Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another slow-pokey day. Went to Shop-Rite to pick up ingredients for the salad and dressing I'm bringing to our Steel Magnolias "Girls Night Out" party today. Also got a six-pack of Coors Light for the occasion. We're going to have a hair dresser come and show the participants how to fix hair. Should be great fun.
Other than that and running a few errands, I mostly stayed in and read. Am reading a biography of singer Kate Smith, who was very big in the thirties to sixties. It's pretty good--filled with detail, which is the way I like my bios--and it sheds light on her relationship with her long-time manager, Ted Collins.
Other than that, nothing going on around here.
Oh-ho! I'm going to wax literary now and point out--as I'm sure the reader has already noticed--that I just repeated the phrase "other than that" in quick succession. It's funny how I didn't realize it when I was writing it the second time. I guess one's mind just likes certain words or combinations thereof, and lets the configuration pass.
Or something....
And that comment is clear evidence that I have nothing to say--so get off the page, Mimi!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I guess we got five or six more inches, and I wasn't about to go on our morning walk while it was still sitting there. The guys got it squared away quickly, though, and about 3:00, I put my layers of winter gear on and went over to invite Susan to walk then. She was happy to, so we got our daily mile and a half in after all. There were several places where we had to veer onto the sidewalk (we usually walk in the street) to get around the plows, but that was okay.
Was delighted to get a call from niece, Joan, in Suffern, NY. She and Jim are now snug at home, although it took her several hours to get back when she left work in Manhattan on Thursday. Their t.v., computer, and land line were all out, as they're covered by the same carrier--not Comcast, though. We had a good talk and she then sent me pictures of her and her boy, Jeremy's, dinner with Mike.
Speaking of M., I'm glad I heard from him. He e-mailed to say his plane took off from JFK at 2 am, two hours late, but he arrived back in Singapore with no problem.
Got to the store to pick up tomatoes, broccoli, and a few other staples. The streets aren't bad and I'm glad we escaped the worst. Other then the above, not much happening around here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

More snow and I'm thoroughly sick of it. Susan and I did manage to walk anyway--it was slushy and messy--with boots and umbrellas.
From 2:00 to 4:00, went with Leslie to work the Food Bank, substituting for Barbara D. That's gratifying--being a food lover, I also love the idea of distributing it to hungry people. Considering the weather, we had a fair number of clients--nine or ten coming to this tiny center. When we got home, nice neighbor, Frank, was shoveling the slush off my driveway.
Earlier, I had followed my weird obsession and transferred all my hanging clothes from unmatched hangers to the uniform ones I got at the thrift store. Kooky, but the closet looks so nice and so what if it's a dumb pursuit? As an activity, it beats holding up gas stations.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spent yesterday on mundane, but necessary, chores. Got my income tax done in the morning and will get a refund. Went to B.J.'s and other stores to stock up. Was amazed at the crowd at Shop-Rite, then realized more snow is predicted. It's here--is snowing lightly now and there's about an inch on the ground. Not sure if I want to walk in it, as it seems slushy and slick. Hope to lunch with high school friend, Mary H., next week. She called the other day and we had a nice chat.
WIDER: Went with Leslie last night to the Peace Vigil in Absecon commemorating the thousandth American killed in Afghanistan. We spent the hour holding signs and candles and were gratified to hear horns honking in support. However, there were only eight there and the sparsity of numbers seems to reflect the disinterest--or indifference--of the peace movement since O. was elected. Somehow, our unholy aggression isn't quite as--well, aggressive--with a democrat in the White House. So many people, staunch liberals all, are "disappointed" in O., but they still believe he's a great improvement over Bush. The fact that he failed, and continues to fail, to fulfill a single one of his campaign promises and that he's presiding over what is clearly the the hugest and most horrific war machine in history doesn't seem to penetrate their consciousness. I've heard a surprising number suggest that he's in the thrall of the evil people around him, seeming not to understand the kind of power the president actually has. Also, what does it say about him and the country if he could be manipulated by others to direct such horrors? Well, it's hard to convince people so thirsty for so long that the sparkling water they're lining up to drink is actually Kool-Aid.
What a contrary people we are!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sad day attending brother-in-law Bill's funeral, but in a peculiar, quiet way, it was enjoyable, too. Maybe that's the purpose of death ceremonies: To focus our minds on topics we seldom entertain and to make them acceptable, and at the same time, offer a minor note of pleasure.
Or maybe that observation is full of crap.
