Friday, October 31, 2014

Entry Two: My Day

Eleanor Roosevelt used to write a column for a women's magazine called "My Day."  As I remember, it was as dreary and dull as a trip to Disneyland--about on a par with my day on Thursday.
Well, I'm exaggerating.  True, I was stuck at home not only because I didn't have a car (see accompanying post), but because I thought I had to wait by the phone all day for that lying weasel, Pat, to call. However, I did get a fair amount of creative work done.  Revised slightly two of the short, two-female plays I'm going to have my acting class perform, and wrote another from scratch.  Now I have three original sketches and want to come up with two more.  I'm toying with the idea of modifying Aline's and my parts in Tony and the Heiress so there's another comic one. May go with rhyming couplets for the fifth, but must think of a theme.
After the latest run-around from Pat last night, Frank invited me in for a glass of wine, which I readily accepted.  I enjoyed chatting with him and Barbara and it lightened my spirits.
Unfortunately, they darkened again when I got home and saw an e-mail from Desi.  "As you probably know...," it started, and informed me that Ellen V. and Tonya N. were rehearsing on Sunday at the community center.
No, I didn't know; how the hell would I know if nobody had told me?  This outfit is about as well-organized as a gang of Kindergarten kids at the beach.  I immediately e-mailed my cast, asking them to come. Let's hope most can make it.

Entry One: Pat's Automotive

I'M STILL WITHOUT A CAR!
I wish I had never taken it to Pat's Automotive.  The saga went like this:  
  Monday: stopped at Pat's Automotive, described the problem (stalling at red lights), said I needed it on Tuesday, so he said to leave it on Wednesday.
  Wednesday, 10 am: Frank followed me over to leave the car and took me home.  Pat said he'd call me when it was finished.  At 5 pm, I called him and he gave me a song and dance about how tough it was.  Said he'd call me it by "lunchtime" on Thursday to get it.
  Thursday: "lunchtime" hadn't been specified, but I called him at 4:30.  Phone rang and rang, then there was a recording saying, "leave your access number."  Frank took me there and I saw my car was still on the lift.  Pat said he was just finishing up and I could come back at 7:00 and it would be done.  Frank took me to the bank so I could withdraw the three hundred dollars Pat said he would charge; he accepts only cash.
  Thursday: Frank took me back at 7:00 and car was still on the lift.  Pat said he had run into metal in the fuel pump (or oil pump, can't remember which); car was still on the lift.  Pat said he had just called me and left a message.  Now, for the first time--ominously--he mentioned the motor, which he never said a word about before.  Said he'd call me "by noon" on Friday.
When I got home, I checked the answering machine and there were no messages.
So here I am on Friday at 6:26 am, still without a car.  I think Pat is a liar and a cheat and what I'm afraid of is, that I'm going to go there again and he'll tell me it's actually the motor and will cost two thousand dollars.
                                                         xxxxx
NOTE:  Aline, who's in Westchester for the weekend, e-mailed me asking about the car and this is what I replied.  I'm putting it here simply because I use this blog as both a diary and a reminder of various.  Surprisingly often, I look up details about which I may be unclear and I sure as hell don't want to forget anything surrounding this sorry saga.  I'm not sure why it comes out oddly printed; that seems to happen whenever I copy an paste anything, but no matter, I guess.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Car and Terrorism

As agreed, Frank followed me to Pat's Automotive about ten and I left my poor baby Buick.
Actually, being forced to stay home, I got a lot done.  Cored, pared, and sliced the apples I had picked the other day--there seemed to be fourteen bushels, but I may be exaggerating--added sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, and made some lovely applesauce. Took a bowl next door to Frank and Barb.  Washed, dried, and folded clothes; swept and mopped the kitchen floor; revised some of my acting class materials.
Got an e-mail from Mary H., asking if Aline and I would do a "Grove's Emulsified Nose Drops" commercial in the show and of course, we happily agreed.
When it got to be almost five and Pat hadn't called yet, I called him. His verdict was fuel pump dead and the damage about three hundred. Hey, if I can get away with that, I'm happy.  I was told he should have it finished today "before lunch."  Asked Barb-Next-Door to take me, as Frank will be out.  I'll need to stop at the bank first, as Pat accepts only cash.  I'm not sure why, but I suspect his purpose is to cheat Uncle Sam out of taxes.
WIDER:  I was charmed by this comment on Common Dreams.com:
Terrorism is an extraordinary business model. It is profitable like nothing else. Advertising is free, viral and compelling. Safety measures are gladly charged to the national credit card. Manufacturers gladly provide training and equipment to career-climbing personnel.
Concerns about encroachments on liberties are ridiculed thus keeping the markets wide open and societal cooperation high. It is also colorfully branded for easy recognition: "Al-Qaeda", "Saddam Hussein", "Iran". Would you like some ISIL today?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mini-Rehearsal and The Shadow Government

Happy day: George called!  (Geez, you'd think I had been waiting for a boyfriend.)  He acted as if naught was amiss (I can't help it, I tell you!) and said "sure, I'll be at your house tonight," as if I hadn't been frantically trying to get him for days.  But so what, he got back to me and all is forgiven.
Early in the day, I went to Wal-Mart for medication and a bunch of other stuff, including crackers.  Spread my lovely Brie on some and had that for lunch; yum, so good.
A few months ago, I had adapted Nigel Dennis' short story, The Pukey, into a play and I've decided to use it in my acting course.  I revised it a bit and printed it out.  Published 54 years ago, it's intrigued me for years.  I want my class to delve into it to discuss its symbolism and imagery.
Met Aline at the library when she got off 5:00 and we went to Mystic Casino for dinner.  Took her home after and treated her to the new videos of Mr. K., whom she calls "my baby."
The guys--Chuck, Ron, Bob, and the elusive George--came at 7:00 and we had a good session running through the script.  I kept them only a scant hour; we'll all meet on the fifth for a true rehearsal.
Just got an e-mail from Mary, asking if Aline and I will read an old-time commercial for Grove's Emulsified Nose Drops.  Sure, it'll be great fun.
Have to take my car to the shop this morning; Frank will follow and take me home.  I don't think I'm going to like the verdict.  
WIDER:  From Philip Giraldi, writing about Tom Engelhardt's new book, Shadow Government:
 Every American and many foreigners are now victims of an Orwellian universe of unending warfare coupled with constant surveillance and multifaceted manipulation that together make 1984 seem amateurish...Tom Engelhardt looks at every country where the US boot has trod and notes that without exception each is worse off now than before. Invasions, bombing, regime change, kidnappings, secret wars and assassinations do not make many friends, even when the news is being managed in such a way as to represent such actions as necessary for national or even global security. 
Read more at: 
http://www.unz.com/article/skewering-the-shadow-government/

