A Smurf is a little blue creature who lives in a mushroom-shaped house in the forest. Assuming that your home is not shaped like a mushroom and isn’t in the forest, how would you describe your abode? (Mansion, ranch house, farm house, high-rise, igloo …) A little one-story ranch that’s about to get some much-needed new siding within the next couple weeks. I’m pretty excited–the house as it is now looks a little old and shabby, and we’re in the process of getting it to reach its adorable potential.

6) Britney admits to smoking and biting her nails. What bad habit do you wish you could break? I have bad eating habits. I need someone to make me a menu every week.

7) In 2013, when this song was popular, Pope Benedict resigned. Thinking over your working life, have you been more nervous on your first day of a job, or the last one? I haven’t had a last day yet! But knowing me, I’d be more nervous on my first day. In fact, any nerves on a last day of work would be because I was thinking about the first day of the next job.

8) Also in 2013, golfer Phil Mickelson won the British Open. When did you most recently golf? It would’ve only been mini-golf and I certainly haven’t gone in the last few years, so who knows?

9) Random question — On what part of your body was the last itch you scratched? My boob.

Friday 5: Dress You Up in My Love

  1. For the rest of your life, you get to dispense one condiment out of each fingertip of your right hand, defining “condiment” liberally. Which five do you commit to? Ketchup, honey mustard, yum yum sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, and salt.
  2. What is the best way to spiffy-up french fries? So I’m a fan of basic ketchup, but if I’m getting a little less basic, my go-to is cheese fries. I know people who are fans of gravy or ranch dressing, though.
  3. The restaurant is out of your favorite salad dressing. What do you order instead? Ranch or a house dressing.. Or whatever sounds the most interesting–there’s a restaurant in town that does a honey-shallot dressing I’m a big fan of.
  4. How do you like to modify your favorite heat-and-eat food? Eh, I don’t, really.
  5. In what way do you play with your food? I don’t really do that, either, unless I’m getting full and just start kind of poking at it.

From Friday 5.

It was a weekend full of parties.

On Friday night, we kicked off the weekend with a small party at our house as a double birthday celebration for me, on my 30th, and Paul’s friend from work Andrew, who turned 31 on Sunday. We seized the opportunity to use our deck and had good food and lots of wine and hung out for a few hours. Ringing in 30 was a great success.

But of course, there are a ton of summer birthdays in our family, so on Saturday, there was a surprise party for my cousin Casey, also turning 30–her actual birthday is today. So we spent a few hours over at my aunt and uncle’s house, and Casey was sufficiently surprised. She didn’t even know that Sammi, who lives in New York, was in for the weekend and didn’t find out until she walked into the house and saw us all there.

After the party, we made our belated Father’s Day rounds, starting with my parents’ house for a little bit before heading over to Paul’s parents’ place just in time for dinner. After another couple hours there, we headed home.

On Sunday, the miraculous third consecutive day of sunshine after never-ending rain, we got some yard work done when we could before heading out to a party again, this time a graduation party for one of Paul’s cousins. We had a good time hanging out there until the evening, at which point I, still feeling under the weather from my cold last week, got Paul to squeeze in one last round of cutting grass at the back of the house before the sun set.

And now, somehow, I’ve managed to get sick again, except this time the trouble is mostly digestive. I almost feel like I have a mild flu–I was really tired all day today with body aches, and although things seem to have improved at this point in the evening, I’m frustrated. Things need done and I don’t have the energy, and I’ve already not seen Eliana for a few weeks and am worried that if I’ve come down with something new that’s  not short-lived, I’m not gonna see her for another week or so yet. I was really set on making it happen this weekend, too, so I’m not gonna be happy if it doesn’t work out.

Other potential weekend plans include a small get-together at our house I like to call “We Had a Party Last Weekend and Everyone Brought Wine, So Now We Have Too Much Wine, Please Come Drink Some,” or maybe a trip to Phipps, or maybe a trip to the art museum. They both have things going on right now I really want to see, but the good news is both are ongoing through the summer, so I’ve got time.

Saturday 9: Venus in Blue Jeans

Saturday 9: Venus in Blue Jeans (1962)

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

1) Like the dream girl described in this song, Sam is wearing jeans as she composes this Saturday 9. Is there a lot of denim in your wardrobe? I mean, not a ton, but if leaving the house, I’m usually wearing jeans or leggings.

