Wednesday, August 31, 2011

'Twas a full day, on which I always thrive. Met Betty and Helen for breakfast and we had a good one. Betty and I then went to the cemetery to commemorate the anniversary of her husband's death. We talked there, cried a bit, and remembered him and their son. Did the same at Pat's grave.
After we parted, I went to Canal's to stock up on wine. Home, I chopped carrots and onions, added garlic and a bit of oil, and put it in the crock pot.* Made a big salad, too, for later. Went to Manahawkin and bought a black summer shell. I have about ten shells and about the same number of black tops--what's my problem? Am I Miss Gloom and Doom? Don't think so, I just like the combo of black and white and wear a lot of it.
Met Frank next door and we went to the LETCO Executive Committee meeting. Discussed not only the upcoming (in November) Moon Over Buffalo, but other planned or possible productions: a Christmas show, The Patrick Pearse Motel, and others.
After, six of us went out for beers at Doyle's, a very agreeable restaurant that presents itself as an Irish pub. It's probably about as authentic as Disneyland, but it was great fun. I had a Blue Moon and an "Irish Nachos" appetizer (tiny potato pancakes, fried in oil with bacon), outrageously calorie-ridden, but delish. We had a ball laughing and talking, and discussing Desi's bid on an old mattress store on Route 9, which he envisions as a theatre for LETCO. His account of presenting an offer of roughly a third of the asking price was so funny.
Home about 9:30 to find Comcast out AGAIN. Used the cell to respond to a message from Pat L. She's the only one in the world I'd call at that hour unless a meteor hit the house, but I know she doesn't go to bed until the early hours and we had a good talk.
To bed late, but I slept until after 6:00 and feel good.
*Because it's of such great importance, I can't imagine how how I forgot to mention that on Tuesday, I did the crock pot thing, too: Brussels sprouts with onions, garlic, and oil. Really good.
WIDER: From Dr. Laurence Vance, one of my favorites at LewRockwell.Com:
"The purpose of the U.S. military should be limited to defending the United States, securing its borders, guarding its shores, patrolling its coasts, and enforcing a no-fly zone over its skies. Period. To do otherwise is to pervert the purpose of the military."
That's from his essay "Cursed Be Unconditioinal Obedience" and here's the link:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comcast is now toying with me by being up, then down, then up, then... When I got up an hour ago (5:15), it was down, but is now obviously up, as I'm posting on this blog.
Oh, well, yesterday was just a mundane catching-up day. Washed stuff, ran errands, and so on. Welcomed Frank and Barbara back and gave them the signs I had rescued from their lawn.
Meeting Betty for breakfast, then will go to the cemetery, as this is the anniversary of her husband's death, thirty-seven years. Soon, he will have been gone for as long as he was alive. Will go with Frank to a LETCO meeting tonight.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Third post of the day: Back home, Comcast up, everything is rosy.
Now, WHY didn't I just do an edit of the other two posts below and put them all together????
Here I am at the library because Comcsst is DOWN AGAIN. I have no Internet, phone, or t.v. for the second day. It came up again about 10:30, but then died. Grrr--it had better be up soon! (Or what, Mimi? What are you going to do about it?)
I'm back in Little Egg, safe and sound. Irene turned out to be a bit of a dud, at least in Jersey, as far as I know. There is indeed flooding here and there, but the horrors of Nature on the rampage seemed to have been overblown (heh, heh).
A quick rundown: Betty and I arrived up north on Saturday morning. Little traffic on 539. We had a nice chicken and pasta dinner and did this and that for the evening. Frank from next-door called me to ask about any problems; I called neighbors who stayed--most of Sunrise Bay did--and found out there were none--no problems, that is, not no neighbors (DOUBLE NEGATIVE SPOTTED!). Called Frank back to tell him; he and Barbara will be back today. Where were they? In North Carolina, but not near the storm.
Electricity went out at up north at 10:10 pm when I was already in bed. The homeowners being both smart and resourceful, had filled the bathtubs with water so we could flush the toilet and bought bottled water. It wasn't bad at all once the sun came up. Lots of rain and pretty strong winds on Saturday and Sunday morning and it will take a while for them to clean up the debris in the front and back yards, but no major problems.
Betty and I got in about 3:00 and I had no damage at all. She left shortly thereafter and there doesn't seem to be much of a problem at her place either. It's ironic that neither Betty's nor my power went out. However, Comcast--may they and all their ilk rot in hell--went out, so I had no telephone, computer, or T.V. until after I got back from exercise this morning. However, they said they would deduct from the bill.
