Saturday, November 18, 2017

"A Little Taste of Theatre"

Walked Kimball, tossed the salad I had made Thursday, then took off for T.O.P.S. I didn't think I'd lose this time, considering how often I skipped my town walk, but I did: only 1.2 pounds, but I'll take it. I'm now at 138.2 and feeling good.
We had the potluck, with plenty of food-I-won't eat because it's not what I eat. I had my own salad and a little of a sweet potato/kale dish and a very slim slice of Carole's quiche. This didn't even make a nod to the healthy food, but it was good.
Carole surprised me by giving me a bottle of Coppola Chardonnay. Yes, the director has his own brand. Anyway, I was delighted and will serve it on Sunday when I have Jim, Suzanne, and Ellen for dinner.
Rushed home from there to pack up all the gear for the show. Changed--and I must say I looked good in black and white, and got to SCAN by 2:30. Happily, the class that had met there was just leaving, so Brianne, Brenda, and I set up the place. My players started coming in by 2:45 and by 3:00, they were all there except John, my fill-in.
We had a fair number of people in the audience, which pleased me, and the players did well.
I was especially happy with Sharon, who seemed to have finally learned timing. She did a very good job in the comedic "Help Wanted--Not!" I wasn't nearly as pleased with somebody else, who is a very tiresome show-off. She seems to need constant attention for one reason or another and she's a royal pain in the ass. Char was good a lot of the time, although uneven and Noreen was one of the best of all those I've taught. Jim has improved mightily and John was adequate in his very small role. Unfortunately, M. continues to be exactly as inadequate as when she started. She's such a sweet person, so very likable, and her stated aim to to join Actors Equity. In fact, she asked me for some ideas on attaining that. I gave her the same three-page letter I've given many others who have told me they want to act, but I fear it just isn't in the cards. In every role, dramatic or comic, she voices the same unvarying tone, which is sweet, soft, and exceedingly boring.
However, the show went well. Got home about 5:00 and rang Suzanne's doorbell. She invited me in and we had a nice talk. Later, El called and asked what she could bring tomorrow. I said a vegetable of some kind; Suzanne's bringing a potato dish, and I'll serve baked salmon. If I have time, maybe I'll make applesauce. I do what to make a dessert--wouldn't dream of buying it.
When I got up this morning, the computer was out. Unplugged and re-plugged and finally got it working. It's terrible how dependent I am on it.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Rush, Rush, Rush

Whew, what a day.
Walked Kimball, had breakfast, and was over at SCAN by 9:00. (Great consternation from all those I saw about SCAN's closing.) Sharon was already there, in the "kitchen" (all but a stove) and while we chatted, she injected herself with insulin. Brianne said she'd help me set up the room for dress rehearsal, but by the time she finished whatever duties, I had done most of it.
The others came in, as instructed, at 10, except for Noreen, who doesn't use a computer and had thought rehearsal was called for 10:30. She also forgot her scripts, so I had to lend her mine. Also, John didn't show, but I had forgotten he said he couldn't be there yesterday.
Rehearsal went fairly well--"fairly" being the operative word. Of course, the more rehearsals, the better the performance, and we really had little time. However, it was okay; I noticed improvement in most of them. I had them run through the plays twice, then we broke up at noon. I went directly from there to Fed Ex and sent off the package to Singapore. That took a good half hour for various reasons and it was past my lunch time when I got home. Just ate salad and spinach, then tackled the minor revision of Impostor, as the two players and I had slightly different versions. (My fault: I had changed the first page to accommodate Sharon's difficulty in getting up and down and got mixed up doing it.)
Went to WinCo for lettuce, tomatoes, and other fixings, as I'm bringing a salad today for the potluck at T.O.P.S. While I was there, my niece called about various family/genealogy items. I had to cut her short because it was close to 5:00 and I still had things to get ready for Toastmasters. Before I got my purchases rung up, Judi from Toastmasters called to say the person who was to do improv was ill, so would I fill in? Geez, I had enough on my plate, but I agreed to fill in--luckily, I already had topics prepared, as I always start off my acting classes that way. Got home just in time for dinner, which was sketchy: I had leftovers of chicken and spinach, then took off for Humor & Drama Toastmasters.
This proved to be pretty engaging, although a tad peculiar. (Someday I'll elaborate on that, but not now.) There were only eight people there and the program included Fern reading to us about the first Thanksgiving. She actually had us gather 'round in a circle, like the little ones she used to teach. However, it wasn't bad. Raul was Toastmaster for the night--very nice guy; still has an accent, but he's not defensive about it. Edith, who's from the Netherlands and has a strong accent herself, then spoke on her trip to Vegas with Fern, who had participated in a divisional Toastmasters contest.
Refreshments followed, then my improv, which went over big. Poor Noreen got one that always throws people and couldn't talk on it for the whole minutes, but no prob.
Got home at 9:00, had some fruit, and then beddy-bye.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Full Day

Walked Kimball, getting there and home early, so I was finished my shower and starting breakfast by 8:00. Dressed and went to the VCS (Ventura Council for Seniors). I was amazed that Suze hadn't known SCAN was closing--she and Lori were stunned. There was a great deal of discussion and consternation about it and Suze repeated her mantra that we need another senior center in Ventura. She asked people to sign a kind of petition (but not to put it on the ballot) supporting it. I opened my big mouth and mentioned how often people are set up with petitions at Wal-Mart; I could do that myself. Oh, damn, that was greeted with thanks and appreciation, so I gotta do it.
Went from there home to change and then to get some more stuff about Toastmasters written out.
A large box came for Mike and Paula, this one with a twenties' tux in it. Had lunch and on my way to the hairdressers', I took it to Fed Ex to get prices (I'm also gong to have them wrap it). Oh, a mere nothing, ranging from $332 if they want it Monday, to $255 if they can wait until Wednesday. After I got back from the hairdressers (just got color), I was writing this up in an e-mail to Mike, when there was a knock on the door. It was the third item, a headpiece, so today--after rehearsal and before Toastmasters--I'll take it back to Fed Ex and have it sent off.
I still had some things to clear up for rehearsal--including writing my intros--and did that before dinner. After rehearsal today, I'll write up the "warm-up interviews" I said I'd do for Toastmasters tonight, take Mike's box to FedEx, and go to WinCo to get ingredients for what I'll bring to T.O.P.S. tomorrow. This is for the annual potluck "breakfast"--or whatever it is. We still meet at 8:45, yet there's this big spread with items anything but low-calorie. No wonder I seem to be the only one in the group who's consistently losing weight. Speaking of T.O.P.S., I have no idea where we'll meet now that SCAN is closing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SCAN News And Lunch

Walked Kimball and saw my two park acquaintances, Irene and Diane, and gave them invites to the performance. Home, I wrote and sent a message about tomorrow--dress rehearsal--to my players. Sharon, one of the two players who don't use the Internet, called to ask some quesitons and I gave her the lowdown. Guess I'll call the other, Noreen, today. Spent a lot more time on A. for A. stuff, such as calling the two skeltons "Bad" and "Badder," which I typed out in large red letters. They'll grace the desk for the Hell playlet.
Before my lunch date with Nancy at Red Lobster, I was pleased to find an easy way to get to Oxnard without using the 101. While I was driving there, my friend Doris called and I pulled over. I was stunned when she told me SCAN is closing--last day is December 15. Wow! However, now that I think of it, I shouldn't have been surprised. It takes a lot of dough to run a place like that and their actual business is insurance; their corporate office is in Long Beach. That's a blow for Doris. She spends a lot of time there and participates in all kinds of activities. Oh, well, c'est la vie.
Met Nance at 1:00 and we gorged on scampi, plus Mediterranean, and took some home, too. The only problem was, the containers leaked--or else I didn't have them closed right--and just about ruined my white sweater. As soon as I got home, I put it in the sink with detergent, but I doubt if it's going to come out. Oh, well, it's one of many.
Got to town about 3:30, walked my walk, read for a bit, then walked back and was home at 5:00. I found a package at my door, presumably one of the ones Mike had sent to me and asked me to send to Singapore. This is a sequinned top for Paula and, so far, is the only one that's come. They'll be attending some parties shortly and I guess their gigantic stuffed closets don't have enough in them (only enough to outfit the entire population of Ventura).

