Friday, February 28, 2014

Eyes And Hedda

Leslie and Dennis pulled into my driveway a little before 10:30 and we got to the eye doctor's in fifteen minutes--early, of course.  They were very crowded and late taking me in, though.  However, doc looked, everything's jake, and I'm getting the other eye done next Wednesday.
That's great, but what isn't is the cost of the two tiny vials of eye drops with which I have to prep.  I asked the pharmacist at Rite-Aid to find out and here it is: $315. How in the hell is it possible for 0.07 and 0.05 ounces of something to cost that much?  I protested it last time and was given samples, but received a letter from Horizon to the effect that they wouldn't provide them again.  When my friend stopped to pick up the t.v. (she'll take it to public works), she suggested I call the manufacturing company to see if I somehow get it as a sample or something.
And here's another thing: Tonya can't find the LETCO star banner I wanted to use in the library showcase, which means I'll have to re-think the entire display for Hedda.  Damn, the banner is so eye-catching and would have made a perfect backdrop; well, guess I'll just have to re-design the damn window.  For that matter, I don't have any posters, either--where are they at this point?  One should be prominently displayed or at least, somehow incorporated--guess I'll ask Frank if he knows where any are or if they've even been approved by Surflight.  I reserved the window for March and have to dress it tomorrow because I'm booked every other day.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hair, Nails, And Impulsivity

Yipee and yahoo, I finally got my hair cut.  I have fairly thick hair, but it's fine and "fly-away," as my mother used to say, and in the winter, tends to get all static-y and hard to manage.  It seems grossly unfair that my twin sister was favored by the hair gods--beautifully wavy and falling just so around her face--while I must have somehow pissed them off.
Anyhoo, my hair looks good in a kind of page-boy-without-the-bangs style, exactly as I used to wear it when I was five years old.
Susan is getting a medical procedure herself, so I asked Leslie if she'd take me to the eye doctor today.  She will, but husband Dennis will drive.  I was a bit taken aback, as I know Les is timid about driving, but thought she was comfortable with Manahawkin.  Guess not.
On impulse--damn, I'd spend my whole life impulsively, if I could*--I jumped in the car about 5:00 and went to the fingernail place.  I've had a lot of problems lately with my nails; three have broken far down, including my left thumb nail, and boy, they're sore.  Plus, my hands are so dry that some of my fingertips actually have little splits in them.  My nails looked gorgeous when I had the "gel" polish put on--thirty bucks with tip, but it lasts for weeks--but now I wanted it removed to try to recover my--well, nail health.  The point here is, you can't remove it yourself unless you have pure acetate, as it doesn't come off with regular polish remover.
So-o-o, I went to Sunset Nails and explained the problem, emphasizing that is wasn't the fault of Sunset Nails.  The proprietor was kind enough to remove the gel and he refused to charge; I did insist on giving him a tip.  My nails look bad at this point, but I'll shape them and put on some colorless until they grow out.      
* This is such a crock!  Everybody loves to think of themselves as crazy, kooky, adorable free spirits who aren't hemmed in by convention.  They have no problem characterizing themselves vocally that way, either.  In truth, I don't know anybody who deviates from the norm--albeit it's a broad one--by even a miniscule percentage.  I, for one, am mainly a creature of habit and, except for inconsequential variables, am most comfortable in my own little, well-worn "track."  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Stupidest Idea In The Histoy Of The World

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBvJY9swTkw&feature=youtu.be

My Tuesday With Aline

There was a best-seller out several years ago called My Tuesdays With Morrie. I read part of it before I had to put it aside for fear of tossing my cookies.  For plebeian, cliche-ridden, sanctimonious hogwash, it probably has no peer, but wouldn't ya know, it was esteemed among what Menchen used to call "the boobsie"--the American public.   Just as an illustration of its elephantine preciousness, Wikipedia notes that one of the major themes is "as Schwartz's condition deteriorates, so does the hibiscus plant on top of Schwartz's study..."  Aagh!
With that long and maybe unnecessary prologue--I just like to vent--I'll explain my post title: Aline and I spend almost every Tuesday together, as that's the day she's usually off. Yesterday, we went to the Tuckerton Grille (not to be confused with the Tuckerton Pub) for a nice lunch; for me, a chili bowl and Yuengling.
Aline asked if I wanted to go to "A Night At The Opera"--not Groucho, but real opera with real opera singers--on Friday evening at St. Theresa's.  Frank-Next-Door had offered to take her and I called to see if I could tag along.  Yes, indeed, and A. and I went over to the church to buy tickets.  
Back at my place, I gave A. a yogurt Popsicle* and she "heard me" say my lines.  Of course, we also talked and talked and I showed her the latest pics of darling little K, in Tokyo.  She thinks he's just adorable and, naturally, I have no argument with that.  Took my friend home about 5:00 after a pleasant day.   
I'm getting my hair cut today, finally, and can't wait to have it shorter.
* Hmm, I guess that's a copyrighted name, as "Thermos" is, although both seem to have passed into the general lexicon.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Salad, Chicken, And Dates

Made a tasty salad for lunch and generally puttered around after I got home from Betty's.  In late afternoon, I ventured to Shop-Rite, bought a big package of chicken legs, oiled and seasoned with lemon pepper, and popped them in the oven.  Had one for dinner and it was delicious.
Talked to Betty and brought my desk calendar up to date, pencilling in March and April dates.  Besides rehearsals and monthly meetings, I'm going to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show; a Purim play my friend, Louise, is in; a Trenton Thunder baseball game; and a luncheon for Joe L., who's a member of our Players & Playwrights group.  Also have down my reservation of the library display case for Hedda; must remind Tonya that I need our LETCO "star" banner.
Yes, I still use a paper desk calendar that lies in front of my computer, rather than an electronic device.  Suits me better.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

From An Earlier Entry

From May31, 2010.  Has anything changed?
WIDER: Chris Floyd's post today on his "Empire Burlesque" is one of great power and passionate intensity. It includes:
"...we live today in networks given over to death and domination -- rapacious, aggressive, degraded and degrading...We are now hurtling a thousand miles an hour in the wrong direction, deeper into death and degradation, which are no longer resisted, or lamented, or regretted, or even debated, but embraced and celebrated, in a sickening inversion of the 'civilized values' that our degraded, militarist-corporatist system purports to defend."
He goes on to say:
"Nowhere is this better exemplified than in America's current political state, where a warmongering, corporate-coddling political hack who claims the tyrannical power to assassinate anyone on earth or imprison them for life without charges or trial is somehow considered a "progressive," a "liberal," or, god help us, a "socialist" ... while his most vocal and powerful opponents rail against him for not being even more degraded, elitist and death-ridden."