Monday, October 27, 2014

Veggies and a Viewing

Betty is involved in the blood drive at Holy Trinity (formerly known as St. James and that's what it will always be to me) and had given me a flyer about it.  I went to St. Theresa's to ask if it could be displayed and left it.  Went to drive off and...
...uh-oh; my car stalled yet again.  I drove directly to Pat's Automotive and--to cut the "this can't be good" news short--he doesn't like the tapping in the engine and I'm going to take it in on Wednesday.
Spent several hours on veggies, to wit:  Sliced the lovely carrots, added apple wedges and cinnamon and put it all in the slow cooker. Peeled and cut up garlic and onions, added julienned sweet peppers, washed and deveined the Swiss chard, added that and stir-fried all together.  Made a salad with the beautiful, bright green lettuce (not iceberg, you can be sure about that), added tomatoes, feta, and hard-boiled egg slices.  Whew!  I still have beets and breaded eggplant, which I had prepared a few days ago; will be eating all this today and tomorrow.
I thought I had plenty of time to jump in the shower and dress for Spanky's viewing because Leslie had written it was at 1:00 and the service at 3:00.  At 12:30, I idly looked on the funeral parlour's site and found it was actually 11:00, then 1:00.  Changed in about ten minutes and rushed over to Maxwell's.
Sunrise Bay neighbors were there, although not as many as there were for people more active and who had lived there longer. Hugged Rosie, the new widow, chatted with a few people, but I felt oddly removed and, in fact, sad and lonely, but also irritated, for some reason.  Maybe that was prompted by the minister, no orator, who interspersed childish Bible verses with the old "he fought the good fight, but now he's lolling in Heaven" pap.  A few people got up to reminisce about Spanky, then attendees were supposed to file up and bid farewell to the corpse.  I skipped that, though, and left.
Saw Frank and Barbara and asked Frank if he'd follow me to Pat's Automotive on Wednesday and take me home.
As for The Shadow, I have a real dilemma.  George S. has a major part (in fact, two parts) in it, but was unable to come to rehearsals because he was in Sound of Music at Surflight.  Now that's over and I assume he's free.  I want him to rehearse just once before we all meet on the fifth, so I asked him, Aline, and Bob to come to my place tonight.
So far, I've sent George four e-mails, called him twice, called and e-mailed his wife, Julie, and have gotten no response whatever. Now I'm at a loss.  Does he want to be in the show or not?  Think I'll try one last time, then assume he's dropped the idea--which means I have to find another man at this late date, and that's not going to be easy.
Brightest spot of the day was a phone call with Ellen.  Now I'm chompin' at the bit to get out there and start my new life!

Lunch and Spanky Davis

Pleasant day.  Went to Italian Gourmet where I met Betty, Helen C., Donna and Kay, with whom I've interacted before.  Last two are in their eighties and harmless, I'm sure.
The lunch menu listed a "hangover burger," which I ordered along with my fav, a Blue Moon.  I hadn't read the whole description and was bemused when it was served topped with bacon and a fried egg.  Ate half, which wasn't bad, but doubt if I'd order it again; those three together seem like overkill and talk about your death by cholesterol...
I gave the ladies info on our Listen to This! show and also, two nice apples apiece, assuring them I had picked them with my own paws. They were properly appreciative and we parted.  Gave Betty the same and added half the Brie I had bought Saturday and two jackets I had--uh, outgrown.
Thought I'd drive up to Manahawkin after and search out Sleepy's to look at a mattress for the guest room.  Unfortunately, when I stopped for red lights, the car stalled and I just drove back home. Guess I'll have to bite the bullet and take it to Mastercraft.
I was sorry to get an e-mail from Leslie telling me Spanky Davis has died.  Viewing and service are today, to which I'll go.  Spanky was a well-known jazz trumpeter, who played behind Sinatra and other legends years ago.  But he developed diabetes, had to have a leg amputated, and got sicker and sicker in later years.  We had them over for dinner a few times and vice versa.  I know and like his wife, Rosemary, who had studied and sung opera as a young woman; I left a message offering condolences.
Congratulations to a certain dear girl and her great guy on their first "knowledge of each other" year together!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Van Tour to Mercer County

Dammit, I actually enjoyed the van tour, thanks to my sunny nature and positive, Pollyanna view of life.
Was grouchy about it at first, as I had to drive alone to Wells Mills Park* in Waretown, leaving at 6:45 AM.  However, the trip on the Parkway went smoothly--in fact, I was early, so the place was deserted.  But Uta,** driver, tour guide, and naturalist, got there shortly and we took off for points north.
Lakewood is almost an hour away from Waretown, and a fascinating place itself. It's the home of a large community of Hasidic Jews--black clothes, women wear long skirts and wigs, men flat Amish-looking hats, and so on. I've always been fascinated by their way of life and was intrigued to see (since it was Saturday), large numbers walking here and there, men essentially dressed alike and with wispy beards.  I was surprised that all the girls and women seemed to have long, luxurious, shiny hair, until I remembered they wear wigs.  A number of the men wore odd-looking, round fur(?) hats which resembled Russian winter headwear.  Uta told me they were from a breakaway sect, even stricter than the Hasidim.
As for the tour: Eleven old ladies got on at Lakewood, but I--and this makes me glad the faithless Mary Ann pulled out--got to sit shotgun the whole time.  For comfort, those park department vans are on a par with a bed of nails, not to mention being packed in like sardines, so sitting in the front was a great luxury.
We went first to Cherry Grove Farm in Princeton (another 45 minutes away) where they make cheese.  We pulled into the spacious grounds and saw the very cows from which they get the milk to make the cheese munching away in a field--so bucolic I could hardly stand it.  We went to the farm store and I bought a few ounces of brie, which incredibly, cost thirteen bucks.  I'll give some to Betty today.
Drove the eight or ten miles to Terhune Orchards, where we picked apples.  I was surprised to find I had picked seven and a half pounds, which set me back twelve-fifty, but I'll share those out, too.
Off to the next stop, the other part of Terhune Orchards, several miles away. They were having a festival, which included all kinds of pumpkins, squash, and apples, of course.  I perked up when I discovered they make wine and, in fact, had a wine tasting barn. Went in and I sampled five different wines at a dollar a pop--each, of course, more like a sip than a swallow.  They tasted wonderful and I bought a bottle of Chardonnay and one of Apple Wine for an outrageous total cost of $35.83.
That last prompted me to add up what I spent yesterday, including the fourteen bucks for the tour itself.  Good grief, it came to more than eighty smackers!
BUT!  I got an extra, unexpected bonus.  After we dropped the others off at Lakewood, Uta asked if I had ever been to Jake's Branch Park, another Ocean County parks system location.  I hadn't and she took me there.
We went into a large and attractive building, took the elevator to the top, and walked out into a breath-taking view of the surrounding pinelands.  It was so high, we could see miles away, even to the Lakehurst airport where the famous Hindenburg dirigible had burned in the thirties.  And all around was the deep green, towering forest, the pinelands, pride of our state.  It was stunning.
Got back to Wells Mills, then home after a lovely day.  The only dark cloud is the fact that my car now stalls whenever I stop, even for a red light.  Hope I can get it down to Italian Gourmet, as I'm to meet Betty and others there for lunch in a few hours.
* Allowing  me to embark here was a special accommodation, as there had been a screw-up by the parks system earlier.  This tour "officially" left from Lakewood.
** Uta's mother was Estonian and barely escaped the Russians during one of their takeovers about seventy years ago.  She got to Germany, met Uta's father, and Uta was born there.  They emigrated to the U.S. when she was an infant and settled in New York City before Uta made her way south in adulthood.  Another fascinating person, of which the world seems to abound.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Cancellation and Various

