Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slow

Fairly slow day.  I walked at 7:00--I've been very lax lately--and felt good after.  E-mailed cast members about rehearsals at the library this Saturday and next.  Frank can't come either day, but that's okay, as it's partly to introduce Louise to the rest.
Bobbi C. called about my other current theatre project:  Directing and acting in The Ugly Duckling at Shalom House.  Geez, I haven't even thought about that one lately.
Went to Shop-Rite and, on impulse, bought chicken and sausage--on sale and I find it hard to resist.  It seems a piece of cake, as it's readers' theatre and we've already done it once.
Did some household chores and computer stuff and that was essentially it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

'Your Ghost Story'

Got word from Tara that she is unable to be in the cast of Hell On Wheels, after all.  Ouch!  With Julie's withdrawal, that left two open spots.  However, I called Kathy
D. and she'll take Julie's role.  That still left one open.  Talked to Frank-Next-Door, who plays the devil, and told him I'd call Lucille P.  Did so, but she has another commitment on Tuesdays, so regretfully declined.
Stumped on anyone else to approach around here (the person needs to be in her late thirties to upper fifties), I e-mailed Louise S., from Players & Playwrights.  After some back and forth, she agreed to accept the role.  Now to get the new cast together.
Went to "Your Ghost Story" with Aline at the library at 7:00.  It was done by a husband and wife team from Traveling Literary Theatre out of Jackson, NJ, and was very entertaining.  The two read--with plenty of acting out--four ghost/horror stories and were properly attired in Halloweenish wear.  She wore a black, silver-trimmed gown, he a black, old-fashioned frock coat suit.  Frank and Barbara were there, also, and we approached the team after to chat for a bit.  When I told them I had been in Arsenic playing Aunt Martha, the wife, Maggie, laughed and said she had played Aunt Martha when she was 25 and that's how she met husband, who was also in the show!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Veggie Prep

Quite remarkably, I actually did what I intended yesterday: veggie preparation.  Made a salad with the spring mix and tomatoes; boiled the curly kale in preparation for eventual stir-flying with finely-chopped onions and garlic, which I prepared and put in the refrig; washed, pared, and chopped the eggplant, which I put in the small slow cooker with fresh tomatoes and seasonings; ditto with the carrots and Daikon radishes in the large slow cooker; and trimmed, chopped, and microwaved the cauliflower with Mrs. Dash.  I still have the purple cabbage and mysterious greens.  Well, that's not the real name, but I don't know what they are.  E-mailed my friend and she thinks they're another type of kale, but they look more like a salad ingredient to me.  No matter, I'll stir-fry, eat, and hope for the best. 
All that took the entire morning.  After a lunch of salad, cauliflower, and newly-prepared veggies (what else?), I took a drive to Barnegat, first stopping in to say hello to Susan.
Hmm...now I'm getting worried about her again.  Susan was always a dynamo of activity, but now suddenly seems slow-moving and frail.  She probably has gained some weight, although still very thin, but still hasn't resumed our morning walk. She  said she and Walter walk later in the day, but only around the "block" (actually, our development is not laid out in "blocks," but they can be approximated).  She also said she "rests"--takes a nap, I guess--in the afternoon.  That in itself concerns me; I never knew her to nap before. 
Tomorrow will mark two weeks since I took her to the hospital.  She was in for ten days and had had bad stomach pain before that.  I guess, being healthy, it's hard for me to believe somebody should suffer that long.
Got a delightful call from Ellen and we had a good talk about some good news she confided.  Yes, yes, all is good, but I refuse to reveal any more than that. 
         

Monday, October 28, 2013

Crop Walk And Dine Around

Brr, I'm cold.  Felt chilly yesterday morning, went to turn the heat up, and discovered the furnace isn't working.  Must go down the street and ask Dennis to look at it; he's not only a neighbor and husband of my good friend, Leslie, but a contractor.*
Re Leslie: She and I participated in the Crop Walk organized by several area churches.  I was a bit concerned about being ready for Dine Around, as Jay and Marilyn were picking me up at 4:30, but I was in plenty of time.  We walked only about two miles, but each kicked in twenty bucks to "sponsor" each other.
Home about 3:30, I changed into my impromptu costume.  Judy had instructed all women to dress as witches--just how cliché-ridden can you get?--so, of course, I wouldn't dream of dressing as a witch.  I dressed all in black, wore a gorilla mask bought for a buck at a yard sale, and incredibly, won the "funniest costume" prize, a cute little wooden wall hanging I need like a hole in the head.
As usual, Judy and Roman went 'way over the top decorating the room.  It was festooned with orange and black streamers, light-up pumpkins, plastic spiders, black cats, small "hangings," such as "come in and have a bite," Halloween centerpieces, and all manner of other junk decorations that must have cost a fortune.  The fact that the place was prepared for roughly 35 people and only half that number showed up, points up the pathos of Judy's frantic need to be--well, what?  A leader?  Admired, respected, and emulated?  The most popular girl in the class?  I believe I'm one of the few people who know something of her sad background, and I find her both difficult to actually like and deeply pathetic.
The evening was okay, but a little boring.  I seem to already be moving my interest  from Jersey and casting a curious inner eye on New Mexico.  I did enjoy getting to know Harry and Pat V., who rode with us, and I like Marilyn and Jay P., who drove, but not intensely, only mildly.  (Aha! That looks as it refers to Jay's driving, whereas....)  
Got home to find an unwelcome message from Julie S. and called her back to discuss. She's a teacher and accepted a tutoring job for a handicapped girl, which has to be on Tuesday nights--damn!  I know the girls' situation is more important than any show and that Julie desperately needs the money, but it's a problem.  Now I have to not only definitely get somebody to take her role in Hell On Wheels, but almost surely, fill Tara M.'s role, too.  There is Lucille P., of course, but she doesn't get sitters for her six-year-old and I'm not agreeable to having the kid around at rehearsals, let alone the actual show.  It might work out, though; must think on it.
I plan to make this a veggie day and will prepare and cook the many harvested goodies I was given by my friend on Saturday.     
* I wonder if I wasn't born with an "overlook the obvious" gene.  The little screen on the thermostat read--I thought--"ba-lower case r--lo," just gibberish.  However, it finally dawned on me the lower case r is actually a small t and the message was "batteries low."  Got Dennis, he came down and replaced them in two seconds, and all is well.  Next time, I can probably even do it myself.
   

