Saturday 9: Bonanza

Saturday 9: Bonanza (1959)

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

1) Bonanza ran on NBC for 14 seasons. Today it’s rerun on Me-TV and TVLand. Were/are you a fan? No, I’ve never seen it.

2) The show centers on The Cartwrights, who lived on a massive ranch in Nevada. License plates in Nevada read, “The Silver State.” What’s on your license plate? The Keystone State.

3) Ben Cartwright made his fortune as a cattle rancher. What’s the last beef dish you ate? I’m a vegetarian, but given that my grandma’s food was my weakness, it was probably her beef soup.

4) Patriarch Ben had his eldest son, Adam, with his refined, bookish first wife, Elizabeth. Unfortunately, Elizabeth died in childbirth. Still Adam inherited her love of the written word. What’s the last book you finished? An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. I finished it yesterday and really enjoyed it. It was a neat little piece of kind of sci-fi, I guess? And for the record, that was a library book and my new current library pick is Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart by Joyce Carol Oates. So…completely different there.

5) Ben’s second son, Hoss, was born to his second wife, Inger, who was killed as the family traveled West by wagon train. Hoss inherited her open, friendly manner and her way with animals. Are there pets in your home? Of course! My husband’s gecko, which he’s had since he was 12, and our cat that we haven’t had a year yet.

6) Ben’s youngest, Joe, arrived after Ben married a third time to the passionate Marie, who died in a riding accident when her son was only five years old. Little Joe inherited her impetuosity. Do you consider yourself more spontaneous or predictable? It’s time I just accept that I’m a predictable person.

7) Samuel Clemons was a reporter in Virginia City at the time when the Cartwrights would have been there, and a fictionalized version of Mr. Clemons appeared in an episode of Bonanza. Without looking it up, do you know Samuel Clemons’ famous pen name? Yep! Mark Twain.

8) Hair was a big deal in the Bonanza dressing room. Three of the original four stars — Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts and Dan Blocker — all wore hairpieces. (The fourth, Michael Landon, began dying his hair while still in his 20s because he was going prematurely gray.) Have you ever worn a wig or a hairpiece? First of all, I have a longstanding crush on Michael Landon. But to answer the question, yes, I have. I wore a dark-brown bobbed wig in a high-school musical, and then outside of that, my friends and I were fans of donning bad wigs and hats and going out in public like that. Shoutout to the Taco Bell employee who nearly lost it and laughed but kept it together while we ordered.

9) Random question — Tell us the story behind one of your scars. I don’t really have any interesting ones. I don’t have many to start with, but right now, I do have one on each leg from the cat–one on my left thigh, one on my right shin. Both are from her trying to use my bare skin to brace herself.


Saturday 9: America the Beautiful

Unfamiliar with Frank Sinatra’s 1945 version of this song? Hear it here.

1) In 2016, a group recommended that this week’s song replace “The Star Spangled Banner” as our national anthem. They maintain it’s just as beautiful but easier to sing. How do you feel about this? I see the logic, but I think part of the appeal of “The Star Spangled Banner” is the history. This country isn’t really a fan of breaking from longstanding ways of doing things.

2) Katharine L. Bates said her lyrics were inspired by a trip to Pike’s Peak. What’s the most beautiful American spot you’ve ever visited? Nothing stands out, but I don’t mean that in a negative way. I actually think this country has a lot of beauty to it. I live near mountains and rivers, and I love vacationing at beaches. I think there’s a lot to appreciate.

3) The music was written by organist Samuel Augustus Ward. Both Bates and Ward were very formal when signing their names professionally — she including her middle initial and he with his full middle name. How about you? When you sign checks or documents, do you use your middle name or initial? Not usually, but there have been times when I’ve needed to.

4) In 1945, when this version of the song was recorded, America lost Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Frank Sinatra said, “I lost a hero.” What late, great American hero from our past would you like to honor today? Ooh, I don’t know.

5) Also in 1945, a 19-year-old “hoofer” waited outside the Los Angeles radio station where Sinatra was being interviewed. That was the beginning of the friendship between Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra. Tell us about your oldest friend. I have a few friends that I’ve known since middle school, and they’re great for a fun time.

6) The Fourth of July means we’re in the middle of summer. Are you careful about applying sunscreen? If I’m not gonna be outside very long, no, but if I am, definitely. I can’t afford not to be with this fair skin.

7) Mosquito bites can be a major summer annoyance. Are you scratching any itches right now? I have dry skin, so something is usually itchy somewhere.

8) Emergency rooms report an increase in wrist injuries in summer, with people falling off bikes and skateboards and jamming their wrists catching hard-hit softballs. Have you  been to the ER or Urgent Care during 2019? I have not, but one could argue I should’ve seen someone a couple weeks ago when I was pretty sure I had an ear infection. But I’m kind of prone to getting them and kind of tired of going to MedExpress every damn time.
9) New York is home to Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest every year on the 4th. Will hot dogs be consumed in your household this weekend? Vegan ones! I eat them for lunch sometimes.

Friday 5: Freeeeeeeeeedom!

  1. What’s a movie that makes you feel patriotic? Probably The Patriot and Independence Day.
  2. When you first started driving, what’s something you did mostly because you could? I was far more willing to run stupid errands or drive my brother back and forth from hanging out with friends or soccer practice. I also liked long drives a lot more than I do now, but a few months of driving over an hour to work and then two-ish years of having to drive three hours to visit my husband when we were dating in college killed anything I liked about it. It gets old fast.
  3. What’s a good song whose title contains some form of the word “free?” “Olly Olly Oxen Free” by Amanda Palmer, and, of course, “Freedom! ’90” by George Michael and “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty.
  4. When did you last unexpectedly receive something for free? On the 4th, my husband and I didn’t really have plans and decided to just kind of hang out and run to Home Depot to pick up a portable air conditioner unit that was ready for pick-up, and we wanted ice cream. After trying Rita’s and Dairy Queen, McDonald’s was our last resort. He ordered an Oreo McFlurry, but they accidentally made one of the new Stroopwafel ones instead and just let us have it.
  5. What’s something you’ve given freely in recent weeks? I was gonna say my time, but honestly, I don’t think I’ve even done that. Except maybe giving my time to help decorate for my husband’s sister’s wedding, but that’s just part of my duties as an in-law, not to mention beyond fair since she made all of our wedding favors for free.

From Friday 5.

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.

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.

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.

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.