Saturday 9: (Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You

(Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You (1938)

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

1) This version of “You Made Me Love You” is the teenaged Judy Garland’s fan letter to Clark Gable. Tell us about one of your teen crushes. Pretty much any dude in a rock band, especially if he sang or played guitar.

2) Garland sang to this to Gable at a birthday party thrown for him at MGM. Who is the last person you sang “Happy Birthday” to? I don’t know! We haven’t really done it in a while, even when we have celebrated a birthday. Maybe one of my in-laws?

3) Thinking of birthdays … Judy received an engagement ring from the man who would be her first husband, David Rose, for her 18th birthday. Are you wearing a ring, or any jewelry, as you answer these 9 questions? Nope. I just woke up a little bit ago and I’m just hanging out at home today while I have the day off, so no jewelry.

4) It’s said Judy’s favorite dish was steak and kidney pie. If you could have anything at all for dinner tonight, what would you choose? A pasta of any kind.

5) Judy was ambidextrous, writing with her left hand but playing tennis with her right. Are you equally comfortable using your right and left hands? Not at all.

6) To relax between takes of her most famous movie, The Wizard of Oz, Judy read comics in the newspaper. Do you still read a printed newspaper? Not printed, but I do have a digital subscription to my local paper. And I know we’ve all gotten accustomed to getting those kinds of things for free, but please consider paid subscriptions to publications you like! If you value it, a paid subscription will help keep it alive.

7) She could also knit. Judy was known to make blankets and caps for the children of crew members on her films. Do you knit? No.

8) In 1938, when this record was popular, the March of Dimes was founded. Do you have any dimes in your wallet (or pocket) right now? There are probably a couple in my wallet.

9) Random question: Catsup puddle next to your fries, or a drizzle of catsup on your fries? Puddle!


Saturday 9: Shake It Off

Shake It Off (2014)

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

1) This song makes Crazy Sam want to dance. What song inspires you to get on your feet? There are many.

2) Paul McCartney met Taylor Swift at the SNL 40 Anniversary special and told her he really enjoys playing and singing this song. What’s the last song you sang along with? I don’t know, which is weird because I sing along to almost everything. Nothing that’s popping up in my “recently played” tabs is something I sing along to.

3) The lyrics tell us Swift “shakes off” nasty gossip and unfair criticism. What about you? Do you worry about what others think of you? Generally, no. I toe this weird line where I don’t care about the world at large, yet I don’t like it if I think someone dislikes me.

4) Her parents are big music fans, and were going to name their baby (boy or girl) “Taylor” after their favorite artist, James Taylor. Can you think of a singer that your mom and/or dad really enjoyed? Oh, easy. We were raised on music. For my mom, her biggest two were and still are Prince and Stevie Nicks. The only solo artist I ever remember my dad really enjoying was Meatloaf–and Steve Perry–but he was mostly into classic-rock bands.

5) She grew up on an 11-acre Christmas tree farm. Do you get a fresh tree every year, or do you have an artificial tree, or do you not put up a tree at all? We have an artificial tree, but we never finished putting it up last year. We were kind of trying to do it in stages because of the cat, who was new at the time, and never finished, and this year, we’ve added a second cat to the mix, so who knows?

6) Taylor Swift is 5’10”. According to the CDC, the average American woman is 5’4″ while men are, on average, 5’9″. Are you taller or shorter than average? I am technically taller than average, coming in at 5’4 1/2″.

7) She enjoys good, old fashioned mysteries, especially those by Agatha Christie. Are you currently reading a book for pleasure? I am always reading a book for pleasure. The current stack is Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larson, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

8) Her brother Austin is a freelance photographer who took the official pictures for her 2008 concert tour. Who took the last photo of you? Myself, but other than that, my mom took one of my recently being harassed by the dog for food.

9) Random question: What’s your go-to comfy outfit? Anything involving leggings. Unless I’m at home, in which case it’s either my undies or, in the winter, flannel jammies.

Saturday 9: The Candy Man

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

1) This song is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. The movie was remade as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Which Wonka did you prefer? In high school, I definitely would’ve told you Johnny Depp’s, but these days, I’m not sure which I prefer.

2) In the movie, this song is sung by Bill, the candy store shopkeeper. Think about the last counter person you dealt with. We know that he or she likely didn’t break into song, but did you two engage in conversation? No, but I did have a brief conversation with a cashier recently.

3) The lyrics tell us that The Candy Man can make the world taste good. What’s the last thing you ate? Was it delicious, or just OK? I am currently eating Rita’s frozen custard, and it is indeed delicious.

