Saturday 9: Stars and Stripes Forever

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

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle. Though our song choice is humorous, we honor their sacrifice in our hearts.
1) Memorial Day was introduced after the Civil War. War memorials, as well as the graves of veterans, are to be decorated with flags and flowers on this day to show our appreciation. Is there a war memorial in your neighborhood? You know, I never thought there was, but we actually passed by a small one today on our way to a walking trail. It’s not for anything in particular, it’s more of a general memorial for veterans.
2) Andrew Johnson, our 17th President, was in office the first time Memorial Day (then called Decoration Day) was celebrated. Have you ever met one of our 45 Presidents? I shook Bill Clinton’s hand. I wouldn’t say I met him because it was a very rushed sort of thing at the end of a speech he gave like a mile down the road from where my cousins lived.
3) According to the AAA, 36 million Americans will hit the road this weekend and drive more than 50 miles. Will you be traveling far from home this weekend? I will be, but I normally don’t. We’re not going too far, but my fiancé’s one sister moved to Erie with her boyfriend last year and his other sister has joined them for the summer. They’re having a cookout, so we’re spending Sunday and part of Monday up there.
4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What’s your favorite picnic food? Pasta salad. Which I of course consider appropriate for all occasions.
5) Have you packed away your winter clothes? Or is the weather still so changeable that you still may need something warm? It’s getting a little chilly at night and I’m sensitive to temperature changes, so it’s too risky to pack away long sleeves. But I’m also not the kind of person who packs stuff away for different seasons, and maybe that’s why. I could definitely use the closet space, though.
6) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on? I believe the air is turned to on, but it’s not hot enough outside for it to actually run. It’s in the 60s, and I keep it set in the mid-70s.
7) This week, we are featuring the Muppets. Jim Henson made the first Muppet out of an old coat, and he used ping pong balls for the eyes. Do you have a talent for do-it-yourself/arts and crafts projects? Eh. Depends on what it is. I need a little guidance, that’s for sure–I’m not one to come up with things on my own, but if I have instructions on how to make something, I can do it and I have fun.
8) Random question: Think of the last thing you bought. Did you get a good deal? It was groceries at a chain that’s a little more expensive than others, but we bought certain things on sale and I use Ibotta, an app that has rebates on certain items you can them redeem for gift cards after you earn like $20 in rebates. If you’d like to try it, use my referral code!
9) Crazy Sam needs your help: What song or a performer would you like to see featured in a Saturday 9 this summer? You’ll begin seeing your suggestions as Saturday 9 themes in mid-June. Thanks! I’ll go with what I’m listening to now–The Temptations.

Friday 5: MVP

  1. What’s the most important single ingredient in trail mix? Something sweet. One could reasonable conclude that what I really want is candy, not trail mix.
  2. What’s the most important single topping in a taco? I’m sure some people are gonna say beef, but I’m here to tell you I’m a vegetarian who eats meatless tacos. I’m having a hard time pinning down a single important topping–I’m gonna call it a tie between cheese and lettuce. Cheese for flavor, lettuce for that fresh crunch.
  3. What’s the coolest instrument in an orchestra? I’m really partial to violin. It’s just too pretty.
  4. What’s your favorite animal at the zoo? Oh, man. I go to the zoo every year because I am a child. So…all of them? In no particular order, any large cat (especially tigers), polar bears, monkeys because I find them fascinating to watch, and otters because I love them. Otters might be near the top based solely on the inhuman sounds I made last year when I saw two floating together.
  5. Which are the best pieces in a sampler box of chocolates? A local candy company makes amazing peanut-butter meltaways. I got my parents a box of assorted chocolates for Easter and when I was over recently, my mom offered me a piece, but I wanted a meltaway and she’d already eaten them all. So that about tells you a lot about both of us. A close second would be anything coconut, and the advantage to that is no one else in my family likes coconut at all. Another local company makes really good coconut clusters, and when I was still live with my parents, I basically got them all to myself in the annual Christmas candy box.

From here.

