Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sinatra and Shakespeare

It was empty trash/clothes wash day and I spent the morning hours on those chores.
Got a call from Matt*, the agent, about the insurance on my house: Company wants proof I had the solar panels installed professionally. Why, no, why should I pay somebody? I climbed up there and put them on myself.
Thought I had the contract from All Season Solar--or MJR Clean Energy Ventures**--I'm not even sure which outfit did it or how they're connected, but couldn't find it. Called and they'll call me back; I'll ask them to send some kind of proof to Matt.
Got a welcome call from my friend, who's still settling in, of course. I hope I can get to see her before too long. E-mailed back and forth to niece Carolyn, and we'll get together sometime soon. Got some nice messages from Susan, my former neighbor and dear little Bernice, fellow P & P member. It's nice to read that they miss me--a great bunch.
Got a call-back from and apartment owner, saying I could see the place at 12:50. Went over and ugh, ugh, never-never-never. Not only was it in a unattractive neighborhood, facing some kind of huge warehouse in the front, but it was old, shabby, and small. I was stunned at the kitchen: dark, very cheap-looking wooden cabinets and, incredibly, no dishwasher, microwave OR refrigerator. Thanks, bur no thanks.
Impulsively bought spare ribs, which I intend to simmer in the crock pot today. Finished the Jackie O. book and got Mr. S from the library, a sizzling tell-all about Frankie by his valet (I'm a sucker for this kind of thing). On the other end of the cultural spectrum, I'm listening to a CD by Bill Bryson about how little we really know about Shakespeare and how scholars through centuries have been obsessed with the slightest minutiae about his life. Bryson is a favorite of mine; he wrote some very funny stuff about traveling through the U.S. in which he characterized various states. (I remember he casually noted that Delaware doesn't exist.) He also wrote a riveting account of hiking the Appalachian Trail, bringing in a lot of history, harrowing accounts of accidents, but also triumphant tales of success on the trail. As I recall, he's American, but lived in the U.K. for many years. Anyway, it's a terrific book.
* Coincidentally, his last name is "Bonaventura," the original name of where I now live.
** When I put this in my bill pay section of my bank account, I accidentally wrote "Ventura," instead of "Ventures." Looks like nobody noticed or cares--as long as the bills are paid.

Time Warner and Tom Hanks

Time Warner guy came, as promised, at about 10:10. He was here for almost an hour, but I still don't know whether it was my fault, somehow (I was raised Catholic, I automatically think that way) or theirs. I don't care, though, as I wrote down the formula for turning the thing on--oh, yes, you have to press this, then that, and get the right sequence.
I asked him to hook up the DVD, but he said I didn't have the right wires--they include little pointed things. After he left, I took the DVD back to ask for my five bucks back, but the very nice young man at the Goodwill said all I need are the wires and they had them for a buck. He also showed me which ones went where, even getting a marker to label them.
Stopped on my way back at Ralston Courtyard Apartments and was shown a one-bedroom. Boy, oh, boy, is this a nice complex; in fact, it's my new favorite, beating out even Ventura del sol. No bow-wows, of course, very convenient, and with beautiful plantings. It's only five years old AND has a washer and dryer. They had only the smaller one bed to show, but I liked even that. Of course, I still don't know if I'm going to be moving early or not, and if so, when, so looking at all these places doesn't mean a lot. I had a nice chat with the rep--Candy Somebody--who had moved here from Arizona and was very homesick. She gave me her whole bio--almost 50, divorced, four kids, etc.--but far from being impatient, I enjoyed hearing it.
Finished up my application for Cal State U. and sent it off via e-mail and attachments, along with my resume and the blurb from Stockton State. Got a message back, thanking me and saying their winter schedule is filled--I assumed that--but they'd consider me for spring. Okay, too.
I lay down for an hour or so in the afternoon; not sure if I actually napped, but I rested, anyway.
Got a return call from the woman from BCNN for whom I had left a message regarding a poetry group. I might be interested in poetry discussion featuring real poets, but this turned out to be people writing and reciting poetry. I know it's outrageous of me to write it, but I find the vast majority of amateur poetry boring in the extreme. I don't want to sit around and pretend I think it's soulful and meaningful, so I gently declined.
Got an e-mail from the widow group with whom I'll lunch on Monday and I'm definitely looking forward to that. Took a drive about 5:30, as I often do; did at home, too. I start feeling lonely around the dinner hour and this helps a lot.
Now that I actually know how to operate the damn thing, I watched television last night. Came across one of my favorite movies, which I'm convinced never got the recognition it deserved: Catch Me If You Can. Tom Hanks is just the best of the best and Leo is no slouch, either. I think this was overshadowed by subsequent movies--DiCaprio playing Howard Hughes?--but it was such a treat.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Various

Called Donna at CSU Channel Islands just to 1. ascertain there is a stipend for teaching a course and 2. to see if I can send in my proposal via a method other than filling out the proposal application and resume, then e-mailing it in. Decided to scan and send as attachments. I hauled out my materials from my "Acting for Everyone" class at Stockton, then pared them down, modified, and otherwise shaped them for the new venture. As this point, of course, I don't know if it'll fly, but I'm pretty confident. The choice of sessions it four or eight; since I had designed a six-session course for the first one, I didn't think four would be enough, so designated eight. Applicants also have to briefly describe each session and, boy, this took hours. I may have overwritten it, and might cut it a bit before I submit it today.
Before I started this monumental project, I scrubbed and cut up my trove of new potatoes, putting skin and all in the slow cooker, along with onions and spices. Had a big bowl for lunch with just butter and salt and boy, it was good.
Called Betty and caught her walking to the Margate Post Office to mail off something or other that has to do with her recent accident. We had a good chat, but I felt sorry she has to go through this. She also has to take some documents over to the county courthouse(?) off-shore and will have to ask a friend to take her.
Later in the afternoon, I put the CSU project aside and drove to the library in town. (Boy, was it hot in there.) I've been reading Jacqueline Onassis: The Literary Years, about her editorship at several publishing houses in Manhattan, and came across mention of a book she edited called Dancing On My Grave. This was by a very famous ballerina who was active in the nineteen-eighties, and whose rather odd first name was "Gelsey." Looked it up by title, but it wasn't listed and was annoyed with myself that I had forgotten the last name. I mentioned it at the desk and was amazed that the woman there promptly said, "the last name is Kirkland." She smiled at my astonished look and said she was a devotee of ballet, so was familiar. Since it wasn't in the system, I requested that it be borrowed and I'll be called when it comes in.
On the way home, I stopped at Kohl's--want to find a pocketbook that will keep my keys and cell phone handy, especially as I have a 30 percent off coupon. Saw a few, but didn't buy; I may go back today and get one.
Made for dinner a dish my dear departed sister, Gene, had told me about: combine a pound of cooked, hot elbow macaroni with a can of peas and a six ounce can of tuna packed in oil, adding salt and pepper to taste. I think a lot of people wouldn't like this, but I do and make it every five years or so.
Sat down a 8:00 to watch television--what program? I don't know, I just flip around and see if there's anything interesting. However, I couldn't get it to show anything, interesting or not. It kept telling me there was no channel access and other incomprehensible stuff. I finally called Time Warner--this at close to nine o'clock--and was told to press this, press that, but still the no access kept showing. Rep said somebody would come today between 10 and 11, so okay, fine. Aside from the fact that I'm paying for the damn thing, I don't care that much, but it was kind of fun to see it the two times I did--much clearer than You Tube.
Insomnia again. I actually got up and revised some of the CSU stuff. A mistake; now it's close to nine am and I'm groggy. Guess I'll have to look into trying to remedy this.

