Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget

Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.
In honor of Elvis’ birthday (January 8.)

1) Elvis sings that he thinks about this girl all the time. What person or topic is on your mind this Saturday? My family. The week has been a run of bad luck, from job news to health issues. Nothing dire, just a bunch all at once.

2) He wants to forget the day he met his girl, but simply can’t. Think about someone very important in your life. Did you know right away that they were going to be influential? The first time I met my husband, he was super quiet–our younger brothers were best friends in high school, so we met at their graduation. He barely spoke, and in fact, when we went to dinner, due to the numbers, I ended up sitting with the parents on my own because I was the oldest and all he said to my was a reply to a joke my brother made at my expense when I was over with him after dinner. So nope, not at all.

Since this week’s song is about memories, let’s check on how well you recall events in your own life.

3) What was the first concert you ever attended? Technically, it was when I was a little  kid and it was a live performance from some kids’ show from the ’90s. But as far as a legit concert, Good Charlotte, when I was about 14 or 15 with my friend Stephanie.

4) Where did you get your first piercing? (Not only where on your body, but who did the deed and where did they do it?) I was six, and I had my ears pierced. A girl did it at a Claire’s in the mall.

5) What’s the name of the bank where you had your first checking account? PNC, and I still have that account. They had a table set up at orientation in college.

6) Tell us about your first bicycle. A pink Barbie bike. I think it had streamers on the handles, but I don’t think they last long.

7) Who received the first text you ever sent? I have no idea. Probably one of my friends at the time.

8) What had you been drinking when you suffered your first hangover? I don’t really get proper hangovers, even when I get drunk enough to warrant it. My brother doesn’t, either. Superior genes. However! The one time I did was the day after my 21st birthday party–I was taking a summer class and had class or an exam or something the day after my birthday, so that celebration was tame, but the party came that weekend. First of all, it was David Bowie-themed, and second, the drinking game Bros Icing Bros was a thing at the time–in short, if you’re presented with a Smirnoff Ice, you have to chug it, and one can hide Ices to be discovered. So first, there was one under a party hat in the center of my birthday cake, I found one in the bathroom, and I was probably presented with a couple more, plus we made Jungle Juice that was much stronger than it tasted. Now, when I get sick when I drink, it comes on hard and fast, and although I know people who puke and keep going, I puke and can’t stop puking for a long while, so once that started, I was done. I was lying on the bathroom floor for a long time that night. So the next morning, I felt like trash. But that’s not all! I mentioned a few questions ago that my husband and I met at our brothers’ graduation. Well, his brother Jacob’s party was the day after my 21st birthday party. My husband and I had been talking a little, and I even invited him to the party. I rode over with my parents since my brother was basically spending the whole day hanging out over there, and it was only like a 20-ish-minute drive, but I fell asleep. When we got there, my dad said to my now-father-in-law that my 21st birthday party was the night before, and he laughed and offered me a beer. I declined and ate instead, which made me feel much better, so then I grabbed a wine cooler and Future Husband started talking to me a lot the rest of the evening. So that’s how that started. He obviously now knows I was hung over that day, but I don’t think my father-in-law does. Frankly, he’d find it hilarious.

9) Whose was the first wedding you ever attended? I have no idea. My mom has a lot of extended family, so we’d get invited to a lot of weddings as a kid and I couldn’t tell you whose was first. My mom might, just going off of who got married when, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was at a wedding as a baby or toddler. There was a long succession of weddings as a kid, then a long dry spell in my teens when everyone was either married or too young, and then another small burst of them in the last few years when my cousins and my brother and I all started getting married.


Saturday 9: Happy Holidays

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays! (from the archives)

1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick’s lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether — either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn’t celebrate Christmas? I liked it, which is weird because I was a shy kid. My brother hated it for a couple years, though. We have some great photos of me smiling while he’s screaming.

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there? Nice because I’m just a decent person.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest? I didn’t ship any gifts, but I did send/am still sending cards.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year? Man, I have a reputation for finding myself things when I’m supposed to be Christmas shopping, although this year, I did pretty good and just grabbed some clothes–a couple dresses and a couple other things. At least, until today, when Lush had their big annual BOGO sale and I bought two boxes of bath bombs and a few little things.

5. What’s your favorite holiday-themed movie? Have you seen it yet this year? It’s A Muppet Christmas Carol and I have not. I need to do that this weekend.

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day? I don’t think I’ve ever gone on Christmas Day, no. I have cousins who always did, though.

