Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wedding Dress

Finally got an outfit for the wedding.  Went to Kohl's and tried on a lot of stuff until I picked up a long dress in a kind of mottled black, brown, and cream.  It has a halter top, so exposes a lot of skin, including upper arms.  I'd cut them off rather than let them be seen, so I got a "shrug" in putty, my lease favorite color, but at least I got something.
Called my new friend, Flo C., who does alterations and she said I could come over to her place right away.  I put the dress on, she pinned it, and will have it ready tomorrow or Friday.  Flo was in the last graduating class in her very small upper Pennsy town AND graduated with a home ec degree from Temple, the last year that august institution offered that major.
As Flo was pinning me, I glanced out the window and saw Aline walk by.  Caught up with her when I was finished.  She was coming back from the Chinese restaurant with dinner for her and Susan.  I drove her the rest of the way home, then stopped in to chat for a few minutes.
Rest of the day was all Dionne.
WIDER: 
Re the NYTimes article yesterday on Obama personally signing off on who's to be murdered next, Ray Mc Govern writes in AntiWar.com:
"The authors understate this as 'a moral and legal conundrum.' It is, in fact, a moral and legal impossibility to square 'kill lists' for extrajudicial murders with traditional legal and moral American values."
This extraordinary information has been, so far, greeted with utter silence by the lapdog press, the Obama worshippers, and the ever-vigilant-against-abortion fundamentalist and Catholic clergy.
The entire piece needs to be read, although to what purpose, I'm not sure.
http://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2012/05/30/the-moral-challenge-of-kill-lists/

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Program And Other Stuff

I'm continuing to set up my DQ program--it's a lot more difficult than I had thought.  There's just so much history--after all, they were born 78 years ago Monday--and my flash drive has a bunch a pictures on it. 
Interrupted the above to go to Wal-Mart for my renewed medications and run a few other errands.  Stopped beforehand at the library to ask if I could come in the afternoon to practice with the laptop and we made a date for 3:00.  When I got there, the substitute manager (Kelly is on vacation), Arlene, was so helpful.  After a BIG problem with the fact that I find it so difficult to use the non-mouse mode, she actually went a borrowed one from another computer.  She also set it up so I could speak from a podium, with the computer on a pull-out; that worked out so much better.
I ran through the whole program and was dismayed to realize it took more than an hour and a half, much too long.  I'll experiment with cutting some things, especially when they get complicated after the quints are adults.
Didn't get home until well after 5:00.  Threw a mediocre dinner in the microwave.  Aline called and I assured her I'd pick her up for rehearsal. Did so and we greeted cordially by Neil and the participants.  Stayed about an hour and a half, long enough to see a run-through of the first act.  It's shaping up, but I was surprised the players aren't off-book yet.
Home late (for me), so didn't get to bed until after 10:00.
I was so sorry to get an e-mail from Ellen that Tillie does indeed, have cancer and a particularly aggressive form.  The vet said she could remove part of her jaw and so on, but wisely, Ellen is not going to put the poor kitty through those horrors.  She'll keep her comfortable until she needs to say goodbye.  How I wish I could be with her through this.
WIDER:  From Chris Floyd's Empire Burlesque:
"Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects’ biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die."
As Chris writes, "words fail" when contemplating this scene.  He cites what he calls "a love letter" in a NYTime piece.  It's here:
http://www.chris-floyd.com/
Yes, words fail and the heart sickens.
 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pool And Non-Rehearsal

It was hot, hot, hot, so I went to the pool.  Walked in to find Leslie and Dennis with Rosemary D. and her visiting family.  We greeted each other happily and I sat down with them.  Had a good talk, good swim, and good several hours.
Aline and I had made plans to go to rehearsal, which was scheduled at the Seaport at 6:30.  I picked her up and we went, but we waited until after 7:00 and nobody showed.  Checked at the community center, but no luck there, either.  We finally decided to try again tonight. 
Aline persuaded me--it didn't take much--to stop at Rita's and get soft ice cream.   Delish and a nice top-off to the evening.
Now I must get serious about setting up my DQ program.  I go on a week from today!
WIDER:  I posted a picture on Facebook, thinking it was appropriate for Memorial Day.  It was the "I Want You" picture of Uncle Sam pointing, with the caption "Join The Army.  Visit exotic, distant lands, meet interesting people, and kill them."  Geez, what a vehement reaction from my cousin (whom I've never met in my life), Ary B., who happens to have a son in the military.  It was gratifying to know that someone else close to me responded affirmatively to the post.  They had a lively exchange, but there's no question M.R.came out ahead.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Not Much

Continued working on my narrative for the DQ program.  Darn, this is more difficult than I thought it would be and I still have plenty to do.
Called grandson Joel, who was on his way back from the bachelor party, to ask if he still wanted the pool I said I'd buy from Tara K.  He asked the dimensions and I sent Tara an e-mail.
Aline called; she's back from Canada and had a fabulous time: Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, and the Thousand Island.  I'm going to pick her up tonight and we'll go to rehearsal to pick up some flyers.  It's at the Tuckerton Seaport, funnily enough, I guess because it's a holiday and the school's closed.
Watered the tomatoes and flowers, and puttered around.  Took a drive, just to clear my head, along the back roads, as I often do.
Talked to daughter Ellen and was interested to hear she's volunteering for a congressional candidate, Julia Brownley.  Will look her up.  I was sorry to hear that Tessie, her kitty--Ellen's, not Julia Brownley's--is ailing.
Aside from that and some household chores, I didn't do much.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pool, Pat, And Planet of the Apes

