Sunday, May 31, 2009

Productive day. When I got home from our walk, I found the "Topsy-Turvey" tomato grower on the ground for the second time. Only half filled with dirt, it was too heavy even for the large shepherd's crook. I gave up, took it out of the damn thing, and planted it. I'm now trying to find somebody to give the "Topsy-Turvey" to, as it's more trouble than it's worth.
Weeded the rest of one side of the house, and half of the back. Hope I can continue my momentum and finish. Changed the bed and took the big blanket to the Laundromat, which necessitated three trips for washing, drying, and picking up.
Went to the library and dismantled my Dionne Quintuplet display (it was only to be for the month of May). Was pleased that two employees expressed interest and asked questions about the quints. Got the stuff back in the garage, so the guest room is less cluttered (although I still have to clear that up more).
At the library, I picked up the book I had requested with the script of Hedda Gabbler which the theatre company is doing in November. I'm thinking about trying out for the role of the aunt. Read it and also found it on YouTube and watched the entire play. This was a 1963 television production starring Ingrid Bergman; I was enthralled. She was 48 years old at the time, but played a young married and pulled it off with ease. As with Meryl Streep, when Bergman is on the screen, you can't look anywhere else. Michael Redman was excellent as her husband, although I thought Trevor Howard was horribly miscast. Not only did he look too old for Ingrid--and anything but seductive--but he was physically wrong for the part. Ingrid was a big woman, tall and big-boned, and he was short and slight. They simply didn't go together. Actually, it would have worked better if the the two actors had switched roles, as Redman seemed a lot more attractive and was bigger than Bergman. (However, I was never asked my opinion although my casting expertise is legend....)
Anyway, a busy, but good day, helped along by the glorious blue skies and sunshine.
Wider: There's a wonderful post via the blog "A Tiny Revolution" that appeared in The Village Voice. It's a list of 15 reasons explaining why _______ hates _________ and it's FAB-YOU-OUS. Funny, yes, but perfectly and eerily accurate. Here's the link:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Trekked up to Manahawkin twice yesterday. Before Pat got up, I went to Staples to get black printer ink, then to TJ Max and found a skirt to wear as Ivana. Got home, opened the printer, and found the cartilage was the wrong size. Skirt also was a bit tight. Wanted until after Pat got up and I got him fed, dressed, and in his chair, and went back. Exchanged the ink, got a bigger size skirt, and found a blouse that goes with it.
Enjoyed an electronic "visit" from the Singapore crowd, Vivian showing me lots of her drawings and paintings. Saw Mike briefly--he had to go out--and Paula with precious little Violet. It's hard to believe she'll be a year old in six weeks or so.
Must go to the library and remove my Dionne Quintuplet display. Right after we walk this morning, though, I want to go to Weight Watchers, as it's been a while. I think I've gained a bit, but we'll see.
Later: Back from WW. I'm down .8 for a weight of 130.6 and a total of 69.0 lost. I'm okay with that, although I'd still like to nudge the loss down a bit to a round 170 off.
Later Still: Ho, ho, did I write "a hundred and SEVENTY" off? Of course, I meant 70. Am glad I didn't gain and in fact, am down almost a pound.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Now we're getting down to the wire with the mystery theatre. I did both my parts last night, which wasn't ideal, but the woman who's playing the psychic next Saturday is away. It was certainly good for me to get more experienced in that part. I'll be glad to get the CC over with, so I can concentrate on the Surf City one. We met first at the Cranberry Creek clubhouse to see the venue. I had been there before, and it's laid out much like our clubhouse, so that was okay.
Other than that, it was an ordinary, run errands/do wash day.
Wider: It seems to me the Internet nurtures an amazing array of superior thinkers and writers. Among them is William Grigg. Today, on his blog, Pro Libertate, he has a closely-reasoned piece in his usual elegant prose about those in the military. Here's just a tiny snippet:
"Given the pervasive stench of imperial corruption exuded by all of our public institutions, I cannot understand how anybody possessing the moral equivalent of the sense of smell could enlist in the military, or remain therein -- as if that particular organization enjoys some peculiar immunity from the decadence that afflicts the rest of the Regime."
Mr. Grigg brings out the excellent point that we call foreign soldiers who remove themselves from the ranks of our enemies "defectors" and we champion their moves. Yet, with our usual two-faced attitude, we heap shame on U.S. soldiers when they "desert."
For all the nauseating, state-directed reverence for combatants (always assuming, of course, that they're on "our side"), we need to remember what they really are: hired killers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Went to B.J.'s for various and picked up a top in pale blue. Was annoyed to find it didn't fit when I got home, so will take back. Otherwise, just the usual crapola. However, we had plenty of sunshine and warmth, which always lifts my spirits.
