Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quints

Got to the Barnegat Recreation Center about 8:30, plenty early enough to set up for the Dionne Quint program.  The handyman, Rick, set up the room with the projector and tables and  I asked him to add two tables in the front so I could set out my artifacts.
Geez, I have a lot of them.  I had brought tablecloths and plate holders, so I could make a tasteful display and it looked good.  After a little trepidation at the beginning--they couldn't get the disc with pictures to advance--Rick saved the day and I got rolling.
The audience, all elderly and about 90 percent women, were very attentive and appreciative.  It was fun to again go through the sad saga of the quints and I was glad the essential points came back to me (considering I hadn't boned up very well beforehand.  Said my goodbyes and left.
My home phone is still not recording messages and I got a cell call from Aline on the way to Barnegat.  Dear friend, she just called to wish me luck.  We also made a date for lunch tomorrow--why waste a call?
Rehearsal last night, which went well.  Tonight, Chris (my "sister") and I have a night off, as we're not in the segment being gone over.
   

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lunch With B. and L.

Picked up Barbara D. and Leslie for lunch and we went to the Olive Garden.  Very pleasant talking and eating with my two neighbors.  Barb and Frank are leaving again for North Carolina this morning.  Their daughter is with the foreign service or some government agency and has to go the Nigeria (I think) for a week.  Little Harper is about six and her Dad works, too, so Frank and Barb, my next-door neighbors, go down to N.C. fairly often.
Other than that--not much.  Boned up on the Dionne thing and put a lot of my artifacts on them in the car.   Must leave by 8:15 or so today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Exercise And Other Stuff

Oh rejuvenated day!  Or something.  Finally, at long last, I went back to exercise.  Turns out it's a new video, although still Leslie Sansone.  I can't say I like it as much as the last one, but I'll do it.  One annoyance is that she doesn't use the extension cords, which I have.  In fact, attention to the upper body seems much intense than before.  Also, she no longer announces the time spent incrementally, i.e. by fifteen minute segments.  Third--geez, I have all kinds of complaints--she incorporates moves that are like dance steps, which I find precarious, so I modify them.  On the plus side, this is considerably more vigerous than her earlier routines.  I really worked up a sweat and was breathing fairly hard during it, which is all to the good.
Decided to finally get myself a new winter jacket, so I went to Macy's and got one.  Of course, it was greatly reduced, but even so, the price was pretty heafty.  And--darn--after I put it on at home, I decided I'm really don't like it and think I'll take it back.  Also stopped at Kohl's and got a new scarf and glove set, plus a few other things.
Rehearsal last night, which went well. Now I MUST turn my attention to the Dionne Quintuplet program, which I present in Barnegat--gulp!--tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dine Around

Slow day until the Dine Around dinner in the evening.  I went with Ed and Betty W., who also picked up Anna P.  It was at Lefty's in Barnegat and for some reason, was called for the ungodly hour of 5:00.  The W.'s picked me up at--get this--4:13.  Luckily, Bea and Pat A. and Jay and Marilyn P. were already there and at the bar, so I hung with them for a bit.
Had horseradish-encrusted salmon and it was good, if not spectacular.  We had Judy's usual weird question and answer session and the even weirder "prizes" she gives out.
Got home before 8:00 and Skyped Ellen.  She and I had a lively chat about my trip there in March/April--didn't realize I had arranged to leave on Easter, but oh, well. 
Rehearsal tonight and I'd better bone up. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Terrific Day

Glad to see the roads were dry,  I picked up Aline at 12:15 and we drove down to Ventnor.
As ever, the Players & Playwrights At the Jersey Shore gathering was great fun and very absorbing.  Before it started, I announced that Aline and I were going to Italian Gourmet for dinner after, and invited any and all to join us.
I submitted my first "telephone play," Telephone (#1) and it was performed by Lynne and Louise. I cast myself in a supporting role as the telephone bell.  (Joke--I simply rang it at appropriate times.)  It went over well, and in the discussion, some valid points were made, but I'm not entirely happy with it.  Guess I'd give it a B-.  Later, I was cast myself as an African-American attorney in the first act of Jim T.'s play (it's a work in progress) and it was fun to read.
It was an excellent session, although there were some trying moments with a woman who has irritated just about every member at most meetings and yesterday was no exception.  I was surprised to see an e-mail from her this morning, more or less apologizing for her words.  I wrote her back complimenting her in her courage in writing it and suggested we start over. on a friendly footing.
It was a pleasure to get to know better a guy I've admired (in the thespian sense) for some time.  "Gray"--his middle name, but that's what he uses--was cast yesterday as an attorney and happens to be one.  He's been in Arsenic, playing the sinister Jonathan, and must have been a terrific one.  No, no, there's no hint of romantic interest there--he's gay and I'm at least twenty years older than he is.
After, Aline and I were joined at Italian Gourmet by Louise and leader John, two of my favorite P & P friends.  We had a wonderful theatre/literature/arts-in-general conversation, ranging from the courses John teaches; to the original production of  Oliver (1963); to Shakespeare Uncovered, a program Louise had found on PBS; to Aline's many excursions to Broadway; to the books we were currently reading.  What a delight to be with like-minded people who share your intense interest in the subjects you love!  Much as I like my friends and neighbors, it gets wearing to hear them earnestly discuss reality T.V. shows and current movies as if they're what's meant by "culture." 
We said goodbye to our companions and drove immediately to the Stafford Arts Center in Manahawkin for Beans, Biscotti, and Broadway.  This Our Gang fundraiser was another pleasure to attend. It was a loosely hung together show which incorporated song and dance from bygone Broadway productions.  Very enjoyable, although Aline and I were both mystified by the inclusion of rather obscure numbers from Broadway bombs, such as Annie Warbucks, an ill-conceived sequel which sank without a trace several years ago. 
No matter, it was still fun and during intermission, an array of cakes, cookies, cream puffs, tarts, and yes, biscotti, was offered, along with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  I was pleased to see a number of Sunrise Bay friends there, including  Mary and Don S., Carol L, Lee S., and others.  Was also glad to meet other members of the Arsenic cast, who hadn't been called to rehearsal before.
Didn't get home until after 10:00 and to bed at 11:00, but it was worth it to experience such a terrific day.
   

