Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Phone And A Prayer

When I got up and checked my e-mail, I saw a message from Judith A., of Toastmasters, asking if I'd switch roles with her and present, rather than act as evaluater. Geez, that gave me only a few hours to work up a talk. However, I decided to make this my "ice breaker" and pulled together some family pictures.-
After Kimball and breakfast, I spent almost the whole friggin' morning on the phone. Called Amtrak yet again about my refund for the return trip from Oakland.  I had called after I got back from Frank's and been told it would be deposited back into my Visa account within ten days. It wasn't. I had called on December 28 and been told the same thing. Nope. Yesterday, I got the ten days routine again. Let's hope.
Called Parks & Recreation once more about my refund for the cancelled Getty Museum trip. I had been told before I'd get a check.  I didn't. This time, they said they had sent it to my old address and they'd have to issue another. Well, you'd think when they got the old check back--or realized it hadn't been cashed--they'd follow up on it, but I guess not.
E-mailed Jackie L. at SCAN again about my compensation for the acting class. She called  me immediately and apologized, saying she had asked the finance department and was told they needed a requisition slip. Presumably, Brenda had overlooked this. Anyway, I should soon--after two months--be getting a check.
At Toastmasters, held again at Fern's back forty, it was damned chilly. The large room has a big fireplace, but Sue has asthma and asked that it not be lit. Fern and I were the two speakers and I thought her delivery was far superior to mine, so was surprised that I was voted the better.  However, the grammarian did report that I said "ah" sixteen times during my talk. Yes, that's what they do in this group and actually, that's useful, as I'll be aware and hone my talks better.
Something else disturbed me a lot more: When the meeting first started, "Cece" went to the front and announced we'd start with a prayer. What? Since when is this a religious group?  But she proceeded to intone one of those vague, rambling, touchy-feely sermons that I always think of as fundamentalist Protestant. I'm not sure how many of the six others thought as I did, but none of us uttered a word.
I certainly have no objection at all to believers practicing their religion, but I do when I'm assumed to be one of them.  I'm pretty sure headquarters (Toastmasters International) would object to this, but I won't bother to report it.  However, next month, we meet at The Brewery in town (hey, that's sounds good) and if we're subjected to this again, I'll withdraw from the group.

Monday, January 22, 2018


The usual Sunday routine: coffee, Kimball, and crossword. Breakfast, too, of course, but since I'm hung up on alliteration...
WinCo for salad dressing and a few other things. Spent time writing out a letter to Betty, giving her some of the food prep info I've used for my weight loss. Did a few other things on the computer.  Lunch was salad, of course, and the three spring rolls I took home from Jasmine Thai. Went the museum to library route and on the way, stopped into a shop and bought a blouse that will go nicely with my new Capri pants.
El called to say Office Max hadn't had her new computer done Friday night. It was supposed to be programmed in an hour or two, and after we had dinner and she dropped me off, she went back to get it.  Nope, so she had to go back yesterday.  They did give her a $25 gift certificate for her trouble. Considering what the laptop cost, it was little enough.
I heard from the Toastmaster mistress, or whatever she's called, that I've been appointed an evaluater  for one of the speakers tonight. That means I--well, evaluate, then report on what was good and what could have been improved. Of course, I won't know what the hell I'm doing, but I'll wing it.
Connie, from the Maritime Museum e-mailed me asking what day I'd like to be a character there. I said Sunday, February 18, but have nothing scheduled either day, so could do both.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Books And Laptops

A good day. Kimball, of course, then breakfast, then some computer work researching a few things in which I'm interested.  Went to the book sale at the Hill Street branch of the library about 11:00. Saw my pal, Carole, who volunteers for that, and chatted with her. Got a large bag of books--darn, I've got about five, library and my own, I'm about to dive into. I want to read Ken Alpine's about the Channel Islands, the bio of Tennessee Williams Greg gave me, and Working Stiff, by a medical examiner from the Bronx (yes, I have varied--or bizarre--tastes).  Went to Sprouts for oranges, then Smart 'n' Final, who were having a sale on blueberries. I just LOVE blueberries and bought two 16-ounce containers.
El called about 2:00 and said she'd pick me up in an hour or so, which she did. We then went to Oxnard, first stopping at Best Buy's, then at Fry's Electronics. She looked at, tried, lifted, and asked sales reps about various laptops, but wanted to look further, so we went back to Ventura, to Office Max.  Here she found what she wanted--8 mgs, fair-sized screen, and not too heavy--and bought it. Of course, she paid more than she thought she would, but she's happy with it.
It takes an hour or two to put on Word (or something), so she suggested we go to dinner and sure thing, fine by me. We went to Jasmine Thai, where I had their yummy lettuce wraps with peanut sauce, plus a nice glass of Chardonnay.  After, El dropped me off and went back to get her new computer.  I was glad to have learned a bit more about laptop buying, as I want to get one, also. I want to be able to take it with me for talks and presentations, for one thing.  For a change, I didn't get my town walk in, but no matter, I was with my girl.
(Darn--for the first time in months, I had trouble sleeping. Woke up for the usual, then couldn't get back. Foolishly, I got up and went onto the computer for a time.  Finally drifted off, but just got up at 6:15, an hour later than usual.) 