I was preparing and cooking the latest load of veggies when Mary Ann Van O., called about noon.  She had been enthusiastic about accompanying me to the van tour, but now she was "sick" with "a head infection."
I think she was lying in her teeth.  I had been with her all day Thursday* and she was perfectly well.  She didn't sound sick, act sick, or indicate she felt sick.  I think she just decided she didn't feel like going.  I've had some run-ins with her before and found her to lean toward "Mary Ann first, the rest of the world a distant second," so I'm just as glad she pulled out.  Her conversation is tiresome and her company tedious.  I've gone on a lot of van tours and I'll probably have met some of the people from other areas who will be there today.  I'd just as soon hang out with them, anyway.
Went to Manahawkin on errands, then to Acme.  Did a fair amount of work on the acting course and on The Shadow. Called a rehearsal at my house for Tuesday; I particularly want George and Aline there, as they had been in Sound of Music when we met before. Told Grey, Dayle, and Chuck, who come from a distance, they were welcome, but didn't have to come, but Chuck wrote back that he will, anyway.
Frank-Next-Door is unavailable, too, but will come for the full "program" on the fifth.  Speaking of Frank, that great guy e-mailed me to the effect that it was time to cover the AC.  He covers and uncovers mine every year; a wonderful neighbor.
Must make my lunch and otherwise get ready for the van tour.
* Note from my previous entry that I accommodated her last-minute change for lunch and opera after she called to request it Thursday morning.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Prince Igor and the Farm

Got up to find a message from Mary Ann, asking if I could come for lunch (and the Prince Igor opera) yesterday, instead of Friday, as originally planned.  Agreed, but said I had to leave by 2:45, in order to get up to my friend's, then go to the farm.
Mary Ann served lunch, then we saw the Prince on stage at the Met.  Seemed odd that it differed quite a bit from the film version. Presumably, the latter was jazzed up from the original for audience appeal. I should be embarrassed to say--but I'm not--I like the film one better.  Guess I've just been ruined by Hollywood.
Left at the appointed time, got to my friend's, and we drove up to the farm.  Got our goodies in the barn--carrots, bok choy, chard, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, turnips, peppers, and a few others.  It had rained off and on all day and we decided to eschew the muddy, muddy, horribly muddy fields and not pick.  Drove off and we were back at my friend's by a bit after 5:00.  We divided up the spoils and I took off.
Had the broccoli and eggplant for dinner, then wrote and sent off a few more e-mail messages to my cast for The Shadow.  Hope they can all come for full rehearsal on the fifth and just ours on Tuesday.
I got a darling Halloween card from the precious pumpkin in Tokyo and his parents.  So sweet, an original by Mommy, of course, and one of the cutest ever!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Things Hanging Over and Okinawa

"Heavy, heavy, what hangs over?"
I remember my mother saying that.  I think it has to do with an ancient game that involves guessing an object held over one's head. As a child, I was intrigued by the phrase: It seemed oddly exciting and even vaguely sinister.
Yesterday, I dealt with a load of obligations that were hanging over my head.  I washed, chopped, sliced, slow-cooked, fast-boiled, and otherwise prepared the beets, cauliflower, eggplant, lettuce, and tomatoes I had gotten last week from the farm, mindful that I'll get more today.
Also assembled into working piles paperwork related to my major November projects:  Listen to This!  rehearsal and the Acting for Everyone session.  Sent an e-mail with flyer attachment about L. to T! to John P., leader of our Players & Playwrights; he'll assimilate to members.  Composed a message to the A. for E. people to inform them we'll meet at Shalom House next month; will send today.  I need to contact the radio show group, too, and remind them of rehearsal at the Community Center.
I was delighted to find several new videos of the Tokyo Tot on Google +.  Here he was, showing off his prowess in rushing around, climbing stairs, pointing at objects, pushing push-toys, sitting on a sofa with Daddy, and otherwise going about his important thirteen-month-old business. How I love to see him grow!
Late in the gloomy, overcast day, I drove to Manahawkin to pick up various items, including Halloween cards for my seven little pun'kins.
WIDER:  I don't know what's wrong with those pesky Japanese. They have the opportunity to have a lovely new American base on their soil and they resist it.  Ungrateful wretches.
http://fpif.org/resisting-u-s-bases-okinawa/

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Not Jimbob, but Jim and Bob

Jim hasn't changed one iota--not even a smidgen--since he was the teenaged boaster and braggart I knew as a girl.
He and Lou got to Romanelli's just as I did and we sat down to catch up.  Lou, by the way, is very nice.  A little country girl from Minnesota, she's small and thin with a warm manner and sweet smile.  We both endured Jim's non-stop yakking: "I play a lot of golf, I was on a golf tour, that's how good I am; my daughter's a multi-millionaire, she adopted a girl from a white trash family, but they have good genes*; other daughter was with Facebook for two years, she's married to a cervical specialist**; we've been to fifty countries, we go on a lot of cruises, we have two coming up soon..." and so on and on.
He also whipped out an android so he could show me the inside of his "villa" in Texas.  It's decorated in the boring kind of pseudo-southwestern that features too much oak and wrought iron, but I dutifully expressed admiration.  
My tooth was still sore, so I ordered very soft scrambled eggs.  We spent only an hour or so together (they had driven from Texas and were heading back), but before we parted, I handed Jim the fifteen or twenty letters he had written me in 1955 and '56.  He seemed a bit aggrieved I didn't want them, but I'm sure Lou will be interested.  I assured her we were never a couple; he and my twin were.  We hugged goodbye and drove off.  It was a pleasant enough interlude, but I barely know the twenty-year-old girl involved and I was anxious to resume my real life...
...Which I did when Bob came for his coaching session.  I think he's improving, but not by much, I'm afraid.  He's not a bad guy at all, though, and we actually had an interesting conversation about politics and the state of the world today.
Said goodbye to him and immediately drove over to pick up Aline. We went to SeaOaks for an enjoyable lunch and after, I took her to the clubhouse to view the hideous new furniture.  No surprise--she thought it was hideous.
She came home with me to see the latest video from the Far East, "Mr. K. at the shopping plaza," which she loved, of course.  We then sat for an hour and talked religion, politics, and opera--it's so enjoyable with someone who can actually discuss those subjects with neither provincialism nor dogmatism.
Took her home and settled in for the night.  Happily, the tooth--rather, the hole thereof--seems to be healing well and I'm no longer as conscious of it.  
*I can't figure that out, either.
** Have no idea what that is--gynecologist?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TOOTH

