Monday, March 31, 2014

A Mishmash

Got some of the income tax crap pulled together and did a few household chores. I must start writing up the profile on Carl and Maureen K., whom I interviewed weeks ago. It's always a mistake not to do it right away because the writer--this writer, anyway--loses some immediate impressions, even if written notes are still available.  
Pursued my quest to conceal my wedding ring--I haven't removed it since my husband put it on my finger fifty-six years ago--by going to Manahawkin and looking for a "cocktail" ring I thought might cover it.  Went to several places and didn't find anything appropriate.  However, I got something better at Party Fair: lacy, fingerless gloves that will do the trick and that Aunt Julia might keep on in the house.  I'd still like to be able to remove my engagement ring because the diamond catches on the lace unless I'm very careful.  Tried and tried, with first liquid soap, then Saran Wrap, but had no luck.  Think I'll see if a jeweler can do it, short of cutting it off.  If need be, I'll cover it with tape.  
Talked to Betty, who still hasn't found a place to live after May 15, but she has some possibilities.  Assembled my hats and other props; finally, at long last, we rehearse for the first time tonight in the theatre at Surflight.  We have tomorrow and Wednesday, too, then we open--aagh!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Not A Lot

Walked in the pouring rain, which lasted all the livelong day.  Nevertheless, I went to the thrift store in Manahawkin in search of lace gloves to wear in "Hedda," but no luck.  I did buy a black hat I thought might be more appropriate for my "Rina's death" scene than the three others I have--we'll see.  I'm still looking for white gloves that might serve to cover my wedding ring--my character, Aunt Julia, is a spinster--but no luck. Then it occurred to me that maybe I could get a large, showy ring to wear above it and hide it.  Maybe.
Skyped Ellen and had a nice chat.  Her new car is great, although very electronically equipped, so you have all kinds of bells and whistles to learn how to operate.
Speaking of "how to operate," I wanted to see again the CD I bought some time ago, of the 1963 version of Hedda, with Ingrid Bergman in the starring role. Annoyingly, I couldn't get the recorder to show it on the screen, although I think it was actually running.  Also, as I was pushing this button and that, I accidentally added the text used by the hard of hearing, and now I can't turn it off!  Good thing I don't watch much TV anyway. 
Aside from making a salad and a few other domestic chores, I didn't do a lot else but spend time on the computer.  Sent Ellen V. a revised bio for the program, not being happy with the first one.  Printed out one of the many photos of the adorable Sweetie-Pie in Tokyo and framed it.  It shows sweet baby with his right hand in the air, as if he's pontificating on some ponderous topic--so cute!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Element And Joe S.

Picked up Aline (how many posts have I started like that?) and we had lunch at Element again; this time, the service was fine, which I noted to the hostess.  I had sushi and it was yummy.
We then made the rounds of various stores and picked up needs--or more accurately, wants--of this and that.  Stopped at Flo C.'s, a seamstress and neighbor of Aline's, to see if she could add a longer under-chin tie to my Hedda bonnet. We couldn't see a way to do it, unfortunately, so I guess I'll have to live with it.
Didn't get home until 5:00.  Betty called and we chatted for a bit.  She still hasn't found a place to live after May 1, but seems unconcerned.  Stir-fried sausage, onions, and garlic for dinner--very tasty.
NOTE:  A continuing annoyance (or something): I've been bugging Frank D. about the "publicist" LETCO hired; specifically, what he's actually doing or has done. As far as I can see, the sole contribution of this Joe S. was putting the videos Frank took of us (why didn't Joe take them?) on YouTube.  To my knowledge, this isn't extremely difficult, although I could be wrong.  My friend, Pat R., uses YouTube regularly; in fact, I just saw her latest on YouTube.  I realize she's more electronically savvy than I am, but still--.  Just checked The Mailbag, a local giveaway paper that lists upcoming events by date and Hedda isn't mentioned at all.  So far, I haven't seen a peep about it in The Press of A.C., let alone any feature story.  All other getting-the-word-out, as far as I can see, was done by Frank, Aline, Mary, and Yours Truly.
I'm a member-at-large on LETCO's board and think I have the right to ask why in the name of easy money we're paying this guy.

Van Tour And "Our Troops"

Left for Wells Mills Park and the van trip at 7:30, Susan driving.  She, Barb, and I enjoyed the tour of historic places in Medford and Medford Lakes, neither of which I had known much about before.  It was settled by Quakers, for one thing, and the town of Medford itself has so many beautiful old houses, dating from the early years of the country to Victorian and Edwardian times.
The "Lakes" part has, indeed, a number of lakes and--even more interesting, I thought--the majority of the (not historic) homes we saw were built of logs.  It seems that, just as the rest of the Jersey pinelands do, the forest around Medford is heavy on cedar tree and people sensibly used what was handy.
There was a mix up about start time for rehearsal: With Aline in tow, I got there at 6:15, but others straggled in later and we didn't begin until 7:00.  This annoyance was topped off by Rick's piece in The Sandpaper, which Mary brought in.  Very nice, but he misspelled my name, damn it; second letter is "o," not "a."  He's written a number of other articles about plays in which I've appeared and spelled it right--but only, I guess, because I emphasized it to him each time.  He also misspelled Ellen's name, which is "Voorhees," not "Vorhees," but hey, I guess the world is still turning.
We did a full run last night, but in this order: acts 1 and 4, then 2 and 3 because Kevin was late (he teaches dancing in Waretown) and appears only in the middle parts.  I stayed until we finished, though, so didn't get home until after ten and to bed an hour later.  However, ever-virtuous, I got up and met Susan for our usual walk at 7:00 this morning.
We don't rehearse again until Monday, when finally, at long last, we'll be able to do it at Surflight.
WIDER:  Here's something from Facebook so grotesque and gape-mouth idiotic, it's actually funny, in a horrifying way.  It seems God has gone electronic and a "like" constitutes a prayer.  You understand, that's only for "our troops," who have to do the work of slaughtering the heathen horde and not for the men, women, and children they kill.  Of course, the illiterate "patriot" who devised it managed to get three errors in ten words, but what else can you expect from an FB page called "Support Our Veterans"?      

