Friday 5: Vive la Différence

  1. What’s a food that tastes completely unlike anything else you can think of? My beloved pad thai, I think, because it seems like no two restaurants do it the same.
  2. What’s a movie that’s completely unlike any movie you can think of? This is tough, because I so often see pieces of things in other things. Maybe Mulholland Drive.
  3. Who’s a musician or band you consider completely unoriginal but whom you still like? I love rock, but I’ll admit there’s little variety in the genre. The bands I love are just the ones who are doing it really, really well, because some rock bands can and do sound very generic. Some of the rock bands I’ve come across in recent years haven’t brought anything new to the music world, but they’ve just had kick-ass songs.
  4. Who or what are two people or things you keep mixing up with one another? I don’t know why I do this because they’re very different things and it’s really obvious which is which, but the movie Mad Max and the restaurant Mad Mex. Also, blond actors named Chris. Except Chris Pratt. I never get him confused with anyone.
  5. What’s something you’ll do this weekend that’s different from your normal weekend activity? Going dancing! It’s time for the annual Dancing Queen fundraiser at the firehall, so the usual relatives who like to hit a dance floor are going out tonight. I’ll also be doing work in the new house, which is a normal weekend activity as of late but not a normal weekend activity in the grand scheme of things. It’s new to us, and it’s temporary.

As always, from Friday 5.


Saturday 9: High Noon

Saturday 9: High Noon (1952)

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

1) What will you be (or were you) doing at high noon on Saturday? I think I was at home doing not much of anything. Or wait, I think that’s when I was sleepy and took a brief nap.

2) In this song, Tex Ritter sings he doesn’t know what fate awaits him. How strong is your sense of intuition? Tell us about a time you knew what would happen before it occurred. I think it’s good when I pay attention to it. In college, I was in class one morning and my mom sent me a text saying to call her when I was done, and I just knew she was gonna tell me that my grandma had died. And sure enough, that’s what it was.

3) This song was the theme of a hit movie western by the same name. It starred Gary Cooper as a small-town sheriff. When did you last interact with a member of law enforcement? I don’t know. Definitely not recently. Maybe when I got my last speeding ticket, and that was a couple years ago now.

4) Grace Kelly co-starred as the “fair-haired beauty” mentioned in this song. Four years later, she gave up films to become Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco. Which job seems like more fun — movie star or royal? Movie star. The scrutiny on you as a royal would be too aggravating. I’m sure Meghan Markle is really happy, but I kind of feel bad for her because she can’t go anywhere without her appearance and behavior being heavily scrutinized. I’m sure the royal perks are awesome, but that’s certainly not one of them.

5) Though he cultivated a “just plain folk” persona, this week’s featured artist, Tex Ritter, was really cosmopolitan and highly educated, earning a degree in economics from the University of Texas before going on to study pre-law at Northwestern. Do you think the “real you” is consistent with the image you convey? I do, actually. I don’t really put on any kind of facade or try to present a certain image or version of myself. My interactions with people are sometimes different–obviously, my coworkers get the more professional version of me than, say, my friends and family do, but the core of who I am is always there.

6) Tex Ritter was the father of Emmy-winning comedic actor John Ritter. John is remembered fondly as the voice of Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Clifford appeals to children because he is “gentle, friendly, loyal, lovable and clumsy.” Do any of those adjectives apply to you? I think I have little bits of each one.

7) Tex is also the grandfather of Jason Ritter, star of ABC-TV’s Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. If you followed one of your grandparents into their line of work, what would you be doing? If I had to pick one, I’d go into psychology like my paternal grandfather. And that’s the route my brother went, actually. I have the interest, but the career path I chose was a bigger pull for me. Psych would be a close second.

8) In 1952, the year “High Noon” was popular, Stopette, the first antiperspirant deodorant spray, was introduced. Do you use a deodorant spray, stick or roll on? Right now, I use what could best be described as a bar from Lush.

9) Random question: What’s something you have always wanted to own, but never have? A sewing machine. There’s no space in our apartment, but now that we’re in the process of moving into a house, I may finally get one. I’m gonna wait until our furniture is moved–and after we buy some new furniture–and see what space is left, though.

Friday 5: Aloon Again, Naturally

  1. With which Looney Tunes character do you have the most in common? I don’t know! I didn’t watch a whole lot of Looney Tunes growing up, and I can’t think of any personality overlap. I can say a went through a big Tweety phase as a kid, though.
  2. Who or what are your metaphorical Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote? Myself, I guess–I’m the coyote chasing goals, the Road Runner, and it’s not so much that I never reach those goals so much as it is I find new ones to chase.
  3. What’s up, doc? Went for a walk in the park since our first nice weekend of spring decided to act more like summer, went to the outlets for a food-truck festival, am now home and really need to shower.
  4. When did you last hear some opera music? I was listening to NPR on my way home the other day, and they were interviewing a former opera singer and asked her to sing a few lines.
  5. What’s a good life lesson you learned from Looney Tunes? None, really. I didn’t watch it a lot, like I said, so I didn’t take away much.