I shall now draw a shade over the unpleasant events of yesterday, except to say--
The damn tooth is out (reminds me of the bard: "out, damn tooth!"), after hours of travail.  Got to the dentist's office at the appointed time of 9:00 am, but to my surprise, the idea was not to pull it then, but to make a mold of my partial, send it to Waretown to have an artificial tooth put where the ailing one had been, then replace it immediately after the extraction.
I wasn't happy over that, but had no choice.  I had made a date to meet Jim and his wife for lunch, but called and we decided on breakfast at 8:00, an hour and a half from now.  Bob was due at 10:00 for a coaching session, but I called and we postponed it an hour.
I had been told I'd be called about 3:00 to come back in, but that didn't happen and it was 4:30.
Well, there's no point in going through the extraction.  It was no fun, but wasn't quite as bad as I had anticipated.  Doc immediately put the partial back in and it still feels strange, but not too bad.
Couldn't eat much, so made myself a can of revolting Campbell's tomato soup.
I laugh when I hear about people seriously checking "expiration" dates.  I know I bought this when Pat was alive and he's been gone five years.  Funny, after I ate it, I had this rash all over my body and an upset stomach, and I've been having hallucinations...ha!
Skipped the wine. took a Percocet (thanks, Jim), and slept like a babe.  I'm sure my recovery was hastened by a "visit" from The Little Japanese Sweetheart, Mr. K., which I enjoyed last evening.
So--ordeal over, I hope, and I'm off to meet my old pal, Jimmy Downes, whom I haven't seen for fifty-five years.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Prince Igor

After sleeping almost three hours longer than usual, then dallying over breakfast, I had to hop to it.  I was "assigned" to provide refreshments for Mary Ann's monthly Musical Arts.  Usually, when I do something like this, I pride my self on homemade everything, but yesterday, I just didn't have time.
Rushed to Acme and picked up two already-made hoagies, a mixed-fruit compote, and three slices of cheesecake--plain, cherry, and chocolate.  I just cut the hoagies into slices, added apple slices to the fruit, and divided the cake into smaller portions. Put together disposable plates and tableware I already had--not the horrible paper kind, but foam with pretty tulips on them and tableware that looks like silver.  Rushed to the clubhouse and set everything up.
Mary Ann had told me five were coming, but seven showed up and didn't think I'd have enough for all.  I did, but barely.
It was the first time I was in the newly-decorated clubhouse, which now boasts about the ugliest design treatment I've ever seen. Geometric pattern after geometric pattern in various shades of olive, mustard, and seasick blue, cover the big, hugely uncomfortable "easy" chairs and portions of the dreadful drapes on the windows.  Large, heavy, round tables are scattered here and there, all in a peculiar shade of what I suppose is some kind of oak. Or maple.  Or putty gone bad.  It's certainly something unknown to nature.  The whole thing reminds me of a stodgy gentleman's club, where the plutocrats puff on cigars and discuss how to screw the natives.  Anyway, it stinks.
BUT--Prince Igor, the opera, was spectacular.  What we saw was actually a 1969 movie, not a stage opera, full of hussars and khans and lots of men on horseback.  It was written by Alexander Borodin and first performed in 1890.  (You can recognize the music for "Stranger in Paradise," lifted for use in Kismet.)  It was so enjoyable I'll watch it again on YouTube.  What a treat and here's the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKEpFsXID1w
Home after 4:00 and got a call from Jimmy D., Betty's old boyfriend, with whom I've been in touch.  He and his wife are at the Residence Inn in Atlantic County, but only until tomorrow morning, then go back to California.  We made a date to meet at 1:00 for lunch today, but I'm beginning to wonder if that's a good idea, as I'm getting the damn tooth out at 9:00.  If need be, I'll call and cancel Jimmy.


    

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Show Biz Weekend

After my usual period of frustration when confronted with something new, I finally got the phone working.  It seems you have to put in the date and time first before you get a dial tone.  This is wisdom people in a lesser stage of decrepitude than I are probably born knowing so, of course, it isn't mentioned anywhere in the directions (mumble, grumble, curse, curse, curse).
Got down to Ventnor at 1:00 for the Players & Playwrights meeting.  As I had requested so I could leave early, John put Sondra M.'s on first.  It was--as all her plays are--autobiographical with, I suspect, whole speeches lifted right from life. Sondra seems not to have a strong imagination and acts more as a stenographer than a playwright.  However, it was fairly absorbing (concerned her diagnoses with breast cancer) and, at least, had the virtue of being short.
I stayed for Ernie's play, which was okay, but only slightly reworked from his last version, which I had heard before.  Left after that and my pal, Grey, walked me out.  Stopped at Produce Junction to get a dozen roses for Aline, got home, had a bite  of dinner, then Mary Ann Van O. called to see if she could come over early, as she had a "second-looker" to see her house.  She did, I changed, we took off, and got to Surflight wa-a-a-y early.
Sat in rocking chairs on the porch and Aline came out to greet us. Gave her the roses and she was very appreciative.
We had great seats, as it turned out: third row in the middle. Of course, eternal malcontent Mary Ann complained when people sat in front of us, but I was in a great mood and shrugged it off.  Show finally started and it was pretty good, with a few snags.
The major one for me is the insipid story line, a complete fabrication of the actual history of the Von Trapp family.  Add to that the uninspired dialogue, the undistinguished libretto, the cutesy-poo portrayal of the kiddies, the cartoon-character Nazis, mix them up with superficial religiosity, and you have the totally predictable Sound of Music, beloved of cliche addicts everywhere.
But I had a great time.  For professionalism, it beat the S. of M. I saw six weeks ago in Margate all hollow.*  I greatly enjoyed the sets, the costumes, the props, and especially, seeing Neil G. (who played my nephew in Arsenic), George and Julie S. (with whom I appeared in Our Town) and, of course, my dear friend, Aline, who was a guest at a party--no lines, but she looked beautiful in a long, garnet-colored gown.
Of course, we greeted and congratulated the players after and stayed to chat for some time.  Desi, Jim and Mary, and Tonya and Bob were there, and so was Bob S., a great guy, with whom Aline and I had performed recently in Tony and the Heiress.  Finally left and, after we dropped Aline off, I didn't get home until 11:30. That's ELEVEN-THIRTY AT NIGHT, incredibly for me.  I had told Susan I wouldn't walk this morning and good thing, as I didn't get up until 8:04.
I had messages from my friend and from daughter, Ellen, but thought I'd return them today.  I didn't realize they'd be worried until friend called just now (8:45); she said she'd text Ellen to let her know I'm not lying in a pool of blood somewhere (she didn't say that, though).
Today, I have refreshments for Musical Arts (we're seeing--or maybe enduring, it remains to be seen--Prince Igor, a Russian opera. So all this adds up to a show biz weekend, which is fine by me.
* I have no idea where that expression came from and what it means and I'm too lazy to look it up.
 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Playlets and Produce