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mail And A Bonnet

I have an unfortunate tendency to open mail, scan it, then put it to one side if I have to do something in response.  I add scribbled notes to myself, brochures I need to examine, greeting cards I want to send, and whatever else is flat and on paper.  Keep thinking I'll deal with it later, and "later" finally came yesterday.  It took me a fair amount of time, but I finally have it whittled down.
Rehearsal last night, but just acts one and four, the two I'm in.  It went well, I think, but I'm getting nervous about Tony being off-book--he isn't yet, and hey, opening night is coming right up.
Another problem is the bonnet I wear in act one.  It's essential to the plot, in that early on, "George" lovingly unties and removes it, then puts it on a chair.  When "Hedda" comes in, she pretends to think it's the servant's bonnet and disparages it, an important early indication of her character.
Problem is, the ties on it are too short and hard to tie in a bow; it's actually hard to keep on straight.  Tony (who plays George) had it made by a friend of his, but I think I'll take it to a seamstress and have the ties replaced with longer ones.
Van tour today to Medford, so I must go make my sandwich for lunch.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Spent the morning re-stocking the larder (what the hell is a larder?):  seasoned and roasted the chicken drumsticks I bought the other day, made a big salad, boiled several eggs, and cut up broccoli.  Now I'm set for a few days.
I had told Mary I'd go back to Produce Junction to get the heather plants I had seen there--twelve of them to dress our stage "garden" for Hedda.  I knew Aline was going to a retirement dinner for one of her co-workers, but called to see if she could accompany me.
She could and I picked her up at 2:00.  Susan had asked if I'd get her two, so I put the LETCO dozen in the trunk and hers in the back.  Drove to Mary's and rang the bell; we were surprised to see "my nephew," George (Tony), there.  I think he's off this week and I know he stays at the H.'s.
We unloaded the heather plants, put them in the garage, then I drove Aline to the Stafford library.  By the time I got home, it was after 4:00.  After doing stuff on the computer and eating a few drumsticks, I felt sleepy, so I lay down on the couch and took a nap.
That's unusual for me, but I hadn't gotten my full eight or more hours the night before and that's one of the perks of living alone: If you feel like napping, you can.  Woke up refreshed when it was almost 8:00, so I just got my jammies on and put my popcorn in the microwave, preparing to settle down.  But then---the phone rang!
Who in the WORLD would call me at this ungodly hour?!  It was eight o'clock at night, for heaven's sake!  Must be some grave emergency--!
Okay, okay, I'm joking.  I do prefer earlier calls, but even I am not ready for bed at eight.  I do want to emphasize that if it's one of my children calling, I don't care what time it is, I want to hear from them.
Turned out it was Pat L., a friend, but not an intimate one, who was just calling to chat.  I happen to know that Pat's routine is the exact opposite of mine: She stays up until 2 am or later, and often sleeps until that time in the afternoon.  We had a nice talk, promising to keep in touch, then said goodbye.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lunch And Rehearsal

Went to Produce Junction and took pictures of the plants for sale, to see if we can use them for the garden setting in Hedda.  Looked around at Boscov's, but didn't buy, then went to meet Betty for lunch.
We had planned on Carabezza's (?), but found it's only open for dinner on weekdays.  Switched to Outback and ditto for that.  Finally settled on The Golden Corral, as big mistake, as we both overate.
I spent an age looking for my two battery-operated lanterns, which we may use in Hedda.  Never found them, but borrowed Susan's and Mary subsequently approved it.
P. called to say he was backing up my pictures on Google +.  Very nice of him, but I was just about to leave and didn't have a chance to chat or to see Baby, who was breakfasting.
Full-run rehearsal last night.  Rick M. was there from The Sandpaper; he always writes up our performances, plus he acts himself, and is often in them.  It went okay--I'm glad Desi approved my fan, as if helps to do some business with it on stage--but it ran, of course, way long.  Well, it is as Ibsen wrote it; should have been cut, but wasn't, and that's the result.
Showed Mary the pics of plants on my Tablet and she approved them. Told her I'd go get them today, as long as I could leave them at her house.  I'll see if Aline is available and we'll drive over there.
To bed very late--after 11:00--and now I'm groggy, but game.  I'm just as glad we don't rehearse again until tomorrow night.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Didn't do a whole hell of a lot yesterday afternoon, except housework and computer stuff.  Called Betty and made a date for lunch today.  Aline asked if she could to sit in at rehearsal and I picked her up.  It was called for 4:00 because we were told we'd have costumes there, which Tara and Neil were going to pick out at Our Gang's place.  The plan was to distribute them, then do a full run.  Howsomever*...
...that didn't happen.  We got there at 4:00, found only Director Desi, and were soon joined by Mary and Brittany.  Ellen, Neil, and Kevin straggled in late, then Kathy--very late--but not Tony, who was on his way back from a business trip to North Carolina and was stuck in traffic trying to get here.
He never did arrive; last we heard, he texted Mary that he was at the Verrazano Bridge, for Pete's sake.  We rehearsed around him, but in a chopped up, fragmented way, with Mary reading his lines for some scenes.  However, my character interacts with him so much in the first act, it was pointless to get into it, and we didn't.  In addition, so far I've rehearsed the fourth act exactly twice, counting last night, and that's just too few.
Hey, folks, we open in nine days--aagh!  We should be doing a full run every single time we meet, but so far, that hasn't happened once.  Of course, we'll be able to rehearse on the actual stage only three times, so we should be shaking in our shoes...
But no.  This kind of situation happens all the time in this biz and we're all pretty sure it will come together on April 3.  I know it will and am not worried---well, a little worried, maybe...
As for the costumes, it turned out that, although Our Gang has practically a warehouse full--I've been at their facility--there was very little for the correct time period.  They did get a few things for Brittany and Kathy, but nothing for the rest of us, so the original idea that we'd rent them is back in play.  They won't come, however, for three days and if they don't fit or there's some other problem--okay, I won't go there.
*I'm not sure where that word came from--I doubt if it's literate--but I use it occasionally.  For some reason, I find it amusing.  "Howsomever..."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Funeral And Dinner

I'm late with this entry--good grief, it's after 8:00--as I got up only an hour ago. Looked at Google + to enjoy new videos and pictures of precious little K., then got a Skype call from Mike.  I was delighted to chat for a bit with Violet, then Vivian, and especially, to "meet" Paula's brother and sister-in-law, which I never had before.  Their daughter sings with a choral society and when they're in New York, as they sometimes are, we talked about me possibly meeting them there.
Also enjoyed new videos and still pictures of the big boy in Japan. He's such an active, curious baby, who takes an interest in all kinds of things, including plastic-coated hangers and a silicon pan.  Mike, Paula, and the girls will be going to visit them in two weeks.
Yesterday, I attended the service for Dennis F., held at the funeral home.  It was only quasi-religious; it included a recitation of the "Our Father," but otherwise, was a mishmash of Broadway tunes and sorrowful reminiscences by attendees. What I found most tiresome--naturally--was the inclusion of a military (Air Force) ceremony, which seemed to be a modification of the graveside ritual.  It was very theatrical, with a flag first folded, then unfolded and displayed in its full--uh, glory, by the two performers, then folded again, all with the jerky, mime-type movements that I suppose are considered properly serious.
Funny: Although I tossed Catholicism and other trappings of spiritualism years ago, I prefer the majesty and solemn grandeur of a funeral mass to what seemed to me a rather tacky send-off.  
After, mourners were invited to the Tuckerton Grille for lunch and I sat with Susan, Ray and Barb, Julie and Gary, the F.'s and the T.'s.  It was a buffet and a pretty mediocre one, if you ask me: salad, mixed veggies, and soggy chicken cubes and salmon.  Aside from the salad, it was all straight from cans, bottles, and the freezer, no question.  Dessert was a gluey mess of apples-from-a-jar with crumb topping.  Well, the coffee was good.
Got home to shower, change, and putter around before going across to Susan's at 6:00 for dinner with her and Walter, and daughter and granddaughter, Julie and Sophia.  Son and DIL, Jeff and Kim, came late, so I didn't see them.
I was immediately served with a Sapphire gin martini--to die for--then we had salad and lasagna, along with a robust red.  It was a convivial meal, with good talk and laughs, and I stayed until after 8:00.  Went to bed soon after and, as Susan said she wasn't going to walk today, slept late.
Just got a call from Aline, asking if she could come with me to rehearsal tonight, and sure, I'll pick you up, said I.
That brings my legions of followers (ha!) up to date and now I'm going to have breakfast.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Good One

