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July 2009

You're a bluebird on a telegraph line, I hope you're happy now...

The end of July is upon us and, thankfully, summer has past its midway point. It's entering its last phase, which is always good in my world. I'm a cold weather girl....but you know that already. I digress....on with it then!

10. Despite my general dislike of summer (with the exception of it yielding an increased amount of golfing opportunities), this summer hasn't been all that bad overall. We had that couple of weeks of Zimbabwe weather but, for the most part, this summer has been pretty un-Zimbabwe. It's comfortable most days. I can dig it.

9. Your collective state of alarm can happily recede.....my pool has been repaired! The liner is fixed and the wall is fixed and the leak has ceased. There is no more threat. The pool is fixed and opened and blue. Mind you, it hasn't really been pool weather. The water gets heated some by the sun but the air is usually just cool enough to keep the water from maintaining any kind of decent temperature. Frankly, the pool is damn cold....but it's not broken and my yard isn't flooded with pool water. That's really the best I can hope for.

8. Okay, how cool was the British Open? I mean, really. Alright, so, none of my boys won. None of them were even in contention. Hell, a few of them didn't even make the cut! You know what? Who cares! It was still great. Tom Watson knocked everyone's socks off...and even though he didn't win, he made it a joy to watch and he definitely proved that the old codgers can hang in there with the younguns any day of the week. I had great coverage via Direct TV (as usual), Tiger missed the cut so I was spared from watching the Tiger Show Starring Tiger for all four days, the end was really exciting, and I got to see Stuart Cink win his first ever major. All good things. I've got to say, that Tom Watson is a class act. He was the oldest player in the tournament and for the first two days he was paired with Sergio Garcia and the youngest player in the tournament, a 16 year old kid from Italy who was playing as an amateur. The kid ended up winning the award for the best amateur score and when he received his plaque or whatever it was, Tom Watson leaned over to him and said "you're going to be up here as a winner someday." What a friggin' compliment! I mean, Tom Watson is one of golf's legends and here he is giving that kind of respect and encouragement to a young kid from Italy just starting to make his mark in the sport. I was really moved by that. It was the highlight of the whole Open for me. Even Sergio was good to the kid, who admitted to having idolized Sergio when he was younger. During the first two rounds, Sergio would give the kid pointers here and there, helping him craft his shots and the like. Not during practice rounds...during actual play. That's incredible sportsmanship in my book. I mean, say what you want to say about Sergio being a cry baby and all his other millions of faults. That was still a hell of a nice way to be. :o)

7. I totally went to see Transformers 2. I saw it on the Ultrascreen, which is like this bigger, louder, brighter version of the movie experience. Truthfully, it wasn't as good as the first one....but it looked cool as hell, we got to see lots of Meghan Fox's ass, and the movie featured Soundwave and Ravage, my two most favorite Transformers of all time. Both got something of a kind of modernization but that's not a bad thing. I mean, Soundwave is a boom box that has cassette tapes. Most of today's younger audience doesn't even know what a cassette tape is. They turned Soundwave into a communications satellite kind of thing, which really makes more sense these days than a boom box anyway. He flew through space and did this kind of full body melding thing with a communications satellite orbiting around earth. It was one of the coolest effects in the whole movie. And Ravage? Well, Ravage...Ravage was just wicked cool. Look:

Yeah, you know what, that's just cool.

6. The baby parade continues! Chris and Katie welcomed a big, healthy baby girl and then two weeks later, Jordan from my office and his wife welcomed a little, healthy baby girl. All these little peanuts all over the place! :o)

5. In line with the baby parade, I'm just going to take this opportunity to tell you that there is really no better sound in the entire universe than the sound of a little baby totally cracking up. Babies laughing is the best sound EVER. With all the babies around lately, I get to hear baby laughs a lot....and it's pure joy!