7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party? Nope. We only started having proper parties last year and I behaved, and this year, I already had plans to travel out of town the weekend of the party.

8. What’s your favorite beverage in cold weather? Any kind of latte. My favorite lately has been a blackberry-lavender one at a coffee shop at the outlets.

9. Share a memory from last Christmas. I got the flu. Ha. Slowly, over the course of Christmas Day, I started to feel worse and worse. I went from waking up with a mild sore throat to going home from my in-laws’ later in the evening with full body aches.

Saturday 9: I’m Gonna Put Some Glue ‘Round the Christmas Tree (So Santa Will Stick Around All Year)

Saturday 9: I’m Gonna Put Some Glue ‘Round the Christmas Tree (So Santa Will Stick Around All Year) (1954)

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

1) This week’s featured songstress, Peggy King, sings that she’d like to extend the Christmas season all year. How about you? Do you wish the season was longer? Shorter? Or do you think things are fine as they are? I love Christmas, but I hate the commercialization and materialism. This whole thing of getting ready for Christmas after Halloween–and for some stores, in the middle of summer–is ridiculous. The month of December is plenty.

2) She specifically mentions toys. Have you purchased/will you purchase any toys as holiday gifts this year? I haven’t and I don’t think I will, unless I pick up a few things for my niece or nephew on the way. But I’m trying to control myself on that front.

3) Search for “glue” on The Home Depot’s website and you’ll get more than 3,000 results. There’s heavy-duty adhesives, all-purpose glue, clear epoxy, wood glue, and more. Do you currently have glue in your home? If yes, how many kinds? I do, but maybe just two or three–your typical all-purpose and a fabric glue for sure.

4) What’s the last thing you used glue for? That fabric glue is amazing on just about anything that needs a strong glue. I don’t remember when I used it last, but most likely, something broke and I knew what would fix it.

5) This week’s featured artist, Peggy King, was a TV staple in the 1950s. With her perpetually upbeat persona, she was known as “Pretty, Perky Peggy King.” Do you consider yourself upbeat, aka “perky?” Nah. I’m pretty calm.

6) Ms. King got her start singing radio jingles for Hunt’s tomato sauce. Prepared tomato sauce, properly stored, can safely be kept in the refrigerator for days. Do you have any leftovers in your refrigerator right now? Some pheasant soup from my mom and mu husband has some leftover pork, but I’m pretty sure that’s getting sketchy.

7) Her biggest movie role was in Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955). Do you watch scary movies and shows all year around? Only at Halloween? Or not at all? All year!

8) In 1954, the year this record was released, President Eisenhower dedicated the Marine Corps. Iwo Jima Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside of Washington DC. If you were to play tourist in our nation’s capital, what site would you be certain to visit? I just got back from there! I went a few times as a kid, a few times as a teenager, once (or twice?) in college, and again over the weekend, so I’ve pretty much tackled every monument, memorial, and museum. Weirdly, it might actually be the place I’ve visited the most. I would like to go down to see the cherry blossoms, though, and the only place I’ve wanted to go to and never made it to in the Newseum, the museum for journalism and the press. I also think everyone should visit the Holocaust museum at least once in their life. I’ve been twice.

9) Random question: Which of these common household items would you miss most if it suddenly went on the fritz — your bedside lamp or your hair dryer? Neither? Our bedroom still needs some organizational help and because it’s a small room and I crammed a queen-sized bed in there, there’s no room for a nightstand, at least not with the way it’s arranged right now. The bed’s almost against the wall on one side, and on the other is a heat vent. So I don’t have a bedside lamp right now. And I use my hair dryer pretty infrequently, so…

Saturday 9: Black Magic Woman

Saturday 9: Black Magic Woman (1970)

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

Okay, first of all, we need to talk about the fact that Fleetwood Mac did this song originally–before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined, obviously–and I never knew that until they played it live earlier this month with Stevie singing.
1) Black is this week’s signature color because Friday, November 23, was “Black Friday,” when retailers cut their prices and consumers flock to the stores. Did you score any “Black Friday” bargains? I think the only thing I bought all holiday weekend was my sugar scrub I use, mostly because it was 25% off and it’s almost never on sale. Nothing else caught my eye or seemed worth it.
2) On busy shopping days, carts often litter parking lots. After loading your items into your car, are you careful to return your shopping cart to the store or the designated cart receptacle? Yes, because there are only a tiny handful of good reasons not to and none of them apply to me.

