Friday, August 31, 2012

Cemetery Visit And Killing

Met Betty, who had come from her Thursday breakfast group and we drove separately to the cemetery.  We talked about Wes, of course, and our other lost loved ones.  It's so very hard to believe it's been 38 years since Wes died.  Betty was a year younger than that when she became a widow. 
I had bought a dozen red roses and we laid four on the gravestone for their four children.  She took pictures and we talked and, of course, laughed, cried, and reminisced. Suddenly, a line of  motorcycles roared into the cemetery followed by a hearse and several other cars.  We found out later they were there for the burial of a guy who was active in the Ventnor EMT squad.
Went to Pat's grave where I watered and left a single rose.  I gave the rest to Betty to take home. 
We lunched at Italian Gourmet, one of my favorites, and both had chicken breast over linguine, with salad and iced tea.  Parted and I drove home to finish off my Dine-Around invitations, which I must deliver soon.
I had shown Susan my lanterns from QVC, after reading Pat R.'s mention of hers.  Was amused when Susan e-mailed me that she had bought not only two for herself, but sets for her daughter and son.  Wrote Pat she should get a commission.
Now I must turn my attention to several obligations and/or "desires to do," including finishing my rhyming couplet play, clearing and cleaning up a lot of junk, and calling Heathcare From Hell* about a bill for thirty bucks which I don't owe and will dispute until I keel over with a malady for which they probably won't pay, either.
*Oh, it's really Horizon Medicare Blue?  Sorry, my mistake.   
WIDER:  Here's something from my pal, Justin R., at Anti-War.com, that simply says it all about Repubs (AND demos, don't forget that) and their crazed desire to "lead" by killing:
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/08/30/foreign-policy-night-in-tampa/

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dine Around Arrangements

Spent a good part of yesterday scouting out restaurants for our September Dine-Around, as I'm "in charge" this time.  Decided Atlantic County may be a bit far to go for some, so went to Manahawkin.  First venues wouldn't accept a group of 20 to 25 and the second closed early on Sundays, so we'd probably have to have it on a weekday--not ideal.
I finally settled on Spiaggia e Luna ("Moon Over The Beach") in Barnegat.  I had been there last several years ago with my friend, Peg, and as I recall, the food was good and the setting pleasant.  I talked to the owner, Jon, and we settled on an all-inclusive price, with a choice of five entrees.
Spent a fair amount of time when I got home making a flyer that I'll be delivering to the other 32 members.  I put on some clip art which includes an Italian flag, and pertinant information, such as directions and BYOB.  Yoicks, I hope they don't all respond in the affirmative, as I told Jon there'd be 20 to 25.  Now I just have to duplicate the flyer--think I'll do it at Staples, instead of on my own printer--and distribute them. 
Will meet Betty at the cemetery today, as it's the thirty-eighth anniversary of her husband's death.  Boy, these anniversaries are not the fun kind; coming up is her son's anniversary of eight years.   

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Day At Spring Lake

Susan and I no sooner came home from our walk when the skies opened, as the saying goes, and it poured.  "Darn," I thought, "there goes our day at the beach," so I didn't put on my bathing suit.  Got up north by 8:30, and we left thereafter for Spring Lake after stopping at the supermarket.
Before we got to Spring Lake, the rain stopped and we set up our chairs on the beach under heavy clouds.  Then, miracle of miracles, they cleared in favor of glorious sunshine. 
It turned out to be a lovely, nothing-like-summer-for-pure-enjoyment day.  We talked, I put my feet in the water (I was such a jerk for not bringing my suit), walked about a mile on the hard sand, then decided we had better seek shade.
Did so at a pavilion, not far away, which was nicely equipped with restrooms, picnic tables, and benches out of the sun.  Had lunch, which we had both packed, then decided to check out an over-55 condo called "The Essex And Sussex" (you can't live there if you have a lisp).
This is a huge and stunningly elegant complex--in one building--that has been tastefully renovated and is crowned with a yellow and white cupola.  It's right on Ocean Avenue, which borders the beach, and the views of the Atlantic must be spectacular from most rooms.  We went in a visitors' entrance to be greeted by a man and woman behind what looked like a large hotel desk in a gigantic lobby.  They said all units were taken, but there were some re-sales available and directed us to Caldwell Banker.
Found the agency and learned that although the smallest unit (one bedroom) was only about the price of a reasonably-price stand alone house (and my companion commented that it may be in the basement), none included stoves, as the owners had been not granted the required variance (or whatever it's called).  I could live with that--maybe--but I surely couldn't with the maintenance fee: $800 a month!  Too bad, because it's an incredible place. 
Went back to the beach, where my companion swam and I sat contentedly on the shaded boardwalk.  Bought myself something called "a screwball"--about a half cup of Italian ice in a cone-shaped container, which was three bucks, for heavens' sakes.  Didn't know to what the name referred until I ate my way down to a gumball--ugh!--and threw it out.
My companion came out of the ocean refreshed and we drove to the small business section. Saw some upscale shops and restaurants, which one would expect in a town whose residents have an average annual income of gazillion bucks. Went to a lovely park and walked two wooden foot bridges over a serene and tree-lined lake. 
Nearby, we saw a large and beautiful brick building, surely a hundred or more years old, exquisitely maintained and set in lovely grounds.  The sign on the lawn read "The Community Center," and we went it.  It includes a gorgeous theatre--oh, lucky, lucky them--and a tiny library, where we sat and read newspapers for twenty minutes or so.
After more walking through the town, we left about 4:30 and got back to my companion's 35 minutes or so later.  Said goodbye to her and stopped on the way home for fresh Jersey peaches, one of the many joys of summer.
And days like yesterday head the list.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fun Day