Got to the pool opening breakfast about 10:30 and stayed a bit more than an hour.  It was terrific: a gorgeous, sun-filled day, good food and drink, and wonderful company.  I sat with Susan and Walter, Bessie and Bob, Anna P., and Joan C. under the awning (which I remarked was a great addition to the clubhouse patio).  Had a bloody Mary (I asked bartender Jack if they were half and half--boy, potent) and a mimosa (could I resist?), a croissant, and fruit.  Ninety of my good neighbors were there and it was a great kickoff to summer.
Got home and called my friend, Pat, who had said goodbye to her Rich on Friday.  We had a good talk and a convivial one; I know all too well the routine of losing a spouse after seeing him decline.  Pat is an experienced and knowledgeable R.N.--she used to teach nursing--and nobody could have cared for Rich as well as she.  She'll have some rough, rough spots, but she has a loving extended family and good friends and I know she'll be okay.
Went up north later and thanks to the couple there, finally got my DQ pictures on the flash drive.  Declined an invitation to dinner, as I thought it would rain and wanted to be home.  It didn't, but it's threatening as I look out the window. 
Had a message from Leslie when I got in, called her back and we talked for a half hour, just hashing over this and that.  She said she'd look at what days we can meet for lunch.  (This is so different from my dates with many of my other friends.  We might call each other at noon and say, "Have you eaten yet?  Let's go to The Grapevine," then grab our purses and be ready on the spot.  Les seems to have to "prepare" for these little jaunts or something; not sure why.)
Got an enjoyable Skype call from P. and N.--things okay in Tokyo and here, too
I'm free today and for all of this week so far.  Now I must turn my attention to planning my narrative for the program.
WIDER:  Is the whole world nuts?  Yes, we in the U.S. are bristling with guns, drones, and bombs, but we're not the only ones:
http://original.antiwar.com/hallinan/2012/05/24/asias-mad-arms-race/
What kind of insanity is this?  And to what fresh hell are we consigning ourselves?  Just watch Planet of the Apes to find out.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

DQ And Jimmy

I again exercised to the Leslie Sansone video at 8:00, which is working out fine for me.  Continued throughout the day to work in the DQ program.  I think I finally have it completed except for one or two more items at the end.  This is to take up north to be scanned and put on a flash drive, of course.
Took a break long enough to drive to Manahawkin and get brother Larry something for his eightieth birthday, which is June 4.  Couldn't find a card with eighty on it, so got two 40-year-old ones.  I'll think of some funny remarks to add.  Also got him a gift.
Stopped at the library to ask if I can practice showing the flash drive stuff on the laptop.  They're closed Monday, but I was told I could go Tuesday.  They have a sign out front with info on programs--mine on one side and some guitar player who's appearing the next day on the other.  I was a bit miffed to see they had spelled "Dionne" as "Dion."  Went in and mentioned it and manager Kelly said they'd fix it.
Got a welcome call from brother Jim in the evening.  He said he had found a book by Aunt Mary on our ancestry and did I want it?  Of course, I said yes. I was saddened to realize that my big brother--he's 86--sounds much older and a bit befuddled, more than I ever heard him that way before (sigh).
Time is a thief/Who loves to get/Sweets into his list/So put that in...
WIDER:  I was reading over some of my blog from other years and noticed that, several times a week, I'd a "wider" section, usually about our on-going worship of militarism.  I haven't done it nearly as much recently and I'm not sure why.  Is it because I've given up?   Because I no longer believe there's any way in the world to combat that mindless, soulless love of violence in the country?  Not sure, but I'm starting now to change my ways, guided by that perfect mentor, Arthur Silber. He mentions the obvious fact that Americans are happy and satisfied to kill people in other countries, but not here, of course. We reacted to the events of 9/11, he writes: "...as any deeply neurotic narcissist bent on world domination would, in the manner of a violent nation suffering from superpower syndrome: 'You can't do this to us! You can't attack us here! We kill you bastards there, and we love it, but you can't come here!'"
Silber continues:
"Today, rather than seeking justice, many Americans still want revenge for this challenge to their delusions of invincibility, to their belief that we are entitled to inflict violence on anyone else at all, even if they do not threaten us in the least, but that no one else may dare do the same to us. In our endless quest to sate our national rage, any target will do." 
With memorial day almost upon us--and there will surely be an orgy of bowing down to military members and thanking them for "defending our freedoms" (talk about mindless, meaningless blather!), it's the perfect time to get right with the truth and read Silber's "Once Upon A Time."  Here's the link:
http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 25, 2012

More DQ

Worked most of the day on the DQ project.  I was interrupted by a call from Eric E., a writer for The Sandpaper; he had heard about the program and interviewed me--very lightly, it seemed to me--to do a piece on that paper.  Said I'd send a pic of the quints and I did; think I'll send him what I put in The Breeze--why not?
Called Meticulous to be told the guy had come and looked at the chewed-up-by-the lawnmower drain pipe in the backyard.  She suggested I put stones around it.  Drove to Clayton's and bought some--cost: a quarter.
Other than that, not a lot. Got a call from Betty, who was on a hospice case.  Now today I must buckle down and finish setting up the DQ pics--pool opening party tomorrow, then I go up north to have them put on a flash drive.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Waiting Around Day

Stayed home most of the day.  I had ordered things from Lucille P., my Avon lady (who played my daughter in Riders To The Sea) and had to wait around until she came about 2:00.  In the meantime, I swept out a portion of the garage, washed clothes, made a big salad, and otherwise occupied myself
Called Meticulous, the lawn service, yet again, to tell them nobody had yet come to look at my cracked pipe in the backyard.  Office person assured me one of the guys would stop here after work, about 4:00.
He didn't.
Spent a large part of the day assembling my Dionne Quintuplet program.
Finally left the house about 5:00 to drive to Staples and get the address stamp I had ordered.  While there, I enlarged some of the pictures for the DQ program.  I must turn my full attention to that today and tomorrow, as I'm going up north to scan them and put on a flash drive on Saturday after the pool opening party.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Plants And Things

Went early to Bob's to get tomato plants.  I wasn't happy with the ones I saw, though, and decided to look elsewhere.  I did pick up a cute little thing called "creeping Jenny" (creepy name!) for the container on the porch.  Checking out, the clerk asked if I wanted a very young, tiny tomato plant free of charge.  Well, why not?
Drove down to Produce Junction and got three nice-sized plants, two tomato, one sweet pepper, all three for seven dollars.  Stopped at the Boscov's mall and just looked around.
Home, I had lunch (salad and Brussels sprouts), then planted the veggies.  It was a pleasure to do it, the ground was so soft;  in fact, when I was finished, I was splattered with mud and immediately jumped out of my clothes and into the shower.
After that, I added soil to the porch container and repotted the pink splash from the kitchen.  Put the latter in a nice copper pot I've had for years.
I had asked the northern dweller to help me with a few things and she came after work and a run.  She attached and arranged my drip hose in the back, dumped the solidified ice from ice maker, and tackled a few other things.  However, she's helping me with the pictures I'll show for the Dionne Quintuplet program and after scanning some, neither of us could figure out where to go from there.  We agreed I'd go up to her place on Saturday afternoon and do it there.
In the late afternoon, I drove to Staples to have an address stamp made, then picked up a few other items at Wal-Mart. 
I think I'm finished putting in flowers--although I'd still love to get that purple lupine I saw the other day.     