4) The most popular recording of this song was by Sammy Davis,  Jr. Sammy was in a horrific car accident when he was 29 years old. His cheek and nose were broken and he lost an eye. That he survived at all left him reflective and after his hospitalization, he converted to Judaism. Do you still worship in the faith you were raised in? No. I was raised Catholic and while I do attend the occasional mass for holidays or weddings and christenings, it’s not really for me. I disagree with a lot of the church’s teachings.

5) Sammy was proud of the honorary college degrees because he received because never formally attended school. As a child, he performed on the road with his father and uncle. In addition to depriving him of an education, that lifestyle kept him from kids his own age. He would later describe his childhood as, “in a word, ‘lonely.'” Give us a one-word description of your childhood. Typical.

6) Because he spent so much of his youth on the road, living on buses, trains and hotel rooms, he loved eventually having his own kitchen and being able to cook his own meals. This weekend, will you spend much time in the kitchen? I usually don’t, but with some free time coming up, I hope to!

7) Sammy enjoyed experimenting with clothes and jewelry. What about you? Do you consider yourself conservative in dress or are you fashion forward? I’m not fashion forward, for sure–I don’t pay attention to trends at all and I think the entire industry is built on the whims of the people in charge, making the whole thing bullshit. But I’m not conservative, either. I’m mainly a jeans-and-t-shirts girl and don’t do anything too over-the-top, but I do like to play a little at times.

8) When he died, Sammy was in debt to the IRS. Do you handle your own taxes, or do you use the services of an accountant? So my mom does my taxes, but the catch is my mom is a CPA. So I joke that I use my personal accountant.

9) Random question: If you had to tell nothing but the truth (not even the tiniest white lie) for 24 hours, do you think you’d get yourself in trouble? Nah, not at all.

Saturday 9: The Straw Hat Song

The Straw Hat Song (1955)

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

1) In this song, Desi Arnaz encourages us to laugh and sing instead of concentrating on our troubles. Is this an approach to life you could adopt? Or are you a worrier? I don’t think I’m much of a worrier anymore. Things are pretty good right now, for one, and although I do sometimes dread things I don’t like or don’t want to do, I have a pretty relaxed attitude and feel like things will work out and don’t dwell on problems.

2) Because Desi’s public persona was carefree, people are often surprised to learn his early life was hard. In 1933, his wealthy family was targeted by Cuban revolutionaries. Their home was destroyed and were forced to flee the country. In Miami, they lived in a warehouse and 16-year-old Desi helped support the family by cleaning cages for the man who sold canaries outside a drugstore. Think about your friends and acquaintances. Whose life story turned out to be very different than you originally thought? Ooh, I don’t know! I think the biggest thing is, like, who has kids and who doesn’t. It’s not what I would have predicted, say, in high school or college.

3) While still in his teens, Desi got his first job as an entertainer. As a boy in Cuba, he expected to be a lawyer, not a musician. He only began playing guitar because he noticed girls like musicians and he liked girls. Tell us about a hobby of yours, and what inspired you to pick it up. I’m gonna go with writing, just because it’s the only thing I’ve kept up with lately. I got into it because I was a voracious reader, and at a really, really young age, I figured out I enjoyed writing, too.

4) He discovered he was not only a talented musician but a natural leader. By the tender age of 19, he had organized The Desi Arnaz Orchestra and they were performing in Miami hotels. Have you ever been a boss? If so, did you enjoy it? I have not, and I think I’d hate it.

5) When he was 23, he went to Hollywood to try his hand at movies and met a 28 year old actress named Lucille Ball. In Hollywood back in 1940, it was considered embarrassing for a woman to date a younger man. Their initial attraction was so powerful she quickly got over it. Do you think age matters when it comes to romance? Only in the sense that maturity is a factor. But for the most part, no, I don’t think age matters.

6) Desi was the first person to call that famous redhead “Lucy.” Throughout her entire life, friends, family and coworkers always referred to her as “Lucille,” as she preferred. But Desi insisted on “Lucy.” He said that name was his and his alone. Ironically it became the way the world referred to her. Do you have a pet name for anyone? Not really.

7) Lucille and Desi named their son and daughter after themselves. Were you named after anyone? My middle name is the same middle name as my dad’s sister, who was stillborn.

8) Desi was the founding force behind Desilu. One of the first great production studios of the television age, Desilu grossed $15 million in 1957 (more than $135 million in today’s dollars). He credited his success to his unconventional and creative approach to problems. Are you a good problem solver? I like to think so.