An Atlantic County/Absecon Island, not to mention screwed-up, day.  I had told Jeanne I'd pick her up at Harrah's Casino at 11:00 and Betty and Carole we'd meet at noon in Ventnor.  Found myself still in New Gretna at 11:08 and realized I had scrambled the times.  Called Jeanne and Betty, apologized,  and sped down to friggin' Atlantic City, managing to get lost a couple of times.  On the way, I vowed never again to set foot in that poor excuse for a town again.  (Don't take that seriously.)
Rest of the day went fine.  Got beauteous Jeanne and we met the other two at the library.  Considering the extreme heat and humidity (there's nothing like Jersey shore H & H), we didn't even discuss a walk on the boardwalk.   Instead, we repaired to Wimberg's Funeral Home, where we sat on the second-story porch and talked and laughed, laughed and talked.  We're all ex-pats from Absecon Island and escapees from Holy Spirit High School, so have plenty to laugh about.  George, Carole's bro, who owns the place, joined us for a time in between funerals.
Betty suggested we have lunch at Tommy's in Margate and we all jumped in Carole's car and went there.  Had a perfectly-done hamburger (cooked on the outside and practically rare enough to be breathing within) along with a frosty Blue Moon.  The rest had yummy lunches, too, they said.  Nice place with reasonable prices and I hope to go again.
Carole had parked her (borrowed) car about a block down and, all of us still gabbing away, we got in, Betty and I in the back.  Suddenly, Carole yelled, "Get out, get out!"  We all jumped out in a panic, the rest of us thinking there was a bug inside.
Heh, heh.  No, no bug.  The problem was:  it wasn't Carole's car.  It didn't even look like Carole's car.  Wasn't the same make, model, or year.  Wasn't quite the same color.  However, it was a four-door, just like Carole's, so how were we to know?
We laughed heartily over this, just as glad, though, that the owner didn't appear.  Well, it was his or her fault, wasn't it, for leaving the doors unlocked? 
Carole drove us back to my car and we parted.  I took Jeanne back up to the hell hole I had vowed never to enter again, this time without mishap.  Stopped on the way home to chat for a bit with my buddy, and zipped on up to good ol' Little Egg.
Called the northern dweller, who had electronically sent me an article from the Courier-Post about her husband and his photos of, and knowledge about, the New Jersey Pinelands.  Very absorbing.  We made a date to go to the beach at Spring Lake today and I'm looking forward to that. 


      

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dine Around

Went to Shop-Rite early to pick up a few items, but in the afternoon, rather guiltily spent time playing my new Agatha Christie hidden object game.  Knowing I'd be out last night, called Ellen--on the phone, for heaven's sakes, as she wasn't on-line for Skype.  Had a good chat and was pleased to hear she has a better class than last year, and not enormous, either.
Got a call from Jeanne P., saying she'd be at Harrah's with her boyfriend in Atlantic City today, so could we meet and walk on the boardwalk or something while he gambles?  Sure thing, and I suggested I call Betty and Carole, too.  Got in touch with both, and they'll join us.  I'll pick up Jeanne, then meet the other two at the Ventnor Library.
Went with Leslie and Dennis to Dine Around at the restaurant on McKinley Avenue--can't remember the name, but the acoustics are terrible and the food so-so.  However, I had a good time.  September is my turn to arrange for dinner for twenty to twenty-five people--damn--so I'll have to get on that soon. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nothing Much And A Lifeguard

Nothing much went on after I got home yesterday.  Did stuff on this little darlin' and continued reading King's king-sized tome.  (I may finish by the time I turn 90.)
I was pleased when Pat R. directed me to Carole Wimberg C.'s blog (see yesterday's comment).  It concerns her attendance at various Olympics, including the one just passed.  Started reading it and will continue.
Dine Around tonight.
Here's something to ponder in our nutty world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mKj7fn4mC4