It rained heavily--inconvenient, but appropriate, it seems to me--and we slogged through it all day. The mass was in the tiny, teeny town of Minatola, deep in the south Jersey pines, and the burial in the veterans cemetery in Estell Manor. I could have had Pat buried from here for minimal cost, and I'm glad I didn't.
After, there was a lovely gathering at the Sugar Hill Inn in Mays Landing. This is an big old house on a lake, nicely decorated Victorian style, and it was so snug and intimate. Pictures of Bill and his gang were placed here and there; I had sent him some of them, including a lovely shot of the three brothers--all gone now, I'm afraid. We had a good time there, finally leaving about 4:30. Didn't get home until almost an hour later, and just had tome to change, then go to rehearsal.
We're now meeting at Barbara H.'s, a huge house about 6 miles down Route 9, equipped, unfortunately, with two big dogs. Rehearsal lasted longer than usual, and I didn't get home until after 10:00.
Getting my income tax done at 9:00 today.
WIDER: Going with Leslie to a peace vigil at 6:00 to mark the one-thousanth American military death in Afghanistan. Significantly--and ominously, it seems to me--this is the first peace demonstration our group has had since O. was elected. A further thought: It bothers me that we commemorate the thousandth American killed in this bloody horror but, as ever, we ignore the other humans who have died at our hands. Hubris, anyone?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Went to the SOCH thrift store in Manahawkin and bought about 50 green hangers. I'm enthralled with the idea of using the same hangers for everything in the closet, making it neat and uniform. Just one of my weird obsessions.
Enjoyed the spaghetti dinner last night with neighbors, the H.'s, the D.'s, and the M.'s. It still feels odd to be single with couples, but guess I'll get used to it eventually. This was to cover the cost of the Fourth of July fireworks. Considering the clearly militaristic component of the fourth--"bombs bursting in air" represented by the fireworks--I'm a bit ambiguous about it, but on the other hand, it does commemorate independence from the U.K. Too bad we don't believe in supporting that independence in other countries--no, no, we always know better and if you don't go along, we'll kill you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another nice day with Mike. We went to ScoJo's for breakfast and it was so good, although a lot more than I'm used to eating. After, we drove to Borders and moseyed around--Mike bought a book--for a half hour or so, then to a shoe store, as he wanted to buy dress shoes. No luck there, so we went ot Boscov's, where he picked up a pair of slip-ons. Stopped back home, but decided then to go to the movies. Mike suggested Shutter Island, which I've been wanting to see, and we went there. The verdict was mixed: Although it wasn't one of my favorite DiCaprio's, I liked it, but Mike wasn't crazy about it.
Got out about 4:00 and my dear boy left for Manhattan, as he has an 8:00 meeting this morning. He called me to say he got in okay. "Met with" Ellen on the web cam, then to bed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Good fun yesterday. In the morning, Mike and I went to the Ventnor Museum and had a great time looking over the artifacts and seeing pictures of people I've known all my life. We chatted for some time with a volunteer who was staffing it. She's a few years younger than I am, but is also a St. James grad. We were pleased that Pat's obituary was included in a book of obits. After, we went down the beach and picked up a few shells. At Mike's suggestion, we then repaired to Atlantic City and went to Resorts Casino. He lost a few bucks, but I won #118.50--yay! Drove back to Ventnor to lunch at Sacco Subs--I had a six-million-calorie sausage with fried peppers and onions--but I'm sure I walked it off when we strolled the block to Jasildy's (?( Candy. Chose a pound and a half of the best chocolates in the universe.
Got home and the other contingent joined us. We all went down the Little Egg beach, Joelly and "T" enthusiastically throwing stones into the water. Home for dinner of pasta, chicken drumsticks in gravy (both of which I had simmering in crock pots most of the day), a green salad and rolls. Such a nice day to spend with my family.
Got an invitation from Frank and Barbara D., asking if I'd like to join them for the Redman's Lodge dinner tomorrow. Accepted with pleasure, of course.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pat's brother, Bill, died yesterday, surviving Pat by just shy of six months. He was the last of the nine-member family and was such a good, good guy. I talked to his daughter, Amy and his wife, Regina, who's holding up okay. E-mailed my children and sibs about it. Not sure when the funeral will be yet.
Brother Frank and sister Betty called. Frank had gotten the copy of the letter he sent me so many years ago and loved it. Betty hasn't gotten hers yet, but should soon. They asked if I'd copy the rest and send them. I will as soon as I get to it.
