Thursday, October 19, 2017

VCS And The Gestapo

Walked the walk, showered, breakfasted, then went to Ventura Council for Seniors meeting. I was pleased to see Steve and Chuck there; I know them from the Senior Center in the West end.
It was a pretty good meeting. One of the speakers was a woman from Foodshare; her talk was mildly interesting and, of course, there was the usual old and new business. The latter included medical marijuana; delivery to homes is now permissible. Chair Suze M. has taken it for pain. Only in her middle sixties, she's had cancer for several years and this is a second recurrence. She told me wryly she's getting tired of it.
Jerry, a guy who is now retired, but had been in the police department and is a kind of reach-out rep, spoke informally about stolen cars, a thriving industry in Ventura, it seems. I raised a question about the "Nextdoor" program--an community e-mail program used by the P.D. and others (I've included info on my Acting for Amateurs class). Now and again, most recently a few days ago, the P.D. sends a message asking people in a certain area if they can "verify" that someone (they list the name and address) has moved to a particular address nearby. The first few times I got this, I ignored it, but the last time, I sent back a reply to the effect I'm not in the Gestapo, so why should I? Jerry had never heard of this and asked me to forward the message to him, which I did later. As ever, Cheryl H., the only councilperson who ever comes to our meetings, was there. I think highly of her and chatted with her after.
Home, I put in a wash. While it was drying, I went out for frozen fruit. Fresh blueberries are completely gone--you can't even buy high-priced ones--so these are a good substitute, as the frozen ones contain no sugar or other additives, just fruit. Went to town for the usual after lunch.
Got an e-mail from Fern, saying my talk,"My Road to Stardom" (she named it, I didn't) at the Toastmasters meeting tonight should last five to seven minutes. What? What talk? What title? I didn't realize I was going to talk, but no prob; it should be fun. Then I'd get evaluated on how I did and they're pretty stringent.
Received the e-mail message from Ken, the president, by way of Fern, requesting the meeting place here. I forwarded it to Manager Bianca, who, presumably will send it to higher ups and they'll decide.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A. For A. With Opera

Biz, biz, bizzy day. After walking Kimball, I got home and realized I had neglected to fully prepare for my Acting for Amateurs class. I had decided on some of it--emotions, poetry, and so on--but didn't have it perfected. So I quickly ate breakfast and scurried around--mentally--until I was satisfied. By then, I just had time to dress and get there a little early. It went well, although only Jim, Sharon, and Char attended. Three dropped out and I knew Marcelle and Mikkii were missing yesterday. No prob--actually, it was fine.
Last week, when I mentioned the fact my plays are copyrighted, but that I occasionally revise here and there, Jim expressed surprise. He said his book was copyrighted, but he hadn't realized you can change an original work have it still protected. I said I'd like to read his book and he brought me a copy yesterday. It supports the philosophy classes he teaches and is called The Birth of Ideas; starts in 750 B.C. He writes well and I'm enjoying it.
After the hour was up, we chatted some time about opera. Jim (who, by choice, doesn't have a television) and Char (who has four, but only one works--don't ask) love opera and Sharon has seen some. I miss my opera pal, Aline, plus the rest of the devotees in LETCO, many of whom loved the genre.
Home for lunch, then Judith from Toastmasters called. She asked if she could see the clubhouse to report back to Ken (the prez) and I said I'd meet her there. Finally did about 2:30, after a lot of back and forth I won't even go into.
After we saw it, I invited her back to my place; she accepted and we sat and talked for more than an hour. Judith, who's maybe in her late forties or early fifties, is very attractive, but said she suffers from social anxiety. Her father, now 87, was a physician; her mother committed suicide at 46, as did her brother at 25. I like her a lot and we clicked, even though there's a big age gap. I walked her out about 4:00 and ran Suzanne at her car. Ken, the 92-year-old (not the Toastmasters Ken), has moved into Lexington House (thanks to Suzanne, Don, an Human Services), and Suzanne was clearing some of his things out.
By the time I got to town, it was 4:30, but that was okay. I stayed an hour reading a new book about Joe DiMaggio (yeah, I have eclectic tastes), left and walked back, drove home, had dinner, and must decide what to wear at the Council For Seniors meeting this morning.
And darn: I got up for the usual last night and had a terrible time getting back to sleep. Unusual for me and I hope it doesn't recur.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Widder Dinner and Toastmasters