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Neat Day

A day of varied and enjoyable events.  In the morning, as requested, I met my friend and her husband near the entrance to the Parkway.  We then drove in their SUV to a small-owner owned granite and tile store.  My buddies picked out new granite countertops and backsplash material for their kitchen, took me back to my car, and I followed to their home.  Had lunch--homemade turkey chili and it was delicious--then we all set to work digging out plants, transferring them elsewhere, and watering.
The previous sentence took me only a minute or less to type, but took several hours in real life.  In truth, I just helped "around the edges," so to speak; they did the heavy work (some of the plants were huge), and I handed them tools, carried some of the plants (mostly day lilies) to the new location, and dragged the hose around to water them.  The couple are having their front walk re-done and needed to provide several feet around the existing one.
My lady friend and I then went to a store in Hamilton for a few items.  That also sounds like a mere "stop and shop," but by the time we finished, twilight was setting in.  Back at her place, I was given a bonanza of arugula, kale, carrots, daikon radishes, eggplant, red cabbage, spring mix and tomatoes--they belong to a organic farm co-op--loaded up the car, and said goodbye. 
It was a fairly ordinary day, but much low-key fun for me; spending it with two of my favorite people always is.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Various

Yet more tiresome paperwork--this time it really was paper--and various household chores.  Took a break after lunch to drive down to Elaine's Candy in Manahawkin, where I picked up a box of chocolates for Susan.  Was going to buy a card until I remembered that I've had one for more than ten years: The front shows a woman sleeping 'way over on the edge of her bed because three or four cats are snoozing the rest of it.  It reads "Cats with rights" on the front and simply "Get well soon."  She loved it, and the candy, too.
Turnabout is fair play (another oldie and not even so goodie) and shortly after, Susan came over and presented me with a beautiful card and a metal container with paper white bulbs and instructions on how to grow.  This was her thanks for taking her to the hospital and so on and she also said she and Walter want to take me to dinner.  Nice.
Went to Acme and ran into Ron K., who's in LETCO and with whom I performed in Our Town.  We chatted for a few minutes--what a neat guy.
Meeting my friend and her husband this morning at the entrance to the Parkway, as they have to go to Galloway for something or other and invited me to go, too.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Busily Being Busy

After continuing my "paperwork," for a few hours, I called Jim at Unshredded Nostalgia and told him I'd accept his earlier offer for the rest of my postcards.  Drove to Barnegat and dumped--uh, dropped them off and collected the dough. 
Stopped over at Susan's, who's now home, but fearfully thin and weak.  I'm still puzzled as to whether the problem is actually her appendix.  If so, why wouldn't they remove it?  Just stayed for five minutes, as I didn't want to tire her.
Made an appointment with the new dentist in town after a conversation with the office person.  She assured me I'm covered for cleaning, x-rays, and so on, but since I don't have dental insurance, I don't see how.  Will have to research that.
I managed to get the porch furniture in the garage for the winter by myself, so that's done.  I want to take two tables to the thrift store, but don't think they'll fit in the car.  Will ask if someone will take them.
Called a few people to see who I could hitch a ride with for Dine Around on Sunday.  I don't want to go with Judy and Roman because they're leaving so early to decorate.  Haven't heard back from the D.'s and Marilyn P. called back to offer to take me, although they're taking the V.'s, too, and I'll be cramped in the back seat.  Leslie and I will go on the Crop Walk first.
Dave and Ellen came over at 7:00 and we went over the "Mr. and Mrs. Claus" skit.  It's cute and they'll do a good job, but the show is really too short, so we'll have to beef it up a bit.  Desi and the H.'s leave for Ireland today; I'll have to consult them when they get back.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Paperwork"

My, oh my, I've certainly been a virtuous lady lately--well, yesterday, anyway.  Spent the whole day, practically, on paperwork,* to wit:
Typed up the minutes from the Players & Playwrights meeting; also made a sign-up sheet.
Organized my loose-leaf books, one for the group mentioned above, one containing For Better or Worse show items.
Finally and at long last, read over act two of John's script (Shallow Grave), assembled my thoughts, and wrote him a critique which I hope he'll find helpful.  I had a lot of reservations about this--there's nothing so fragile as a writer's ego--but was determined not to take the easy way out and assure him it was fine.  It wasn't.  I tried to be as tactful as possible and was sure to praise where praise was warranted (happily, he has an excellent grasp of dialogue), but still point out problems.  Whew, what a relief to have that off my desk!
Called Institutional Services at Stockton to volunteer to address high school seniors on employment, a program I had read about in the paper; secretary said the manager would get back to me.
Wrote back to the woman at Stockton's Office on Aging (or whatever it is) to the effect that I'd conduct a course on employment for seniors.  Found a lot of the material I had used in the similar course I did at Stockton five or so years ago, printed it out and assembled all in a folder.
Wrote to Tara to ask that she let me know soon if she can be in the show.
Otherwise:
Paid some bills, made an appointment to see the new dentist in town, and cleared up some other stuff, too.
Had a good talk with my friend, Marge, and two with Betty.  Called Walter to find that Susan was to come home yesterday afternoon.  Will go over there later.  Stir-fried onions and garlic, boiled up some pasta, added sauce and, yummy, yum, yum, had it for dinner.  I have a lot left and will be eating that down in the coming days.  Still have chicken legs left, too.
Ellen V. and Dave S. are coming over tonight to rehearse the Mr. and Mrs. Santa piece for the show.
*Funny how we cling to the old terms: Only a small portion of what I did was actually "paperwork," of course; most was on the computer. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LBI And Rehearsal

Picked Aline up at 11:30 and we drove back down to LBI to get my BOA credit card from Buckalew's.  Naturally, we ate there, too.  I'm probably not going to frequent Bucklew's much more, as the food is mediocre and the beer the highest priced in south Jersey, it seems to me. 
Aline had asked if we could go down to the water, as she lost a good friend recently and wanted to think about her in a kind of mystical way.  We found a nice pavilion and sat for a while.  Beautiful day.
After I dropped her off, I went home to try to organize some of my sloppy desk and assemble what I need to work on today.  Got some done and I feel better about it. 
Typed up a few notes on last week's rehearsal, had a bite, then went to the library for this week's session.
I was pleased with the performances of Jim, Mary, and Desi, who have improved steadily.  Jeanne S. came for the first time--I had asked her to take over the part of Marion, which I had played before--and she was good, as I knew she would be.
Desi, Mary, and Jim are going to Ireland for two weeks, so we won't be rehearsing again until our next session in November.
I knew Julie would be unable to attend rehearsal for Hell On Wheels, and neither Tara (who may be in it if she doesn't move to New Orleans) Kathy (who would take Tara's place) showed up, so I had to have Aline take one part and I took the other.  It turned out pretty good, even so.
Got home after 9:00 and stayed up for awhile, so slept until 7:20.  Geez, I have to get out of this lazy habit!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Variety, As Ever


Met Betty for lunch at our favorite haunt, Italian Gourmet, and had a pleasant time.  After, I dropped in on Susan, still in the hospital.  Walter was there, so I stayed only a few minutes.  She told me the doctor is going to do some kind of procedure to drain an abscess on her colon (?); I'm not sure if I got that right.  However, they want her to receive antibiotics via an IV--at home.  Boy, this seems weird.  Will she have to drag it around with her, or what?
Did some paperwork when I got home, then went to Acme and got chicken legs.  Immediately rubbed them with oil, sprinkled on lemon pepper, and popped them in a hot oven.  I had three for dinner, but have plenty left for other days.
I must go back to Buckalew's today to get my credit card.  Maybe I'll take Aline and we'll have lunch there. 
Rehearsal tonight.  I hope it goes as well as last time.