Rehearsal last night was concentrated solely on the "civilian" (not in the acting company) woman who plays "Lacey Curtain" and solves the crime. She's a resident of Cranberry Creek and will be be reading her part. She improved over the evening. Today, we're visiting the C.C. clubhouse, and will rehearse after.
Note: This is the 75th birthday of the Dionne Quintuplets. Only two survive of the UNIQUE (because identical) set. Happy birthday, Annette and Cecile.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Things are pretty bad when you can't remember what you did yesterday--but what did I do yesterday? Okay, did mounds of wash and puttered around a lot. Pat didn't get up until 12:30 and two hours later, he was finally ensconced in his chair. At that point, I went to the library to request Hedda Gabler. They don't have it in stock, which doesn't surprise me.
Why do I want to read the Ibsen play? Because LETCO is going to perform it in November and I'm thinking of auditioning for a certain role. We'll see.
Rehearsal went well yesterday, although we didn't actually "rehearse." We're still engaged in rewriting, believe it or not, although what was discussed and revised doesn't include either of my parts. We'll meet again tonight, then go to the Cranberry Creek clubhouse at 5:30 tomorrow and rehearse again after that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Slow one. Did domestic chores until Pat got up (at noon). After getting him settled in (2:00), actually sat on the sofa and read for an hour. Zipped down to Kohl's. Home by 4:30. Spent time memorizing more of the script.
The esteemed (ha!) Press of Atlantic City continues its sanctimonious coverage of Memorial Day. Today, the front page headline with two pictures informs us "Veterans walk for those who walked before." Sub-head: Area parades honor men and women who 'allow us to live the way we do.'
Funny they never add: "And disallow those in other countries to live they way they want to--or to live at all."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mostly did domestic chores and stuck around home. Guess I feel obscurely guilty for leaving Pat on Saturday evening, although his physical needs were taken care of. I hate to think of him sitting alone for that long, as he's essentially helpless, but I'd never go anywhere if I didn't do it once in a while.
Other than these down thoughts, it was an okay day. The news that may be carried on NBC is that I bought light brown hair color instead of medium brown--thought I'd go for a change, I'm such a wild and reckless woman.
Enjoyed a phone talk with sister Betty in the morning and a Skype "visit" with darling daughter Ellen in the evening.
Wider: It's Memorial Day--I remember when it was called "Armistice Day"--and the papers are, of course, full of the obligatory and ritualistic pictures and stories on those who have died in wars. Oh, I stand corrected: the military who have died in wars. The millions of civilians, including helpless children, are rarely mentioned and then as kind of supporting actors in "collateral damage" roles. Naturally--"news" people are the most pathetic cliche-whores on the face of the earth--The Press of Atlantic City carried an article with an overview of old men wearing military caps and holding medals. The "reporter" then zeroed in on a man mourning his son, who was killed in some war or other. He "died for his country," he "made the ultimate sacrifice." he "fought so we could be free...." All the old lies were trotted out, all the old horrors championed, all the old carnage denied. Of course, this young man was engaged in the slaughter of other humans, in the name of--what? I never can figure that out.
As long as we accept the "hero" label, we'll never be rid of our abiding love of death and destruction.
Wider Still: I've been saying this since O.'s announcement, but Chris Floyd does it so much more clearly and forcefully in "Empire Burlesque":
"Anyone who lived through the howling, roaring exhalation of meaningless noise that was the 2008 race for the Democratic nomination and still retained some fleeting, desperate, hope against hope that Barack Obama might represent at least some modicum of substantial change surely had that last, microscopic flicker extinguished for good the instant they got the news that Obama had picked Joe Biden as his running mate."
He goes on with much more and one wonders, knowing what we know, but wish we didn't, how anybody could still believe in the tired old "change" thing. This piece needs to be read.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What fun yesterday! A. called in the afternoon and invited me up to be with her and the little boyos, who were staying over. Of course, I accepted. Left Pat a sandwich, a thermos of soup, soda, and a freezer mug filled with ice, along with phone numbers of neighbors, and he was okay.
Got to A.'s about 4:30 to find her and the kids outside playing. Joined in, then we ate on the deck. After, we went to the children's park in Jackson and just had a ball. Little T. is an absolute dynamo, running from the slide to the leather "bridge" and back over and over, then playing in the sandbox, then insisting on racing after his big brother and a boy he was playing with.