2) Jimmy Clanton likens this girl to the Venus de Milo, the ancient Greek sculpture made of marble and now on display at the Louvre. Is there any marble in your home? No. Maybe we’ll do that in our eventual kitchen remodel.

3) He refers to his girl as “Mona Lisa with a pony tail.” The Mona Lisa is also at the Louvre. What’s the last museum you visited? I think it was the Museum of the Bible in D.C. as part of a bus trip. It was our final stop before going home and not really something I was interested in seeing, but I will say it was more informative than I expected.

4) This girl is so awesome, she’s the 8th Wonder of the World! Without looking it up, could you name the other 7? Ha, nope.

5) Jimmy Clanton spent his entire professional life behind a microphone. After he quit selling records, he began spinning them as a DJ. Do you consider the sound of your voice one of your better qualities? I’m not a fan of it, personally.

6) At age 80, Mr. Clanton still performs. He averaged an appearance/month in 2018. Some of his fans were surprised that he has let his pompadour go completely white. Do you color your hair? Do I! It’s pink and green right now, with a little purple and teal in it. And beyond overdue for another round of dye.

7) In 1962, when this song was popular, Americans were reading about 5-year-old First Daughter, Caroline Kennedy, and her pony, Macaroni. Tell us about a pet you had when you were very young. My dad had a cat for years that was essentially my first pet by the time I came along. His name was Corkey, and he was a grey outdoor cat, and the story goes that my grandfather once cheated on his taxes by claiming Corkey as a dependent.

8) Decades later, Caroline Kennedy was the first woman to serve as US Ambassador to Japan. Have you ever been to Asia? No, but I’d love to.

9) Random question: When talking among themselves, who do you think is more open and honest about sex — men or women? I feel like men would be more prone to exaggeration and women would be more candid than men would expect.

Friday 5: Sprung

  1. What do you need to be free of? Hmm. My own bad habits, probably.
  2. What’s the highest thing you’ve leaped from? I don’t know, but I can tell you it wasn’t very high because although I’m not afraid of heights, I am afraid of jumping from them.
  3. What are you bouncing back from? A cold. I came down with it about last Wednesday or Thursday and although I’m significantly better than I was then, I’m still waking up congested. I’m also pretty sure the cold triggered an ear infection, but as I am prone to them and don’t feel like going to MedExpress every single time I get one, I decided to see if I can ride it out. So far, so good.
  4. When were you last in, on, or near a body of fresh water? I went to Lake Erie over Memorial Day weekend, and when we walked along one of its beaches, I walked close enough for the little waves to crash over my feet. Since we’ve been back, we have been close to Pittsburgh’s three rivers. We weren’t necessarily close to the Yough where we grew up yesterday, but close enough.
  5. What kind of bed are you sleeping on? A queen-sized bed with drawers along the bottom on a nice and soft Tuft & Needle mattress.

From Friday 5.

I think I’ve found the one downside to working from home, at least for me–venturing out into the world makes me prone to illness. I was gonna say “makes me sick,” but…

But it’s true. For the second time in the last few months, it would appear that I emerged from weekend festivities with a cold. The annoying thing is calling off doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense because if I’m not sitting at my work computer, I’m just gonna be sitting on my laptop, so other than having to be clocked in and working for eight hours, what difference does it make? Besides, I can take a nap instead of a lunch break. And let me tell you, some days, that’s perfect.

So I’ve been taking it easy for the last half of the week, hoping to get the damned thing out of my system to varying degrees of success. Some things feel better, some worse, but I am more functional than I was when it started. Not only did I nap for lunch on Wednesday, but I conked right out once I was clocked out.

We did venture out to Pittsburgh today for the final day of the annual arts festival. When we went to brunch last week, I’d invited Marissa along at the last minute, but she wasn’t around, so I told her maybe she could join us this weekend. And that she did, along with her mom. Paul and I had left earlier than they did and took the T and were hungry, of course, so we grabbed tacos at Condado, a place we fell in love with when we stopped by their Lawrenceville location some months back.