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Overnight In Ventnor

Went at noon to the library to see The Hunger Games.  It's very intense, although whether it's actually anti-war, as I've heard, is questionable to me.  It's certainly, though, a devastating depiction of the all-too-prevalent "violent death as entertainment" we get from mass media and the mindless embrace of same by the citizenry.
Home, I did a wash, changed my bed, and packed an overnight case for Betty's. Got there about 4:00 and was pleased to hear Carole Wimberg C. was staying across the street.  We went over to greet her.  Was she going to the Washington Avenue block party?  Yes, indeed.
It was a nice gathering with a vast array of delicious food, including ribs, fried chicken, sausage, meatballs, pasta, various sides, and yummy desserts.  Betty contributed "southern boil" (or "shrimp boil"), to which her daughter-in-law had introduced her and which I had had in Savannah. Corn, sausage, potatoes, and shrimp are all boiled together (but for different lengths of time) in Old Bay-seasoned water.  She also brought "Irish Matzo," melted chocolate spread on matzo.  I ate plenty and drank a beer and a cosmos; I'm not sure what was in it, but it was ever so good.  Chatted with Carole, her brother, George, and Betty's other neighbors until the mosquitoes declared open season on my ankles and legs.  Went back to Betty's and read until Sis came in.
I had suggested Carole meet us for breakfast this morning and she did.  We walked across the street to Hannah's and ate outside, something I always enjoy.  After, we sat on Betty's porch for a bit, while Carole regaled us with stories of her adventures in Asia and South America.
Now here's the thing: I rarely tell anybody "You should write a book."  In my (limited) experience, those who actually do, and have their books self-published, may get a kind of catharsis from it or their children may be glad for some family history, or something, but in the main--well, I'm afraid most of them are either very boring, exceedingly sanctimonious ("I got off drugs by finding Jesus and so should you") or riddled with grammatical errors, often all three.  There are exceptions: My cousin, Marifran's book, Up From Chaos, being one. It's a totally absorbing account of what it's like to be brought up in a dysfunctional household and would appeal, I think, to a broad readership.
With that long preface, I believe this: Carole should write a book--or at least an account in some form--of her life.  She was a teacher in Japan, a pseudo missionary in Hong Kong (I have no intention of explaining that one here), taught in Brazil, and possesses a gigantic seascape she bought from the old Captain Starns Restaurant in Atlantic City--among many other rollicking adventures.  
Carole is a wonderful storyteller and we were enthralled.  If she could transcribe half of her humor, embrace of the foreign (I mean that in the broadest sense), intelligence, and energy onto a printed page--that is, a computer screen--I think a range of people would like to read it.
Stopped in to see Mary H. on the way home and chatted for a bit with her and her sister, Madge.  Went to Canal's, Produce Junction, and the cemetery.  At the latter, I just watered and pulled a few weeds.  In the fall, I'll assess what's growing and see if I want to add anything.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Interim

A kind of interim day, which isn't a bad thing after all my activity lately.  Got foodstuff at Shop-Rite and tidied up a bit.  Went to the library, re which: .
Help, I'm drowning in the printed word!  I'm still plowing through Stephen King's gigantic latest and haven't yet finished the bio of Moss Hart and the pacifist memoir by the army doctor in Vietnam.  In addition, I bought three recently from the library's on-going book sale and I have the last issue of Vanity Fair waiting in the wings.  There's a stack of four or five books in my bedroom I haven't gotten around to reading and I just picked up the one(stories by Updike) I requested from the library.  Add to them the daily Press of Atlantic City (well, all you need to five minutes and an IQ of ten to read that) and The NYTimes three days a week.  Guess it's clear why I don't watch much T.V.  It may also be clear why the biggest fear of my life is losing my eyesight.
Going to Betty's this evening for her block party and will probably stay over.  Hope Carole Wimberg C. will be in town.  We've been in touch and she indicated she might be; it's always good to see old friends.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Mike, Joel, and Pat, c. 1985
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Anniversary

The northern dweller had offered to go with me to my doctor's appointment.  She came early and fixed a few things I had asked her to do.  It's more annoying than tragic to be unable to put a sliding closet door back on its track, but it points up one of the "living alone" changes after widowhood.
I was a bit apprehensive about the body scan, but worried for nothing.  The doctor (actually physician assistant) found nothing suspicious aside from a rough patch on my nose which he hit with a spray of liquid nitrogen.  He did say to monitor a very small freckle on my leg to be sure it doesn't enlarge.
After, we stopped and got sandwiches, then took them back to my house for lunch.  Found on the porch a box from the florist company son Mike always uses containing a beautiful white azalea in a lovely porcelain container.  The card read: "Thinking of you on the 3rd anniversary of Dad's death.  Love from Mike and family." 
I had been reluctant to go to the cemetery and the n.d. suggested the lake, which I thought was a great idea.  We drove separately up there and had a thoroughly enjoyable few hours. I went in the water up to my waist, but although the lake was warm, the air wasn't, so I didn't immerse.  The N.D. invited me for dinner, but I was a bit tired and drove home after many thanks.
Got calls from Betty and others marking the day, as well as comments on Facebook.  Pat certainly isn't forgotten and won't be as long as his legacies survive.  And what are they?  The four precious children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren who wouldn't be here if not for him.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Applebees And Wars