Mike got in last night and we had pizza. He brought me a beautiful box of orchids in different shads that are now gracing the foyer. He just want out for bagels, and I'll have mine after I meet Susan for our walk.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The library notified me that the two books I had requested--Empire of Illusion: The End Of Literacy And The Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges and Howard Zinn's A People's History Of The United States; The --had come in. Am absorbed in the first, although it seems not as tight at Chris' other work, kind of ranging all over the map. Still, it brings out some good points. Am anticipating Zinn's book with pleasure.
Had rehearsal last night. Mary Ellen called to ask that I tell Tara her knees are bothering her and she couldn't be at rehearsal last night. I was pleased when our "Girls' Night Out" (actually, Girls' Day Out) was rescheduled to February 29--now I'll be able to go.
Mike comes tonight--happy day!--and tomorrow, he wants to go down to Ventnor, visit the museum, and get subs. Later, I'll have the east coast gang for dinner.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Went to four different stores in Manahawkin and Mays Landing to get an address book. My old one is stuffed with envelopes, cards, and little pieces of paper containing addresses--not to mention dead people. It surprised me how difficult it was to find a new one. Maybe that's because so many people keep their info on the computer, but I'm old enough not to completely trust it. I wanted one that includes designated spaces for cell phone and e-mail addresses and that isn't so small it would immediately get messy. Finally found one at Border's. Now comes the long, laborious job of transferring data--by hand.
Went to rehearsal last night; I'm learning a lot by watching and listening. Before LETCO, I hadn't realized how complex it is to put on a play. Not only must the acting be right, but careful "blocking" (choreographing the action on stage) is essential. The players' actions--sitting down, crossing the stage, touching each other, picking up a book, answering the phone, and all the other movements we make without thinking--must be carefully planned and set up in advance. As a rule, actors can't be motionless for long periods, but nor can they keep up frantic movements. There's a lot to blocking.
After, we went to Doyle's for a beer and a snack and that was fun. Got home after 9:00 and wasn't in bed until after 11:00.
WIDER: You always suspected this and now here's Tom Engelhardt to confirm it. This is an absolutely must-read for anybody with his head on straight:
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175206/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_fear_inc.__/

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Duplicated aforementioned letters at Staples, then sent off the copies to sister Betty and brother Frank. Went to Scrabble at Barb's and, as ever, had a good time. Julie should be back from Florida at the end of the month, so yesterday was probably the end of having Leslie substitute for her. We enjoyed having Les there; wish we could have a group of five.
Doctor's appointment in the morning. BP is still up, so she increased the medication. I was horrified to discover I weight 151--that's 26 pounds over my lowest--must, must, must get that off before I put back all 74.
Stopped at the LETCO board meeting to distribute copies of Santa Barbara Minute flyers. Have a few left which I'll post here and there around town.
Tackled one of the drawers in my desk; will continue.
WIDER: AntiWar.Com has a startling piece on America's Weapons Monopoly by Frida Berrigan. Here's a quote:
"(The press)...invariably speaks of 'the global arms trade.' Let’s consider that label for a moment, word by word:
•It is global, since there are few places on the planet that lie beyond the reach of the weapons industry.
•Arms sounds so old-fashioned and anodyne when what we’re talking about is advanced technology designed to kill and maim.
•And trade suggests a give and take among many parties when, if we’re looking at the figures for that "trade" in a clear-eyed way, there is really just one seller and so many buyers."
She means, of course, the U.S. as the seller, the rest of the world as buyers and she provides chapter and verse to illuminate the actual situation. When I saw her name, I thought Ms. Berrigan might be related to the Berrigan brothers, who so courageously protested the Vietnam war. She is. She's the daughter of Philip, who died a few years ago, and niece of Daniel, still living and still a peace activist. This is one of those "reject the Newspeak" articles that shines a light on the way we accept death and destruction (for others only, of course) when it's clothed in euphemism. I'm going to watch for more articles by Ms. Berrigan.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In my clearing out fervor, I came across a box of old letters. These aren't the ones Pat and I exchanged, which I also saved. These are from friends and relatives reacting to my impulsive decision to stay in Florida after I visited Pat there. (Long story I'll leave for later.) Of course, it was before we were married but, no, we didn't live together. What fun to come across these! They're so old, I'm surprised the paper didn't crumble to dust.
Called sister Betty and read some of hers--we laughed over them, but maybe with tears in our eyes. There are long, chatty ones from Joan W., my best friend through high school and a bridesmaid in my wedding. There are shorter, somewhat disapproving ones from two of my three brothers. There are notes from people I barely remember, and many from my mother, Considering the consternation I recall she expressed at the time (and no wonder), they're surprisingly warm. All, of course, remind me to go to confession and say my prayers. Guess she wanted me to arm myself against--uh, temptation.