Talent Show

Just got home from Betty's, where I spent the night after the talent show at Shalom House.  I wasn't enthusiastic about it at first, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.
I had gotten to Betty's about 3:00 and we went out for a late lunch/early dinner at Downbeach Deli.  I had chopped chicken livers and fried onions on rye--peculiar because it was cold, but I thought it was good.
I asked Betty to take me to Shalom House and back, as it's still very difficult for me to see in the dark; she did and stayed to see the show.  Got there at the stated time of 5:30 for rehearsal and the show went on at 7:00. Besides our silly little play, written by Sondra M., there was a guitar player who did John Denver and Beatles songs, a woman who played the flute--gamely, but badly--a female trio of residents who combine Blue Moon and do-wop, and an autistic man who was born with no eyes.  Yes, just as my husband's great-nephew was.
Anyway, it was fun and we were home by 8:30   Got our jammies on and had popcorn and grape drink, along with some good sisterly talk. Slept soundly and didn't get up until 7:00, almost two hours later than usual.  Betty made me a breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, then we thought we'd go over to the Somers Point Museum.
Unfortunately, we found it's open next only on March 14 or something.  We just went over to Produce Junction and stocked up on romaine, broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts.  Once we got back to Betty's, we said goodbye and off I went.\
Nice day and a half, I must say.

Blog Comment On Puns

Here's a gem of a comment from my cyber-pal, Jim.  I STILL don't have the vaguest idea what it means.
 Jim Wetzel said...
Those are all wonderful, but I'm partial to #2. The pun is, perhaps, the highest form of humor.
By the bye, here's an optical joke:

Did you hear about the blonde optical engineer? She designed a camera lens, and totally ignored both primary chromatic aberration AND spherochromatsm. When her colleagues demanded to know why she left these aberrations uncorrected, she laughed and laughed. After all, she knew the camera would only be used to take black-and-white pictures!

Oh, I just crack myself up sometimes, I really do!
5:27 PM
 Delete
Mimi said...
Jim, I'm afraid ONLY an engineer could understand this, let alone think it's funny! I laughed, but mainly because I don't have the faintest idea what any of your terms mean. I think that's funny in a weird sort of way. Thanks for sharing, though--uh, I think...
8:51 PM
 Delete

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Various

Had nothing planned, so I was pleased when Betty called to ask if I was available for lunch.  Yes, indeed, and we met at Italian Gourmet.
The place was packed, with three different gatherings in the private rooms, plus the usual Saturday lunch crowd.  Had a leisurely and tasty meal, though, and good sisterly talk, of course.
Home, I finally revised my theatre bio, selected and copied my head shot from "Arsenic," and sent them off to Ellen V., for the "Hedda" program.
I was pleased to get an e-mail from the Friends of Lifelong Learning at Stockton (FELS) president, confirming my assumption of an acting class for next semester, which will run from October to March of 2015.  This is a new venture for me and boy, am I excited.  It even carries a stipend, which is just icing on the cake.
Received a Skype call from Tokyo and thanks to Team Viewer, handed over my computer to son, P., who restored Word through some magic or other--Hallelujah!  A happy bonus for me was interacting with precious K., who's all smiles and giggles now that he's a big boy of five and a half months.
While we were still engaged, Ellen called P. and I asked him to let her know I wouldn't be available for our usual Sunday evening virtual get-together.  She called me the old-fashioned way later--by phone--as she won't be home until today, either, and we had a good chat.
I'm in A Peaceful Reunion at Shalom House in Ventnor tonight, then I stay over at Betty's in Margate.  I'm not looking forward to the former, but will enjoy the latter. "Reunion" is just a reading--no blocking or what I would call "real" acting--and I'll be glad when it's over.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Post From The Past

I've decided to occasionally re-post some former entries of mine--those of the pacifist persuasion, that is.  This is from June, 2009:

Wider: Just in case we ever delude ourselves that our elected representatives are upstanding human beings--or even as upstanding as a second-story man-- note this from Anti-War.Com: 
"Despite growing opposition, the House of Representatives today narrowly passed the $106 billion war funding bill today, 226-202. The vote capped weeks of major debate about the merits of several provisions of the bill, notably the guarantee of $108 billion in credit to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)." Two dem politicians are quoted, one to the effect that the bill "still sucks" but "we're in the process of mopping up in two wars...." The other said she doesn't believe the bill has merit but "I want to support my president."
Well, finally! A politician who's honest. Clearly, what she's actually saying is "I realize this bill is an abomination and will only further support the pain and suffering we inflict on others, but politicsand my loyalty to the brand must take precedence over any other considerations including, of course, those of morality."
No damning adjective is too strong for these monsters.

