Friday 5: Five for Five

  1. In exactly five words, how was your week? It’s only just getting started.
  2. In exactly five words, what’s up this weekend? Nothing that I know of.
  3. In exactly five words, what are you feeling great about? What the future may bring.
  4. In exactly five words, what’s giving you confidence? How the past week was.
  5. In exactly five words, what’re you listening to? Joni Mitchell’s Clouds on Spotify.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)

Saturday 9: No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) 1979

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

1) This lyrics use weather as metaphor for romance. Here at Saturday 9, we’re more literal. How do the skies look where you are this morning? Well, it’s dark out now, and earlier, even when the sun was up, it was cloudy and grey.

2) According to Merriam-Webster, “enough is enough” is what you say when you want something to stop because you “can no longer accept or deal with it.” When did you recently say — out loud or to yourself — “enough is enough.” I have no idea. It’s not really a phrase I use, and I wouldn’t have had a recent reason to use it, either.

3) Grammy winner Luther Vandross began his career as a background singer and performed on “No More Tears.” Tell us about one of your early jobs. When I was a kid, I washed dishes at the restaurant where my dad cooked. I was on my feet all night, got paid under the table, of course, but I enjoyed feeling like I had actual responsibility and getting spending money, too, as well as a little share of whatever my dad was cooking.

4) Both Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand made slight changes to their first names. Summer was christened “LaDonna,” while Streisand’s parents spelled her name the more conventional “Barbara.” When she was in high school, meme mistress Samantha Winters went from “Sammy” to “Sam.” Did you ever make a similar change to your first name? Nah. The name Janelle isn’t easy to shorten in a way that makes sense, although my mom has always called me Nellie.

5) Hair was higher maintenance in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Streisand and Summer are both sporting styles that would require chemical treatment, like a perm or relaxer. Today’s looks are less rigidly styled and tend to be smoother or slightly messy. How often do you change your look? I change my hair color somewhat often–I’ve stuck with the same thing for a few months for a couple of reasons, one of which I’m not sharing just yet, but overall, I’ve changed it every eight weeks. I very well may go blonde when I go back in a month, too!

6) In 1979, it seems every kid was asking Santa for Star Wars toys. Some things don’t change, since the Star Wars franchise remains popular with children and toymakers after more than 40 years. What book or toy did you love as a child that remains popular today? The Wizard of Oz, sort of. It’s still considered a classic.

7) Thinking of things that endure … In 1979, the #1 show in the ratings was 60 Minutes. It’s still on, every Sunday night, and in the summer of 2019 it came in at #4 in the Nielsen ratings. What’s the most recent show you watched? Was it news, sports or entertainment? Entertainment–I think it would’ve been the original Twilight Zone. Or possibly Kitchen Nightmares, which I don’t usually watch but got interested in thanks to a mention online of that infamous episode with the couple who was so insane that Gordon Ramsay walked out. I think Gordon Ramsay is a dick, but I was on his side here.

8) In 1979, the price for a dozen eggs averaged 85¢. Today, it’s about twice that. Are you more likely to use eggs to prepare a main course (like an omelette or Eggs Benedict) or as part of a recipe (anything from a cake to a meatloaf)? Main course, especially lately. But I would like to get into trying to do more cooking and baking soon. I just haven’t felt up to it, again, for reasons I’ll get into another day.

9) Random question: You’re alone in your car, driving through your neighborhood on a bright, sunny day. You get a flat tire. You have a spare and a jack in your trunk. Would you fix it yourself or call for help? I’d use my AAA membership my mom renews as a gift every Christmas. I know I don’t have it in me physically to fix on my own. If I was with someone else, though, I’d probably do it. In fact, my brother and I did once when we got a flat when he was picking me up from college for the weekend, but my mom was so worried that it would, like, fly off while we were driving that she sent my dad out to follow us home. It didn’t.

Friday 5: Thrill of Victory

  1. Which summer Olympics event would you have the best chance of winning? I don’t know how fast I could go, but swimming.
  2. Which winter Olympics event would you have the best chance of winning? Again, I don’t know how good the chances really are here, but I feel like curling is my speed.
  3. Which competitive reality TV program would you have the best chance of winning? None of them, unless we’re counting new game shows, because I could absolutely win Beat Shazam. However! Back in the day, when VH1 still aired the delight that was Tool Academy, my best friend and I concocted a brilliant plan. For the unfamiliar, Tool Academy was a Charm School-esque reality show where men came on, usually at the urging of their long-suffering significant others, to learn how to abandon their toolish ways–cheating, getting into fights, binge drinking, that kind of thing–and someone was eliminated each week. The tool/couple who made it to the end won money. So Terra and I figured we could rig it in our favor pretty easily. Since we both have brothers, our idea was to trade them and have fake relationships where we’d “date” each other’s brother, who would do their best to be the worst and change accordingly with the challenge each week and one of us would win and split the money with the other fake couple.
  4. Which traditional TV game show would you have the best chance of winning? Probably Wheel of Fortune.
  5. The Pulitzer Prize is awarded for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition. The Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. What would a prize named after you be for? At this particular moment in my life, sleeping and procrastinating. Well, the procrastinating is always applicable.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Judy at Carnegie Hall

Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961)

We’re spotlighting this legendary concert because  Bev from Sunday Stealing loves Judy Garland. This week’s Saturday 9 is a “thank you,” one meme-mistress to another, in gratitude for Bev’s willingness to pick up Bud’s meme and keep it going.

Song #1: “When You’re Smiling.” What made you smile this week? I have to use up my vacation time by the end of the year or I lose it–it doesn’t carry over. So I took a bunch of random days off starting around mid-November, and I was off all week until Thursday. I slept in. A lot.

Song #2: “Almost Like Being in Love.” We’ve all had many crushes, but love is rare. How many times have you fallen in love? Just once, but I was pretty close one other time.

Song #3: “This Can’t Be Love.” This Rodgers and Hart song was introduced in the play, The Boys from Syracuse. Syracuse is the county seat of Onondaga County, NY. What county do you hail from? Originally, the lovely Fayette County, Pennsylvania. I am now in Washington County.

Song #4: “Do It Again.” What’s something you’d do again, if only you had the time or money? (A book you’d like to reread, a recipe or pattern you’d like to make again, a vacation destination you’d like to revisit, etc.) Ooh, I don’t know. I think maybe I’d rather try new things.

Song #5: “You Go to My Head.” Judy forgets the lyrics, but gamely keeps going. Tell us about a recent moment when you chose to keep going, no matter what. I’m kind of having to power through some fatigue these days.

Song #6: “Alone Together.” Is anyone there with you as you answer these questions, or are you alone? I’m home alone, aside from the kitties.

Song #7: “Who Cares?” This song was written by brothers George and Ira Gershwin. They had a lesser known brother, stockbroker Arthur. Are you more creative and artistic, like George and Ira? Or more analytical and methodical, like Arthur? More creative.

Song #8: “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Judy sings that The Ritz is the place in New York “where fashion sits.” If we wanted to see everyone “all gussied up” in your town, where would we go? Ha, I don’t know. It’s typically not that kind of town. I guess there’s a pretty nice restaurant that would be a good option, and there’s a hotel that’s sometimes used as a wedding venue and was actually in an episode of TLC’s Four Weddings.

Song #9: “How Long Has This Been Going On?” Judy sings about discovering how glorious romance can be. Have you made any new discoveries lately? It doesn’t have to be as groundbreaking as Judy’s. A new podcast or a faster route to work counts, too. Not really!

Friday 5: Places to Go

  1. What’s the closest you’ve come to having a hangout where everybody knows your name? My cousins grew up across the street from a bar, and the older get the more I realize that the location of the bar was kind of weird because it was really in the middle of a rural-ish residential area. But of course, when we were of age (and, uh, sometimes when we weren’t), we spent a lot of time there. The owner knew my cousins’ family already from doing business across the street for years, but she came to know the rest of us, too. These days, the owners of a coffee shop in town recognize my husband and I–he went in by himself to get me something one morning and told her some news, and she mentioned it to me when I was in by myself a week or so later.
  2. Where do you go when you want to be around people but don’t want to talk to anyone or be recognized? Probably the library. Someone is always there, but it’s quiet.
  3. Where can you go if you need a little bit of sleep but home is unavailable? My mom’s. It’s almost an hour-log drive, but if I had to, I could.
  4. Where do you dine out when you’ve got very little to spend? The easiest answer is Taco Bell, but aside from that, local chains Eat ‘N’ Park or Primanti’s. We can–and have–eaten full meals at both for about 25 bucks for both of us, and we could get that even cheaper if we had to.
  5. What TV show’s characters’ hangout spot do you most wish were right around the corner? I don’t know! Most of them don’t sound super appealing, but I think it’s because I wouldn’t want to run into those particular characters.

Saturday 9: Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart (1982)

Unfamiliar with this week’s song. Hear it here.

1) With whom did you most recently have a “heart-to-heart” talk? Eh, maybe my mom? We talked a little bit about religion and the state of the Catholic church.

2) When this song was on the charts, audiences were tuning in to a TV show called Hart to Hart. Are you familiar with it? No.