A very pleasant, full day.  I picked Aline up at 11:30 and we drove the roughly 35 miles to Laurita Winery.  She loved it, as I knew she would, although there wasn't a lot going on yesterday.
First off, we dealt with the important thing: we had lunch.  The leek and cheese soup was very tasty and we went halves on a good-sized roast beef and cheddar sandwich.  I told the barmaid I wanted a "cheap white wine," which is just what I got, and I enjoyed it.
The main reason I wanted to go to the winery was to get a gift for Susan's birthday, which is tomorrow.  I had seen cocktail napkins with a parrot and funny saying on it and, as she has one--a parrot, not a funny saying--I bought it. Added a one-bottle wine holder, a kind of metal cylinder, very modernistic, which is Susan's decor preference.  I think she'll like both.
After, we explored the very large, multi-level building.  Aline especially liked the views and we sat and chatted for a time in one of the salons--I guess where brides-to-be arrange their weddings.  We came across an old piano which originally had been coin activated--there was a slot for a quarter--and Aline sat down and played several Irish tunes, including Rose of Tralee and others with which I'm familiar.  I was charmed and I'm sure others downstairs were, too.  A. said her father loved Irish songs and there was some speculation in her family that her great-grandmother, whose maiden name was Phillips, may have been Irish.
We stayed about three hours, then I suggested she may like to see Rider University, where I worked for 27 years.  Yes, indeed, and we went there. Disappointingly, it was Spring Break time--plus, it was Friday afternoon--and the campus was virtually deserted.  I didn't want to go into my old office, and I showed A. around the Student Center.  Ran into Tony Campbell, dean of students, and we had a nice chat after he said, "You hired me!"
Drove around the back to show A. the new residence halls (at Rider, they were never called "dorms") and by that time, it was 4:30 and time to leave.  We drove by my friend's house on the way home, but I saw they weren't home yet, so we didn't get out of the car.  However, as we were starting to drive away, friend drove up and we exchanged a few words via our car windows.
I had invited A. to stay for dinner, so she used my computer while I whipped up lemon pepper salmon, salad, and, because I had no potatoes and wanted to add a carb, boiled some elbow macaroni and opened a jar of spaghetti sauce.  With big glasses of iced tea and a yogurt Popsicle--or "Yosicle"--for dessert, it was a fairly okay meal.
It was 7:30 by the time I got home after dropping A. and I had no sooner settled down in front of the computer than sweet baby K. Skyped me.  Now I know he recognizes me: When he saw his Nana on the monitor, he broke out in a big baby grin!  What a little doll and how active and alert he is.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Still Clearing Out

Spent a fair amount of time adding to the piles of priceless treasures--junk--from the guest room closet and my friend came in the afternoon to haul them away. Considering picture frames alone, I have every imaginable size and shape.
I keep thinking the truly daunting task is the study closet, which I'm determined to tackle next, but it may not be as problematic as the kitchen cabinets.  I have four full sets of dishes: two everyday ones that I switch in spring and fall and a set each of Christmas and my mother's good china.  The last two have to be washed by hand, which means those are the ones I should get rid of, but of course, they're the ones I cherish.  I also have attractive Thanksgiving dessert plates and literally hundreds of glasses, serving dishes, extra cups and saucers, mugs, and you-name-its.  Add a good dozen or so tablecloths for both kitchen and dining room, cloth napkins, and place mats, and I could open a restaurant.
What gets me after this massive clearing out is the fact that I still have more of what's known as "stuff" than I can ever use, and certainly more than I need.   Well, I'll keep plugging away at it.
The previous post outlines my skirmish with the Highway Robbery Gas Company--thanks for deregulation, Ronnie--and even as I type, I can hear the damn heater running, although I turned the thermostat down to 68.  I dread the next bill, but short of freezing to death, doubt if there's anything I can do about it.
Rehearsal without blocking last night at the H.'s.  It would be called a "reading," except that we're off-book, so I guess you could call it a "reciting."  Went well, but we did the full run and it's l-o-o-n-g.  Hey, the sanctimonious nay-sayers fought tooth and nail against any revision, so we're stuck with a play that lasts three hours, not counting intermission.  
Wish I had looked at my e-mail last night when I got home. It was almost ten and I stayed up for my half hour of television and popcorn after.  I would have liked to have slept longer, but got up, washed and dressed, then found a message from Susan that she has an early appointment up north and wouldn't be walking.
Laurita Winery with Aline today.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gas Bill

IF YOU USE GAS HEAT: I just received a bill from gas supplier Constellation for $311.86 for ONE MONTH, up from $268.72 last month, which was bad enough. I made a series of phone calls, starting with New Jersey Natural Gas, which simply delivers the gas and does the billing, and found that Constellation charge 74.1 or $179.13 percent MORE than NJNG, to which I've now switched. It seems that these pirates can simply charge anything they want; supposedly, they're "regulated," but what that means seems to be they can--charge anything they want. Open your bill and check it, especially the comparative NJNG gas charge. I'm sure Constellation, of the Exelon Company, has a fleet of highly-paid executives who are chortling over the plight of those who were foolish enough to patronize their company. Spread the word to DROP CONSTELLATION, AN EXELON COMPANY, as your supplier.
For some reason, Picasa won't let me blog the picture of my bill here.  I do have it on Facebook.

Guest Room And Betty Mae

I actually got stuff done!  Cleared out the guest room closet, marveling at the incredible amount it held.  Of course, it's a double closet, running along the whole south wall, but still--both twin beds and my bed were filled, and I took some things out to the garage.  Emailed my friend and she said she'd be here today to haul the giveaways to the thrift store.
Took a break after lunch to go to Manahawkin in search of an umbrella.  I had had three of them, but one I lost, one broke, and the other's a large span golf umbrella too big for comfort most of the time.  Looked at Kohl's, K-Mart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and finally selected a cheapie at Wal-Mart.
I was stunned to get a gas (heat) bill of $311!  After last month's bill of $289, I set the temperature at what I consider a chilly 70 (from 73) and thought that would lower the bill, but clearly, it had no effect.
Had two enjoyable interludes:  As we had arranged earlier, my old friend from high school, Betty Mae McG. W. phoned, and we happily caught up with each other for an hour or so.  Betty--who seems not to use the "Mae" anymore--has had some difficult times, including the heavy losses of her husband and son--but is still game to experience life.  I remember her as a cheerful and buoyant teenager with a ready smile and she seemed little different on the phone.
Also got a Skype call from that six-month-old little dynamo, K.  Now there is no doubt that when he sees his Nana on the screen, he smiles and laughs--he recognizes me, I just know it!
Had to cut his virtual visit short, as we were rehearsing act 4 at the Community Center.  As usual, the further planned rehearsal schedule has been jettisoned, due to difficulty in getting into the Center.  We'll "read" tonight at the Henry's, then meet almost every evening until showtime, which is--
--YOICKS! two weeks from today!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lunch And A Death