Nothing Of Interest

Friday: foggy and draggy.  Walked in the misty morning, but at least it was much warmer.  Boiled up a chicken carcase (ugh, that sounds nasty) and added onions, spices, and rice to make soup.  Put carrots, orange juice, and cinnamon in the slow cooker.  Talked to Betty.  Xfinity guy came to inspect some kind of wires or something on the side of the house.  Went to Target for food items and a card for Jason, who just turned eleven.  Rain and wind all day.
In other words, nothing even remotely of interest went on.
 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lunch And Rehearsal

Picked up Pat L. at 1:00 and we went to Cuisine On The Green.  Now restored to its place as one of my favorites, C.O.T.G. serves excellent lunches, although the beer is still five bucks a pop.  Stuck to water and had their good sesame chicken.
We were served by Evan, a cheerful guy with whom we got chummy right away.  It turns out he's the son of the hostess, Sandi, who actually recognized me, possibly because of my e-mail comments.  It seems he was just filling in for the wait staff; he confided that he's a cosmetology student at Ocean County Vo Tech, which uses the restaurant as a training ground for chefs and related personnel.
It was an enjoyable excursion with Pat, who has some interesting--not to say jaw-dropping--family history.  The topper is the fact that her father cohabited with his own former daughter-in-law after her divorce, designating her his common law wife.  Later, after her lover died, this woman went back to her husband, Pat's brother.  Incredibly, I've met both husband and wife (Jean), a very large woman, who seems about as far from a femme fatale as it's possible to be (see blog entry of 10/3/11). Dropped Pat off and went to the post office and Acme.
I had almost forgotten that Aline and I were asked to represent LETCO for the New Jersey Perry Awards.  What that entails is reviewing and critiquing plays by other theatre companies, then submitting our observations to the organization, which eventually names the best plays, actors, and so on.  Talked to Aline and we made a date for Tuesday; will bring her the submission form then.
Rehearsal last night was at the community center, with just Ellen V. (playing my maid), me, and the first act.  Desi was there, but Tara actually directed, and it was gruelling.
I doubt if many non-performers know the amount of time and effort that go into blocking. Actors don't spontaneously stroll around stage saying their lines and interacting with other players; it just has to look that way.  Practically every move is choreographed and believe me, memorizing a part doesn't hold a candle to the difficulty of remembering when to cross to center and which prop to handle.
We didn't finish until after 9:00, but it was a good session.      

Thursday, February 20, 2014

John

On my second day of public transportation, I caught the train to Philly at 12:17.  It was miserably cold and rainy waiting at the station in Absecon, but nice once I boarded.  Got to Thirtieth Station a bit before 1:00 and cousin John arrived shortly thereafter.
We looked at all the restaurants--I had no particular preference--and finally settled on Saladworks.  Ordered, received our food, and settled into one of the many tables set up that form a food court.
John has been on a certain diet for a year.  I've heard about it; it purports that one's blood type should dictate how one should eat.  Stupid, idiotic, and dumb, if you ask me, but John has high cholesterol and doesn't want to take medication, so is following this in an effort to lower it.
The desired result hasn't happened and you'd think that would deter him, but no.  He even eats meat now--he had been vegetarian for twenty years--but only sardines on Fridays, because he still adheres to the old Catholic stricture about abstaining on those days.
That didn't surprise me, as John is an old fashioned guy.  He doesn't have a cell phone, but took out a palm pilot--they were big ten or fifteen years ago--which he said he had bought at a thrift store for twenty bucks.  He made a notation of some sort with a small pencil-like thing; I think they must function as a kind of reminder device.  He has and uses a computer at home, but doesn't bank on line, nor does he have any credit cards--pays everything up front.
We had some good talk and reminiscences, but I cut it short about 3:00, as I didn't want to be driving back from Absecon in the dark.  Said goodbye and took the 3:19 back.
When I got home, I enjoyed a lovely virtual visit with darling little K., who was about to go to a baby's play place with his Daddy.  He thrilled me when he saw me on the monitor and gave me a big smile.  He knows his Nana!  (Anyway, that's what she prefers to believe.)
Called sister Betty to explain about the dropped call (see below), then called brother Jim to wish him a happy eighty-eighth birthday.  He and his family were going out to The Red Lobster for dinner.
Note: Betty had called on my cell when I was waiting for the train to Philly and, during our conversation, the phone cut off, as I had run out of minutes.  Yes, I'm perfectly happy with my cheap TracPhone and no, I don't pay a monthly charge, just buy minutes at the drugstore.  It doesn't include the Internet and is very basic, but hey, that's fine by me, as I don't even use it that much.  Bought 60 minutes and it was doubled--I don't know why, some kind of promotion, I guess--so I can talk for two hours before I have to buy again.  Cost? $19.99.
      

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Delightful Except For Comcast

What a delightful day--except for the Comcast part, but I'll soft-pedal that.
It didn't look to be delightful when Susan came to the door at 6:30 (I had asked her to go early, as the Comcast person was to come between 7 and 9 to bring a new "box.")  She said the street and sidewalk were slippery and she thought I wouldn't want to walk.  She was right, of course, and I didn't.
Called about 9:30 and was told the guy was scheduled to come between 9 and 11--aagh!  He did come shortly after that, though, and installed the box.  He also showed me that he had programmed the old and new remotes: One controlled volume and the other everything else.  I was in a hurry to pick up Aline, so didn't think to question that, but later--WHY would I want to have to use two remotes as a regular thing?
Picked up Aline at the stated time of 12:15, then drove the half-mile or so to the post office shopping center and left the car.  The bus came about 12:40 and we boarded it to start our big adventure.
Big for me, that is.  "Public" is Aline's regular mode of transportation, as she doesn't drive.  At her suggestion, we sat in the front and enjoyed a panoramic view of countryside and cityscape.  It took about 45 minutes to get to Atlantic City--the bus doesn't stay on the Parkway, but goes through Smithville, Galloway, and Pleasantville--and I enjoyed being able to see something other than the road on this cold, but wonderfully sunny day.
Got off at the bus station, the end of the line, and decided to walk to Angelo's Fairmount Tavern on Mississippi Avenue for lunch, just a few blocks away.  This had us pass Dante Hall, bringing up good memories of our Players & Playwrights
performances there.  We also discovered that the Noyes Art Garage is right across the street--that's the aim of our next excursion, as I'm still on the trail of the origins of the Steel Pier pictures in my living room.
Food was good at Angelo's, but the service was terrible; however, we rose above that and had a fine time.  Walked down to the boardwalk after, and to Shops At The Pier, which extends out over the water.  Here, we sat, then strolled around and were able to enjoy magnificent views of my love and Aline's, the Atlantic Ocean.
Before we realized it, it was after 5:00, and we walked back to the station for the 6:20 bus home.
Vowing to do this again soon, we parted after I took Aline home and got in myself. Settled down to watch my fifteen minutes or so of t.v. and realized I should have questioned the guy about two remotes.  Oh, but no prob, as I couldn't get either to turn on the set.  Furious--I really should look into an anger management class--I called Comcast, was cut off after a frustrating conversation with the first boob, then finally got another who guided me to re-programming the remotes--aagh!
Other than that, it was a fabulous day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Margate And Rehearsal

