Wednesday, November 22, 2017


AAGH! I'm late with this entry because when I got up at 5:00, the computer refused to connect. Too long and involved to explain how I got it back up, but I think--I hope--I know what this is happening. If it happens again and I can't remedy it, I'm going to call my computer guy, Victor, and have him fix it. In truth, I'd like to get a laptop; I hope to do that soon.


Walked my walk, then actually stayed in until lunchtime, looking up, honing and revising, and reading a slew of plays, short stories, and reminiscences I had written anywhere from last week (two monologues) and in 1994 (an unfinished kind of supernatural mystery). I acting out all parts of several of my longer plays, including The Pukey, which I'd love to see staged, but not in readers theatre.
After lunch, I took off for town and did my m. to l. walk. Stayed in the library for an hour or so, reading Elizabeth Edwards' last book, a slim one. Boy, this hits you right in the gut; I had to conceal the tears in my eyes. The title, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities, suggests one of those dreary self-help books ("faith will make you whole"), yet it's anything but. I can't wait to read the second half today. I know she died seven years ago and I actually feel grieved about that.
Had the leftovers from my little dinner party and boy, were they good, especially the roasted Brussels sprouts El made.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Leisure And Sheep

The day seemed so leisurely, since I wasn't preparing for a show or a dinner. After Kimball, I stripped the bed and gathered up the sheets and everything else needing to be washed, and took them to the laundry. Did other little chores and the place looks nice and tidy. Went to WinCo for various and home to chop cucumbers and chicken. Made a huge salad (I already had Romaine and tomatoes), half of which I had for lunch.
After, I took off for town, glad to resume my museum to library walk. I stopped in front of the mission to call Nancy and see if she was going to the widder dinner. She wasn't and I was vacillating about it--not sure I wanted to go or not.
I decided to, after all, and I enjoyed it. Talked a lot to Pam (an attorney I have pegged for my nephew, who's now divorced) and Anna, who looks--seriously--about thirty, but is fifty-four and has five grandchildren. There were nine of us, including two newcomers; one lost her husband only a year ago on Thanksgiving Day. Vera talked about our December dinner, which is on Monday, the fourth. It's to be the "wear an ugly Christmas sweater (nope) and an ornament exchange."* Wouldn't you know that's at 6:00 the same day as Poinsettia Toastmasters at 7:00 and I'm to give my maiden speech? Oh, well,l'll just flit from one to another.
Aside from that, a low-key day.
* It's wearisome how imitative people are. Wouldn't you think Vera could come up with something more imaginative, instead of those two done-to-death cliches? It reminds me of a book that made a big stir years ago--not the content (anti-communism), but the title: A Nation of Sheep.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dinner Party