 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Snow

The snow started about 4 pm and by the time I was due to pick Aline up at 6:15, about an inch had fallen.  I dressed for the Beans, Biscotti, and Broadway show, but wasn't at all sure we'd make it.
We didn't.  It took me several passes before I even found Aline's house--and I've been there dozens of times--and I reluctantly decided I just didn't want to risk driving to Manahawkin.  As  long as I was there, I stopped in for a cup of tea and pound cake and we had a good chat.  Aline was very understanding about scrubbing our excursion, especially as I suggested we go tonight instead.
So that's our plan: We'll go to Players & Playwrights in Ventnor at 1:00, have an early dinner after at Italian Gourmet, then go to the show at 7:00.  Let's hope nothing more comes drifting down from the sky.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Show Biz, Comcast, and Kerry

Rehearsal last night.  Once again, everybody was late except me and once again, somebody failed to show.  So far, we haven't even run through the whole thing; hope it comes together soon.
Desi e-mailed that he's having a preliminary meeting for Hedda Gabler on February 1.  That's LETCO, of course, and isn't scheduled until October.  I'll attend, as I've already been cast in the play.
Aline and I are planning to go to the Beans, Biscotti, and Broadway fund-raiser tonight and tomorrow, to the Players & Playwrights By The Jersey Shore meeting.  Then I have Dine-Around on Sunday, so I hope, hope, hope the snow holds off.
Heard from the library that the book I requested, The Patriarch, a new bio of Joseph P. Kennedy, had come in.  I high-tailed it over there immediately, started it, and find it superb.  The author establishes the area and the era with meticulous care, is scrupulous about avoiding the temptation to editorialize, and presents the reader with a scholarly and thoroughly enjoyable treat. 
Comcast seems to have gotten my phone back in shape. The guy said my calls were being forwarded to this number: (732) 395-7241. What?! He said either somebody had authorized that directly from my phone--impossible--or I had been hit by a hacker. He advised me to change the password on my e-mail account, which I immediately did. Anyway, crisis is over, I'm happy to say.
WIDER:  On the NYTimes video window I just caught a two-second glimpse--or whiff--of John Kerry's odious speech during his confirmation hearing or whatever the hell it was.  He naturally mentioned "all the good we do," then followed that with excusing the slaughter of innocents (my phrase not his) as what "we have had to do since nine-eleven" (emphasis mine).  How in the HELL people watch this without vomiting, I don't know.   How can people actually take this malarkey and all the rest of the political posturing, prominently including the inaugural address, seriously?  Listen intently and nod and shake their heads?  Ponder it with great gravity?  Discuss it as if it actually means something?  Are they insane or just stupid?  Do they go to the movies or watch television?  Do they think the actors are really getting shot or making love?  No? Then why don't they realize this is theatre?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Busy

Busy day, but it was a good one. Cut our walk a bit short so I could get to Barnegat by 9:00 to meet Joan B. and test the setup for the Dionne Quintuplet program.  She was a bit late--car trouble---which was okay because while I was waiting, I got a call from brother Jim in Virginia.  He's had pneumonia, but is recovering.  Also spoke to sis-in-law, Therese, who thanked me for my note after the death of her sister.  I told them Frank, Betty, and I will be visiting them during our Baltimore trip in April.
Joan came in and the custodian, Rick, set up the projector.  I was dismayed to realize I couldn't control the progression of the pictures.  We decided that Joan would sit next to the machine and push the button each time I indicated I needed the pictures advanced.  Not ideal, but I'll live with it.  Incidently, unexpected snafus like this point up the exact reason I didn't want to wait until just before the program to test out the equipment.
Went home to shower and got to my podiatrist appointment early.  Appointment was for 2:15 and I cooled my heels until 3:00.  Now, I tend to be vocal about my annoyance when I'm kept waiting like this and I complained to the woman on the desk.  Roger, the podiatrist, must have heard me, because when I finally was called, he apologized profusely. I don't think I've ever had a doctor do that before--office staff, yes, but not the doc.
Anyway, we immediately established a warm rapport and had a ball talking about hiking, the theatre, and the recent hurricane.  And oh, yes, he removed my callus and I can walk with no problem at all.  What a relief.
Rehearsal at 6:00.  Eric M., who plays the bad 'un of three nephews was there and what a neat guy. Very tall, with a big, booming voice, he's a funeral director in Forked River.  Unfortunately, Glen R., who plays Dr. Einstein, didn't show and according to director Lou, didn't bother to call him, either.  That bodes ill this late in the game--we open in one month less a day, fer cryin' out loud--so I hope the kid shapes up.
Rehearsal again this evening and Aline and I are supposed to go to the Our Gang fundraiser, Beans, Biscotti, and Broadway tomorrow night.  Oh, I fervently hope the snowstorm predicted doesn't materialize.    