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Exercise And Movie

I did indeed, go to the clubhouse at 8:00 instead of the scheduled exercise time of 9:00 and was delighted to find I could run the "Walk Away The Pounds" CD.  Did so, and followed it, then left a note for those coming after that it was already.
Going shortly after our walk solves two problems I've had for some time: For openers, 9:00 is practically the middle of the afternoon for me.  Susan and I will have returned from our walk by about 7:40 and I had to wait around for more than an hour to go to exercise.  I like to have breakfast at 9:00 and this sets it back. 
The second reason is the one that dare not speak its name.  No, not that reason!--it's the noise.  I'm fond of my neighbors and as a rule, like hanging with them. However, a number of them attend a class in line dancing (led by Carol H.) at 10:00 and come to exercise beforehand--where they proceed to talk, laugh, and occasionally screech during the entire session.  Even though I invariably stand in the front, a few feet away from the T.V., the noise drowns out about fifty percent of the leader's talk.  This is so damned annoying, but if I say anything, I'd be the heavy and I don't want that.  One or two others who are walkers, not talkers, show up now and then, but usually, I'm the only one who's actually there to exercise, not hang out and gab.  This solves my double-edged problem, so that's fine.
Did domestic chores and so on, then picked Leslie up and we went to the movie at the Tuckerton Library at 6:00.  It was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, plus a boy about twelve; it concerned, of course,  9/11.  It was harrowing to watch--the boy loses his father--and Les and I cried a lot, but it was absorbing.
Nothing else scheduled until the pool party on Saturday, but I've got plenty to do around here, so it's fine by me. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Opera And Dine-Around

                                     Cottage cheese and orange juice
                                     And double-sided tape.
That's what I needed at the store and isn't it poetic?  Went and got the first two, but didn't find the second.  (That has a nice rhythm to it, also, doesn't it?)
Went to opera at 1:00 and saw Pavarotti and Kathleen Battle in Elisir D'Amore ("The Elixir of Love").  It was superb. Of course, I had never heard of it before, but it immediately became my favorite.  Very inventive sets, lovely costumes, and a hard-warming story line, which was even funny at times.  The singing was good, too.
Got home about 4:00 and putzed around until it was time to prepare for the monthly Dine-Around.  I had asked Anna P. to pick me up and she did, along with Mary Ann Van O. and Doris H.  The affair was at the Stafford Restaurant in the Holiday Inn in Manahawkin.  I hadn't been there for years and I recalled the place as pretty tacky. 
Hasn't changed a bit.  I found the decor uninspired, the service indifferent, and the food mediocre.  Aside from that, it was okay.
I did, however, enjoy the company.  There were only about twenty people there (it's been dwindling, likely due to some differences between the attendees), and there were some "outsiders" there, but no prob by me.
Called Ellen by phone--for some reason, Skype didn't work--and just chatted for five minutes, as she was about to go outside to view the eclipse.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Full Day

Arrived in Ventnor early, so stopped at the supermarket to get just a nibble.  Bought small amounts of corned beef and Jarlsberg cheese already packaged and ate a bit in the parking lot.
Players And Playwrights went from noon to three, an hour earlier than usual, and the first two hours were taken up with plans for the June third show.  Darn, I wish I could be there!  However, since I'm going to the wedding at which Joel will be best man and Tristan ring bearer, can't do it.
We had time to read the three pieces submitted, including the long, turgid, and unbelievably boring one in which Mary Baker Eddy and Mark Twain squabble about religion after death.  This was only one of the many interminable scenes that author Linda Whatshername thinks represents deathless scholarship.  We then did a very short frog one (don't ask) in which I was Julia Croaker.  That, actually, wasn't half bad.  My pal Dayle (pronounced "Dale"--her parents should be boiled in oil) and I staged Employment Opportunities, a short skit which went over pretty well.
Meeting broke up at three and I went down to Betty's; she and I walked down to the corner store and got beer.  Muckie, whom she had also invited, came in and we had a nice convivial chat before Betty served dinner about 5:30.  The salmon, salad, and broccoli were good and so was the talk.  After, Betty wanted to test her (three) blood pressure devices and did so on all three of us.  The cuff ones may have been defective, but the others are okay.  I had the best pressure and pulse by far, a result of daily exercise maybe.   Betty's was high--no mystery, as she said she hasn't bothered to take her medication for some time.  It's incomprehensible why she ignores it, but she was alarmed enough to swallow one then and there.  But what about today and tomorrow and subsequent days?  I just can't understand it.
Left about 7:15 and stopped at Mary H.'s on the way home.  Stayed for just a few minutes there and chatted a bit.  Got home just as it was getting dark after a full and pleasant day.
Opera today, which I guess I'll attend, although I'm not too anxious to sit through L'Elisir d'Amore (The Elisir of Love) for two hours, even with Pavarotti in the lead role. 
Dine-Around tonight.  Leslie and Dennis aren't going, as they'll be up north for their little Amelia's baptism.  Think I'll call Sid and Rae--or maybe Judy and Roman--to see if I can ride with them.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weeding

After exercise and breakfast, I started in on weeding the back.  As I had hoped, the ground was still soft from the steady rain the other day, so it wasn't--well, hard.  I did all except the area under the bedroom windows and I'll look at that later.  Prepared the ground for tomatoes, too.
Drove up to Barneget and stopped at the consignment shop to see if they got any other chairs in, as I'm still looking for one for the guest room.  No luck, but it was a nice drive.
Decided to transplant the inpatients from the large container on the porch to under the Japanese maple, then get other flowers for the container to put in the bed.  Went to Buy-Rite Flowers and got vinca vine, a verbena mix, and lobella, which has tiny, intensely blue blooms. Planted them in the container and put that in the front bed.  Never completely satisfied, I may go back and get a purple lupine I almost bought, put that in the front, and just have the container next to the garage door.  Not sure.
Forgot the tomatoes, but can get them today and maybe I'll add sweet peppers and basil, too.
Spent time working on the little skit--Employment Opportunities--I'll bring to the Plays and Playwrights meeting today.  Watched the Night Must Fall CD again and yes, the whole beginning of the fourth scene--my big dramatic moment--was omitted.  Damn, that's disappointing, but there's nothing to be done now.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Day With Aline