As always, from Friday 5.

Saturday 9: Nights on Broadway

Saturday 9: Nights on Broadway (1975)

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

1) It’s estimated that there are more than 200 separate streets called “Broadway” in the United States. Does your town have a Broadway? I don’t think so, but I know a couple towns nearby do. We do have a Wall St., though! And boy is it a letdown.

2) Think of the last time you celebrated well into the night. What street were you on? I’ll give you two–the more recent one would be New Year’s, but that barely counts as a celebration because it was four of us eating pizza and trying to keep ourselves awake. That was on a Jefferson St. Just before that, the weekend of Christmas, my husband and I went to a couple parties and hung out with some friends, and one ended up being a little get-together where much karaoke was sung into the very early morning hours. And that was Slaughterhouse Lane, the best street name ever.

3) The Bee Gees blame it all on those songs that go straight to the heart. What love song always makes you go, “aw …?” Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” It has some amazing lines. It’s also one of those songs where I love every cover version I’ve ever heard.

4) Even though their sound depended on tight harmonies, all three Bee Gees were heavy smokers, which is not good for the throat. What habit do you have that wish you could break? My messiness–not putting things away, not cleaning quite as often as I should, that kind of thing.

5) In addition to the three Gibbs who sang this song, there was a fourth brother, Andy, who also had hit records. But did you know the Gibbs’ had a sister, Lesley? Your turn: share some trivia that’s rattling around in your head. This shouldn’t really be a surprise, but the way we Americans eat sushi is absolutely not the way its meant to be eaten.

6) “Nights on Broadway” was recorded in Miami. When you think of Florida, what comes to mind? Beaches.

7) In 1975, when this song was popular, Sony introduced the Betamax and JVC gave us the VCR. Sam admits she was glad to see VCRs go because she never could program hers. What about you? Do you adapt easily to new technology? Yes and no. I’m a slow adopter because half the time, I just don’t care. I’m not the type who feels the need to get each new thing as it’s released, but when I do upgrade, I have no problem setting up something or learning how to use it.

8) The Bee Gees’ greatest success came two years later, in 1977, with the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. Have you ever seen the John Travolta movie? No, but my mom showed me clips of Staying Alive specifically to show me Finola Hughes, since my mom and I are both fans of her on General Hospital.

9) Random question — Your mail carrier is very attractive, and flirts with you each day when dropping off the mail. Would you a) ignore it or b) let the carrier know, firmly but politely, that you’re not interested or c) complain to your local post office or d) subscribe to more magazines and order more stuff to guarantee that the mail carrier comes every day? I’m happily married, so I’d ignore it until I felt like I had to say something. If it continued, then I’d complain.

Friday 5: Welcome to the Terrordome

  1. What’s the scariest movie you’ve seen? The most scared I’ve ever been during a movie was when I saw Signs, which I know some people are gonna think is really dumb, but first of all, when M. Night Shyamalan is on, he’s on, and I get that people hate the end and I get why, but the rest of the movie does a lot really, really well. And when you’re like 12 or 13 and aliens are the easiest way to scare you, there ya go. That said, it’s not one that still scares me–although I think it’s rare to find a scary movie that can keep up the tension on multiple viewings.
  2. What most recently startled you? A deer running kind of in my peripheral vision near the side of the road, but mostly because of a fear of hitting one.
  3. What’s something in your residence that’s frightening? Man, just the whole state of my apartment. It’s a mess, but we’re in the process of moving–and in terms of the house, it’s just the unknowns. Like, you know how after some time living in a place, you know what it sounds like? I’ve been around enough that I know the sounds of like the heat and the hot-water tank, but I don’t feel like I know it well enough to tune out your typical house sounds the way we all do eventually. I’m gonna sleep like shit the first night there, I’m sure. There’s also the fact that a lightbulb burned out at the precise moment I read this question…
  4. What kinds of social settings cause you anxiety? I don’t like making phone calls, and I don’t like answering the phone at work in the very rare instances where I’ve had to. I also don’t like being alone at a party, or like a small get-together where I only know one or two. I feel really self-conscious and I don’t want to be left with people I don’t know, so I tend to hover around the people I know. If I start talking to someone, I’m fine, I just don’t like feeling like I’m sitting there by myself, and I’m clearly not one to make smalltalk with people around me.
  5. What’s something you are no longer afraid of? Standing up for myself and putting myself first, even if its means pissing people off or losing them entirely. Somewhat related, losing friends, in the falling-out sense. I used to think it was the worst possible thing that could happen, and then it did happen, and I came out on the other end of it more than just okay. I’m not afraid I’m a terrible writer anymore, either.