Monday, September 28, 2015

"Nora"

As I mentioned, I slept late yesterday; didn't even have breakfast until almost 10:00. After that, I just did a few chores, then lazed around with the Sunday crossword puzzle. After lunch, showered, washed my hair, dressed, and yes, put make-up on. Left for the play--Nora--much too early and got there the same.
However, I was able to chat with "Carol," the snack lady and stage manager, before the play. She's an upstate New Yorker, but has lived in Santa Paula for many years. She doesn't act herself, but is one of the necessary aides and helpers for which all companies are grateful.
Nora is an adaptation by the film maker, Ingmar Bergman, of Ibsen's A Doll's House, both artists Norwegian, of course. I'm not familiar with the original play, but I know from Hedda that Ibsen can be pretty talky, so I bet this is an improvement. Funny, I remember the dispute we actors and other had over whether to cut long, long, somewhat turgid Hedda at all. Along with several others, I was in favor, reasoning that a translation can't possibly be done with word-for-word exactitude, anyway. We were voted down, however, and our presentation went on into the night.
The actors were so good. There were two females and three males, all really excellent. The only downside of the afternoon was the fact that there were exactly twelve people in the audience and four of them were connected to the company. Ouch, that's really demoralizing, as I well know, but the cast gave it their all, anyway. I was in the middle of the third row and had an excellent, unobstructed view of the stage. Annoyingly, three old ladies behind me chuckled and laughed inappropriately at certain lines; this isn't a comedy, dammit, and having had this happen to me once, I wanted to turn around and glare at them. Didn't, though.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sleepless and Sisters-In-Law

Ugh, it's almost nine and I just got up. I've been having problems sleeping for quite a while--darn, I hope I can shake this. Woke at 3 am and was so unsleepy, I got up and went onto the computer for a time. For me, that's usually a mistake because it makes me more alert. Not sure when I finally dropped off, but I don't like this insomnia and haven't suffered from it for this long before.
As for Saturday, it was a this and that one. Got into the CSU Channel Islands site, printed out the proposal application, and started that. I was pleased to realize their "OTTI" program is pretty clearly identical to the FELS one at Stockton: various non-credit courses aimed at people over 50. Happy day, but I want to call that "Donna" and find out what the stipend is. I assume it isn't a volunteer thing; if it happens to be, I'm outta there.
Brother Larry called and I enjoyed our chat until he told me his Helen has developed memory problems. Helen never drove much, except to well-known and close areas, but now she has gotten lost going to them. It won't be a problem for her to give up driving; more problematic is the fact that she has to ask several times what Larry just told her. It's ironic: Therese, married to Jim, my oldest brother is in her late eighties and seems to have no such problem, yet Helen and Marybeth, both considerably younger, do. Well, I hope--not sure what to hope at this point...
Went to WinCo for groceries and a few other places. Took a dry run to the home where the "Living in the Moment" group will meet, but I think I was given the wrong directions by the woman I spoke to from BCNN. It's 'way down near the beach and the area was mobbed; I almost ran into a whole group of people on bikes. Anyway, didn't find it, but later, I looked up the hostesses' name in White Pages and got the address. I'll try finding it again on a non-weekend day.
Took a drive to Oxnard--sort of accidentally, but it was no problem. Stopped at a few places, but I didn't really need anything, so just looked.
Called El when I got home and we chatted. Greg is off today and they'll do something; she and I will hang out next weekend.
At 2:30 today, I'm going to the matinee at Santa Paula Theatre, which I'm anticipating with pleasure. I even plan to wear makeup, how about that?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cleaning the Bathroom and CSU

A varied and interesting day. Cleaned my bathroom and the kitchen--well, that's not interesting, but the fact that those two chores took less than an hour is a marvel to me. Finally called a woman from Beach Cities Newcomers and Neighbors and asked to sit on on her group. This is "Living in the Moment," which may or not be one of those cockamamie "soulful" gatherings--spiritual without the religion and rambling talk without the intelligence. The leader was cordial enough and invited me to come when they meet on the first Monday in October; I'll check it out.
On the Meetup page, I queried Vera, the young woman with the widow/er group, and asked if any--uh, "mature" adults were members. She replied that at least half were over sixty. Maybe sounds good and I'll join in their next lunch meeting at a restaurant on Main Street. To top it off, I called CSU* Channel Islands to ask how I can propose teaching a course there. "Donna," a very pleasant and friendly woman advised me to go into the web site and see the steps to submitting a proposal for teaching. I did so and was pleased to see this is for an outreach program similar to FELS at Stockton, that is, for older people. I'll submit my "Acting for Everyone" information and hope to start with the January session.
On a roll, I decided to take a dry run to the Santa Paula Theater Center because I intend to go to their Sunday matinee, Nora. This is an adaptation by Ingmar Bergman of Ibsen's "A Doll's House," and since I performed in his Hedda Gabbler not long ago, I want to see it. I also know that this group does one-act shows and I'll try to want to interest them in staging one or more of mine. Took the Freeway--I'm getting brave!--the twenty minutes or so to Santa Paula and found the place. I'm looking forward to going tomorrow.
I pulled over when my cell rang; in was Betty returning my call and we talked for a time. She's feeling very low, what with the accident and the fact that she'll no longer has a car. Hope her friends pull through for her.
Stopped at my favorite thrift store and bought a large square basket to put rolled-up towels in for the guest bath. Before I headed home, I drove down Main Street and easily found the restaurant--Yolanda's--where the widowed group meets. I'm looking forward to that outing.
On my way home, I took Telegraph Road, kind of a twin of, and parallel to, Telephone. I happened to see a high-rise building called Ventura Townehomes and decided to stop in to ask if I could see a model apartment. After I got out of the car and approached, I heard music. A young woman was singing, backed by a trio--piano, trumpet, and bass--and the large, sunny lobby, doors thrown open, was filled with older people, They were seated here and there informally, many with walkers or canes. This was clearly an assisted living facility and I was about to leave when I noticed a table with a wine and cheese spread on it. I sat down. An employee came over and asked if I'd like some wine. Well...okay, sure. So I sat there for 45 minutes or so, listening to the old-time songs and drinking my Chardonnay.
Something in me wanted to stay forever and be taken care of, but I resisted and left when the entertainers took a break. But it was such an enjoyable interlude. I think it points up how, if you're open to what comes along, and you like it, and want to be part of it, there's no reason to think you won't be welcome. I was an interloper, but it was obvious nobody had a problem with that.
If I had wanted to, I probably could have wangled dinner.
*California State University

Apartments and the Granny House

Nine 'til noon I spent dealing with office stuff--just reading, filing, discarding, and so on. Wrote a note to my dear nephew, Wes, the only attorney in our far flung-family, and sent him old legal documents I had had in the archives. After lunch, went off to the P.O. to mail it and swung around on Telegraph Road to revisit Ventura del sol.
Here a very nice woman--Patti--greeted me and I asked to see a one-bedroom (all the two-bedrooms are upstairs and down and that's out for me). She showed me one recently renovated that going to be occupied next week. (Incidentally, the one- and two-bedrooms are situated on opposite sides of a center grass area.)
I would kill for the place. Although having only one bedroom and one bath, it's laid out nicely and has less of a "chopped up" look than my present apartment. For instance, my bedroom has only one wall free of either doors or windows. In addition, almost an entire wall is filled with a sliding glass door. Since there's one in the living room, too, do I really need that? At Vds, the bedroom window is a nice large side, but it's a window, not a door, and I could easily fit my desk or bureau under it.
Kitchen is good--galley type, of course--with the usual. A negative is the electric stove, but I can live with that.
Speaking of electricity, that's the only appliance for which Vds charges tenants; Colony Parc charges for water and sewer, in addition to a small monthly charge for--get this--the "service provider" that prepares the monthly statements. These charges came to $54.31 last month--that's in addition, of course, to the stated rent. Talk about highway robbery!
Went over to take a look at Armada Apartments, also. However, it's across a busy highway from the mall and I didn't think the neighborhood looked very nice, either. Scratch them, I guess. I had seen a "granny house"--odious expression--advertised and called the number provided, although the rent seemed suspiciously low.
No wonder: A man answered and when I asked where the house was located, he said it was between Ventura and Santa Paula. I know that's farm land and asked if it was out in the country. Yes, it's on a ranch, he said, and you would take the Freeway to the so-and-so exit, drive out to whatsit street, turn left at wherever, then "call me and I'll come out in my car and guide you the rest of the way."
WHAT?! Now you can be sure the basis for a horror story grew hair and teeth in my mind as I thanked him and said it was probably not for me. I can see it now: Ellen to Greg: "Gee, I wonder where Mom is. I've been calling her on both phones and there's no answer." Greg: "Let's ask the manager to let us into her apartment." They find a clipping for the granny house and call the number. Man says, "Why no, your mother was supposed to meet me, but never got here...heh, heh, heh...."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Pedicure, My Pal, and the Pope