We then went to the big factory outlet shopping center nearby to get both boys sandals. It was jammed--we were informed by a clerk it was the heaviest shopping day of the year--but A. concentrated on the little one and I helped J. try on and take off. Finally found some, paid, and left.
I didn't get home until after 9:30 to find I had missed Mike's call. Don't know why it didn't occur to me to Skype him, but will talk to him today, I hope.
Had my p. and w., then went to bed, and--incredibly!--slept until 8:30 this morning. But oh, what a wonderful time I had with those sweet kids. It made my week.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Drove down early to Surf City to see the hotel (venue for our June 14 mystery theatre). I was amazed--but shouldn't have been--at the heavy traffic going to the island. The place where we'll perform looks pretty good. Stopped on the way back at Home Depot and got bright red geraniums for the front flower bed and a pretty pot of inpatients. Put them next to the door in the wicker stand Ellen gave us years ago.
Printed out the "locked" version of the play and will keep memorizing until our next rehearsal on Tuesday.
I noticed that the sprinkler is still acting erratic and Ray came down to readjust it. He then stopped in to chat with Pat for a half hour or so.
It was a bright, beautiful day and a good one, I'm happy to say.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lots going on yesterday. After our walk and breakfast, I managed to plant the twelve petunia plants and hang and fill the tomato thing. Got a few loads of wash done, then woke Pat at 10:30--it was so difficult for him to get up--and got him fed and dressed. Dressed myself in time to pick Susan up and go to the Women's Club luncheon at noon.
It was great fun, as it always is. Saw a number of women I only do occasionally. Got some good compliments on my figure. Susan modelled, and wore two terrific outfits. I had been asked, but declined. I had done it once in a size 22 and once as an 8 petite, and that's enough.
Got home about 3:00 and ran over to Acme. Gave Pat the leftover pork tenderloin and just had the pasta fungoli (?) Mary Ann had brought over. Went to rehearsal at 7:30 with Frank and, for the first time, did some of the Ivana role, which I'll do in Surf City. Got home about 9:30, had my usual, then slept like a log.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Walking partner Susan surprised me with a "Topsy-Turvey" tomato plant hanger and a plant to put in it. After breakfast, I trekked down to the Galloway Shop-Rite and got the mulch and petunias with the coupons. Stopped at Santori's while I was in the neighborhood. Later, I went to Manahawkin; got a shepherd's crook and more petunias at Lowe's and strappy shoes at Kohl's. (Decided I'd break my ankle if I wore the higher heels, but I still wanted nice, summery ones.) Suggested to Pat he invite old George to dinner, as I had a nice pork tenderloin. He accepted, of course, and we had a nice dinner--the first time in months Pat's eaten in the kitchen. Mary Ann Van O. came to the door when we were finished to return a container I gave her. She was walking, so I decided to accompany her and we went about a mile.
I was so busy all day, I didn't have time to plant the things I bought--or hang the "upside-down" tomato plant thing. Don't know if I'll be able to do it today,as I have the Women's Club luncheon, then rehearsal tonight.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Got the nasturtiums in and went to Shop-Rite for mulch they had on sale with coupon. However, they had none and the coupon is for the Atlantic County stores, although they honor them when in stock. I'm thinking about getting to Absecon today. Had a good talk with sister Betty and will go down to her place to pick something else for her when I have a chance.
Called the podiatrist, Dr. Z., to come for Pat's feet and to my surprise, he was able to come within a few hours. He sliced off a lot of dead or fungal tissue and cut Pat's toenails. (Ugh! Seems to me there's nothing as disgusting as feet. Well, maybe fecal matter and politicians....)
Rehearsal last night and boy, I'd better get cracking on learning the part of Ivana, bogus Hungarian psychic. I have to perform it in two and a half weeks at the Surf City Hotel, a venue I've never even seen.
Wider: Norm Chomsky, ends his piece on torture in TomGram.Com:
"Historical amnesia is a dangerous phenomenon, not only because it undermines moral and intellectual integrity, but also because it lays the groundwork for crimes that still lie ahead."
In the article, he points out the common delusion that our policy of exceptionalism has not always include torture and mayhem; it isn't new with the Bush era. Of course, as long as we confine our cruelties to people in other countries or of other "tribes," we've been able to get away with it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I decided to move my breakfast time up an hour and eat at 8:00 to free up more time to go out while Pat's asleep. It worked out fine: I bought some bright red zinnias at Reynold's, dropped books off at the thrift store, and had time to go home and plant the stuff. Later, I got nasturtiums at Hand's, as well as a beautiful pink hanging plant at My Three Sons. I plan to add more, too; this year, I want a profusion of color. Got a welcome call from brother Jim, just asking how things were going. Later, heard from cousin John . I hope to be able to meet him in a month or so to do more genealogical exploring around Philly. A. said she'd give me a respite weekend then.
