Tag Archive | Chicago

All those years ago

The 42nd President of the United States announces that the Razorbacks have defeated LSU! Woo pig!

The 42nd President of the United States announces that the Razorbacks have defeated LSU! Woo pig!

Last Saturday found my young friend Wiggy and I among hundreds – thousands? I didn’t inherit Daddy’s estimator proclivity – in the fanciest tent you ever saw celebrating and feeling the joy of all those years ago when the Clinton Library opened.

That day in 2004 was unforgettable for the torrential rain, among other things.

But more than that, I was celebrating the Clinton presidency years and hope. And young people who care.

Missing the Arkansas/LSU game was a hard call. I knew in my heart and bones that the Hogs were going to win – I wanted to be part of the 10-year celebration but I was torn. The rest of my family went Razorbacks. But when I learned Wiggy (Elizabeth is her given name) was eager to attend, I knew we had to go.

I’d gotten tickets the first day they were available, after all.

What a good decision. We had a great time.

Kevin Spacey did his Bill Clinton impression a couple of times. He's one of my favorite actors.

Kevin Spacey did his Bill Clinton impression a couple of times. He’s one of my favorite actors.

People assumed we were mother and daughter. I’m 41+ years older than her – which, in my family could make me her grandmother.

My beautiful young friend. People around us thought we were mother and daughter. We didn't try to explain.

My beautiful young friend. The people behind us thought we were mother and daughter and said this was the “best picture ever.” We didn’t try to explain.


And we got to hear the king of Arkansas announce that the Razorbacks had decisively ended their longest SEC losing streak ever.

And see Hillary calling the Hogs along with the crowd while Bill bro-hugged Kevin Spacey (be still my heart) in celebration.

Hillary Clinton calls the Hogs with the crowd.

Hillary Clinton calls the Hogs with the crowd.

I also got to sit across the aisle from my dear old friend Gary Bunn, whom I taught with at NLRHS but haven’t seen, outside of Facebook, for years. What a treat that was!

So let me explain this relationship – Wiggy is Julia’s youngest daughter. She’s smart and witty and wry. A sponge for knowledge and culture. She even enjoys it when her mom, my sister and I nerd out for musicals – we’ve been introducing her to the greats one at at time on Sunday evenings. And we’re going to expand our list to include just basic need-to-see-to-intelligently-exist movies interspersed with musicals (The Usual Suspects and Twelve Monkeys are on that list).

We’ll also do Audrey Hepburn movies – and other classic greats.

So far we’ve watched The Sound of Music, Camelot, Oklahoma, South Pacific, My Fair Lady and The Music Man. This Sunday is Chicago – with Marie-Noelle, who arrives tonight for Thanksgiving. Hooray! And my Liz, who pops in from time to time.

Wiggy has enjoyed them all and we love having her young perspective. She gives us hope for the future.

Here’s to you, my huckleberry friend.


That’s a Breakfast at Tiffany’s reference, Wiggy. We’ll watch it before long.



Does anybody really know what time it is?

When Chicago posed their musical question in 1969, they referred to something much bigger, but at our house, when John or anyone else asks, “Does anybody really know what time it is,” it’s meant literally. A few years back (I couldn’t tell you when because time blends together), I started setting our clocks to be fast – and some of them fast by different amounts.

It's 2:43 or 2:45ish p.m. Or is it?

It’s 2:43 or 2:45ish p.m. Or is it?

It was the only thing I could think of to help with our chronic lateness, and it works, for the most part, partly because every time our power goes out, which is pretty frequently (our power sources in this old neighborhood must be historic, too), I reset the clocks a different number of minutes ahead. They usually range between 3 and 8 minutes fast.

That, of course, has its own inherent danger, if you think you have 7 more minutes but really have 4. So we’ve got to take it at face value. For real time, our Comcast box and sleeping iMac, John’s MacBook and our cell phones are the only sources in the house. Even my MacBook clock runs fast – without me setting it forward. Go figure.

My crazy system works pretty well, but today I’ve been a bit disoriented from falling back to sleep this morning and sleeping in until 8:25, something I haven’t done in eons. I needed it desperately, because zombies have been keeping me up late at night for a week now.

WWZAfter seeing the movie, I had to read Max Brooks’ World War Z. The movie’s good, but the book’s a whole different creature. I’ll be through soon. People are waiting in line to borrow it.

The book that kept me awake nights before WWZ is Second Sight by Judith Orloff. Some friends – whom I won’t name to protect their reputations, should they choose to remain anonymous – and I decided to read it for a loose book club. We met Thursday night for our first discussion and mainly got sidetracked by visiting and discussing dreams and other things. 2ndSight

The book is about that and more – developing intuition, interpreting dreams – things that are probably too “wacko” for many people but secretly intrigue many others.

We’ll try to stick to the book more next time.

One last thing for today: Alice Cooper, you need to chill out, dude. You’re the guy who sang “Eighteen” about the joys of being young, so why are you lambasting Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers? This isn’t 1971 and things change. That’s how life works. Some of us old folks love them – and you’re sounding like a cranky old “get off my damn lawn” guy.

Take some advice from your contemporaries in Pink Floyd and leave those kids alone.

The world needs all the joy it can get.

That’s all.