I'm getting forgetful.  Put the trash out yesterday morning, and it wasn't until I went out about noon that I realized it was Monday, not Tuesday.
Went to Betty's temporary place in Margate and spent the first part of the day with her.  We went to the public adjuster's (actually a private one) office and she signed papers to hire them to assess the damage to her house.  We then went to Barrels and had a nice lunch.
Got home about 4:00 and prepared for rehearsal.  I was somewhat dismayed to get an e-mail from Desi advising the cast the community center wasn't open, so we'd be at the H.'s.  Of course, this is way, way out in the woods.
Started out about 6:30 and got as far as Route 9, but I could hardly see a thing with all the haloed lights coming at me, so I turned back.  Went over to Susan's and asked if she or Walter would drive me there, which Walter did.
Rehearsal went well, but we did both first and second acts, so it wasn't over until 10:00.  Kevin took Desi, Aline (who was sitting in) and me home, where I found a phone message from Ellen.  Skyped her and we had a nice "visit."
Stayed up until way after 11:00, darn it.  I had asked Susan if we could walk early, as the Comcast guy is coming between 7 and 9, and she agreed, so I got up at my usual 5:15.  However, I just looked out and darn, it snowed again last night.  If it's at all slippery, I'm not walking.
Aline and I had planned to go into Atlantic City on the bus today, but maybe we'll have to postpone, foiled by the weather.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Back To Normal And Being Safe

Getting back to normal day...
...but not to the extent of walking.  There was ice on street and sidewalk and I didn't want to risk it.  Susan set off, but I saw her later and she said she hadn't gone our full route, for safety's sake.*
Mike had thoughtfully stripped the guestroom bed for me and put sheets and towels in the basket.  Washed all and re-made bed.
Thought I might go to the SUV show with my friend and her husband, but decided against it, as I had rehearsal at 7:00.  Drove to Kohl's in Manahawkin, thinking I might get a few tops, but didn't see anything I like.  Looked in Bed, Bath & Beyond, thinking I might find a small boost for my new T.V., but didn't see anything appropriate.  Speaking of same, I turned on the set after I got home last night, and there are plenty of channels you can watch without cable.  Seems odd; maybe I should drop Comcast, although it also covers my computer and home phone.
Got to the community center for rehearsal just before 7 and was annoyed to see it dark and no one there.  Went home and called Desi; answering machine on. Called Ellen V. and she said last night, we were in New Gretna.  Considering I could barely see to drive, I was mad at myself, but got there--a half hour last--and rehearsal went fairly well.  I like the new "George," who replaced Grey.  His name is Tony Bessman and he was last in The 39 Steps.
* A new, truly odious, parting expression seems to have replace "have a nice day." I've heard it several times over the past few weeks from friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers, such as store cashiers.  Last night, Mary H. said it to me as we left.  It's "be safe."
Jumpin' jackrabbits, are we ever going to get out of this terror everywhere mode?  "Stay safe" is just another propagandistic expression dreamed up by an advertising hack paid by the Pentagon, just as "thank a soldier" was.  It's repeated in a few strategic places--t.v. shows or whatever--then the powers that be wait for it to be picked up by the general public.  They know the sheeple never met a snap phrase they didn't like and soon, it's heard everywhere.  It vaguely reinforces the idea that we're surrounded by danger and maybe we'd better keep slaughtering innocent people in other countries or some evil will befall us.  Phooey!          

   

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Neat Day

(Read over Saturday's entry and realized I wrote we "lazed around in the morning," which is inaccurate. Actually, Mike conducted a conference call for several hours in the study, while his angelic, ever-helpful, and long-suffering mother kept out of the way.  Did several loads of wash and other household chores.)
Yesterday was neat.  In a steady rain, we drove in separate cars to Target in Manahawkin; Mike wanted to pick up a few more things not sold in Singapore.
From there, we drove up to my friend's.
It was interesting that, as if a wall had been erected or an order given, about ten miles north, there was a foot or more snow still on the ground, whereas, there's almost nothing left in Little Egg.
As soon as we arrived, we were invited into the 39-foot SUV and Mike got the grand tour. He was wowed, just as I had been--fireplace was lit and heat was on and we sat comfortably chatting for 45 minutes or so.
Mike then proposed that we go out for lunch on him and we went to The Outpost nearby.  This is a log cabin/roaring fireplace/antler chandeliers type restaurant-- self-consciously rustic, but great fun.  Of course,  I wouldn't care if we were at the local McDonald's when I'm with these three whom I love so well.
After, we went to the Laurita Winery where they were having a wine and chocolate festival.  You would swear you were in the Sonoma Valley, it's so far out in the countryside and the very large, multi-level stone structure was filled with happy people. There was wine-tasting in one area, a guitar player and singer in another, and a painting class upstairs--great fun!
We strolled around the place, but didn't sample anything, just stayed an hour or so enjoying the atmosphere.  After that, my friend treated us to an auto tour of the beautiful fields and valleys in their semi-country neighborhood.  We were then invited in for coffee, tea, and dessert, and enjoyed that, too.
All too soon, Mike had to leave for JFK and get a plane for Frankfort, and I followed him out, turning in the opposite direction.  I managed not to cry, but it wasn't easy.  What a pleasure it was to have him with me that long and how delightful a visit and a day it had been.
My eye seems to be progressing well and there's even a hope of spring in the air--well, it's elusive, but I want to believe it's there.
 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mike And Me