Walked Kimball, did my Sunday thing, but once again, skipped my afternoon walk. I'm comfortable with that, though; I know I'll resume after the excitement is over.
I wet mopped the floor after preparing as much as I could for dinner. Put together the marinade for the salmon; cut, chopped, and sliced the fruit for dessert; took out the tablecloth and napkins from the linen closet; assembled the serving dishes and spoons; and otherwise prepared.
Happily, I was interrupted by phone calls: My brother, Jim, called, thinking he had talked to Betty on Saturday--just got it a little confused. I also talked to my sister-in-law, Terese; she's going through some tough physical problems herself. Betty then called and we had a good, sisterly talk. After, I called Frank and told him I'd be up in early December.
I'm grieving for Frank. When he first answers, he sounds so lively and upbeat, as he always did--full of exuberance. Then he starts talking about impossible ambitions: he's going to drive again, he's going to buy a--I'm not quite sure what he meant, but some kind of car. His children don't give him any chance to decide anything himself, and so on. I don't argue with him, let alone say it's for his own good. I just say, "boy, Frank, that's a bitch, isn't it?" and let him complain. Where did my confident, assured brother go? I can't believe he won't be back.
Anyway, my little dinner party was a great success. The salmon made a hit, Suzanne brought over-roasted potatoes, Ellen both Brussels sprouts (also roasted) and some fresh peas she shelled herself. We had good, adult conversation--nobody mentioned television or the cute little things their grandchild did. (Understandable, since I was the only one with such creatures.) All three of them are, or were, teachers: third grade, high school, and college, so had plenty to talk about. Suzanne had only water, El just a small amount of Chardonnay, and Jim and I polished off the bottle Carole gave me, plus some of another I opened (of course, he stayed longer).
Suzanne left with thanks, El, that sweet girl, cleaned up, then left about 8:30. Jim stayed until a bit after 9:00; we talked and talked, ranging over philosophy, religion, and the strictures on adjunct faculty. I found out he was an only child, born and brought up in San Franciso, and thinks he's seventy-six. Not sure? No, and he doesn't seem to celebrate his birthday, which is on April 29.
Anyway, I walked him back to the entrance, then polished off more of the dessert--mixed fruit--and went happily to bed.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Walked Kimball, then plunged into my day. After breakfast, I took the bathroom rugs and tub mat to the laundry place and washed them. I don't put them in the dryer, but just spread them on patio chairs to dry. Put all my acting stuff away--unfortunately, not very systematically, but just kind of helter-skelter. Dry-mopped the floor, cleaned the bathroom and some of the kitchen, and did a few other chores.
It then occurred to me that I wanted to send the "Nana Mix" (Chex mix with a twist, which Mom always made around Christmas) to the guys in Jersey and I wanted it there for Thanksgiving. I had always made it in the microwave, but mine is too small, so I had to do it in the oven. What a chore! It takes a full hour that way and you have to stir it every fifteen minutes. The post office closes at 3:00 on Saturdays and I had no wrapping paper. At one point, after oven and stirring, I put half in the microwave in a bowl. Set it for three minutes and--it's a good thing I opened in two, because smoke came pouring out. I guess it was too long for only a portion, or whatever. I had to throw most of that part away, made another batch, set it to cool, rushed over to CVS for brown paper, and finally got to the post office to mail it.
Went to WinCo after for salmon portions; I'll serve it baked with a simple marinade. They had none, so I had to go to Ralph's. I was going to make a berry cobbler, but I decided I just wasn't going to go that far (I used to) and bought bananas, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, watermelon, apples, and dried cranberries. Will make a simple mixed fruit dessert, instead. My niece, Carolyn, called and we had a good chat.
I still have to wet mop the floor, clean a little more here and there, and vacuum before I start on the food, but that should be no problem.
Note: I forgot to mention that my dear brother, Jim, called me on Friday,just to say hello. He sounded good, especially for 91; said he and Therese were at McDonald's for dinner--AAGH! How did he manage to live past ninety?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

"A Little Taste of Theatre"

Walked Kimball, tossed the salad I had made Thursday, then took off for T.O.P.S. I didn't think I'd lose this time, considering how often I skipped my town walk, but I did: only 1.2 pounds, but I'll take it. I'm now at 138.2 and feeling good.
We had the potluck, with plenty of food-I-won't eat because it's not what I eat. I had my own salad and a little of a sweet potato/kale dish and a very slim slice of Carole's quiche. This didn't even make a nod to the healthy food, but it was good.
Carole surprised me by giving me a bottle of Coppola Chardonnay. Yes, the director has his own brand. Anyway, I was delighted and will serve it on Sunday when I have Jim, Suzanne, and Ellen for dinner.
Rushed home from there to pack up all the gear for the show. Changed--and I must say I looked good in black and white, and got to SCAN by 2:30. Happily, the class that had met there was just leaving, so Brianne, Brenda, and I set up the place. My players started coming in by 2:45 and by 3:00, they were all there except John, my fill-in.
We had a fair number of people in the audience, which pleased me, and the players did well.
I was especially happy with Sharon, who seemed to have finally learned timing. She did a very good job in the comedic "Help Wanted--Not!" I wasn't nearly as pleased with somebody else, who is a very tiresome show-off. She seems to need constant attention for one reason or another and she's a royal pain in the ass. Char was good a lot of the time, although uneven and Noreen was one of the best of all those I've taught. Jim has improved mightily and John was adequate in his very small role. Unfortunately, M. continues to be exactly as inadequate as when she started. She's such a sweet person, so very likable, and her stated aim to to join Actors Equity. In fact, she asked me for some ideas on attaining that. I gave her the same three-page letter I've given many others who have told me they want to act, but I fear it just isn't in the cards. In every role, dramatic or comic, she voices the same unvarying tone, which is sweet, soft, and exceedingly boring.
However, the show went well. Got home about 5:00 and rang Suzanne's doorbell. She invited me in and we had a nice talk. Later, El called and asked what she could bring tomorrow. I said a vegetable of some kind; Suzanne's bringing a potato dish, and I'll serve baked salmon. If I have time, maybe I'll make applesauce. I do what to make a dessert--wouldn't dream of buying it.
When I got up this morning, the computer was out. Unplugged and re-plugged and finally got it working. It's terrible how dependent I am on it.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Rush, Rush, Rush