I've decided that for my next acting class, I'll have little playlets performed two-by-two by my students.  Selections will be random, of course.  I'll ask them to read, then I'll critique privately and have them do the same again in the next class, the idea being there should be some improvements.
I'll need five very short plays with two female characters.  I already wrote one and will revise slightly The Truth, The Embellished Truth, and Nothing Like the Truth, which I wrote several years ago. (It was performed by our Sunrise Bay drama club.)
I'm going to use the Mrs. Soames' role in Our Town, which I played myself, but I'll have to re-write Thornton Wilder a bit.* Must think about this.  I'll probably write the other two myself, as I want to have at least one other comedy; I have a few ideas floating in around my head.
Spent a fair amount of time cutting up lettuce for salad and preparing Swiss chard.  Fried up some bacon and cooked the chard in the grease--yummy good, if I say it myself.
I seem to be driving to Manahawkin every day lately, and did yesterday.  Took something back and not much else.
My friend came about 4:00 and hooked up my phone.  Can't use it yet--directions say eleven hours--but it's in, anyway.  Friend brought me my portion of farm goodies, including an enormous amount of different kinds of lettuce.  I'll give some away, as I can't possibly eat it all myself.  I was glad to get the tomatoes, string beans, squash, beets, and eggplant, though.
NOTE: Oh, great!  I just tried the new phone and get no dial tone. Now what?  I haven't programmed it yet, so maybe you have to do that before it's operational, but who knows?  I HATE ELECTRONICS!
* I was never a fan of Our Town--like Sound of Music, which I'm going to see tonight, I find it saccharine and insipid.  However, it's one of the  most famous--and revered, Zeus knows why--plays ever, so I guess it's a bit presumptuous of me to modify it, but I care not.    

Friday, October 17, 2014

Phone and the Show

Oh, me, oh, my, if it isn't one thing, it's another.  Now my landline phone has conked out.
Hmm...maybe a serial killer cut the wires, but I don't think so.  I think both handsets just ran out of battery juice, as they seem to do every few months. Besides, the set is eleven years old and when I remembered that, I rushed off to Radio Shack.  Didn't like their prices, so got a new phone (two handsets) at Wal-Mart for under fifty bucks. Asked if my friend will install it today when she brings my farm goods.
Back from Manahawkin, I pulled together my director notes for rehearsal tonight, with specifics for most of the players.  Also wrote a short playlet for my acting class.  I want to start my class actually acting next time; this month was just a warm-up, but hey, I'm not teaching English lit.  I'll write up four more plays, as different as possible, and have two students in each, then critique.
Gave Susan the ornamental pepper before our walk and she was very appreciative.  Called Naomi P. on the cell and after we talked for several minutes, I realized she was in Florida, not around the corner as I had thought.  She told me they've moved down there for good.  I found out her  nephew isn't the Paul C. Steelman Elva asked about, but we had a nice chat.  Will call and tell Elva when the other phone is operational.
Went to rehearsal with Frank.  I was thrilled to see Ron K. there; rushed over to him and cried, "I need another man!" He had been cast in another play, but luckily agreed to be Spike in mine (he was pleased to be told he'd be a lowlife hood).  That's the beauty of this kind of show: You can cast people in several roles and, as long as they can change voices a bit, get away with it.
Rehearsal went well, although we didn't have the players--George and Julie S., and Aline--who are in Sound of Music.  Luckily, that closes on Sunday.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Mish-Mash

Happy day, my precious printer is perky again!  My friend came after work and found that a wire was unplugged.  I don't think it was just that before, because I checked it, but I don't care, as long as it's fixed.
Friend told me she and her husband were motorcycling near Chatsworth when they came across a rattlesnake that had been hit by a car.  They thought it was dead, as the head was crushed, but as husband was lifting it with two sticks to put in a bag, it moved. However, he got it in without incident.  She showed me all this on a video in her phone.  They took it to the nature center, so the folks there can know where it was found.  I think they pinpoint locations of rattlesnakes and, I guess, try to move their nests away from inhabited areas--or something.
Called Adele to see if FELS had any objection to us having A. for E. at Shalom House next month, when the library is closed for Veterans Day.  No prob and Bobbi will ask to reserve it on Monday.  Called the only no-show (and only male registrant) and left a message. So far, he hasn't gotten back to me.
Saw Frank and he asked if I wanted to go with him to rehearsal tonight.  Yes, indeed.  Sent my cast a reminder.
Went to Shop-Rite late in the day under gloomy, then rainy skies. Can't resist SR's chicken thighs and could never understand the preference, it seems, for white meat.  I find the dark much more flavorful; wouldn't you know, it's also more caloric.
I was pleased to get a call from long-time friend, Elva B., and we had a good chat; she and I graduated from St. James Grammar School together eight-hundred years ago.  Elva asked if the Paul C. Steelman, an architect interested in buying Atlantic City real estate, might be the son of our co-graduate, Joan Fiore Steelman.  Looked it up and found out he isn't.
Got an e-mail from Joan M. H., thanking me for sending her pictures of her son and my grandson when they were babies; they're now both 32.  Joan's mother, Elaine, and I were close friends in Ewing during the young-married phase of my life and I've known Joan since she was little more than a baby herself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Acting for Everyone"

My "Acting for Everyone" course turned out to be a big hit!
I welcomed a class of ten women, some of whom I already know from Players & Playwrights; the only male who registered didn't show.  Adele C., who runs the program, introduced me, asked me to fill out an IRS form, then left.
I started off with asking participants why they were taking the course--pretty standard stuff--then got into more depth.  I don't want to list the whole program--we met from 10 to 11:30--but it included improv.  I had written out various situations and had each choose one blind, then they had to speak for three minutes on it.
(Sample: You're in a hotel room in Manahattan, look out the window, and see a man on a ledge about to jump.  Talk him down.) I had them do a lot of other things, too, and before ending, I asked them each to pick (also blind) a poem I had printed out.  They're to recite it--and use acting skills--at our next meeting.
After, Aline and I went to view the water in Longport--spectacular waves smashing against the rocks and wouldn't you know, I didn't have my camera.  We then went to Outback for lunch, after stopping at Produce Junction, where I succumbed to the notorious Buy Fever and got several pumpkins and an ornamental pepper. That got us to the movie theatre at 3:30, where we saw Girl Gone. Pretty good, but a bit long.
Didn't get home until 6:30 and, boy, was I beat.  Susan called to say she or Walter would take me home from the dentist's on Monday, but I don't think that will be necessary, considering I'll probably have only Novocaine, not a ga-ga drug.        