3) Who on your gift list is hardest to buy for? My in-laws, followed by my dad. I just never know what my in-laws would want or need, and I’ve exhausted the few ideas I’ve had over the years. My dad’s tough for similar reasons, mainly limited interests, but he’s also a foodie and I usually find something neat that appeals to that side of him. I’ve done various food kits the last few Christmases and birthdays, like kits for making cheese, infused olive oil, an herb garden, and I think I did a sauerkraut one once.
4) Feasting and football are also popular Thanksgiving weekend pastimes. Do your Thursday-Sunday plans include enjoying leftovers or watching a game? Leftovers always, football never.

5) Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is an annual event. It began in 1924 as a local event in New York. Today it’s nationally televised. Did you watch it? Parts of it. I’ve never really cared for it, especially the blatant lip syncing, even though I know it’s out of necessity. It annoys me.

6) What did you give thanks for on Thanksgiving 2018? We didn’t go around the table and say what we’re thankful for, probably because I’m a smartass about it every year, but my husband, my family, and my whole inner circle. And having a new house this year!

7) At the first Thanksgiving, there were no forks. Pilgrims ate with spoons and knives, and forks didn’t become popular until the 18th century. Think about your Thanksgiving place setting. Did you have both a salad and a dinner fork? Nah. We don’t get fancy.

8) Pies are a popular Thanksgiving dessert. What kind of pie did you enjoy? Or did you have ice cream? Or did you skip dessert? Since my brother had to work Thursday, my family did Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night. My dad made pumpkin creme brûlée, so I went for that, although it’s not too far off from pumpkin pie, really. The next day at my in-laws’, I had apple pie, and then we got sent home with a couple pieces of chocolate cake.

9) This week’s featured band, Santana, was named for its founder, Carlos Santana. He was born in Mexico. When at a Mexican restaurant, what do you usually order? Usually something simple and vegetarian, like a quesadilla. If I’m at local chain Mad Mex, though, their tofu tacos all the way. They’re so good. I’ve only ever ordered something different one time, and I liked it, but I was like, “Man, should’ve got the tofu tacos.” And I’ve never ordered anything else since.

Saturday 9: Sentimental Journey

Saturday 9: Sentimental Journey (1945)

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

1) Doris sings that she has her bag packed. Tell us about your luggage. Is your bag easy to spot on the luggage carousel? I haven’t traveled with it yet, but probably not. It’s a nice, deep red color, but I can’t imagine it’s very unique.

2) The release of this song coincided with VE Day, and so it meant a great deal to troops returning home from Europe. What song has sentimental value for you? Why? “Heroes” by David Bowie. I always loved it anyway, but it was also our first dance at our wedding.

3) As a young girl, Doris was passionate about dance. Concentrating in the studio and performing on stage helped distract her from heartache and embarrassment over her parents’ divorce. When you want to escape from what’s troubling you, what do you do? I don’t do much different from what I normally do, which I guess is kind of weird, but I think I find comfort in my routines. So I read, watch Netflix, screw around on the Internet, and write. Sometimes I write about what’s going on, but that’s not much of an escape, really. It helps get things out of my system, though, for sure.

4) Her dancing days came to an end when, at age 15, she was in a car accident and damaged her leg. During her recovery, she discovered how much she enjoyed singing with the radio, and was delighted to find others enjoyed hearing her. Tell us about a time you unexpectedly found happiness or success. Does my husband count? Because he was just kind of the older brother of one of my own brother’s friends and I expected this to go nowhere, but here we are.

5) She moved from singer to actress in the late 1940s and was a major movie star for 25 years. She was paired with the most popular leading men of her time — everyone from Clark Gable to Frank Sinatra to Rock Hudson. If you could share a kiss with any actor or actress, who would you choose? Man, I don’t know. There’s not, like, one in particular that stands above the rest. Although I guess I wouldn’t turn down Idris Elba, and my husband probably would be happy for me.

6) 1968 was a terrible year for Doris. First, she suddenly became a widow. Then she discovered that her late husband and his business partner had squandered her money and she had to file for bankruptcy. Oh, wait! There’s more! She also found that, in his role as her manager, her late husband had, without her knowledge, committed her to a weekly TV series. Do you have a 1968? What year you can point to and say, “Wow, I’m glad that’s over”? I believe it was when I was 23. My friends were pretty shitty to me, my mother-in-law was pretty shitty to me either at the same time or very shortly afterwards, and I was 110% done with all of that. I removed myself from those equations as much as possible and benefitted from doing so, honestly.