Neat day.  Picked Aline up at 10:00 and we drove up to the NJ State Police Museum in West Trenton on a gorgeous sunny day.  The museum contains a chronicle of the history of the state police (established in 1921) and has a special section on the Lindbergh kidnapping, which is what we particularly came to see.
We were a bit nonplussed to notice hordes of school children running around, as it was "National Police Week" (couldn't prove it by me).  Luckily, they didn't invade the museum until we were almost ready to leave. 
After, I suggested we have lunch at Lambertville Station.  We sat out on the patio and both of us had chicken salad with walnuts, to which I added a Corona--yummy.  We then walked the short distance to Elva's, thereby duplicating the nice outing I had a week ago with Jeanne.  I hadn't told Elva we were coming, but she was available and pleased to see us.  We chatted happily for 45 minutes or so and, as I knew she would, Aline loved the art gallery and the area.  Back in Little Egg, she treated me to ice cream at The Pine Cone before I dropped her off about 5:30. 
Had a lovely day, unfortunately marred when I watched the rest of Night Must Fall.  Unless I somehow skipped over it--and I'll check, but don't see how I could have--the climatic and very dramatic part of scene four for both "Danny" and me was omitted.  Hope I'm wrong about that.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mix Up And Stuff

Strolled across the street to Susan's about noon and we picked up
Bessie and Doris H.  Doris is on oxygen and carries a portable, plus brings along a tank on wheels, so Bessie and I helped her.  (I have plenty of experience with oxygen, I'm not thrilled to say.)  Entered Smithville Inn anticipating a good lunch and pleasant chitchat...
Hmm...all the place marks had names on them, along with the number of the assigned table.  Where was mine?  Not there; must have been an oversight, but when I asked--no!  I often give a check for affairs like this to Barb H. and she takes it with hers to the clubhouse, but after consulting the chairpeople and the list, I discovered I had never paid.  Was I upset?  Nah, I knew I wouldn't starve.  It happened that Julie L. was sick--she said--so didn't go, and somebody suggested I eat her meal, but then we were told she wanted it brought it to her.  Said I'd just go into the regular restaurant section, order something, and bring it back in.  However, the very nice waiter said I could get a regular dinner.  Did so (mediocre shrimp; wished I had chosen the chicken), but had to borrow $25 from Susan to pay.  No prob, though, and we all had a good time at the luncheon.
Home about 4:00.  Changed and drove to Manahawkin for this and that.  Was having dinner after when the doorbell rang.  It was Tonya, delivering the DVD of the play!  I watched most of it during my wine and popcorn and was pleasantly surprised.  I thought I'd find my acting horrible, but it really wasn't half bad.  Will see the rest, including my murder scene, tonight. 
Went down to the clubhouse to sign up for--and pay for!--the pool opening breakfast next Saturday.  It may be too cold to go in the water, but I understand Jack D.will make bloody Marys and that's the draw.
I had called Aline, as we had a date for an excursion today.  Her sister answered and said she's have A. call me.  She did and left a message.    Called her back several times, but there was no answer.  It's annoying in this day and age that she and her sister don't have an answering machine; I'll have to try to get hold of her later.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sets And Subsets

Second post of the day:
It occurred to me that there are innumerable sets and subsets, and sub/sub/subsets among humans.  This thought was triggered by viewing the Westminster Choir College Barbershop Quartet on YouTube singing one of my favorites, Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  That group is a subset of music students at Westminster, and both are sub/subsets of the overall music community.  Runners are another subset--say, of fitness enthusiasts, which may also include weight lifters, Olympic athletes, and vegetarians.  There's theatre, of which I'm happy and proud to be in the tiniest, teeniest, minuscule part.  There's education, from Ph.D.'s to a guy teaching auto repair to his nephew in the garage and--oh, so many others.
I'm a member of more: motherhood of the parent set; multiple birth, as a twin; readers and under that, one of those with a preference for non-fiction; the elderl...uh, olde...that is, over 55 subset, which I guess can be divided into every age there is.  Oh, of course, there's a lot more to me: those who went to Holy Spirit High School, who are pacifists, who are half German and half Irish (the most common ethnic mix in the United States), who prefer dark meat to light on Thanksgiving.
I'm not sure why, but it's somehow comforting to identify your "sets."  For instance, when I'm in a new place for any length of time and I happen to visit a college or university, I feel at home.  I'm used to them, I know about their cafeterias and the problem employees and why the Admissions Office is so much more inviting than Facilities Management.
Same with shore places.  Even in Singapore, though its ocean is not the one whose waves I heard through my childhood, I recognize the color and the shells and the sand on its border.  Of course, my subset is the Jersey shore and within that, Ventnor, and after that, Rosborough Avenue, and then that room on the second floor to the left of the staircase...
Okay, philosophising over!  

Shopping

Met Betty and Mookie at Bed, Bath 'n' Beyond and spent a considerable time there while Betty got bath items with the gift card I had given her.  I suggested we go to Ruby Tuesday for lunch, as it's in the same mall as Macy's and I wanted to look for something to wear to the luncheon today.
Lunch was good, but after was annoying.  I must have tried on everything in the store in size I'll never tell at Macy's, then Sears, then Penney's.  Each one was more hideous than the last and I was looking only for a top, not a ball gown and accessories, fer cryin' out loud!
Finally, at long last, I got two: a plain white and a red ruffled.  I hate both of them and will probably wear something I already have and take them back.  Also got dangly red earrings that cost more than the tops.  Am I nuts?  Odds are good I'll take the whole kit and caboodle back.
Didn't get home until 4:00 to find a phone message from Susan inviting me to go with her and Bessie to the luncheon.  Responded "yes," hoping I didn't tell Barb H. I'd ride with her.
Rest of the day I just did wash and stuff on the computer.  I assume Aline and I are still on to drive up to Hopewell tomorrow to the Lindbergh house.  Guess I'd better find out how to get there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

