Some Saturday stuff.




K is off fishing with some friends this weekend, so it’s just me and Z. She hasn’t been too naughty- I did get a head butt last night which resulted in a busted lip- so I’ve had time to bake some Irish soda bread, do yoga, and play puzzles with my little Laila Ali.


I also did some reading that I want to pass along here. First this story about the late great Roger Ebert and his widow Chaz:


Roger Ebert’s widow says she’s “devastated” to lose the man she called the love of her life, adding that he was “getting tired of his fight with cancer.”


“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away. No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition,” Chaz Ebert said in a statement released shortly after the legendary film critic‘s death today.


She said her husband – whom she called her friend, confidante and partner for more than 20 years – had fought a “courageous fight.”


“I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world,” she wrote, adding that they had a “lovely” life together.


“It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other,” she wrote.


Ebert posted a blog about the depth of his feelings for his wife on their 20 th wedding anniversary. In except from his memoir, “My Life,” that appeared on his blog at the Chicago Sun-Times – the newspaper where he established his career as a film critic – Ebert said his wife had been steadfastly with him through sickness and health.


“How can I begin to tell you about Chaz?” he posted on July 17, 2012. “She fills my horizon, she is the great fact of my life, she has my love, she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading. If my cancer had come, and it would have, and Chaz had not been there with me, I can imagine a descent into lonely decrepitude.”

During his long illness, Ebert wrote, his wife “never lost her love, and when it was necessary she forced me to want to live … her love was like a wind forcing me back from the grave.”


Aww… real love. Prayers to Chaz, their family and loved ones. I started reading Ebert’s columns at around 9 (yeah, I was a weird kid), and I’ve always admired his skills in writing and analysis. He was a true Great, and will be missed.


Next, this article from the New York Times. Such a shame.


A steel-haired woman, 89 years old and an inch short of five feet, sat on a pillow in the driver’s seat of her Buick LeSabre, just thinking. Parked outside a convenience store on one of the last days of winter, she was considering a pre-Easter treat for herself: an ice cream cone. Butter pecan.


Two girls, 15 and 14, appeared at the window, calling her “Miss” and offering to pay for a ride to the other side of town. Her inclination was to say no, but her strong belief in offering kindness to strangers won out. She said yes, of course, and no need to pay her.


Uncertainty soon joined the ride, as her passengers directed her to one house, then to another, and another. Then, according to the police, they snatched her keys, causing a tussle between two girls and a small woman three times their combined ages.


Youth won out. They locked her in the trunk.


The Buick roared away with its frail owner curled up in the hold’s casketlike darkness. She was tossed about like forgotten luggage with every bump and turn. She could feel the vibrations pounding from the car radio that drowned out her calls for help. As a woman went missing, so did time, with day turning to night, night to day, day to night …


It remains unknown what these girls were thinking, if they were thinking, when they imprisoned another human being in a car trunk without food, water or medication. What is known is just who they had dismissed, apparently, as just another defenseless little old lady: Margaret E. Smith, the backbone of a dot in the center of Delaware, in the town of Lincoln, called Slaughter Neck.



On that Wednesday morning, the police say, the youths dumped a shoeless Ms. Smith in a remote cemetery somewhere outside of Seaford, where a dirt path provides the only access from the main road. It is a cemetery for the poor, all sand and weeds, with many graves marked by pressed metal instead of stone.


“I started crawling,” Ms. Smith recalled. “I’d stop for a few minutes, then start crawling again.”


She had no idea where she was. The rough ground tore at her hands and bloodied her knees. Still, she said, “I was just glad to have breath.”


You can read the whole harrowing tale here. 


I also did some listening, including this piece from On The Media about the history of the “soft sell” in advertsing. Very timely, what with Mad Men returning for it’s sixth season on AMC tomorrow night.


And if you need a little rewind on the last season, here you go:


And lastly, I’ve been in a jazzy mood, so here’s a little Coltrane for you.


Hope you’re having a beautiful Saturday!

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