Anyhow, the whole thing is over and, it seems to me, except for certain areas here and there--my nephew, Tim, has water in his basement in Vermont--it was a non-event.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Spent a nice day with Betty. After walking with Susan, then exercise, we had breakfast, then drove her car to Mastercraft. Fixing the car window would have cost over 200 bucks, but after a long weight, the guy determined something else was wrong and he simply got the window in an "up" position. This was good enough, and we were glad to leave. Went to Manahawkin to look for a bathing suit for Betty, but she wasn't able to find one.
After lunch at home, we went to the pool. I swam and B. did cryptograms. Got home, showered, then went to Dynasty for dinner. I had an enormous slab of pork loin--tool most home--and a mediocre meal.
We checked the T.V. and found the hurricane is still raging. It was in North Carolina and should be hitting Jersey today. We'll leave for up north this morning.
EXTRA: Jokes from the U.K. via Truthdig.Org follow. Really funny!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mike called on Skype and I enjoyed seeing him. He said Vivian likes her school so far and there are only nine in the class. Violet goes to nursery school right next door, so will probably stay there.
Betty was very worried about the thunderstorms predicted for the area, so she asked to come here. Also, her car window is stuck open. I said, "fine," and she came about five. I put chicken drumsticks in the oven, made a big salad, and added the onion, pepper, mushroom concoction I had done in the crock pot, and we had that for dinner. I moved my car into the driveway and let her park in the garage. (It's a two-car, but I have so much stuff on the other side, it holds only one.) To distract her, I had gone to the library and rented Punchline, an old Tom Hanks movie, and we watched that after dinner. It did, indeed, rain and we had some lightning and thunder, but nothing else.
Was pleased to get a web cam call from the other son. P. and N. were solicitous about, but mildly amused by, our "earthquake experience" (although we didn't feel it), considering the kind they have to deal with.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

!! E A R T H Q U A K E !!
Betty and I were in a store in Northfield when we heard others discussing the what they felt. The salespeople talked about the merchandise in the back wobbling. A customer said she had been in her car and thought somebody was purposely shaking it. I helpfully suggested it may have been a big truck passing by--after all, I reasoned, we don't have earthquakes in little ol' New Jersey.
Only we did. Up north called to say the pots and pans had shook and clinked. The woman across the street from Betty's told us how her kitchen floor was shaking so much she had to sit down (maybe a bit of exaggeration there). I called Walter and he and Susan weren't even aware of it. Ellen called from California where they really get 'quakes and P. commented on FB that it was "interesting, isn't it?" There, they're all too familiar with earthquakes.
Anyway, great excitement for a time. Betty and I were a bit chagrined to have been the only ones in a five hundred mile radius (around Richmond, Virginia) who didn't feel a thing.
But it was such a nice visit. I got down there about 8:00 on Tuesday and we walked over to Hannah G.'s for breakfast. Carole C. joined us there; had oatmeal. Later, we strolled on the boardwalk. Met Muckie for lunch in Northfield, then went various places shopping, including the relocated jewellery place where Betty bought two magnetic bracelets (I have three of them). Hit a number of other stores, then went back to Ventnor; sat on the porch and talked and talked. I took a walk down to St. James while Betty prepared dinner. It was good: chicken and veggies in the crock pot, plus the roasted veggies I brought.
Wednesday, we met Helen C. for breakfast in Northfield, then went to Santori's there, a location I had never visited. I got lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, peaches, and beets. Back at Betty's, we sat again on the porch; she made a nice lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches, and we--yes, talked and talked.
I left about 2:30 with many thanks and the assurance to each other that we'll make staying over at each other's houses a regular thing, probably monthly. Stopped at the cemetery on the way home to water. Got home and immediately scrubbed and cut the beets and put them in the oven. Made a big salad, some of which I had later for dinner, then jumped in the shower. Passed the rest of the evening on the computer and watching my 45 minutes of daily television. (Longer than that, my brains would liquefy and drip out of my ears.) Actually saw--AND ENJOYED--the National Dog Show, then went to bed to sleep the sleep of the just. (That's one of my favorite phrases. Is it because I'm just or because I'm not just? It suggests, I think, that the unjust aren't sleeping soundly, but brooding over their transgressions, so when you sleep well--which I did and usually do, but not always--it indicates...oh, the hell with it....)
WIDER: Recently discovered a terrific blog called "For Want Of A Nail." Here's just a tiny sampling, the writer commenting on the national debt and what a very convenient scapegoat it is to stamp out social programs:
"Liberals and conservatives must, in their most honest moments, know that their elected officials detest programs like union rights, welfare, unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc. We hear from gratuitously rich assholes (politicians, for short) all the time about how these programs – which are not even strong enough to keep those most vulnerable to the capitalist system from absolute ruin – make Americans lazy, about how they ruin the work ethic of humanity, how evil these programs are. So we know already their stances on such subjects, and the only reason these programs exist in the first place is that once upon a time workers were conscious enough of their own class interests that they threatened to take power by force from these politicians if they were not instituted. But over the decades they have been chipped away at and turned into the scape-goat for every social and economic woe America faces."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It turned out to be a good, if melancholy day. The much-loved visitor from the north came about 10:30. We went to the cemetery and sat there for a half hour or so, talking about Dad. We laughed and there were a few tears. Watered the azaleas, Mexican heather, and mums. We then went to Jay's grave and together, planted the little mums there.