Monday, October 21, 2013

This is what I brought to Oktoberfest on Saturday night.  The "label" reads

SUNRISE SUDS

SKUNK BEER
 
Brewed in my basement for your benefit!
Chug-a-log a foaming mug!
 
--One drink and you'll be in heaven--
--Two drinks and you'll be in the bathroom--
--Three drinks and you'll be in the hospital getting a kidney transplant--

(See picture below.)
 
 
 



SUNRISE SUDS

 
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Cabaret

Met Ellen V. at Buckalew's at noon and we settled in for a leisurely lunch.  I helpfully pointed out to our waitress, Sabrina, that Buckalew's beer prices are the highest I've even seen, and she cheerfully acknowledged that.  I was interested to see that they actually list the alcohol content on the menu--why, so you can get sloshed as quickly as possible?
Anyway, most of the draft beers were imported and cost $7.50 a glass.  Hell, no, I wasn't going to pay that, so I had a four-dollar Pabst Blue Ribbon (which I hadn't even known they made anymore).  We both had crab cake sandwiches; the crab cake part was good, but the Kaiser roll too doughy, so I left most.
Show was at 2:00 and when we strolled the block to Surflight, I met up with a lot of Sunrise Bayers: Virginia, Mary, Lillian, and others, some with husbands, some not.
The theatre was jam packed--it may have been sold out--and Cabaret was terrific.  I'm absolutely serious when I say John Reilly, who played the emcee, was better than Joel Grey.  His energy and drive showed an evil intensity that personified the spirit of Nazi Germany.  Besides that, he's an amazing dancer and singer.  John and I performed together in Arsenic, but in that, he was just a fill-in as a police officer in a very small part.  I vaguely knew he sang and danced--almost all of them do in Our Gang--but never realized how incredibly good he is.
During intermission, I was delighted to run into Chris R., who played my sister in Arsenic and we fell on each other happily.  She was there alone--geez, if I had known that, I would have invited her to join us--and we exchanged phone numbers and vowed to meet for lunch some weekend day.
Cabaret was wonderful, but in truth, I thought the movie was better.  The story line was altered for the movie, although the general theme was the same, and to my mind, it was an improvement.  I'm partial to Liza Minelli, too, and frankly thought the girl who played Sally Bowles yesterday was a good singer, but mediocre actor.
We greeted Neil G., who was in it, after, and I also complimented Glenn P., another young guy who had a policeman role in Arsenic and whom I never knew was such a marvelous dancer.  
Didn't get home until after 5:00 and got a message from Sabrina at Buckalew's to the effect that I had accidentally left my BOA credit card there.  Darn!  Now I have to drive all the back and get it, about 20 miles one way. 
Susan called from the hospital with good news: She's fine, all is well, and she's looking forward to going home.  I didn't want to question her too much, so I'm a bit puzzled, but very glad she seems to have been given a clean bill of health.
Talked to Betty and we made a tentative date for lunch today.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lots Going On

Boy, am I getting to be a lazy lowlife.  I just got up--at 7:20!  Maybe I'd still be snoozing, but I awoke for a delightful reason:  a Skype call from my precious little grandson in Tokyo. 
I was able to give him a bath--virtually--then get him all snuggled up in a onesie.  He's just adorable and so alert and active.  His Daddy said Baby had been wearing an outfit with a hedgehog on it, so he made up a story about a hedgehog and a bee.  What fun to see all three of them!
More proof that my character is declining: I haven't walked in the morning since I took Susan to the hospital.  MUST begin again tomorrow.
As to yesterday: I called Ellen V., and was pleased she was able to accept my invitation to use Aline's ticket for Cabaret today; we'll meet for lunch at Buckalew's first.  Talked to Betty, who may be able to join us, and she'll try, but at this point, isn't sure.
Stopped to see Susan on my way to the Players & Playwrights meeting in Margate.  She looked okay and was amused by the "Sunrise Suds" I brought to show her, but I'm getting more and more worried.  She still has pain and there are some new developments I learned later from our mutual friend, Julie L., that are troubling. 
The P & P meeting was lively, as ever.  My play, Wooing the Gods of Chance, was read and duly discussed.  There may be some good bits in it, but generally, it wasn't a hit, and that's probably deserved.  In truth, I like the title better than the body.
We broke up at four and I drove home, stopping on the way to get my key to Susan's from Marla (who fed Susan's bird and cats), then drop off Susan's key to Walter, who is now home from Canada. 
Washed up, then went to Oktoberfest at the clubhouse.  I sat with Virginia and Mary and their spouses, and had a good time.  Everybody got a kick out of my "Sunrise Suds" joke, the food was good (sausage, weinerschnitszel*, purple cabbage, and so on), the beer interesting (we had all brought a bottle for tasting tests, in my case, Harp, from Ireland), and the company companionable.  Stayed until almost 9:00.
Was happy to see Ellen on Skype, calling on Saturday instead of our usual Sunday, because she has a date.  We had a good talk and I was able to "meet" her renter, who seems nice, as far as I can see.
Much as I've enjoyed what I've been doing, and have scheduled recent activities myself, I'm now ready for a little downtime.  That should come tomorrow, I'm happy to say.
* I can't spell it and neither can the English-usage-challenged techies at Spellcheck.  However, my pal, Jim, can, so I corrected it--thanks, Jim.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tombstone From a Tiny Graveyard