7) After retiring from show business, she became an advocate for animal welfare. She has said we should be more sensitive to the loneliness, sadness and guilt people feel when they lose a pet. Think of a time you were grieving. What words or gestures helped you through? Conversely, what’s something no one should ever say to someone who is hurting? I prefer to be left alone but know that people are close by, especially if I need a moment to vent and blow off steam. As for what not to say, there’s nothing specific that I personally hate hearing, except maybe suggestions that it was God’s will or meant to be, but I think all the general advice on what not to say is good. There’s a lot that’s well-intentioned but can just be not at all what someone wants to hear then.

8) Doris’ only child was her son, record producer Terry Melcher. Terry had a successful, years-long collaboration with The Beach Boys. Do you have a favorite Beach Boys song? Ooh, I’m gonna give you two, both from Pet Sounds. First, “I’m Waiting for the Day” because I love the drums, and the whole thing just gets better as it goes, especially when the vocals start to get a little more angry and intense. The last like 30 seconds of the song are the best. The second is “Sloop John B,” originally a Bahamian folk song, because I love the melody. Pet Sounds is one of those very highly regarded albums with a lot of famous songs, and although I like some of the more well-known ones like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows,” it was these two that made me really get the hype around Pet Sounds and appreciate what The Beach Boys were doing with instrumentation and layering. They both have these little touches that enhance them.

9) Random question: What’s one thing you’ve never done, but have always wanted to try? I don’t know. I’m not very daring, so thrill-seeking things like skydiving are out, and I’ve done a lot of the small-scale things I’m interested in. I guess the only thing that comes close is just that I’d like to do more traveling.

Saturday 9: The Middle

Saturday 9: The Middle (2018)

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

1) This song is about compromise. When did you recently give in a little and meet someone halfway? I choose to believe that sharing my macarons with my husband instead of eating them all myself counts here.

2) She sings that the floors are wet. Are there any floors in your home that could use a good scrub today? If you answered “yes,” will those floors get cleaned this weekend? Pretty much all of them need cleaned, with the exception of my office, which got vacuumed last night. But yes, they’re all on the agenda for the weekend, as usual.

3) She also sings that the cabinets are bare. What’s currently on your shopping list? Our weekly grocery staples–yogurt, some produce, some snacks, some things I can make for lunch.

4) You may be familiar with this song from Target’s TV commercials. Do you often shop at Target? Not often, but I love it when I do.

5) The lead vocal is handled by Maren Morris, a Grammy winner for “My Church,” which is all about singing with the car radio. What’s the last song you sang along with? I was very, very quietly singing along to “American Pie” in a restaurant this evening, plus a few other songs before and after.

6) This past April, Maren married singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd and they have performed onstage together. Who is the last person you sang along with? Probably my husband in the car.

7) This song was composed by brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha. With their bleached hair and sunglasses, they look like a pair of surfer dudes — which they are, having grown up in Huntington Beach, CA. Is there a body of water near your hometown? There are some small ones near my actual house, but the general area has plenty of rivers. I’m close to Pittsburgh, with its three–the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio–and the town where I grew up is close to the Youghiogheny.

8) January 2018, when this song debuted, we had a total lunar eclipse. When things like that happen in the sky, do you go out of your way to watch? I never used to because I lived in an apartment, and the way the building was situated, there was no good view of the sky, plus a good bit of light pollution. But now at my house, yeah, I absolutely will next time we have one. We have a much better view of the sky here, in a slightly more rural area with much less light pollution. Plus a deck and yard to watch from!

9) Random question — They say we’re all young at heart. In what way can you be childlike? My husband teases me about my favorite foods because they’re very childlike.  I eat macaroni and cheese somewhat regularly. That’s not to say I don’t branch out or that I’m a picky eater, it’s just that I have certain go-tos, and they’re very simple.

Saturday 9: It Must Be Him

I thought I already did this. Whoops.
Saturday 9: It Must Be Him (1967)

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

1) This song is about a woman waiting impatiently for a phone call. Do you consider yourself patient? For the most part, yes, but there are a few things where I’m not so patient. Like waiting for my online orders to come in. Or my paycheck.

2) Other women (most notably Shirley Bassey and Dottie West) have recorded this song. Harry James and Doc Severinson did instrumental versions. But there’s no record of a male singing “Oh dear God! It must be her! Or I shall die!” Do you think that’s because waiting for the phone to ring is more “a chick thing,” and men simply don’t do it? I think men do it but either they want everyone to think they don’t or we’ve all just pretended like it doesn’t happen. I mean, have you ever seen screenshots of dudes when a woman takes too long to reply to his Tinder message?