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nice One And Comcast

Turned out to be a nice day, albeit is didn't start out that way.  Opening the front door to go over to Susan's at 7:00, I was dismayed to see the white stuff on the ground.  Wasn't much--maybe an inch--but parts of the street and the pavement were icy and falling is a major fear of mine.  After testing it a bit, I decided discretion was the better part of valour (why can't I resist these hoary cliches?  Including "hoary") and told Susan to go on without me.  It had burned off by the time I picked up Aline at 11:30 and we drove to my stompin' grounds, Atlantic County.  A. suggested we go to The Golden Corrral for lunch and after a bit of hesitation, I agreed.
This was a major mistake.  I naturally had much too much to eat--even felt uncomfortable after--although I must say, it was several cuts above the usual.  I had samplings of pulled pork, barbequed chicken, and meatballs, all of which were hot, nicely cooked, and very good.  The salads, veggies, and desserts were well done, too.  Still, once in a while is okay, but I need  to stay away from these circles of temptation for the most part.
Went to Produce Junction for Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and broccoli, then to Wal-Mart to exchange something.  We were home by 3:30, as I thought son Mike was going to contact me regarding the slowness of this machine.  (Actually, I can live with it.)  He didn't, though, and it ws relatively late for him in London, and we can do it another time. 
That big bully, Comcast, is at it again.  I realize they're dedicated to making their customers' lives miserable, but why pick on me?  Once again, I discovered that they're intercepting my calls after one ring and sending them to voice mail on this computer.  Of course, I never asked them to do that, but my role is to pay the king's ransom they charge  every month and keep quiet.  Talked to somebody there and he said blah, blah, blah, and it'll take 72 hours to fix.  Hell is too good for them, so may they be doomed to spend eternity listening to the Marine Corps Band.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ho-Hum And Pat Tillman

Ho-hum, dull day.
If she didn't have much going on, that's what my older sister, Gene (later, "Jean"), used to put in her diary back when girls kept diaries.  That's apropos for me here, as little went on in my life yesterday.  Stayed in most of the day, studying my lines for Arsenic, brushing up my play, Telephone (#1), and playing hidden object games on this, my little pal computer.  Got a bit more of my desk squared away and tidied up otherwise.
Talked to Aline and we made a date to go over to Atlantic County today.  Did take a drive in the late afternoon just to get out of the house, but other than that, I got nuthin'.
WIDER:  This juxtaposition is so insane I'm not even going to comment.
From Wikipedia:
New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins of Jon Krakauer's book Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman noted that the book did well to compile the facts and "nauseating" details regarding the cover-up of Tillman's death. "After Tillman’s death, Army commanders violated many of their own rules, not to mention elementary standards of decency, to turn the killing into a propaganda coup for the American side," Filkins wrote.
From the NFL web site
ARIZONA CARDINALS to honor Pat Tillman with unique '40' decal.
The Arizona State University's Army ROTC Color Guard will present our nation's colors, while a field size flag will be unfurled during the national anthem, sung by 120 local military service members. The Cardinals will wear the number 40 on their helmets in memory of Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who was killed in action while serving in the United States Army.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dinner Out

During our morning walk, Susan invited me to have dinner out with her, Walter, and  her visiting daughter and granddaughter, Julie and Sophia.  They planned to go to a seafood place in Manahawkin, where I had never been.  I accepted--who would think otherwise?--and made the date.
Went across the street to Susan's at 5:30 and we drove to the restaurant.  It was closed--darn.  Julie suggested we go to Allan's in New Gretna and we did.
I'm not crazy about restaurants like Allan's.  They serve on foam plates and, although the tableware isn't plastic, it's the cheapest possible tinny metal.  Service is casual--verging on indifferent--and we had to ask for water and napkins.  The coleslaw was the deli-counter-at-Acme kind and the sour cream came in those little plastic tubs--aagh!  Although decor seems to me the least important aspect of an establishment's desirability, I couldn't help but notice how mediocre theirs is.  It features grease-covered walls and the usual tired display of buoys and lobster traps hanging from the ceiling--'nuff said. 
Howsomever (is that actually a word?  Why did it pop into my head?)  I had the fried seafood combo and it wasn't half bad.  Would I go to Allan's again? Well, sure, what's not to like?
At Susan's invitation, I went back to their place after and we had ice cream cake she had made a few weeks ago and had in the freezer. Skyped Ellen when I got home--can't wait to see her in April. 