A thoroughly enjoyable day.  Leslie had asked if I was available for one of our little excursion and yesiree, says I.  Picked her up at 12:30 and we went to Applebee's.  Of course, I had to order Rosemary chicken and with pasta and stuff, it was very good.  Had a Blue Moon, too.
We then sat for a good two hours and talked and talked.  Leslie's three-month-old granddaughter, little Amelia, needs to have a heart operation and she's very concerned about that, of course.
I had planned on visiting the Barnegat Light Historical Museum after lunch and drove us the length of Long Beach Island.  Although I had directions from Google or somewhere, we didn't find it.  Drove back up to Beach Haven and stopped at a real estate office.  After a great deal of confusion, we jointly ascertained that we had missed it.  By that time, it was 3:30 and, as it closed at 4:00, Les and I decided we'd wait for another day.
Home, we sat on Leslie's porch and talked and talked on a range of topics, including family, religion, war-mongering (Les is a Pacifist, also), and one of our eccentric neighbors.
Dennis got home and by that time it was 5:00.  Drove the three doors down to my place, did some computer stuff, and had a light dinner.  Got a call from old (oops--make that "longtime") friend, Jeanne, and we had a good talk.  She may be coming to the play--hope so--if we even get a firm date for it.
This is the third anniversary of my husband's death.
WIDER:   When I sat down for my daily 45-minutes of television viewing, I flipped through the channels to see if there was anything mediocre I wanted to watch.  (I don't expect anything good, but mediocre is better than bad.)  In quick succession, I noticed these titles:  "Craft Wars," "Storage Wars," and "Cupcake Wars."  Why "wars?"  Must we always and forever display our tendency toward--and obscene celebration of--criminal aggression?   Couldn't the media whores come up with different designations?  It may be putting too fine a point on it, but it seems to me this promotes the notion that war is natural and normal and why would anybody think differently?  In fact, anybody who does, or who questions in the mildest way, the righteousness and sovereignty of our great country is silenced, or--maybe more effectively--ignored.
Sigh.     

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lunch And Stuff

Picked Aline up at 9:30 and drove to Stockton State.  We both marveled at how large the campus is--for our poky part of the country, anyway--and met John P. at the appointed time.  He gave me back my script, we chatted a bit, then we left.
Next stop was the cemetery, to which I introduced Aline (I've taken a number of friends and relatives there).  I watered the plants and we chatted a bit about the looming presence of death, but not sadly.
At Produce Junction, we both got fruit and veggies.  I bought a bouquet of red carnations as a get-well gift for Susan and two darling little plants for myself in pretty, vaguely oriental-looking porcelain containers.
We weren't to meet Betty until 12:30, so we went to the Boscov's mall, where I bought a pair of walking shoes (read "sneakers").  Miracle of miracles, they fit and are comfortable.  I have in my closet several other pair, for the last of which I spent $65.00 and barely wore, abandoning them  when they became uncomfortable in mere days.  I'm happy with my purchase.*
We got to Shore Diner just as Betty was arriving and had a nice lunch.  Indulged myself (when do I ever do otherwise?) with a raw onion and liverwurst sandwich on rye and a Blue Moon.  Betty invited me to come to the block party her street is having on Friday, and I think I will.
Went to the sixty-nine-cent store next, where we each got a few--yes, sixty-nine cent items.  Ran into Rita Somebody, who always attends the L.'s Christmas party, as I do. Said goodbye to Betty, then Aline and I drove home, stopping at Acme for fresh corn.
Called Comcast and straightened out--I hope--why son P.'s e-mail is being rejected.  I was told that server is a source of spam and conveyed same info to P.
Got an e-mail from Leslie, asking if I was available for a little excursion tomorrow or Wednesday.  Wednesday's out, but we arranged for lunch and some kind of enjoyable jaunt today.  Guess I'm holding true to my "never turn down an invitation" mantra.  
* Good grief!  Is there any topic more boring, and marginally disgusting,  than old lady-feet?  And in the scheme of worldly events, how important is the fact that I bought a pair of sneaks yesterday?  Must ponder that.   

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nada

Little of interest yesterday.  Went to B.J.'s and Wal-Mart for this and that.  Spent most of the rest of the day on the computer and reading 6/11/63, Stephen King's latest, which Susan lent me.  Typical of his stuff, it's fearfully over-written, yet absorbing and so true to life--in a certain weird, off-center way--that it seems plausible.
Called John P. to ask if I could pick up my script today at Stockton, where he teaches. "Sure," said he and I called Aline to see if she can go into Atlantic County with me.  She was in "the city" (people around here mean New York), but I asked her sister to have her call me this morning. 
Judy K. called about my being the organizer of the September Dine-Aound.  After telling me over and over "you're in charge," she balked when I said I might do away with the silly quiz contest, in which every person wins some horrid prize from the dollar store, which Judy provides.  I guess the organizer is in charge as long as he or she confirms to certain very narrow boundaries of Judy's chosing.  Sounds like our brand of "democracy," doesn't it?
Other than that, Nada. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Annie