A fun day with Mike.  It snowed, but not heavily; Susan came to the door, but I decided not to walk.  Just didn't want to risk it, but I will today; happily, we got no rain or snow at all last night and what had fallen before is gone.
Mike presented me with a box of candy for Valentine's Day and we lazed around in the morning, then went to B.J.'s after lunch,  Then--surprise!--Mike bought me a new T.V.  My other one is seventeen years old and tends to "freeze" every ten minutes or so: no movement, no sound, just a "still picture" on the screen.  This doesn't bother me a lot, as I don't watch much, anyway, but it does get mildly annoying if there's something I actually want to watch.
Mike also hooked up the thing, but the Comcast "box" seems not to work.  He called the company and got a pleasant young man who had him do this and that, but it still didn't come to life.  He made an appointment for a technician to bring a new box and hook it up on Tuesday.
We Skyped Ellen and had a nice virtual visit with her, then got to Mike's three ladies in Singapore and chatted with them.  Vivian and Violet are are lively and talkative as ever--it's always wonderful to see them.  Also made plans to go up to my friend's today, from which Mike for depart for Newark Airport (sob!).
We had thought we'd go out for dinner--I was going to treat--but time got away from us and we just had leftovers.
Played Scrabble again and--after a bad drubbing by Mike the other night--I prevailed with my natural superiority and won.  I got 76 points with--get this: "waxy," which I combined with "pit" to form "pity," a nice point payoff standing alone, but I covered a triple word square!
As for my eye: It continues to improve and remarkably enough, I now can see out of it better than with my other eye.  Of course, it's annoying that my eyes don't "match"--when I have glasses on, it's disconcerting, but that will be remedied, I hope, when the other eye's done.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Still Blurry

Mike took me back to the eye doctor and we were told things are going well, aside from a slight increase in pressure.  She said this isn't unusual, though, and added another drop to the three I already use.  When I got up just now, my eye was still--is still--sensitive to light and blurry.  Now I'm getting nervous, although I've been assured that will pass.
Desi called to say rehearsal last night was cancelled because of the weather.  Fine by me and we're rehearsing tomorrow night--Sunday, which is unusual--and Monday.
After the doctor visit, Mike and I went to Shop-Rite and picked up a rotisserie chicken, among other items.  Went home and ate, then I took a nap on the couch, while he did whatever mysterious business stuff he does on the computer.
My friend called in the afternoon to ask how things are.  They had a delayed school opening, but did have classes.
Marge D. sent a "just catching up" e-mail; I called her in response and we had a nice chat.  Susan and Pat L. called to ask about the procedure and how I was doing.
We got in touch with the Tokyo contingent, but it was very early for them and K. was still asleep.  They Skyped back later and there he was, sweet baby.  He actually smiled and laughed, I think at seeing us on the monitor--anyway, that's what I prefer to believe.
Snow last night.  It doesn't look like more than an inch or two, but if it's slippery, I'm not going to walk.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cataract Surgery Over

Well, it's over--the first one, anyway.  My friend picked me up at 8:00, we got Margate a bit before 9:00 and I was taken into the inner sanctum right away.
I was surprised that you keep your clothes on; they just give you a gown and cover your hair and shoes.  A very nice nurse, Anne Marie, prepped me, then I went under the knife.
I think the anesthesiologist should have increased the dosage or kept it up longer, or something, because I became aware of what was happening before it was over. It wasn't actually painful--I felt pressure only for a second or two--but I didn't like the sensation at all.  Before he injected me, I mentioned I would have like to take an Ativan beforehand and he said I could have.  Before the next one, I want to get in touch with him and be sure I heard right.
Was home by a bit after twelve noon and had "breakfast"--my usual, although it was actually lunchtime.  Took a nap while my friend went for a run, then we went to Acme together.     
I was delighted when son, Mike, called from Salt Lake to say his second meeting has been cancelled due to the anticipated bad weather and, as he doesn't leave until Saturday evening, would be back here last night.
He was--blew in about 7:30 with a pizza, just as we were ending a Skype call from Tokyo.  Mike and family are going to be there in April, so will see that branch (including the adorable little twig) then.
Since Mike can take me back for my check-up appointment, my friend left for home after many thanks and hugs from me.  Had my popcorn and iced tea (I'm skipping the evening wine now), and both went to bed early.
As for my eye: It's still exceedingly blurry--like looking through thick gauze--which worries me a lot, but I hope that will correct itself before long.  Will ask the doctor today.
 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lunch And So On

A pleasant, if somewhat melancholy day.  Picked up Aline and we met Betty at Italian Gourmet for a nice lunch.  We then went to the cemetery to mark Pat's birthday and, of course, shed a few tears at his and Jay's graves.
I asked Aline if she minded going up to B.J.'s after, as I wanted to see if they had a certain item I used to buy there.  They didn't, but no matter.  We then stopped at Rite-Aid at Aline's request.  She bought milk and a cute Valentine gift for her sister: a plush dog in a tall mug.  Just as she was getting in the car, she dropped and broke it.  She was very upset, but I urged her to try seeing if the store would replace it; said I'd go in with her.  I explained what had happened and the clerk--or maybe, as she seemed a cut above, the front manager--cheerfully said she'd mark it as damage and replace it, which she did.
Aline and I both realized she didn't have to do that, but it was a great relief and now, if we have a choice (and we do; Wal-Green's is right across the street), we're going to Rite-Aid.
Dropped Aline off, got the press release and poster for Hedda from Frank, tweaked the latter a bit to personalize it for Sunrise Bay, and sent both off to The Breeze site.
Well, today's the day.  My friend will pick me up in less than an hour and I go off to get my eye done.  Ugh, I still hate the idea, but I guess there's no alternative.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Various