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Violet at the aquarium in Dubai a few weeks ago.

 
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Lots Of Errands

Because I was out so late on Friday night, then got up at my usual 5:15, I took myself a little nap after our walk and breakfast.  Woke up refreshed, made a salad and put carrots and o.j. in the crock pot, then went on a shopping spree to Manahawkin.
Got a nice new purse and ear warmers at Kohl's--both at greatly reduced prices and I have a twenty percent off card--incidental stuff at Wal-Mart, a very large padded envelope at Staples for some Valentine gifts for the little girls in London, and foodstuffs at Shop-Rite.  Topped all that off with a trip to the Stafford Library, where I picked up a James Patterson DVD to listen to in the car.  I'm not crazy about a lot of his (collaborated) books, but this is pretty absorbing so far.
Made a large stir-fry for dinner.  Besides the onions, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic, I put in two links of chicken sausage I had bought earlier and yum, was it good.
Now I must turn my attention to honing my Dionnne Quintuplet presentation.  Have been concentrating on Arsenic, but the Quint thing is next week, so I'd better hustle.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Another Good One

Got down to Betty's by 10:30 and we went around the corner to Hannah's for yummy omelets.  Sat and chatted after, then left for the FELS gathering at 1:00 in Margate.
I read in both Twenty-Seven Wagons of Cotton, a bummer by Tennessee Williams and A Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov.  The latter is, surprisingly considering the source, a comedic play and even allowing for the span of years since it was written and the translation, pretty funny.
The leader was her usual inept, exasperating self, with no clear agenda, holding forth and at length and ever pointlessly on uninteresting topics, and being unclear even about basics, such as how long a session should last.  Nevertheless, with Louise, Sondra, and Lynne there, it was fun.  I had wanted to attend a Purim program in which Louise and Sondra will appear; unfortunately, it's on the Sunday Arsenic is playing--darn!
Stopped on the way home at the dollar store and picked up a few things, then at Canal's for wine.  By the time I got in it was after 5:00 and full dark, so I just had a bowl of soup for dinner, then freshened up to go next door for dominoes.
Besides Frank and Barbara, the hosts, just Leslie and Dennis R. and my other next-door neighbors, the M.'s, were there, so it was a nice, convivial group.  Had wine and good talk first, then played the game, then enjoyed coffee and dessert.  The party didn't break up until almost midnight, but I slept well and feel fine.
Nothing scheduled for today and I'm ready for a little downtime.
WIDER IN A WAY:  Re my January 16 entry and The Twilight of American Culture, I just saw that Hollywood-star-stuffed-shirt-bore, Brian Williams, somber mien smoothly intact, delivering "news" of great import.  It seems that somebody or other is suggesting that bruises on Natalie Wood's body may have been inflicted before her drowning.  Now what in the living hell can one say about this?  Natalie Wood died thirty-two years ago and how a "news" program could possibly consider this "news" just boggles the mind.  I never, under any circumstances, watch television "news," but saw this in Googles's videos. Don't know why I was surprised that it was carried on a national "news" program, but hey--real news that means anything to anybody is never included, so why not this crapola?  Gotta fill your broadcast time somehow. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Aline And Vietnam

It was one of those satisfying days which included fun, friendship, and the completion of necessary chores.  Returned Aline's phone call and asked if she might be able to come with me to B.J.'s.  I needed to return a pair of "yoga pants" that didn't fit.  Sure thing, sez she, and we spent the day together.  Picked her up at 12:30 and our initial stop was  The Olive Garden--first things first, after all.  She had the wonderful pasta fug-something, I spaghetti and meatballs.
We then made the rounds of B.J.'s, Target, and a few other places.  I was delighted to see I can get folders, manila envelopes, and so on much more cheaply at Target than at Staples--I'll patronize the latter for such basics from here on.
Stopped on the way home at Mastercraft.  I wanted to have the guy check my car, which I thought sounded funny.  He did, pronounced it okay, and changed my directional light.  Aline came in to see my beautiful lamp again, and to borrow Needful Things, which I always reference when I talk about the lamp.  Took her to Wa-Wa on the way to her house; by the time I dropped her off for good, it was 5:00 and we had spent the whole day together.
Betty called later and we made a date to  meet today for breakfast.  I'll be down there for the FELS readers' theatre gathering at 1:00.  In the evening, I'll be at the dominoes party at Frank and Barbara's next door.
WIDER:  The Nick Turse book, Kill Anything That Moves, came in the mail and I started it.  What a horrible and harrowing story and how sordid and ugly. When I was in Vietnam, I saw at the museum at least the ghost of the death and destruction we inflicted on that country.  And oh, no, these actions weren't aberrations, they were systemic.  Shame, shame, shame.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rehearsal