Finally got a pedicure and my tootsies turned out terrific. I picked some color or other--since I never go barefoot, I don't really care and no, I haven't gone to either of the pools yet. I'm not a big pool person and didn't feel like going alone, anyway. Plus it seems like a big deal to undress, put on a suit, splash around, take a shower, dress again. I'm just bone lazy, that's all.
I went early to the nail place and wasn't surprised to see that all the employees are Vietnamese, as they are in Little Egg. There has to be a story there and I'll look it up someday. Like a complete idiot, I wore my usual socks and sneakers--everybody else in the place had flip-flops on. (Well, yeah, duh.) The young woman who did my nails gave me a pair of foam ones and I wore them to walk to the car, then put my usual back on. Polish got smudged a bit, but I really don't care.
Kept my 1:00 appointment with Karen, Colony Parc's manager. She's very nice and I was as open and honest as possible re my request to shorten my lease. When I signed, I didn't know my apartment would involve steps: a single one, then a few feet and another single, then a few more feet, and three down. I told her the truth: I have a balance problem and also trouble with my knee. I said I wasn't talking about moving next week or anything and she said "maybe November?" I said, "yes, maybe November or even January." As I assumed she would, she said she didn't have the authority to grant my request, but would consult those at the corporate level. I had also anticipated she would ask if I would consider moving to a different apartment at Colony Parc, and she did. I told the truth: If I was going to go to the trouble and expense of moving, I would want to live in a place with no dogs. I mentioned the barking, although I've never been awakened from sleep. She accepted my answer and was very cordial. She'll take it from there.
If my request is honored, that's fine and I'll start right away looking for another place. If not, I'll just live out the lease, which is up in June. It isn't horrible here, I'm okay with it, just trying to get something more to my liking. I'm more knowledgeable now about what's available here (very little) and I know better what would suit me.
Found a new supermarket closer to town and got some chicken legs and other stuff there. Prepared my signature (ha--so grandiose!) lemon pepper chicken with them and baked all. Had one for dinner, so good, and froze the rest for later. I like to get out in the evening, so drove to Target after dinner. Didn't find anything I really need and bought a plastic bucket for a dollar. Well, everybody needs a plastic bucket!
Called my pal, Aline, and we had a good, close-friends talk. She's going into "the city" this weekend (as she does about three times a month), the same time the pope will be there. I have no interest at all in that event, aside from hoping the godless aren't inconvenienced by it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Comcast and Bogata

Oh, joy, and happy day! I'm back in the game, electronics-wise, and I'm thrilled. Comcast allowed me back in the e-mail arena, thanks to the world's best neighbor, Frank-Next-Door. Whew!
Also got the landline up and running, so things are good.
Emptied trash--not as simple as it sounds around here--and took not one, but two loads of wash to the laundry place. Divided them and used bleach on the whites; I'll be damned if I'm going to relinquish it.
Spent a lot of time trying to track down a doctor here and will continue tomorrow. AGAIN took the Freeway (and my life in my hands) to Oxnard to take a look at some sleep sofas. Didn't like any I saw, but will continue. Looked further into some possible rentals, including duplexes. I'll see the manager here today and ask if I might be able to swing a shorter lease.
Talked to Betty at some length and was surprised to hear she's decided not to get another car until she moves to California. Her accident the other day totaled hers and her insurance would go up so high, she feels it would be prohibitive. Ouch--I'd hate to be without a car, although living in Ventnor, she does have convenient buses. Her friends will help out, too.
Called my friend in New Mexico and learned they're settling in fine. The moving van came today and they're still engaged in unpacking, sorting out, and putting away. She said they had already gotten library cards--library's only a half mile away--which was one of the first things I did when I moved, too.
Speaking of libraries, the Ventura one in this instance, there's an tech assistant there (probably sixties, white hair below his waist tied in a pony tail) who keeps touting his book Bogata By Bus. Says I should look it up on Amazon (I will one of these days); it's available only on Kindle. Assuming it's a kind of travelogue of his years in that country, last time I was there--at the library, not Bogata--I asked how long he had lived there. Oh, he's never been south of Riverside (CA), he said, but you can find anything out on the Internet.
Fer cryin' out loud! Hey, I'm going to write about my adventures as a Mafia call girl--or no, a pious account of my years in a cloistered convent--scratch that, I'll portray myself as a cross-gendered Korean guy who starts a billion-dollar pork belly business.
Wait, come to think of it, I should check this out before I judge. Will do. BTW, the guy said he's now working on a sequel: Mexico by Motorcycle. Has he ever been...?
Nope.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Nothing

Nothing interesting going on at the moment. I managed to hook up my landline phone, which actually works, but the Comcast thing is horrible. I don't even went to go into it here, and I won't.
Woman at the office called to ask if I would postpone my meeting with the manager and I had no problem with that; we'll meet on Wednesday.
Spent quite a bit of time researching other housing. Ellen suggested looking a duplexes, which I will. Problem is, Ventura has some of the least available rentals in the country. Cant't remember the stats, but here, apartments and houses are much more scare.
Looked at a duplex in a very nice neighborhood. Unfortunately, it's right next to the Freeway and even at 2:00 on a Monday, the traffic was horribly noisy. I called another place and will see the available apartment early in October. It's quite possible I'll decide to ride out my lease (ten more months) anyway, but it won't hurt to become familiar with what's out there.
Got a return call from Angela De C., who appeared in Mad Gravity; we had chatted after and she had given me her number. We talked a bit more yesterday and will get together shortly for lunch.
Now to call Comcast once again.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Power Plug

My delightful morning call from Aline was the high point of the day--the rest of it mundane.
Having no luck at all elsewhere finding a power plug for the phone, and being advised by all to go to Fry's Electronics in Oxnard, I called the store. They didn't have a specific device for my specific phone, I was told,but they had a universal adapter. So why didn't I jump in the car and go there without another thought? Because the directions take you on the dreaded Freeway--Route 101 informally--and I was afraid. However, I screwed up my courage and determined to do it.
Actually, it wasn't so bad getting on. The right lane where you enter doesn't merge--merging is always a source of fear and trembling for me--so you just stay on until you reach your exit. While I was driving though, I noticed that those towering mountains on the horizon that had always seemed so majestic and benign, now looked dark, sinister, and threatening. However, I told myself that was silly and drove on to my destination, exiting at 61 in Oxnard, a very busy, bustling commercial area.
Found Fry's without too much trouble, but it took wandering all over the huge store and the assistance of three clerks to get the universal adapter. Damn, it was over sixteen dollars with tax and it occurred to me my phones cost only about thirty. Should I just get a new phone set? I'm still mulling it over.
Cut up Brussels sprouts and onions and put them in the crock pot. Cooked up some sausages and had both for dinner. Very tasty.
NOTE: I've now called Comcast a total of five times and spoken to six people. Each took all kinds of information and assured me I could resume my old address "within 24 to 72 hours." Never happened. Just now I was told they don't have the tools to do it at this time (implication was the system had a problem), but would call me when they could. As for g-mail, I can't get in. When I try, I keep being told somebody already has my i.d. and password. I'm at a loss.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hell, Comcast, and My Beautiful Desks

I know there's a hell and Comcast is running it.
What's that all about? Oh, la-de-da, only that I called them for the sixth time just now. The fifth time, I was told it would be up to 72 hours before I got my Comcast e-mail address back. Okay, it's been 72 hours and I'm still locked out. However, silly me, I had thought 72 hours meant 72 hours, but NO, Mimi, you dope--it means 72 business hours, so I won't be back in until tomorrow.
Oh, pul-lease, let that be it for this ordeal.*
Well, at least, my being cast out of Comcast led to a phone call this morning from Aline, who was concerned about her e-mail coming back as undeliverable. We had a good, long chat and she filled me in on the latest shenanigans in Players & Playwrights. So glad to talk to my friend and I'm still looking forward to her visiting.
As for yesterday: Yay! I sped to Goodwill just after 9:00 and bought the table I had coveted, which had been fifty bucks and was now a steal at $25. It looks great in the study, along with the beautiful "campaign desk" Ellen so expertly put together yesterday.
She got here about 4:00, bringing her tools, and dove right into it; finished in an hour or so and we substituted it for the temporary folding-tables arrangement. It looks gorgeous and I love it! I especially like the fact it's so solid; the other wobbled and shook with every keystroke. El and I then got the terrific table out of my car and brought it in. It's just right for the space and this will be my writing desk. We also substituted a smaller table for the one I had the printer on; looks a lot less obtrusive and I can use the other elsewhere.
By the time we had finished the work (well, she worked, I mostly watched), it was after six and I suggested we go across to Macaroni Grill for dinner. El had no argument with that, so we did, and had a fine time together.
Got home just before 8:00 I thought it was about time I actually watched television, so I sat for 45 minutes or so. Came across a documentary on Walt Disney; actually, I think I already had already seen it on You Tube, but it's an interesting bio, so watched part of it. I was surprised and annoyed at the number of commercials--I had forgotten about them. Oh, yes, I know I could get Netbox or Zoomflix (heh, heh) or whatever, but since I'm not interested, anyway, I wouldn't dream of paying for it.
* Love the cartoon that circulated on Facebook: Devil begs God to let him create just one earthly thing and God finally relents: "Okay, okay, just one" and the next panel shows flames surrounding the Comcast building.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hook Up