Saturday, January 20, 2018


Morning: as ever, Kimball, then T.O.P.S. For the first time in the ten months since I started "getting serious" about losing weight, I (gulp!) gained.  Oh, horrors! I gained .06 which, if my calculations are correct, is a smidgen less than an ounce. We laughed about the fact that now, instead of weighing 132 point something, I'm at 132 point something else. I'm not sure why I didn't lose, but no matter--I will next week.
After breakfast, I realized I was running out of underwear, so took a big load to the laundry. While it was washing, I started an e-mail to Suze, Lori, and Deb, stating my honest annoyance with the way the meeting went on Wednesday and, frankly, the way VCS is going overall.  I'll continue to hone it.
While wash was drying, I went out and bought napkins and more fruit. Got home to retrieve clothes, folded and put away, had lunch; besides salad, for a change I had a bowl of lentil soup, which I had made a few months ago and had in the freezer.
As I drove to town, Betty called to say she had lost six pounds on my regimen--although it's considerably modified from what I do. That's okay, though; everybody needs to do what they'll actually follow.
Afternoon: town walk, reading at the library for a bit, then home. I was pleased when Ellen called and asked if I had plans for today--nope (and if I had had, she takes precedence with me, anyway). She wants to go look for a laptop and I'll be glad to tag along. I've been wanted one, myself, for some time and it'll be helpful to look them over.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Full Day

After Kimball and breakfast, I went to WinCo, which I do several days a week, for fresh produce and so on.
Printed out my diet regimen for Cheryl B., director of the Adult Center, who had asked for it at the VCS meeting. (More about that sorry organization later.)  I couldn't find Cheryl's e-mail address and since the Center is not far from the museum, I printed it out and stopped to give it to her on the way to my walk.  Saw Marie and the receptionist (can't remember her name), both of whom I know, and chatted a bit. I then went on my way to the library.
Stopped at the Y on the way home to say hello to Tony, the former SCAN director, whom we all miss. He greeted me with a big hug; Y admin Shari was there, too. I like them both so much; just stayed for five or so, as I know they have busy schedules.
Debra called when I got home and we discussed VCS. We're both very dissatisfied with the whole setup and talked about expressing that to Suze and Lori. We'll see. Just had carrots (which I had cooked with tangerines quarters in the slow cooker) and a potato for dinner. I wasn't very hungry and will have my rockfish today.
Got to the Lexington for Humor and Drama Toastmasters at 7:00.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.  I had volunteered to do the improv segment and participants were actually pretty good. In the middle of the meeting, nephew Wes returned my call, which I took in the hallway.  He said yes, he'd like to meet Pam when he's here in March, so I'll figure out how to arrange that.   

Thursday, January 18, 2018

VCS And The Orient Express

Kimball, breakfast, then I took off for the VCS meeting. It was the usual draggy doing, with interminable discussions on things that never got resolved. Suze's high-handedness and a particularly obnoxious woman named Diana--I think she's been elected to counsel, may Zeus help us--topped it off. The audience consisted of exactly six people, including my friend, Carol.
Didn't get home until almost noon and changed to jeans, as I was meeting Nancy at the movie at 1:00. We both got there early and greatly enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express, although I'm sure Agatha's book was modified.  The scenery and sets were particularly awesome. (Son Mike and DIL Paula rode the Orient Express years ago.  They said it was a long trip over lots of tundra.)
We went from there to The Cave; Nance had her usual split of champagne, I Chardonnay, plus the best potato chips I ever tasted. They make them right there and they're hard to describe, but just yummy.
We stayed for an hour or so, then parted--we'll do the movie and drinks thing again--and I drove directly to town, although it was almost 4:30. Took my usual (it was almost dark as I walked back to the car) and got home fine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chopped: Veggies and Hair

Kimball and breakfast. Went to WinCo right after and loaded up on veggies. When I got home, I spent a considerable amount of time preparing them, mostly with my trusty chopper. I chopped cucumbers, a huge cauliflower, several green peppers,  and two pounds of carrots. To the latter I added cut-up tangerines and cinnamon to go in the slow cooker. However, I thought I'd better not start it, as I had a hair appointment at  3:00 and I wanted to get my walk in right after lunch.
Betty called to say she had received the amaryllis she had left at my place, plus a top I sent her.  We chatted a bit.  I called the number I have for Wes and left a message, but haven't yet heard back from him. It occurred to me that after the divorce, he may have gotten a new number; well, I can easily find out.
Did my usual walk, museum to library, and Carole called while I was on my way.  We  chatted  and she said she'll be at the Council for Seniors this morning.  When I got to the library, I saw it was quarter to three. Uh, oh, my appointment was for 3:00 and I knew I couldn't get back to the museum, then drive to the mall in fifteen, so I called to say I'd be late. Amanda was okay with that and took me right away.
I had color and a trim. It looks okay, but I don't think it looks a C-Note okay--but then I never do. Called Nancy after dinner and we decided we'd go to the earlier (1:00 pm) showing of Murder On The Orient Express today, then stop for drinks and appetizers after.