I was then taken to lunch at Italian Cuisine, one of my favorites. Had a good time talking and sharing. After that, the V. from the N. suggested we go to the pool. Went home to change and discovered a beautiful bowl of lavender roses and lilies. They are from dear son, Mike, and I like them so much. His brother and sister-in-law, the Tokyo Twosome, put a lovely remembrance of his Dad on Facebook. Their sibling, Ellen, Skyped me on Sunday night, so all have checked in.
We went to the pool--wonderfully refreshing--and enjoyed it.
I had received a call from Mary Ann Van O. to the effect that she'd like to give me some vegetables. (I had mentioned how good the roasted veggies were I had made the day before.) We stopped there and she handed me a huge bag of sweet potatoes, peppers, zucchini, celery and eggplant. I'm not sure why, but I decided to roast them. After the V. form the N. and I said goodbye, I did.
Invited Mary Ann over, she came, and I added salmon, pickled beets, and sliced tomatoes with feta to the menu, which we ate and enjoyed.
Two years have now gone by since Pat's death and I miss him in a deep, primeval way, but I'm doing all right.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stopped at Casey B.'s and picked up the sign holders. Talked to Betty. Other than that, just the usual until evening, when I went to the Dine Around dinner. Susan and Walter drove, picking me up, then Mary Ann. Sat next to Leslie; the chicken Marsala was so-so, but the company was good. Was pleased to see Rae and Sid Smolin--he's been very ill, but is recovering.
When I walked in the house, Skype was ringing and I enjoyed a good virtual visit with D.D., Ellen.
Today is the second anniversary of Pat's death--see picture collage below.
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Went to the cemetery after breakfast to weed and water. After, zipped down to Produce Junction and got four small, smashingly brilliant yellow mums. Back to the cemetery, I planted two at Pat's grave and just set the other two at Jay's. I'm trying to decide whether they'd be okay there, as his area is heavily shaded (partly by the two towering pines Pat's aunt planted nearby in 1932).
Casey B., a member of the theatre company, called to say he had the wire supports for lawn signs and did I want to pick them up? I'll do that this morning.
Dear friend, Leslie R., called and we had a long and heartfelt talk about our family losses, the separation of church and state, and pacifism. She's a Mennonite and I'm happy to have her as a neighbor and fellow believer in peace.
WIDER: Got an amusing-if-not-so-idiotic e-mail from Mary Ann Van O., showing a maimed marine and contrasting his situation with the rich benefits members of Congress get, such as full pay, paid medical, and so on. In fact, according to whatever numbskull originated this, children of members don't have to replay student loans (hard to believe). The gist of the message was, of course, that it's unfair that our noble military--who are "protecting freedom," doncha know--don't get as much as the politicians (well, duh). I responded to it with this:

You've got that right, there's nothing "fair" about it.
But what's "fair" about invading other countries and killing people who had nothing to do with any attacks on this country? This includes children who can't possibly be accused of being enemies.
U.S. troops are not "protecting freedom." They are protecting the profits of the arms manufacturers, the mercenaries, and yes, the scummy politicians who support these illegal and immoral wars. By the way, there are two contractors in Afghanistan for every one soldier. And guess what? They're paid a hell of a lot more than the solder.
There's not a lot "fair" about persuading young men and women who can't find jobs, thanks to the laws and policies upheld by the same politicians, to kill and be killed for a worthless "cause." Those in the military take an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States and to defend this country--that's NOT what they're doing in Afghanistan. To accept the vague and fuzzy "reasons" we're fed that are supposed to justify the carnage, is to be a nation of sheep.
As for members of Congress--well, yes, they're the scum of the earth, that's a cinch, but whether all in this message is true, I don't know. I wasn't able to verify it from an independent source and I wouldn't believe Faux News if they said the sun was hot. (Incidentally, the idea that their children don't have to pay back student loans seems questionable, if only because if the parents are in Congress, they're almost surely so rich their kids don't need student loans.)
One of the many tragedies surrounding these ugly aggressions is that the young man is going to live the rest of his life maimed and broken. It's disturbing to see his picture, but we need to. And we need to see the soldiers with missing limbs, and those who are now blind and brain damaged. We need to see the body bags and we need to hear the cries of the grieving families. And, much as we may try to turn away, we need to see the still bodies of the human beings we're slaughtering on the other side of the world.
Then we need to think about what we've become.