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Eye And Routine

When I got up, my eye still felt fine. Walked Kimball, then called Miramar (the eye docs) and got an appointment for 3:00. I did this and that on the computer and went to WinCo and a few other places, lunched, then to see the ophthalmologist.
He said he could see the scratch (scratch? I thought of it as a CRATER, with blood pouring out of it), but that it was healing well and to keep putting the ointment in for a few days. Happy day, I'm so relieved. Called El to tell her the good news.
Went from there directly to town and did my usual walk, glad to be back in my routine. Home about 5:00 and ran into Don. We talked--mostly about Ken, our former neighbor, whom Don (and Suzanne) helped to move into Lexington Assisted Living. We talked for a half hour or so, then I went in to have delicious ahi for dinner. They were frozen and usually I buy fresh fish, but these were so good. They're seared on the outside and raw in the middle, meant as appetizers, but I had them as my main dish--so good.
Got several e-mails from Toastmasters officers. Judi A. asked me to speak on November 20th, but hell no, that's the day after my dinner party and all the other stuff going on. I wrote back that I'll speak at the next meeting on December 4.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Eye And Ellen

For the first time in months--I'm not even sure how long--I walked neither Kimball nor town.
No Kimball because I went to the emergency room about 7:00 am. I had slept soundly all night, but my eye felt about the same. Drove in, gave all my info to the clerk, was sent into the nurse, and--started having second thoughts. I asked if they had an ophthalmologist on staff in that section, and naturally, they didn't. Well, damn, I didn't want some resident treating me eye, plus it occurred to me I probably should have called the doctor first. I told the nurse that and she agreed to delete all my current info, and it was done. Called my eye doc's office and talked to Dr. C., who agreed it wasn't a good idea to go to the E.R. I told him I found it impossible to tape my eye, but he said to try or to at least keep it closed after putting in the ointment. He also prescribed an antibiotic "just in case."
By the time I got home, it was almost 9:00 and I decided it was best not to walk Kimball. Had breakfast, read the paper, and eye was about the same. I went to CVS to get the RX, packed my already-prepared lunch salad, then left for Ellen's at noon.
We ate outside under her pergola, which was heavenly. I remarked that if we were in Jersey, we'd be fighting off the yellow jackets and green heads as soon as we sat down. El hadn't known about my eye and asked if I wanted her to put the medications in and tape it. Yes, and after we ate, she did. She then put on NetFlix (or whatever it is) Hidden Figures, which I hadn't seen and thought was pretty good. Greg had taken the day off and came out to chat with us, then went to mow the lawn. I kept the tape on all through the movie, then took it off to drive home and glory be, the eye felt much better.
Unfortunately, although I no longer feel the "something in my eye," I'm now experiencing some focus problem, something like "seeing double." I'm going to call Miramar and go in today.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Did the usual, then did what I do every day, and topped that off with nothing new. Am I in a rut? Why, yes, but it's one of my own making.
I did go to WinCo for all kinds of veg goodies. Came home to make two days worth of salad, pare and chop cucumbers, cut up tomatoes and add oil and vinegar (I like these in salad instead of plain) and hard boil five eggs, as I had no chicken for the salad and protein at every meal is my habit. I got some raw shrimp, as well as a swai filet, plus onions and peppers, which I'll prepare and freeze shortly.
Took my town walk, of course, and boy, was Main Street jammed. There was an art show/sale going on in the little Mission Park, as well as all kinds of street happenings. I always like to be walking through on busy weekend days, then I'm glad to be back to staid weekdays.
I'm still reading McGreevey's Confession and still wondering whether he or his debatable gay lover is telling the truth: a torrid affair or sexual Harassment? Not sure, but I'm interested.
Suggested to Ellen we go to the olive oil place in Ojai today. However, she wasn't enthusiastic and neither am I. She suggested we walk on Shelf Road, which winds around a high hill and from which you can look down on the town. We used to do this years ago, before I ever dreamed I'd live in the area, and I'm looking forward to it. I'll bring my lunch to her place and we'll eat first.
While I was putting on my sunglasses, I had my car keys in my hand and poked my eye. It feels as if there's something in it, and I later called the eye doctors at Miramar. The one I talked to said to get an ointment, then tape the eye shut. Went to CVS and that brand name wasn't there, but the pharmacist there said another was the same thing. Bought that and "paper tape," but couldn't bring myself to tape my eye. Put the ointment in and went to bed early. Slept all night, but the eye doesn't feel much different.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Here And There

Got up early again, just before 5:00 and I have to nip this in the bud. Walked Kimball and again had breakfast early.
I spent almost the whole morning revising the two monologues I wrote for Fern. Darn, they're pretty good--I'm not sure I want to give them to her, but oh, well. They're under copyright, of course. I always inform my class of this; I don't want them shared.
Ran out to the 99 Cent Store for napkins and saw they were actually giving away Halloween leftovers. I picked up two small skeletons to dress the set (ha!) for "Hell On Wheels." I'll have them on a table holding signs that say "BAD" and "BADDER."
After lunch, I took my regular museum to library walk. I knew the library was closed for "Veterans Day." It was formerly Armistice Day, of course, but why should a country engaged in aggression in seven different counties want to commemorate peace? Now, sadly, few remember--or care about, I guess--the original meaning. SCAN was closed, also; it seemed odd not to get weighed (I can just heard Betty saying, "Get laid?" Inside joke.)
Stopped at Wal-Mart and took my BP. It remains low at 93/61, but I seem to be doing fine. Called El when I got home and we discussed plans for Thanksgiving. I also asked her to dinner on the 19th, when I'm having Jim and Suzanne, since doofy Don won't come. It would be nice if Greg could, too, but he has to work. We discussed getting together on Sunday, too. She suggested the holiday house tour on Sunday, but it costs a whopping forty-five bucks. I'll try to think of something else.