Nothing of note went on yesterday except rehearsal at 6:00.  Following what seems to be an unfortunate pattern, everybody except Chris (who plays my sister, Abby) and I were late.  The other three principals came in about 6:30--Neil was finishing up a film shoot and Stacey was rehearsing for next weekend's Beans, Biscotti, and Broadway, a fundraiser to which Aline and I are going.
Everybody finally on board, we had a good rehearsal.  As ever, it was somewhat disconcerting to rehearse in a space which we won't use for the actual play, but I'm used to that after some of  LETCO's production.
Had a message from Aline when I got home; will call her shortly and see if she can do lunch.
 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lunch And American Culture

Dennis and his helper, Matt, came in the morning to change my furnace filter.  That chore necessitates climbing the steep, pull-down ladder up to the crawl space--the "attic"--over the garage.  As many have remarked, it's a helluvan awkward (and dangerous) arrangement for residents of an over-55 community, so I'm grateful to Dennis.  A few hours later, I picked up his spouse, Leslie, and we took off for lunch at Dockside.
Oops--Dockside is closed on Tuesdays, as we had forgotten.  Okay, we won't patronize them on Tuesdays.  Went to Dynasty and had broccoli soup, chicken salad sandwiches, and good talk.
We stopped at the library after and I got two books I had requested: Never Let Me Go, a novel recommended by my older son, and The Twilight of American Culture. Started the latter, published thirteen years ago, but which is all too prescient about the disdain for history, language, and generally, the life of the mind in favor of electronic stimulation, the cruder the better.  The author, Morris Berman, also points out the consumerism that permeates this country and to an extent, the world.  He faults television, in particular, with the dumbing down of American culture. I wonder what he would think of the presence nowadays of blaring television sets in restaurants, doctor's offices, and practically every other venue imaginable.
The book was written before 9/11; maybe that's why he doesn't touch on the rampant militarism that surely contributes to the "don't think, just feel" tide that engulfs us.  Would love to see his take on the odious idea dreamed up by some advertising flunky that we should "thank a soldier" for volunteering to be a hired killer.  Talk about dumbing down--.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Music And Theatre

It was culture-and-the-arts day and I enjoyed it all.  Met Aline at the library and we were treated to something called "The Golden Thread," a lecture with music about the musical themes running from the fifth century or so to Gershwin.
Boy, what a treat.  I, the musical illiterate, was actually able to grasp what he was talking about and learn a teeny bit of what musicologists study.  The gentleman who presented, Paul Mark Somers, is descended from the family who settled Somers Point.  He's retired, so is "mature"--an old guy, that is--and was so knowledgeable, exuberant, and engaging, it was a treat to see and hear him.  This is a series, running through May, and I hope to attend  monthly.
In the evening, we had our first rehearsal for Arsenic at the Stafford Center.  It went well, I think, although as it always is, it's awkward to act while holding a script and to remember blocking in an alien space. 
Lunch with Leslie today. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cleaning Up, Clearing Out

Continued my cleaning up, clearing chores and expanded to the study.  Got stuff in folders, threw away a lot, and started the laborious task of transferring info from my old address book to the new. 
YES, ladies and gentlemen, this is an old style address book wherein people's names, street and e-mail addresses and phone numbers are recorded for ready reference.  It was hard to find a new one and the one I did find (at Staples) is both too small for my taste and cramped when it comes to space for various items.  NO, I don't have such information on my computer and what's more, I don't have it on my phone, either.  The keyboard on my new Tracfon is larger, which I greatly appreciate, but I'm still not clear on how to put numbers in.  So what do I do?  I have a slim little address book that I keep in my purse and I just look up numbers and punch them in each time.  Might seem laborious, but it isn't for me because I seldom use the cell, anyway.
Visited with Ellen on Skype and we talked over my trip to California the first week in April.  Looking forward happily to that.  Got a Facebook message from my nephew, Patrick B., inviting me to Baltimore when brother Frank, his Dad, is there the second week and will firm up plans for that soon. 
First rehearsal tonight--yay!  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Errands And Plays

Ran a multitude of errands and continued whipping the guest room and study into shape--have more to do. Bought a new Tracfone and was able to set it up and transfer my minutes myself.  It's a cheapie, but that's all to the good--don't need my phone to be smarter than I am.
Got an e-mail from my niece-by-marriage, Robyn J., who asked if I might be able to have her friend's short play read or performed by one of the theatre groups I'm in.  Seems unlikely, as two of the groups are for legitimate theatre and in one we simply read published plays . In the other, most members write plays themselves and we often don't have time for all the submissions.
I'd like to see his script, though, which according to Robyn, concerns senior citizen "super heroes."  Not sure if that means Batman and Robin in a nursing home or what--.   