All Plants In

Betty stayed over, but left early.  Then, after exercise, it was off to stalk the wild*--okay, tame--Celosia to put around the front tree.  Found bright and inexpensive ones at Lowe's. Also bought five bags of mulch.  Planted former and the latter was spread when the northern dweller came after work.  Now the work's complete and, wow, does it look nice!  All the pretty plants seem to be thriving and the black mulch just shows them off.
My helper (heh, heh, who's helping whom?) and I were interrupted for a delightful reason: a Skype call from U.K. son, Mike, and vivacious (is that redundant?) granddaughter, Vivian.  It was night over there and sweet Violet was asleep, but 7-year-old Vivian talked animatedly to my helper and me, and read us parts of several books of her own creation.
It turned out two bags were plenty of the mulch, so I hightailed it back to Lowe's and returned the other three.  Stopped at Shop-Rite for a few things.
Betty called and we firmed up plants to meet at Bed 'n' Bath today.  I had given her a gift card for her newly-renovated bathroom and she wanted some input on what towels, etc. to buy.  Muckie will join us.  I hope to have time to shop for something to wear to the Women's Club Spring Luncheon tomorrow.  Otherwise, I'll have to wear something I already have and that would be--oh, okay, I guess.
*Thirty or forty years ago, there was a wildly popular book called Stalking The Wild Asparagus--the title's a work of genius, I always thought--by Uell Gibbons.  He advocated eating things that grow in the wild.  I think he died of food poisoning--joke! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lovely Day

It was a lovely Mother's Day.  Got a Skype call from the Tokyo Twosome to wish me one and was glad I could open their present in their presence (heh, heh) , so to speak.  They gave me a beautiful bag made from the sleeve of a kimono.  It's black with a yellow flower on it and is so pretty and such an interesting idea.  The lining and carrying handles are also made of parts of a kimono.  I immediately transferred into it the stuff from my usual purse.
Betty brought me a nice begonia and I gave her a miniature rose, then we set off for up north.  The couple in question were already there and we got in their car to drive to Sayen Gardens.
It was jammed on that beautiful, sunny, very warm day, and so enjoyable.  We strolled around among the flowers, listened to the singers and combos here and there, and examined the goods at the craft fair in the parking lot.  Betty and I both bought cunning little metal bugs that hang on screens--much fun.
We stayed several hours, then went to the northern couples' toured the grounds (pears, peaches, apples, grapes, blueberries, potatoes, squash, beans, and bees), then enjoyed a scrumptious dinner of salmon, steak, salad, and the hubby's bread on the deck.
Said our goodbyes about 7:00 and drove home.  Called Ellen on Skype and we both enjoyed our virtual visit with her.  Chatted for an hour or so, then to bed.
Must get mulch and--the last things!--a few plants for around the front tree.
The northern dweller will come this afternoon to spread the latter.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

More Planting

On this Mother's Day, I want to give a nod to my good fortune in the reason I am a mother.  Got a Skype call from the oldest of those reasons and, using team viewer, he restored several items that had mysteriously disappeared from this computer.  I'm enjoying the pretty orchid his younger brother sent and am contemplating being with his big sister today.  Little sister will surely call me on Skype, and I'll open her gift later.  Icing on the cake: the three grandchildren and two great-grandsons I love.  I'm a lucky woman and the great part is, I know it.
Well, enough of this sentimentality; it was back to the grind yesterday.  I realized I didn't have enough plants to fill the front bed, so drove to Bob's yet again and got more Bacopa and dahlias.  I also picked up a beautiful, dazzlingly red New Guinea impatient, which I put on the table on the front porch. 
Before I planted, I walked over to Marge's to give her a hard copy of the article I had revised.  It seems it goes into Docx on my (new) computer and she can't open it.  Fred explained why and my comprehensive on that lasted about as long as it took me to get to the sidewalk. 
Had a big salad for lunch, then threw myself into planting.  What a job; I worked steadily from three until after five, but got them all in.  Watered, fertilized, then quit.  I still, believe it or not, have to add a few flowers around the tree, but the bulk of it is done.  Once they all start growing--and damn, they'd better start growing, I think the place will look great.
After dinner, I went into Word, but just couldn't see how to modify the format.  Called Fred, who came over and fixed the problem, which I fervently hope is fixed for good, and that was my day.
I'm amazed that I don't have sore muscles today.  Guess I'm in pretty okay shape.
WIDER:  A stunner from my friend, Jon V.:
http://prorevnews.blogspot.com/2011/12/americas-silent-collapse.html
I know the temptation to compare--or equate--the present-day U.S. with Nazi Germany should generally be resisted, but the quote from somebody who lived through the latter era is so pertinent, it must be emphasized.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Flowers

I have plenty of energy, but even for me, yesterday was active.  Went to exercise at the clubhouse and saw Virginia H., editor-of-chief of The Breeze.  She asked if I had seen the letter sent by a certain other member of the editorial staff.  I hadn't, but I looked, and ouch!  For sheer nerve, it takes the cake; it's a sustained rant complaining about shabby treatment by a member of our board of trustees.  I e-mailed Virginia and, of course, we would never run such a thing, which she had no intention of doing.  
E-mailed Marge D. and attached my revision of her story of their scary experience in NC.  (Heard back from her later that she couldn't open it, so I responded that I'll bring a hard copy over along with enlargements of her picture.)
Set off for Bob's in Atlantic County for flowers.  Of course, it was very crowded, but boy, they have the best stuff.  I wanted every plant in place, but settled for Bacopa, pretty little white flowers to border the front bed; Hypoestes, kind of a outdoor "pink splash," all leaves; and a colorful mix of dahlias.  Stopped at S & M (great name!) for veggies and at Shop-Rite for other stuff.
Had a quick salad when I got home, by that time after 3:00.  Did some computer work, so didn't get outside to plant until almost 4:00.  Got two varieties planted, but didn't yet get the dahlias in.  After I had planted, fertilized, and watered, I realized I need more; think I'll go back to Bob's today, although I know it'll be jammed.
Besotted by Nature, I drove to first Home Depot, then Lowe's before dinner--in fact, I never got around to dinner.  I wanted to add some blue, so bought a Delphinium--a perennial and pretty big, so I'm glad the ground is soft.  Didn't get home until almost 7:00, when I found a big box from Fed Ex at my door.  It's a pretty orchid from Mike and family for Mother's Day--very nice--and I have it in the hall.
Now back from Chicago, Betty called and we had a good talk.  We'll be spending Mother's Day together tomorrow, hosted by the northern dwellers. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lambertville