9) Random question: Who annoys you more, a know-it-all or an ignoramus? Probably a know-it-all. You can at least try to educate an ignoramus, but know-it-alls tend to stay that way and not think it’s a problem.

Saturday 9: The Sweet Escape

The Sweet Escape (2006)

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

1) This song begins with, “First of all, let me say I must apologize …” Who most recently apologized to you? I don’t know but probably my husband and probably over something small.

2) Gwen Stefani sings that she acted like “sour milk on the floor.” Is there milk in your refrigerator right now? What about non-dairy creamer? There’s milk. No non-dairy creamer, but probably some almond milk and old half-and-half.

3) In the video, Gwen wears several different pairs of stiletto heels. What are you wearing on your feet as you answer these questions? Nothing. For as much as I do love shoes, I love being barefoot more.

4) Mrs. Stefani named her daughter “Gwen” after a stewardess in the book/movie Airport. Who was your favorite character in the book you just read, or movie you most recently watched? I don’t know. I don’t have strong feelings about any of the characters in anything I’m reading right now or read recently, and I can’t think of what movie I saw last.

5) Gwen is a distant cousin of Madonna’s. Are there any performers in your family? No, although some of us wanted to be once.

6) In high school, she joined the swim team not because she enjoys swimming but because she wanted to lose weight. Are you doing anything (dieting, participating in an exercise regimen) in order to shed a few pounds? I’m trying to be more careful about what I eat, and I’m back in a decent gym routine. It’s been a chaotic year and it seems like I’d have a great week and something would come up the next, so I’m glad that I’ve been back at it for almost two weeks.

7) Before she became successful, Gwen worked at the makeup counter in a department store. What was the last thing you purchased? Did you buy it online or at a store? Most likely online. I have nail wraps on the way, that’s for sure.

8) Gwen has gotten a great deal of publicity for her romance with country star, Blake Shelton. What’s your favorite Blake Shelton song? I can’t think of one, and although he has a few songs I very strongly dislike, I do know he has some I like, too.

9) Random question: Which of these compliments would make you the happiest — to be called fascinating, or brilliant, or gorgeous? Probably fascinating.

Saturday 9: Money for Nothing

Money for Nothing (1985)

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

1) Sweatbands are prominent in this very 1980s video. What’s the last thing you wore on your head? I have a headband on right now to keep the bangs out of my face while I cut grass.

2) The lyrics are from the point of view of a man who delivers and installs appliances. What’s the biggest purchase you’ve made lately? Was it big in size or expense? It would have to be the new siding on the house. So both big in size and expense, but we got a really good deal on it.

3) The delivery man of the song imagines the worst thing that happens to a musician is a blister on his little finger or thumb. Do you have any minor aches or pains bedeviling you as you answer these questions? This is a weird one, but I’ve been wearing earbuds all day at work, which I hate to begin with, and my ears are mildly irritated because of it.

4) The term “dire straits” describes a troubling situation that’s difficult to extricate oneself from. When’s the last time you found yourself in dire straits? Ooh, I don’t know.

5) There’s a dinosaur called masiakasaurus knopfleri. It’s a prehistoric, predatory lizard, and the paleontologists who discovered it were big Dire Straits fans, so they named it after lead singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler. Do you find dinosaurs fascinating, terrifying, or both? Definitely both. It’s cool to think that these things were around once, but man, they’re ridiculous.

6) Prior to his music career, Knopfler was a junior reporter, covering the entertainment beat for the Yorkshire Evening Post. Do you believe you would make a better musician or journalist? I think I could do both, honestly. I already write, and I think if I put in the time and effort, I could translate that to music. It’s my second love after writing, honestly.

7) In 1985, when this song was popular, rib eye steak was $3.89/pound. Today it’s more than twice that. Do you have any beef in your freezer right now? There’s a slight chance my husband has some, although he’s been going more for chicken and turkey lately. I’m a vegetarian.

8) In 1985, Michael Jordan won the NBA Rookie of the Year award after his first season with the Chicago Bulls. It was the beginning of a career that made him a hero and a household name. Who do you think today’s young people look up to? By the sounds of it, social-media influencers and YouTubers, and please, youth, I beg you, don’t.

9) Random question: Friends take you to dinner for your birthday. The menu you’re handed doesn’t have any prices on it. Do you try to estimate the costs and choose what you guess is the least expensive entree? Or do you figure that since your friends want you to have a good time, you should order whatever you want? The thing is, 99% of the time, I’m gonna order pasta, and that’s not expensive. So I order what I want, but I also know it’s not gonna be ridiculous.