 
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Van Tour

The van tour was terrific.  Weather was perfect: bright sunshine, with just a nip of coolness early on, and very warm later.  Picked up Aline, then joined Barb H. and Pat G., her sister, who drove to Wells Mills Park, where we always get the van.
Along with ten other congenial van-mates, we were driven by German ("Jar-man"), our favorite naturalist, to a number of small, out-of-the-way graveyards in the pinelands of southern Jersey.  Some were next to old churches, others hidden in the woods, but all contained fascinating glimpses of those who went before. 
We were charmed by a cemetery that included pets--"Babe" and "Smurf"--animals faithful to their owners and loyal to the end.  Of course, some of the most poignant graves were those of children.  One stone of the McKeen family listed "George T." three times, with dates for each that were heart-breakingly short (see picture above).  I wonder if that sad young mother ever succeeded in keeping a little "George T."
We ate our lunch at a pavilion in Green Bank, a lovely little hamlet next to the Wading River.  The views were spectacular and tucked away down a country road was a tiny graveyard enclosed by an iron fence. At another site, we were greeted by an elderly "tour guide" named Steve at a graveyard high up on a hill and within sight of a beautiful lake.  This was his family's cemetery and he pointed out his great-grandmother's grave and many others.  Most of the tombstones listed dates from the 18th and 19th centuries, but his brother, who died in 2002, was there, too.  Outside the fence and scattered among the trees, were old, old stones on which dates were obliterated.
We visited two, very tiny graveyards for African-Americans, from the days when even death was segregated.  One had homemade concrete stones marked simply with names and dates via a sharp instrument.            
With a few exceptions, the graveyards we saw are no longer in use.  But others are, of course, and one is waiting for all of us. 
             

Friday, October 18, 2013

Busy

This will be short because so much went on yesterday after I posted, I'll just briefly mention it all. 
After the unpleasant lunch with Aline, I went down to Ray and Barb H.'s to tell them the news about Susan.  Placed and received calls from Mary S., Joan C., Connie W., and several others.  I called Julie L., who is friendly with Susan, and we had a long talk.
This is significant (for me) because we hadn't spoken for about a year after a falling-out on which I don't want to elaborate.  Anyway, we're back on a friendly footing and I'm glad, especially after yesterday.
I had wanted, and thought I'd be able to, take a nap during the day, but I didn't have time.  My insurance agent came at 5:00 and I signed all the papers for new coverage.  In some ways, it's marginally better than the old, but in many, it stinks, but I guess it's okay.  Of course, as with practically everything these days, it's a pact from Hell between the government and private business, which neatly omits the needs of the citizen. 
Called Betty to see if she can go with me to Cabaret, but she's on call.  I asked her to let me know, so I can ask somebody else.  Of course, it's the day after tomorrow and that's short notice, but...
In 45 minutes or so, I'll pick up Aline, as I've done so often in the past year.  I invited her to go on the van tour with us today in Susan's place and she was happy to accept.               

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hospital

Boy, oh boy, what a day.
It started off mundanely enough:  I met Betty for lunch at Saladworks across from the hospital in Galloway.  Enjoyed our meeting and got home about 2:30.  Went across the street to check in on Susan and found her looking worse than ever and still, she said, unable to eat and with pain in her stomach.  I suggested--but mildly--that she call the doctor again or get a second opinion.  She said maybe she would, but she had an eye doctor appointment on Thursday (today) morning, and a hair dresser appointment in the afternoon.  Now, Susan was in pain, couldn't eat, and had lost four pounds in a week, but she wanted to get her hair done!  Sure, I can understand that.
I left, repeating that she should call me if she needed anything. An hour or so later, I got a call from Joan C., a neighbor, concerned at Susan's condition; I told her what I knew, agreeing that Susan looked terrible.  Then, about 6:00, Susan's daughter called from Connecticut.  After talking to her mother, she was alarmed and asked if I would take Susan to the emergency room.  I went across again, persuaded Susan it was the right thing to do.  By this time, it was almost dark and I wasn't crazy about driving, but Susan remembered there's an urgent care office right at the doctor's where we both go.
Great!  I took her there and after about a half hour, she was called in to the doctor...   
OKAY, FULL STOP.  It's just too long and involved to go into all of yesterday and into this morning, but in a nutshell:
They weren't equipped for it at Urgent Care, so I took Susan to Atlanticare Emergency room, in Galloway, arriving at 8 pm; she was taken in to be examined at 10:30.  I waited until about 11:30, then asked to see her.  Tests were still going on, results wouldn't be in until hours later, so I said I'd go home and come back is need be. Susan gave me her key and asked if I'd check to see if she left the stove on, as she had rushed out with me after heating the parrot's dinner (no, it's no joke).  I did, nervously keying in the code to cut the alarm off, but she hadn't left the stove on.
Got home to find messages from Julie and Walter, called them and updated, then called emergency room, but didn't get Susan.  Finally did and she said a nurse lived in Tuckerton and would drive her home after shift at 7:00.  Went to bed, but couldn't sleep.  Got up at 1:30 and called Julie and Walter to give them latest.
Slept until 7:15, had coffee, went over to Susan's about 8:00.  No answer to bell or knock.  On a hunch, called the hospital and found she had been admitted after all.  Called Julie and Walter back, started off to hospital, then thought I'd see if she need anything.  She directed me to a satchel in her closet, her book and her cell charger, also asked me to get in touch with Marla H. to feed the bird and cats.  Did so, gave her my key (I still had Susan's), took the requested items to the hospital, visited for awhile, and went home.  Susan had said she'd call Julie and Walter.  I called the eye doctor and hairdresser to cancel her appointments.   
Susan had asked that I stop at Judy's to tell her the news, and I did.  Also called Joan C. and Barb H. and left messages.  Called Aline and picked her up at 12:15 for lunch at the Tuckerton Pub. 
Had a nice meal, but not-so-nice news from Aline: Her sister-in-law had asked that she come up to New York for the weekend and she was bowing out of 1. Players and Playwrights on Saturday and 2.) Cabaret on Sunday.  I was angry and hurt that she'd break a date we had for weeks and it was a  rather strained ride home.  I'll ask if Betty can go; if not, Louise or Leslie, but I feel not only exhausted, but rejected.  Oh, well, guess I'll get over it.
The insurance woman is coming at 5:00, but I'm going to try to take a nap before then.  I'm not exactly chipper at this point.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Good Day