Friday, November 10, 2017


Darn, I got up before the alarm went off at 6:00 yesterday--an hour an a half earlier, in fact. However, I decided to get up, did my thing, got to Kimball early and home early, so I had breakfast before 8:00. I've been thinking about the monologues I promised Fern and a topic occurred to me. I spent the morning on a first draft, and modified later. Had to get out, so I went to Ralph's, where I found the minced onion; also got salmon and blueberries. I drove to the Goodwill near where Ellen used to live and dropped off some donations. Saw the new supermarket that just opened in the same shopping center and went in to browse. It didn't seem as good as WinCo to me. Home, I had lunch, then made the cranberry meatballs to bring to the potluck at Dudley House. This entails adding other ingredients to ground beef, rolling small, then popping them in the oven for a half hour. After that, they're simmered in the slow cooker with the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, and a few other things.
For the first time in months, I made the conscious decision to skip my afternoon walk. I just couldn't fit it in with the above, as the potluck was at 6:30. Showered, packed up my slow cooker, and took off.
I was early enough to help set up at Dudley House. Gatherings are held in the basement, which is roomy and has a full kitchen. We moved tables around, added chairs, and otherwise laid things out. I guess about forty people were there; I met most and it was great fun. This group isn't restricted to senior citizens, but as far as I could see, only two were within shouting distance of sixty. I sat with Lynne, director of docents, and two woman named Carol and Cathy who I'll bet are pushing ninety. However, they were animated and fun.
Lynne gave me my official name plate (it's made of light metal, with a picture of the house on it). I had brought flyers about our performance on the 17th and gave them out. (I wouldn't dream of relying on SCAN to publicize, run as it is by two young women who seem clueless about p.r.) I saw that several people had brought wine--my kind of folks!--and had the equivalent (in plastic) of two glasses of Chardonnay. A local historian named Richard Senate spoke on "Hollywood in Ventura County" and was very entertaining. I was pleased that my meatballs were all snapped up (I always put toothpicks by the pot to get them out) and several people told me how much they liked them.
I was charmed that Bob Dudley attended. He's the great-grandson (or maybe great-great) of Benjamin Dudley, the patriarch who built the house. I chatted with him for a few minutes; he said he hadn't lived in the house, but on a ranch up in the hills, where he was born. He must be at least ninety and he still lives there
The evening was great and I'm glad to be part of Dudley House.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Transfers And Governor McGreevy

I finally got an off day. After Kimball and breakfast, I did a load of wash and at long last, got the car-to-closet transfers made. In a way, I had used my old car for storage, especially to keep my big suitcase (with a smaller one inside) in the trunk, which I don't want to do with the new one. The transfer entailed rolling it to the apartment and replacing it in the trunk with this and that I want to keep there. I had to move the big vacuum from the hall closet to the room-length closet, put the Shark where that had been, add the suitcase, and--well, lots of moving around.
In between washing, drying, and folding, I looked up monologues for Fern, of Toastmasters. I'm not sure why I agreed to do this; she could herself, and maybe I'll just e-mail her the web sites. She wants some that go on for five to seven minutes, but that's about twice or more as long as they (audition monologues, anyway) last. While I was thinking about this, I decided to write one. It's not bad and maybe I'll save it for my next Acting for Amateurs class, if I'm ever gaga enough to do it again. (I always think this way when a performance is coming up. Later, I forget the harried part and remember how much I enjoy it.)
I was out of lettuce, so went to WinCo for that and also the ingredients for the cranberry meatballs I'm going to make for the Dudley House potluck this evening. For some weird reason, I couldn't find minced onion at three different stores, so maybe I'll just get an onion and mince it myself. Found the chili sauce at WinCo, but it was Korean and I wasn't sure that's what was specified. Bought it at Smart 'n' Final, instead.
Ran into Don outside and we chatted. I told him I was hurt that he turned down my dinner invitation and he assured me it was only because he eats certain things and won't touch others. He does get to be tedious at times--lacks the social graces and just seems limited, but I'll just accept that.
Of all things, I've gotten re-interested in Jim McGreevy, the former NJ governor. I had read his book, Fall To Grace (what hotshot editor dreamed up the title?) years ago and when I stopped at the library yesterday, found his other one, The Confession, and started it. It details his affair with his Israeli aide, Golan Cipel, and includes lots about his Irish RC background. I looked up Cipel and read about his lawsuit against McGreevy. Interestingly, I also found his blog, in which he categorically denies any affair with McGreevy, saying he was sexually assaulted by same.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

And The Beat Goes On...

Still buzzing around here and there. After walking Kimball, showering, and breakfast, I prepared for the class. Pulled together the wigs, jewelry, hats, and so on, along with my notebooks and got to SCAN at 9:45. Happily, I found the room set up. Brianna showed me the screen/partition I wanted to use as a kind of backstage area and--forget it. It's in more than a hundred pieces--damn that Tony! He's the one who, for some unknown reason, took it apart and there's nobody who can reassemble it. After discussion with Briana and Brenda, I gave up about it--reluctantly--and will have to have the be-wigged players come in from another room.
Class went pretty well. There are still lacks in some areas; I want to see more energy, especially from one person. Another is a real pain in the butt. She's the one who had me re-type in larger print her parts; yesterday, she came in with her scripts in an entirely different binder. I wanted to have the binders--I bought them, all the same, in green--uniform, but she says it "hurts her arm." What the--! Okay, that's a battle I don't want take on.
The others are doing pretty well. Noreen, in particular, is a happy surprise. John C., the new guy, came in and he's very good; only complaint I have about him is that he rushes a bit. Wouldn't you know, I keep telling the others to pick up the pace and I have to tone him down a bit. After we ran through all the playlets, we went into the other room and people who were wearing them picked out wigs, hats, and other things. Noreen startled me (and maybe everybody else) by pulling off what I had thought was her natural hair, to reveal very sparse white strands. I'm having her be a Lolita type, with a blond wig, flowery hat, and kind of lace shawl. Marcelle said she had a wig at home and she'd bring that. I was very pleased that Jim brought in a black fedora and Sharon volunteered to make horns for it, as Jim plays the devil.
We didn't get out of there until almost 1:00 and by that time, I was ready for lunch and to put all this behind me for a few days. I'll write up my notes and send individual e-mails telling my players, first what they did well and then--as diplomatically as possible--what needs to be improved. I'm like a broken record with this: "pick up the pace, react to the other actors, don't let your voice drop..." and so on and on.
After I got home, I stopped at Don's to invite him for dinner with Suzanne, Jim, and me on the 19th. I was taken aback when he declined. Said he just wasn't very social and he was self-conscious with new people. He invited me in and we talked for fifteen or so, but he doesn't want to come to dinner. Well, okay. I don't know any other men, so maybe I'll invite Noreen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


Busy as ever. Walked Kimball and so on, then met the widder group at noon. I was pleased that Nancy came and I gave her the info on the Dudley House Christmas boutique, starting the weekend after Thanksgiving. We had a good time, as ever, and I even ordered off the menu--getting adventurous, I am. I had a shrimp taco, but told them to hold the tortillas and just had the shrimp and greens.
Went from there directly to town, as I wasn't going to let a third day go by without my m. to l. walk. Stayed for a bit reading some New Yorker articles from the sixties in a new book.
Got home and printed out some invites to the performance. Took them to Toastmasters (the Poinsettia chapter)*, which was held in Fern's house. She's a longtime member and, in fact, is in three different Toastmasters chapters. She must be at least my age, maybe older, and her house is very large and nicely appointed. We had the meeting in a big separate area, all screened in, and with a big bar and other appointments.
I got there early, in order to fill out an application for the Humor and Drama chapter and Fern and I chatted. She asked if she and I could do one of my playlets as our "assignments" for Toastmasters. I agreed and I'll bring Impostor and When Cooks Confer over to her place shortly, so we can go over them and decide which is best to present.
The meeting was fun. John and Noreen were both there and, of course, I'll see them today at Acting for Amateurs. In fact, I still need to pull together some of the wigs and other costume parts I'm taking. We'll have a regular rehearsal in the big room, then go to the other to decide on costuming.
We all had a ball at Toastmasters, which included a neat routine prescribed by Cece, who served as "Table Talk" master. She paired us together and we were told we had to devise a one-minute routine, with each person saying only one word. She paired me with Rachel, who had mentioned earlier that she lost her phone. We went in a corner to decide what we'd do and I suggested we hit off that. She liked the idea and her word being "mine," my word "no." Of course, we pretended I had stolen her phone and went through various histrionics about it. I must say it made a hit and I liked the idea so much I asked Cece if I could use it in a future class. She readily agreed.
Didn't get home until 8:30 and was up another hour, dirty stay-out that I am.
*I add the name because I actually get confused about which chapter--Poinsettia or Humor & Drama--I'm to attend. Many of the same people are in both, as I am now.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Dudley House