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nothing Much

I was determined to devote yesterday to clearing out the guest room closet.  Well, I made a dent in it, anyway. 
Spent time reading the Arsenic script after high-lighting my part.  Discovered my cell phone doesn't ring OR vibrate.  Decided to get a new one, as I bought on sale for $8.95 about two years ago and can transfer the minutes. 
The halogen lamp is finally operational and oh, how it floods the study with a heavenly white light. (Well, that sounds eerie.)
Looking forward with great anticipation to our first rehearsal Monday evening.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Meeting And Script

Spent the morning washing, chopping, and otherwise preparing veggies. I've gone out for lunch so often lately, I just haven't have a chance to use a lot of them and I didn't want them to go to waste.  Made a big salad, most of which I had for lunch, cut up broccoli, put cauliflower and seasonings to simmer in the crock pot, and stir-fried ahead of time onions, peppers, and mushrooms, later adding shrimp for dinner.
Called brother Frank in California about the lamp in the study.  He barely remembered giving it to Mom--she's been gone more than 13 years--but expressed a wish to have one himself.  I'll look it up on line and see if I can find out information for him.
Had a Breeze meeting at Virginia's at 2:00.  There, I mentioned I'll be easing off a bit when it comes to writing pieces, considering I'll be busy with Arsenic.  Left early because somebody was coming over to look at the halogen lamp in the study.  Bulb was removed and I took it immediately to Good Friend Electric in Manahawkin where evidentally, they matched it. We'll see when it's replaced this afternoon.
While in Manahawkin, went to Kohl's and finally found ear warmers to replace the two I lost.  Went to the Stafford Arts Center to pick up my script--yay!--and had to wait a half hour for director Lou M. to arrive.  Got the schedule for rehearsals, all at the Arts Center, which is a drive for me, but at least not as far as the school in Barnegat where auditions were held.
Home, I picked up the mail and was amazed to receive a gift certificate for Dockside from Regina and Mike B., the couple I profiled for The Breeze last time.  Geez, what a surprise, but how nice of them.  Think I'll call to thank and suggest the three of us go to lunch next week.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lunch With Aline

Oh, joy!  Checked the Our Gang Players Facebook page and found I've been cast as Martha Brewster in Arsenic And Old Lace!  What a thrill, especially as I've never performed with OGP before.  Rick M. and Neil G. are also in it, pals of mine from LETCO.  We're to pick up our scripts this evening and we open February 22nd.
Other than that: Gathered up a representative sampling of my Dionne Quintuplet memorabilia and met Joan B., president of the "Silver Liners" (it's no teenager club) at Barnegat Recreation Center.  She's very nice, but there's a snag in plans: She doesn't have a laptop or projector that I can use with my zip drive, so I'll have to ask my son-in-law to convert to a disc, which he kindly offered to do.  I'll meet again with her on the 24th.
I discovered that my floor lamp in the study doesn't work and assume it has finally burned out.  My brother, Frank bought this for Mom, so it has to be fifteen or so years old and I've had it for ten.  Problem is, it's requires a very unusual, oddly-shaped, 300 watt halogen bulb.  I like it a lot because it lights up the whole room and, my eyes being what they are, I love a bright room.
Stopped at The Home Depot, but they didn't have such a bulb.  However, a helpful employee suggested Good Friends Electric on down on Route 72.  The man there wasn't sure if something he has will fit--I'm going to have to take the whole lamp in and the problem is, it's very heavy.  Will think on this.  In the meantime, I put the floor lamp from the guest room in the study, but it's nowhere near as bright, so I want the other back.
Picked Aline up from the Stafford Library and we went to the Olive Garden for lunch.  Had their yummy pasta fung goul (oh, I know that's not the way to spell it) soup and salad, along with a Blue Moon and, as ever, a very enjoyable chat with Aline.  Stopped on the way home at the Octopus Garden to pick up my black scarf, which I had dropped there in December.
Today I have a Breeze meeting at 2:00 and must pick up my Arsenic script in Manahawkin after 5:30.  Can't wait to start rehearsing!   

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Lunch With Red Hats

Yet another luncheon in a long line of them.  Went to Jo G.'s with my RH group; food was excellent and my pie went over very big.  I swear, people no longer know what homemade food tastes like--I mean made, excuse the phrase, "from scratch."  (I always thought that idiotic expression was horribly bogus folksy.  It was never used when I was a kid, at least not in my area and I have the idea it was concocted in the busy brain of some advertising shill.)  Because homemade has become so unusual, people--especially children, I'm afraid--have been corrupted by artificial vanilla, ersatz whipped cream, and other commercial bastardizations of food are natural and normal.  They aren't. 
Anyway, the lunch was fun. Took Lucille S. home (about ten doors down from Jo's) then spent the rest of the late afternoon on important stuff--playing "hidden object" games, which has become my secret passion.
Picked Aline up and went to the LETCO membership meeting, joining only eight other people, all but two of whom are already on the board.  After the upcoming The Thirty Nine Steps was discussed, I was gratified when Desi announced we'd do Hedda Gabler in October, and said he had already selected the cast--including yours truly as the aunt.  He had already told me that at the party at Tonya's, but I wanted witnesses.  By the by, I was also named as a board member-at-large, fine by me.
Today, I meet the Barnegat lady to discuss the Dionne program, then will pick Aline up at the Stafford Library to--
--oh, yes, go the lunch.   