The letters are chock full of references to people with whom I grew up--my darling Aunt Maggie, Mrs, Keating, Cassie Wayland, Eddie Scanlon, Matt Gallagher, and on and on. So many are gone--a melancholy number, including my friend, Joan--dead before they were old enough to collect Social Security. (Geez, am I thinking like an old lady!) Here are birthday cards, too--one from my mother wishing me a "happy twentieth." Even for somebody that young, I think I was remarkably dense. I took for granted my place in this small, warm, vanished world on a tiny barrier island clinging to its place in the Atlantic Ocean.
I don't really wish to go back, but I do wish, and will wish till the day I die, that I could see again those citizens of my youth.
And tell them how much I love them.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Met Mary Ellen for the champagne brunch at the Byberry Inn on Long Beach Island yesterday. Very enjoyable, although considering the price--50 bucks for two, plus tip--the food wasn't great and the champagne was mediocre. However, it's a lovely old inn and we had great fun as we talked and talked. It was very crowded when we walked in--after all, it was Valentine's Day--and although we had reservations, we still had to wait to be seated. We talked and talked, of course, and mixed the mediocre champagne with o.j. for mimosas, managing to swallow three glasses each. We discovered more and more about ourselves, our lives, and our varying philosophies, finally realizing it was after 2:00 and we were the only ones there, so finally left.
After, I stopped at B.J.'s, which is on the way home, to pick up cottage cheese and popcorn. Took that home, then completed a veggie run to Santori's, then stopped at the cemetery. It occurred to me that it's about twenty miles to the former and another five to the latter, so roughly fifty for the round trip. I might travel it several times a week, so I do put quite a bit of mileage on the car. Uh...where was I going with this?
Nowhere, I guess.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Note: This is a separate post for Sunday, Feb. 14. It is cross-posted on another blog to which I contribute, "Dead Horse."
David Price, writing for Counterpunchh, reveals a huge and horrifying new addition to our sorrowful list of crimes against freedom. In "How The CIA Welcomes Itself Back To American University Campuses: Silent Coup," he informs us that for the past five years, the CIA, under the names of the "Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence," and its dark affiliate, the "Intelligence in Advance Research Project Activity" (the jerks should be prosecuted just for the horrors they inflict on the language) have been infiltrating college campuses.
After I read a snippet about this, I e-mailed Mr. Price asking for a list of the institutions that accepted this depravity. He promptly sent back his full article, which includes:
"In 2005, the first ICCAE centers were installed at ten campuses: California
State University San Bernardino, Clark Atlanta University, Florida International
University, Norfolk State University, Tennessee State University, Trinity
Washington University, University of Texas El Paso, University of Texas-Pan
American, University of Washington, and Wayne State University. Between 2008-
2010, a second wave of expansion brought ICCAE programs to another twelve cam
puses: puses: Carnegie Mellon, Clemson, North Carolina A&T State, University of North
Carolina-Wilmington, Florida A&M, Miles College, University of Maryland,
College Park, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico, Pennsylvania
State University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute."
Price deplores what seems to be the indifference of the academic community: "...the silence surrounding this quiet installation and spread of programs like ICCAE is extraordinary. In the last four years, ICCAE has gone further in bringing government intelligence organizations openly to American university campuses than any previous intelligence initiative since WW II. Yet, the program spreads with little public notice, media coverage, or coordinated resistance."
Oh, damn. As a long time (27 years) employee at Rider University (also an alum), I feel such a sense of heavy darkness at this revelation. We learned long ago not to trust our elected representatives around a glass corner, that the mass media are ass-kissing slaves of the pols, and that churches can be as much a force for evil as good. I thought--fool that I am--that a tiny corner of idealism was still alive in Academia. Okay, I was wrong, and maybe there just isn't any hope anywhere.
Unless...unless...a viable third party can be born. God knows the other two are slouching toward Bethlehem in tandem.
Good friend and neighbor, Leslie, invited me over to see the 2007 move, Lions To Lambs. An anti-war movie with a three-themed plot, it starred Meryl Streep, Ton Cruise, and Robert Redford, who also directed. They were all so utterly believable--I guess that could go without saying for Streep and Redford, but Cruise, I thought, was just absolutely great. He personified the ultimate DC pol, replete with war bravado--although, naturally, never having seen battle himself--and so forthcoming with "patriotic" cliches, it's impossible to see any humanity underneath. I looked up reviews later, and found the movie was generally panned for a lack of inventiveness, among other complaints. Maybe so, but to me, it was refreshing to see something other than blind adherence to the twisted pronouncements of our benighted officials, the media, and the military.