Rosemary Molloy

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Went to exercise, had breakfast, then drove to Wells Mills Park to drop off registration and checks for the van tour we're taking in October. The Ocean County Parks system doesn't go out of their way to make it easy to participate, that's a cinch. For openers, you have to register as soon as you get their quarterly brochure, which is always months beforehand. The van holds only 14, so otherwise, you might very well be shut out. (Only if they get ten more will they add another van, and sometimes, not then either.) You can no longer register in Little Egg; the woman who was in the office has retired and the job is not going to be filled. I had to go to Waretown about twenty miles away and their copier there was broken. The woman there--pleasant, but very harried as she was new in the office--said she'd have to send us our confirmations. "E-mail?" I asked hopefully. Oh, no, that would take even longer, she assured me, so they'll come by regular pony express. Sent Barb, Pat, and Susan an e-mail letting them know we were duly registered.
After having the yummy roasted veggies at Mary Ann's, I was determined to make my own. Stopped at B & B to get sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, and onions. Added the broccoli and carrots I already had and cut everything up into big chucks. Mary Ann had used a commercial marinade, but I wanted to make my own. It wasn't actually a marinade, I guess: I mixed olive oil and garlic, plus some lemon slices I had in the frig and coated the veggies with that. Roasted for more than an hour--probably an hour and a half--in a hot (425) oven,let them cool for a time and--oh, they were so darn good. I immediately decided to include this in any dinner party I have in the cold weather. If I say it myself (oh, Mimi, you're naughty), they were much better than Mary Ann's.
Was pleased to get a web cam call from P. and N. They're planning a trip to a place in the mountains shortly. It was a favored spot for hari-kari, I understand. That, of course, is the ritual disemboweling of oneself, considered only a right and proper thing to do if your army was defeated or you got up on the wrong side of the bed or whatever. Aagh!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Went to Foodtown in Smithville and picked up tomatoes, salmon, and shrimp with garlic. Made a big salad and had that and the shrimp for lunch. I firmly believe that garlic is a vampire repellent; none came around after I ate the shrimp, which is proof positive.
Asked Mary Ann Van O. if she wanted to see The Wedding Singer with me, and she accepted. She wanted to go last night and I agreed. Called Susan to tell her and she decided not to go. She hasn't felt well lately--has some kind of summer flu or something. I also invited her to accompany Barb H., Pat G., and me on a van tour in October to cranberry farms, both "wet" and "dry." She'll go to that and I collected the checks and registration forms and will take them to Wells Mills Park today.
Got a call from Betty and we decided I'd stay overnight with her on Tuesday. (Anniversary of Pat's death is Monday.)
Was delighted to get a Skype call from Mike and the two precious girls. Paula is in the states (San Diego) to get her drivers' license renewed, as it would take three months to get it in the U.K.
About 3:00, Mary Ann called to say she'd just made a pot of pea soup and would I like to share it with her before the show? Why, sure, so I walked around the corner to her place and we had a nice summer meal of the soup (good, but not as good as mine), salad, and wonderful roasted veggies.
Went to the show after and boy, what a spectacular production. It was about half singing and dancing--mostly young people in the cast, as opposed to our group, which is pretty long in the tooth. Really enjoyed it and will send a congratulatory e-mail to the founder, who's a local girl.
WIDER: A fabulous bit from a commenter at CommonDreams.Org:
Democrats? What democrats? The party of FDR & JFK is dead, but continues to lurch, zombielike, to the right.
WIDER STILL: I have a strong interest in Japan (for obvious reasons to those who read my blog) and here's s thought-provoking essay from Lew Rockwell.Org:
Note: I am NOT a Libertarian and disagree heartily with many of their beliefs, but we concur exactly in attitudes toward aggression.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Various and sundry, but nothing notable except I did the three-mile exercise. What a chore, but what a sense of accomplishment after. Went to Shop-Rite and B & B for veggies, to Kohl's, for a pair of earrings, pulled weeds in the boiling heat, and la-di-dah.
Got a call from Barbara H., asking if I want to go on a van tour to "wet" and "dry" cranberry farms on October 18. I accepted and invited Susan, who will also go. Said I'd drive up to Wells Mills Park to drop off registration and checks.
Frank D, e-mailed me to let me know dates have been changed for Moon Over Buffalo: shows are now scheduled for November 4, 5, and 6. How this could have been so screwed up--that is, how the original dates could have been announced without being firm--is beyond me. However, it's early enough so nothing has gone out. I contacted three direct mail (e-mail) companies. Frank had suggested we might use them to publicize Moon, but it looks to me as if they're all very expensive--cheapest carries a minimum cost of $750.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Busily buzzed around yesterday, but darned if I can remember much of what I did. Bought salad ingredients and made a large one, plus chicken drumsticks and baked them. Went to Manahawkin on errands. Continued reading the bio about Irving Thalberg, which is very well done. My Joyce Carol Oates interest is waning, but I'll finish her book of short stores. Have a few other books going, also. Other than that mundane stuff--busy, busy doing very little--nothing of much interest going on.