Got a clean bill of (vision) health at my final eye doctor appointment. Aline had been out and about with Frank to put up posters and, as planned, we met at Wal-Mart, then went to Element for lunch.
This is a new restaurant where we had gone a few weeks ago and enjoyed. I had a less than satisfactory experience yesterday, though:  We were seated at a sunny and pleasant side room and I ordered a hot corned beef sandwich and a Blue Moon.  Got the sandwich, which was simply corned beef and bread--no mustard, mayo, or any other spread.  It came with fries and I asked the bus boy to bring catsup.  He went away and never came back.  I waited and waited for my beer and catsup--and to ask for mustard--but we weren't revisited by the waitress. Asked people at a nearby table if I could use their catsup and ate a few fries. Told Aline to start her salad.  She had asked for crackers and extra dressing, and she didn't get them either.  Finally, waitress reentered the area, a good twenty minutes after we had ordered, and I reminded her about my beer and mustard.  It must have been ten minutes after that, when she finally returned with them.  At that point, my corned beef wasn't even warm, which I told her; she asked if I wanted her to have it re-heated.  No, I'm just not going to eat it, I said.  With no comment, let alone an apology, she took it away and brought the check, just charging for the beer.  So annoying.  
After, we went down--over and down, that is--to Holgate to witness an angry sea, full of rollers and white caps, then stopped at the Little Egg Library.  Both Kathy D. and Lucille P. were there and we chatted with them for a few.  Home about 5:30 after an enjoyable day, notwithstanding the corned beef.
Sad news a few minutes after I got in, though:  Susan called to tell me that Dennis Fotopoulous has died. Dennis was in the drama club with me years ago and he and Mary-Jo were in Dine Around with me.  He was a big, jovial, out-going guy, well-known and well-liked in our community, but had been in poor health in recent years.  Susan asked me to help spread the word, and I called Marge first, then four other friends. Sigh...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Snow And Putin

Awoke to a winter wonderland--again--and now I think it's time for Mother Nature to get the hell out of Dodge.  I'm sick of snow, as is everybody else is around here.
Actually got all bundled up to go out and test it and found it wasn't slippery. However, it was still coming down and swirling around in the wind and, after rescuing my paper and Frank's, I decided I wasn't going to walk in it, whether Susan did or not.  She emailed me later to the effect that she didn't.
Got more stuff, mostly books and toys, hauled out from the guest room closet, for my friend to take to the thrift store.  Made a big salad and had it for lunch.
After lunch, I noticed the streets were clear and went up to Parkertown Auto to have my directional lights replaced.  They charged only $5.00 and pushed my right mirror back in; I had hit a pole with it the other night.  No charge for that, and I had the oil changed, too.  On the way home, stopped at Acme and got chicken thighs, which I roasted with lemon pepper.  Had one for dinner--very tasty.
Rehearsal last night for act 4.  It went well, as Desi was in a less dictatorial mood and I like the chance to show emotion on stage.  In this case, I had just lost my sister and am at Hedda's to share that with her.  We also did act 3, in which I don't appear; Desi was kind enough to reverse the sequence so I could leave after my part.
Eye doctor appointment today; the final one, I assume, then I'll meet Aline and we'll go to lunch.
WIDER:  Oh, yes, we pacifists are cynical about the true motivations of the government when it comes to prospects for war.  From AntiWar.Com, here's an interesting comment illustrating our mistrust:
 The larger question is why US politicians choose to depict Putin as a threat when they all know that the American military and intelligence are totally dependent on Russian good will. Why do I say this: Simply because all of the large US military and spy satellites carried on the Atlas V since 2002 have been put into orbit by RD 180 rocket engines. And who makes these engines for Lockheed Martin and Boeing? None other than the Russian company Energomash.
And of course, all of the vaunted US military supremacy is dependent on those very satellites.So why the big show over how wicked Putin is? Do you think maybe the military industrial complex needs a new enemy now that the Afghan war is finally winding down?  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Videotape And The FISA

Got a call from Maureen K., who asked me to add to the profile I'd doing some items on travel she and Carl have done.  Usually I ask those I interview this, but just forgot when I talked to them.  I now have enough material for a sizable book on this couple and have to boil it down to a page.
Put together a fairly okay pseudo-costume, packed up the car, and got to the H.'s by 5:00.  Frank was there to videotape and I did the opening scene with Ellen ("Berta"), another with Tony ("George"), and posed for still shots.  Hmm...we're paying a guy named Joe to do publicity, so why wasn't he there to videotape? For that matter, I know Frank and Aline went around places in Little Egg and the surrounding area to put up posters--why didn't Joe do it?  I'm not sure how much the organization is paying him, but so far, I don't see that he's done anything.
Rehearsal itself went fairly well, but ranged all over the map, as usual. Remembering my lines is no problem at all--never has been--but I'm still having problems with blocking.  At tonight's rehearsal, I must ask Mary, production manager, to show me her blocking info. Because we met early, I got home in time to Skype Ellen, always a pleasure, and we had a nice chat.  She informed me it had been 83 degrees in Ventura and, oh, how I'd love to be there.  It snowed last night, and I'm sick, sick, sick of it, the cold, and winter in general.
WIDER:  While re-reading my friend, Jim Wetzel.'s, blog, I came across this comparison in an entry from August, 2013.  In view of the sappiness that passes for serious discourse in this benighted country, I found this--and so much of his prose--highly entertaining.
The FISA so-called "court" being misled by the NSA is an interesting concept, on the order of Tessio being misled by Clemenza.  Both are fully-integrated components of the same organized crime family.
The rest of that post:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

P & P And Purim

Got home about an hour ago.  Spent the night at Betty's after attending the Players & Playwrights meeting at the Ventnor Library.  In honor of the Ides of March (yesterday's day, the fifteenth), we did an act of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, appropriately suggested by our (temporary) leader, wonderful actor, and valuable member, Ed Shakespeare (I kid you not).
Got to Betty's about 4:30 and she came in from church a bit after.  I hadn't eaten since breakfast, so we went to Johnny's for an early dinner.  Both had salmon, which was excellent.
Drove down to the breakwater at Longport to witness a thrilling display of good-sized waves crashing against the boulders.  Wish I had had my camera with me.
Later on, we chatted and laughed, then went to bed early.
I had been looking forward to going to the Purim play at Beth El Synagogue in Margate today at 3:00.  My friend, Louise S., is in it and friend, Denise, is directing.
But darn: I got an e-mail from our LETCO production manager to the effect that, rather than simply have rehearsal at 7:00, we were to be videotaped at her place on Nugentown Road at 5:00, then rehearse at 6:00.  The kicker was that we had to be in costume.  I knew I would never be able to attend the Purim play at 3:00 (even if I stayed only a short time), drive home (45 minutes or so), pull together a substitute 1890 costume (the ones we're renting won't be here until later), and drive the half hour to the site, all by 5:00 pm.  Regretfully, I sent Louise and Denise and email detailing the problem and apologizing for not being there.
So Betty and I met Helen C. for breakfast at the Northfield Diner--not sure why they frequent the place so much, as it seems pretty mediocre to me--then I went home and here I am.
Now must see what I have in the way of costume parts appropriate for Miss Juliana Tesman.    