Heaven forfend! For the second day in a row, I didn't walk in town. However, I think my activities made up for that.
Of course, I walked Kimball. Came home to do my Sunday crossword; usually, I don't get a few clues (and I don't obsess over it--I have other things to obsess over), but this time, I got them all. I spent a fair amount of time assembling salad ingredients: sliced lettuce, chopped chicken, quartered tomatoes and dressed them with oil and vinegar to add. I was annoyed with myself that I accidentally bought zucchini, thinking they were cucumbers. Looked here, there, and everywhere for the template for the invitation to the performance, finally found it, and modified to fit the upcoming performance. I had about half of the salad for lunch, then got ready for my docent duties at Dudley House.
If I say it myself, I looked pretty good. Wore the same long black skirt, white blouse, and straw hat I had before (when I was just a greeter), and set off much too early. Waited around the property until Lynn came. Two other docents, Sherry and Karla, who are mother and daughter, came and it was fun getting to know them. Although I had never acted as tour guide before and hadn't had any actual training (just some written material), I did well. I guess I'm a quick study, as I had to glance at the material only a few times. Anyway, it was pretty much back to back with people coming in. At the end of the day, we had had forty in various family groups, including several with children. Most were good, although one pair of sisters--I'd say maybe 4 and 5--were little hellions, grabbing things and running here and there. Why their mother would ever take them to an historic house tour is beyond me.
Considering Lynn's persona--crazed house mother--I'm surprised the day went fairly smoothly. However, at one point, I had finished the porch and the dining/sitting room, and was halfway through my spiel in the parlor for one group, when she rushed in with an entire family--parents and three daughters. It made no sense to me that she didn't wait and have me start over. I did enjoy it, though, and will attend the potluck for docents on Thursday.
It's funny: I have a lot of stamina and don't tire easily, but at the end of the day, I was pooped, which is why I skipped the town walk. I'll resume my usual routine today. Also have widder lunch at noon and Toastmasters this evening.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Fun Day

Rain had been predicted, but as ever, it didn't materialize and it was gorgeous--sunny and clear blue skies all the way.
I picked Nancy up at the Black Angus and drove to Marina Mobile Home Park. That sounds to this east coaster like maybe what we used to call a "trailer park"; ticky-tacky little places for those who can't afford a "regular" house. Ha! This is southern California, so these roomy, nicely-kept manufactured homes go for 800K and up.
Sandy B., a woman I know from T.O.P.S., lives there and told the group about a boutique going on yesterday. Sandy is an artist and since my pal, Nancy, also paints, I asked if she'd like to go. The boutique was mostly paintings, ornaments, and other items, all hand-made and all priced to appeal to deep pockets. Sandy had some nice works displayed, but they were all over a hundred and frankly, they weren't that good. Since I still haven't found a space for my Uncle Frank's paintings, I have no room for more, anyway. Nancy and I both bought some unique and original hand-designed cards and some decorative stamps. It seems the mother of one of the residents had recently died and she was pretty creative. These were modestly priced, as the woman's mother had rooms full.
We went from there to lunch just down the harbor road, to a restaurant Nancy's suggested, the Rhumba Line (I assume the name refers to some kind of nautical rope or something, but I'm too lazy to look it up). It's right on the water and a great place--especially because they serve "bottomless" mimosas. After discussion, the waitress was nice enough to fill the glass halfway with champagne, but to put the orange juice in little carafes on the side, so we could add as much--or as little--as we wanted. Yummy, yummy, I love champagne.
After lunch (I had Caesar salad, Nancy a brunch plate), lots of good talk, and plenty of bubbly, off we went. I dropped Nance at the Black Angus, then drove directly to Ellen's to show off my car. She likes it a lot and immediately showed me how to get the windshield wiper fluid to work (anybody but me would have to be showed, I'm afraid). She also tried and tried to get the Blue Tooth to work. She said hers was very difficult too, but this one had her stumped after about of hour of trying everything. Finally, she called Enterprise and found my little inexpensive Fiesta isn't equipped with it. I could buy one for seventy-five bucks and pay to have it installed, but it'll be a cold day in Havana before that happens.
Left El to work on report cards and drove home. On the way she called to be sure I had taken the hand brake off; I had, since I never use it and only my children think I should. Betty also called. Chatted with her for a bit (after parking at the museum), then drove home to salmon and spaghetti squash.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Still Plenty Going On

As is my habit (I don't know why I always fall for these archaic English structures), I sat down here to write in this bog, check my mail, and go onto Facebook before I left for Kimball at 7:00. I was delighted to get a message back from John C., saying he would "love" to be in Hell On Wheels--yay!
Ran into my park friends, Irene and Diane, at Kimball. They oohed and aahed over my pretty little car and we stopped to chat for fifteen or so. Once home, I had to rush to change and get to T.O.P.S., but there was more good news there: I lost another 2.4 pounds, for a total of 42.78 pounds, plus--TA DAH!--I'm now in the one-thirties. Well, just barely, at 139.4, but hey, I'll take it.
Just as I pulled into my parking spot afterwards, I got a call from Bob S., of Sunrise Bay, saying he had had to repair some wires for the sprinkler system that he thinks Meticulous, the lawn service, somehow cut. I didn't get a chance to call Meticulous (I assume they'll pay Bob's fee) until later and by that time, it was closed. Will get to them on Monday.
Stripped the bed and took two large loads of wash to the laundry place; I not only used two washers, I used two dryers. While they were doing their thing, I sent John a return message and attached the playlet. After lunch, I called him and he came over. We met in our all-purpose room--very handy, as my place was in some disarray and I didn't feel like clearing it out just then. I know John is going to be perfect in the (very small) part, as he's articulate and intelligent, plus some kind of officer in Toastmasters. After that, I headed to the bank to deposit the check from AAA, then stopped at the supermarket, which meant I didn't get to the museum until almost 4:00--late for me, but no matter.
On my way to the library, I went in the four thrift stores I pass, still looking for a small scale for Ellen's science class--no luck today, either. While I was at Goodwill, Nancy called and we firmed up our plans to go to a boutique, then lunch today. After that, I'll go to El's to show her the car.
Stopped at Smart 'n' Final for grapes, berries, and olive oil, so didn't get in until almost 6:00.
Now I have to find some time to do my homework for Dudley House, as I haven't even glanced at the docent material. I said I'd take the porch, living room, and dining room and there's a lot to know about them.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Lunch With Jim