WIDER: Here's an eye-opener about the mainstream media:
And here's another from my pal, Rob Payne:
Rob includes the following--a gem!
"People often discuss the U.S. government as if it is a democracy which is made up of two different parties. These people are entirely wrong. There are really three parties. One party is the Pentagon and the other is Wall Street. Everyone else belongs to the loser party. Call it what you will but you lose. They win."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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Had a wonderful weekend! We witnessed J.'s and T.'s baptism after attending 11:00 mass. I remembered all the responses and actually enjoyed the ritual. (Something like visiting a foreign country: I was keenly interested and wouldn't have missed it for the world, but I don't want to live there.) It rained a bit off and on, but didn't spoil the christening or the party after. Lots of people there: Besides J.'s and N.'s family of six, there were N.'s parents, J.'s Dad, wife, and daughter, Rachel (who was godmother for both), friends Carl (godfather) and Diana and Chris and Holly, the former with two little doggies, the latter with 7-month-old Evan. Incrediby, some of them stayed overnight--they had 13 people in the house--and there's only one bathroom. Oh, well, young people are adaptable and they all seemed perfectly fine with it. Lots of food and drink and fun with the kids followed the ceremony, of course.
Left the area about 10:30 and got home in good time--about 3:30--to find a message from Leslie inviting me to a barbershop singing group at 7:00. Would I go after our long trip south? Absolutely. Jumped in the shower, had a bite for dinner, dressed, and was out the door at 6:20.
The all-male group was so good. They're called "The Boardwalk Chorus," although they meet in Galloway and all except one are surely in their sixties and seventies. It was wonderful fun to be there are hear them; we chatted with several after. Got home a bit before 9:00, had my p. and w. and went to bed to sleep like a log.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Leslie and I were going to go to lunch yesterday, but she lost a filling and couldn't get a dentist appointment until noon. She suggested we go to breakfast, instead, and we did. Went to Dockside, where I haven't been for ages, and had a wonderful time and good, good talk. When we parted, we vowed to meet more often, preferably every month.
Got a web cam call from Mike and was delighted to see him, Paula, and adorable little Violet, Vivian having ridden her bike to her friend's house. Their furniture came, and Mike "took me around" with the laptop to see it. It's beautiful, so big, tastefully done, and elegant, thanks to my daughter-in-law, the designer. Mike told me they live in a gated community, which surprised me, and that Jerkas are now guarding the entrances.
Spent the rest of the day making macaroni salad--it always goes over big--washing clothes, and packing for out trip to Wellsboro today.
WIDER: Dockside is right on the canal, and oh, how enjoyable it is to eat scrambled eggs while watching the boats go by in the summer sun. It's a small, one-room restaurant, and was packed, as it always is at the height of the season. Les and I were stunned at the "patriotic" displays that decorated every available surface if Dockside. There were flags, stars, Marine Corps insignias, red, white, and blue wreaths, and so on the windows, hanging from the ceiling, and affixed to the walls. Every table was festooned with small vases filled with artificial flowers in--you guessed it, then national colors. Boy, was it tacky.
Les is one of the few friends I have who is a committed pacifist. Lots of people I know are opposed to the current wars. I've heard many deplore the loss or shattering of American lives and/or who express the belief these are the "wrong" wars. (The lives of those we're slaughtering, whether purposely or accidentally? Not important, so rarely mentioned.) The idea, however, that never seems to penetrate is that if you have a huge standing army, a war budget bigger than all other countries' combined, and an arsenal of weapons that could pulverize the planet, you gotta do something with it all. Sooner or later, too, the argument--which I've heard over and over--comes up that the military is a force for good, such as feeding starving children. That's so specious a thought I can hardly address it. In fact, I won't, except to say you don't need to carry a gun to feed people.

Friday, August 12, 2011

After a wild goose chase to Galloway, I finally drove down to Long Beach Island to the Catholic store at St. Francis so I could get gifts for the boys' baptism. Got them religious medals--St. Joseph for Joel and St. Francis for T., as there is no saint with his name.
Went to the store for ingredients for my macaroni salad and started a bit of packing, although not much. Went to the beauty parlour (do they still call it that?) to get my hair cut and colored. It's so expensive I almost had to get a second mortgage to cover it, but it looks good. It's a lot shorter; I hope I can at least approximate what Leann did.
Got a nice long e-mail from friend Marge, who's still battling chronic pain, this time in her back. What a shame for her.
Picking up Leslie for lunch, then will make the macaroni salad I'm taking to the party in Wellsboro, wash, pack, and finish up odds and ends.