As always, from here.

Saturday 9: Easter Parade

Saturday 9: Easter Parade (“In Your Easter Bonnet”) (1948)

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

1) This song is about a special Easter hat to be worn with your “Sunday best.” Will you be getting dressed up this weekend? I did! I do like to dress nice for Easter. I wore a mint-green dress with small white flowers on it.

2) Judy Garland’s partner in this movie was supposed to be Gene Kelly, but he was unavailable because he broke his ankle playing volleyball. Have you ever lost a big opportunity because of a medical issue? I mean, I’ve missed out on a lot of fun due to sinus infections and stuff like that, but nothing huge.

3) Garland later confessed that, at first, she would have preferred Kelly because she knew him well and was intimidated by Fred Astaire. By the end of filming, she found she enjoyed Astaire a great deal. Can you think of a friend with whom you had a rocky relationship at the beginning? Not when we first met, no, but some notable messes in the middle. I’ve found that my first impression of someone tends to be accurate, so it’s off to a bad start, you’re probably not winning me over.
4) This song was inspired by New York City’s Easter Parade. Does your community host a similar event? No, but we have parades for every-damn-thing else, so I’m kind of surprised.

5) The biggest chocolate Easter egg was made in Italy, measured 34 feet tall and weighed a staggering 15,000 lbs. Do you thinks it’s possible to have too much chocolate? Yes, and at one time, I would’ve called this blasphemy, but my husband and I don’t eat candy very often, so when we get it for Easter or Christmas, it takes a long time to get through it and we end up with stockpiles of stuff we make very little progress on. I recently threw out some old Hershey kisses, which was a bummer.

6) Jelly beans are also popular this time of year. A 2013 poll tells us that red is by far the favorite jelly bean color, with yellow a distant second. Do you have a preference? Red, for sure, but only if we’re talking the fruit-flavored ones and not the weird minty and cinnamony ones my husband’s grandparents put out. You have to be careful with those because if you’re expecting lemon, you’re gonna be disappointed.

7) We’ve been talking a lot about sweets this morning. The only holiday that generates more candy sales is Halloween. When do you eat more candy: Easter or Halloween? Easter, because weirdly, I’m more in the mood for it then. I think it’s because we don’t do much for Halloween.

8) Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What makes you feel refreshed or rejuvenated? Sleep, bubble baths, fresh air, and exercise.

9)  This year, April Fool’s Day happens to coincide with Easter Sunday. Do you expect to fall victim to any pranks this weekend? No one played any, but I don’t trust anything I’m told on April Fool’s Day, so I’m tough to get.


Friday 5: Waste

  1. What’s something you unintentionally threw away? I almost always throw away food packaging before I’ve read the instructions.
  2. What disgusting memory of garbage do you have? I once threw away some sort of produce–a cucumber, I think–that ended up, like, rotting and leaking out of the bag and into the bottom of the can. It smelled horrific. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever smelled. I had to dump out the nasty liquid and wash the garbage can, and I kind of wanted to puke.
  3. How are you about deleting emails? Eh, great with some, horrible with others. I go through it every day and delete anything that’s junk, but I let things like coupons pile up, thinking I may want to use them in the near future. But I almost never do, so my inbox is tons of expired coupons. The one good thing here is when I do buy something online and check my email for a coupon, I do delete a bunch of the old ones. So I might delete a large chunk in one go, it just takes me forever to do it.
  4. What do you treasure that someone else considers trash? Certain clothes, I think. I don’t care about what’s in style, I care about what I like. So while I don’t buy based on that, I do end up with things that would probably fit a certain time, but I also don’t purge based on that, either. I’m not the type to rid my closet of things some people would consider outdated, I just purge what I don’t like anymore.
  5. What’s the litter like in your neighborhood? I’m kind of in neighborhood limbo right now–we closed on a house on Friday but are taking our time moving in. The apartment is downtown, which has a bit more litter–it’s not horrible and I’ve certainly seen worse in other cities, but you do see some. The house is in more of a country setting, where we have a proper yard and trees in it and close neighbors but not so close that we don’t have privacy or space. Fewer people are driving through, and the ones that are are there for a reason. I haven’t noticed a scrap of anything there.

As always, from Friday 5.