Saturday 9: No One’s Here to Sleep

Saturday 9: No One’s Here to Sleep (2013)

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

1) This song is the theme of How to Get Away with Murder, the legal drama that premiered in 2014 and airs on Thursday nights. Are you a fan? I haven’t kept up with it, but I enjoyed the first season. I’ll come back to it eventually.

2) The song’s refrain says, “I’ll never catch up with you.” Behind the wheel, do you carefully observe the speed limit? Or do you have a lead foot, making it hard for anyone to catch up with you? I speed, but not excessively. I’m going fast and still getting passed.

3) How to Get Away with Murder is about Annalise Keating, a law professor at a top Philadelphia university. She has a reputation for being tough, demanding and able to turn her students into successful defense attorneys. Tell us about a teacher who helped prepare you for life after graduation. Ooh, I don’t know. Mr. Stevenson, my high-school comp teacher, does come to mind, because his class had us very well-prepared to write papers in college.

4) The students she feels show the most promise — and are recruited to help her solve murders — are known as The Keating Four. Did you ever sense that you were your teacher’s favorite? I think I’ve been close to the top but not necessarily the favorite.

5) Viola Davis was just nominated for an Emmy for playing Professor Keating. Ms. Davis was born on a farm in SC. Have you spent more of your life in a rural, suburban or urban setting? Suburban.

6) Next to Annalise Keating, Viola Davis is best known for her Oscar-nominated role as Aibileen in the movie, The Help. Have you seen it? Nope. One day.

7) In 2014, the year How to Get Away with Murder premiered, we lost two famous comedians: Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Who was the last person to make you laugh out loud? (This means actually, literally laughing out loud, not just keystroking LOL.) Probably my husband.

8) The 2014 Olympics were held in Sochi. Have you ever been to Russia? If not, is it a dream destination of yours? I have not, but I would like to.

9) Random question: The sign on the railing says, “Wet Paint.” Do you touch the railing to see if it’s really wet? Nope.

Saturday 9: Where You Lead

Where You Lead (1971)

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

1) This is the theme of The Gilmore Girls, a TV show that ran  from 2000 to 2007. It recently enjoyed renewed popularity as a reboot. Were you a fan? I never watched its original run, but my best friend watched a lot of reruns in college. I didn’t mind it and will probably give it a proper chance one of these days.

2) The show is about thirtysomething Lorelai Gilmore, her teenage daughter Rory, and her parents, Richard and Emily. The four of them had dinner together every Friday night. Who did you have dinner with on Friday? What was on the menu? It was just my husband and I. We ordered pizza.

3) Lorelai is outgoing and talkative. How about you? Are you seldom at a loss for words? It depends, but I feel like I’m more talkative than not.

4) Rory dreamed of going to an Ivy League school and then becoming a broadcast journalist. When you were in high school, what were your ambitions? I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer.

5) Rory’s grandfather (and Lorelai’s dad) went to Yale and performed with the Whiffenpoofs, Yale’s famous a cappella group. Have you ever sung in front of an audience? Not solo, but I did chamber ensemble in high school plus our musicals my last two years. Does group karaoke count, too?

6) Rory’s grandmother (and Lorelai’s mother) Emily was very active in civic organizations and worked hard on the Hartford Zoological Society’s Annual Silent Auction. Have you ever attended an auction? Yeah, the fundraisers for my high school. I think they’re kind of fun.

7) Alexis Bledel, who played Rory, went on to appear in Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale. Of these three shows — Gilmore Girls, Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale — which would you prefer to binge watch? The Handmaid’s Tale is the only one I’ve seen all of, but I wouldn’t necessarily binge-watch it. I don’t like binge-watching, for starters, but it’s an intense show.

8) Carole King originally wrote this week’s song, “Where You Lead,” for her Tapestry album. Do you have a favorite Carole King song? No. I’m not really a fan.

9) Random question: If zoo animals could talk, which animal do you imagine would be the rudest? I don’t know. I’m not sure any of them would be. I think most animals would be pretty chill.

Saturday 9: Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs

Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs (1993)

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

1) This is the theme from Frasier, a TV show that ran  from 1993 to 2004. Were you a fan? I was pretty young when it first started so it wasn’t something I ever watched on my own, but my parents liked it. And I enjoyed what I saw when I watched it with them.

2) The show is about a radio advice show host, Dr. Frasier Krane. When you listen to the radio, do you tune in for talk or music? Mostly music, but I do have NPR programmed in.