Saturday 9: Him or Me

Saturday 9: Him or Me — What’s It Gonna Be? (1967)

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

1) In this song, a man pleads with his girlfriend to make up her mind. Do you consider yourself decisive? The fact that I was gonna write a response explaining that I can be sometimes tells me that I’m really not. I’d say in general, though, no–I don’t really go back and forth on things. But I’m good for struggling with certain decisions.

Since this song is all about either/or, we’re using that as our theme this Saturday …

2) Choose a condiment: Catsup or mustard? Ketchup, strictly Heinz.

3) Choose a sci-fi series: Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars, mostly because I’m more familiar with it.

4) Choose your spy: James Bond or Jason Bourne? James Bond, but I have a feeling that when I get around to tackling the Bourne movies, I’ll prefer him.

5) Choose your winter sport: Football or hockey? HOCKEY. LET’S GO PENS!

6) Choose your breakfast: Pancakes or waffles? Waffles. With strawberries and whipped cream.

7) Choose your side: French fries or potato chips? Fries. With Heinz ketchup.

8) Choose your chore: Washing dishes or doing laundry? Laundry, easy.

9) Choose your nextdoor neighbors: Munsters or Addams Family? Hmm. I guess Addams Family.

Friday 5: Malfunction Junction

  1. When have you had a wardrobe malfunction? I came close last weekend–I had a loose top on and was outside in the wind, and it was just the perfect combination to wear it was blowing my shirt right up.
  2. When did you last have a problem with your alarm clock? It didn’t go off a few days ago, but we have no idea why. Although we can’t rule out the very real possibility that I turned it off while I was half-asleep the second it went off.
  3. What was your most recent computer problem, and what was the fix? I have trouble sometimes with certain pages not loading. Usually a browser restart fixes it.
  4. What’s something about cars you know specifically because you had to have one repaired? Um…nothing. Not because I’ve never had a repair, but because my brain doesn’t retain the information.
  5. Have you had any brain malfunctions this week? There were a couple errors in transcripts at work that I didn’t catch until I’d looked at the same sentences a few times and finally realized it, but with transcripts, it’s super easy to not really read them closely. And then I forgot what day of the week it was just about every day but Monday and Friday.

Saturday 9: Mama Can’t Buy You Love

Mama Can’t Buy You Love (1979)
Unfamiliar with this week’s song? Hear it here.

1) This week’s artist, Elton John, was made an Office of Arts and Letters — one of France’s highest honors for people who have contributed significantly to the arts.What’s the most recent compliment you received? My fiancé compliments me pretty regularly. I got a couple as he was walking out the door for his tai chi class just now.

2) In 2013, Elton had to cancel an international concert tour because he had an appendectomy. Do you still have your appendix? Yes.

3) In 1979, Elton John was the first Western rock star to tour the Soviet Union. Would you like to visit Russia? I mean, I’d like to travel all of the world, honestly, just to see it, but Russia doesn’t strike me as the best of places to visit these days.
4) Elton and his mother hadn’t spoken in years but he reached out to her and healed their beach in honor of her 90th birthday in 2015. Who is the oldest person you know? I’m not sure! My great-grandma was in her 90s when she died and my grandfather who died recently was in his 80s. Maybe my grandfather’s wife, who I think was pretty close to him in age.

5) Flowers and plants are popular on Mother’s Day. How is your yard or garden? Is it green and/or blooming? I live in an apartment, so I don’t really have one–just a little courtyard with some trees and plants. But the goal when we buy a house is to definitely have a garden.

6) Mother’s Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and St. Patrick’s Day. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from “Congratulations on Your New Job” to “Happy Retirement.” Who received the most recent card you bought? My godmother, and this just reminded me that I forgot to put it in the mail.

7) Sam’s mother is very careful when she unwraps presents because she likes to save money by to reusing wrapping paper and gift bags. Tell us one way that you economize. I save gift bags, but not actual wrapping paper. I’m more likely to patch holes in clothes than replace them outright, depending on the level of wear and stuff. I resell things when it makes sense to, and if it doesn’t, I donate them or find a place that’ll recycle.