Earlier, I had time to clear out my walk-in closest and, wonder of wonders, now I can actually walk in.
Meeting Mary Ellen for lunch today.
WIDER NOTE: I consider the ICCAE infomation so huge and so horrifying, I'm putting it in a separate post.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just got back from our walk; I'm late with the blog because I overslept to 6:30.
I've been continuing my lifelong project of clear-out/clean-up. Yesterday, I got still more out of my closet, including a big box of Mike memorabilia. Here were his report cards from elementary school (I had forgotten he was such a good student), his baseball and bowling team items, his drawings from second grade. I was enchanted to find even the 43-year-old cards--"Congratulations On Your New Baby Boy!" I received back then. Of course, this stuff is just worthless junk, utterly meaningless, and a big waste of space, so I just threw it all out...
Ha! If I ever tried that--and the three other big boxes dedicated to his brother and sisters--my hand would wither and fall off at the wrist. I tucked the box away again where it'll stay until--who knows?
Wider: I just finished an enthralling and horrifying book, The Madoff Chronicles, subtitled Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth. If you wonder how the crook could get away with his scam for not just years, but DECADES, read this book. It didn't take a genius to recognize that, almost surely, Bernie could not possibly have succeeded in bringing in such huge returns when everybody else was losing money for their clients There were any number of warning signals, some so obvious that even I, a finance illiterate, could have picked up on them. In fact, one researcher gave the SEC chapter and verse about Bernie's dealings--only to be ignored and told to go away. Just in case anybody thinks our high-level finance is carefully monitored by the SEC--read this book. The commission's sloppy operations and complete incompetence are made crystal clear. Now, are any being fired, fined, or prosecuted from that agency? I'll find out and report back.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Got a chance to fill in for Ellen V. last night at rehearsal. Ellen was feeling some effects from medication, so couldn't come and I did the Ouiser part. What fun! I certainly don't wish her ill--she's a friend of mine--but damn, it was great to be more than an understudy. Actually, it's the "Claree" part I'd love to perform. Fat chance, I'm afraid.
On the way home, I ran into a road block or something. (Maybe it was simply late work on the electric wires) and had to detour onto dark, spooky Munion Fields Road, then Stage Road. Got home without incident, though.
Earlier, I went to Manahawkin to get more small containers and a few other items. Have done a lot more in my closeet--but there's plenty more to go.
Today I want to resume my normal life, sans snow obstacles. The roads are just about clear and Susan and I can walk as usual. Hmm...wonder where it will all go when it melts...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More of the damn stuff came down yesterday. First it rained--I think, or it may have just been melt-off--then snowed again. Everything was slushy, and is now icy. I stayed in all day, although good neighbor Ray was kind enough to dig out the end of the driveway where the city plow had piled a barrier of snow.
Anne Mary called to say she had been up to Trader Joe's. She then came over to give me a "kumato"--a purplish brown tomato. She assured me it tastes just like a regular tomato (so why bother to drive up to Monmouth County to get brown ones?). She also gave me a Meyer lemon and a blood orange. Haven't yet eaten them, but will.
Was so pleased to get a call from my cousin, Marifran, in Cincinnati and we talked and talked for about an hour. Aside from that, I just started on my closet--aagh!--and more or less hung out all day.
Had just started this when I got a cam call from P. and N.; enjoyed seeing and talking to them, as ever. I was amazed to see the guys from Meticulous using the snow blower at 6:15 am in the dark. They nicely cleared off my sidewalk and driveway and even removed the new mound by the street. Yay, I can get out! I'm going to write Meticulous a letter to commend the snow removers for their good work.
Today, February 11, is Pat's birthday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Boy, oh boy, what an experience last night. All went well during the day; I was able to get my full walk in, then drive to Manahawkin to pick up a few things. Went to the library and Acme, got a welcome phone call from Pat's cousin, Joe, in Jacksonville, then ran a few more errands. No prob at all--main roads were clear and the side ones clear enough. I knew more snow was expected--you'd have to be brain dead not to--but had the idea it would start around midnight, when I'd be long asleep
Nope. Went to rehearsal (I'm going to hang in as understudy until the principals are off book) and enjoyed it. We broke up about nine and by that time, the snow was coming down heavily. It's only five miles to home--thank heavens we don't meet on Long Beach Island for this one--but it was the scariest five miles I've ever driven. The windows were already partly covered and I didn't want to wait long enough to clear them--my first mistake. I had the windshield wiper on the whole time, but the windshield kept icing up. In addition, although I had the defroster on, it kept fogging up inside. Didn't want to look for a cloth, so I just wiped it with my bare hand. Drove very slowly--I'm sure I pissed off people behind me, but I didn't care. Finally made it home in one piece, but I never want to do that again. My car is still covered with snow sitting in the garage, but it can stay covered for all I care.