And after that, the four of us had a nice afternoon of enjoying the festival. Marissa and I were both hoping to get some nice little art prints for our respective bathrooms–she succeeded, I did not–and I know Paul picked up some jewelry I not-so-subtly mentioned would make nice birthday gifts for me.

Paul and I ended the day with a short walk to get some macarons, because they’re probably my favorite cookie and aren’t abundant closer to home. So we loaded up and splurged on two dozen of the things.

As for Father’s Day, we told both of our fathers we’d see them next weekend instead. With me not being 100% over this cold, I don’t want to take something over to my parents’ house and get my dad sick, since he’s going through chemo, and so we figured we’d hold off on both sides of the family and do it next weekend.

Saturday 9: I Learned from You

Saturday 9: I Learned from You (2007)
… Because it’s Father’s Day weekend.
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is a duet by the father/daughter team, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus. Is your family musically inclined? Only a little–my mom can play the piano. I need to get back into playing guitar!

2) This song is about life lessons. Who has been a major influence on your life? The obvious ones–parents, grandparents, siblings, friends.

3) Miley’s given name is “Destiny.” Her nickname as a baby was “Smiley,” which is where Miley came from. What’s something that can always be depended upon to make you smile? Great people and great music.

4) Miley’s father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, has 5 children in addition to Miley (6 in all). Are you the oldest, the middle or the youngest sibling? Or are you an only child? I’m the oldest, but my husband always makes it a point to tell me I’m older, not oldest, because I’m the oldest of two and my husband’s the oldest of six so he doesn’t think being the oldest of two actually counts as being the oldest of anything.

5) Sam’s own father often traveled for business, and always remembered to bring her the little complimentary soaps, shampoos or body lotion he got from the hotel. Tell us about an inexpensive but treasured souvenir from a trip you’ve taken. Ooh, I don’t know. I don’t think I have one that stands out as being more treasured than any others.

6) Back when Sam was in high school, it was her father who gave her driving lessons. Are you patient when teaching someone something new? I think I am–I think I’m very patient in general–but you’d have to ask anyone on the other end. I could definitely see myself getting frustrated if someone’s not getting it after a while, though.

7) Sam’s father is easy to buy for: every year he wants a new pair of loafers, so every year for Father’s Day she gives him a DSW gift card. Is there anyone on your gift list that you find it easy to buy for? My mom has been the easiest historically, but I’ve been running out of ideas lately.

8) For family barbecues, Sam’s dad dons his “Kiss the Chef” apron and mans the Weber. What’s the last thing you cooked on the grill? We’ve actually never used our grill! We’re having a party next weekend, though, and my husband’s work friend is more skilled with a grill than either of us, so I might ask him if he wants to try it. It’s a little grill that’s just kind of part of the property. My brother-in-law calls it a “park grill.”

9) Sam’s father satisfies his afternoon sugar craving with an almost endless stream of Butter Rum Lifesavers. When you crave a snack, do you usually reach for something sweet or salty? Sweet, almost always.

Friday 5: Who Are You?

  1. Are you more of a Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, or Rachel? So I don’t really see much of myself in any of them, really, at least not so much that I could choose one. If I had to pick, I’d say Phoebe. But I decided to turn to trusty Buzzfeed quizzes for their expertise, and they declared me to be a Monica. I disagree with much of the description of her in terms of our similarities, but they do describe her as a Type A, and…that’s basically my husband’s nickname for me.
  2. Which Muppet would you most like to date? Kermit. He seems like a true gentleman.
  3. Which Wizard of Oz character do you most identify with? Ooh. Okay, so first of all, this is my favorite movie of all time–I fell in love with it when I was 2, and it’s like a comfort blanket at this point. Second, my favorite is Scarecrow. As for which one I most identify with? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I’ve loved the movie my entire life, but I think I’ve seen myself in all of them at different points in my life. I think right now, I’d say the Tin Man, in the sense that he’s sensitive and compassionate and that’s what I’m feeling the most these days.
  4. You’re in one of those heist movies with a whole mess o’ expert specialists. Which are you? I’m doing recon and information-gathering. I’m a nosy bitch, so I’m getting the lay of the land and keeping tabs on anyone who might be a problem.
  5. Which member of the Brady Bunch would you most likely be good friends with? Probably Greg, because he was the one the most into music. Tell ya what, though, I’d feel bad for Jan.