8) Mother Winters used to scold Crazy Sam for leaving her dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as a grown up, she still leaves dirty dishes in the sink. How about you? Is your sink or dishwasher empty? Ha, almost never. Dishes are hard to keep up with if you don’t have a dishwasher, even with just two people.

9) RANDOM QUESTION: What size mattress do you sleep on — twin, full, queen or king? My fiancé and I cram into a full, and the day we upgrade to a king will be the best day of my life.

Friday 5: Guestimation

  1. How well do you adjust to sleeping in an unfamiliar place? If I’m not at home or somewhere I’m really comfortable, I sleep like shit, at least compared to how I usually sleep. I wake up a lot.
  2. When were you recently someone’s guest, and when were you recently someone’s host? My last overnight stay was probably at my parents’, but aside from that, friend Emily hosted us last weekend after dinner. I rarely host–the apartment is too messy and too small, but I’d like to do it more. Our last overnight guests were probably my fiancé’s brother and sister-in-law when they were in town for my brother’s wedding, but his sister Emily hung out for a little bit once.
  3. What’s the ickiest place where you’ve ever showered or bathed? I don’t know. I honestly can’t think of a place that was really terrible. Even outdoor showers at the beach aren’t bad because, well, it’s the beach. Maybe at camp with Terra? There’s no running water, so we just kind of rinse off in the river.
  4. What’s something you don’t need but insist on taking when you travel? I always pack more clothes than I need just in case, and I always take a book. I consider this a need, though.
  5. Who’s got a comfy couch? My Uncle Clark used to have a great one, but he got rid of it. Maybe my parents? Mine’s comfy but as old as I am and falling apart, so…

From here.

Saturday 9: The Tide Is High

Saturday 9: The Tide Is High (1980)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.
1) This song was originally performed in 1966 by a Jamaican band called The Paragons. Jamaica is the most popular vacation destination in the Caribbean. What’s your ideal vacation? (Relaxing on the beach, sightseeing in a new city, skiing the slopes, spending time with family, etc.) I love beaches, but probably any vacation visiting somewhere I’ve never been.

2) In this song, Debbie Harry sings that she’s not the kind of girl who gives up easily. How about you? Do you hang on stubbornly? Or do you know when to say “when?” I’m pretty stubborn, but I do have a breaking point and I do know when hanging on isn’t worth it.

3) Blondie is a group that took it’s name from the lead singer’s most identifiable characteristic, her hair. If your band was named after your hair, what would it be called? Curly

4) Before her career as a singer took off, Debbie supported herself as a waitress. She even served drinks while wearing bunny ears and tail at The Playboy Club. Have you ever worked in food service? Just washing dishes as a kid in the restaurant where my dad worked.

5) Debbie points to David Bowie as a major influence on her music and career. What’s your favorite Bowie song? Oh God, I can’t pick just one, but I will tell you that there’s one that’s a strong possibility for the first dance at my wedding. I don’t want to ruin it, though.

6) In 1980, when this song was popular, the best selling issue of Rolling Stone featured Robert Redford on the cover. Who is your all-time favorite actor? I don’t know if I have one! Like all things, I have a few favorites and can’t single out just one.

7) In 1980, Ted Turner revolutionized how we watch TV when he introduced CNN. Do you have any subscriptions services in addition to cable — like Hulu, Amazon Prime or Netflix? I actually don’t have cable at all, but I do have Netflix. My brother has Amazon Prime, so I use that when I want to, and anything else, I just have my mom record and I watch it at her place.

8) John Lennon was murdered in 1980. Today there’s a specially landscaped section of Central Park called Strawberry Fields in his honor. If you had a day to spend in New York, what would you want to see? Definitely that, probably a Broadway show depending on what’s playing, and whatever touristy things I haven’t done the other times I’ve gone, because funnily enough, while I have done a little sightseeing, I’ve never done the big things. I went with my mom and her best friend one spring to visit another friend of ours, and she was sort of our guide, which meant we got more of a New Yorker’s experience. It had its advantages for sure, though.

9) We’re going shopping! Which do you need to add to your wardrobe: underwear, shoes or a swimsuit? None, but if anything, swimsuit. Almost all of mine are old enough that I was probably smaller then.