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Craig's List And The K.'s

Somewhat of a pokey day.  Spent time listing items on Craig's List: dolls and a 1923 West Point yearbook.  Spent more time on the site looking up apartments in and around Ventura. Wow, are they expensive.
Went over to Maureen and Carl K.'s at 2:00 to interview them for a profile in The Breeze.  As is true with half or more of the couples I know, both were married before; she was widowed, he divorced.  Between them, they have eleven children and twenty-five grandchildren, plus a great-grand or two.  Carl collects Hummel figures, more than a hundred of which are displayed in a curio cabinet. I was surprised and amused to learn that there had been more of them which he had to relinquish as part of his divorce settlement.  ("You can have the kids, but I get the Hummels!")
The best part of the day was a "visit" from Jumpin' K., as his father calls him. Baby is now easily flipping all around his play mat, from back to stomach and over again, eagerly reaching for toys--and anything else he can get his hands on--smiling, gurgling, drooling, and generally showing off his rapidly advancing six-month-old skills.  What a treat to see that little sweetie and how I wish I could hold him.  Some day...
Players & Playwrights meeting in Ventnor today.  I'm staying overnight at Betty's, as I had planned to attend a Purim play in Margate tomorrow in which my friend, Louise appears, but that may be a problem.  It's at 3:00 and we have a Hedda rehearsal at 6:00, or possibly even earlier.  Not sure if I have to pull together and wear a costume (Frank is going to tape some scenes), but if so, it's going to be tough to get back in time if I attend the play.  There was supposed to be an e-mail firming this up, but it hasn't arrived yet.  As usual, confusion reigns when it comes to the theatre company--and, come to think of it, every other theatre company in which I've been involved.    

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cold, Hair, And A Card

Susan and I walked in bitter cold and a ferocious wind, righting blown-over recycle containers all the way.
Went down the street to Leslie's at 10:30; she had invited me for coffee, along with Emma M., whom I know slightly, and we had a convivial chat for an hour or so.
Got to Scissor Sisters at 2:00 for color with Kyle.  I must say it looks good, especially with the great cut she gave me a few weeks ago.  Guess it's worth the kings' ransom cost.
Received an adorable St. Patrick's Day card from Cutie K. in Tokyo.  Along with a shot of him surrounded by green, it contains this: "People will start talking about the luck of the 37.5 Irish with a Nana this nice."  It's signed by his Daddy, Mommy, and (squiggly line), the little Leprechaun himself. So precious and, with the other cards his Mommy has made over the years, I'll save it, of course.
Rehearsal last night, which was a bit worrisome.  We had been directed earlier by assistant Tara and Desi seems to be contradicting her interpretation at every turn. We got through it, though, and I stayed to watch a bit of the second act. Confusion reigned, as usual, when there was some question about time and location for Sunday's rehearsal.  I think it's going to be early; if so, I may not be able to stay for the Purim play in Margate in which my friend, Louise, is appearing.  Desi said he'd sent an e-mail to firm up plans.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Marilyn And The Warfare State

Tooled up to Trenton to meet Marilyn at 11:45.  We had a good lunch and good talk--we go way, way, back to 1975 when we met at Rider--but it was upsetting to see her using a cane. She's only in her fifties, but said it helps her tendinitis.* Besides being a department supervisor, Marilyn is an accomplished organist; she plays and directs a church choir and was a graduate of Westminster Choir College, long before Rider acquired it.
After we parted, I drove to Ewing and visited old haunts: our house on Lower Ferry; the cemetery where my dear friend, Elaine, resides (and will forever, presumably); and a few other spots.  It's odd that my life there--41 years of it--seems more remote and dreamlike than my childhood in Ventnor.  It feels almost as if I was a girl growing up, then made the transition to present day maturity (ahem) without anything in between.  Hmm...
Took a dry run--or a wet one, considering it had started to rain--to the Laurita Winery on the way home, as Aline and I are going there next week.  It was still early, though, so I drove up to Manahawkin and ran a few errands.
An okay day, different from most.
*That's what Spellcheck provided!  Why it should have an "i," instead of the "o," in "tendon," is beyond me, but there it is.
WIDER: The source of the current calamity-howling about Russia is the Warfare State–that is, the existence of vast machinery of military, diplomatic and economic maneuver that is ever on the prowl for missions and mandates and that can mobilize a massive propaganda campaign on the slightest excitement.
That's a bit of uncommon common sense from David Stockman and here's the rest:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sparklers And Aline

Met my fellow "Sunrise Sparklers" at the clubhouse for a short meeting.  Was told I owed dues and paid $24.  Only later did it occur to me to wonder what in the world that covers, as we pay for our own lunches; Women's Club dues are only fifteen bucks, for heaven's sake.  Will call our prez, Jo G., to ask.
We went to ScoJo's for lunch and I had liverwurst and raw onion on rye, one of my favorites.  Chatted easily with my end of the table, but again realized I didn't have a lot in common with most of these complacent, ever so conventional, conservative-to-the-bone-while-oblivious-to-what-that-means ladies.  But that will make it easier to leave and it was an O.K. excursion.  
Went directly from ScoJo's to pick up Aline.  We first stopped at Wal-Mart, where I got my medication and other items and A. picked up a few things.
Went to the Dollar Tree, where I had the thrilling experience--I'm serious--of selecting two more reading glasses.  I now have four, which cost a total of sixteen bucks, as opposed to almost a thousand for my pre-surgery specs: a "regular" for my severe myopia, a reading for close work, and prescription sunglasses.  I intend to buy a dollar store pair for about every room in the house, the car, my purse, and any other place I think of.
After this, we drove down to Long Beach Island.  I was terrifically thirsty--the liverwurst, I guess--and we stopped at a 711 for mango Slurpees, then proceeded to Holgate, one of our favorite places.  The water was magnificent, as ever, and it does something fine to both Aline and me to be there.
After, I took Aline home so she could see the video on Google+ of little K. playing a duet--Bartok--with Daddy.  Aline loved it and we looked at a few more of this little miracle smiling and cooing and sucking his thumb.  We then sat and talked and talked, our subjects ranging over music (always), critiques of my fellow performers, and The Godfather, movie and book, until I took my friend home after a good long day.
Came upon Jaws on the telly and saw about a half-hour before losing interest.  I was mildly engaged in wondering where the actors are now--some dead, I know.
Lunch with Marilyn today, to which I'm looking forward.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cold War