Walked the walk, drove over to Enterprise to pick up my clicker, showered, and set off to meet Jim at the harbor.
I had suggested Brophy Bros, where you sit overlooking the water with boats going in and out--I always liked it there. We were both early, Jim with his ugly little dog--okay, not ugly, but no beauty, either--whose name is Mollie (or Molly). The pooch sported a "Service Dog" sweater or vest or whatever it is. It kills me that Jim is as conservative as you can get, constantly railing against those who have ruined our great nation, shamed our glorious heritage, and besmirched...etc. Yet here he is, taking a fleabag into a restaurant as if he might drop dead at any minute unless Mollie--unless Mollie does what? Administers mouth to mouth resuscitation? Splints his broken leg? Alerts passers-by of Jim's need for a band-aid? There's nothing wrong with Jim, but he thinks he's hot stuff because he takes his doggie to lunch.
However, we had a passably good time. He needed to tell about his wife, Lou's, death, less than a year ago and I listened intently. That was fine and I understand his grief. It's when he starts his constant self-aggrandizement that being with him gets tedious. If I hear one more time that his daughter made six million dollars when she was with--can't remember, but some software company--I'm going to stick a fork in his eye. Other than that and his tendency to keep the conversation on himself--typically of such self-absorbed people, he showed little interest in my life--it was okay. He insisted on paying for lunch and I acquiesced without embarrassment. I realize he drove 175 miles to see me and some of the traffic must have been horrendous. Anyway, after lunch and a Corona each, I walked him to his car and we hugged goodbye. Somehow, Jim seems more to be pitied than disliked.
Went directly from there to WinCo to stock up on veggies and fish, then to another market for fruit. Came home and changed into sneakers for my town walk, but received a call from AAA to the effect my check was available and I could pick it up. Did so, then did the museum to library thing.
When I got home, I called Betty to report on the afternoon with Jim and she agreed he's a bit pathetic. He had invited us each to come see him in Texas, but I don't think that's in the cards for me anytime soon.
Or anytime.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Whatta Day

Wowee, what a day!
Walked Kimball, had breakfast, then went to the BCNN meeting. Sue was there, and Sherry and Doris came in; I was glad to see all of them. The meeting was okay--a talk by two people from Heritage Square in Oxnard--but since the video system doesn't seem to work, it was a bit long. I volunteered to be one of the greeters.
Stopped at AAA after to ask about the check I have coming, but was told it would take up to three days to come in. Okay, I'll wait. As I got back in my car, my phone rang. It was Jim D., Betty's high school boyfriend from sixty years ago. He lives in Texas, but said he was in Palm Springs and was I available for lunch today? Actually, today is the only day this week I don't have something scheduled, so I agreed. I suggested we meet at Brophy Bros. at the harbor at noon. He's bringing his friggin' dog--good grief!
When I got home, I spent more time working on various aspects of A. for A. I e-mailed Fern, from Toastmasters, to ask if she knew any man who could/would take the part of "Sam" in Hell On Wheels. She checked and suggested John C., whom I had met--he'd be perfect, so I e-mailed him and asked.
Zipped over to Enterprise and took the plunge re the car. I'm very pleased with it and salesperson Carly took a picture of me with it. I tried to copy it here, but it wouldn't work. I did put it on Facebook, along with this comment:
"My new car and me in the glamour pose my daughter taught me. CARLY COMROE and JOSE DIAZ, of Enterprise, couldn't have been more helpful; they're terrific and I'm very happy with my little gold beauty."
When I got out, I drove directly to town--I wasn't going to let another day go by without my m. to l. walk. On my way, Ellen called to ask about the car. We chatted and she asked if I'd look in the thrift stores to see if I could find a few small scales, preferably in grams, for her science class. I stopped into Goodwill; didn't find any, but I'll look further. While there, Nancy called and I found a quiet corner where we could talk. I had forgotten about the date we have on Saturday; good thing she reminded me. By the time we finished, it was after 5:00 and getting dark. Drove home and when I tried to get in the gate, realized I had left the clicker in the rental. Called Carly and she ran out and found it. I parked at the entrance and will drove over and get it when they open at 10:00 today.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Got Wheels?

Walked Kimball, showered, had breakfast, conducted Acting for Amateurs, and bought a car.
Yup, and here's the lowdown:
The class went well. I told them first about props and costumes and that next week I'd bring wigs and other things. I then ascertained that they could all come to the changes I had first asked Brianna about. The more I think of it, the more annoyed I get that my class was just arbitrarily preempted. To add i. to i., I wasn't even told about it; I saw it on one of the flyers. After the performance, I'm going to write a stiff note to headquarters in Long Beach and express my displeasure. Maybe.
Anyway, they're improving, but some glacially. One continues to show as much energy as a used teabag and another cackles inappropriately. None of them seem able to fathom what the word "timing" means. However, they actually are getting better; I wish we had more than two rehearsals to go. I was able to get all but Impostor in, but next week, we'll go straight through. I spoke to Jim after and told him I'd like to have him over for dinner with Suzanne and Don. He was very appreciative and I'll find out from Suzanne (who also works) what evening she's free. As I frankly told Jim, I'm tired of being exclusively with people who discuss what they saw on television. I'm hungry for interaction with someone from Academia and Jim teaches philosophy at Ventura College.
I was at the car place for three hours. This is Enterprise, which sells its gently used rental cars. I've bought cars this way in Jersey and have been well-satisfied each time. After looking and driving several in my price range (low), I settled on a Ford Fiesta. It has all the amenities I want--forget the push button start and the video back-up, both of which I actively dislike--and what's more, is only a year old (my Hyundai was a 2013).
Anyway, I called Ellen, who came up with some good questions and after going through the usual drag of paperwork, I signed. I told them to hold it overnight, as I have a lot of stuff in the rental car (I took it out of my wrecked car). Conveniently, I can just leave the rental there, although it goes back several miles away.
So, I no longer have my little blue beauty. My new little beauty is a gorgeous gold.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Walking Kimball in long pants and a sweater was actually pretty nice. In fact, it was in the low sixties most of the day and even dipped to high fifties now and than. Bracing, but I don't want it any colder. As happens often, I spent several hours on A. for A., including some minor revisions of some of the playlets.
Went out to get salad ingredients and stopped at SCAN to see if we could change some of our meetings. Brianna agreed, but I sent her and Brenda (they seem to jointly be in charge) an e-mail, as I want it confirmed in writing. Now I HOPE my performers will all be on board with the changes.
Stopped at Goodwill on my way from the museum to the library and found a nice, very small corner shelf. It looks good in the living room, but I'm not sure--may move it. Speaking of the library, I had gotten an e-mail to the effect that I hadn't returned Pandora's Lunchbox. What? I was sure I had. Went in and yes, it was on the shelf--somehow, it had slipped under the "in-coming" radar.
Got a call from the insurance company saying they declared my car worth less than it would cost to fix it, so they totaled it. I told Cassandra (the one I deal with and she's good) that if the accident costs me a single penny, I was going to sue. She said she didn't think it would, but we'll see. What a hassle. I sent an e-mail to my four children telling them this.
Another e-mail came from Lynn W., the director of docents at Dudley House, asking if I could conduct the tour this Sunday. I wasn't supposed to start until next year (2018), but somebody had been scheduled and had to pull out. I agreed to do it, but warned her I wasn't up to snuff on the history and I'd probably have to take the prompts with me.
Another call: From "Carly," of AAA. She's going to help me find another car and I'm meeting with her today at 2:00. That's after the A. for A. meeting, which is at 10:30. I want to do When Cooks Confer, which we didn't get to last week, then discuss changes in the schedule and props.