The guy from Time Warner came at 9:00 and quickly hooked up my t.v. and my pho...uh, oh. He said I was missing a power plug for the landline; I must have simply forgotten to pack it, or lost it somewhere. Guy said I could just go to Radio Shack and get another one. Radio Shack? I thought they had closed. Well, he didn't know. I thanked him and said goodbye, then thought I'd just toddle off to Office Max and get the thing.
Four stores later, I discovered nobody has them--and some said it would probably cost more than my phones, anyway. The person at Target--very pleasant--said he had gotten such things for cheap at the thrift store, where they usually have piles of electronic cast-offs. Great idea and I went down to the Goodwill. I couldn't find one that fit, and may have to bite the bullet and get new phones. I did buy a nice, five-dollar hair dryer, which I've been without since I moved here. (My hair dryer at home, which cost many multiples of five dollars, is screwed into the wall in the master bath, so I hope Eileen is making good use of it.) While there, I also saw a small table that would go beautifully in the guestroom/study. I don't want huge, heavy furniture in here, and it will fit perfectly, along with my new desk Ellen and I will assemble today. However, I balked at the price--fifty bucks. Mentioned that to the cashier and lo and behold, he told me items with purple price tags, which this has, will be half-priced today!
Hip, hip, hooray! Very shortly, I'll drive over to get it. Not sure if it'll fit in my car; if not, I'll have to ask Ellen. Anyway, once I pay for it, they'll hold it for three days.
My friend called and hip, hip again, they made it the almost three thousand miles across country to New Mexico! I'm thrilled for them that they've reached the goal toward which they were working so diligently for so long. They have an acre and a beautiful house--can't wait to visit.
I called Betty to give her my new phone number--of course, it can't be used until I get the damn hook-up right. I was sorry to hear that she had been in an accident the day before (that is, Wednesday) in Northfield. It looks as if she'll get a citation for going through a red light, although she swears it was green. Nobody hurt, but her car was badly damaged.
Still without my e-mail, which I keep checking; guess it's going to take the outer limit of 72 hours.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Comcast and Eva Peron

Still bereft of my Comcast e-mail, I called Frank D. again. He wasn't in, but I had a nice chat with Barbara. She and Frank are going on a cruise to the Panama Canal in October, leaving out of Long Beach; we speculated on whether maybe I could meet them there. I looked it up and it's about 85 miles away, maybe doable if I took a shuttle there or something. We'll see.
Stopped in at the office and made an appointment with the manager on Monday. I'm going to see if there's any leeway on breaking my lease. If I can pull it off, it'll be a hassle and even worse would be trying to find something else, but I'm going to give it a shot.
Stopped at The Capes and was shown a pretty nice one bedroom. However, they do accept dogs and a real downer was that it was near the freeway and quite noisy. No to that. Stopped at Via Ventura and was jollied along by "Jonathan," a portly, middle-aged Brit, who asked me to come back at 5:30 to see the model, which was being renovated or something. Got back then, he was out showing others; waited twenty minutes, figuratively said, "screw you," and left. Well, they accept dogs, too, and I'm now going to confine my search to those who don't.
Frank called back and thought he had gotten me on his Comcast account, but again, it didn't work and I called the culprits in a tizzy. Talked to the e-mail specialist, repeating for the umpteenth time the problem. He took all the info--mine and Frank's--and assured me I'd have my Comcast address back within 24 to 72 hours. Why in the hell it might take three days is beyond me, but at this point, I'll accept anything.
In the meantime, my friend called, saying she had tried to e-mail, but got a message that it wasn't a valid address. Yes, I know, and the explanation's above. My friend, her husband, and his son are pushing closer to their to their new lives everyday. Boy, talk about an inspiration re life goals, and the planning and execution thereof.
Got a call from Time Warner to the effect the guy will be here today between 9 and 10. It will be odd to see television again; actually, I'm looking forward to it because it'll be a novelty--and in color, too.
About 5:00, got a virtual visit from the Tokyo two-year-old, smiley and bubbly as ever. He showed me his bus and red plush dog, mentioned various topics (I'm not quite sure what they were), and generally enchanted his Nana, as ever. However, I had to cut it a bit short, in order to keep my appointment with Jonathan, the Jerk--see above.
Over my late-night (8 pm) Chardonnay, I suddenly became interested--or re-interested--in Eva Peron. As with The Sound of Music and the Von Trapps, her actual story has been Hollywood-ized out of all recognition. I'd compare Evita to peering at an acquaintance viewed in the coffin: Something's there that resembles the living person, but it morphs into a manikin as you gaze. On You Tube, I saw some of the movie--I do like Don't Cry for Me, Argentina, --then watched a documentary on this fascinating young woman who led such a turbulent, partly hidden life for only thirty-three years and is still revered by many in Argentina.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Water and Comcast

After being alerted that water would be turned off from 9 am to noon yesterday, I left about 9:15. Got to the library in fifteen or so, only to see it doesn't open until 10:00. Waited, while acting as captive audience to one of those annoying middle-aged men who think everything that happened after 1965 is the devil's work.
Got in when it opened and picked up a CD of a book by Mariel Hemingway, Out Came the Sun. As we all know, Ernest was her grandfather and the whole family has been living off his reputation for years, if not literally, at least via the name connection. It's recited by the author and I thought it would be interesting to listen to, but oh, boy, it isn't. Mariel's delivery is so wooden, so flat--think staccato in a monotone--I just couldn't continue. Drove back to the library after lunch, turned it in, and got a good, juicy wife murder CD--Georgia dentist offs his second wife and maybe his first, too--I haven't gotten that far, yet.
Ellen, who regularly comes up with good ideas, suggested I might want to see if I could get a DVD player at the thrift shop. It's possible my old one is still unpacked somewhere, but I'm not sure--it may have been left behind or I may have discarded it. It hasn't been plugged in for about a year; obviously, I'm not a fan of movies at home. (What I do want to see are usually easy enough to find on You Tube.) However, the guy from Time Warner is coming tomorrow to hook up the t.v. and I guess I might as well get a player. Found a Mitsubishi at my favorite thrift shop; fifteen bucks and you can return it within a week if there's a problem. While I was there, I also picked up something to run in it: Out of Africa, a movie I loved. (Hey, with Redford and Streep, how could you not?) I had read the book first and that's a fine, fine piece of work, too.
Went to WinCo for various, including a huge hoagie (sub!), only five bucks and loaded. Decided on that for dinner and it's so big, I ate only a third. Picked up two more bottles of cheap wine and a more expensive one, in case I ever have company.
Comcast has again cast me out. I'm asked to put in my i.d. and password, then told they aren't valid. Called again, explaining I know a friend can add me, and he (Frank-Formerly-Next-Door) agreed, but never got a chance to do it and I was put back, anyway. This time, Comcast asked for his number and said they'd call, but--I'm still locked out. Will call Frank.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Carolyn and the Computer

I had a fine time yesterday with niece, Carolyn. She got here about 11:30 and we chatted happily. After I showed her around the apartment, I asked if she'd like to take any of the many, many things that should have been left or discarded in Little Egg. She said she could use a few--throws and so on, and we decided she'd take them after lunch. In an hour or so, we were both hungry; I suggested we go someplace at the harbor and was able--with a few wrong turns--to get us there. Carolyn mentioned that one of the restaurants--Andria's (?)--was owned by the mother of a little girl in her daughter, Claire's class. We stopped in, but it seemed kind of fast foody and we decided on Brophy Bros. nearby. Carolyn said there's one in Santa Barbara, where she lives, and it's very popular.
No wonder. We sat on the partially glassed-in upstairs--in fact, I think it's all upstairs--overlooking the harbor with its boats and sails and glorious blue ocean. The food was excellent and we both had a beer with it--yum! Had great fun chatting and laughing and filling each other in on our busy lives. We left after a leisurely lunch and Carolyn stopped in so we could talk a bit more before she had to take her boy to his tennis lesson. Wouldn't you know, she forgot--and I forgot--to take the items I had shown her, but heh, heh, I'll make sure to save them for her. It was such a pleasant interlude.
Later, I sat down at the computer, only to be told I had no Internet connection. Turned it off, then on again, but no dice. Called my advisor, Ellen, who told me to unplug something on the box the Time Warner guy had left, leave for five minutes, then plug back in. I did, then tried it about ten minutes later--and it worked! Yay!
Heard back from the Santa Paula Theatre group to the effect I should get in touch with somebody name Howard Leader and ask to be put on his newsletter. It seems he lists upcoming plays, auditions, and other local theatre news. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to reach him, but will pursue it.
Got a notice the water would be off from 9 am to noon today, for some reason, so I plan to camp out at the library in town.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wash and a Pretty Good Day