Well, it turned out to be a good day.  Got a call from Tom W., thanking me for the Ventnor Beach Patrol postcard and we had a nice chat.  I was surprised to hear he was Mickey B.'s nephew by marriage.
Picked up Aline and we went to lunch at John & Sonia's.  Because I had had pain in my gum at--or near--where my tooth was reattached, I wanted soft food, so ordered a cheese omelet.  It was yummy and I ate all of it.
Aline asked if I could take her down to nearby Gravelling Point (a beach at the water), where she would sit in the sun and read her book and I did.  Her sister, Susan, said she'd pick her up later.  Got my own chair out of the trunk and sat with A. for a half-hour in the glorious sunshine, then said goodbye.
I went home to tweak the plays a bit, as last night was our first true rehearsal.  I was dismayed to receive a call from Desi saying he didn't think we should do Hell On Wheels.  He thought it was childish.  I disagreed and asked that he see it done properly with all the participants, and a slight set-up.  I asked he not say anything until then and
he agreed.  Because I'm rehearsing the two plays separately, and Desi's only in the first, I expected him to stay for H. On W., but he didn't.  What that means I don't know--I hope he changed his mind, and if he didn't, I think he will if he sees it properly.
Stopped at Susan's to find her feeling marginally better--she said.  I'm uneasy about her, though.  She said "they"--I guess the radiologist--had diagnosed her problem as a urinary tract infection and she had been prescribed medication.  But...would that cause constant pain in the stomach and loss of appetite?  I didn't know u.t. infections would do that.  Susan did say she was able to eat two chicken nuggets and a spoonful of ice cream (that was her full diet until I saw her at 3:00 pm) and said she felt "a little better."  Boy, I hope if it doesn't clear up soon she gets a second opinion.  
Rehearsal for Telephone, of which I was very apprehensive, actually went beautifully.  Jim shed his hayseed persona to act seriously and Mary (his wife in real life, sister-in-law in the play) was just superb.  Desi, as the psychiatrist, was excellent, also.  We agreed that he drop the German accent and he just played it straight.
The play is so short we were able to do it three times, and still end before 8:00.  I was pleased at how the cast responded to my direction and will be glad to see Jeanne in the part I had played as the wife, "Marian."
Hell On Wheels went really well, too.  I added Aline as "the Devil's helper," and we did some blocking, so it was more interesting than just sitting would be.  I hope, hope, hope Desi doesn't want to drop it.
Anyway, it turned out  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Tooth And Nothing But The...

Well, there's a little more than the tooth, but that was the major part of yesterday afternoon.
In the morning, Bob S. came over to blow out my sprinklers (that always sounds naughty!), and we visited for a bit.  Bob and Angela just lost their second daughter to cancer--incredibly and horribly, their first died two years ago, and now this one.  It's hard to understand how you survive that.
Susan was still in pain from her stomach, and was unable to walk.  I've been skipping it myself, I should be ashamed to say, but I'm not.  Slept until 7:15 again today.
I planned to make a stir-fry for dinner, so cut up onions, garlic, and mushrooms and had them ready in the refrig.
Left for the dentist in Bordentown at 1:30.  It's a hundred-mile round trip and I'm still not sure why I don't get somebody around here.  (Oh, only because they're all either nuts or employ snooty staff.)  Pulled into a parking lot long enough to call Marilyn to see if she wanted to meet for an early dinner.  Got her and she said she'd like to, but she was up with her Mother in Canton, Pa., two hundred miles away. 
Was taken early and found Dr. L. could plug in the post anew, which she did.  Boy, did it hurt when she shot a needle of Novocain straight up into the socket.  However, it numbed quickly and although I consider dentistry on an even par with having a leg amputated, I survived it. 
On the way home, brother Jim called with a question of English usage (a "lying" or "laying" one).  Nice to hear from him.  I didn't get in until after 5:00 and found a  message from Susan, asking me to call her.  That was unusual and I did right away, but her message machine was on.  I went across to her house, but nobody answered the bell.  I became concerned and looked to see if I had Walter's phone number, but I didn't.  Actually called the hospital to see if she had been admitted, but she hadn't.
After dinner--added two sausage links to the stir-fry, and was it yummy--I went across to Susan's and she answered the door.  I was sorry to hear she still had pains in her stomach.  She had gone to the doctor and had been sent for some kind of imaging test.  Alarmingly, she's lost five pounds because, she says, she just can't eat--has no appetite.  To top it off, Walter is in Canada on a long-planned trip. Of course, I assured her I was ready to help in any way.  Incredibly, because she's co-chair of the Oktoberfest, which is this Saturday, Susan actually went to order a cake and do other chores connected with the event.  Her co-chair, Bessie F., is away and Susan, being Susan, didn't feel she could ask anyone else to do them.
I hope, fervently, that the problem is her gall bladder.  If so, she'll have it out and be fine after, as I was.  Otherwise, there was a thought floating around us as we talked that neither of us wanted to voice.     

Monday, October 14, 2013

Odd

Sort of an odd day.  I did wash in the morning and otherwise puttered around.  After lunch, I felt like getting out the house and going for a drive, so did.  I didn't want to go toward any shore areas because it was a beautiful day and I knew there'd be lots of traffic going back.  Therefore, I started off vaguely north, found myself in Chatsworth (about 20 miles away), kept going, and got to Bordentown (about 40).  I figured as long as I was going that far, I'd go up to Ewing (another 15, maybe) and visit my old haunts.
Went to Heiser Avenue, where we lived as young marrieds, then Concord (first two children born there), and finally to Lower Ferry, our home for 41 years.  Saw some neighbors from long ago, chatted with them for a bit, then drove home after stopping at the cemetery.
It was a somewhat melancholy, but satisfying day, tracing fifty-five years of my life's history and now it's out of my system and I'm ready to move on.
Got a call from sister Betty, asking if I had heard anything of our mutual friend, Lily M., who she was told is sick.  I hadn't, so I called Lily.  We had a fairly long chat; she's indeed been sick, with both cancer and heart problems.  I offered to drive her to Atlanticare in November for a procedure; hope she'll be okay.  
Had a fun virtual visit with Ellen last night, and another with the precious little girls in Singapore this morning.  It seems such a short time ago that the idea of easily seeing  people a distance away was a laughably far-fetched notion.  Initially, it was believed that some time in the future, a device that could facilitate would be connected to televisions or telephones--all land line, of course; nobody had dreamed of cell phones, let alone a computer in every home.
Skype is a wonderful thing.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

This and That

I was delighted to get a Skype call from The Tot in Tokyo, my precious little grandson, now over a month old and adorable.  His mum was in the shower and his Da was chatting with him, as well as providing a finger to hold when he dozed off.  What a little doll.
I was determined to keep up my momentum in the garage and to that end, started organizing vases and planters.  Now one might wonder how many vases and planters a person could have.  Hmm...I probably had five dozen if you count them all.  I piled about thirty in the car and unloaded them at the thrift store in town. 
After lunch, I drove up to Manahawkin in the continuing wind and rain and stopped at the thrift store there and got sturdy hangers and a few other things.  Went to Target and was chagrinned to find the socks I like may not be carried anymore.  They were five bucks a pair last year and I like the fabric, especially the patterns, of which I have many. 
They had socks for three bucks and six bucks and I couldn't figure out if either were the same and if just the prices had changed.  Bought a three-buck pair as a kind of grudging compromise and this great truth of the cosmos dawned on me:  It doesn't matter what socks I bought, as the world will go on turning!  Wow, that was a revelation.
Enjoyed picking out Halloween cards for the kiddies, then it occurred to me it was almost 4:00 and Aline would be getting off at the library.  Went there, but I was mistaken: She wasn't working yesterday. No matter, though.  I drove home and was settled in for the rest of the day by 5:00.
Called Jeanne S. when I got home, as I decided to act as M.C. and announce the show on December 3, but not appear in it.  Asked Jeanne to take over the part and she was agreeable, so I sent her the script and rehearsal schedule.              