Met Jeanne P. at Lamberville Station at 1:00; long drive, almost two hours, but it was a sunny day and I enjoyed it.  Jeanne looked fabulous, as always, with nicely styled blonde hair and a pretty aqua shell and beige topper.
I actually remember when Lambertville Station opened, thirty or more years ago, and in its first life it had, indeed, been a train depot.  I first tasted Peking duck there, on Christmas Eve, when it was our custom for the whole family to eat out then and on Easter.  (I never dreamed I'd enjoy that dish in Beijing itself someday.)
Lambertville, the town, is an enjoyable place, in spite of its self-conscious artiness--or maybe because of it. It's hard to separate the phony from the real in Lambertville, not to mention across the river in New Hope; to perverse me, that's part of their charms.
Jeanne and I had a Corona with lime each and shared a Caesar salad.  We also had a friendly and fun waiter named Peter, who has an antique shop (in Lambertville, you have to have either an antique shop or an art gallery--it's the law) across the street. 
The town was crowded with people and cars, so we left ours at the restaurant parking lot and walked down to Elva's.  Her gallery is filled with lovely paintings--all of it representative, as she doesn't do abstract--and Elva herself greeted us warmly.
We were chatting--Jeanne remembered Jackie L. introducing her to Elva when they were about fifteen--when an attractive young woman walked in.  I thought it was a customer, but it was Donna, Jeanne's daughter.  She looks to be in her thirties, but incredibly, she's considerably older.  Donna is very tall, nicely rounded, but slender, with a lovely face; I wasn't surprised to learn she had been a model at one time.  She was excited about her new job as a skin care specialist for "Violet," which is the Armenian owner's name and maybe the company's, too.
After we left Elva's, we strolled to Rick's Italian Restaurant, where Donna works and lives, in an interesting apartment above.  She was also once married to the restaurant owner.  She and his new wife, who also works there, are friendly--long story that, which I won't go into.
I said my goodbyes about 4:30 and headed back.  When I'm in the area, I usually drive past my home of 41 years and/or stop at Rider, but it was too late for that.
Got a call from Betty in the evening.  She leaves for home today and will spend Mother's Day with us.
Now, I must put frivolity* behind me and turn my attention to choosing, buying, and planting flowers for the front beds. 
*"...put frivolity behind me"?  Hell, no!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pretty Pink Inpatients

It rained steadily until late afternoon, which was fine by me.  Usually, I dislike the stuff--it gets my glasses spotty--but I was glad for this, as I have plenty of planting to do.  Went to Staples to enlarge and copy Marge's picture.  As I suspected, their color is much better than mine.  Will give Marge both.
Stopped at Shop-Rite to retrieve the things I had left on Tuesday (and, of course, added more) and saw they had pretty pink inpatients.  Now I love pretty pink inpatients, so I bought a flat.  The rain obligingly let up late in the day, so I planted my pretty pink inpatients around my little cherub (or something) statue in the front shade area.  Had some left, so I filled one of my huge clay pots with soil and added them.  Ran out to Ace Hardware to get Liquid Fence--this year, the deer are not going to wax fat off my pretty pink inpatients!
Marge had asked me to look at her "A Strange Welcome" piece for The Breeze.  She had cut it down from her first draft, but it was still very long.  I shortened it and I honestly think it's clearer, sharper, and better.  Will ask if she'll allow it to run in this version.
Today, I'm meeting Jeanne P. (HSHS) for lunch at Lambertville Station, then we'll go see Elva B. (St. James) at her art gallery nearby.  It boggles my mind to realize I've known Jeanne for sixty- one years--until it hits me I've known Elva for seventy.
WIDER:  So O. has come out in favor of gay marriage. Great hosannas from the faux-progressives, as if the murderer-in-chief had pondered and prayed and searched his soul and finally chose the nobler path.  Well, maybe he chose the nobler path, but you'd have to be simple-minded (the electorate at large?) to believe the latter.  In fact, as anyone not besotted by His Holiness knows actually happened, he and the other fellas (and gals, let's not forget the gals) conferred and discussed and weighed the political risks and how it would impact his upcoming second coronation.  Morality had nothing to do with it.
But what if Romney--oh, come on!  Wealthy beyond reckoning, locked into a cockamamie religion that's considered by all right-thinking Christians practically at the threshold of atheism, and a stuffed shirt to boot.  He's a dream candidate--for the dems.     

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Active Day

After breakfast, went to Wal-Green's, then Rite-Aid for Mother's Day cards. Addressed one right at the post office and sent it off.  Drove to Sandy T.'s to get flagstone to put around the front tree.  I was interested to see how they charge for it:  They have a big auto scale and first they weighed my car without the stones, then they loaded up the trunk and weighed again.  Easy.  And cheap: The stones cost only nineteen and change.  They'll deliver, but charge fifty bucks for it, so forget that.
As I was halfway to Manahawkin, I continued on to Shop-Rite to pick up supplies.  Was thoroughly annoyed when I got home and realized I had left one of the bags--with orange juice, salad dressing, and other stuff--in the cart.  Without much hope, I called Shop-Rite and yes, somebody had brought it to the office and I could pick it up when I wanted.  Will do that today.
Got home and pulled the wheelbarrow out of the garage, put gloves on, and one-by-one, transferred the flagstones into it.  Good thing I had it near the tree, as nobody could have moved it so loaded.
Marge had e-mailed me to the effect that she had finished revising the account of Fred's adventures in North Carolina (He had walked into a motel in the midst of a robbery and was confronted by a man with a shotgun.)  Haven't read it yet, but it still looks pretty long for The Breeze--we'll see.  Told her I'd stop over and get it after lunch, I did, and we had a nice chat.  When she showed me a small, somewhat fuzzy snapshot of herself and her two daughters, with husbands, I told her I'd take it to Staples to be enlarged.  I'll do that today when I pick up my forgotten items, but I also cropped and enlarged it at home and sent the change to her electronically. 
Got home to do a wash and the northern dweller arrived.  Together, we pulled the weeds out of the bed around the tree, then circled it with the stones.  Boy, oh boy, does it look good!  She took out a Scotch broom from the front bed.  It blooms prettily in the spring and I like a lot, but unfortunately, starting leaning over after a snow a few years ago, and I never had it put back; just didn't look good and it had to go. 
We weeded around the side and back and she cut back two large bushes under my bedroom windows  They're actually weeds, I guess (she'd say "native plants"), but not bad looking, just too big.
My pineapple plant was listing over to the side--top heavy, I guess--so she and I put it in a deeper pot.  It still had to be propped, though, and I'm beginning to wonder if it's done for.  Dunno and I put it on the porch.
By the time the gardener lady (heh) left, it was 5:30 and I jumped in the shower, had a quick bite, then headed over to the school to rehearsals. 
Was early and had to wait around, as only director Neil was there, but the others came and I took a few pics.  Infuriatingly, I again couldn't get the flash to turn off, so the pictures were poor.  Must look in the instruction manual to see what I'm doing wrong, but am thinking about buying a new camera.  However, assistant director Tonya took some pics with her phone (it's a crazy world--a camera phone!) and she'll send them to me.  I watched some of the rehearsal, but left about 8:00.
   

