Sunday, July 9, 2017
When you live on the 26th floor, your time on the elevator adds way up. One perk is that the
people-watching can get interesting.
Since my building welcomes residents of all colors, ethnicities, sexual preferences and attire, the elevator becomes "crossroad of a million lives."
My history with elevators has had its ups and downs. (Groan.) At my office building on LaSalle, I was stuck between floors with too many others one hot day. The rescue was pretty quick . . . the recovery not so fast.
Bill and I were stuck in our apartment building elevator. He had his comic books. I had nothing but my creeping hysteria. After that, I vowed to live no higher than I could climb. Of course, that wore off over time.
My favorite elevator experiences were when I worked at the Monadnock Building. They had operators! Friendly men who remembered you and your floor. I'd like to think they were all union guys who made good pay.
Elevator etiquette has changed dramatically. Before cell phones, my elevator mates were happy to give me a smile and maybe a few words. Now, except for us oldsters, they stare at their devices, barely noticing when we reach the lobby.
Final thought: Thanks to you, Mr. Otis, I have my fabulous sky-high view. Worth the ride every time.
Friday, July 7, 2017
"I'm so glad I can turn off the news, and turn to my favorite July sports event: Wimbledon!" That's what I was saying to myself in anticipation of this year's drama. The grass, the players all in white, I need some tradition. No Serena, but on the men's side, the big four still going strong.
The 2017 Gods laughed.
Even before the players got on the court, John McEnroe made a fool of himself by saying Serena would rank 700 against the guys. Really John, that's so Bobby Riggs.
Right away, players were annoyed and interrupted by swarms of flying ants. A "rare occurrance" said the commentators. Sure.
Two injured men started their matches against Federer and Djokovic and retired early. The explanation was that it was the only way they could get their minimum pay. There must be a better rule that doesn't cheat the fans.
Upon losing, a real jerk of a pro threw coins at the judge in the chair. Another jerk said he was "bored" on the court.
And here's McEnroe again, gossiping that Djokovic may have "problems in his personal life like Tiger Woods."
On another scale altogether, Bethanie Sands suffered a gruesome injury and left the court in an ambulance. Please let this be less serious than it looked.
That was week one at Wimbledon. Please, can we just have one great five-setter in week two?
My hope? Nadal beats Federer in the finals. Very traditional.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
I used to love the Fourth of July. I'd go around singing: "You're a grand old flag, you're a high-flying flag . . ." I have a cap decorated with the red, white and blue all made of sparkly sequins. It came from Long Beach, CA one July 4 when I was celebrating with Elsa. She was all brand new to the family -- and to America.
One of my favorite July 4's was 1976 -- The Bicentennial Year! My friend Kathy and I hosted a fabulous party. We asked our friends to entertain by "doing something you would only do once every 200 years. (Phyllis: do you still have your kazoo?)
I miss so much the July 4's I spent on the screened-in porch of my friend Lail and her husband Steve. Great group, great company. Then sadly, Steve died and Lail moved. No Steve, no porch, no party.
Pay attention to the good years . . . but then, you already know that.
This July 4 is tough. I don't know if great memories are going to get me through the day and star-spangled night. My mood about the country staggers between contempt and despair.
Tonight, as I watch the sky light up, I'll be searching for my inner-patriot. I suspect the only way I'll find it is through hope.