Saturday, October 12, 2013

Gravity

Picked Aline up at 11:30 and we drove to Olive Garden in heavy rain and strong winds.  I had checked the movie time while driving past the theatre on Thursday and the marquee said "1:50."  When we arrived, though, the time had been changed to 3:00.  No matter, we just bought a few things at Wal-Mart and went in later.
The price was steep: $12.50 (geez, we used to get into the Ventnor Movie for fourteen cents!), but Gravity was well worth it. 
What an absorbing experience!  The 3D glasses, which I thought would be a nuisance because I have to fit them over my regular ones, were no problem.  They brought out the "closeness" of the action, which was thrilling.  The story line was imaginative, the effects superb, and  and I was especially charmed by the ending.  The movie was short--only about an hour and 15 minutes, but that was just as long as it took.  We were home well before dark after a very pleasant time.  Spent the rest of it mainly on the computer, to which I'm being tied more and more every day, it seems. 
Susan just called to say she couldn't walk, as she was sick all night.  She is very thin, and--maybe there's a relationship--has had continuing stomach problems.  Susan is one of the few people my age who doesn't feel compelled to recite in detail and often, a litany of ailments, and I appreciate that.  That means when she does say she's sick, it's more serious than not.  Hope she's better soon.       

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rain

Rain, rain, go away...
But I understand it's going to stick around for another few days.  Susan and I walked with umbrellas, and it wasn't the rain, but the wind that was problematic.  Wet clothes and inside-out umbrellas, you know.
Spent some time putting things to rights in the garage.  Will donate a lot of vases to the thrift store, but I had many, many more.  At least I now have uncovered everything and will continue weeding out.
As promised, I sent my uncompleted Christmas At Delaney's to the other actors.  So far, haven't heard a word from any of them.  Have decided to ask Frank and Jim to switch roles.  Otherwise, I'm afraid the serious play with Jim in it, will be a disaster.
Met Betty for lunch at Italian Gourmet--enjoyable as ever. 
Aside from that, and aside from a short drive at dusk, more or less hunkered down for the day.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

First Rehearsal

Years ago, I read Moss Hart's autobiography, Act One, in which he describes a rehearsal of one of his early plays as (I'm paraphrasing) "a shambles, but like a drunk falling downstairs, always headed in the right direction."
Last night's meeting felt like that and I'm not even sure it was headed in the right direction. It was a first reading, of course, so the casts weren't familiar with the material, but geez, I was horrified at their ineptitude.  In particular, a pivotal character in Telephone seems unable to drop his constantly jokey and totally inappropriate manner to take on a serious role.  I'm thinking of asking him to switch with Frank D., who plays the devil in the comedic play.  Besides that, Tara B. may or may not be available for the show.  She may have moved out of state by then, so should I re-cast or not?  At this point, I dunno.
Earlier, I hauled my postcards back up to Barnegat, only to be informed that the proprietor, Jim, was in the hospital getting his gall bladder out.  Damn, how I wish I had just taken him up on his (low-ball, but so what?) offer in the first place.  At least, the gall bladder thing isn't particularly serious, and I assume he'll be back in action before long.
Called the dentist's office, and made an appointment for Monday to do something--I hope--with the "post" tooth, which I found when I was making the bed. 
Called Dave F. to cover the one role I didn't have, but he declined.  Then called Dave S. and he accepted.  It's a shame it's such a small role--only nine lines--but he'll also do a soliloquy from Les Mis.  We added some other bits, too, including a dialogue between Julie and Tara K.  I hope the library has a piano available, so Aline can play.  Will check on that.
I told the group about Christmas At Delaney's, which I have in progress.  Acted out a bit and told them I'd send it to them.  Put out some grapes and a pitcher of water for the gang--I wasn't about to serve them wine and nibbles because this was a working session. 
Well, we're started anyway, for what it's worth.  Will meet again at the library on Tuesday. 
         

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Lunch And So On

Met my fellow "Sparklers" (no longer Red Hats; we dropped out) at 11:00 at the clubhouse. We had a short meeting, sang "Happy Birthday" to Lee S., and left for LBI. 
I deviated on the way by stopping at the library and reserving several Tuesdays for rehearsals.  I'll have to supplement them with others here and will probably add some elsewhere.
The plan was to go to "Bead It" after lunch and make ourselves jewelry.  Well, I'd rather do that that hang by my thumbs for three days, but--I begged off, saying I was expecting someone at home--true--and that I had a lot to do otherwise--semi-true. 
We had lunch at The Greenhouse (so-so), then I parted.  Had my car loaded up with postcard boxes and other things and was going to stop at Unshredded Nostalgia to tell Jim I'd accept his offer, after all.  Then it occurred to me I should first scan the Ventnor cards and some of the Atlantic City ones, so drove home.
My friend and helper came and we (she) moved some stuff in the garage.  Now all I have to do is clear out more stuff, a mere ten-year undertaking, it seems.
Rest of the day was all tweaking scripts of my two plays.  The casts are coming tonight and I hope, hope, hope they all show up. This is the first time any of them except Aline will hear the plays and I'm nervous about whether they'll "fly," as the saying goes.   