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Gardening

I was just about to go out when I got a Skype call from London.  Saw the darling little girls--Violet is just adorable--and talked with them and their Dad.  Went to Shop-Rite and B.J.'s for supplies.
The northern dweller came in the afternoon and--yay!--got rid of the big ugly bush that was partly covering the front walk.  She also cleared out the leaves and weeds in the front beds and started on the side.  Today, I'll get mulch and she'll put that in.  I also want to do something with the area around the front tree.  Geez, when you start this stuff, there seems to be no end to it.
Susan started in to planting begonias at 10 am and was still at it at 5:00.  Her house and grounds look unbelievably beautiful; I must ask Mary S. to take pictures, as she's doing a piece on spring flowers for The Breeze.
Got an e-mail from Marge telling me she had revised and shortened her "memoir."  Told her I'd stop over and get it today. 
Other than that, just the usual domestic and bookkeeping chores went on.  I want to go to rehearsal tonight, but early, so I can get some pictures to accompany the article for The Breeze and not have to stay too late.
WIDER:  Thanks to Chris Floyd and his incomparable "Empire Burlesque," I added a blog to my favorites:
http://vastleft.blogspot.co.uk/
It's a cartoon blog, but so, so un-cartoony in its depth; it perfectly illustrates my disgust with representatives of both political parties and the moronic reasons for supporting them.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Partly Vegging Out

Well, I spent part of the day vegging out as I had intended.  Did my usual "Cryptoquip" and crossword puzzle in The Press Of Atlantic City after our walk and breakfast.  I do the former every day--and solve about six out of seven.  If it takes me longer than ten minutes, I discard it.  I do the puzzle  only on Sundays and only in The Press.  I find the daily ones too easy and the NYTimes one too hard.  This is one of the little treats to which I look forward every week.
Drove to the cemetery and to Santori's before lunch.  On my last trip there, I had bought Kirby cucumbers to make crystal pickles.  Served the last batch in the freezer for  Aline, Susan, and Jeanne last week.  Made them, put them up in three containers and popped them in the freezer.  Made a big salad, too.  Ate same, then actually did sit on the couch and read for an hour or two.
Susan called and said she wanted to share some of the leftover food from the party with me.  She helped me bring back a bowl of burgoo and the scrumptious pie and cake that had been served.   Think I'll send the latter back with the northern visitor who's coming today to help clean out the front beds.
Got a call from Betty and later, my favorite "visitor," Ellen.  Had a good chat with both,

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Kentucky Derby Party

Took the flyers to the library and they were okay with substituting mine for theirs.  Picked up the monthly booklet listing programs for May and, of course, mine was in it erroneously for May 16 there, too.  I'll bet anything it won't be in there with the actual day, June 5.  However, I'm trying to be philosophical about it; it's better the mistake is too early, rather than too late.  Also posted flyers at the Tuckerton and Stafford libraries, as well as the post office.
Jeanne S. had asked me to stop at Habitat for Humanity to talk to the manager, Liz, as she was interested in LETCO.  I did and said we'd be in touch once a modicum of organization returns to the organization.
Decided to wear a hat after all to the Kentucky Derby party and just bedecked myself with the black straw I wore as Mrs. Soames in Our Town.  It looked pretty good, actually. 
The party was great fun.  I sat with many of the same people I had for the covered dish supper.  There were games and prizes and delicious food, all of which was what is actually traditional Derby food and which the committee, headed by Susan and Bessie F., had made from scratch.  It included little cucumber sandwiches, burgoo (a beef and pork stew heavy on the veggies), turkey and bacon on toast with a white gravy,  and three scrumptious desserts of bourbon balls, cake, and pie.  (Full of nuts and chocolate, this last was to die for.)  I was a little taken aback that all three contained bourbon, uncooked in the first two.  That could be problematic for those with an alcohol problem--hope no addiction was triggered.  For the first time in my life, I had a mint julep and hey, it was good!  So good I had another, in fact.  I was teamed up with Ray for a horse race game, where the men had to throw a beanbag into a hole to advance "the fillies" around the tables.  We played other games, too, and Marty H. took lots of pictures for The Breeze.    
Anyway, it was a lot of fun.  I had told Ray and Barb I'd drive there separately and I did.  It started at 5:30 and lasted about three hours. 
Today, I just want to veg out and relax, but may start assembling, then scanning, my Dionne stuff and shaping up the program.    

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Flyer Finished

After much trial and error involving scanning, cropping, enlarging, cutting, and pasting, I finally got the Dionne flyer finished.  Went to Staples to duplicate it and will take to the library today.  I want to put some in the clubhouse and any other places I can find, too.  
Got a call from Jeanne P., who will be attending her grandson's graduation from Rider next week.  She's staying with a friend in New Hope, so suggested we get together for lunch.  (Do I ever have to be asked twice?)  I suggested Lambertville Station, right across the river in Lambertville and we'll do that on Thursday.  After, we'll stop in on Elva B. at her art gallery a few blocks away.  I called Elva and we had a nice, long chat.  She said she'll be glad to see me and to meet Jeanne. 
Graduated from St. James with E. and HSHS with Jeanne.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Computer Stuff