Monday, October 30, 2017


After Kimball (chilly!), breakfast, and the usual Sunday crossword, I spent mucho time on revising some of the playlets. Also assembled some of the props and wigs we'll use. They can't be terribly elaborate, because this is readers theatre and they have to hold their scripts.
Damn, one of these days, I'd like to see my plays done again properly, i.e. off-book and on-set. There are many I won't include in Acting for Amateurs because they don't lend themselves to that very limiting form. I'd love to see--for instance--Hell on Wheels done again off-book and with the appropriate gestures. When it was done in Jersey, it brought down the house. The women should sashay around haughtily, getting up to do so. As it is, they have to sit, holding their loose leaf books (I bought them all the same, to cut down on distractions) with scripts. Oh, well, I still enjoy it and I think my "students" do, too. I have more to do today and I also want to plan my agenda. We didn't get to When Cooks Confer last week, so I want to add it tomorrow. After that, we have only two more meetings before the performance and I want those to be straight rehearsals.
Town after lunch, of course, and it was still cool; wore long pants and a sweater. I saw a young woman pushing what I thought was a baby stroller, but what was in it? A rabbit! Why in the world anybody would think that appropriate--for the people on the street or the rabbit--I can't fathom.
Stopped at Smart 'n' Final on the way home and picked up some nice swordfish and ripe pears.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Containers and Con Ed

Walked K. in downright chilly weather. It stayed cool, in the sixties, all day; around here, that's practically sub-zero.
But no matter: I galvanized myself and finally got the place in shape. Vacuumed, used Resolve on some carpet marks (I may have to redo), put the new cushions on the kitchen chairs, dusted, and otherwise cleaned. Most important, I got the stuff from my car that was strewed here and there, assembled and neatened it up, then stored out of sight. I still have a few containers with items from the Hyundai in the Nissan trunk that I want to go through. I'll add a few things, then donate to the thrift store.
After completing my tasks, I went to WinCo for fish, bread, and the rest of the ingredients I need for the Nana Mix I want to send the boys in Jersey. Ran into Don (well, not literally!) as I pulled into my spot and we chatted. Got home and opened the fridge to put things away and--no light on. And no light anywhere else--the electricity was out. I rang Suzanne's bell and she said it had been out for about a half hour. A little later, she rang my bell and told me she had heard the electric company was doing maintenance and it would be back on about 4:00.
Okay, no prob, I was on my way to the library after lunch anyway. When I drove there, Victoria Avenue, which aside from the freeway is surely the most heavily traveled street in Ventura, had no traffic lights working! Darn, it was hairy trying to traverse it without getting hit, but I finally did and got to town.
Lots of people there, as there was some kind of Halloween festival for the kiddies, but that was okay. Stayed at the library for an hour or so reading, left and got home and found the electricity back on--yay!
Later, I found two e-mails from Con Ed, one advising me there'd be an outage, the other saying it was back on. Okay, that's convenient, except I only check my e-mail in he early morning and in the evening. Now I'll know to do that if the electricity ever goes out again.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Walked Kimball, went home to change, then to T.O.P.S. This time I gained--horrors!--I'm up two-tenths of a pound. Last week, my total loss was 40.06, this time it was 40.04, so it's hardly the road to perdition.
Anyway, we had a good session. Lolly brought me the Kind bars she had mentioned last week--two of them, apple/mango and apple/cherry, 130 calories each. They contain nothing but dried fruit and Chia seeds; therefore, she said they're good for snacks. I tried to explain I don't eat in-between meals, except after 8:00 pm, when I have fruit. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I accepted them and said I'd have one during that time.
But what a crock--these bars are 1.2 ounces! For an equal number of calories, you could have almost two cups of blueberries and/or other multiples of fresh or frozen fruit. I can't imagine a circumstance under which I'd eat the things, except during a hike or something, but that probably isn't in the cards. (One of the problems with the sky-rocketing obesity rates in this country, I think, is that we've swallowed (heh-heh) the idea that it's natural and normal to include "snacks" in your diet.)
Home, breakfast (not until 10:00), then household chores, lunch, and I was off to town for my walk. Later, I stopped at Wal-Mart for a few things; had shrimp, spaghetti, squash, and cauliflower for dinner. Didn't eat the Kind bar at 8:00 and I'm sorry I had told Lolly I would. Maybe I'll just have a bite and discard the rest.
(I forgot to mention yesterday that my new friend, Noreen, got her R.N. license after her two children. She worked at Community Memorial here in Ventura, but retired some years ago.)

Friday, October 27, 2017


Well, conditions have improved a bit, although for the first time in--five months? six months?--I wasn't able to walk Kimball. I could easily, of course, have walked around the neighborhood, but I spent time in the morning with various things related to the car.
I was contacted by Enterprise and, as promised, they picked me up at 10:30, took me to their place (only about two miles away), and I got a Nissan Centra. Went from there to Johnson Avenue, trying to find Paradise Chevrolet, where my car was taken, because I knew I had to sign an authorization. Couldn't find it and didn't want to waste any more time, so I went from there to meet Noreen in town.
We went to the Paradise Cafe (this whole place is just heavenly) and had a delightful time. Noreen is two years older than I am (that always gives me a lift) and walks in an odd "straddle." She told me frankly that was the result of a hip operation (gone bad, I guess) and knee problems. Anyway, I ran over several of the tips on acting she had missed in the first two sessions and she was very receptive. We also got to know each other better: She had been married, but divorced her husband after thirty years when he had an affair and fathered two other children. She never liked him, she said, but he was a good father to their two children. She graduated from high school and married three days later; she was pregnant. Anyway, he died last November, no loss to her.
After a leisurely lunch, we parted, and I took my regular walk to the library. After walking back, I asked Google to guide me to the Chevvy place. I wanted to take out the stuff in my car, which I did. The auto shop boss, Mike, said he thought AAA would declare it a total loss, but he didn't know when, so he asked me to be patient. Now that I have wheels, I will be.
El called on her way home to see how things were and I'm in better shape. I also got a text from someone who asked if I had felt the earthquake. What earthquake? I was told there was a 4.0 one in Lompac, but that's a distance from here.
(Forgot to mention that the other day, I had taken my BP twice at Wal-Mart; still low at 82/58 and 97/62.)

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Well, it was quite a day. Did the usual--Kimball, a load of wash, and so on--in the morning, then after lunch, decided to drive to town to see if the library was open.
I was driving straight on Telegraph Road when, in front of Ventura College, a young woman who had been parked in her BMW, pulled out and hit my passenger side hard. I was shaken, but not hurt. Police came, my car was towed, she has insurance, and I've been in touch with mine and will see what happens now. As I had no blame, I'm sure the other insurance will pay.
Called Ellen, who was nearby getting take-out after work, and she came over to eat here. My car had to be towed to AAA's auto body shop, and they want me to go there and sign papers allow them to fix it. While El was here, it hadn't gotten there yet and I'm meeting my new student, Noreen, in town today; will take a bus and the car will just have to wait. I e-mailed my other three and they responded with concern, but relief I'm not hurt.
I thought I'd sleep like a log after that, but I woke up at 1:55 and couldn't get back to sleep. Went on the computer for a time--I'm not sure how long--and finally went back.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A. for A. and Friendship Club