Picked up Aline and Susan a bit before noon and we went to SeaOaks for lunch.  We all had soup and a half-sandwich and I added a "Sierra Madre."  It's a beer new to me, very full-bodied, but golden and with a hint of citrus.  They have it on draft, as I prefer, and boy, is it good.
Got to Annie in plenty of time--curtain went up at 2:00--and joined the hordes of others who filled the auditorium.  We were lucky in that there was nobody sitting in the seats directly in front of us, so we had a clear view of the stage.
The show was so-o-o good.  The set relied mostly on furniture (and that was sparse), but it gave the illusion of more.  Of course, it's a fun play, and I've seen it, or parts of it, several times.  Everybody's familiar with "Tomorrow," which the 12-year-old lead put over beautifully.  For that matter, all the child and adult performers were superb, the kids dancing and singing to a fare-thee-well.
It wasn't over until 4:30, after which I drove the sisters home.  As he had requested, I sent Bruce B., a fellow member of LETCO, a description of the Annie sets (or lack thereof) via private message on Facebook.
Spent the rest of the evening on this and that, mostly computer stuff.  I signed onto a new "free games" site called Pogo and now wish I hadn't, as I can see I'll be getting all kinds of communications from them, even though I didn't check the "send me stuff" box.  Will try to be removed from it.
Heard from son P., in Tokyo, that his e-mails to me are consistently refused.  Damn and double-damn Comcast!  Tomorrow, I intend to call its Mark Casem and demand to know why.  This guy is, I assume, chief of the company Gestapo arm, considering his habit of monitoring my blog. Wonder if he'll read this with fear and trepidation.  (Yeah, sure, Mimi; more likely with a deep and sinister chuckle.)
  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fun Day

I couldn't figure out how to get my pictures from California off the camera and into the computer, so asked Walter for help.  He came over after Susan's and my walk and seems to have transferred them, but now I can't find them on either Vivitar or Picasa.  This seems to happen ALL the time: I add pics, see them on Picasa, go to look for them later, and can't find them.  At least Kodak allows you to bring up "last added"--grr!  Appealed to P., in Tokyo, for help, asking him to assume command of my computer.
Stopped at the library about 11:00 to find they were having an "edible books" program in the meeting room at 2:00.  No, that doesn't mean participants tear out pages of Bleak House and chew them up, but that members of the library staff would "illustrate" book titles with food.  This was being run by and for Friends of the Library, an organization I hadn't joined, but I was urged to come anyway.  Decided I would and did.
Wow, what an unexpectedly fun event!  There were about 20 entries, all of great originality and creativity.  There were cupcakes with icing that resembled meatballs over spaghetti for Clear, With A Chance of Spaghetti And Meatballs, a cake house with Flowers In The Attic, coffee fudge and several other coffee confections for Four Types of Coffee, and incredibly, a sheet cake that faithfully copied one of Monet's water lily paintings (from a book of paintings).  One of my favorites was two hot dogs with buns sticking out of a beer stein.  The book?  Frankenstein.  The other non-dessert entry was also very imaginative: Two martini glasses filled with ripe olives and a twisted lemon slice for Oliver Twist.  After plenty of time for viewing--and ohhing and ahhing--attendees were given generous pieces of the entrees.  All were delicious and clearly homemade.  Members of Friends of the Library were asked to judge them based on appearance, faithfulness to the book title, taste, and so on.  I joined, paying my five dollar dues on the spot, but didn't fill out a judgement sheet, as it seemed a lot of trouble and I knew there were plenty of others who would. 
I was pleased to see several Sunrise Bayers, including Mary S. and Virginia H., fellow Breeze editorial staff members, and Frank and Barbara D., from next-door.  Sat with Mary and we had a good talk, including our shared disdain for an mutual acquaintance.  (I love that old saw, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend.")
Home about 4:30 to get a call from Aline about her and her sister, Susan's, day at the air show in Atlantic City.  Invited them to lunch at SeaOaks and then to the matinee of Annie today and both accepted.  Will pick them up about noon. 
Enjoyed a Skype call and good talk with Ellen, capping off a fun day, made even better because much of it was unexpected.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Walking And War

I was surprised to see Susan limping toward me when I went out for our morning walk.  She had been fitted with a kind of boot that is removable and has a pneumatic feature to blow it up and hold her ankle rigid--I think.  (Are plaster casts still used?  Dunno.)  Anyway, she was able to complete about three quarters of our usual path and said she'd walk today, too.
After breakfast, hustled up to Manahawkin for various, including my new fave, fruit.  I now have watermelon, blueberries, peaches, plums, and cantaloupe on which to feast, as well as avocados and limes.
Ed S. from Players & Playwrights e-mailed me to ask if I'd call him and give him my take on conditions on the Garden State at different times of day, considering the Atlantic City Air Show.  Seems a little odd that he consulted me rather than an official source, but no prob.  Friends of his are appearing (I guess to sing) at a bar in Wildwood and are coming from upstate New York.  I looked it up, discovered that the Air Show--the penultimate thrill of bullies and fascists--is scheduled from 10:00 until 3:30, so advised him his friends should have no particular problem going south.
Talked to Mary S. and others.  Am awaiting the decision on the change in dates for YCTIWY and any auxiliary gatherings, such as rehearsals.
Late in the day, I got the urge to go to the pool, and did so.  It was close to the lifeguard's quitting time, 5:00, and the S.'s were just leaving.  Art M. and I were the only ones there and Art left after a few laps.  I just jumped in, paddled around for fifteen minutes, then left, showered, and had dinner. 
WIDER:  Re militarism, is anyone arguing that the horrors we're now witnessing as a result of the Iraqi War couldn't be foreseen?  But nine weeks ago--that is, nine months ago--okay, more than nine years ago, Justin Raimondo wrote in AntiWar.com that  "...the nation (will be) plunged into a horrific and unnecessary war – a war that will kill many thousands of innocents, bankrupt the country, and create a bloody chaos in the Middle East...."
And guess what?  He was right.  Here's the March, 2003, article, the gist of which is a rebuttal of David Frum's trashing of conservatives against the invasion:
 http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j032203.html
And this same slime bag, David Frum, in a recent interview by Politico:
"What do you know now that you wish someone had told you 10 years ago?" 
"That the Iraq War would be a disaster. Come to think of it, they did tell me."
Ho, ho, he's a riot!  What a great guy!  Good-looking, too, all neat and clean with his golden retriever on a lily-white porch in Hot Stuff, Virginia.  All right, one of the architects of the slaughter of men, women, and children on the other side of the world, but you gotta move on... 
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78985.html#ixzz23nZrdLTT

