Sunday night marks one of the last remaining reminders of my recent bout of unemployment. It’s the last time I’ll be able to file for unemployment compensation with State of Tennessee. Filing weeks run two weeks behind the actual date. The end of my ability to take advantage of this particular program coincides with the Tennessee Legislature expanding it. If Gov. Bredesen signs the measure, benefits would add 20 additional weeks for a total of 79. That is, if unemployment remains high in the state (which I’m guessing it will). It’s certainly something I was glad to qualify for, but by the same token, it’s something I don’t think I’ll miss getting. Even though I told the Commercial Appeal that I really didn’t feel stigmatized by not having a job, I always felt the bank tellers at Regions were looking at me a tiny bit differently once they saw what kind of check I was depositing.
And the answer is…
I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I spend some of my free time playing bar trivia. The big citywide finals were Sunday night. 67 of the area’s best groups of knowing useless knowledge were on hand at Dan McGuinness in East Memphis, ready to do battle. I’d like to say we won the $5,000 first prize, but alas, it was not to be. My team is certainly good enough to have won, and if we had zigged on a couple of questions, instead of zagged, we would have been in the money.
Here’s a prime example. One of the questions was about the International Association of Women Helicopter Pilots, founded in 1955. What do they call themselves. We didn’t know for sure, but being born around that time, I offered what I thought might be a good guess. As a team, we decided to go with another answer, and ended up wrong, losing points we should have gotten since I had actually guessed correctly.”Whirly-Girls” is the correct answer. As you can see, they’ve even got a logo with a cute little girl helicopter.
Governor “Moonbeam” & the Rock Star
I spent most of Sunday before trivia listening to and downloading music by Linda Ronstadt. She’s always been one of my favorite female singers. Favorite until I heard Alison Krauss (her version of Karla Bonoff’s “Lose Again” just tears at my heart, while Linda’s version, from Hasten Down the Wind has a bit too much bombast for me by comparison.
Even so, it’s the force and power of Ronstadt’s voice that I’ve always liked. Like most of the record-buying public, I fell for her around the same time Jerry Brown did. I used to think that athletes and musicians got the hot women, but this and other examples proved to me that Henry Kissinger was right that “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
Ronstadt’s last album came out in 2006, but she still performs. Jerry, who did not go from the California Governor’s Mansion to the White House, instead went to City Hall as mayor of Oakland, California. He’s now the state’s Attorney General and is considered one of the more mainstream Democratic candidates for governor. Apparently the other Dems in the race, including the mayors of LA and San Francisco, are the wild ones now when it comes to their social lives. Oh, how times change.