It's such a drag doing my wash here, I thought I'd take it to the wash-a-porium and see if it's better.
It isn't. For one thing, it costs more (why? I don't know) and for another, you still have to go do something while it washes, unless you want to sit there and read your Kindle, but I don't. And there isn't enough time between wash and dry to do anything much.
Otherwise, it was pretty good day for a variety of reasons. For one, I had been frantically looking for my Vanguard account checks and couldn't find them anywhere. Decided I had to call and tell them to nullify (or whatever they do) the ones I had and issue new ones. I don't use Vanguard for everyday expenses, just extra-ordinary ones, but had had to for some of the moving stuff. When I was on the phone with a rep, she asked me to hold so she could find what was the best way to proceed (they were willing to contact me before cashing anything). While I did, I idly glanced around the guestroom/study and saw the small portfolio I had bought when I first got here. Hey, wait a minute...
I looked and yes--there they were! Before I got my various file containers, I had used the portfolio for some financial documents. Anyway, happy day, I found them.
The second good: The state of California, as Jersey does, wants you to have a license plate both front and back. They sent me mine, but I had only a back plate holder, which Ellen put on. And darn, you have to buy a holder for the front, which I did--but you have to go to an auto body shop and they have to drill through your front--well, your front.
I had put this off and put it off, but yesterday, I saw a Volvo dealer, asked if he'd do it, but since I have a Hundai, nope. He was very nice, though, and directed me to a regular auto body shop, who drilled, screwed, and charged only eighteen dollars.
Another potential good: After the suggestion from The Flying H. director, Cynthia, I looked up the Santa Paula theatre group and found they put on one-act plays. I'll contact them and see if they'll read my plays, with an eye toward possible performances.
And finally: My "campaign desk" came yesterday morning. That's good, but what's not so good is it has to be put together and I don't even have a screwdriver, let alone the expertise to do it...
Well, you can't win 'em all.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Paperwork and The Flying H

Spent a bunch of time going through paperwork, including tax returns back to 2002. I separated out those that can be discarded and put them in a box in my trunk. Must find a place to shred, I guess. Also went through a bunch of folders, retaining and not reams of stuff. Came across the memoir written by my dear cousin, Marifran K., concerning her horrendous childhood with a schizophrenic mother. Reread some and impulsively called her. Marifran lives in Cincinnati, but had just returned from a week on the beach in South Carolina--in a condo, that is. We had a fine time catching up with each other's lives and talked for more than an hour.
In the meantime, Betty called and left voice mail. I called her back and we chatted. She told me it was Grandparents Day--really? Yet another "day" conceived and developed for the sole purpose of further enriching the greeting card, flower, and gift merchants. I won't buy into it and am glad I didn't hear from any of my grandchildren in that context.
Aside from various stints on the computer, I didn't do a lot the rest of the day until 6:30 when I left for The Flying H Theatre reading.
This was a play called "Resurruption," which concerns Jesus coming back to earth. It was sometimes interesting and fun to see, but really needs a lot of work. The playwright, who sat next to me, wrote it as a comedy--sort of--and there are some funny parts, but at the end, it suddenly turns solemn. Truth to tell, it becomes rather trite: Jesus goes back to heaven, saying people are now much more concerned with his image and images in general (t.v., Internet, cell phones, etc.) than his words, so he's leaving.
Anyway, just as in Players & Playwrights at the Jersey shore, we then critiqued the play, always an ordeal for the playwright, as I well know. Some compliments ensued, then the serious stuff, most on the mark. I commented that some of his dialogue among family members was terrific--very funny and true to life. I added, though, that the Jesus lines were kind of fuzzy--not very hard-hitting, if you think of Jesus as a confident being, rather than meek and mild.
Anyway, I greatly enjoyed being there. After, I had a good talk with Cynthia (she and her husband are the artistic directors), who made several good suggestions, especially what group might be interested in my one-acters. She also invited me to sit in on the acting workshop (for experienced actors) they conduct on Monday evenings. If you want to actually be coached, it's $150, but she said I'd be welcome once as a guest. I want to check it out and might want to sign up, as it's aimed toward experienced actors.
Got home at 8:45, happy I had been there.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Apartments and Ribs

Well, wonders will never cease in this wondrous world: Comcast sent me a check for $117.12! I guess it's a refund or something, but I'm not going to bother to find out. Took it to BOA and deposited it.
I had a hankering for barbecue, so I went to WinCo and got a nice several pounds of fresh pork ribs. Put them in the large slow cooker with sauce and let them bubble away. I also bought Brussels sprouts, about my favorite veggie. Trimmed and rinsed them, cut up half a large onion, added coconut oil and lemon pepper seasoning, and put that together in the small cooker. Set both on high until I went out, then switched to low.
Spent part of the day scouting out other apartments nearby. I don't absolutely hate where I am--it has a lot of assets--but the negatives may outweigh them. For one, my particular apartment is reached by stepping down one step, walking two feet or so, then stepping down once again, then going down three steps. The latter has a rail on both sides, but the first two steps don't. Because the landscaping--which is very attractive--isn't flat, but flows and waves, part of where I live is more or less below ground level and I'm not crazy about that. There are two "balconies," off the living room and the master bedroom, but there's no point in sitting on them as, due to the configuration I mentioned, you'd be staring at the patio balcony wall, which is solid.
I greatly miss not having my own washer and dryer and it's somewhat of a drag to have to take trash and recycles to an enclosure and dump them myself. I guess most objectionable, from my point of view, is that Colony Parc permits dogs. Owners, of course, must keep them on leashes and clean up after the results of their--uh, bodily functions--but
Hark, hark, the dogs do bark--
The beggars are coming to town.
Forget the beggars, barking dogs are enough of a pain in the rear. I can't say they've ever disturbed my sleep, but there are two dogs upstairs that bark a lot doing the day. The first time I heard them, I honestly thought they were in my apartment, they sounded so close. There are a few other little things I'm not crazy about, one of them the rent, which I've now found is higher than comparable complexes. Wouldn't you know, the Ventura County Star is constantly running articles on housing costs here being some of the highest in the country, including--in fact, especially-- rentals.
My lease has ten months to run, so I'm not about to dash out, but I did see two places I would consider moving to eventually. My favorite was Ventura Del Sol and I liked Cypress Point, too. I talked to the leasing agents at both places and my first question was, "Do you allow dogs?" "No, nor cats, rabbits, birds, ferrets, cows, pigs...," said the guy at the former--I loved it. The second guy said they allow only service dogs. However, as we walked over to the model, I saw a young woman walking one of those teeny, tiny white balls of fluff; about two minutes later, I saw somebody with a medium-sized lab. What gives? I asked. Well, said the rep, we do allow comfort dogs, too.
Oh, pul-lease! Don't give me the "comfort dog" crap! Oh, I know, people love their doggies and surely, there are some sad souls who would truly suffer without their pets, but what kind of vague nonsense is this? The rep said they had to get a doctor to authorize the comfort pet thing. Hey, I could get a doctor to sign off on my boy toy (if ever I had one) as a medical necessity it I put my mind to it.
After my investigation above, I went to the thrift store and bought a large, sturdy, wooden magazine holder for six bucks. Looks good in the living room and now I have a place for mags.
Anyway, it was interesting and fun to realize I can move, reasonably easily if I decide to do so. Plus the barbecued ribs and Brussels sprouts were just superb and I have leftovers for tomorrow.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Library and Thai

Got chores aplenty done in the morning and early afternoon, then impulsively took a run to the new library branch in Saticoy. (The main branch in town was still closed due to the heat.) The one in Saticoy,not far from Ellen's, is bare bones. It consists of just one large, wooden-floored room--I have the idea it used to be an auto body shop or something--and a very few small bookcases that hold a very few books. However, as a novelty it was fun to see, and I checked out an autobiography of Alan Cumming, the Broadway actor.
Home at 4:00, I hoped to beat the extreme heat by showering and washing my hair. Refreshing, but I still sigh for central air. Called niece Carolyn--she and I have a date on Tuesday--and told her it would be fine for her to come by my place first. She had wanted to see the apartment, but previously, I thought it was in too much disarray...
What an idiot! As if she'd care, for pity's sake! So she'll come and I'm looking forward to it.
I had the idea I'd dress up a bit and put on makeup for Ellen's birthday celebration dinner, but in view of the weather, I scratched that idea early on. I just put on clean shorts and top and let it go at that.
Ellen and Greg picked me up, and we had a good dinner at El's favorite place of that order, Jasmine Thai. I had mentioned it was her birthday and after dinner, the waitress brought out a complementary bowl of coconut ice cream with three spoons and we happily shared. Greg then treated us to coffee at Peet's a few doors away and we sat outside with it. I remarked that I could hardly remember being outside in the dark--goes to show what a gadabout I am.
Got home about 9:00 and I gave El her (modest) present, plus she took the hand truck she had lent me which I had kept in the guest bath, having no other place. I mentioned the complex-wide garage sale going on today at the townhouses next to here and El may want to look over the goods. I should probably avoid it--in fact, I'd much prefer to be selling than buying, but I still haven't found a flea market around here.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Bonaventure and Apache Slaughter