All in all, a good day, although cool. I understand it will be getting warmer starting today and that's hunky-dory with me.
Wider: From "The Disease of Permanent War," a piece by Chris Hedges in "Common Dreams. Org" on what seems to be our doom:
"The embrace by any society of permanent war is a parasite that devours the heart and soul of a nation. Permanent war extinguishes liberal, democratic movements. It turns culture into nationalist cant. It degrades and corrupts education and the media, and wrecks the economy...."
He goes on and the heart sinks:
"The hollowness of our liberal classes, such as the Democrats, empowers the moral nihilists. A state of permanent war means the inevitable death of liberalism. Dick Cheney may be palpably evil while Obama is merely weak, but to those who seek to keep us in a state of permanent war it does not matter. They get what they want."
It can--and should--be read at

Monday, May 18, 2009

It was raining when I got up and since Susan is still in Connecticut, I skipped my morning walk. Pat didn't get up until noon and wasn't settled in his chair in the living room until after 3:00. I then drove up to Target and got new gardening gloves and a foam kneeling pad.
In the meantime, I composed a letter to the Press of Atlantic City regarding a recent article on the Gosselin ("Jon and Kate...") family. I related their situation to that of the Dionne Quintuplets, who were born 70 years earlier to the month than their sextuplets.
Saw, also in the A.C. Press, that Betty Donahue's house on Buffalo Avenue in Ventnor was sold. Betty was my mother's friend for more than 70 years and was a young widow when my parents introduced her to my father's college roommate and good friend. At that time, my "Uncle Bob" seemed ancient to me, but was probably in his early fifties. By all accounts, they had a happy marriage until Bob died 10 or so years later. Betty lived with her son, Joe Clark, who was an attorney in Pennsy. Sadly, he was found dead in the house a few years ago.
Pictures of sister Betty, brother Frank, and me were taken in front of that house shortly before our eighth-grade graduation. Our father had just been killed and the pictures seem to show Betty and me dazed and Frank sullen.
Or maybe not. Our actual feelings are probably hidden by time, faulty memory, and the conventions of the day. Just as well, I guess.
Wider: Chris Floyd, in "Empire Burlesque" quotes a Canadian columnist:
"As in Iraq, profound ignorance and gung ho military arrogance drive U.S. Afghan policy. Obama's people have no understanding what they are getting into in "AfPak." I can tell them: An unholy mess we will long regret."
Of course, there's much, much more and the piece should be read in its entirety at

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spent a considerable amount of time weeding the front flower bed, one side, and a bit of the back. It's amazing how much ground we have--all of which has to be weeded. I put in some of the alyssa (?) Barb H. had given me, but it isn't evident where the roots actually are, so I'm not sure I did it right. Barb said they spread a lot, so I put in only three. Will plant the rest out back. I still have more to do, but it's progress. It's raining now, so that's good. Maybe I'll buy some plants today to put in the front flower bed--and I want to get more mulch, as what was there before is mostly washed away. I want to get my tomato plants in, and buy some basil, too. I was happy to see the blueberry bush is alive--even has flowers on it--and so are the strawberries.
Best of all, the lily-of-the-valley are blooming. My dear friend, Elaine, had them in profusion in her backyard. She used to come over every spring with a big bunch for me. She died six years ago and I asked Len if I could dig some up and plant them at our new home. I miss her still.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stocked the larder and did my usual chores. Worked up the little exchange among the restaurant owner, the guest, and the hostess (that's me) for the mystery theatre. Also came up with some "fortunes" the phony psychic can do for the guests. I wanted to be sure they weren't things like, "I see you dead in 10 days," or "next month, you'll fall down a mine shaft" or whatever. I don't think those would be funny in any venue and, considering we'll be preforming in an adult community, particularly not there. Instead, I worked up stuff like "Oh, dreadful news! You'll inherit forty million dollars, but to receive it, you'll have to move to an 18-room-villa on the French Riviera for six months of the year. I know you would never want to leave your lovely home in South Jersey for that long, so woe is you..."
Well, with an Hungarian accent and properly alarmed gestures and expressions, it should be funny. I hope.
Later: Went to Weight Watchers and am up .2--about 2 ounces--for 68.2 pounds off and a current weight of 131.4. That's a pound and 4 ounces higher than I want to be, going by the "between 125 and 130" rule. Will keep keepin' on....