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Good, Busy Day

With Susan soon to be fitted with a cast for her broken foot, I walked with the boys--Frankie, Nat, and The Platters.  Was surprised to see Susan on her bike--she refuses to allow a broken bone to prevent her from exercising--and we chatted for a bit.
After breakfast, I went over to interview Naomi for a short piece on her book, My Name Is Naomi: From Victim To Victory, for a short piece in The Breeze.  Took several pictures of her holding the book.
From there, I zipped up to Manahawkin.  I had lost one of my keys to the front door and had three made at Wal-Mart.  Picked up a few items there and elsewhere, then stopped at B & B for fruit. 
Oh, how lovely are the fruits of summer!  I got watermelon, peaches, and blueberries, along with avocados for my salad, a large one of which I made when I got home.  Ate that, then sat down and wrote the Naomi article.  Must send it to her to check for errors, then to the paper.
Did a bunch of stuff on the computer, talked to Betty and a few others, and  plowed some through the mountain of minutiae I should have done as soon as I got back from California.
Jumped in the shower, dressed, then picked up Aline and went to rehearsal.  It was so enjoyable to be back preparing for a performance; however, I was taken aback to be told John P. hadn't yet contacted Tonya to let her know if he'd take the role of Ed.  Promised to e-mail him this morning and just did.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Show Biz

A fun, show-bizzy day.  Carl H. picked me up at 10:40, then we got Joan C. and Barbara S. and drove to The Captain's Inn in Forked River.  Lunch was delish: I had the broiled seafood and it was very tasty.  Saw and talked to a lot of neighbors and friends.
We got to the theatre (actually the Barnegat High School auditorium) and settled in to see Gypsy and what a terrific show it was!  It was so full of zest it almost lit up the stage.  The performers sang and danced superbly and each one seemed perfect for his or her part.  This is, of course, the story of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her formidable stage mother, fictionalized to a huge degree, I'm sure.  Anyway, it was just terrific.
Didn't get home until 5:30 and after the big lunch, just had the rest of the mixed fruit and Greek yogurt for dinner.  I had gotten a phone call from Larry just before I was picked up and meant to call him back, but didn't want to call at dinnertime, so will today.  I had also picked up a copy of my friend, Naomi P.'s autobiographical book, My Name Is Naomi and made a date to interview her today for a short piece in The Breeze.  (In my entire list of acquaintances, I don't think there's anyone who hasn't written, isn't writing, or doesn't intend to write, a book.  Who in God's name reads these things, anyway?)
Picked up Aline at quarter of seven and went to the library to see Richard Somebody do Sinatra.  It was fun although, even to my tin ear, he didn't sound much like Sinatra.  I won a (real) rose for knowing that Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis started their joint careers at The 500 Club in Atlantic City.
Got home close to 9:00, indulged in my daily wine and popcorn ant turned in. 
Got an e-mail from John asking members of the Players & Playwrights group to decide if we should meet on Friday, as the air show will be going on at the same time.  Hope we don't and I've decided not to go anyway, as 800,000 people are expected and the roads will be jammed.  Still haven't heard from John--and neither has Tonya--whether he'll accept the part of Ed in YCTIWY; hope so.
Rehearsal tonight, to which I'm looking forward.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to Usual

A settling back in day, of course.  I unpacked, put things away (yes, I'm compulsive, so shoot me), and generally edged back into real life.  Impulsively (yes, I'm impulsive, too--split personality) called sister Betty and we made a date to meet at Italian Gourmet for late lunch/early dinner at 3:00.  Did so, and it worked out fine.  I had a Cobb salad and, of course, an enjoyable visit with my sis, then went to Santori's and Shop-Rite.  Got mixed fruit and plain Greek yogurt, which I had for a very light dinner.
In betweentime, I talked to Lee S. and Virgina H. about the September Breeze.  We have a very early deadline this time and I doubt if I'll have anything in it, but no prob.
Suddenly realized that today, I'm going to lunch and then a matinee of Gypsy with the group that dare not say it's name.  Called a few people, then Joan C., and will ride with her and two others.
Back to the usual: Will pick Susan up at 7:00 for our walk.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Home Again