3) The theme’s composer explained that tossed salad and scrambled eggs are both “mixed up,” like the people who called Frasier’s radio show. Which did you eat more recently, tossed salad or scrambled eggs? Not a tossed salad specifically, but I had a Caesar salad today.

4) Peri Gilpin played Roz, Frasier’s coworker at the radio station. The actress originally cast was Lisa Kudrow, but the show’s producers didn’t feel she was “right.” Being released from Frasier gave her the opportunity to accept a bigger and better part: Phoebe on Friends. Can you think of a time when a setback was really a blessing in disguise? I’ve been thinking that about where my job/career is right now. I’ve been exploring other opportunities off and on and nothing’s really come of it, but with my dad’s cancer diagnosis and death a few weeks ago, I think it was better that I’ve been forced to stay put. I have three weeks’ vacation, for one thing, and used a lot of it helping with that, and working somewhere where I’m established and well-liked plus work from home has had a lot of advantages over the last six or seven months.

5) Dr. Krane shared his home with Martin, his retired dad. Martin’s favorite chair was well-worn recliner, held together in parts with tape. Frasier tried to replace it by giving his father a brand-new, expensive leather chair as a gift. Martin wanted his old recliner back. Tell us about a present you either gave or received that wasn’t a hit. Ooh, I don’t know of any I’ve given that weren’t hits, at least not in the sense that they weren’t liked at all. But I’ve gotten some small things from, like, my husband’s extended family that are the kind of gifts where someone obviously felt like they ought to get you something but had no idea what to get. But I appreciate the thought.

6) Kelsey Grammer played Dr. Krane on three different series (Cheers, Wings and Frasier) over 20 years. What job have you held the longest? My current one, still my first one out of college. I’m just starting year eight now.

7) Before he found success on Cheers, Grammer played bit parts on the daytime dramas Ryan’s World and Another World. Have you ever followed a soap opera? General Hospital, which I still do watch sometimes. I’m informed enough that I know what’s going on, at least.

8) In addition to work in front of the camera, Grammer has done voice over work on commercials for Dr. Pepper and Cheerios. Are either of those products in your kitchen right now? A box of Cheerios!

9) Random question: You’re invited to a party where dinner is served buffet style. There’s spaghetti with tomato sauce, barbecue spare ribs and buffalo wings. When the evening is over, how likely are you to have a food stain on your clothes? According to me, very unlikely. According to my husband, it’s almost guaranteed.

Saturday 9: Brand New Life

Saturday 9: Brand New Life (The Theme from Who’s the Boss) (1984)

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

1) Who’s the Boss? is a sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992. Were you a fan? Never watched it.

2) This week’s song was composed by the show’s producers, two men not known as songwriters. Have you ever tried your hand at songwriting? Not anytime recently, but I did some as a teenager.

3) The lyrics tell us that, as we go through life, it’s not uncommon to “lose a dream or two.” Do you agree? Have you ever had to give up on a dream? I answered a similar question the other day. No. I’m too young. Plus it’s not in my nature.

4) Who’s the Boss? was about a highly paid executive who hires a housekeeper. In the 1980s, it was unusual because the exec was a woman and the housekeeper was a man. Do you believe a man can be as good at housework as a woman? Oh, definitely.

5) Though the show’s star, Tony Danza, graduated from University of Dubuque and was prepared to be a teacher, he got sidetracked. Back in New York, he boxed and tended bar and fell into acting. He finally did teach in 2010, taking over a 10th grade English class. How many different occupations have you held? Not many–I’d say my only true diversions were when I was a kid doing odd jobs.

6) On the show, his daughter was played by Alyssa Milano. When she was a teenager, she rebelled against the show’s producers by cutting off her long hair and wearing a pixie style. Were you a rebellious teen? Not in the sense of rebelling for the sake of it. I never did anything just to get a reaction or anything like that, but it was definitely a time where I was figuring out who I was.

7) “The Boss” was Judith Light, who had been known to TV audiences from her work on One Life to Live. She met Robert Desiderio on the set of the soap opera and they have been married more than 34 years. Tell us where one of your romances got started. My husband and I met at our younger brothers’ high-school graduation. They were good friends, and I caught my husband’s attention.

8) The show — rebroadcast with subtitles — was a hit in Italy, where it was known as Casalingo Superpiù (Super Housekeeper). Say something to us in Italian. Ciao!

9) Random question — Have you more recently watched the sun rise or set? Sunset, sort of–we were in the car as it was going down. The sun is either up or rising when I’m working, and although I have a window in my office, I don’t really get to see much of it as it’s situated to my left and a little behind me.