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Lunch With Pat

Aline called early on and after some discussion, we decided to go to the LETCO membership meeting tonight, with auditions after, at the fishing shanty.  There's no part for either of us in the upcoming The Thirty-Nine Steps, but A. wants to work in a support capacity.  I was frank in saying I really don't want to do that this time, but hey, I could change my mind. 
Checked my ingredients for the apple pie I promised to bring to the RH luncheon and found I had everything but the apples and Crisco.  (I use a combination of shortening and butter for the crust.)  Went to Acme and got them, then assembled everything before I picked up Pat M. at 1:00.  We went to SeaOaks, where we were the only diners--lunchers--and had their usual good ones.
Started the pie as soon as I got home.  It took almost all day, as after the crust part is mixed, it has to rest in the refrig for a time.  Went to the post office to mail off something for Mike, then came back to finish the pie and bake it.  I had to piece some of the crust, but if I say it myself, it looks great.  Hope it tastes the same.
Today's penultimate lunch of my five-day lunch marathon is a RH gathering at Jo G.'s house. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Lunch With Betty

Covered a lot of ground yesterday.  Had a lunch date with sister Betty scheduled for 1:00 at Olive Garden and thought I'd go a bit early to run errands first.  I don't know how I mistook time, but when I got on the parkway, I saw it was only 10 am!  Three hours early is really early, even for me.
However, it worked out okay.  I picked up Chardonnay at Canal's, various veggies at Produce Junction, and a few other things here and there.  Checked Target for a kitchen timer, but they had exactly the same that Wal-Mart did, but for fifty cents more.  I'm sure that kind dings only once and I need a more sustained ring to imitate an old phone for my play(s).  Thought of a bicycle bell and, to my delight, was able to find one that hits the mark--rings the bell--perfectly for my purposes.
I had gotten a nice sweater for Christmas which unfortunately didn't fit, so took it back to Macy's and got a gift card.  After a few more here and theres, met Betty and we had a nice lunch, thanks to the gift card Ellen had given me.  Talked to the very same during our Sunday Skype call and had a good chat.
Lunch with Pat M. today, then I have to make and bake an apple pie.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Lunch With Marilyn

Got to my lunch date with Marilyn M. early--the usual for me--after stops at the post office and library.  As ever, it was a pleasure to be with her and we caught up with each other happily.  We go a long way back--it's been about 35 years since we met at Rider and although Marilyn's twenty years younger than I am, we've always had a close rapport. 
Yesterday, she and I cooked up a little scheme concerning a friend of hers, whom I remember when he was at Rider, and my friend, Louise, from P. & P.  They're both single, Jewish, and "looking," so Marilyn and I thought we'd do a little match-making.  Whether that will ever pan out, considering they live at least fifty miles apart, is anybody's guess, but it's fun to speculate.
I just realized I had/have lunch dates yesterday (Marilyn), today (Betty), tomorrow (Pat M.), and Tuesday (Red Hats), and I have meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.  I also committed myself to making an apple pie for the RH luncheon.  Must check ingredients and start thinking about that.
    

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Lulu And "Telephone"

It was a good day until the phone call in the evening.  My little granddog, Lulu, sixteen years old, had to be "put down," as the ugly saying goes.  I prefer the old-fashioned "put to sleep," a gentler description for a gentle little dog.  Lulu was a cockapoo, very pretty, with a blond coat and sweetly affectionate personality.  She was one of the few dogs I ever liked.  What a hole she'll leave in our lives!  I know it had to be--she was getting so feeble she could barely walk--but it's a cruel loss to my family.
Earlier, I was able to write two versions of a new play called Telephone for Players & Playwrights submission.  They were inspired by an old crank telephone hanging on the wall of someone I know.  That took most of the day and I still have to sharpen them up a bit.
In between plays, I drove here and there in search of a kitchen timer.  I want to it be the ring of the old telephone in the plays, so it has to be more than just one ring.  Didn't find one and when I came out of a store, I noticed a rear tire was going flat.  I almost panicked; I've never been attuned to anything mechanical, as they all seem impossibly complicated and unknowable to me.  However, I was able to get to B.J.'s where a very nice young man patched the tire (he showed me the culprit, a piece of metal) for only a small charge.  Got the rest of my errands done and went home relieved and happy--
--until the phone call about poor Lu.   

Friday, January 04, 2013

Lunch And Auditions

Bracketed the day with Aline:
Picked her up at noon and we repaired to Dockside for lunch.  Had 14-bean soup--but I didn't count them, so it could have been false advertising--and half a chicken salad sandwich.  Delish.
Again picked up my perennial partner for the Arsenic and Old Lace auditions.  It was at the remotely-situated elementary school in Barnegat where we had been before--strange venue--and in light of that misadventure (see entry of December 14, '12), we didn't have high hopes.
Well, what a pleasant surprise.  We weren't the only ones there--a young guy and three other women tried out, too.  Then who should walk in but Rick M.--hugs there--who was in YCTIWY with us, and Neil G. I found that confusing because Neil had announced that he was "starring" in Arsenic, but read various parts last night.  Well, maybe he was only sitting in.
Far from being the somewhat scatter-brained guy he seemed before, Lou was well organized and handed out nicely bound scripts.  He then assigned pieces of dialogue to different people on various pages.  Of course, Aline and I were asked to read for the kindly, but murderous aunts, and I think I came over well.
I liked Lou's direction style.  I've been directed by a number of people now: one was almost completely hands-off and had little constructive to say, being more concerned with the mechanics of blocking and so on.  Another tended to be silent if the actors did something right, vocal if he thought they erred, a style that never brings out the best in me.  The one I found most helpful was Tara M., who directed me in Steel Magnolias--seems like twenty years ago, but was only in May of 2010.  Tara emphasized the good and simply suggested improvements to the not-so-good, and was sure to praise when she legitimately could.  Lou proved to be that type of director and whether I get a part or not, last night I revised far upward my opinion of him.   