Home again, home again, jiggity jig....  Can't say I'm completely happy about that because I already miss my darling daughter.  However, the other D.D. picked me up and we got back to her place quickly. Decided to drive home last night rather than stay over and did so.  Stayed up for a bit with wine and pretzels and turned in.
Incredibly, I slept until the phone rang-at 10:15!  I haven't slept that late since high school practically.  It was son Mike and I got up, washed and dressed, and called him back on Skype.  The whole family had been to the final soccer match at the Olympics (Mexico won), which cost $750, for cryin' out loud! 
Now I must unpack, put things away, wash, tidy up, and generally get back to normal--darn!--after a wonderful  vacation all planned and executed by my younger girl.
We did so very much more than I recorded, but I don't really want to go back over our adventures.  As I think of them and remember, I'll mention here.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Going Home

Awoke at quarter of six before my alarm rang and I'm all packed and ready to go.  We'll leave about 8:00, Ellen said, in order to be at LAX in time for my 11:00 flight.  So sorry to be leaving; wish I could stay longer--well, that's redundant, isn't it?--but I do have things going on at home, notably rehearsal on Tuesday.  Had such a lovely, lovely vacation, thanks to my darling daughter.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ventura Harbor

Simply have no time for a complete post.  Back from the southern part yesterday and spent today at the Ventura Harbor, which--eat your heart out, San Diego--is a lot nicer than the SD one.  Took a cruise around the harbor and the damn captain, to my horror, took us practically out to the middle of the Pacific to see seals on a buoy.  We escaped with our lives, ate at a terrific French restaurant, then went to the movies and saw Hope Springs.  It was--hmm...kind of awkward to see with one's daughter, but funny in spots and Streep and Jones were simply spot on.
Home tomorrow--sigh.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Had a ball at the San Diego Zoo yesterday.  Will go to the Maritime Museum and on a harbor cruise today.  Can't write more, as this is the slowest computer in the world and others are waiting to use it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Pool Fun

Carolyn and Claire arrived about 1:30 and we had the good lunch Ellen prepared: cold cuts, multi-grain bread, and a delicious salad.  We then changed and went to the pool.
Had a grand time in the hot tub and cool pool.  Claire stayed underwater most of the time,showing us her swimming skills and generally having a ball.  Ellen left after an hour or so, as she was going with her friend, Linda, to a Creed concert at the fairgrounds.  The rest of us stayed at the pool until about five, then went back.
Said goodbye to Carolyn and Claire after enjoying their company immensely.  Got a Skype call from P. and N. meant for Ellen to commiserate about Tillie (they called again later when Ellen was home).  Fed Sebastian, had the rest of the salad and some snacks for dinner, then fell asleep on the couch until Ellen got home--pretty late.
Today, we're off to San Diego!

Monday, August 06, 2012

The County Fair

We went to the Ventura County Fair yesterday and had a ball.  Lots and lots of all kinds of interesting, attractive, hideous, dopey, and fun things.  I wanted to get a tee shirt, but will wait for one from Ventura, or somewhere.  Had a sausage, pepper, and onion sandwich for lunch, along with an eight-dollar Coors Light.  Enjoyed a dancing show by children of Mexican descent and smelled the loathsome sheep, goats, and cows.  Naturally, had to have soft ice cream: mediocre and a very modest portion for a hefty five bucks (the opposite of generous Jeffreezies).
Anyway, it was fun and they had shuttle buses there and back.  We left about five, then went home to change and walk over to the hot tub and pool just a bit away. 
Hot tub was too hot for me, but felt fine when I sat on the step and just had my lower half in.  After a few noisy teenagers left, we had it to ourselves and it was so enjoyable, as the sun went down and it got a bit cooler.
Back home, Ellen served a yummy salad, then we each had one of her Bistro M.D. dinners.  Mine was Satay chicken--very tasty--and hers a seafood dish.  Following that, we played a WiFi or XBox futuristic game, which I couldn't even understand, with our popcorn (and Chardonnay for me).  El also showed me some scenes from the 1954 movie The Long, Long Trailer, with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.  She wanted me to see the harrowing sequence as they haul a trailer up a mountain road.  Ho, ho, she loves to twit me about my acrophobia! 
I went to bed before Ellen, who tends to stay up late and sleep late, too.  Slept like a log.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

In Ventura

Here at Ellen's and having ball.  Relatively uneventful flight, thanks to my Ativan.  Only gasping situation was in the airport when I decided to enjoy a Chardonnay before take-off time.  I almost collapsed when I was told one small glass was $14.87!  Good grief, I don't pay that much for a whole bottle!
Ell picked me up, we got to Ventura, and I slept like a log.  Got up and we Skyped Mike in London and saw the little girls.  Now we're of to the Ventura County Fair--love being here with my precious younger daughter!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Breakfast, Tillie, And A Suitcase