Heh, heh: I discovered that the place I've been calling "The Palms" is actually "The Bonaventure." Seems it was named the former when it was owned by the same outfit that owns the assisted living facility right behind it. It was sold, and I think officially it's "Bonaventure Holiday Retirement"--or something.
Anyway, after a restless night--I don't know why I'm suddenly having problems sleeping through--I got up at 7:00 and prepared for what now seemed a rather tedious obligation--my third day at The Bonaventure. Mary had said "Spa Day" would be held from 10 to 2; she said I wouldn't want to miss it. Actually, I was pretty interested and got there just at 10:00. I had envisioned lots of goodies, such as sample lipsticks, mail polish, and pens, maybe tips and pointers on makeup and relaxation techniques, perhaps a traveling hot tub (was I nuts?). I was even hoping for a free pedicure, which I badly need.
Pulled into the parking lot, puzzled that there were plenty of empty spaces. Walked into the main reception room and saw only three or four residents sitting around. Went into the activity room and here was "Spa Day": roughly six small tables with a few brochures and leaflets on them, each staffed with a young woman. Two represented home health aide companies, two exercise regimes, one touted Mary Kay, and another foot care ointments. There was, however, somebody with one of those massage seats where the massage-ee sits, leans forward, and puts his or her face in a ring while the massager does the rub.
Even after chatting up this and that rep and greeting the residents I knew, it was only 10:30 by the time I had exhausted my interest in Spa Day. I therefore told Mary I had to run a few errands--and I did, although they were made up on the spot--and would be back in an hour. I just couldn't face more idle chit-chat with sweet little old ladies.
Came back at noon (had to wait another half-hour for lunch) and sat with the only African-American person there, Christine, and her friend, Galzalo, maybe the only Latino resident. Galzalo said little, but Christine is one of those non-stop talkers, so I just shut off my attention meter and nodded, smiled, and chuckled now and again. Before we were served, however, I was rescued by a new (as of the week before) resident, who asked if she could join us. Yes, yes--I practically grabbed her arm and forced her to sit down.
Her name is Cherie--seems sort of odd for somebody in her seventies or beyond, almost on a par with "Bubbles"--and she proved to be an interesting person. She was from Boston and had been a medical librarian--masters degree, of course, and I soon realized she was intelligent, well-read, and--eureka!--computer literate. Never married and her only close relative is a nephew, of whom she's fond. The thought occurred to me that I might try to get to know her better and maybe actually get in touch with her in the future. We'll see.
The four of us had wiener schnitzel with other German dishes--not bad--then I said goodbye. Much as meals are enjoyable there, they seem interminable, and nobody else is in any kind of hurry.
Drove immediately to the post office to mail off a birthday card for the Asian Angel. It'll be more than a week late, but my present came in time, anyway. Went from there to the library in town--to find it was again closed because of the heat.
Stopped at the supermarket for paper towels and stuff, then went home for a light dinner of Caesar salad. Called El, the birthday girl (as of TODAY: SEPTEMBER 11), and we made a date for Greg and the two of us to celebrate with a Thai dinner tonight.
WIDER: Preserve me from that pious, "never forget" crapola on Facebook re 9/11. Fer cryin' out loud, it used to be December 7 was the day memorialized with leaden prose, what ever happened to that one? (It's also Greg's birthday, a fabulous coincidence, seems to me.) It's one thing if you actually had a loved one killed that day, but how deep and heartfelt are the sentiments behind "sharing" the tasteless, cliched pictures on Facebook? Hey, why isn't Wednesday, April 4, revered as a big solemn occasion? On that day, in 1843, American troops slaughtered 1,655 women and children in an Apache camp near Friendship, Oklahoma.
Nah, I just made that up.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Palms Yet Again

When I got up, I started thinking about whether I really wanted to stay over at The Palms last night. Two factors made me question: 1. I just didn't feel like packing up an overnight bag with bed clothes, an outfit for the next day, medication, cosmetics, and so on; 2. What would I do after lunch until dinner and after dinner until I could get away to the suite--play beanbag baseball? That was going on yesterday. Besides, I had plenty more to do in the apartment.
I had committed to getting "the tour" yesterday and to attending Spa Day today, and I will. I'd still be at the place three days in a row, plus last week when I met with Mary plus Saturday when I dropped off the flyers. Oh yes, Mary and the sales manager, Alex, would love to have me live there--presumably, they get a commission--but frankly, I'm getting bored with The Palms, pleasant though it is.
Anyhoo--I called Mary at 9:00 and uttered a bit of a fib--a big fat lie, actually--as an excuse for not staying over, but said I'd be there for the tour and lunch, and I was. The food was good, actually; I skipped the chicken and picked an alternative of Philly cheesesteak, and of course, there was salad, dessert, and coffee. Ate with Mary, whom I asked to tell me something about herself. She's married, lives only five miles or so from me, had three daughters, the youngest of whom died at 22 of cancer and now her 55-year-old daughter has lung cancer. How you live through something like that, I don't know. What's more, her two brothers died of cancer, ages 47 and 52. Mary is older than I thought, maybe my age, as she has great-grandchildren.
Said goodbye and left after lunch, with a slight feeling--I couldn't help it--of escape, but yes, I'll go back today for Spa Day.
Called niece Carolyn, as I have something for her when we get together. She'll check out a restaurant I might be able to get to--never a sure thing--and meet for lunch.
The heat has been ungodly, by the way, and as soon as I got home, I changed, then plunged into--no, not the pool, I haven't done that yet--but into continuing paperwork stuff. Got a fair amount sortied, put away, and thrown away before I quit. Sped over to Bed, Bath, and Bodacious Prices for a paper towel holder, then to Target for this and that.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Full Day and the Time

Got to The Palms early--I'm always early--and chatted with a few of the residents. Mary blew in and immediately told me the residents thought there was a fee to attend my information session--aagh! I had debated with myself whether to mention a fee, and finally put it on the sheet, never dreaming residents would think they'd be charged for the meeting. This points up a problem when you rush into something, not that I had had a choice, but ordinarily, I would have asked Mary to proof it. However, she did announce over the intercom several times that the meeting was about to start and there was no fee.
I guess about twenty people showed up. I gave my pitch, explaining what I do, how I do it, and so on. Took questions, bantered with attendees, then mentioned the fee and what they got for it: a six week, individualized course, with a show at the end. I sent around a sign-up sheet and had exactly one resident sign. Later, Mary said they probably thought the fee was too high.
This floored me. When I met with Mary to begin with, and mentioned what I thought was fair, she had enthusiastically agreed. However, no real harm done; I actually enjoyed my encounters with Mary and The Palms people, and I'm going to hone my presentation (and lower my fee) for the next place I approach.
Mary and one of the other admins then suggested I come to "Spa Day" tomorrow--yes, sure, why not?--then asked if I'd like to come for lunch today, then stay in the guest suite overnight. I was amazed at the invitation, but then thought, "Hey, why not, it's free, I now know several of the residents, and the suite (which I was shown) was very nice--it'll be fun". I said, "Sure, I'd like to," and that's where I'm headed in a few hours.
Yes, of course, Mary and Alex presumably get a commission for new residents and they have their eyes on me. Fair enough, but I have a lease with another ten months to run; more important, I'm not ready at this point or very soon for an independent living facility and I may never be--dunno.
Interestingly, Mary used to be the sales manager at Colony Parc, where I live. She said she also lived there and when her lease ended, they raised her rent by 300 smackers a month. I want to talk more to her over the next day and a half.
When I got home, I lunched on my leftover Hawaiian barbeque, then gathered up my books (printed and audio), and drove to town to the library to return them. It was closed. There was a sign on the door that said they had closed "because of high temperatures." No AC, of course, and damn, it really was hot, so I don't blame them.
Did the washer/dryer routine with my dirty clothes, then tried to get the Tokyo Threesome on Skype because this is a Red Letter Day: Mr. K.'s is two years old. They weren't on-line, but I was delighted when they Skyped me shortly thereafter. Hobnobbed with my precious, adorable grandson, who talked, laughed, examined his train book (he's pretty much obsessed--takes his actual toy trains to bed), and opened my present--a little plush dog that repeats one's words. He got a major kick out of it--laughed and laughed, as did his Mommy and Daddy.
So it was another full day.
Note: This is weird: I told Mary I'd be at The Palms today at 11:30. Didn't set the alarm and when I got up, my little bedside, battery-operated clock read 6:25. Washed, got my coffee, then sat down at the computer, as I do every morning. To my dismay, the clock on the screen read 10:00--darn, my cheap little clock must be failing, I thought. I decided to call Mary and tell her I may be late. Someone else answered and said neither she nor Mary were in yet, as it was only 7 am! What?! The computer clock had reverted to eastern time--I have no idea how or why. I switched it back, but I'm still puzzled.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Labor Day and Comcast