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Errands And Such

As I suspected she would, the nurse practitioner referred me to a podiatrist.  Called him and have an appointment for the twenty-third.  I mentioned to the NP that I wanted to resume hiking and she asked about the outdoor club; said she and her husband would love to join one.  Then I referred her--to the OC web site.
Got a slew of errands run, which included stops at our clubhouse, Acme, the library, the bank, and the thrift store in Manahawkin.  I'm determined to clean up and clear out and wanted to be sure the latter is taking donations.  While there, I bought four Living and Simply Simple (or whatever) mags.  Will look them over, then donate them back.  I have such an overabundance of things to read, this seems more practical than subscribing to something else.  Wouldn't you know, though, that I bought two books at the library's on-going book sale.  Darn, I'm an addict.
Later in the day, caught up with friends and family on the phone.  Called Marge to see if she was up for a visit.  She was, so I walked over and we had a good chat.  It's always nice to talk to her, one of the few people I know with whom I can share thoughts and feelings--especially the latter--with perfect honesty.
Called my friend, Libby B., and we had a long, long talk (with Libby, the talk is always long).  She has stage 4 cancer that manifested itself initially in the lungs.  On a round of chemo now, but says radiation was the worst.  She was frank about the fact--she said--that it's incurable, but can be managed.
Betty called in the evening and we filled each other in on our exciting adventures, including exotic travel, erotic romances, and--uh, uh, "despotic" something or other?
Forget it, ain't nuthin' much going on with either one of us.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Decorations Down

Virtuous me took down and stored away the Christmas decorations and even got some space cleared in the garage.  Tidied up otherwise, too.
Called Lou M. and--strange group and stranger man--his wife answered.  After I told her my name, she asked me to wait, then I heard her tell Lou.  She picked up the phone again, then simply conveyed the information that auditions for Arsenic would be at six pm on Thursday.  He then took the phone and repeated the info.  Weird outfit.
Called A. and she wants to go, also.  It would be fun if we were both cast, but I'm not sure about her accent.  Well, that's Lou's problem, not mine.
Have a doctor's appointment in an hour.  I always like to make the earliest possible--less chance I'll have to wait--so this is at 7:15.  My foot, which has developed calluses along one side, has been bothering me for months. I assume I'll be referred to a podiatrist--okay by me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Party And Plays


Got a bunch of errands done, both in Little Egg and Manahawkin, added some domestic chores, then just hung out with this and that on the last day of 2012. 
Continued to mull over whether to go to Tonya's party or not.  Called Aline and found she had already declined; she has a bad cold and was going next door to her neighbor's.  We made a date for lunch on Thursday at Dockside.
I was in a dilemma because I find it so hard to stay up past a certain hour.  Midnight, of course, would be difficult, and as I figure most years, the new one is going to come in whether I see it at the time or after a refreshing sleep.  Finally though, the light dawned: I didn't have to stay any longer than I wanted to, especially as I wouldn't have A. with me.   
Okay, it was decided.  I jumped in the shower, dressed, packed two Buds in my cold carryall, and took off for the party.
I'm so glad I did!  It was great seeing my theatre buddies again AND in talking to Desi S., I found that first, LETO is going to do the comedic The Thirty-Nine Steps in the spring.  There's no part in it for me, as you might call me  an--ahem--"mature woman," but I'm okay with that and even with the fact that Desi has already cast it.  (There are only four characters who play various roles.)
How is it I'm not grumbling and rumbling about Desi not holding auditions?  Because he told me he is also determined to finally, at long last, put on Hedda Gabler in October AND that he wants me to play the part of the aunt. 
Now this is a very meaty role in the dark Ibsen play and I had auditioned for it about five years ago.  Didn't get the part and I was told by somebody in the know that the only reason was because Desi didn't think my voice strong enough.  I've proved myself in a number of roles since then, and I guess Desi realizes that, especially since he directed me in Night Must Fall.
The other terrific thing that happened last night is that Neil and Judi G. were there and I talked to Neil about my frustrations in dealing with Lou M., the director associated with Our Gang Players.  Neil has been cast as the male lead, but according to him, the two aunties roles haven't been filled yet.  He gave me Lou's phone numbers and I'm going to track him down to see if I can even yet audition for a part.
I got to Tonya's about 8:00 and stayed about an hour and a half, just long enough to chat a bit with acting colleagues, have a beer, then say my goodbyes.  Fibbed and said I had another party to attend, a little white lie--or maybe a big black lie, but after all, it was the last day of the year and everybody's entitled to...
Oh, can it, Mimi!  You uttered an untruth just to make yourself comfortable and avoid admitting you didn't want to stay out any later.  Okay, that's more like it, and guess I should be contrite, but am I? 
Nah.