WIDER: Want your blood to run cold? See this, then multiply it by--I guess--dozens, maybe hundreds of other sites dedicated to keeping the populace stirred up against "the enemy." It suggests, of course, in a not-so-subtle way, the demonizing of other humans and the blood revenge for which we've become famous.
And for anaylsis, see this from good old Tom Engelhardt:
And oh, good grief, there's a KIDS' SECTION!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kind of a blah day. I spent the morning working up possible material for the yard signs for Moon. High point was when Frank D. came over to discuss publicity. (Frank's the producer, which means you do everything gratis so people can complain about what you don't do--a thankless job.) I was taken aback to learn that there's now a question about whether this is going on when scheduled or not. There are major problems with the dates, plus two key actors are now unable to be in the show. Actually, I'm okay with this, especially as I hadn't sent anything out yet anyway, and it gives me more time.
Frank and I talked to Ellen V. on a conference call (she's doing the programs) and she said the powers that be weren't satisfied with her logo--she asked me to send her what I came up with for graphics.
Aside from that, nothing much happening. I drove somewhat aimlessly to the Manahawkin library; picked up a movie called New York, New York, with Liza Minnelli. Before I even got home, I lost interest in it and surely won't even look at it. I do this a lot--check out a movie or video, then take it back without watching it. What would you say: My eyes are bigger than my brain? (No doubt.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another lovely day. Betty and I got up early, as always, and while I walked with Susan, she played a game on the computer. Neighbor, Anne Mary H. gave me three pretty candles--she thinks they suck the oxygen out of the air--then came over to my place. I had invited her to bring her Brooke, a seven-pound miniature poodle, to meet Betty. Big mistake. A.M., who is somewhat eccentric (she's a retired math teacher--enough said!), simply never shuts up, dredging up age-old incidents, all of which I've heard multiple times and none of which are even faintly interesting. She finally left, we had breakfast, then went to the pool.
It felt wonderful--so good we actually went in twice. I had packed a lunch, including an illicit beer for myself, and we ate, chatted with neighbors, and generally had a wonderful time. Home for a time, then Betty left during a rainstorm about 3:00.
Went last night to Northfield to sit in on a reading of the In-House Players. It seems they've decided to do the Tuckerton Seaport murder mystery thing, after all, but now aren't sure hte Seaport hasn't gotten someone else. We read--I took the part of somebody who wasn't there--and I said my thanks and left about 8:30. The director, Dodie, said she'd call me when they're doing "The Radio Show," a standard of those, I think. Drove home in the dark, which I don't like.
I'm fairly certain I won't be joining this group. It's just too far away to go at night, which is when they invariably rehearse, a strong negative for me. Wasn't entirely impressed with some of them, either. Well, maybe I'll change my mind later.
Frank coming over today to discuss publicity for Moon.
WIDER: Worth reading, a thoughtful anaylsis by Justin Raimondo of the goings-on in the U.K. At

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My little luncheon was a great success. Prepared the rest of it before Betty got here abut 10:30. Pat and Mary Ann arrived together at the stated time of 1:00 and Susan shortly after. S. brought a lovely dessert of fresh fruit, along with--get this--a bottle of cream sherry to sprinkle over it. 'Twas yummy.
Mary Ann brought info on a bus trip to the Met in the fall, but I think I'll pass. It leaves from Princeton, is in the evening, then there's an hour and a half drive after that. It's also dreadfully expensive. However, I'm definitely interested in attending an opera lecture at Westminster--also in Princeton--which is in the afternoon and only twenty bucks. Will share all this with Frank, who's coming over at 10:00 to discuss the publicity for Moon.
Back to the luncheon: We sat and talked for almost an hour over vodka and bitter lemon for some, soda for others. Everybody liked the lunch, especially the macaroni salad and liverwurst. They stayed until 5:00, then I told Betty to sit down and relax while I cleared up.
Of course, my twin and I talked and talked until bedtime, about all manner of things and relatives. Slept like a log and she just got up--great fun to have her here!
Attending a meeting of In-House Players in Northfield tonight.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Spent most of the day preparing for my luncheon. Made the macaroni salad (it's best after refrigerating overnight), vacuumed, took the crystal pickles out of the freezer, and scrubbed the kitchen floor. Went to Acme for turkey breast, liverwurst, and roast beef, plus a few appetizers. Talked to Betty, who told me a relative we've both been in touch with, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. So sorry to hear that; ominously, her mother died of it.
Enjoyed my weekly cam call from Ellen. She just finished painting her downstairs bathroom and now it's finished--yay!
WIDER: Yesterday, among other errands, I stopped at Michael's to exchange a picture frame. At the foyer entrance, they've set up a rack of "Never Forget" crap. There are tee-shirts with that on them, along with--could anybody doubt it?--a background of Old Glory (it's Old Gory now, I'm afraid). Lots of actual flags, too, as well as artifacts designed to keep conditioning Americans to accept the perpetual war machine we've unleashed. The 911 thing, of course, will be occupying more and more of the media and, lest we forget (ha), the attention of our corporate masters.