Still hot, even when I walked Kimball at 7:00; I had been up for three hours by then. Why? Because I had gotten up for the usual and was nagged by the fact everything wasn't perfectly put together for the A. For A. session, I spent those hours finishing up. Finally got people assigned to different parts--and that's difficult with six people, seven playlets, and roughly twenty parts. I try to make them reasonably equitable, so one or two people don't end up with the lion's share and the others with minor roles. Anyway, it paid off. I had been worried that I'd have some dropouts yesterday or--almost as bad--have more sign up. That didn't happen, though, and I told Brianna not to put anymore on.
It went pretty smoothly, but boy, do they need work. Almost universally, they spoke too slowly and ponderously and in monotones. That's especially deadly in comedic roles and all but one play (Impostor) are. Speaking of that one, both Marcelle and Sharon were so wooden, you could make a chair out of them. Jim was his usual, although he's improved. Char needs to pick up the pace considerably, but happily, Noreen, "the new girl" (which is how I introduced her) is actually not bad. Mikkii is the loose cannon--the way she spells her name would give you a glue--but who is fair in comedic roles. They need much, much, more rehearsal, that's a cinch.
Class over at 11:30, I went directly to the Poinsettia Pavilion to join the Friendship Club ladies for lunch. Deb was right in that these gals are pretty long in the tooth, much more so than she is (Deb is 64). She owns The Lynd Group, which is a finance firm, I think specializing in senior citizen business.
Anyway, the lunch was okay (I ate it, although it included pork and mashed potatoes; of course, I skipped the dessert) and the members were very welcoming. According to Deb, they're just a group that goes on day trip outings; I don't know what else they do. Googled it, but they're not on it--a somewhat off-putting sign for me. Deb is going to send me over and I'll think it over before I decide if I want to join. The topic of the speakers, reverse mortgages, was a snooze fest, but it was an okay way to spend part of an afternoon.
I sped home after to change clothes. The heat was still horrendous--over 90--and even I am not foolhardy enough to take my mile and a half in town at the height of the afternoon, so I went again to the mall and walked about the same. After I left there, I thought the pool was the place to be and decided to just stop at Wal-Mart and buy any bathing suit I could find. (The one I have is too big now and I'm self-conscious about it.) Well, darn, they didn't have any, so I had to wear my old one.
I thought maybe Suzanne would be there, but she wasn't. I just swam around a bit--it felt heavenly--then left. Ran into Don and chatted with him for fifteen or so. Niece Joan called and we discussed a few--yes, family matters. I called Ellen, who was in Santa Barbara at Greg's mother's, and she told me there was a huge fire along 33, so they couldn't drive home that way. I looked on-line and found 150 acres have burned. That's scary; I hope it's out soon.


It was warm even at 7 am when I walked Kimball and at 4:16 in the afternoon, it was 102 degrees in Ventura. I cringe to think what it was in Ojai; glad El has central air.
I spent a good portion of the day--in between chores--organizing my class for today. It's incredibly difficult to decide who's going to play what part. I try to at least come close to equalizing the parts, but don't always make it. I have a new person, Noreen O., who's in Toastmasters (both of them, in fact), and I like her a lot. I picked up the sign up sheet from SCAN, saw Noreen's name and called her. I think she'll be a good addition. I now have six players and that's fine; I just hope nobody else drops out. I do need a man for Hell On Wheels--I have Jim playing the devil again--and I'll see if anybody has a husband or brother sitting around.
Nancy called while I was out just to chat. She's been trying to get her exercise in and get in shape for the three-week cruise she's taking in a few months.
I also went to the mall to look for a top. Found absolutely nothing I'd buy, although I tried on a lot. I can't understand how these stores--Penneys, Macy's, Sears, and others--stay in business. They have almost no salespeople, their merchandise is crap, and their prices aren't even particularly low. I much prefer to shop at Wayfair on-line. I've bought a lot there (a bureau, a bookcase, a large privacy screen, and so on) and it's reasonable, well-made,and is shipped quickly. After looking at the poorly-stocked mall stores, I'm going to get new kitchen chair cushions at Mayfair.
Anyway, I wasted a few hours at the mall and I'm sorry I did. Went home to continue shaping up the class, but I actually still had a few things to do for it. Woke up this morning at 4:00 and just decided to stay up and finish the stuff.
It's now 5:39 am; I just checked and (gasp!) it's already 80 degrees.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Anger And Ojai

Walked Kimball and had an experience.
Background: Several people allow go there in the morning with their dogs off-leash, which drives me crazy. I spoke to a certain woman several times about it--she has a teeny-tiny dog who runs all over the place. Yesterday, I happened to walk near her and heard her dog bark from in the bushes; I stopped and looked over, I guess with an annoyed look on my face. Woman assured me "he's a sweetheart"--they ALL say that, probably while their dog is tearing somebody limb from limb. Anyway, I expressed annoyance, but then the thought came to me, this isn't worth it. I get angry so easily and I have to curb that. We talked for a bit and I just stuck out my hand and said, "Let's be friends." We shook and she said her name was Shelley and her dog is Joey. I walked on and felt better about it. I'm going to try to stop getting so damn mad so often.
After breakfast, I dug up (on-line) one of my older plays--really, just a skit. Revised it a bit and will probably use it in the show. I want to see what other possibilities there might be, also; I'll duplicate some of the material from last time, too.
Did this and that before driving to Ojai to Ellen's. I was pleased that Greg had thought to leave me Ventura magazine, which has an article on the Santa Paula Theatre. El and I chatted a bit and I admired her gorgeous bougainvillea, which drapes over about twelve feet of her fence. We then went to Co'Marco for lunch. I had a Caprese salad and Chardonnay and enjoyed them, but even more, being with her. We stopped after at the Ojai library, which was having a book sale. I bought twenty books for five bucks--not sure where I'm going to put them, but I couldn't resist.
Left El's about 3:30, went to town, walked the walk (and read more of Joe D.), then home.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Joe DiMaggio And Dinner

After Kimball and so on, I went over to WinCo for salad stuff and et cetera. Finished up my organizing of class stuff, but put off doing the same with my personal acting material. Even so, that took me to lunch, then town, did the walk, stopped in the library for maybe an hour, where I'm reading a new book called...
...get this: Dinner With DiMaggio. It's a new book by a doctor who treated the ballplayer for his heel spur injury, then became a bosom buddy. This was after Joltin' Joe's Yankee career was over. The book is weirdly interesting and I've been reading a few chapters each day while I'm there. I have no desire to check it out because at home, I'm plowing through my student, Jim C.'s, book, The Birth of Ideas. This is the textbook he wrote for the philosophy class he teaches at Ventura College. Whew, it's plenty dense and I skipped over some of the early Asian stuff. Now I'm up to Locke and Kant and their ideas, which I find considerably more interesting.
On the way to town, I took a dry run to Poinsettia Pavilion, where I'll be attending the Friendship Club lunch with Deb on Tuesday. This is way up in the hills and has a spectacular view. It was completely deserted yesterday afternoon, but I stopped in the parking lot when Betty called. We talked for a bit, then I went on my way. Stopped at Five Points to get my little blue beauty washed and now she sparkles like a jewel.
Cut up some nice strawberries--they're very inexpensive now, so this must be the bumper season--and did the same with big porcini(?) mushrooms. Cooked them up with my salmon and, along with leftover spinach and butternut squash, dinner was yummy.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Organizing Stuff