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bob and the Tooth

Cloudy and drizzly all the livelong day.  Not exactly a red-letter one, either, although my tooth was quiet in the morning.
As requested, Bob came over at 10.  I had typed out his lines (he has only five), along with tips and pointers on acting, as opposed to simply reading.  The first few times he went over it, he made me vow, "That's the last time I put somebody in a cast without auditioning him unless I've seen him perform."
After some repetition, though, Bob improved a bit.  I drilled and guided and counseled him and he was receptive to it. He's still as wooden as a cigar store Indian, but I think he'd be adequate--barely--by showtime.
I had him give me a back story on Limpy, his character and he did that well.  We chatted a bit and he told me he had been married three times, the first when he was seventeen.  Lives with his mother and stepfather; I don't know if he works or what.  I had him watch the YouTube 1938 Back of the Mike film and he seemed to grasp what we were trying to do.
After he left, I made myself go over to Little Egg Dental, and consult Young Doc P. about my tooth.  Upshot was an X-Ray showed the tooth is cracked and has to come out.  I'll have that done on Monday--ugh, ugh, double ugh!--and, in the meantime, Doc P. gave me two prescriptions, one for an antibiotic, the other for a pain-killer. ("I don't want something wimpy like Tylonal,*" I told him, "I want Percoset*"--and darned if he didn't give me just that.)
Got the prescriptions to Wal-Mart and was there more than an hour, due to a screw-up, but I got home by 6:00.  My friend called and will come over on Wednesday to see about my printer.  However, Frank next door said he'd look at it, too.
Susan came to the door about 7:00 to give me the sheets for the class today she had printed out.  Okay, we're back on track, I fervently hope.
Didn't need to take the pain pills, but took the antibiotic and slept well.  (Hmm...maybe the Chardonnay helped.)
Now I'm off to pick up Aline, then to Margate for my first "Acting for Everyone" class.
*I don't know how to spell them and neither does SpellCheck.

 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Lunch and a Lousy Tooth

Had a fun day, aside from an unpleasant snag.  Got a bit more of the "Acting for Everyone" class assembled, although I'm still without a printer.
Went over to Susan's at 12:30 and was pleased to see again her daughter, Julie, and granddaughter, Sophia, 8, down from Connecticut.  Julie is a very attractive and bright young woman (well, 40 or so), with whom I have a good rapport.  She manages--does everything from hiring, ordering, overseeing the banquets, catering, and everyday food, to bookkeeping and, for all I know, cleaning the toilets--an exclusive and expensive country club near where they live.  I always enjoy talking to her.
Not so much Susan's cousin, Ann, who was there as well.   She's just not my type, I'm afraid, being very garrulous about nothing of interest.  Wouldn't you know, before long she started raving about some cockamamie television show she wouldn't miss. I instantly--and outrageously and shamefully and wrong-headedly, I know--place such non-conversationalists into the boob category and, I'm afraid, consigned Ann to it yesterday.
However, it was a nice afternoon and a pretty good lunch: Acme's sandwich tray, potato and green salad, a few sides, and spice cake for dessert. The wine and beer flowed freely and I did my share to stem the tide by indulging in both Chardonnay and Blue Moon. Stayed until almost four, then walked home across the street.
The snag?  Later in the day, I developed a toothache, darn it. It bothered me a lot and, of course, it was Sunday.  I used some home remedies and it died down by the time I went to bed, but hoo-boy, I need this like a hole in the head.  I've got a lot to finish for the class tomorrow and Bob is coming over this morning, so I can coach him on his acting skills (i.e., coax him to acquire some).  Think I'll stop at McDentist after and if possible, make an appointment for Wednesday.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Printer Woes and Family

Well, I got the printer on-line and it will copy what I put on the glass, but it won't from the computer.  I'm told "the printer is not responding" and I looked on line and was told to try this and that. Did, and so far, nothing has worked.  Sent a sheet (ideas for Bob) to Susan and she was happy to print it out for me, but I don't want to ask that too often.
Re Susan:  She asked me for lunch today when her daughter and granddaughter will be down from Connecticut, plus her cousin.  Of course, I accepted, managing to stifle any guilt feelings because she's had me over a lot more than I have her.
Went to Wal-Mart and a few other places in a steady, unpleasant drizzle. I surprised even myself when I made bacon and eggs for dinner, after coming across bacon in the freezer.
Brother Larry called to invite me to their big annual Christmas gathering in early December.  Nope, don't think so, not this year.  I went last year--Larry rented several floors of a hotel--and enjoyed it, but I had only a day in between there and going to California for Christmas and I don't want to repeat that--too hectic.
My friend called to say her mother-in-law has died.  She had been in Care One for many years, but that wasn't her real life; for that, she resided in the past.  She believed herself to be still a young housewife and mother on the farm in Minnesota and was quite happy there.  She was 88.
I was delighted to see Ellen on Skype--it's been awhile since we were able to connect.  Just as we were about to hang up, finally, at long last, Mike called on Google +.  Saw adorable little Violet and 10-going-on-twenty Vivian, both beautiful children.  Violet was absorbed in some kind of "app" on her tablet(?) and Viv showed me her swim team outfit--suit, shirt, towel, cap--the suit alone costing ninety clams.  I wonder if a talented child from a poor family could ever make it onto one of these teams.  Oh, I forgot--there are no poor families there, unless you  count the ones native to the area.  I guess their kids wouldn't be going to Stamford International School in the first place.  
















Saturday, October 11, 2014

Veggies and Printer

Spent the entire morning, from just after breakfast until noon, preparing the vegetable bonanza from the farm.  I had a few things left from last week, including a nice acorn squash which I halved and cooked in the microwave.  I combined many of the tomatoes (regular, heirloom, sauce, cherry) with onions, garlic, and a big green pepper in the Crock Pot.  Stir-fired chard and kale with seasonings to have later.  Made a huge salad with my three kinds of lettuce (not iceberg, though, never iceberg), added tomatoes, chicken, and feta, and hard-boiled eggs.
Called Bob and we made a date for him to come over on Monday. I have a list of tips and pointers for him re acting and so on.  I want to be very careful to avoid puncturing his fragile ego; I'll praise his good, strong voice first, then gently ease into the things that can make him a better performer.
Talked to Adele C. about my class on Tuesday.  I then discovered--woe is me--my printer isn't working. Checked the wires and they seem to be connected.  Tried disconnecting, then plugging back in--no luck.  I'm so frustrated about this; I have to print up material for the eleven people in my class!  Sent an emergency e-mail to my four advisers; heard back from two so far. My friend/adviser suggested I get a zip drive, transfer what I need from my documents, and get the documents printed elsewhere.  Rushed out to Staples and got one; will try it tomorrow.  I'm just afraid it won't work or I won't know how to do it right.
A funny thing happened at Shop-Rite, where I went after Staples.  I got a few items and the young--oh, so young and what would I give to be that young again--cashier chirped, "That's nineteen-thirty-six."  I laughed and told her that was the year I was born.  For some reason--I can't imagine why--that tiny coincidence gave me a lift.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Farm and The Cast