Here's a comment from a blog called "The Unz Review" about the situation in Ukraine and the Crimea. Seems to me it sums up the sorry situation pretty well, especially the fourth sentence.
Fran Macadam says:
It is appalling to think that a Cold War we were told was fought against communism threatens to come back fully aggressive and metastasized like a returned cancer. But it turns out the disease was partly misdiagnosed the first time, mistaking side effects for the underlying disease. It wasn’t just about fighting communism after all, or only making the world safe for democracy. Somewhere along the way, it morphed into making the world safe for a certain set of transnational oligarchs, and has now become a struggle for one clique’s set over another’s. Cabals of donorists aren’t interested in democracy, here at home or abroad, except to buy it up. The policies we get stuck with the losses for, as the American public, are the ones they have their politician employees carry out for their own financial interests, not ours. When will we be sick of this enough, to say, Enough! as our incomes drop, our opportunities disappear and our jobs are offshored? When elites enrich themselves with threats of ever greater aggression? Do they prefer to corner us into a hot war, because they see the potential for profit is beyond any previous limit, as mad as they have become with greed? The President and his ill-advisors seem incapable of realizing the consequences of their intemperate domination gambits – John Kerry, having forgotten the early lessons of his long ago return from Viet Nam, tweeted from Kiev that he’s reminded there is nowhere in the world so remote that it isn’t essential to U.S. economic and security interests – and values. Just what would those lost values be? Which of his own moral decorations has he tossed over the White House fence at this late date?

Not Much

Aside from mundane chores, didn't do much yesterday except make a salad and laze around.  Called Leslie to see if she wanted to re-join the Women's Club; she isn't sure, will consider, and invited me over for coffee on Thursday.  Took my dues over to Dottie P.'s.
Rehearsal last night went well--I think.  Got little feedback from Desi, so in light of his directing style, guess I'm doing all right.  Tara was there and measured us for costumes, which she'll rent. I had e-mailed Ellen that I'd be happy to read lines and go over blocking with her separately and she thinks it's a good idea.
We added a rehearsal on Thursday and at next Sunday's, we'll approximate costumes and publicist Joe will do a video, then put it on Facebook.
Had a nice Skype "visit" with Ellen--my Ellen, that is--then toddled off to bed.

Monday, March 10, 2014

B.J.'s And Rehearsal

Zipped on up to B.J.'s to get boxes for books I'll donate, of which I have a multitude.  The problem is, I really don't want to give them up.  After all, how can I exist without the bio of Kate Smith and the two about the Rosenberg execution (I met one of the sons), and interesting accounts of people who fall over the edge at the Grand Canyon?  Well, I weeded some out, anyway, and will hunt down more.  Changed the bed, washed several loads, and otherwise occupied myself like a good little housewife.
Rehearsal last night at the New Gretna church.  We did the first act, which Ellen V., as my maid, and I, as the nosy aunt, open. Our dialogue contains a lot of explanatory information that's crucial for the audience to know before the other actors come on stage.  I'm worried about Ellen's performance, as she's far from off book.  When she does remember her lines, they're often jumbled.
Ibsen was a superlative playwright and he didn't put anything superfluous in Hedda, so the play needs to be acted as written.  Also, it's nerve-wracking to have to worry about being fed lines properly.  Think I'll ask Ellen if she wants just the two of us to meet to go over it.
Got some new videos of six-month-old K., one of him playing a piano duet with his Dad. I wasn't crazy about their interpretation of Chopin, but the Bach sounded good (HA!).
Rehearsal tonight at the community center.  

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Pleasant Day

It was a gloriously warm and sunny day, but I didn't have a chance to spent much time outside.  Moving right along, I took the yearbooks to my pal, Jim, at Unshredded Nostalgia in Barnegat.  Unfortunately, he told me college yearbooks don't sell, although N.J. high school yearbooks do.  Wouldn't you know, I have only Pat's and mine and wouldn't let them go.  Jim offered me a measly five bucks for the 1923 Howitzer, which I declined in favor of putting it on Craig's List.
However, Craig seems not to care for me, as both my friend and I tried to post my stuff, then contact them, and we get back unrelated e-mail.  Will keep trying.
Went through a lot of boxes containing my mountain of memorabilia, including one containing condolence cards and letters from to my mother when my father was killed in 1950.  Thought I'd try to discard some to consolidate, but naturally, couldn't bear to.
Got up to my friend's a bit after 4:00.  She and her guy had spent the day clearing out the garage, and she and I went to the Goodwill donation center in Allentown to drop off donations.  Their web site and a sign on the door said they were open until 7:00, but they weren't.
We stopped at a dollar store nearby, then back to her place for a tasty dinner of bow tie pasta and turkey meatballs.  I stayed only until about 7:00, then left; got home with no problem.
Rehearsal tonight at the New Gretna church.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Clearing Out And Betty Mae

A busy, productive day, I'm happy to note.  Started in right after breakfast clearing out the walk-in closet--it's unbelievable all I had in there.  By the time I finished, I had covered my bed, the guest room beds, and several other flat surfaces. These were clothes, books, and innumerable other items I had to have or I would have died and now I can't even remember why I bought them.
Incredibly, I came across six yearbooks from Villanova University from the early fifties.  As I recall, I salvaged them from my mother's after she went to St. Mary's; why she had them, I have no idea and why I took them--dunno that, either.  Also found a 1948 Rider yearbook.  I must have bought them at yard sales just because I like all that old stuff.  Out they go.
I interrupted my labors to put the drops in my eyes and was taken aback to find I had no more of one kind.  Called eye doc office, asked if I could get a sample and, after lots of back-and-forth on the phone, was told they had some in Galloway about 20 miles away. Jumped in the car and got them--that teeny vial would have cost me $124 if I hadn't asked for a sample--and got home in time to collect the mail and find the important letter Mike said was coming.  God knows what he's involved in--best not to ask--but I sent it to him global express, which cost $65.95.  No prob: He beefed up my BOA account considerably a few months ago.
Got back in time to greet my friend and we packed up her SUV.  She'll take all my stuff to the Goodwill, which she favors because it hires disabled people. She's my inspiration, as she and mate have a target date for putting their house up for sale and have been engaged in clearing out and cleaning up for months.  I want to be as diligent and must not kid myself that getting one closet in shape is the equivalent of having the house ready to sell.  Happily, my friend issued me an invitation to dinner tonight, which I was happy to accept.  
I was pleased to get e-mail from my old--uh, longtime--friend, Betty Mae W., with whom I've been in touch on Facebook.  I'm happy to be reconnected with her, as I am with Jeanne P.; we graduated from Holy Spirit together a million years ago  Betty lives in California and, as that's where I'm headed eventually, I hope we can get together in person someday.
The delicious icing on the day's cake (well, that's an awkward metaphor) was a Skype call from yummy little K. in Tokyo.  He'll be six months old tomorrow and what a little doll.  I know he recognizes his Nana because--I swear--he smiles so big every time he sees me on the monitor.
Only down side of the day was the sulkiness of my printer, now refusing to do anything for me and displaying some kind of error message.  Damn, I hate these electronic spoiled brats, on which I'm so dependent--oh, but not you, computer baby, not you!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Day After Left Eye