Did some grocery shopping in the morning, finally remembering to bring my collapsible shopping cart. (That thirty-two dollar purchase is about the best I ever made, as I can now take one trip to and from the carport when I go to the supermarket, the laundry room, to discard trash, and so on.)
Ellen and I had made a date for her to come over, as it was Labor Day (Greg had to work) and she arrived at 12:30. After some chit-chat, we headed out for lunch, but couldn't decide where and eventually, headed to the harbor. Good grief, the whole area was jammed! Cars streamed down the roads, filled every lot, were parked bumper to bum along every street--it was a mad house, and away we drove. By that time, we were hungry, so went to Hawaiian BBQ in a shopping center. It was okay--fast food, I guess, but pretty tasty. Ellen mentioned she had had a blow-out across the way--hair, not tires!--and impulsively, we stopped in to the shop. Two stylists greeted us, El said she had to run an errand anyway and would come back, and a sweet-natured young woman washed and blew dry my hair.
It looks--well, it looks almost as if I had done it myself, which ain't no compliment, but it's okay, I guess.
By that time, it was after 4:00. I had to prepare my talk for this morning's info meeting at The Palms and needed to do a wash, so El and I said goodbye. I decided I just didn't feel like the laundry thing so late in the day, although I wanted to wear a certain pair of slacks. Just washed them in the sink and hung to dry--I can do the rest of my stuff later.
Pulled together my notes and things for my address to the residents, then went to get on my e-mail. What? It kept asking for my e-mail and password, I kept giving it, and it still wouldn't let me in. Frantic, I called Comcast and after the usual run-around, was told the account had been closed on July 15. Yes, I knew that, I had closed it because Comcast doesn't operate in California, but I had been able to access it a few hours before. Sometimes it takes a while to disconnect, I was told--I think they make these answers up--and if I knew anyone with Comcast, they add me to his or her account with no charge to anyone. Rep said we should set up a three-way call or person could call and inform them, then I should call to confirm. I promptly called Frank D., my next-door neighbor from Sweetwater, and he agreed to do it. In fact, he said he could do it himself without even calling Comcast, as he had added his wife, Barb--whew! So that was that, right? Why, no, read on:
A half hour later, I checked and there I was, right back in the Comcast fold. Elated, I shot off a message of gratitude to Frank before I went happily to bed. Found a return message from Frank when I got up just now, telling me he hadn't actually had a chance to do anything yet and was planning to this morning. So my Comcast account just magically reappeared.
Now, several years ago, I had "issues" (the English language is a victim of creeping corruption) with Comcast and comments from its corporate office in NYC would appear on this blog. Usually, they were apologies for whatever fresh hell to which I had been subjected. I used to be charmed and bemused that this giant company would bother to look around the web and write to placate disgruntled customers. I recall that one of those who wrote identified himself as Mark Casem--yes,he actually included his--I assume, real--name.
At this point, though, I'd love to hear an explanation of all this from Comcast. Are you there, Mark?

Monday, September 07, 2015

"Mad Gravity"

Spent a half hour or so thoroughly cleaning the kitchen--that's all the time I needed. I took everything off the counters, wiped them down, and replaced fewer items. Took apart and scoured the stove top, used cleanser on the sinks, and washed down the mixer. Swept and mopped the minuscule floor and the place shone.
I glanced out the window and saw a moving van taking things into a nearby apartment. Went out and asked if the movers might be able to use the huge box of packing materials--bubble wrap, "peanuts," something like peanuts, but made of cardboard triangles, and a humongous sheet of heavy paper that had wrapped the T.V. Guy said yes, they came and got it and yay! it's something less I have to think about. Yes, I could have (laboriously) dragged it out to the trash place, but I really hate to waste things. This was perfectly good and why not give it to people who can use it?
I started going through the enormous amount of paperwork I have both in the study and the dining alcove. I knew there were documents I didn't need to keep and some I did and what a chore to examine and sort them. I didn't finish, but I got a fair amount done.
Hopped in the shower and changed for the Mad Gravity show, scheduled for 4:00. In truth, I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about attending, but I had told Mary I'd meet her (and the van from The Palms) there and when it was over, I was so glad I had.
The Flying H. Theatre Group's venue is simply a store front a few miles from where I live. I got there early, and started chatting with some of those involved. Told them I was a member of the Little Egg Theatre Company and had been in a number of productions, as well as had several of my plays produced. Well, that did it. Just as we reacted to fellow thespians/playwrights/stagehands from out of town in other companies, they couldn't have been warmer or more welcoming.
And the setup! Two tiers of chairs faced the set--actually, were part of the set, because the audience was part of the play. Ordinarily, "the fourth wall" is ignored--as a rule, performers must never acknowledge the audience--but this show was so innovative, members of the cast often spoke to the audience directly. During intermission, we were sold silly string (1$) and were told to spray it at the cast as they cavorted about the stage It's impossible to describe the hilarity that ensued, but here's a hint: the main male character, a man probably in his sixties, was wheeled in, seated in a baby coach and wearing nothing but a diaper. Oh, and an asteroid was about the hit the earth.
Anyway, it was fabulous and great fun. After it was over, I spoke to three members of the cast, introduced myself, and one--the second lead, a woman probably in her sixties or older--gave me her number and asked me to call her. Indeed I will and it looks as if even more opportunities--or who knows, just fun happenings--are opening up.
Must spend today preparing for my address to The Palms residents re the acting course.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Back at the Place

Got to The Bonaventure about ten to drop off the flyers for the info meeting I'm having on Tuesday. As it turned out,Mary* doesn't work on weekends, but I really didn't need to see her anyway. I fell into conversation with one of the inmates (only kidding, Pat!) residents and we sat down and talked for 45 or so. She's very interested in the acting class, although she confided that she's been diagnosed with a memory problem. Whether it was called Alzheimers or not, she didn't know. She didn't show any evidence of it to me, anyway. I greatly enjoyed talking to her--rather more than I did with the conventional dames from the club. I've been aware for some time that there's often a huge difference between "assisted living" and "independent living" and Annie definitely has no need of the former right now.
It turned out I did buy a desk, on-line from Target, of all places. This isn't a computer desk; all those I saw in wood seemed much too massive for the guestroom/study and the metal/glass ones are so hideous they hurt the eyes. I ordered what's called a "campaign desk" or simply a writing desk. It's attractive, compact, and a good size for the small room. It has only three slim drawers, but that's all right; I'll improvise with the three-drawer setups I bought. I have too much stuff, anyway. The good part is, I saw it in the store for a certain price, then went on-line and it was on sale. Plus, shipping was free and it will be delivered right to my door.
Spend hours on the computer with various things, then went to the supermarket. Stopped at an auto parts store because the state mandates license plates on back and front, but the cars don't have a place for it in front! You have to buy a holder and have holes drilled in the front--geesh!
Going to meet Mary and people from the place this afternoon and go to The Flying H Group play.
*I picked up Mary's card and found that her actual title is not "activities director," but "enrichment coordinator." Pardon me while I heave.


Saturday, September 05, 2015

Meeting

I went to the new members meeting of the Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers club and...I dunno.
The meeting was at the home of the president, Midge, and there were eight other "newbies" there beside me. For an instant, I thought I was back in Sunrise Bay, with a group of anything-but-offensive, nice-as-can-be, courteous-and-friendly-to-a-fault, boring-beyond-words Women of a Certain Age, one of whom mentioned she had lived in horrible Riverside, but only because her husband was on the faulty of whatever rinky-dink college is out there. Guess she had to get that in, so we knew she was a woman of substance. (She wasn't on the faculty, you understand, but as with so many older women I know, her husband's accomplishments seemed to define her status.)
Midge, who's the president of BCNN, mentioned she had been a decorator and, looking around her large and surely hugely expensive home, one wondered how that could be. The only possibility is that she smoked something and fell for the Queen Victoria 1885 style of home decor. Massive mahogany tables and sideboards held artificial flowers, lacy doilies, and wood, metal and papier-mache figures and there were curio cabinets, a grand piano, ruffled curtains, velvet valances, plush chairs, and--incredibly--several of those drearily cliche "family dressed up in eighteenth century clothes" photos. Every flat surface was filled to the horizon with doodads, knick knacks, pictures, and statues; I'm sure they each had a story, but nobody with a life would want to hear it.
After a talk by Midge, we were asked to gather around three laptops, where we were given a tutorial on maneuvering around the BCNN website. We were also given a two-page sheet illustrating the moves and clicks. I did find it refreshing that--no ands, ifs, or buts--members are expected to be reasonably adept on the computer. All communication is sent by e-mail, as is the monthly newsletter and the membership roster.
Actually, Midge and the attendees weren't bad in the main, aside from taking themselves--and this group--so seriously and perhaps I have a tendency to be unfairly judgmental. (Oh, no, Mimi, you are the absolute SOUL of open-hearted acceptance!) Anyway, I've decided to hang in with the club. With 300 members, I can surely find some kindred spirits--even one would do--to hang with, as the unlovely saying goes.
Went home to spend several hours revising, then copying my info sheet for "Acting for Everyone," which I'll bring over to Mary at Holiday Retirement shortly.
Went to Ralph's for food and looked here and there for a desk for the guestroom/study. So far, I haven't found anything I really want to buy, but I'm considering a few pieces.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Busy All Day