Friday, May 15, 2009

Things are looking up. Saw Marlena, my therapist (oh, that sounds stupid!) and we agreed I'd pass on weekly visits. Will go again for a catch-up in a month, unless something "should come up" before that. (Like what? A hissy fit or poison looking good?)
Gave Pat a shampoo and full body wash--finally. Didn't get him settled in the living room until almost 3:00, but was glad to get that done.
Rehearsal last night went very well. We didn't actually "rehearse," but went through the script to make changes. I brought in a page of new jokes for the "Bob Hopeless" character and they were well-received. Director Tara asked me to work up a new short dialogue between my character and two others. Of course, I agreed and am pleased she asked me to do that.
All in all, a good day, but I'm just as glad we don't have another rehearsal until next Tuesday.
Wider: From The Mencken Society, of which I'm a member:
"Any kind of handicap save one may be overcome by resolute spirit--blindness, crippling, poverty. The history of humanity is a history of just such overcomings. But no spirit can ever overcome the handicap of stupidity. The person who believes what is palpably not true is hopeless."
H.L. Mencken wrote that in 1956. What springs to mind is enlistment in the military. To believe the old lies: "fighting for our freedom," "making the world safe for democracy,"home of the brave," and so on and nauseatingly on. seems to me to reflect an absolute refusal to examine what one is actually doing--assisting in the slaughter of other human beings. But hey, what else is new? I guess it started in the stone age: "Come on, Oog, let's go kill the neighbors before they carry off our women."
"Carry off our women? But there are only children next door."
"Well, they'll grow up eventually, won't they? And then they'll carry off our women."
"Hey, you're right! We need to defend the homeland from those barbarians. Gimme that rock so I can bash their heads in."
(They rush off, while members of their tribe wave branches and cheer to show their support for the troops.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yet another up-and-down day. After paying forty bucks for Pat's inhaler at Wal-green's on Tuesday, I took the prescription to Wal-Mart and got one for $9.00. This is the "rescue" inhaler, supposed to be used only in extreme circumstances--but the disease has progressed so horribly that he needs it for even minor exertion. The worse part is, it's the only medication that has any effect now--and that's very little. When I got home, I mistakenly thought the stuff was for his nebulizer, which he no longer uses, as it doesn't work. Great consternation and "I never do anything right" lamentations, of course, but I then found it actually is the inhaler, so the crises was over. Until the next time.
Later, things improved. Susan and Walter took their van and I my car to get the new porch furniture. We finally got it loaded--it was touch and go for a time--and it's now on the porch and looks great. I actually sat out for a few minutes, although it's none too warm.
Only other "down" part of the day was the fact that while I was taking something else out of the refrigerator, a big bowl of salad dumped over onto the floor. Oh, Sugar! (Well, I yelled something like that, but think I'll leave my actual comment to the imagination). Okay, I cleaned it up, recovered my equilibrium, and went to rehearsal, which went well.
I see Marlena this morning.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

When I got up at 5:00 am, I wrote up the stuff I did yesterday, pressed "publish post" and was informed Blogger was down. Too bad, as it was DEATHLESS PROSE that would have changed the whole history of the world and led to cures for cancer and obesity. I'm too lazy to do it over--it was full of rants and resentment, anyway--so I'll just type in the high points: I bought an all-weather wicker furniture set at Boscov's for the front porch and we had rehearsal last night. Have the same tonight and tomorrow, too.
Wrote that earlier, but took three paragraphs to do it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The annoying weather turned cooler again--I'm anxious for real spring, meaning warm, then summer, meaning hot. At least it didn't rain.
Picked up a few items at Wal-Mart while Pat slept, gnashing my teeth at the intolerable televisions blaring at the checkouts.
Met A. in Barneget at 4:00 and we took an invigorating 3-mile hike along the new "rail trail" there. Was pleasantly surprised to get a web cam call from the Tokyo Two to wish me a belated Mother's Day. Aside from that, just the usual, but it was a good, satisfying day.
Heard via e-mail from a person who commented on one of my blogs and I'm interested in pursuing this new acquaintance. I won't get any more specific than that, for reasons of privacy. Also heard from another postcard collection who saw my ad on Craig's List. Not sure if I have what he collects--pre-1940 Dover, Delaware, for instance--but will check.
Wider: At the end of a piece on the suffering our military actions are inflicting on children, Chris Floyd on "Empire Burlesque" writes:
"[In] these heated debates on policy, strategy, funding, etc. [of the Terror War], there is always a danger of losing sight of the most overwhelmingly important aspect of the conflict: its effects on actual human beings, the suffering it imposes on our fellow creatures. The reality of war is written on the bodies – and seared into the anguished psyches – of the individuals who experience it. That is what war is, that is where it actually exists – in blood, in bone, in the synapses that carry the electric fire of human consciousness."