After a slightly rocky start, the day turned out pretty nice.  I was upset over the library display window, which I hadn't gotten back to since Saturday.  It looked pretty tacky and I wanted to try to improve it.  Selected a few items I thought might help and picked Aline up at 11:00.  I improved the display to an extent, but it still doesn't look terrific.  I may tweak it a bit more, if I can think of a better presentation.
Stopped at the post office, then went to Wal-Mart where I got vacuum cleaner bags and direction lights for the car; must now get them installed.  Went across to B.J.'s and returned the web cam Mike had bought me, as it doesn't go on the t.v., after all.
By that time, it was almost 2:00, so we went to the doctor's office. I was taken in a few minutes and the eyes look good.  I again expressed by amazement to the doctor that the lens implant had actually cured my myopia of so many years.  I also asked what in the world had made her go into ophthalmology (who would choose to stick things into peoples' eyes, for heaven's sake?) and she said both her parents were opticians. Also, she herself has "plus ten" myopia which, she assured me, is even worse than mine--then mine was, that is.  When I asked why she didn't get the lasik surgery, she laughed and said, "I'm chicken."  I suggested she knew too much and she agreed.
By the time we got to Olive Garden for late lunch, it was 3:00, but no matter.  I had gotten all my errands done with my friend for company and I felt the good soup and salad were richly deserved.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


I've worn progressively thicker glasses since I was six years old.  By the time I was grown, I was so myopic that without them, I couldn't clearly see anything more than a few inches away. I wore contacts when I was younger, but after a time, they didn't seem worth the hassle.  As I got older, I also developed near-sightedness.  It seems unfair that the two don't balance each other out, but they don't.  I started wearing tri-focals and also had "up close" glasses, as well as prescription sun glasses.  Of course, I was constantly whipping them on and off and trying to keep track of all three.
I've always been terrified of going blind.  The fear may have grown partly because when I was a kid, my mother suggested I learn braille.  She meant well, I know, and it was just a casual comment, but I was impressionable and subject to a vivid, not to say wildly active, imagination.  I half-believed she had received word I would eventually go blind.  Nobody else in my birth family had myopia, and my twin sister didn't wear glasses, so I was the different one.
In middle age, I developed cataracts, adding to my poor eyesight.  My children kept urging--"nagging" might be the more appropriate word--me to get them removed. Oh, no, no; what if the scalpel slipped or the doctor was drunk?  But after years of resistance, I finally consented.  A few weeks ago, I had surgery on my right eye and yesterday, on the left.  How did it turn out?
Like a friggin' miracle.  I can see without glasses to drive, look at people, and walk around.  I'm simply stunned at being able to go about my everyday life without something on the bridge of my nose.  I was told I must wear sunglasses on sunny days--but I can buy myself a glamorous pair that don't have to be prescription!  I also need glasses for close work, but get this: The ones I'm wearing now are perfectly fine and they cost eight dollars.  Why, I could buy a dozen pair and have them all over the house!
Anyway, I'm still getting used to this incredible freedom and will be eternally grateful to my children, medical science, and Nicole M. Pritz, M.D.


Eye And Carpets

When we got home yesterday, I napped for a time while my friend, the dynamo, did various.  After I got up, she went to Acme, coming back with salmon, lettuce, tomato and a large carpet cleaner.  It proved not to be effective, though, and she used the cleaner I already had on the living room and study, which look a lot better than they did.
I bestirred myself enough to sweep up the ice melter I had frantically spread on the front walk in order to get into Barb's car on Tuesday.  Made a salad and puttered around with a few other things.
Jeanne P. called and I enjoyed talking to her; as I did Aline.  I'll pick her up for an excursion today; of course, I have to go back to the eye doctor, too.  Tonya e-mailed that we have to get the NJPerry Award applications in soon, so we'll drop the info off at her place today, I guess.
Friend cooked up delicious salmon and we had that with salad for dinner.  We then tried to put my dolls on Craig's List, but were unable.  She does it all the time and I know was directing me correctly, but for some reason, I never got the confirming e-mail, although we did it properly twice.  She also showed me how to get games on my Tablet, and I've been having a lot of fun with that.
My friend, who's in that special category of "I don't know what I'd do without her" left at 8:00, taking my grateful thanks and love with her. But no fear, I have plenty left for her sibs and to a lesser extent, a few others.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Flower Show And Eye

Yesterday: Philadelphia Flower Show with Barb H., her sister, Pat, and Susan.  Got to Bob's about 8:00 and left on buses a half hour later, arriving some time after 9:00.  It didn't open until 10:00, so we went across the street to Reading Terminal Market for crepe breakfasts.
Show was very impressive, as ever.  This year the theme was "Articulture" with lots of tie-ins to art and flowers.  Beautiful displays, scads of people, and roughly six hours of walking non-stop.  We had lunch at the market, too, looked around there and got on the bus to arrive back at Bob's Garden Center at 5:00.
Happily, the streets and our driveways were clear--it was worth my life to get in Barb's car when we stated off--and I had time to freshen up, return a few calls, and get read for rehearsal at the H.'s in the woods.
Brittany, their daughter, who plays Hedda was there, Jim and Mary being still in California.  She had put wood in the wood-burning stoves, but unfortunately, smoke had somehow escaped and practically filled the room where we rehearse.  In addition, it was so damn cold--surely 60, if not less--that we all kept our coats on.
We had been called for act 3 and 4, but act 3 took so long, it was 9:30 before it was over.  I'm in act 4 and we stayed to run over that, but I had no hesitation in reminding Tara (assistant director, but in truth, director) I had to leave to get my other eye done at 6:30 am the next morning.  We ran over it quickly,but I still didn't get home until well after I'm usually asleep; stayed up for popcorn and iced tea, and didn't get to bed until after 11:00.
However, my friend got here, I was up and dressed in time, I got the eye done, and now I'm back.  There's still a long regime of eye drops and, of course, the eye isn't fully operational yet, but I think it's going to to great.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Snow And Justice