Oddly and ironically, it looks as if we didn't get more than 3 or 4 inches, although 8 to 12 was predicted. Fine by me.
WIDER: The incomparable Justin Raimondo has a piece in AntiWar.Com called "How To Beat The War Party." Of course, he means the democrats. Here's just a snippet of a comment on the current state of so-called journalism:
"As the Obama administration morphs into its predecessor in many more ways than any of his progressive supporters imagined possible, the news media – which has been in the presidential pocket from the beginning – is now fully on board with his increasingly aggressive foreign policy stance. If they were subservient during the Bush era, it was mostly out of fear – fear of appearing "unpatriotic," especially in the dark days right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Today their subservience is due to their clear political allegiance to this administration and all its works – including its wars."
So horribly true. To anybody who still believes the mainstream press is "objective," watch my eyebrow rise and my lips curl. You shrug? Then read Justin's whole essay.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Finally got out yesterday. Went to Santori's for a yummy array of fresh veggies and to Shop-Rite for other staples, such as cottage cheese. Later, i was able to take my walk, although I shortened to maybe a mile, as I kept running into broad patches of ice or pressed snow in the street. The guys are still working valiantly to push some of the snow off areas that were missed before. I was amazed that they went over the sidewalks with snow blowers. Some are almost completely clear, but I stuck to the street, as others still have pressed snow or ice on them. It was great to get out and walk and also, to drive to Galloway. The public streets, including the NJ Parkway, are completely clear and dry.
I had mentioned to neighbor Anne Mary how much I like tangerine juice, which Ellen got at Trader Joe's when I was in California. There are no Joe's around here, but AM goes to one up north regularly. She did yesterday and was going to pick me up some, but darn--she was told it's discontinued on the east coast. She did bring me some mango tea, which I accepted with thinks, all the while thinking, "Why do people give me tea? I really don't like it that much." However, I brewed up a cup late in the day and enjoyed it a lot. Goes to show--well, not a damn thing, just that I like mango tea. Had a nice chat with Marge. She's doing okay, although still plagued with allergies and insomnia.
More snow expected today or tomorrow. Sigh....

Monday, February 08, 2010

I was starting to get cabin fever, but luckily, the service worked hard and now we're just about dug out. The sidewalks were not done--they're probably just impossible to clear--but the driveway and the front walk are.
Had a good time at the H.'s Super Bowl party last night. Of course, I ignored the game--football bores me--but what with the talk and laughs and food (not to mention the Corona), it was terrific. Ray insisted in picking me up, although they're only two doors away and he walked me home. Called Ellen on the web cam after and didn't get to bed until after 11:00, so slept until 6:30. No matter, though, as I can't very well walk this morning anyway, as the streets are still partly icy. Hope I can drive over to Santori's to replenish my veggie supply and I have a few other errands, too, when I venture out.
WIDER: This from a commenter on Chris Floyd's "Empire Burlesque":
"The Super Bowl has opened with a stirring display of Military might, men from all the services carrying the National Colors, Queen Latifah singing "America the beautiful" calling the blessings of gawd on this great nation, a huge stars & stripes spread on the field, live feeds showing troops at attention from bases in Afghanistan & Virginia, red fireworks bursting in air during the national anthem, and a benevolent, blood-stirring fly-over of Four F-15 Eagle fighter jets, not bombing anything, as a reminder of how great we is. Everybody had their hands over their hearts during this epoch display of patriotic fervor. I was amazed they weren't weeping.Perhaps some were."
I'm happy to say I missed that part. Boy, it chills the blood. How reminiscent of Nazi Germany, with its display of flags, troops, and nationalistic fervor. We're doomed, I'm afraid, if it's so easy to stir people's emotions and lead them to approve the kill, kill, kill goals of this bloodthirsty society.