I was dismayed to see the fresh snow in the morning, but luckily, it was crunchy and we had no problem walking
Called Betty to see if I could help with some of her horrendous problems after the ice flood.  She said the streets were icy, though, and at this point, there wasn't much I could do.  We'll meet today for lunch; I'll have Aline.  I invited Leslie, too, but she declined.
Went to Shop-Rite after lunch and got supplies.  I called the eye place in Margate yet again, just to get the directions about the eye drops clear.  Both there and in Manahawkin, they've been extraordinarily pleasant and helpful.  I'm determined to be more fiscally responsible and to that end, I've started recording expenditures. Will take my little account book everywhere I go.
Got gas at Wawa was infuriated that the car in front of me at the pump was empty, as was at least one other at the next station.  Now, this is a busy place, but I see this frequently: Somebody getting gas and too friggin' lazy to pay, then drove a yard or so to park and go in the store.
I maneuvered my way around the empty car and went into Wawa to find the manager.  I was told he was "in a meeting"--yeah, sure--so expressed my displeasure to some underlings.  They were nice enough, but robotically mouthed  the company line, which is something to the effect that people wanted to be able to go into the store while they were getting gas.... SURE, THEY DO!  And I want to be able attach a pair of wings and fly!
Oh, the hell with it.  Maybe I need anger management classes.
The rest of the day: no prob.  I tidied up the guest room, washed the clothes my guest had left, sewed on his button, and did this and that otherwise.  Betty called, thinking this was my husband's, Pat's, birthday, but it's today; he would have been 83.  Betty and I had a good chat, anyway.
NOTE:  I hope anyone reading this will follow suit and display the logo on this site wherever on the Internet they can:
https://thedaywefightback.org/

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mike Gone--Sob!

Mike got up before five and walked with Susan and me, although he had no hat and his ears got cold.  He went for bagels and I skipped my usual cottage cheese on pumpernickel to have one, too.  We sat companionably over the papers (NYTimes and Press of Atlantic City, which he remarked was the worse paper he ever saw. Yeah, it's right up there--or down there--that's a cinch).
After, we sat down with what I laughingly call "my budget"* and went over my income and expenses and hmm...I seem to be spending more than I have and what's up with that?  Going out to lunch and other meals--my favorite activity--is a huge item, naturally, and I'm going to curtail that.  So is gas, of course; Aline and I, in particular, go a lot of places, and she doesn't drive.
I'm vowing here and now to do better and, to that end, I'm going to record everything I spend.  I know I can economize on things I won't even mind--I'm just careless when it comes to money.  Change is imperative, though, as I'm determined to move to western climes where expenses will no doubt be higher, and I don't want to go on the dole (a favorite old expression of mine).
Mike did compliment me on the fact I still have a nice piece of change in Vanguard, so things aren't really dire.  He's the one who set me up with Vanguard, which I've dipped into for heavy expenses, but don't touch as a rule.  Besides, when I sell my beautiful antique table that used to be Aunt Claire's for ten thou or so, I'll be on Easy Street.
We then went to Wal-Green's, where Mike got $131 worth of things he can't get in Singapore, mostly OTC medications.  Home, he asked me for a tape measure, checked my armoire, and told me he was buying me a new television.  So generous of him!
Mike left about noon for Baltimore, where he was to board a plane for Salt Lake City, but will be back next Friday--very late, actually in the early hours of Sunday--then will have to leave in the afternoon.
Betty called.  She got a storage space and most of her things have been transported there, but she's still wrestling with the insurance company and other problems.
Enjoyed my Sunday Skype call with Ellen, whose hair looks great after her last Brazilian BlowOut.    
* I call Mike "my financial advisor," which is quite accurate.  I don't want to go outside the family for this kind of thing, as I'm leery of consulting somebody who has a product to sell.  I'm sure that can work out fine, when necessary, but I'm lucky in that Mike does some kind of financial work for a big, multi-national firm, so I figure he's the go-to guy. However, I would be just as likely to follow the advice of my other children, all of whom have good heads on their shoulders, and all of whom I trust most in the world.  

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Mike Here--Yay!

Spent the morning preparing for my boy's visit.  He sent an e-mail from Frankfort (yes, Germany, which still seems remarkable to me) to the effect that he'd be here about 2:00.
He was, and what a joy to see him!  He brought me a beautiful box of orchids from Singapore (will try to add a picture), along with his crazy, quirky self.  We visited for an hour or so, then his sister and her husband came and it was so good.
Ordered pizza from Brothers,' for which I wanted to pay, but was not permitted. With that and a salad, we had a good and simple dinner.
We howled over the funny--and grotesque--cat stories of both.  Mike had a kitty put down he thought was a stray, only to have a neighbor come looking for it.  His brother-in-law buried a dead cat, which didn't happen to be the one who came every day.
Mike went to bed very early--jet lag--and I followed at my usual time.  We're both up now (he just left to get bagels) and I hope he can stay for a few hours before he has to get back.
Before Mike came, I enjoyed videos of little K., laughing and gurgling and getting his very first "solid" food--rice gruel, which may put him off food forever.   However, if he wasn't enthusiastic, he was resigned.
Started my eye drop routine, which I'll follow faithfully for three days.
 