Met "Mary"--I never did catch her last name--the activities director at Holiday Retirement Independent Living. She's a dynamo of energy, anything but the professional type, more like Maisie the maid, but she was warm and friendly, and I liked her a lot. We sat down in the Activities Room--a large one where she has her desk, not a private office. I brought and left for her my theatrical resume, a publicity sheet from Stockton State about FELS and my acting course, and an explanatory sheet about my proposal (never assume anyone will remember a word from any meeting under the sun).
As we talked--I was there close to an hour--she continually jumped up to answer questions from residents, direct various visitors, and handle other interruptions. She kept apologizing, but I told her I had all day, which I did, and not to worry about it. I pitched my pitch about the Acting for Everyone course and she was very interested. She didn't balk at the fee I suggested--thought it was reasonable, in fact, and we talked a bit about attendance. Ten participants are ideal, I said, although fifteen would work, too. She asked how few might sign up and I'd still conduct the course--good question--and I said eight. I suggested I conduct an information meeting first--"You took the words right out of my mouth!"--and she asked if I could come on Tuesday, September 8. Sure can, I said, and I told her I'd work up a catchy info sheet by Saturday; Mary said one could be put on each table in the dining room, and they'd be posted on bulletin boards, too. She said she was taking a van of residents to The Flying H. Theatre Group on Sunday and would I like to go? Sure, and I'll meet them there.
That was a good encounter and whether it flies in the end or no, I enjoyed it.
Ellen's school is near there, so I thought I'd drive past it, not go in, of course. However, I got thoroughly lost (it's sort of out in the country), found myself on Route 126 which turns into the dreaded Freeway, got on that, didn't realize I should have taken a particular exit, and found myself all the way in midtown. If I had taken the straight route, I would have been home in twenty minutes; as it was, I drove around for an hour and a half. No matter, I greatly enjoyed it.
Spent some time ironing the bed skirt I bought when I first got here and getting some other household chores out of the way. The darling daughter aforementioned came over after school and helped me put the skirt on, set the t.v. up, got me into g-mail (which I hate with a passion), and put my new license plate on. We'll spend some time over the weekend together, also.
After dinner, finally and at long last, Aline and I got together on the phone. It was about 8:30 for me, 11:30 (!) for her, but happily, she's a little night owl. (She had assured me by e-mail she was always up until midnight and beyond--yet she gets up early, too--go figure.) We had a fine time catching up with each other's lives and are still determined that she'll come for a visit when the time is right.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

BCNN

I fell into the honey pot! (Or however that silly saying goes.)
Arrived at the Museum Pavilion--a huge room; ceiling must be forty feet high--for the BCNN (Beach Cities Newcomers and Neighbors) gathering, not sure what I'd find. Would this be a bunch of old ladies who sew? Society matrons who would look down their noses at me? Forty- and fifty-year-olds who would have no interest in a biddy?
But no! As I approached. I was greeted by several women with name badges on. They couldn't have been more welcoming, even as more and more women were filing in. There was a membership table with the chair and an assistant at it, and when I explained I was a guest, they also were delighted I was there. Did I want to join? Yes, yes, and again yes.
Got the membership papers and another woman named Midge said she was having a new member meeting at her house on Friday and wouldn't I like to come? Yes! And I signed up.
A nicely decorated table was spread with coffee, tea, and so on and another had all kinds of yummy munchies on it--made by members. On the side were more tables with what I discovered were books and magazines members no longer used. Even better, attractive baskets held tomatoes, lemons, zucchini, and other produce they had grown in this Garden of Eden. Anyone could take anything wanted.
There were probably 200 woman there (I understand there are 300 members), at round and rectangular tables with tablecloths. I sat with the woman--Rose Buckley*--I had "met" on the phone, along with other nice people, including a woman named Maria, who will be at the new member meeting tomorrow, too.
The program was the color one--depending on your skin and hair color, everybody, it seems, is a winter, spring, summer, or fall and should wear only certain colors. Interestingly, about thirty-five years ago, I had written up for American Jewish Life, an article on this same color idea. I'll try to dig that out. Eventually, I think, I'll get around to volunteering to do the Dionne Quintuplet program for the group, but I have too much going on right now.
The meeting lasted until almost 11:00, then broke up. I understand anyone who wants to goes to lunch after and about ten people raised their hands. I thought I might, but had a lot of stuff to do, so decided to wait. Anyway, I sent in my dues and membership info as soon as I got home--I know I'm going to like this group.
Did a big wash and disposed of trash, then started to pull together my presentation for when I see the activities director at The Palms today. (I wasn't impressed with her manner when I talked to h er on the phone; seemed a bit unprofessional, but we'll see what happens.) That took several hours, but I got it done. While I was working on it, adorable little almost-two Mr. K. Skyped and we had a learned conversation involving colors; he knows not only boo and geen, but held up a block of clay that he announced was purple. It was.
Made myself an onion/garlic/mushroom/ground beef stir-fry in my new pan. Yummy. Went for a drive after, as I often to, glad to be so busy and glad to be here.
* Coincidentally, on audio books, I just finished listening to Christopher Buckley's Losing Mum and Pup. It's a wonderful book and he's a better writer than his Dad ever was, sez I.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Stuff

Picked up my book at the library and had a nice chat with the pleasant man on the desk. He has a slight accent, which I thought was German, but no, he said, he's from Iran. It's funny, he seemed just as human as anybody else--but no, Iranians are not humans at all, but monsters that want to annihilate us, our government implies. Must remember that.
While in town, I took a dry run to the museum pavilion, where the coffee for Beach Cities Newcomers and Neighbors will be held this morning. It's easy to get to and I happened to see a young man with a nameplate saying he was manager of something or other. Anyway, he was very cordial and said I'd like the group.
Tidied up a bit, then went out and bought two more each of mugs and tumblers. I want to have enough to be able to put them in the dishwasher every week or so, and not have to wash them by hand at all. Oh, I'm a lazy slob, all right, but I see no reason not to be.
Went out and bought a larger fry pan; I had had only the small one and I like to stir-fry and otherwise cook up more than one serving for next-day meals.
Called the activities director of The Palms Holiday Independent Living and made a date to see her tomorrow at ten. I'll pitch my acting course--have decided to ask $60 for the six sessions--reasonable, I think, considering how much participants seem to enjoy it. We'll see if "Mary," the activities director, goes for it. Also called the person in that position at Cypress Point Independent Living, but she's out until Thursday. Will call her back.
It occurred to me my hair looked less than gorgeous, plus it needed a touch up, so I called Regis Hair in Pacific View Mall a few miles from here. Asked if I could get an appointment in a few hours and I could, in fact, there were several open. That should tell you something.
There's just no point in elaborating on the crapola I endured, but think bad color and worse comb out. But hey, it looks better than it did and I won't be going there again.
Got home to find an e-mail from Jeremy Coleman, the guy who read my blog about my antecedents and is interested in my grandparents' Domino Lane farm in Roxborough. Wrote him back just to acknowledge, but he has a lot of questions and I'll have to address them a more length later. Will also get in touch with my cousin, John, who's really the (extended) family historian, and much more knowledgable than I am.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Lots

Lots of more getting things done. I went back to Target and got two more three-drawer containers; put a lot of the office stuff in them. Put the ugly orange one in the walk-in closet. Haven't decided I'll keep in there, but I'm sure it'll be something. I had been doing all my business/paper work in the dining room, as I had no other table, but now I'm transferring stuff to the study.
I want to start looking at desks soon, but in the meantime, am using one of the long folding tables. I put the other one under the windows and it's holding the rest of my office supplies. Moved the smaller table into the living room, although I think it will ultimately go in the guestroom/study.
I listed the free packing materials (a huge box of them) on Craig's List. Said whoever wants them has to get in touch within a week, otherwise out they go. I've gathered a fair amount of stuff to donate to the thrift store and will take them to do shortly.
I often eat dinner fairly early, but get lonely and bored around six or so. Yesterday, I went to the nearby Barnes & Noble and hung out there for a bit. Saw a bio of Johnny Carson on sale for $6.98 and dipped into it. I can't stand the movie-mag type stuff wherein everything is sweetness and light, and you would think show biz exclusively attracts heteros and home bodies. Clearly, this isn't one of them, so I decided to get it. Of course, I wouldn't dream of spending money on it, so went into the library site when I got home, put a reserve on it, and will pick it up today.
Called TIAA-Cref and was told I don't necessarily need to have withholding taken out. Considering both parts of my pension have decreased as of August, that's a good thing.
Yesterday marked my one month anniversary moving in here and overall, things are progressing well.