As always, from Friday 5.

Of course, we’re not ones to miss the local Greek food festival, so Paul mentioned it to a friend at work and he and his wife joined us for a nice evening of delicious Greek food. All were happy.

For dessert, we headed into town. For starters, the city’s monthly First Friday was underway, and although I wanted to check out the vendors, I didn’t make it in time. But we did get to enjoy ice cream at a little deli right in town that smartly stays open whenever something like that is going on in town. Downtown was also featuring a car show through Saturday afternoon with most of the same vendors as First Friday, so I figured I’d hit it then, but I ended up getting there just a bit too late for that, too.

So in need of a haircut because I can’t get to Emily for a little while, I went and got that taken care of. I’m glad to have it tamed a little and my undercut freshly buzzed for the summer months. Paul ran some errands while I was in there, and then from there, we headed to a graduation party for one of his cousin’s, where I mostly spent my evening hanging out with his sister and drinking much wine.

It’s been a good few weeks, maybe even a month at this point, since we made it to one of Dom and Tina’s brunches, but they did one on Sunday so we ventured up into Pittsburgh for very delicious breakfast sandwiches and a great selection of season iced teas. And to drop off recycling, of course.

In between all that, there was cutting grass and planting a few new veggies in the garden. This weekend, it’s back to Pittsburgh for the arts festival…and maybe brunch again. Who knows?

Saturday 9: I’m Moving On

Saturday 9: I’m Moving On (1965)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Chyvonne Scott sings that she’s sick of her lover’s “conniving.” Tell us about a time you felt deceived. (It doesn’t have to involve romance.) I’m trying to think of a recent one, but I can’t, so that’s good, at least. “Deceived” isn’t the most accurate word for what I have in mind, I don’t think, but I guess I know a few people who I think are good bullshitters and I’m waiting for the facade to crack.

2) She realizes it’s time to move on to another love. What’s your favorite love song? Is it about a relationship that’s running smoothly? Or is it like “I’m Moving On,” about an unhappy love affair? As is always the case with me, I don’t have just one favorite. But I do tend to prefer faster songs, which do tend to be happy.

3) Though Chyvonne Scott enjoyed only limited success as a recording artist, she was very popular in New York clubs. When did you most recently listen to music performed live? The last concert I went to was Cher, which was amazing.

4) In 2017, this song appeared on a Samsung commercial that poked fun at rival iPhone. Is your cell phone an Apple or Android? How did you choose your phone? iPhone. I was late to smartphones, and mostly, my friends all had iPhones, so I saw those in action and that’s what I wanted. I also have a Mac laptop, so I do like having all the compatibility that goes along with that.

5) Chyvonne is an unusual name. In 1965, when this song was first released, the most popular baby names in the US were Michael and Lisa. Do you have any Michaels or Lisas in your life? My mom’s best friend’s name is Lisa, who would’ve been born close to 1965, and my husband’s sister just married a Michael.

6) Also in 1965, Winston Churchill died. In researching this week’s Sat. 9, Sam discovered a Churchill quote that’s new to her: “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” Share something interesting that you recently learned. Just a few minutes ago, I was reading an interview dealing with women’s health, mostly as it relates to Alzheimer’s, but a few other things came up, as well. And while I already knew that there are issues with gender bias in medicine and that there are certain illnesses that present differently in women than they do men and that as a result, women don’t always get diagnosed and treated as early as they could and should, the interview discussed some studies and information I never knew about. It was equal parts fascinating and disheartening.

7) In 1965, one of the most successful movies ever made, The Sound of Music, was released. Have you ever seen it? It’s one of those movies that I’ve never, like, sat and watched the entire thing in one sitting but rather have watched in chunks over the course of my life. So yeah, I’ve seen it, and I have a well-known crush on Captain Von Trapp.

8) Lava lamps were already popular in England and Brussels, but in 1965 they were introduced in the US. Do you think lava lamps are cool? I did when I was a kid.

9) Random question — You have to buy something very personal that you find embarrassing. Would you rather pay cash for it, so your identity would be unknown but you’d have to face the cashier? Or order it online, where you could avoid looking anyone in the eye, but you have to share your name and address? Honestly, I wouldn’t care either way because no one else probably cares, either.