Saturday, February 08, 2014

Breakfast And Lunch

Picked up Aline at 8:00 am, right after our walk, and we went to Joe & Sonia's (formerly Beverly's--long story that).  Had good coffee and excellent cheese omelets, plus our usual animated talk.
Drove to Manahawkin to Wal-Mart, where I picked up the eye drops for which I still had to pay (but only nine bucks), dropped A. off at the bus stop (she's attending the opera and a ballet in Manhattan this weekend), then went to the eye doctor's and got the two other drops gratis.  These are the ones that would have cost me over three hundred smackers if I hadn't tried for another solution.
Before starting for home, I impulsively called Betty and suggested lunch.  She was working in Mays Landing, but was about to leave, so agreed and we decided to meet at good ol' Italian Gourmet, reasonably convenient for both of us. Had a good lunch, most of which I had to take home, as I so recently had devoured a big breakfast.  Betty presented me with a Dirt Devil, which she had meant to give me at our birthday. I've been wanting to get one and was thrilled at her nice gesture.
Driving home, I passed United Way, so stopped in.  Thought I'd try to trace the source of the pictures in my living room, in which my friend, Pat, is interested. The director, John, happened to be in the front office and I asked him about them.  He said they had been donated to UW by the Tropicana Casino, when it re-decorated its tower rooms; presumably, they were on the walls there.  He wasn't sure where they originated, but said he believed there was one--or some--hanging in the Noyes "Art Garage" in Atlantic City.  Unfortunately, in the eight years or so since I found them in the UW basement, the others were ruined in one of our east coast storms.  But surely, there are others.  Now--regardless of whether Pat has lost interest or not--I'm intrigued and will pursue this mystery.
Got an adorable Valentine card from my precious little Valentine in Tokyo--made by his mother, of course--and what was even better, a virtual visit in the evening. What a darling baby, and he's growing so fast.  I love to hear him laugh and coo; wish I could hold him.
Today, my own darling baby (Mike) will be here!  Got an e-mail this morning from Frankfort and he should get in by early afternoon.  Can't wait to see him.      

Friday, February 07, 2014

Lunch And Eye Drops

Rolled three doors down and picked up Leslie at 12:30.  She became maybe the tenth person I've introduced to Cuisine On The Green and it was quite a contrast to Naomi's and my experience.  We were greeted by a fortyish woman named Sandy and when I asked if Alicia (the manager who had answered by less-than-positive e-mail) was in, said she wasn't due until later in the afternoon. However, after I introduced myself, Sandi immediately asked if I'd like my (complementary) Blue Moon now or with my meal.
Yoozah! Alicia had alerted her, obviously, and it was all good after that.  I got a hamburger (potato chips come with it, I was told), Leslie the sesame chicken on my recommendation, and yum--I had never had any complaints about the food.  We were served quickly and courteously and you can be sure I wrote a second, very appreciative, e-mail to Alicia later in the day.
After, Leslie went with me to Wal-Mart, so I could pick up the three eye drops I must use before the cataract procedure.  I was floored when I learned that the cost totalled over three hundred dollars!
Following my habit--a conscious one--of always at least trying to remedy an unpleasant situation, I asked if there was anything I could do to reduce the cost.  A very pleasant and courteous young pharmacist--"Jessica," I think--offered to call the ophthalmologist's office to see if a generic could be substituted.  I drove home, left Leslie off, and later, received a call from that office, saying they would provide the drops; I just needed to pick up one of them today.  I thought that was a wonderful thing for them to do.  It also reinforces my belief that you should try always to alter what needs to be altered. In my experience, it works about eighty percent of the time.
Talked to Aline and we'll go to breakfast before I pick up my meds.  

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Rain And So On

More steady, heavy rain.  It was very windy, also--in fact, when I went across to Susan's, she thought we should skip our walk.  Fine by me--I'm always looking for an excuse, which is why it's a good thing Susan's usually such a die-hard.
Did a bunch of computer stuff, notably attending to e-mails and so on.  I was sorry to read Grey is withdrawing from the play; still sick.  Maybe it's as well, though, considering the tension between and him and Neil.  Desi sent an e-mail that he has recruited Tony B., a guy I don't know, for the part.  He also cancelled the first act rehearsal for tonight, so he could put in a later scene with the newcomer and others.  That means I don't go and  I'm okay with that, although I'm anxious to get back into the swing of things.
Tidied up the guest room and washed rug and seat cover in the guest bath.  I'll wait until tomorrow to finish up.  Made a salad and had it for lunch, along with leftover Brussel sprouts.
Aline called to say she had agreed to fill in for somebody at work, so wasn't going to keep our lunch date today.  Too bad, but I'll pick up Leslie, anyway.  
Went to B.J.'s and Wal-Mart, still in the rainy mess, to restock the larder.  After dinner, I kept my appointment with Leslie, one of the Little Egg librarians, for a brief tutorial on my Tablet.  She's very nice, but wasn't terribly knowledgeable herself.  The most helpful thing she did was to introduce me to the users' manual on-line.  I'll look closely into that shortly.  After, I went to Acme and picked up hamburger and chicken.  I've had a strange craving for flesh lately--odd, considering I eat mainly vegetarian.
Betty called and we chatted.  She said she had to get a storage place to put the things in her house.  Hope we can get together next week.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

"Here's Mud In Your Eye" And Shakespeare

That's the message son, Mike, sent after I announced I'm getting cataract surgery on my first eye next Wednesday.  My children have banded together to hound sissy me into this, but I guess I won't regret it.
Earlier, I went to an editorial staff meeting for The Breeze.  It's now been four years since we launched the publication (so grandiose!) and it's been a great success.  However, I'm no longer as interested or avid as I used to be, I suppose because I'm turned most of my attention to the theatre.  In addition--and very significantly--I'm preparing my mindset to move west.  I'll still contribute, of course, but without as much enthusiasm.
Susan drove me to Manahawkin after the meeting and I met my friend there.  My eyes weren't dilated, so I really could have gone myself, but I was glad she had, as she'll be the one to shepherd me through what I see as a dreadful ordeal.  Yes, yes, I know it's very common and almost everyone sails through it to reach Better Eyesight Shores on the other side, but I have a fear...
Moving right along: I was determined not to go near the library yesterday, as the semi-annual book sale is on and I have a multitude of books I bought and haven't read yet.  However, I easily violated this stricture and went over about 6:00; ended up buying three books and a set of CD's--I have no character, I guess.
I had a nice experience there, though.  When I went to pay, one of the Friends of the Little Egg Library volunteers asked if I was in any more plays.  It was a thrill to realize she actually recognized me!  Of course, I told her about Hedda, and we had a nice chat.
NOTE:  Just stumbled across this marvelous site, Playing Shakespeare:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wjDsFrCNq4
I want to view it at my leisure.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Rain And An Acting Lesson

