- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- What are you most likely to reach for when you stress-eat? I’m not really a stress eater at all, but if I happen to be hungry and angry or burned out, pasta. It’s my favorite food overall anyway.
- When were you last disappointed by a meal? Speaking of pasta, we went out to see Rocky Horror as usual and ate out before, and I ordered this pasta that wasn’t bad or anything, but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. The sauce had a flavor to it I wasn’t too thrilled with.
- What food are you sad you can’t get anymore? All of my grandma’s cooking. My aunt has nailed down her apricot cookies and poppyseed cake and I’m confident we do a good job with her potato salad, but we also never got it quite right. And her cottage cheese and dumplings–that’s a super easy one that’s not, like, a recipe unique to her or anything and could be duplicated just fine, it’s just that I’ve never tried. I should.
- For what food will you make an exception to a personal rule? Speaking of Grandma’s food, my mom makes her soups on occasion, which are of course made with meat, and I’m a vegetarian. I’ll also still eat her rigatoni, even though that has meat in the sauce. I avoid it as much as possible. Shrimp is also still a weakness of mine, although I successfully avoid it almost all of the time, and good, fresh crab tempts me anytime I’m at the beach.
- What’s something you really like but would never order while dining out because you have it at home all the time? It’s not necessarily because I have it at home a lot, but any Polish food that’s common in the family at holidays and such, I think in part because the family does it the best, of course, and it just feels pointless. Now, if there’s a restaurant that has a reputation for that cuisine or a specific food, I’ll try it–I did that with this Hungarian place we went to with Marissa and Meri where I got pierogis. And for a while, I stopped eating eggplant parmesan when I went out because I preferred how I make it at home. I haven’t made it in a while, though, and I should get back into that.
As always, from Friday 5.
Saturday 9: Miss Me More (2018)
1) This song is about a girl who ditched her high heels so she wouldn’t be taller than her beau. Tell us about the most recent addition to your footwear wardrobe. Do you need to go shoe shopping? I absolutely do not, but I love shoes. I bought a pair of vegan leather boots most recently.
2) She sings that she misses the sheets on the bed she made herself. As you answer these questions, is your bed made? Here’s the thing–aside from when fresh sheets are ready, I find making the bed to be an absolutely pointless chore. You’re making it look tidy for who, exactly, and what reason? Beds are for sleeping, which we do every night, and I’m not interested in a chore I have to repeat every day that’s essentially only for aesthetics. So no, my bed is not made.
3) This video shows her in a ring. Have you ever worn boxing gloves? Nope.
4) This week’s featured artist, Kelsea Ballerini, got married on Christmas Day in 2017. That makes their anniversary easy to remember. Are you celebrating any birthdays or anniversaries this month? My brother’s birthday was the 15th, and it would’ve been my grandfather’s the day before. The anniversary of his death, though, is the 18th.
5) Kelsea has been quoted as saying, “Perfect doesn’t exist.” She worries that we exhaust ourselves “trying to be something that isn’t real.” How about you? Do you believe your best is good enough? Or do you strive for perfection? I’d say I do my best. Perfection is great, but it’s unattainable, and although I’d sometimes describe myself as a perfectionist, I also know there’s no such thing.
6) One of Kelsea’s tattoos is a square inside of a circle, aka a square peg in a round hole, on her left wrist. She says it’s there to remind her that it’s OK to “not fit the mold of what normal might be.” Tell us about a time where you felt like a square peg in a round hole. I felt it with some friends for a time, and I’ve felt it with in-laws. But in the case, I knew that going in, which makes it a little different, I think.
7) In 2018, when this song was popular, French President Emmanuel Macron lowered fuel taxes. When it’s time to fill your tank, do you shop around for the best price? Not usually, unless I just happen to be on a longer drive and know I’ll pass a few gas stations and can use an app to find the cheapest option. But otherwise, it makes more sense to go with what’s convenient. Besides, enough gas stations have some sort of loyalty program that I’m usually able to save at least a little money wherever I do go.
8) Also in 2018, Luxembourg made all public transportation free. When is the last time you rode a bus or train? It wasn’t public transportation, but I rode a bus last winter as part of a trip to D.C. I haven’t ridden an actual train in a several years, but I have ridden a subway train in the last few months.
9) Random question: When did you most recently say, either out loud or to yourself, “I haven’t got a thing to wear?” Whenever I left the house last, which was yesterday, Sunday. I work from home, so it’s not usually an issue.
- What’s the best striped food? Fudge Stripe cookies, which sound delicious right now.
- What’s the best spotted food? Huh, I can’t think of any. Or at least not any that I eat.
- What’s the best layered food? Lasagna. Sure, it’s the most obvious answer, but pasta is my favorite thing, and layers of pasta and cheese smothered in sauce? Yes. I make a pretty good eggplant lasagna, too, when I think about doing it.