3) In the music video, Kenny Loggins plays an illustrator. It’s said that the hardest thing to draw is a straight line, because all the joints in your hand have to work together in sync. Can you draw a straight line, without the aid of a ruler or a straight edge? Probably not. I’ll think it’s straight, but it probably won’t be.

4) This video also prominently features teddy bears. A 2018 article in the NY Post estimates that 4 in 10 adults has a plush toy of his/her own. Are you one of the 40%? I am. I have a few I’ve gotten as little gifts, especially from my brother, and I also still have a lot from when I was a kid. Most of those are gonna be gone through, but I’d like to hold on to some.

5) Kenny Loggins performed in a tribute to Aretha Franklin at Carnegie Hall. Do you have a favorite Aretha Franklin song? Not really.

6) Kenny cowrote this song with Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers. You can also hear Michael on the background vocals. Do you have a favorite Doobie Brothers song? I didn’t think I did, but I decided to look, and I do quite like “Listen to the Music.”

7) The third cowriter is David Foster. 1982 was a big year for Foster, since Chicago had a big hit with another of his compositions, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.” Do you have a favorite Chicago song? Nope. Not a big fan of theirs.

8) In 1982, when this song was popular, Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide killed 7 people in Chicago. In response, tamper-proof packaging was introduced. What’s the last thing you opened that required you break a seal? Cottage cheese.

9) Random question – You’re having a party. Which guest annoys you most: the one who arrives 20 minutes early, or the one who shows up 20 minutes late? Neither? I guess if I have to pick, 20 minutes early because I’m almost definitely spending those 20 minutes finishing up cleaning, but it’s not enough to be a big deal. And for parties, being 20 minutes late is generally not a big deal.

Friday 5: Body of Evidence

  1. Among people you know, who’s got the softest shoulder? My husband, which is probably obvious. He’s supportive and sympathetic, and I can talk to him about anything, of course. He’s the one I go to first.
  2. Among people you know, who’s got the stoutest heart? It was probably my dad, and frankly, most of the time, it manifested in bad ways–he wasn’t always empathetic, and I think sometimes he could come off as callous without intending to. I think what he saw as strength and pragmatism sometimes came off as being cold and uncaring, mostly because of poor word choice and a bad sense of timing. But he didn’t care what people thought of him, and he’d give pretty blunt advice.
  3. Among people you know, who’s got the most soul? Ooh, I don’t know. I’m gonna go with my six-month-old niece, Eliana, who loves life right now.
  4. Among people you know, who’s got the biggest mouth? My best friend, Terra. Now, she’s shy, so generally, no, but if she gets pissed off enough, she’s not holding back. She’s certainly pissed off a few exes, and I know what you’re thinking–that’s how they ended up exes, but nope.
  5. Among people you know, who’s got the toughest liver? Oof, my friend Marion. The amount I’ve alcohol I’ve seen consumed…although my brother and I can hold our own, too. Not necessarily in such mass quantities, but neither of us really gets hungover, and it’s certainly not because we’ve never been drunk enough.

Saturday 9: The Addams Family

The Addams Family (1964)
Unfamiliar with this week’s song. Hear it here.

1) One of TV’s spookiest families was inspired by a series of New Yorker cartoons. What’s the last magazine you flipped through? Most likely Rolling Stone.

2) The Addams’ butler, Lurch, was originally conceived as a mute. But then actor Ted Cassidy ad libbed the line, “You rang?” and Lurch had a voice, and a catchphrase. Can you think of another catchphrase connected to a TV character? “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”

3) Now here’s the most important question of the week: Do you prefer The Addams Family or The Munsters? Growing up, it was The Munsters, but I think I’ve shifted to The Addams Family.

4) What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen? I don’t know. I remember thinking Signs was terrifying when it first came out–I was maybe 12 or 13–but there’s nothing that stands out to me still as being the scariest ever. I found The Exorcist to be underwhelming.

5) Thursday was Halloween. What goodies did you give the trick or treaters? We don’t get any trick-or-treaters here! It’s a bummer.

6) Are you attending/have you attended any Halloween parties this year? I really wanted to have one, but the timing just wasn’t working out. I went to parties around Halloween, but none specifically for the holiday. I’m hoping next year, we’ll actually have one. I’ve always wanted to.

7) Did you carve a jack o’lantern this year? No, that was something my family never got into.

8) Do you eat candy corn all year around … only at Halloween … or never? Only at Halloween, but that’s another thing I didn’t do this year.

9) In 1964, when The Addams Family premiered, one of the most popular store-bought Halloween costumes was Bambi. It came with a plastic mask held on by a thin elastic band. Tell us about a memorable Halloween costume from your childhood. Ooh, I don’t know! I never did anything that really stands out, except for maybe the year I was four and the whole family went as the Flintstones.