Rain, rain, rainy, rainy rain.  Got soaked from the knees down during our walk, but that was okay; I was just glad it wasn't snow.
Went to Shop-Rite for one reason only: to get a rotisserie chicken for lunch. Stopped into the eye doctor's, which is in the same shopping center.  I have an appointment today for cataract prep.  I was a little annoyed that they couldn't tell me if I'd be dilated or not.  Think I'll ask Susan if she can take me there, as my friend will come to be with me, but we were going to go separately.
I decided to take Tara M. up on her offer to give me some private coaching on my Aunt Julia role and she came over last night.  I got a lot of valuable information, digging much deeper into the character and emphasizing "beats"--i.e., what's behind a character's words and actions, which can change, subtly or not, within a few lines.  Got into what Tara calls "action," too, an inaccurate term in this context, since it means "motivation."
Tara has a master's degree in theatre arts and she really knows her stuff.  Now if I can only apply what she taught me to my performance--.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Super Bowl MIght And Money

Daytime:  pared and cooked down eight large apples, puttered around, showered ad dressed.
Evening:  Ambled the three doors down to Barbara's and Ray's at 5:30.  Most of the other guests--about sixteen of them--were already there.  It was the usual crowd who come every year, including Susan and Walter, and Leslie and Dennis, whom I'm alway happy to see.
It was also the usual boring, Neanderthal display of might and money.  The odious beginning, halftime, and in-betweens were filled with worshipful "recognition" of hired killers and, of course, the saccharine vignettes of little Herkimer being surprised at Daddy Coming Home.  It was actually refreshing when the frantically screaming and gyrating "music" acts came on.  And every two seconds, it seemed, proceedings were interrupted by the real point of the evening: ads for the products made by the corporations that own us, lock, stock, and barrel.  That loathsome little puppy, big horse, one had already been aired all over the Internet and my companions, being primed and conditioned to do so, naturally sighed and sniffed over how adorable it was.
But okay, the food was good and it was fun to be at a party.  The damn game dragged on and on, though, and I didn't get home until well after 10:00.  Skyped Ellen and we had a pleasurable visit.
I decided to take Tara up on her offer to coach to coach me in my Aunt Julia role and e-mailed her to that effect. She responded to say she's available after work today, I'm happy to say.  Will ask Ellen V. (who plays my maid for the second time on stage) if she can come, too.    
    
   

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Breakfast and Rehearsal

Got to Betty's about 9:45 and we went to Johnny's for breakfast.  Stopped on the way back to her place at an estate sale.  Loved the house which, sadly enough, was going to be torn down, no doubt so some modern monstrosity can be erected in its place.  However, the owners weren't dead, just moved away, and they had left a lot of furniture, knickknacks, dishes, and even clothes in the closets. Betty got a very nice, full-length, casual winter coat priced at two dollars.  Even at that price, she offered less and got it for one.  I want to get rid of things, not buy more, but did get two items of sheet music for a buck.
Arrived at Shalom House just as Louise did, and Bobbi greeted us at the door. We went up to her apartment to rehearse--no prob with that, but I got an unpleasant surprise.  I had assumed the "talent show" was in the afternoon, but found it's at seven pm.  Damn!  If I had known that, I wouldn't have participated, as I shouldn't be driving at night.  However, I can't very well back out now, so I'll ask Betty if I can stay overnight with her on the 23rd.
Didn't break up until almost 4:00, then I stopped on the way home to get apples.   Was just taking broccoli out of the microwave when I got a Skype call from my adorable little K.--and his mommy and daddy--from Tokyo.  We stayed "on the line," so to speak for more than an hour, through two diaper changes, in fact, and he was his usual charming self for his Nana.
Super Bowl party today.  Looking forward to the party, but not the overwrought, jingoistic, tiresome hype that seems to get more gross and in-your-face every year.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Aimless

Yesterday was sort of blank and aimless.  Because I've been on the go so much lately, I told Susan I was looking forward to a day off.  The fact is, though, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
There were a few items of interest (to me, anyway): Went into Manahawkin and bought a sleeveless, zip-front sweat shirt, talked to several people on the phone, and ran into Barb H. at Acme.
I had intended to bring an appetizer--cranberry meatballs--to the Super Bowl party, but Barb said she had made a big pot of them (having gotten the recipe from me years ago) and that several others are bringing appetizers.  We discussed this weighty question and finally settled on a vegetable.  However, I later decided to simply make applesauce, as a side to the main dishes.  Everybody seems to like the tart-sweet with meat and, aside from paring three pounds of apples, it's not difficult.
Got an e-mail from John B., telling me our mutual cousin, Charlie Renz, has died at the age of 84.  I hadn't seen Charlie for years, but nevertheless, feel a sense of sorrowful loss, as I always do when a relative or friend dies.  John and cousin, Tom B., will go to the funeral, which is today.  I would have, too, but I'm committed to rehearsal for A Peaceful Reunion in Margate.
John also called me and we had a good chat.  We made a date to meet for lunch at 30th Street Station in Philly.  It's easy for me to get the train in Absecon and I much prefer it to driving in the city.
Aside from all that, I spent a fair amount of time on the computer.  I had meant to clean up and clear out, but somehow, the day slipped by, and I didn't.