Oh, yes. To our everlasting shame.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Had a very pleasant, if unconventional (well, maybe that's why it was so pleasant) Mother's Day. A. and M. (and Lulu) got here in the afternoon and helped me do a lot of chores, including getting out and arranging all four hoses, a more laborious job than it would seem. They brought me a big pot of mixed plants, which is now adorning the front porch and, even better, the promise of a hike today on the new Barneget trail. We'll meet at 4:00 and expect it's three miles or so.
We ordered an elegant repast from Brother's Pizza and just cleared the coffee table in the living room, so we could eat dinner with Pat. I had sausage with peppers and onions on a roll and a cold beer--oh, joy!--and we topped off our feast by sharing one of Pat's Hershey Bars.
We saw and spoke to Ellen on the cam, as I had the two boys earlier. She gave me a beautiful pearl and silver necklace which will go perfectly with the new gauzy black and white blouse I'll wear to the Women's Club luncheon in a few weeks. Joel called to tell A. and me Happy Mum's Day; it was their sixth anniversary and we congratulated them.
After our company left, I topped off the decadent day with cookies and milk. Such a nice one and I'm such a fortunate woman to have all those reasons to celebrate it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Glorious, brilliantly-streaming, soul-satisfying sunshine! I met Pat's bay buddy, John, at his clubhouse yesterday to see the venue where I'm performing in the mystery theatre on June 6. It seems adequate. John then asked me back to his house to see his wife's artwork (mediocre) and their house (large, awkwardly laid out,and drearily decorated). They have a horrible little Schnauzer which growled and bared its teeth at me; no children and seemingly, no senses of humor. (Oh, quit being so critical, Mimi!)
John came back to our house to visit with Pat and I served them tea, then went off to the supermarket. Got back and saw Susan outside gardening, so went over to chat. She was--gasp!--going to throw away seven or eight pansy plants to make room for begonias. I asked if I could have them instead and planted them around the tree in the front.
Mike and adorable granddaughters called on the cam and I loved seeing them and hearing Vivian's bright, imaginative, non-stop talk, as well as little Violet's gurgles and giggles. For Mother's Day, Mike had sent me a beautiful pot of fragrant Freesia which, according to the brochure, "are prized for their soft, ambrosial, almost fruity scent." He always orders from Calyx Flowers. It seems to me that, although they're dreadfully pricey, they're about the best, as my flowers and plants have always arrived in perfect condition and have invariably been beautiful and hardy.
Talked to A. and we agreed we'd simply call out for dinner today, Mother's Day or not. It will be very casual, just the four of us, but nevertheless, I'm aware today and every waking moment, of my great good fortune in having the family I do.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Busily ran around yesterday, to Staples (mailing stuff) and Target (gardening gloves), then finally planted the bulb garden bulbs out front. Did lots of domestic chores, as usual, and generally, had a pretty productive day. The rain held off--thank heavens--until late in the day and we even had sunshine for part of it.
Was informed by director Tara C. that we're booked at the Surf City Hotel for June 14 and will change parts. I'll be the "psychic," Ivana, for that one--a much bigger part and I'll have to learn that, plus the hostess one simultaneously. Hope I can cover it.
Wider: From Chris Floyd at his "Empire Burlesque" blog, crying out against our country's increasingly militant stance toward Pakistan:
"Yet still we march on, toward yet another pit of blood and filth, with scarcely a ripple of opposition to this lunatic course. Perhaps we have seen so much monstrous folly and murderous intent on display from our leaders in recent years that we have grown inured to it. Or it might be more accurate to say that we have been steeped in it from the moment we were born, imbibed it with our mothers' milk, accepted it, without question or awareness, as the natural, universal order: war, violence, destruction and slaughter, inflicted on grubby half-human creatures in distant lands, in our names, for our (purported) benefit, to keep us in our rightful, God-ordained position of all-devouring superiority."
Yes, yes, that's exactly it. We seem to think we're supposed to invade other countries, murder their residents, and "establish a presence" until the end of time.
Manifest destiny, is it? Manifest destruction is more like it, as we systematically prove our over-weening hubris.
Later: Back from WW and I'm up a pound. That's probably the result of my indugences at Rider and a few other slips here and there. It's not a disaster--131.2 and 68.4 pounds off, but I want to nip the "over 130" thing in the bud (or the bod--ha!). Will strive to be more diligent in the week ahead.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Had the first session with my therapist yesterday...