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Various

I've been hustling, although putting it down on pape--uh, putting it out in cyber-space, it doesn't seem so. 
Tweaked my two plays a bit, now must print them out to give a copy of each to the casts.  I fervently hope there are no slackers, no-shows, or angry and hurt feelings ("why'd you give her that meaty part and I'm the maid?"). Decided to switch most rehearsals to Tuesdays, as that's when the library has fewer reservations. Wrote to Mary to see if that's feasible for her, then composed a message for the rest of the group. Only problem is, I haven't yet heard back from Mary. 
Packed up the car with my remaining three boxes of postcards and other items, and drove to Barnegat to Unshredded Nostalgia.  Jim offered me just a bit more than half of what he paid for the other postcards, and I refused; thought I could a buyer for me elsewhere.
Am I an idiot or what?  I wish I had taken him up on it, then they'd be out of the house and off my mind.  I'll go back today and get the dough--hope he doesn't rescind the offer.
On impulse, I drove to the outpost of Ocean Community College, also in Barnegat to say hello to my pal, Vivian.  Her husband, who has MS, has developed another unpleasant problem, I was sorry to hear, and she's grappling with that.  We chatted a bit, then I went on my way.
Stopped at Stafford Library to see Aline, who was working, and told her we'd have to defer our tentative date to see Gravity on Wednesday.  I don't want to be tied up on the day of our first rehearsal.  Hope we can do it on Friday.
Picked up a rotisserie chicken at Shop-Rite, and had it for dinner. Talked to Betty and we made a date for lunch on Thursday.
Got a Skype call from my precious little grandson in Tokyo.  He's very personable, but didn't have a lot to say except "bub, eck, co."  Co!  He's trying to say his name!
   

Monday, October 07, 2013

Last Y.S. Day

Last yard sale day and just as well.  I enjoyed it to an extent, especially the selling part, but it was a bit long and drawn out for me.  Didn't sell much yesterday.  In fact, there were many fewer customers than the other days, Friday being the busiest, oddly enough. We packed up about noon, then, at Aline's suggestion, she and I went to John and Sonia's, formerly Beverly's, for lunch. 
Now this is a local little hole-in-the-wall where I haven't been for a good five years, before my husband died.  He used to meet his cronies there, and it was and remains, a local favorite.  It's really an old-fashioned luncheonette with which the country used to abound before MacDonald's and all the other odious big chains bastardized the American palate.  They serve good, homemade (well, luncheonette-made, I guess) food at noticeably low prices.
I had a delicious cheeseburger that was actually made as rare as I like them, served with thick French fries, cole slaw, and lettuce and tomato.  Enjoyed a tall iced tea with it and the bill came to less than nine dollars.  Aline had a BLT--she's had them there before and said they are the best--and just stuck to water.  Her tab?  Four dollars and nine cents.
After, we drove down to Graveling Point, but it was misty and we couldn't see across to Brigantine.  Home, I invited A. in for an Italian ice and we sat and talked for several house, ranging, as we always do, over a variety of topics, including politics and religion, and the excruciating pain of listening to some of the Mystic Shores denizens talk.  Negatives abound, "sez" is common, and any extended discourse (more than two sentences) always--always!--revolves around television shows. 
It's this that makes me pretty much convinced the empire is going down.  It's just impossible to maintain hope that people who take television "news" as gospel truth, believe reality shows are spontaneous, and consider The History Channel akin to academia--it's history, isn't it?--will ever rise up and stop the robber barons and politicians. Oh, sorry, that's redundant.
Took Aline home, put my unsold treasures back, and tidied up.  Loved seeing my now month-old grandson on Google Plus, and enjoyed my weekly Skype visit with Ellen.  Today, I need to turn my attention to preparing for the preliminary meeting with my cast for the December LETCO show.  I scheduled it for Wednesday at my place, but will see if I can get the library or somewhere else instead.    
    

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Another Y.S. Day

Yet another grueling day in Yard Sale World.  Actually, it wasn't so grueling and finally, I sold a fair amount of stuff.  Left the Christmas items at home and took a variety of other things--household objects, mostly, as well as some coffee table books.  Made a fair amount and decided to go back today, the last day.
Yesterday, Aline worked and I was with her sister, Susan, all day.  A number of her neighbors came around and it was fairly pleasant.  Make another chicken sandwich and had that whilst minding the store. 
When I got home, I packed up the car again--can't even remember with what--ready to go again.  It's been pretty enjoyable, but I'm thoroughly at the end of sitting all day (actually, I tend to get up and circle around), so will be glad to get back to my normal active life. 
Talked to J., Jr., and was happy to learn he went home yesterday.  Hope he likes the vintage comic books I sent him. 
Tidied up the two plays I'll be directing in December (if all goes well, and there's many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip.  Oh, I did it again!  Can't resist those hoary old sayings).  I have two too many board members for the two plays; may have to revise.
 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Yard Sale

Spent seven days at the yard sale yesterday--oh, wait, it was only seven hours, it just seemed like...
Anyway, I had practically all Christmas stuff and it sold, I'm afraid, very poorly.  Not sure how much I made, maybe thirty or so bucks, if that.  It was a long, long, hot day, but Susan's house has plenty of shade.  Packed up about 2:30 (the buyers had dwindled), then of course, had to unpack and put everything back in the garage.
Took a drive after I finished, then got gas and stopped at two stores  to see if I could get price stickers.  No luck, though.
When I got back, I packed up the car with a mishmash of things--books, dishes, Thanksgiving decorations--which I hope will appeal more than Xmassy stuff.
Called Susan to tell her I won't walk today, then chatted with Betty.  Called and talked to Joel, Sr., then Junior.  He's still in the hospital, I'm afraid, but I hope will be released soon. 
Just got up to see that it's raining.  Darn!  Okay, if it continues and the yard sale cancelled, I'll just chalk it up to experience.  I have plenty of other things to do, which could include moving on to another area to purge.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Busy

Busy as a buzzing bee, I zipped between here and Barnegat and made some dough.  Took two boxes of my postcards to Unshredded Nostalgia and Jim bought them for about three time as much as I thought they would fetch. 
The guy who conducted our poor-man's antique roadshow had told me comic books with an original price of more than 25 cents (which means published roughly after 1968), were worthless.  Oh?  But I decided it wouldn't hurt to show my remaining hundred or so 1977-78 vintage comics to the owner of Bay Avenue Antiques.  Did so and walked out with a cool--well, mucho more than I had expected, which was $0. 
Got back in time to attend the quarterly Activities Meeting.  I didn't have anything to contribute, but it was a nice respite.
Home, I dug out more stuff I'll peddle next week.  Saw an article in the paper about Stockton State's "Miniversity," which involves area residents addressing high school seniors about this and that.  I called about it and the person I talked to took my information.  When I told her I had been manager of employment at Rider and had conducted a course at Ocean Community College, she suggested I contact the college's Successful Aging Institute, and I did.  Will see if that pans out.
Stopped at the library to get a date for our "original one-act plays" (both written by your humble correspondent) evening, and secured December 3.  E-mailed board members to that effect and it looks as if it's a go.  Dropped off a blurb for the library calendar and called a first rehearsal--or at least, reading--for next Wednesday at my place.
Packed up the car with my Christmas wares; there wasn't room for even half of them, but the yard sale is on for three days.  Went to the bank for small bills and change.  Aline called and we talked over our recent doings.   Now I need to make myself a sandwich, then it's off to make even more dough.  I'll be rolling in it! 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Active Day