And the snow came down and down...
Not sure how much we actually got, but I'd say more than four inches.  It was windy, too, so there were lots of drifts.   Susan and I walked anyway, as it was crunchy, not slippery, but our umbrellas kept blowing inside out and the snow was the icy, stinging type, so we cut it short.
Other than that, I was in all day, a rarity for me.  Talked to Betty five or six times, plus Jeanne P., plus the eye doctor's office, plus brother Frank, plus Frank Next Door, plus Susan, Barbara, and my friend up north.  Frank N.D. said Desi's plane from Florida had been cancelled, so he won't be in until today.
Rehearsal was cancelled for last night.  We'll have it tonight at the Community Center if Frank can get the key; otherwise out in the woods at the H.'s.
The high point of the day was a Skype visit with adorable K., now high-steppin'--in a manner of speaking--all around his baby mat.  Maybe it's more accurate to call it "high rumpin'," as he kind of maneuvers himself around with a combination of rolling legs and throwing arms.  He's so bright, curious, and active, he seems to his Nana just the quintessential almost-six-month-old.  
JUSTICE: Just as I was going to bed last night, I heard scraping sounds and discovered that two men were clearing Frank's front walk and porch; they then moved on to mine.
They were from the service, Meticulous, of course, but this was after nine at night, for heaven's sake, and it was so damn cold.  You can talk all you want about inequities and how so few have so much and others so little and about following Jesus and helping the poor, but to be confronted with it--!  How is it that I was snug and warm in my attractive, much-too-big-for-one-person, home with my possessions (and so many of them!  Things I don't even need!) around me, about to climb into a comfortable bed and looking forward to the Philadelphia Flower Show today--and these other people were shoveling my walk in the dark and the cold?
I'm not religious, but I'm human and I know it can't be right.  It can't.        

Monday, March 03, 2014

Rehearsal And Snow (Or No)

Mostly puttered around during the day, except for an excursion to Acme in the afternoon.  Rehearsal at 7:00, which went well except for a fellow actor's stumbling (she's far from off-book) and my lapse of memory re blocking.  I find this harder by far than remembering the words; will write reminders on the script, which I should have done in the first place.  Called El when I got home and we had our usual good weekly virtual visit.
Called brother Larry and was sorry to be told his old friend, Jack B., has been diagnosed with lung cancer.  Not sure yet what will be done, if anything.  Called Betty and will go down there today, but first see if I can do anything with the library showcase Susan said she'd help.
The usual over-reaction to a light snow has ensued: a "monster storm" was supposedly coming our way, but what I just saw outside was a scant inch or so. Hope it's not slippery.
Later:  We took a truncated walk; it wasn't slippery, but the snow is still coming and it looks more like three or four inches now.  Talked to Betty and we decided to postpone my going down there.  Too bad, as I'm booked for the rest of the week; hope I can somehow get down there.
Still Later: Good grief, Betty just called to say she had an e-mail from the contractor she's been using for more than a year and he wants to drop her.  Too long and involved to go into, but it stinks and now she has this to contend with, as well as so much else.  

Sunday, March 02, 2014

From October 31, 2009

Wider: I dip into the libertarian blog every once in a while, although there's a slew of stuff there I can't stomach. An example? This, by Pat Buchanan (yes,that Pat Buchanan), writing about the folly of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
"While these two wars have cost 5,200 dead, a trillion dollars and a divided America facing an endless war, what have we won?"
That little sentence, those handful of words illustrate the immensity of American hubris. So the dead total 5,200. That's five thousand, plus two hundred. It's a bit more than half of 10,000. I think it's actually about the same as the total population of the small town where I grew up. That's a lot of people. Such a shame. How dreadful. Of course, that's the total, which isn't TOO bad, of human beings killed over there, right?
Wait, there are more? Men, women, and children? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Don't be silly, no such thing, that's just crazy, you're wrong, you got rocks in your head.
Well, if you're gonna count the animals who live there--!

St. Teresa's And The Library

Went back to St. Teresa's in the morning to attend a memorial mass for the sister of an acquaintance, Rosemarie M.  I had worked with Rosemarie on an early version of our community paper, Sunrise, and had met her sister.  Got there a little late, but that was okay.  As I was leaving, I met Mary S., whom I had seen at A Night At The Opera.  In mock amazement, she said, "Heavens, here you are at church two days in a row!"  I laughed and said, "Yes, the earth just jolted to a stop, I guess."
After assembling the Hedda stuff for the library display window, I discovered I had no tacks or push pins, so went over to Dollar General to get some.  While there, I bought a pair of eight dollar reading glasses; it's incredible to me that I can actually use them, at least for the right eye.
At the library, it was frustrating to try to arrange the window to look less--or more--than tacky.  The damn thing is so ugly, with metal supports or braces or whatever they are, which holds a glass shelf in the middle. I wanted to cover as much as possible with my lengths of black and green cloth.  I've done it before, but got very nervous on the top step of my step stool and found it hard to adequately cover the brackets.  Don't like the finished product at all.  I want to bring somebody back to help, but I'm booked for most of next week, and don't know when I can get back there.
After, thought I'd go to Shop-Rite, but once I was in Manahawkin, realized it was Saturday and the place would be jammed.  Turned right around and went to Acme instead.  That was jammed, too, I guess by people who think yet another Storm of the Century is coming.  However, I got what I wanted and got out of there.
Betty called to say Larry had told her Jack B. has lung cancer.  Damn--yet another in a long line of smokers who paid the price for Bogart sophistication--including Bogart.  Betty said Larry had tried to call me, but I wasn't in.  I had promised Betty I'd go down there "for moral support" on Monday, and I will, but I hope to take time to do something with the display window first.          

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Lunch, Opera, And My Expensive Eyes

I decided to devote yesterday--some of it, anyway--to trying to lower the cost of the outrageously expensive eye drops I must again take for three days.  I called Bausch & Lomb and spoke to somebody who said I could get a coupon for $50 off for one of them, but no, they wouldn't send it electronically, only through the mail.  Scratch that, as I have to start them tomorrow.  Finally got a number which the pharmacist would have to call to get the Rx code, or whatever it is, to possibly reduce the cost.
Aline then called and I asked if she was available for lunch.  Sure, and we decided on a late one at Elements, a new (or newly taken over) restaurant in Manahawkin.  Picked her up, then went back to the eye doctor's, pleading my case for a sample.  The day before, they had said they had no more, but the assistant looked again and--yes!  She gave me the Prolensa.  This was, wouldn't you know, the less expensive one ($124), but hey, it was something.
We went to lunch--Elements immediately became a favorite--then to Wal-Mart to see if they would recognize either of the--supposedly dollars off--coupons I had printed out.  Also gave them the phone number for B & L.  They said it would be at least an hour, so we cooled our heels with this and that.
Went back and found they were able to get thirty bucks off; okay, I'll take that.  So the two cost a total of $133--still highway robbery, but better than before.
We didn't get out of there until after 5:00, but luckily, Aline didn't have to go home before A Night At The Opera, so I just brought her back to my place.   While I changed and applied make-up, she looked at her e-mail on the computer (she doesn't have one) and we were ready in time for Frank and Barbara to pick us up.
It was a wonderful show: a mother and daughter singing arias from various operas--I actually recognized some--as well as German and Irish folk songs, "art songs," and other selections.  We chatted with several Sunrise Bay attendees and enjoyed the complimentary non-alcoholic cider and cheese and crackers.  After, we went up to thank the singers and Aline told them she had seen the mother at the Met twenty years ago.
Got home by 9:30 to hear a message from brother Frank.  Called him back and had a nice chat with him and Marybeth.
Busy, but good and productive day.