Whew, what a day.
Walked Kimball, had breakfast, and was over at SCAN by 9:00. (Great consternation from all those I saw about SCAN's closing.) Sharon was already there, in the "kitchen" (all but a stove) and while we chatted, she injected herself with insulin. Brianne said she'd help me set up the room for dress rehearsal, but by the time she finished whatever duties, I had done most of it.
The others came in, as instructed, at 10, except for Noreen, who doesn't use a computer and had thought rehearsal was called for 10:30. She also forgot her scripts, so I had to lend her mine. Also, John didn't show, but I had forgotten he said he couldn't be there yesterday.
Rehearsal went fairly well--"fairly" being the operative word. Of course, the more rehearsals, the better the performance, and we really had little time. However, it was okay; I noticed improvement in most of them. I had them run through the plays twice, then we broke up at noon. I went directly from there to Fed Ex and sent off the package to Singapore. That took a good half hour for various reasons and it was past my lunch time when I got home. Just ate salad and spinach, then tackled the minor revision of Impostor, as the two players and I had slightly different versions. (My fault: I had changed the first page to accommodate Sharon's difficulty in getting up and down and got mixed up doing it.)
Went to WinCo for lettuce, tomatoes, and other fixings, as I'm bringing a salad today for the potluck at T.O.P.S. While I was there, my niece called about various family/genealogy items. I had to cut her short because it was close to 5:00 and I still had things to get ready for Toastmasters. Before I got my purchases rung up, Judi from Toastmasters called to say the person who was to do improv was ill, so would I fill in? Geez, I had enough on my plate, but I agreed to fill in--luckily, I already had topics prepared, as I always start off my acting classes that way. Got home just in time for dinner, which was sketchy: I had leftovers of chicken and spinach, then took off for Humor & Drama Toastmasters.
This proved to be pretty engaging, although a tad peculiar. (Someday I'll elaborate on that, but not now.) There were only eight people there and the program included Fern reading to us about the first Thanksgiving. She actually had us gather 'round in a circle, like the little ones she used to teach. However, it wasn't bad. Raul was Toastmaster for the night--very nice guy; still has an accent, but he's not defensive about it. Edith, who's from the Netherlands and has a strong accent herself, then spoke on her trip to Vegas with Fern, who had participated in a divisional Toastmasters contest.
Refreshments followed, then my improv, which went over big. Poor Noreen got one that always throws people and couldn't talk on it for the whole minutes, but no prob.
Got home at 9:00, had some fruit, and then beddy-bye.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Full Day

Walked Kimball, getting there and home early, so I was finished my shower and starting breakfast by 8:00. Dressed and went to the VCS (Ventura Council for Seniors). I was amazed that Suze hadn't known SCAN was closing--she and Lori were stunned. There was a great deal of discussion and consternation about it and Suze repeated her mantra that we need another senior center in Ventura. She asked people to sign a kind of petition (but not to put it on the ballot) supporting it. I opened my big mouth and mentioned how often people are set up with petitions at Wal-Mart; I could do that myself. Oh, damn, that was greeted with thanks and appreciation, so I gotta do it.
Went from there home to change and then to get some more stuff about Toastmasters written out.
A large box came for Mike and Paula, this one with a twenties' tux in it. Had lunch and on my way to the hairdressers', I took it to Fed Ex to get prices (I'm also gong to have them wrap it). Oh, a mere nothing, ranging from $332 if they want it Monday, to $255 if they can wait until Wednesday. After I got back from the hairdressers (just got color), I was writing this up in an e-mail to Mike, when there was a knock on the door. It was the third item, a headpiece, so today--after rehearsal and before Toastmasters--I'll take it back to Fed Ex and have it sent off.
I still had some things to clear up for rehearsal--including writing my intros--and did that before dinner. After rehearsal today, I'll write up the "warm-up interviews" I said I'd do for Toastmasters tonight, take Mike's box to FedEx, and go to WinCo to get ingredients for what I'll bring to T.O.P.S. tomorrow. This is for the annual potluck "breakfast"--or whatever it is. We still meet at 8:45, yet there's this big spread with items anything but low-calorie. No wonder I seem to be the only one in the group who's consistently losing weight. Speaking of T.O.P.S., I have no idea where we'll meet now that SCAN is closing.