Yes, children, the WTC tragedy is serving an important purpose. Just as the bombing of Pearl Harbor did, it's keeping at bay any widespread questioning of our militaristic motives. The slogan "Never Forget"* is a sound bite signaling to our dull brains in a vague, fuzzy way that we're justified in continuing our murderous rampages around the globe.
* Or is it "Always Remember?"--I forget!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Spent the morning cleaning the bathroom--wowee. Went to Acme and when I got home, had a message from up north: Would I like to join them at the lake? I declined, but soon thought better of it, suited up, and surprised them by zipping up to Crestwood (or whatever it is). Had a good hour or two with the northern person and her non-biological grandkids, L. and L. (her husband's from his earlier marriage).
Declined an invitation to go with them on a boat cruise at New Hope (PA) and went on home. Had salmon and peas for dinner, after a unexpectedly nice summer day.
WIDER: Just thought I'd throw in this from a commenter on "Common Dreams":
"We are seeing an implementation of Disaster Capitalism in the USA. The goal is the privatization of everything public. It will destroy social safety-nets and the welfare of the people at large will be returned to the pre social security era while the ruling class will amass enormous profit."
Yep, that's about right (sigh).
WIDEST OF ALL: This is the 66th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan. Was that the beginning of the slide into ever-more-fervent militarism in the U.S.? The belief is now, I understand, that it was done in order to impress on the Soviet Union U.S. might; in other words, a scare tactic. So what if thousands upon thousands of innocents were incinerated at once or poisoned to suffer and die slowly? They were the enemy, different from us, practically sub-human, in fact.
Just as Muslims are today.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Went to exercise. Braved the Parkway South to go to Canal's in Atlantic County; that's where I stock up on cheap wine. Stopped at the cemetery to water. High point of the day was a web cam call from P. and N. They were just back form Ubeno (?), about an hour from Tokyo where N.'s picture exhibited. Worked on some publicity stuff for LETCO.
Can hardly remember what else went on--obviously nothing much, so am adding this:
True Love
An old woman was sipping a glass of wine while sitting on the patio with her husband when she said, "I love you so much, I don't know how I could ever live without you."
Somewhat taken aback, her husband asked, "Is that you or the wine talking?"
"It's me, talking to the wine," she replied.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Wrote out a short "script" for Lucille to say over the theatre company phone and brought it over to her. She did a great job and I visited for a time with her and little Jenna--or Genna (I think she's 5). Lucille is newly divorced and is still trying to put her life back i order, as the saying goes.
After lunch, I took the car over to have the oil changed. Also gave them the directional light I had bought, which cost less than five dollars for two, so roughly two bucks and change each. When the car was finished, I was stunned to get a bill for $48.04! It seems an oil change has gone up to $24.95 plus tax and they change $19 to change the signal light! Damn, I'm going to look for another auto place.
I had invited Susan to come for lunch when Betty's here on Monday and she accepted. Called Mary Ann Van O. and Pat L. and they did the same. Should be fun.
Went down the street to Leslie's and brought her a head of Romaine, with which I'm overstocked. We chatted and made a date for lunch next Friday.
Went to three places to find Kirby cucumbers so I could make crystal pickles. Finally found them in Shop-Rite. Made a batch of pickles and put them in the freezer.
Stopped at the library and took back Joyce Carol Oates' A Widow's Story, which I finished, and picked up a book of her short stories. I had never read her before--I rarely read fiction--but find I like her stuff.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Finally galvanized myself to do the three-mile. Gruelling, but it's almost worth it, it feels so good when it's over.
Got a fair number of pending things done. Picked up the furnace filter Dennis asked me to get, went to Shop-Rite, pulled some weeds, and stopped at Mastercraft to make an appointment to get my oil changed. Finally bought a directional light and will ask Mastercarft to install it.
Betty called and we made a date for her to come for a visit and probably the pool on Monday, if she isn't working. Wrote a new "script" for the theatre company phone message; called Lucille, who will read it and will bring it over today. Pat L. called and said the article was fine. Frank D. called and told me he had asked Judy to do concessions for Moon; then she called and expressed her delight at this assignment.
WIDER: An essay on Anti-War.Com starts:
"Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done… for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now."
A "secret" U.S. military? Oh, come on, that can't be. Ha! Take a look:

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

It turned out to be a neat day. I finished up the "Profile" piece for The Breeze in the morning and called Pat L., the subject. Her computer's down, so I'll bring it over to her to check facts. Called Rose F. to get the phone for the Theatre Company; she dropped it off. I'll ask Lucille B. to record the message about Moon and will write out what I want so she can recite it.
