Monday, May 18, 2015

An Author of Note

See the photo and the by-line? My daughter is a published author. She writes columns for NFLSpinZone about the NFL. I really didn't realize how much she follows and absorbs and forms opinions on pro-football until I was visiting last October. Get into the car to drive to the wedding dress store and the radio is tuned to NFL analysis. She reads commentary. She follows teams. She plays Fantasy Football and follows certain players. She watched "Game of Thrones", but usually the TV is turned to ESPN or the NFL cable channels.

Her contract calls for a minimum of 5 columns per month. She covered the NFL draft, held in Chicago at the end of April and the first two days of May. Her by-line was on 5 columns in that time period alone. She's on Twitter and is followed by two running backs currently in the NFL. She's one of 2 women on a staff of 30.

The team she was assigned to cover, who needed a writer devoted to them, is the Cleveland Browns. We had a laugh about that but at the time she was getting married, Cleveland changed the team's logo and had a drama-filled end of March with their quarterback hirings. One might prefer to write about a team with very little drama, like the Packers, but it will not be dull for her once football season resumes.

Perks? Well, other than a small amount of cash at the end of each month, which is based upon her following, retweets of her comments and columns on Twitter and Facebook, and turning in her articles, there really aren't any. She doesn't get season tickets or any tickets, really, to the Browns. We won't be seeing her on ESPN talking head programs. I think the biggest perk is the joy and thrill of seeing her name in type and knowing that there are a lot of people reading what she writes.

If you'd like to read what she's written so far, even if you don't care one iota about pro football, you can go to this link. She said they had positions available for people to write about Big 10 football teams, but I would have had to write about Wisconsin or Purdue. Nope, I really can't and my interest in Big 10 football is not as deep as her interest in NFL football. I'm not inclined to do the research needed to write authoritatively about the subject. There are some things I know but that's not one of them.

I am so proud of Carole. She had a very bad 2012 and early 2013. Life has improved exponentially and 2015 is starting off to be fantastic.

Beverage: Fruit juice


Do a Study on This

It's human nature to want to know why our beloved pets do the things they do. "Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs?" "Cats Can Hear You Calling Their Name:  They Don't Care." "A Cat's Purr Has a Healing and Destressing Effect." "Having a Pet Reduces the Chance of Kids Getting Allergies." "Pet Owners Have Naturally Lower Cholesterol and Heart Rates." These are some of the studies done with pets. If you've had pets in your life for a long time, you know these titles are true and probably rolled your eyes that money was spent on the study.

The Norwegian study on cats knowing you're calling them but just don't care was a particular eye-roll. Pilchard does that. I know she can't have gotten out, but I don't know where she is and she isn't coming when called and I'm starting to worry and what if she's stuck somewhere and I don't find her and...there she is. She's behind the recliner, just sitting there, looking at me as if to say, "I'm right here. I know where I am. I don't know why you're getting all panicked."

Here's something I want someone to study.

I went through the closet this morning, to get a shirt for a run to the grocery. Pilchard is lying at the foot of the bed. Why is it that she moves to lay on top of the clean clothes? I could see lying on something I've worn because it has my scent on it, but you can see these two shirts are still on the hangers. She got up and plopped herself down on top of the clean shirts.

Do you suppose it's scent related? Could she be attracted to the scent of the fabric softener? I usually try to use unscented but I'm sure there are subtle smells my far less sensitive nose can pick up. Are the clean clothes softer? She loves it when I bring clothes up from the basement and dump a pile on the bed. Both her and Mija will make nests in pile. In the morning, when I lay out my work clothes, someone jumps onto the bed and lies on them. If I want them to move, I just need to pull out a clean tee shirt and sit it at the end of them bed. The offender willingly moves to the new article of clothing. Why?

We cat owners joke that the reason our cats lie on the clean laundry is because they can tell it has no fur on it and that it's important we leave the house wearing something from our cats. I'm curious why cats do this. I don't know how you'd test for it, but it would be interesting to know.


A Hearty Goodbye

It's cleaning on a bits and pieces scale. I guess the "Today" show ran a segment on The Art of Tidying. I haven't seen it but several friends mentioned it. "How could you implement her program in an American house? I can't dump all my clothes in the middle of my floor to sort through them?" I've told them to read the book and then slowly work through their stuff. The author talked about relapses but claims, if you do her program as she suggests, you won't have a relapse.

The thing is, her program is for Japanese houses which are a quarter the size of my house, which is small. She talks about removing large numbers of garbage bags of what she calls garbage from people's homes. Instantly, I thought of the big black bags I use. "Twenty-three bags?" I thought, incredulously. Now, I'm thinking, garbage bags in Japan may not be the big 50+ gallon ones. Even if it's a small plastic bag from CVS, it could be used and considered as a garbage bag. Then 23 bags removed is not so outlandish.

I have another bag to go in a couple weeks. The work shirt side of my closet is cleaned. I'm down to the shirts that I will wear to work, that fit my tastes and that actually fit me. It was clean the bathroom time, too, and I finally decided to part with this.

I haven't used this in years, other than to put my pjs on it when I take them off in the morning. I used to think it was a vital necessity to have in the house. But now I realize that, although I do want to and should lose weight, the presence of a scale tells me I'm a failure for not being more rigorous in my exercise or eating. I don't need this silent shame in my life. So, it's in the give away pile. If there ever comes a time when I scale is needed, I think I know where I can get one, or two, or 14.

In the words of the immortal Rogers and Hammerstein, "So long. Farewell, Auf wiedersehn. Goodbye."

Beverage:  Fruit juice


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Chasing the Storm

It's one thing to drive into the storm. The horizon gets dark blue black and you know you're in for a ride. It's another thing to see it creeping up on you. Such was the case on Thursday.

My friend, Terry, was in town on business so we managed to find time on Thursday night to get together for dinner. I got into the Jeep and headed east. Traffic. I didn't realize the Chicago Bulls were playing their last game of the season (They lost and so are out of the playoffs.) in Chicago. Traffic within 10 miles of the United Center crawled, at best. While at a stop light, I did more than just glance in the rearview mirror. The radio report was, "We're tracking a line of storms with potentially high winds moving east through the Chicagoland area." As if traffic wasn't moving well now, just wait until the rain comes.

It avoided me. I drove through some sprinkles, but the heavy rain, the stuff I can see in the rearview mirror, went around me. Later, during the evening, when we were eating, it rained heavily, but that, too, was gone by the time we left the restaurant and I drove home.

It needs to stop raining for a week and some of this should go to the southwestern US where it's desperately needed.

Beverage:  English Breakfast Tea