3) This recording enjoyed a sudden surge of popularity after 20 years when it was included on the soundtrack of Moonstruck, the 1987 film that won Cher an Oscar. Have you seen MoonstruckI haven’t, but I’d like to.

4) This week’s featured artist, Vikki Carr, was born in El Paso, TX. El Paso can proudly proclaim itself one of America’s safest cities. What can your hometown be proud of? I’ll tell you what we are proud of–throwing such a fit over alcohol being taxed that they had to send the damn president here. The Whiskey Rebellion, ladies and gentlemen. We celebrate it every summer.

5) She was a staple on Jerry Lewis’ Labor Day Telethon, raising funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by performing this song. Is your TV on right now? If so, what are you watching? It is not. In fact, we still haven’t hooked it back up since we moved.

6) In 1971, Vikki fulfilled a dream of hers by establishing the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation. Every year the foundation awards Hispanic American students money to use toward higher education. She says it’s her way of returning “the support and encouragement she received from others” early in her career. If you could establish a charitable foundation, what cause would you like it to benefit? I’ve thought about this before, and to be honest, I sometimes feel like there are so many charitable organizations that I’d rather donate to existing ones.

7)  In 1967, when this song was popular, Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant. Today, one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States is the coronary artery bypass surgery. Have you had any surgeries? Nope.

8)  Also in 1967, the RMS Queen Mary was retired after 31 years of service. Have you ever traveled by cruise ship? Nope. I know I would love all of the perks of a cruise and I know that in the grand scheme of things, the highly publicized stories about cruise mishaps actually happen rarely, but they’re just off-putting enough.

9) Random question: Who is your oldest living relative? I’m not sure! I would think probably some great aunts and uncles, some of whom might either be in their 80s or are very close to it.

Saturday 9: Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Saturday 9: “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” Theme

This week’s song was chosen because this is the last Saturday 9 before Halloween. Are you unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was born in England. Name another pop culture contribution England has made. The British Invasion! So many bands are from England, and to this day I still find them putting out great stuff.

2) This week’s song is recognized as the theme to Hitchcock’s long-running TV show, but “Funeral March for a Marionnette” is a classic piece written for piano in the late 1870s by Charles Gounod. Do you often listen to classical music? Not as often as I used to because I’m working from home now and not commuting, but one of the radio stations I have programmed in my car is the local classical station.

3) Janet Leigh’s shower scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho is considered one of the scariest sequences ever filmed. What’s the most frightening movie you’ve ever seen? It changes. One of the ones that stands out the first time I saw it was Signs. I was like 13, and it was terrifying then. But I’m a horror lover who doesn’t scare easily, so a lot of the movies dubbed “the scariest ever” just…aren’t.
4) Hitchcock admitted that he “never trusted birds,” and he took that fear and turned it into the movie, The Birds. Is there a member of the animal kingdom that just gives you “the creeps?” Bugs. I realize people, like my husband, for example, would be like, “That’s not an animal!” So reptiles.

5) Halloween will soon be upon us. Will you carve a jack o’lantern this year? No, that was never a tradition my family got into. I’m not good at that kind of artsy stuff, so I don’t think I’d ever enjoy it.

6) What candy will trick or treaters get at your house? We bought a small bag of variety candy because we’re not sure if we get trick-or-treaters! This is our first Halloween in this house and our part of the neighborhood is mostly older people–the youngest other than us, as far as we know, are the same age as our parents. It’s also a little more of a rural neighborhood and not super walkable, so unless people are coming from very, very close by, I don’t expect much. But we want to be prepared anyway, and I would love to get some!
7)  When you went trick or treating, did you prefer fantasy costumes (like a storybook character) or scary ones (like a monster)? I definitely skewed fantasy. I don’t think I ever did scary.
8)  Which candy was your favorite? Which one were you disappointed to find in your trick or treat bag? I was always a chocolate lover. Mostly anything else, except for a few beloved others, was a disappointment.
9) Which do you find scarier — cemeteries or haunted houses? Haunted houses. They just have far more opportunities to be scary, with things lurking behind doors or strange sounds or seeing something going down a hallway.