Met John for breakfast at the Sunryser (hate those cutesy-poo misspellings) and we had such an enjoyable talk session.  Tonya wasn't able to join us, but I gave John my copy of the play.  He seems very interested and I hope, hope, hope he'll consent to play Ed.  Only snag might be that her teaches on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, which is when we usually rehearse.  Well, Tonya had said we'd work around his schedule and I'm sure we can do it.  We talked and talked, getting to know each other, for almost two hours, then said goodbye.  I had given John Tonya's phone number and e-mail address, so he can let her know if he'll do it after he goes over the script.
Spent most of the rest of the day packing, making notes of what I need to do here to get ready for my trip. 
Just enjoyed a Skype call from P. and N. and had a good chat.  Sadly, I had gotten another Skype call from Ellen yesterday, telling me that Tillie had died.  It had to be, we both knew that, but it's so hard to lose a beloved pet.  Tillie was a good kitty and will be missed.
I had told Ellen my suitcases were either too small or too big, and she suggested I actually go buy one--an unheard of extravagance, it seemed to me.  However, I slowly came around to the idea that might be the thing to do and I was able to find a good, medium-sized one at Target.
NOW, I must fill that new suitcase and get serious about my trip.  Can't wait to see Ellen!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Delightful Day

A delightful day.  Got a call from the northern dweller asking if I'd like to come up for dinner, then a jaunt somewhere.  "Sure thing!"  We made a date for 5:00 pm.
Was pleased to receive a return e-mail from John P. sayng he's interested in the part of Ed in the play.  Made a date to meet him for breakfast this morning.  I'll bring my script and let him borrow it until I return from my trip.
Betty arrived about 11:30 and we quickly repaired to the pool. It was heavenly, wonderfully refreshing, and we spent several hours in and out of it.  It was, as ever, not at all crowded, but we chatted with Nick and Lucille, and several others.  Thanks to our Produce Junction run, I had watermelon, cantaloupe, and blueberries, and had cut them up before we left, so we enjoyed them poolside as a light lunch.
Left about 2:00, showered, and I showed Betty my new "hidden object" game.  After she played it for a bit, she was hooked, and thinks she'll order it, too.  We parted about 3:30 and I prepared for the northward drive.
Arrived on time and enjoyed a scrumptious (what ever happened to that word?  My mother used it, but I haven't heard it for years) of whole made pizza and salad.
The lady of the house and I then left for Spring Lake and what a beautiful--and expensive--town it is.  Huge houses by gigantic dwellings by sumptuous (rhymes with "scrumptious") mansions sit side by side facing the ocean.  We walked briskly on the low-to-the-sand boardwalk for almost two miles out and two back, enjoying the breeze--what there was of it--and each other's company.
Didn't get back to the house up north until after 9:00 and left immediately for home, arriving at the ungodly hour of 10:15.  Went to bed and slept reasonably well (I've been restless at night lately).
Must pick up Susan for our walk, then meet John P. for breakfast at 9:00 in Absecon.  Then I have to pack; I'm leaving soon!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Production Meeting

Just another this and that day of household chores and food shopping.  Only interesting thing that happened was that I attended a production meeting last night.  We talked about the set, who would do props, and so on.  There have to be another whole set of people an audience never sees, but who do a lot of work.  We have to have people to design and build the set, do publicity, find costumes, handle props, take tickets, do concessions, and so on and on.  Last night, we honed in or who would do what and pretty much settled all, but we're still looking for somebody to play Ed Carmichael, a small but meaty role.  Dave S. is already in a show (and being paid!), Jeff G. was in the last two and promised his wife he sit out for a time, and for one reason or another, we don't have anybody.
I piped up and mentioned the Players & Playwrights group I'm in and that our leader, John P., would be perfect for the role.  Director Tonya asked if I'm ask him is he's consider it and I e-mailed him.  Hope he take it.
Looking forward to seeing Betty today.  She's coming up and we'll go to the pool.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Enjoyable Day And Propaganda

Early on, the doorbell rang when two missionaries came calling.  Really--they were Jehovah Witnesses, an old man and a young girl.  Now, I am not of that persuasion--or any other, actually--but I always feel sorry for door-to-door types, envisioning the amount of rejection, even ridicule, they must take.  Didn't invite them in, but did chat on the porch, telling them of my ideological stance (absent) and listening to the old man read from scripture.  I assume the girl was in training.
Dressed and picked up Leslie at 12:30, after which we met Betty at Shore Diner.  Had a nice congenial lunch, then we converged at Produce Junction and bought veggies.  Said goodbye to Betty after making a date for her to come here to go to the pool tomorrow.
Les and I stopped at the cemetery to water on the way home, then I dropped her off after a pleasant, low-key day.
WIDER:  I'm often amazed--although I guess there's no reason I should be--at what so many people so easily swallow--especially, of course, the constant crap issuing from the bowels of government.  Before some PR firm went to work for big bucks from our esteemed leaders, when did anyone dream of walking up to a stranger in fatigues to "thank a soldier"?  And why are they thanking them--for being willing to exterminate other complete strangers in countries about which they know nothing?  This guy has some thoughts on the subject:
http://blogdredd.blogspot.com/2012/07/this-is-your-brain-on-propaganda-4.html