Busy day. After Kimball and breakfast, I spent the morning in going over paperwork--especially genealogy--and pulling together items for my class. My cousin Marifran--whom I call my "Cincinnati Sis"--called and we talked and talked about in-laws. Did some food prep, had lunch, then left early for town. After the walk, I went home to shower and dress for the widder dinner. I was pleased to see Nancy there--I had given her Carolyn's e-mail, so she could drive with her--and the others I like so much. I had brought my tangerines, ordered a Chardonnay, and enjoyed it, as ever. I left a 6:45 so I could get over to the Toastmasters' meeting.
I had been taken aback to see how hefty the dues are: $65 and I actually considered dropping the idea. However, I like it and decided to stay. Met some more people and participated in the "table talk" segment, which was fun.
As far as I can see, the meetings include two main speakers--last night, they were Fern, talking about a mentor of hers from college (and she's my age, at least) and Judith, who spoke on managing a mountain home (there's lots of snow). Members then vote on which one was better and the "grammarian/something else" critiques the talks, praising the good and suggesting improvements. Then there's "table topics": Ken, the president, brings up a subject (last night, it was Halloween memeories) and others put in their reminiscences. The group then votes on who was best. (Last week, this is what Ken and I won.) Anyway, I enjoyed it, but for me it was a long day. Didn't get home until almost 9:00, then sat for another half hour with T.V. and my fruit.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Usual

The usual: Kimball, breakfast with crossword, WinCo, lunch, into town for THAT usual. Oh, there were a few deviations, such as that I dug out my Halloween decorations and put some outside on Suzanne's and mine entrance walk. She had put a plant and a ceramic jack-o-lantern out and I embellished them with little skeletons I had. Later, she rang the bell and told me what a kick she got out of them. Called my dear cousin, Marifran in Cincinnati, who had asked me a question about my relationship with my in-laws. She wasn't home, so I left a message. Betty called about the silly angel and karma thing she put on my P.M. section on Facebook. Her friend took objection to my comment about it and wrote I was rude (oh, save me from these self-appointed guardians of idiocy) and we talked for a bit.
The rest of the day, I spent on the A. for A. class and other paper/computer work.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Symposium And Carole

Quite a day. It was almost 8:00 by the time I got home from Kimball and I immediately changed to attend the Breast Cancer Symposium in Cararillo. Skipped breakfast, trusting the "catered breakfast and lunch" mention on the brochure was factual--it was.
I had never driven to this area before, at least not by myself, and I set off with a little trepidation. The Mapquest directions were confusing and I did stop once to ask. However, it turned out to be pretty straightforward and I got there with no problem.
Wow, what a beautiful church and meeting building this is. It's in a lovely setting with trees and flowers everywhere; Camarillo itself is gorgeous, in fact. There are lots of soaring hills and faraway vistas--a feast for the spirit.
The symposium was excellent. The speakers were interesting and down to earth and I learned a lot about the topic. We were seated at round tables, covered with white linen and with fresh flower arrangements in the middle. The day was free for attendees and its sponsors--a bank, several jewelry companies, and so on--displayed this and that around the perimeter. The first part featured an oncologist, a plastic surgeon, a nutritionist (who will speak at SCAN next month; I chatted with her after), and a counselor. We broke about noon for lunch, then there were panel discussions. After awarding a number of door prizes donated by the sponsors, it was over.
I had no problem getting home and, of course, immediately changed and left for town. Did the m. to l. routine and on the way back to the car, Betty called. We chatted for a bit--nothing much new in Jersey. When I got home at 5:00, I rang Suzanne's bell to report on the symposium. I asked her to tell her colleagues at St. John's how much I appreciated and enjoyed it.
I was mildly annoyed, but not at all surprised, to get an e-mail from Carole saying she was dropping the acting class because she just has too much to do. This is her constant whine, but what those things are, it's hard to say. She kept telling me she wanted the same roles she had done in the last session. I kept telling her I wanted her to stretch a bit, and indicated I would put her in something else. She doesn't seem to understand that this is what a director does; players don't get to pick and choose what roles they get. Okay, I'll just adjust and see what goes in the class.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