A Little Late But I Had To Add This: Headline on a piece by Bruce Dixon at The Black Agenda blog: "Obama State of the Union: Guns For the Pentagon, Butter For Wall Street, A Spending Freeze For You"
SPOT ON, KIDDO!!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

For years, I've been looking for a particular poem about snow. I heard it only once about 20 years ago, being recited on a weekend morning t.v. show, one of those magazine types. Just cannot remember the name of the guy who was the commentator. Was it something like Osgood and was he the one who was posthumously found to be a bigamist? Dunno.
This poem, though, went along these lines: "No path, no fence, no grass, no shed..." and so on (but of course, much more skillfully than that), and ended with something like "...just snow."
That long preamble is leading up to this: A lot of my familiar landscape has vanished. The back steps are gone, the driveway is gone, all the bushes are gone, the neighbors' garden is gone, the sidewalks are gone...
There's just snow.
WIDER: Dennis Perrin's is one of the blogs I read regularly. He gets a little annoying at times (okay,who doesn't?), but I like a lot of his stuff. Here's a gem which illustrates perfectly the attitude of so many "if I wish hard enough, maybe it'll come true" liberals:
"...stop those wars right now, Mr. President! Or the next time I vote for you, I won't be smiling."

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Gee-oh-gosh, it snowed! Wonder why nobody predicted it--hah! I got phone calls yesterday from sister Betty and brother Larry, basking in sunny climes--California and Florida, respectively--and a web cam call from Singapore son, Mike (ditto). They had all been apprised that a lotta snow was on the way in Jersey. Well, if I had been in a deep coma for days, I may not have known, but of course, it was all over the newspaper and the Internet and, for all I know, tacked up on telephone poles. I was already pretty well stocked up, but I went to Acme to get ingredients for what I'll bring to the Super Bowl party at the H.'s tomorrow. Well, it was so jammed I finally left without getting anything. No matter, I'm going to assume the guys and gals on the snow removal teams are on the job and will deliver us before the day's over. At 6:30 am, I've already seen two snowplows on my street.
Considerably worse than the snow itself is the wind; guess that's why it's called a "blizzard." It's whipping up pretty good and there are high drifts all over the place.
WIDER: Headline from Antiwar.com:
Eight Americans Died for Worthless Afghan Base
Executive Summary Notes Base Had 'No Tactical or Strategic Value'
by Jason Ditz, February 05, 2010
I wonder how parents, spouses, children--those who loved the eight human beings--felt when they recently got this news. (The slaughter took place Last October.) And what further horror it must have been to understand that, according to the story, the base would have been abandoned soon anyway. The powers-that-be just didn't get around to giving the order, but oh, well--these things happen and we can't dwell on the past, and what are you doing for lunch? There's a new restaurant downtown...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Spent yesterday stocking up before the big blizzard that's expected; got bread, juice and veggies. Received an always-welcome web cam call from P. and N. in the morning. Walked without Susan, as she and Walter are in Aruba.
Went to rehearsal last night. A "Girls Night Out" had been scheduled for Saturday, but with the snow forecast, it was postponed. After a lot of discussion, it was decided that it'll be on Saturday, the 20th. That's the weekend Mike will be here, so that lets me out, I'm afraid. I'm disappointed, but it can't be helped.
I've decided to end attending rehearsals once the actors are "off book" (have their lines memorized). After that, I'll just have to accept the fact that I won't be in it, and will concentrate on trying to get a part in "Blithe Spirit," which will be staged in November.
WIDER: This from a commenter on "Truthdig.Com":
"...it won’t matter much if the president under whom the imperial dream and glory come to an end is a Demo or a Repub—both of the two wings of the War Party will be to blame. A plague o’ both their houses!"
Folks, them's my sentiments exactly.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Great fun yesterday at Ellen V.'s in Forked River. As described a few months ago, she lives in a neat house right on the canal. Has a dock, but no longer a boat, but it's oh, so lovely to be on the water. We saw three majestic swans floating around and, in the summer, of course, there are boats going by.
Ellen served a nice lunch of pea soup, warm rolls, salad, and sherbert, along with a good red wine and coffee. After a talkfest of several hours, we went over the script. She's playing Ouiser and I cued her. Greatlen enjoyed it and I stayed until 4:30. We have rehearsal tonight, then Girls Night Out on Saturday. We're all going to bring a covered dish and libations--it should be great fun. I'm going to duplicate a flyer from my sister's "Santa Barbara Minute Film Festival" and distribute then. I know dirctor Tara has contacts in show biz and others may, too.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Full day yesterday. Les and I went to the breakfast at Shore Diner and greatly enjoyed it. The group, "Season For Nonviolence," presented awards to several honorees besides Norm.* SFV seems to be composed mainly of African-American church-goers and we chatted after with a number of them. Going home, I remarked to Les that I miss interaction with Black people. Where I live now, there just aren't any and I don't often see them in stores. I guess some of us have become polarized. I have, and I wonder how I can rectify that. I'm thinking about the possibility of joining something in Atlantic City, but I'm not sure what.