- What’s the best swirly food? Cinnamon buns, especially hot and fresh, even if the cinnamon and frosting get stuck under my long fingernails.
- What’s the best black-and-white food? Sushi, duh.
As always, from Friday 5.
- What does your favorite mug look like? My favorites are the ones I used to get at the Renaissance festival–hand-blown glass, with these multi-colored rainbow patterns. They’re so pretty. But I also have an impressive collection of novelty mugs, and those frontrunners are one with a cat giving the finger, one with an alien that says, “I believe in you,” and, of course, one with the Pizza Hut logo that says, “Pizza Slut.”
- With a typical dinner out, how many glasses of water do you drink? Man, like one? I usually drink iced tea, first of all, but even then, I never hit more than two. My husband, on the other hand, probably hits three or four at a minimum.
- What’s something for which you recently used a paper cup, other than to hold a beverage? I have a habit of using them to hold other trash, like food wrappers or napkins. Or other cups.
- How confidently do you pour a drink into a tumbler with your non-dominant hand? I almost never do it so it wouldn’t be great, but I don’t think it would be horrible, either.
- What’s going to be your holy grail for this weekend? Seeing my niece and sleeping in.
I’d Really Love to See You Tonight (1976)
Unfamiliar with this week’s song. Hear it here.
1) This song is about a guy who, out of the blue, phones an ex. Have you ever spontaneously phoned or emailed a former lover? Has an ex ever reached out to you? I don’t really have any exes!
2) He suggests walking through the park, taking a drive along the beach, or watching TV. Do any of those suggestions appeal to you right now? All of them do, but the beach is the most appealing, as always.
3) “England Dan” got his nickname because he was a passionate Beatles fan and would affect a British accent when he talked about his favorite group. Are you good at imitating accents? I think I am, but don’t most people?
4) Dan met John Colley when they were high school classmates in Dallas. When they were still kids, they agreed that “John Ford Coley” would be a better stage name. Think back to your high school days. Which of your friends daydreamed along with you? I don’t know! Probably the fellow theater nerds, but I really don’t think anyone shared my daydreams.
5) After the duo disbanded, “England Dan” went to Nashville, billed himself by his real name — Dan Seals — and recorded country music. Who is your favorite country performer? It’s a cliche, but probably Johnny Cash. I’m not a big fan of country, and the country I do like tends to be older–those were the musicians doing it the best. I can’t stand this bro country that’s about, like, trucks. Johnny Cash had actual talent and integrity.
6) Today John Ford Coley lives in TN. He performs occasionally and raises horses. Have you ever been to TN? I haven’t, but despite my dislike of most country music, I’d like to go! It seems like just about everyone who visits enjoys it.
7) In 1975, when this song was popular, Foster Grant Sunglasses had a suggested retail price of $5/pair. Do you buy sunglasses more for fashion or utility? Both? I’m the kind of person who has pairs of sunglasses all over the house and car and is always buying more, but I also use them often. My husband teases me over what I consider to be “bright” outside.
8) The most popular movie of 1975 was Jaws. Have you seen it? Not the whole thing. It’s one of those movies that’s been on TV so you put it on but you never sit and devote your time to it beginning to end.
9) Random question: Excluding anyone related to you by blood or marriage, what man are you closest to? I don’t know! That rules out most of the men I know! I’ve lost touch with pretty much all of my male friends over the years, and with a few of them, that’s certainly a good thing.
- What were you recently sure of, but are now having doubts about? My job. Sort of. So the thing is I always knew automation would eliminate my job one day. We’re not at that point yet because although technology has improved, it’s not good enough to totally replace humans, but it does mean that the nature of my job may change soon. If I’m right, it’ll go in a direction I don’t really want to. It was never my dream job to begin with, and maybe if I was a new hire and not eight years in I’d feel differently, but it may end up that my daily tasks end up being things I don’t enjoy as much. Essentially, I’d like to start looking for other opportunities so I can bail before it gets to that point.
- What’s something you’d like to see this weekend but probably won’t? There are a couple movies out I’d like to see, but so would my mom and brother. He had drill for the weekend, so we’re holding out until he’s free.
- When were your doubts pleasantly verified? In January, my husband was told the company is moving his site to Mexico. At the time, it looked like that was gonna pan out within a couple of months, but every week or so, he comes home with updates for how horribly the relocation is going that have had us both doubting it would happen on time. Sure enough, there’s chatter they need to remain open for another year. We know for sure it’ll be around into early 2020.
- When were your doubts pleasantly disproven? My best friend always jokes that her exes come crawling back, and it’s true–after almost every breakup she’s ever had, they’ve gotten back together. The last dude she dumped was a dick, and I doubted the breakup would stick, as usual. I was wrong. Hallelujah.
- What’s something you have absolutely no doubts about? My marriage. My own determination. My current crop of friends. That everything does work out, it just might take a long, long time.
From Friday 5.