4. Andy Roddick totally lost in the Wimbledon final. Truthfully, that doesn't really make me happy. I was rooting for him in a huge way. But, as usual, Roger Federer won. He won his sixth Wimbledon and his record-setting 15th career major. Yay for Fed. The part of it that makes me really happy is that Andy made Fed WORK for it. Every other time that Andy has met Fed in a major, Andy has rolled over and died. Not this time. Fed won in the fifth set 16 to 14. For those of you who don't know how it works, sets usually end at 7...the fifth set can't be determined in a tie breaker and you have to win by two so the fifth set can keep going and going until someone wins. Andy hung in there the entire match. So much so, that the crowd was chanting his name...not Fed's. His career is seeing a resurgence lately and I LOVE IT. Andy's back...and he's back in a BIG way. I can't wait to see what he does at the US Open!

3. I saw Elton John and Billy Joel at Wrigley Field. It was so great. I didn't get to hear either perform my favorite song by each but it was still phenomenal. WAY better than I anticipated, actually. Both men are no Spring chickens but the entire show, whether they were playing together or alone, was full of energy. Elton John did Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, which I totally didn't expect...and it gave me chills! Billy Joel was funny and engaged with the crowd and just played the hell out of that piano. They were both absolutely outstanding. If you have the chance to catch the show, do. It's so worth the money. I also got to see some old friends in the process, which made the entire experience all that much the better!

2. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. Go see it. Go see it right now. I don't care if you've seen it already. See it again. It's being touted as the best of all the Potter movies so far. In my opinion, Goblet of Fire is still the best but I think that has to do more with personal preference than actual movie criticism. Half-Blood Prince is EXCELLENT...and unlike most of the other movies, the kids in this film actually got to act. Tom Felton (who plays Draco Malfoy) was finally given a part he could sink his teeth into instead of just playing a little bleach-blonde shithead. Both Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) got to show some of their comedic chops...and the chick who played Lavender Brown! I don't remember her name but holy hell! She was BRILLIANT. The girl was a complete scene stealer. Every scene she was in, she was so wonderfully funny that she totally dwarfed anyone else in the scene. She pulled the character off with such a fantastic comedic quirkiness, much like how Evanna Lynch brilliantly plays Luna Lovegood. Outside of all that, we got to see a glimpse of Luna's Gryffindor-supporting lion head hat. I've been waiting a long time to see that hat. Luna's my hero. In my next life, I want to be Luna Lovegood.

1. Have you ever encountered one of those little kids that's just too funny for words? I was blessed enough to come across one on the train the other day. There was a three-year old girl and her mother sitting behind me on the train a few mornings ago and the little girl was so funny, I took my headphones off and just listened to her chatter the whole way into the city. First of all, she had that little black girl hairdo with the eight million little pony tails secured with all different kinds of colored clips all over her head. I love that hairdo. I think it's the cutest thing. Secondly, this child was really smart. She was so clever, I almost couldn't stand it. She was sitting next to the window and was keeping up a running commentary of things she saw outside. Her mother, in turn, was responding to her with "mmmhmmm" in this perfectly kindly and patient tone. The little miss caught on after a while that mom wasn't really listening....so she gave mom a little test. She said "ooh, mommy, see the dinosaur?" and mom replied "mmmhmmm". Quick as a whip, the little miss said "that's not a dinosaur! That's a car!" and then just lost it laughing. She was rolling all over her seat just laughing her head off. She just kept chattering away, saying the most adorably funny things. When we pulled into the Blue Island station, which is also the starting station for the Metra Electric Line, she saw the other train and exclaimed "another train? How many trains do these people need???" Too funny. Once the view out the window got boring, she started reiterating to her mother a conversation she'd had with her father about how she intends to marry Kosuke Fukudome from the Chicago Cubs. It was HILARIOUS. She's going to marry the man and she's serious about it. The best part was the way she said his name...and she said it about a million times. She would say it like Kose-keee Foo-kee-dome-eee....and she put about a ton of emphasis on every syllable. It was the best thing ever. Personally, I think her attraction is based entirely on a love of saying his name. She was a complete delight. I wish she was on my train every morning. Little miss!

So, that's that....for July anyway. I've got a very busy August ahead of me so, hopefully, I'll have lots of happiness to share with the group. Until then, be good to yourselves and be good to each other and if you want to eat the cookie, eat the cookie. :o)

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