We didn't get home until after twelve and I had to rush a bit to get ready for my Scrabble group. That was great fun, as ever, and Barb, Pat, and Les stayed until five o'clock.
Talked to brother Jim, and Pat's nieces, Amy and Donna, to check up on SIL Therese's and BIL Bill's surgeries. Therese is home and doing fine and Bill is progressing, although slowly.
It was a good day; the only aspect I regret is the ingestion part. I had a bagel with cream cheese and two Danish at the breakfast, then cheese straws, grapes, and chocolate-covered pretzels during Scrabble. Okay, I'm going to put it behind me.
I'm looking forward to "reading" with Ellen V. at here place in Forked River today. Hope the snow that fell last night isn't going to keep me home. Looks like an inch or two--darn.
WIDER: *The honorees included NJ-R congressman Frank LoBiondo. Considering his consistent pro-war voting record and the fact that he sits on several armed forces committees, that seems about as sensible a choice as Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Finished up the guest room, reserving some things for the thrift store, tossing others. Went to the cemetery, then stopped at Smithville to go to the candy shoppe (oh yes, they had to add the "pe"). Bought chocolate-covered pretzels for our little Scrabble club today; after, stopped at Shop-Rite and Santori's.
Neighbor Leslie and I are going to attend a breakfast this morning honoring Norm Cohen, the local president and guiding light behind The Coalition For Peace And Justice, of which we're membera.
WIDER: In a long and--as usual--closely reasoned piece today in his "Empire Burlesque," Chris Floyd writes about "Obama's Wild Weekend: A Worldwide Surge In War-Mongering." Here's one of the sad-but-true part:
"These days, alas, we find that to many progressives, actions that were considered rank crimes and national shames under Bush have been magically converted into "tough choices," "necessary evils," "practical politics" or even far-seeing "11-dimensional chess" when they are committed by Obama. So the anti-war row is now a lot harder, and longer, to hoe."
Boy, ain't it da troot. That's why I've said and will said again that Obama's election was about the worse thing that could have happened to "the peace movement." So-o-o many people I know, including a slew of my "liberal" relatives, simply refuse to believe that O. and his gang are just as evil as what's-his-name, lately in the catbird seat. They're sure Obie has some grand and beneficent scheme we just can't know yet, to end the carnage and lead the middle eastern sufferers into the light.
Couldn't resist adding this, a headline from "Common Dreams":
"Peace Prize' President Submits Largest War Budget Ever"
GEEZ! Orwell wouldn't have had the guts to make it up!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Stuff and nonsense yesterday. Snow was cleared off the sidewalk and driveway early and the streets are fine. Not much going on except boring housework. Enjoyed a cam call from Ellen in the evening; her computer's finally fixed.
WIDER: Came across some interesting sites that contain essays advocating the forming of a third party. The idea is to have candidates run in all congressional races. I impulsively wrote the author, Jeff Robey, telling him that I'd run for one. He wrote back with his phone number (he lives in Jersey City), I called him, and we had a good talk.
I'm not one hundred percent positive I want to do this, but I'm definitely interested in the movement. If we can organize, then make the message known to enough people, we may have a shot. We can at least, maybe, crystallize people's thinking around the idea that we're being screwed and we need to form a resistance. Jeff sent me some web sites I want to check out and I'm going to direct him to a number I read, including "Dead Horse," "Hugo Zoom," "A Distant Ocean," "Anti-War.Com," and, of course, in my opinion, the very top ones--"Empire Burlesque" and "Once Upon A Time...."
Come to think of it, there's also "North Toward Home" and "Truthdig"--lots more, in fact. Well, we'll start with the ones I mentioned.
WIDER STILL: As ever, Chris Hedges nails it. In TruthDig.Com, he writes on the press, sadly fallen from the place it held--or, at least, appeared to hold:
"...once our power elite became incompetent and morally bankrupt, the press, along with the power elite, lost its final vestige of credibility. The press became, as seen in the Iraq war and the aftermath of the financial upheavals, a class of courtiers."
But it all should be read:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_creed_of_objectivity_killed_the_news_business_20100131/