Wow, does that make me sound like a big-city sophisticate! I like her, though, and actually enjoyed it. Made a date to continue next Thursday. I was happy to find we could meet then at 8 am, which fits best into my schedule and hers.
After that, I went to B.J.'s, then on a few other errands. Came home through a driving rain--when will this deluge ever stop?--and continued on with my day. Called sister Betty to see how the forest fires are going. She's still at Carolyn's, but will probably return to her apartment today.
Wider: From the blog "Danger Room," words to ponder:
"A few years back, Dana Priest published an entire book about the rise of the military as the primary instrument of U.S. foreign policy. Regional combatant commanders (then known as “CinCs”) had enormous resources at their disposal, eclipsing ambassadors in power and influence. The shift took place with almost no public debate, Priest observed. “Long before September 11,” she wrote, “the U.S. government had grown increasingly dependent on its military to carry out its foreign affairs. The shift was incremental, little noticed, de facto. It did not even qualify as an ‘approach.’ The military simply filled a vacuum left by an indecisive White House, an atrophied State Department, and a distracted Congress.”
Seems to me this is the biggest danger in our country--and the world--today.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Fabulous day yesterday! I got to Rider about 3:15 and walked into the library building and HR to be greeted with hugs and hosannas. David took me around to chat with old colleagues, Helen, Julie, Ron, Christina, and lots of others. I then went over to the Student Center and happened on a party in the art gallery for Anna R., the one I really wanted to see. She spotted me and we fell on each other with pleasure. Chatted with a few others, had a beer and a luscious, sinfully sweet piece of cake, piled with creamy, sugary icing--boy, was that good!
I then went to my earlier old stompin' grounds to see Shirley T. and Joyce T.--my old boss and her assistant. Walked downstairs with Shirley, who's a state senator, and what a pleasure to find we're of a very similar political persuasion.
Got to the awards gathering--outside in the president's backyard--and saw lots of other people I know. How gratifying it was to witness so many do a double-take, then exclaim at my weight loss! Is that vainglorious, silly, and superficial? Damn right and I loved it!
After witnessing Anna get her fifty-year award (she was hired right out of high school and got her bachelor's, then master's while at Rider), I regretfully left early, as I had to get back for rehearsal at 7:00. Made it in plenty of time and went with Frank. (I hope this production shapes up a little better than it did last night). Got home after 10:00 and Pat told me Betty had called; called her back and found she had been evacuated because of the forest fires above Santa Barbara. She's safe at her daughter's, though, and I hope her apartment survives.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Had a delightful lunch with my new (Wellspouse) friend, Mary L. yesterday. No problem getting to TGI Friday's in Toms River--in fact, I was early--and as soon as Mary walked in, I knew her. She's a very attractive woman about my age whose husband had a major stroke four years ago. He can no longer speak or understand a lot and she is his caregiver.
We had first talked about meeting somewhere in between Little Egg and Toms River, but neither of us knew the area, so I suggested I just come to her town. At my request, we met at 2:00 so I could get Pat settled first and after greeting each other with a hug, we talked and talked and talked. As often happens with Wellspouse friends, we instantly bonded and there was no idle circling around each other. All the trivial crap seems to fall away when you have such a bond as caregiver--not that you'd ever choose it--and we immediately were fast friends.
Didn't get home until after 5:00. Pat was okay (I had called him from the restaurant) and I gave him a pork chop, left over scalloped potatoes, and applesauce for dinner.
The rain continues, dammit. I'm going up to Lawrenceville today for the Rider Longtimers Awards, then to rehearsal. Well, I'll just have to ignore the wet.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A tiny little envelope of non-rain opened just long enough for me to finally get the johnny-jump-ups in the ground. In fact, I zipped back to Tucker Tom's to buy another flat; put them in, too. I hope the weather improves today, as I'm going to meet Mary in Toms River for lunch.
Other than that, I just did my caregiver and domestic chores, and they filled up the day, along with a little creative stuff: As I'm going to play the hostess (combined with the one-line waitress role), I prepared for rehearsal tomorrow night by making a few things. Found a large cardboard rectangle and added "MENU" to it in big stick-on letters. I'll carry that, as well as wear a large plastic key around my neck (thinking I could say something like "We hold the key to your digestion)." Because my character isn't named, and neither is the restaurant, thought I'd add something like "I'm your hostess, Tootie McFruitie; welcome to Cranberry Creek Country Kitchen Cottage Cuisine." Also looked on the net for "food jokes" to incorporate into my conversations with the guests. We're to stay in character throughout the evening, even while we eat and mingle and, of course, that part isn't scripted.