T.O.P.S. And A Turtle

Walked Kimball with long pants and a heavy sweater. Got home by 8:00, changed to my weighin' togs, and went to T.O.P.S. I was sure I hadn't lost--in fact, suspected I had gained; don't know why, just felt chubby or something. Actually, I lost 1.8 pounds and am within striking distance of forty pounds off at 39.44. Next week should do it.
Home for breakfast, then did this and that before I went for provisions to first, the 99-cent store, then WinCo, then Sprouts. The latter had grapes 88 cents a pound and salmon for 5.99 ditto. I bought both, then saw they had swordfish and couldn't resist picking that up, too. At WinCo, I got lots of my usual--veggies--along with frozen fruit (I buy only the ones that are pure fruit--no sugar or additives of any kind).
Home and prepared some of the stuff, had lunch, then took off for town. Did my usual Main Street walk, I stopped into the Santa Paula (a nearby town) Rescue Mission thrift store, one of the classier ones, and saw a large ceramic turtle bowl. Well, yes, everybody needs one, so I bought it.
Stayed at the library reading for a bit, then walked back and drove home. I finally remembered what I was supposed to tell Nancy: Carolyn's phone number, so she could drive with her to the widder dinner on Monday. I called, gave it to her, and we chatted about the possibility of attending The Nutcracker ballet in December, but I think I'll be visiting brother Frank. We'll see.
Saw Suzanne in her patio and asked her if the directions for getting to the St. John symposium for the breast cancer thing was accurate. Good thing I showed her--it isn't actually at St. John's in Oxnard, but miles away at a parish in Camarillo. I went back on the Internet for new directions.
Finally heard back from Valarie, who had expressed interest in the class. Unfortunately, she has family members being evacuated from the fire area and was about to go up there. Hope they'll be okay.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lunch And The Queen

Boy, it was cool at Kimball. I wore long pants and a heavy sweater when I walked. Home by 8:00, I had breakfast, then called brother Frank in Alameda.
It was such a pleasure to talk to him, but unsettling, too. He sounds very much the same, with a big, buoyant voice, but is sadly diminished. He told me he was at his younger daughter's, as his children "won't let me" stay alone. However, we had a good talk and when I said I want to come see him, he was very enthusiastic. After we hung up, I e-mailed both daughters (his sons live farther away from him) to ask their advice. I asked if coming after Thanksgiving would work, as we have the performance the Friday before.
Left to meet Nancy at 11:00. Parked at the museum and walked down (Dargan's is a half-block from the library) and we had salads, plus Chardonnay for her and Harp (Irish beer) for me. The movie is just a few doors down and we strolled there to see Victoria and Abdul.
I greatly dislike "docudramas" to begin with and this pulled out all the stops when it came blatant sentimentality, I'm afraid. In other words, I think the writing could have been better. I'm not sure how far taking liberties went; the opening said it was "a true story--mostly." I assume the queen had an Indian servant of whom she was fond, and that he taught her some Indian language, but their intimate moments (not sexual ones) seemed to me contrived. However, the scenery, sets, props, and costumes were fabulous; generally, I enjoyed the movie, if not the genre.