After our walk and breakfast, I high-tailed it up to the farm, listening for the engine to do something horrible.  It didn't happen, but when I stopped, it seemed to "rev up," with a whirring sound. (Well, that's as scientific as I can get.)  However, I got there with no problem, spent roughly two hours gathering and picking, then went off without incident and was home at 1:00.
Separated the goods--my friend's two-thirds, mine the rest--then showered and dressed.  Friend came about 3:15, we talked about the health crapola, then she treated me to an early dinner at Dynasty.  She had to be back at the school to meet with a parent at 6:00, so left a bit before.
I readied things for my first cast gathering and, wouldn't you know, my printer quit on me--"printer error/turn off, then on again/if not remedied, consult manual"--damn, the story of my life and I don't know if I have a manual.  Oh, well, I'll have to take care of it today.
Cast came at 7:00.  I was pleased that whatever obligation Frank-Next-Door had had, it ended early and he was able to join us.
We had a pretty good session.  Of course, people had to double up to fill in for others--at one point, Chuck D. played both Singing Jim, who gets murdered, and Spike Grogan, one of his murderers, so he was pleading with himself to lay off--but that will be adjusted before the show.
Dayle was superb.  She took not only her actual part, as Apple Mary, but Mary H.'s as Margo and immediately adjusted from hardscrabble lady of the streets (beggar, not prostitute) to highborn, elegant Margo Lane. Grey, Frank, and especially Chuck, were good, although they need to slow down a bit.
Two problems, though: Desi, who's well over 80 and seems to be getting somewhat befuddled, had difficulty seeing the script--or something--and as Officer Clancy, kept adding, then subtracting the Irish accent.  However, he's a trouper from way back and I know he can handle it.
I'm not so sure about Bob.  He was anxious to be in LETCO, but seems not to understand he's supposed to be acting.  From his reading and remarks he made after the run-through, his educational background is modest--no prob at all, that, as long as he's reasonably bright.  Unfortunately, that didn't shine through last night, either.  He had some difficulty pronouncing certain words, although as beggar "Limpy," his lines are hardly above fifth-grade level.
But even that wasn't so much a problem as the fact that he simply read--in a big, booming voice, to be sure, and that's an asset, but haltingly and in a complete monotone.  He didn't display a hint that he had any grasp of the character or the story line. Okay, I'm going to work with him.  I'll call him today and see when we can meet so I can coach him to reach at least a modicum of competence.
My first session for the FELS acting class is on Tuesday and, of course, I'll be conducting that for a group.  I wonder if Bob will ever realize it how very privileged he is to get free, one-on-one instruction from the prof--HA!                    

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Insurance and Those Who Run This Country

I was pleased to get an early call from Adele C., of FELS, to tell me ten people had signed up for my acting class.  I asked for their names, as I want to have name tags ready and was surprised that Aline was not among them.  When I talked to her later, she said she had overlooked registering, but called Adele immediately and there's no problem with her joining the class.
Picked up the very same gal at 9:00 and we went to breakfast at Dockside.  Had a long, leisurely, lovely one--good conversation along with scrambled eggs--then went down to Graveling Point, one of our favorite places.
We were surprised and pleased to see that the water was turbulent, I guess because of the full moon.  Drove to the Green Street bay to see that water; it's never as exciting as at GP, but was still full and beautiful.
I had loaded my book donations into the truck and we dropped them off at the Tuckerton thrift store.  We then we went to the Little Egg Library, so Aline could print out the FELS application. Dropped her off after and went home to continue shaping up my various Shadow blurbs and articles.
The health insurance agent came about 4:00 and we sat down to go over this burdensome topic.  Will I pay more?  Ha!  The real bottom line is, will I pay two thousand a year more or eight hundred a year more and take my chances on the higher co-pays?
What gets to me is, I have Medicare, into which I paid for years, and I'm reasonably comfortable financially, so it isn't as if I'm on the dole or something.  I can pay the higher premium and/or co-pays, if necessary.  I'm aware, though, that others will be mowed down by this highway robbery.
This situation, to reduce by any means necessary those in the former middle class to peonage, is no accident. Since the seventies, the corporations and their political whores of both parties have worked diligently to bring this about.  They're aided and abetted by their media handmaidens, who cheer them on.  They're cosseted by the religious, who wring their hands over the plight of the poor, and distribute food, but would never dream of denouncing in any concrete way, the system itself.  And, of course, there's always that unimaginably vast and malignant entity, the military, swallowing the blood and riches of a citizenry who will thank them for their service and please, sir, kick me again.      
And most of the populace will docilely accept the programming of the sons-of-bitches who run this country and blame "welfare cheats" for it all instead of the sons-of-bitches who run this country.    

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Show and The Floor

Dagnab it, as grandpa used to say, neither Steve S. nor Mike B. can be in Blind Beggar.  I'll probably have to move people (men) around and double up; luckily, you can do that when it's supposed to be a radio show.  Trying to fill in, I called Judy and got the phone number of her friend, Bob.  I had met him at the flea market and he said he'd like to get involved in the company.  This kind of thing--a no memorizing role--is perfect for him as a novice.  Called him and happy day, he wants to participate.  It's a bit off-putting that he doesn't have a computer (he's not that old!), but I told him I'd print out a script for him.
Determined to tackle the kitchen floor, I swept, then used the Pine Sol practically full strength.  It actually did pretty well, although it was very strenuous.  I was afraid to actually kneel, so had to just bend down, first scrubbing the grout lines, then the tiles, then rinsing several times with water.  What a chore and I haven't even done all of it, but it does look more presentable.
Talked to Aline and told her I just had too much to do to spend the whole day gallivanting, so offered to pick her up for lunch only. However, she wanted to go to a movie at the Boscov Mall, so did that instead.  We made a date for breakfast today; will go to Dockside shortly.
Went to the SOCH thrift shop in Manahawkin and was pleased to get what I think is an appropriate dress (dark print and drape-y) for the thirties or forties matron I'll be in the show.  I'll add big jewelry and am thinking of setting my hair with pin curls to suggest a hair style of that era; in other words, a bad perm.
Dropped a load of heavy art books off at the library and I have more in my trunk.  Rode down to Graveling Point about 6:30, as I often do.  The water was wildly wonderful--full moon last night.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Various and The New Walker

The whole day consisted of doing wash, preparing and cooking veggies, and working on The Shadow program.
I sent an e-mail to my cast to schedule a meeting at my house for Thursday--two days from now, aagh!-- when we'll go over the script for the first time.  I'll see if I have to advise or adjust and make sure everybody's on board with their characterizations.  (With something like this, it's a great temptation to get complacent--does that rhyme? Hm...almost--and figure "hey, no memorizing, so it's a piece of cake," but it's not so easy, Bucko.)
Wrote up a piece on the show for The Breeze and must do another for Rick M., of The Sandpaper, the southern Ocean County paper. I happen to know Rick is in Sound of Music, so didn't ask him to be in Shadow.  Of course, so is George S., but he showed up at the meeting last week and will be my "Marty Nelson."
Simmered lots o' veggies in the crock pot, then stir-fried them with turkey burger for dinner.  Very tasty and I have some left for tonight.  Prepared a lot of other good greens in various ways and will enjoy them for several days.
In the evening, I was thrilled to get virtual visit from the Little Prince in Japan.  Now, of course, he's charging all over on his two tot feet, as well as making his wishes known to his parents decidedly.  He can be outraged if they don't comply, but the storms pass quickly and his smiles are just delightful to see.  He surely recognizes me now and the "Nana smile" when he does is the best one of all.           