My OT advisor came after lunch, bringing a customized exercise plan and we went over them. She also advised me to keep my head up when I walk, as I tend to look at the ground because I'm afraid of falling over some unperceived object. Ironically, this adds to balance problems. I'm going to be as conscientious as possible to do these exercises regularly.
She then proposed we go to the pool and we did. The water felt wonderful--just cool enough--and we enjoyed it. Had an interesting literary discussion; I told her I was reading, among other books, Joyce Carol Oates' A Widow's Story. I find it gripping, altough highly emotional. I've never read Oates, but my visitor had--in fact, had been a heavy reader of hers for some time. I read little fiction, but think I'll look up some of hers.
Left about 4:00 and walked home. Visitor left and I got my shower and changed. Called precious little "T," the big four-year-old and enjoyed talking to him. Also spoke to N. and said I'd make macaroni for the First Communion party when we go up there in a few weeks.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Betty decided to serve lunch at her house, instead of everyone going to Gino's (good!). She had a delightful one of liverwurst, turkey, and cheese, plus various sides and excellent pumpernickel and rye breads. I brought tomatoes, a container of my homemade pickles, and a few cans of beer. We ate inside, then repaired to the porch to gab away. Besides Betty and me, guests included Suzanne M. and her friend, Reinie (a former reporter for the Bucks County Courier Times), whom I had met before and Helene, one of her neighbors. We had a great time.
Left about 4:15 and decided to stop and the cemetery to water the Mexican heather, as it's been so hot and humid. Did so, and as I was leaving Jay's grave, I heard an ominous grinding noise for the car. Darn! A man whom I've seen before was running through the cemetery and he stopped and advised me to drive slowly with my flashes on. Two ideas came into my head simultaneously: 1. Because the guy was certainly over fifty and it was extremely h. and h., I thought he was in the right place because he was about to drop dead in front of me and 2. he was a serial killer and would soon strangle me in the gathering dusk (he had no place to conceal a weapon). Presumably, neither is true, although I don't know for sure.
I thought the grinding got worse as I drove and I was worried about getting on the Parkway, so I called Allstate Roadside Assistance and, after a long wait, was directed to an auto shop in Absecon. Drove right past it, then back, finally arrived, the guy looked under the hood, said it looked okay and I drove home, not arriving until after 7:00. I have to get the oil changed anyway, so will mention it to the Mastercraft guy.
My OT advisor is coming this afternoon to introduce me to some balance exercises.
Today is darling little T's fourth birthday.
WIDER: So very much can be written about the recent dismantling of anything like representative government or "the most good for the most people" notion or a semblance of responsible law-making. However, just this mild comment on "A Tiny Revolution" about the official selling-out of the gang of criminals in Washington will suffice:
"So here we are, some 17 months since George W left office, and we have the same odious oligarchy out in force, subverting the safety net that Roosevelt installed, and obliterating any chances of regulating the big Financial people."
And this, from the priceless "Empire Burlesque" and Chris Floyd:
"So the deed is done. The "debt ceiling" crisis has been "resolved" by a further maniacal destruction of the commonweal, in a bipartisan pact that completely ignores the murderous imperial wars as the primary drain on the nation's treasury."
Oh, yes, the slaughter machine eats up a lot of dough, but let's not go there...
Okay, one more thing: One of the other guests at the luncheon yesterday stated as referred to the fact that Obama is a "socialist" and that "socialism" is now gripping our land.
It was all I could do to keep from sticking a fork in her eye.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Met with Frank-Next-Door about publicity for the theatre group's next production. Moon Over Buffalo is, of course, coming up the end of September and he's the producer. (That and a dime'll get you a cup of coffee.) Although I didn't make the cut for a part, I'll participate in the grunt role of publicity chair.
Later, Frank sent me two spread sheets, one with all members' names, street and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. Incredibly, this was lacking for the last several years. The other sheet is a listing of everybody involved in the production and what their titles, such as "director," "props mistress, "set design," and so on. What a pleasure to have somebody who displays at least a modicum of organizational skills and will do the nitty gritty to cover practicalities! I asked Frank to call Judy K. about doing concessions and he will.
Called Lucille B. to find out how to get the phone message changed (it still invites people to come to April's Our Town), and we had a good chat. She's had her run-ins with Desi, which is one reason she's no longer active.
Betty called to say Suzanne M. and her friend, Reinie, whom I've met, are coming down from Hadden Heights today for lunch; asked if I'd like to join them. I will, although we'll go to Gino's, a restaurant around the corner, which I'm not crazy about. However, no prob.
Enjoyed my Sunday evening talk with Ellen on Skype later in the day. She's about to paint her downstairs bathroom. What a job to prepare it, scraping off the old stuff, but it'll look great when she's finished.