Rehearsal is at 7:00 and I'll be up at the Rider Longtimer Awards ceremony earlier, but I should be able to get to both if I don't linger too long in Lawrenceville.
Wider: ...or maybe this should be labelled "beyond belief." It seems the evangelicals enjoy fertile proselytizing ground in the U.S. Army, according to an article by Jeremy Scahill in Common Dreams. Org:
"New video evidence has surfaced showing that US military forces in Afghanistan have been instructed by the military's top chaplain in the country to "hunt people for Jesus" as they spread Christianity to the overwhelmingly Muslim population. Soldiers also have imported bibles translated into Pashto and Dari, the two dominant languages of Afghanistan."
I remember when "separation of church and state" was a basic American tenet. Now it's "torture and kill for Jesus." Wha' hoppen?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Bright spots on the rainy, cloudy, miserable day were contacts with my kids. P. and N. called on the cam early and it was so good to see them. N. is giving a painting exhibition at a large hobby show, and showed me the picture she'll paint. A. called after a race in the rain. Ellen and I caught up with each other and I saw her garden, which she has shaped up so nicely by weeding and adding new plants and furniture. Mike may still be in Cebu, the Philippines, on vacation, as I didn't hear from him.
Other than that, ran a few errands, did wash, and just generally hung out (not the wash--me. Ha!) Talked to Dee G., the one who bought my childhood home, and we made tentative plans to meet for lunch the week after next; will call to firm up then.
Wider: Jeff Riggenbach's new book, Why American History Isn't What They Say It Is: An Introduction to Revisionism, includes a number of thought-provoking ideas and citations, including Peter Novick on historical "facts":
"...all of them are necessarily arranged, in different ways. Selection, centering, and arrangement are inherent in the process; and are typically decisive in determining the sort of picture which emerges. [3]
And yet, to say all this is barely to have scratched the surface of the problem. For before the historian can select, center, marginalize, or arrange the facts, he or she must first ascertain the facts. And this is by no means as unproblematical a matter as at first it might seem."
This is from, the Libertarian site. I'm not of that persuasion for a variety of reasons, but a lot of their ideas are similar to mine and I enjoy the articles I read there.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Did something yesterday I've never done before: watched the Kentucky Derby. I subscribe to The New Yorker and had just read a piece on the horse, "Fresian Fire," and his trainer. Seems F.F. was the favorite to win, so I got mildly interested once I realized Pat had the Derby on. Surprise! "Mine That Bird," a very long shot, won--and F.F. came in--well, if not dead last, far at the end. It was fun to see the crowds, the excitement, the delirious joy of the winning jockey, and even to realize that nothing at all that went on there made the slightest difference in my life.
Other than that, I went to B.J.'s and got vadalia onions, cleaned the master bath, and generally puttered around. Got a welcome call from my new friend, Mary L., and look forward to meeting her for lunch on Tuesday.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Well, the display window at the library wasn't cleared of the 16 million penguins, after all. I got there--car loaded with my Dionne Quintuplet stuff--just after it opened at 10:00 and they were still there. I'm afraid I didn't react too docilely to being unable to set up my display. I was worried about getting stuff wet, as it was raining on and off, but with the help of two library people, got it inside. Library person called the penguin person, who wasn't home. We agreed I'd come back at 1:30 and, if she had to, library person would remove them herself.
I did, she did, and I started to set up. However, in the middle of my labors, the penguin person came in, loudly objecting to having her penguins removed and even berating me. I just shrugged--shut up, idiot--and went on with my arranging.
The display looks pretty good, if I say it myself. Went back later to take pictures; if I knew how, I'd post one here and on Facebook.
Little Gem Section: Well, here's a beauty by one of my favorites, William Blake:
How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way
Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?
Yes, yes, that's poetry and I love it.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Finally assembled--as best I could--the items for the Dionne Quintuplet display and got them in the car. I probably won't have room for all of it, but I'll pick and choose when I get there. Stopped into the library to see if possibly, the display window had been cleared, but the penguins are still there. I was assured it would be ready for my collection today, so trust it will be.
With "Next-Door Frank," went to a run-through for the theatre company last night. I'm not sure which--if any--part I might get, but several players will be chosen for each, so there are back-ups. It's "mystery theatre" and includes of a lot of improvisation. I read the parts of Ivana, a psychic and Susan, a former nursery school owner, and think I did pretty well.
Didn't get home until almost 10:00, practically the middle of the night for me, but slept well and got up at 5:30.