Monday, October 06, 2014

Weekend

Had a wonderful weekend with my friend and her guy.  I was whisked up north late afternoon on Friday and just got back a half hour ago.
I'm not going to record hour-by-hour events of the visit, but it included on Friday evening a "date" with friend's hubby while she hiked.  We went to dinner and I had such an enjoyable time talking to him.
The three of us and two of us took several walks over the weekend and they did a bit of work (their house is on the market) while my contribution was to ooh and aah over how great the place looks. We had delicious breakfasts of blueberry/banana pancakes and scrambled eggs, orange juice and coffee); equally delicious dinners which included homemade sauce over pasta with turkey sausage, as well as fresh beets and other veggies.  On Saturday evening, we watched the documentary on Roger Ebert, Life Itself. I've been dying to see it since I read his autobiography of the same name and was delighted we could get it on Netflick.    
On what this lazy couple considers their respite day, Sunday--la de da, nothing to do but lie around and eat bon bons--a jaunt to Belmar was proposed and I was happy to acquiesce.  I greatly enjoyed walking the boardwalk, crossing the bridge, and strolling onto the beach, just looking around here and there to see what I could see. In the meantime, the pokey pair ran, seven and nine miles respectively, all the way to Sea Girt and beyond, in fact.
We then went to "The Buttered Biscuit," and had excellent lunches, me a Cobb salad, half of which I took with me to eat later.  Home, I read, they showered and tidied up and we had another good dinner, mostly vegetarian, with fresh beets and root vegetables from the farm.
My friend took me home on her way to work this morning and here I am.  What a terrific time I had and now I feel inspired to keep plugging away at my own house-clearing chores.
And besides that, the big news is that Mr. K., the Tokyo Tot, can walk without holding on!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Friday, October 03, 2014

Chicken and The Shadow

Had a yen for Shop-Rite's rotisserie chicken, so hopped in the car and drove there to get one.  My habit is to eat the drumsticks and wings first, skin (the best part, if you ask me) included, then cut down the rest to put in salad
Spent time firming up The Shadow info.  Now I'm not sure if Steve S. will do Lamont Cranston or if I'll ask Grey.  Decided to give Dayle the Apple Mary role, which I was going to do myself, but I'm not comfortable with performing in the same play I direct.
Betty Mae McG. W. called and we had a good long chat about the lousy reunion.  Yes, it was lousy, in fact.  It was dull as dishwater and there was no attempt whatever to make it memorable.  Betty was amazed there was no planned-for group picture, no program, no listing of who was present, no music of our era piped in, no display of relevant artifacts.  The more I think of it myself, the more annoyed I get.  Hey, let's face it, that dull reunion reflects the class; ours about the dullest Holy Spirit ever produced.
The casting meeting last night went well.  Dayle, her friend, Meryl, and Grey (he'll be the dirty lowlife, Spike Grogan) came, and I was able to cast all the female roles, but need more men.  I can double up to some extent: Desi agreed to play Officer Clancy, in addition to Lame Bill (or Limpy, can't remember which I'm giving him), but I still need another man.  And I must firm up whether Steve S. is available at all to play Lamont Cranston/the Shadow.  If not, I'll have a problem.  Will cast around (love puns!) for another guy.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Lunch and Killing Civilians

Cleaned off my desk and part of the study.  The carpet under my chair was stained, so I used Resolve.  Looks somewhat better, but it's still noticeably dirty.  Wonder why.  Could I be because I often eat in there?  Nah.
Met Betty at Pitney Pub for lunch; this time, it wasn't quite as good as the other day.  I had a Reuben, Betty pastrami, and neither seemed that great.  However, we had a good chat.
After, I went to Staples to see if they had any 2014 desk calendars left.  Of course not, but I bought some plastic containers.
Got a call from Jack B., brother Larry's old friend, commenting on Lily's death; he saw a piece in the Asbury Park Press on it.  There was one in the Press of Atlantic City, I assume the same one, as it was from the Associated Press.
I was delighted to receive e-mails from my P & P pals, Dayle F., Louise S., and Grey L., accepting my invitation to attend the info meeting tonight on our Listen to This! show.  I want to make a pitch for Grey to take the role of Spike Grogan, a dirty, lowdown hood, in my play; told Grey it would be right down his alley.
Betty Mae McGlynn W. called while I was out for just a few minutes.  She said she would to hear about the reunion.  Sorry I missed her and I don't have her number, but asked her via Facebook to call back today.
WIDER:  "Relaxing" standards.  What in the living hell has this country come to?   
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/10/01/us-relaxing-standards-killing-civilians-iraq-and-syria

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Eye Doc

Another pleasant--and problematic--day.
Picked up Aline at 10:30 and took her to her 11:00 Horizon Eye Care (same as mine).  It's right across from Shop-Rite, so I did some shopping after dropping her.  Got back in 45 minutes and was surprised to see she hadn't even been called in yet.  Left her and went to the dollar store in the same shopping center.  Back in about twenty and she was still in the waiting room.
Now at this point, I'd have been ranting and raving and my mild little friend actually did protest--mildly--that she had been waiting a long time.  I don't want to drag this out, but here's the lowdown and the upshot: We were told doc had to do a procedure (what, it wasn't scheduled?) that took longer than usual; finally Aline went in for her (routine) exam, which took a fair amount of time, then she had to pick out frames, and so on and so forth.  We got outta there at 1:20, fer cryin' out loud, more than two hours later!
But...the receptionist was very nice--she remembered me from when I got my cataracts out, which tells you something--and glory be, had a sense of humor, so I simmered down.  Plus, I was able to peruse several copies of Wine Spectator while I waited; the pictures of Napa Valley made me yearn for California and for a nice glass of Chardonnay, but in a sweet, melancholy way, and I forgot to be mad.
Finally finished, we went to the Stafford Diner for lunch and Aline insisted in treating me--damn, I should have gotten something for more than $7.25 (joke!)--because we had to wait so long.  This time, I allowed her to pay, partly because I know it made her feel better.
We then went to nearby Wal-Mart, after that Dock Road to see the water, and were home by 4:00.  Elva B. called to tell me Channel 6 had a segment on about Lily's death, and we chatted.
Other than all that stuff, 'twas just an ordinary day in an ordinary life.