Saturday 9: Sweet City Woman

Saturday 9: Sweet City Woman (1971)

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

1) The lyrics tell us the singer is on his way to catch a train and he really wants to be on time. When is the last time you were late for something? Knowing me, definitely recently, but I’ve actually been doing pretty good lately and can’t think of one!

2) He sings he’s on his way to meet a woman known for her macaroons. What’s your favorite cookie? Chocolate chip or my grandma’s apricot cookies.

3) His girlfriend’s face is so pretty she lights up the city night. How many lights are in the room you’re in? How many are switched on? There’s just one light fixture in the middle of the ceiling, and it’s currently on.

4) This is the rare top 40 tune that prominently features a banjo. Sam has always been crazy about the sound of a banjo. What sound makes you smile? (It doesn’t have to be a musical instrument. Think bacon sizzling, church bells, etc.) My cat’s meow because it’s the tiniest little squeak, except for when she’s hungry, and it’s somehow adorable and hilarious no matter what.

5) 47 years after their record was a hit, The Stampeders still tour every summer, playing festivals across the US and their native Canada. Do you enjoy live music under the stars? Or would you prefer to be seated in a theater? Outdoor concerts are probably the best, but being seated is nice.

6) In 1971, when this song was popular on the radio, detective shows were popular on TV. Mannix, Ironside and Cannon were all in the Top 20. Who is your favorite TV detective? Olivia fuckin’ Benson.

7) Also in 1971, the Post Office Department was disbanded as a Cabinet department and became The United States Postal Service. When did you last go to the post office? Were you mailing something? Buying stamps? Picking up a package? Renewing your passport? I was mailing a package and did get some stamps, too. It was probably a week or so ago.

8) Race car legend Jeff Gordon was born in 1971. Do you watch NASCAR? Nope.

9) Random question — Do you have a vaccination scar? If so, where is it? Nope.

Saturday 9: Unbreak My Heart

Saturday 9: Unbreak My Heart (1996)

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

1) Songs like this are enduringly popular in part because each of us has had our heart broken. Give us the name of a heartbreaker from your own life. I think I gave a similar answer last week, but I’ve been put through worse, more difficult things emotionally than romantic heartbreak.

2) Toni Braxton sings that “nights are so unkind.” What did you do last night? Went to the gym after I wrote an article and hung out a bit, got stuck in construction traffic for a half-hour on my way back, showered, went to bed after watching some John Oliver segments.

3) While this song has Toni singing the blues, in real life her love life is happier. Now aged 50, she’s engaged and has been sporting a diamond on her left hand. Do you believe that a bride is ever too old to have a big wedding? No! A wedding is a celebration, and that shouldn’t have an age limit. I understand why some people who are remarrying decide not to do a big wedding, but I still think if they want to do it up big, go for it.

4) Growing up, Toni Braxton’s parents severely restricted how much TV their children could watch each day. Ironically, today Toni and her sisters participate in a reality TV show on the WE-TV network, so TV cameras are a big part of their daily adult lives. What TV show do you try not to miss? I don’t watch anything regularly because I don’t have cable. We stick to one or two shows we stream, then move on to the next.

5) She is prone to dry skin and applies Kiehl’s Hand Salve to her hands and arms throughout the day. Tell us about a product you’re brand loyal to. Man, I’m the queen of brand loyalty. If I find something that I like and that works, I stick to it. We’ll stick with the skincare theme–I, too, have dry skin, and I use Simple Sugars scrubs. Plus they’re local!

6) Toni admits to being “a bit of a germaphobe,” and always maintains a supply of hand sanitizer and wipes. What is always on your shopping list? Food staples and things we eat a lot–milk and yogurt I’d say are the two biggest ones.

7) While she is not shy about her body and has worn revealing outfits on the red carpet, Toni Braxton refused a 2011 offer from Hugh Hefner and Playboy to pose nude. What’s the last thing you said “no” to? A small task at work. I was right up against a deadline and couldn’t spare the time.

8) In 1996, the year this song was popular, Mattel introduced a Star Trek Barbie and Ken set. Have you ever fantasized about space travel? For a brief period, I wanted to be an astronaut as a kid. I wanted to be just about everything at one point or another, really.

9) Random question — Would you (or did you) invite an ex to your wedding? I didn’t because neither of us had seriously dated anyone else. I would depending on how things ended and what the current relationship was. It’s one of those things I see both sides of, though–I think it’s kind of weird to invite exes at all unless you’re good friends with them, to be honest, but I also think people can be a little too jealous and that sometimes, too much is made of an ex at a wedding.