Spent a lot of the day working on computer stuff, including Dionne Quint articles and some on Funny Money.  Finished cropping pictures and writing text for the June Breeze cover and sent the result off to Editor-in-Chief Virginia's daughter, who does the graphics for us.  She sent four versions back, each terrific, and wanted to know which to use.  I suggested she have her mother decide.
Drove up to Staples and duplicated some things.  I want to make up my own version of the Dionne Quint flyer for the library and will work on that today.  Called Eric, the guy who was supposed to come do my front flower beds, as I haven't heard from him for more than a week.  He said he thought I had cancelled.  What?  Said he had a message on the machine and thought it was me. Boy, this is annoying.  I can't imagine anybody would get a message like and neglect to call the person back.  Also, did he arrive at the home person who did call and do it anyway?  Wouldn't he be told then they had cancelled?  I think that's a fishy story.  Now Eric said he'd come this afternoon; if he doesn't, I'll actually make that cancellation call.
Picked up Aline and we went to rehearsal.  I had told her I didn't want to stay longer than an hour.  When we arrived, Neil and others in the cast were in the middle of blocking the first scene and, as is usual with him, Neil was directing very intensely.  I didn't want to interrupt, but I didn't want to stay longer than an hour and there wasn't any lull.  Aline needed to talk to Neil about ticket sales, but it was 8:30 and I wanted to leave, so I asked Tonya to take her home.  There really hadn't been any opportunity for decent pictures, so I left a note for Neil that I'd be back on Tuesday before rehearsal. 
WIDER:  From the incomparable Chris Floyd:
"...despite the frenzy and mouth-foaming fury of our political debates today, beneath the surface there is a remarkable consensus. Both parties support empire, militarism, corporatism, exceptionalism, oligarchy, executive tyranny, torture and the shielding of torturers, indefinite detention, extrajudicial killing, regime change (covert, overt, by proxy), special ops, black ops, rendition, the drug war, the terror war, undeclared war, war crimes, the relentless expansion of the "National Security" apparatus, the militarization of police powers, slashing the social safety net, serving the needs of Wall Street and the One Percent, and so on and on and on."
Yep.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Rider Reception

My hair turned out terrific, although it's longer than I had wanted it.  Ashley did a good job, especially on the color.  Got up to Lawrenceville very early and spent time in the Student Center entry room (it was rainy, so wasn't held in the president's backyard) before Marilyn got there.  Was greeted with hugs by half the people who walked in, including many I had interviewed and hired.  Linda K., whom I actually remember interviewing, got a twenty-year gift.  Hired her for our (HR) office and she's a gem. 
I thought it was odd I didn't know most of the ten-year longtimers until I reflected that next month, I'll have been retired for TEN YEARS.  That just blows my mind.
Saw my pal, David P., who was recognized for an incredible 35 years at Rider /Westminster (he's an organ graduate from W., too) and he and Marilyn (ditto, but years later) caught up with each other.  We used to meet for lunch every now and then and he asked me to call him, which I will.  Always had a very soft spot for Dave, who's one of those people you know, right away, are kindred spirits.
Fred H. and I talked--he's such a neat guy and is trying to get up the nerve to audition for a role.  Asked me to e-mail him with encouragement and I will.  Of course, there were so many others.  Much as I loved being there and much as I'm glad I spent 27 years at Rider, it gave me, as it always does, a feeling of freedom to simply walk out the door.  I had no need to return the next day, no pressing work obligations to fulfill, no decisions to make that would affect other people's lives.  On the whole, it was a great place to work, but I've been there, done that, and now I have a new life.
I plan to go to rehearsal tonight to take some pictures to accompany an article for The Breeze.  Called Aline to see if she wanted me to take her;  she does, and I will, but told her I wanted to stay no more than an hour.    
    
 

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Ladies's Luncheon

We walked with umbrellas in the pouring rain, but by the time my company came, it was sunny and very warm.  The luncheon went off very well and the four of us talked and talked..well, one of us did and the others tried to get a word in edgewise--'nuff said.
Aline, Susan, and Jeanne liked the chicken salad, turkey breast, pumpernickel and cranberry bread, green salad, and crystal pickles.  A. and S. had soda, J. and me Blue Moon.  Had mixed fruit for dessert,  along with little cinnamon roll-up cookies; A. and S. brought me some fancy cookies and I laid some of them out, too.  J. gave me a book of poetry and water colors.
They stayed until almost four and, after, as I seem to lean toward the compulsive, I washed, dried, and put everything away.  After, took a drive to Manahawkin just to relax.
Got home to fine sister Betty had called; got back to her and talked to the little girls, too. All seems well in the windy city.
Cut and color today, about which I'm a little nervous, then the Longtimers Reception at Rider.     

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

At The Dentist's

Spent the early part of the day preparing for my lunch guests: Checked my supplies, went to Shop-Rite for a few items, vacumned, and cleaned the kitchen floor.
In the afternoon, I went to the dentist, Dr. P., and whoa Nellie! what a character!  His office, a converted house and quite large, is filled with all kinds of memorabilia--most of them not exactly antiques, maybe, but items like old dolls, movie posters from the forties, depictions of the Titanic before it went down (heh), and so on.  Interesting, but also a bit weird.
Actually, I was there only to get my teeth cleaned, which was done by a young woman from Russia (don't ask), who first took x-rays.  Doc then came in and chatted.  His topic was the odd nicknames for states, especially the negative ones--e.g., "Tarheel State" for Tennessee.  He then segued into hockey teams to arrive at his major point:  the New Jersey Devils.  He said, "What if a hockey team was named 'Child Molestation,' wouldn't everybody be shocked and horrified?  Wouldn't they gasp and cry out and cover their faces?  Yet they name a sports team for the very personification of evil--the devil!  He is the one who causes all the ills of the world, he is humankind's worst enemy..." and so on and on.  I was struck speechless for a time, but did mange to respond enough to realize he was dead serious.  I was nonplussed.  Obviously, this is a very religious man who purely believes the devil is a living entity "prowling the world, seeking the ruin of souls."  The last rose up in my mind easily, as I heard it as part of a prayer at mass all though my early and middle years.  I always pictured, in the days when I believed in such things, a kind of animal-like person, but vaguely shaped like a human, whose skin was leathery and red, striding through a sleeping town at midnight with a mean sneer on his face.  Presumably, Dr. P. has a similar mind picture, which to him is not a vague idea conjured up in a child's mind, not a painting, but is real.  
The guy is a bit odd-looking, too.  I'm pretty sure he wears a wig--his full, heavy, perfectly black, slightly wavy hair put me in mind of the Elvis wig Neil G. wore for Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Coat.  Dr. P. is very much overweight, and it's clearly mostly flab; he looks as if he has pillows stuffed under his clothes.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure he's nuts.  Will I go back?  Oh, absolutely, I haven't been so entertained for years.