A good, active day.  Cleaned up my submission to FELS  to teach an acting course and took care of a few other cyber-chores.  Was pleased to get a return call from my "Cincinnati Sis," my cousin, Marifran K., and we had a good chat.  Pulled down some stuff in the guest rom closet and disposed of it as appropriate (most straight to the trash).
Cleaned and chopped up a number of veggies and put them in the slow cooker.  Also prepared with a fine chop onions, green pepper, mushrooms, and garlic to stir-fry today.  Heated up almost the last of my lentil stew for lunch, then loaded my (by default; they were originally my older son's) comic books in the car and took off for Barnegat. 
Stopped at Bay Street Antiques to see if they were interested in the comic books; they may be, but the owner wasn't in, so I'd have to come back.  A few houses down is Unshredded Nostalgia--love the name!--and I went there.
This is one of those quintessential shops that seem to be in every town and hamlet on the east coast--and maybe throughout the country and the world, for all I know.  It's in an old, old storefront, with various artifacts on the pavement outside and in, is filled to bursting with every kind of antique, "collectible," and curiosity known to man.  It's dark (they're always dark) and dusty (that, too) and comes equipped with a proprietor about the same age as many of the wares.
In this case, the owner is Jim, a very congenial guy about 70, I guess.  His big dog, Whathisname, ambled over to sniff me as I asked him to look at my comic books.  He wasn't interested at all in the ones from the seventies, but bought the few older ones at what I guess was a fair price.  We discussed my postcard collection, too, and I'll bring some over to show him today.
Stopped at Shop-Rite for chicken legs (extra large!), which I immediately seasoned and threw in the oven when I got home.  While driving, I conceived the idea of sending some of the comic books to Joel, Jr., and composed a little rhyme on his name.  Wrapped up the five comic books I mentioned and will send them to him today.
I was thrilled last night to get a Skype call from adorable grandson in Tokyo.  He was eating, then finished and I saw him yawning, stretching, "smiling" (oh, I know it's gas, but it's precious) and showing off his other talents.  Can't wait to hold him in my arms.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Long Beach Island And The Shutdown

Got a good number of chores crossed off my (figurative) "to do" list, including finishing the comic book stuff, responding to e-mails, and shaping up my proposal to Bev R., of FELS, that I conduct an "Acting for Amateurs" course.
Read the second and final act of John's play and found some areas of concern.  Now I need to be fastidious about couching my suggestions for improvement in diplomatic terms.  There's nothing so discouraging to a writer as careless dismissal.
Assembled a few LETCO items and got to the library about 10:00 to set up the display window for the theatre company.  Draped green and black fabric in the background--I've used it before--and added framed pictures of some of our productions.  It looked pretty sparse, so I went back later and added three of the lawn signs we had used, which fit perfectly on the top shelf, always problematic in that window.  Talked to a librarian about the possibility of reserving early December for a presentation of two of my short plays.  Sent the suggestion we do them to the rest of the board and so far, have a few responses, but need more.
I was so sorry to get a call informing me that J., Jr. is in the hospital after an asthma attack.  I called his Dad, then talked to J., Jr. himself and am much relieved that he seems to be doing fine.  They hope he'll be released today.
Picked up Aline at 3:30.  We stopped at Rite-Aid to get a prescription for her, then at B.J.'s for some needs of mine.  Drove down to LBI and--gasp!--turned left instead of right as we usually do after the causeway.  Went to ScoJo's for an early dinner, then down to Holgate to photograph the waves at high tide.
Finally and at long last, I got some great pictures--I think--of the ocean crashing and smashing against the bulkhead.  However, after I had taken at least fifty, my camera just "froze."  None of the buttons work and I have the idea I exhausted the memory chip or something. Darn!  Not sure how to fix it.
Very enjoyable and productive day, otherwise.
WIDER:  HAD to add this gem on the "shutdown" from a great writer, my cyber-pal, Jim:
http://bartlebysfour.blogspot.com/
I didn't ask permission, so maybe Jim'll sue me, but somehow, I doubt it.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Comic Books, A Visit, And The NSA

Okay, things are looking up.  Out of my day-long slump, I galvanized myself to change the bed, return e-mails, finish up some paperwork, and accomplish stuff I've left hanging.  Spent a large part of the day organizing and categorizing the Marvel comic books that have been in the garage for ten years.  There are probably over a hundred of them with no dups.  They have names like "X-Men," "Thor," "Captain Marvel," "The Fantastic Four," "The Avengers," and so on and on of that ilk, as well as "Spiderman," "The Incredible Hulk," and "2001, A Space Odyssey."  I suspect only the few published before 1970 are worth anything and probably not much.  I need to track down the place in Manahawkin that deals in ephemera and see if I can sell them. 
Showered and changed, then walked over to Reef Lane at 4:00, as I had been invited over for wine by Marilyn and Jay P.  I had a wonderful time getting to know them; they're "two of the few"--residents of SB, that is, who are from Philly, not north Jersey by way of Brooklyn. 
We talked easily, discussing, among other topics, religious backgrounds--their Judaism, my former Catholicism--laughing over the various traditions and practices we grew up and, to an extent, still practice.
The P.'s home looks compact from the outside, but is actually fairly spacious. Off the kitchen, they added a sun room and large deck, and the place is beautifully decorated.  They used a lot of beige and white, accented with darker colors and with some interesting sculptures and other accessories here and there.  The style is modern and minimalist, but comfortable at the same time.
We chatted happily over wine and nibbles at the bar in one corner of the living room,  They have three daughters, all of whom live in Jersey, one an attorney and two with congenital hearing losses.  Grandchildren, step-grands, and great-grands complete the family. 
Stayed until about 6:00, then strolled home.  Today, I'm picking up my pal (Aline, of course) at 3:30 to drive down to Long Beach Island, have dinner, then make a stab at seeing the breakwater at high tide.
WIDER:   Now, about the NSA: "It's sort of a George Orwell meets six degrees of Kevin Bacon program, and is exactly the sort of obscene, grand scale privacy violation that the administration had repeatedly assured Americans the NSA would never think of doing."   
That's from
http://news.antiwar.com/2013/09/30/white-house-defends-nsa-social-mapping-of-americans/
and it includes a link to a NYTimes article which illustrates how very useless it is to object to anything our corrupt government wants to do.