Walked Kimball, then went to T.O.P.S. I hit the forty pounds off mark--yay!--and am looking forward to getting into the one-thirties. It was a good meeting, as ever. I brought a newspaper article from the Ventura Star about the soaring obesity rate in the U.S. I think it said one in four adults are overweight and the kiddies are catching up. Hmm, now why would that be? Can't imagine. It certainly can't be because of the crap we eat, can it?
As a mere coincidence, I also brought in the book Pandora's Lunchbox, which gives chapter and verse on processed foods. I honestly wasn't aware of exactly how much and what kinds of additives are pushed. I do know that the number one poison in the marketplace is sugar and boy, it's everywhere. I try not to preach too much and constantly repeat that I devised my own diet regimen and it works for me. I know it would work for anybody else, but the key is, you have to follow it. I've been on more diets than I can count, but the problem was, after a time, I simply didn't follow them. This works for me, although I'm well aware that keeping it off is paramount and the toughest part of weight loss.
Home for breakfast, then spent HOURS in putting in piles the mountains of paper I have for Acting for Amateurs. It's unbelievable how much I have and the problem is, I tend to pile unrelated things together. It's a lot better now because I actually separated and put the stuff in the filing cabinet. Today, I'm going to work on my own acting background material and get that organized, too. Then I'll turn my attention to the acting class and assign parts.
Got a call from Deb M., who invited me a group called "Friendship Club" she's in. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I'm game--it includes a catered lunch and, according to Deb, some good, in-the-moment women.
Took the usual town walk, then stopped to get mushrooms, spinach, strawberries, carrots, and dental floss--all yummy, although the floss is a little brittle (heh,heh).
El called as she was leaving school and said Greg is working today, so could I go tomorrow. Actually, that works out better for me, as I want to finish all my frantic putting-away work. I suggested we might go to an olive oil grove and distillery (or whatever they call olive oil making), as they have tours. We might want to, although I don't care what we do, I just want to be with her for a time.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Toastmasters Two

Aside from my two walks, getting gas, and stopping at WinCo to buy shrimp, I spent virtually the entire day organizing and rehearsing my talk for Toastmasters.
Ran into Suzanne on her way to the pool (she swims for exercise) and Steve Y. when I was getting in my car at the museum. We chatted a bit, then off I went. Had an early dinner, showered, dressed, and went off to the meeting.
This is a good group, if a little long in the tooth. It meets at The Lexington, which is an independent living facility, and a very nice one. (This is where Ken, my elderly (92) former neighbor moved.) There were ten people there, including Fern, who's also in the other group. I was the first speaker and did my thing on "My Road to Stardom." Fern dreamed up the title, which I found amusing.
My talk went over big. I had brought a number of artifacts, such as playbills, programs, and framed picture of myself in various roles. The idea is to talk for no longer than seven minutes (there's a timekeeper), and I just made it. I must say everybody loved it. Of course, this group is called "Humor and Drama," so it was fitting. There were two other speakers; one, born and brought up in Alaska, spoke about that, the other Halloween when she was a child. The president, Judi, told what was supposed to be a horror story. I've heard this hoary tale before: killer bribes a guard to smuggle him out of prison in a coffin, pretend to bury him, then spring him, but things go awry, and killer finds guard next to him as he hears the dirt fall. Don't remember if it's Poe or not.
Anyway, it was fun and I actually like this group as much or better than the other. However, I was stunned to be told I'd have to pay separate dues. I just can't see my way clear to shelling out three hundred a year, so I'm mulling over what to do.
Got an adorable homemade Halloween card from Mr. K. in Japan. It includes a picture of him in a witch hat, holding a pumpkin. I'll try to take a pic and add it here.
Aside from all that, I was delighted to get a call from Ellen. She suggested we do something tomorrow, and I'm on board, of course. I'll look up what's going on in Ojai and it'll be fun.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

VCS And The Gestapo

Walked the walk, showered, breakfasted, then went to Ventura Council for Seniors meeting. I was pleased to see Steve and Chuck there; I know them from the Senior Center in the West end.
It was a pretty good meeting. One of the speakers was a woman from Foodshare; her talk was mildly interesting and, of course, there was the usual old and new business. The latter included medical marijuana; delivery to homes is now permissible. Chair Suze M. has taken it for pain. Only in her middle sixties, she's had cancer for several years and this is a second recurrence. She told me wryly she's getting tired of it.
Jerry, a guy who is now retired, but had been in the police department and is a kind of reach-out rep, spoke informally about stolen cars, a thriving industry in Ventura, it seems. I raised a question about the "Nextdoor" program--an community e-mail program used by the P.D. and others (I've included info on my Acting for Amateurs class). Now and again, most recently a few days ago, the P.D. sends a message asking people in a certain area if they can "verify" that someone (they list the name and address) has moved to a particular address nearby. The first few times I got this, I ignored it, but the last time, I sent back a reply to the effect I'm not in the Gestapo, so why should I? Jerry had never heard of this and asked me to forward the message to him, which I did later. As ever, Cheryl H., the only councilperson who ever comes to our meetings, was there. I think highly of her and chatted with her after.
Home, I put in a wash. While it was drying, I went out for frozen fruit. Fresh blueberries are completely gone--you can't even buy high-priced ones--so these are a good substitute, as the frozen ones contain no sugar or other additives, just fruit. Went to town for the usual after lunch.
Got an e-mail from Fern, saying my talk,"My Road to Stardom" (she named it, I didn't) at the Toastmasters meeting tonight should last five to seven minutes. What? What talk? What title? I didn't realize I was going to talk, but no prob; it should be fun. Then I'd get evaluated on how I did and they're pretty stringent.
Received the e-mail message from Ken, the president, by way of Fern, requesting the meeting place here. I forwarded it to Manager Bianca, who, presumably will send it to higher ups and they'll decide.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A. For A. With Opera

Biz, biz, bizzy day. After walking Kimball, I got home and realized I had neglected to fully prepare for my Acting for Amateurs class. I had decided on some of it--emotions, poetry, and so on--but didn't have it perfected. So I quickly ate breakfast and scurried around--mentally--until I was satisfied. By then, I just had time to dress and get there a little early. It went well, although only Jim, Sharon, and Char attended. Three dropped out and I knew Marcelle and Mikkii were missing yesterday. No prob--actually, it was fine.
Last week, when I mentioned the fact my plays are copyrighted, but that I occasionally revise here and there, Jim expressed surprise. He said his book was copyrighted, but he hadn't realized you can change an original work have it still protected. I said I'd like to read his book and he brought me a copy yesterday. It supports the philosophy classes he teaches and is called The Birth of Ideas; starts in 750 B.C. He writes well and I'm enjoying it.
After the hour was up, we chatted some time about opera. Jim (who, by choice, doesn't have a television) and Char (who has four, but only one works--don't ask) love opera and Sharon has seen some. I miss my opera pal, Aline, plus the rest of the devotees in LETCO, many of whom loved the genre.
Home for lunch, then Judith from Toastmasters called. She asked if she could see the clubhouse to report back to Ken (the prez) and I said I'd meet her there. Finally did about 2:30, after a lot of back and forth I won't even go into.
After we saw it, I invited her back to my place; she accepted and we sat and talked for more than an hour. Judith, who's maybe in her late forties or early fifties, is very attractive, but said she suffers from social anxiety. Her father, now 87, was a physician; her mother committed suicide at 46, as did her brother at 25. I like her a lot and we clicked, even though there's a big age gap. I walked her out about 4:00 and ran Suzanne at her car. Ken, the 92-year-old (not the Toastmasters Ken), has moved into Lexington House (thanks to Suzanne, Don, an Human Services), and Suzanne was clearing some of his things out.
By the time I got to town, it was 4:30, but that was okay. I stayed an hour reading a new book about Joe DiMaggio (yeah, I have eclectic tastes), left and walked back, drove home, had dinner, and must decide what to wear at the Council For Seniors meeting this morning.
And darn: I got up for the usual last night and had a terrible time getting back to sleep. Unusual for me and I hope it doesn't recur.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Widder Dinner and Toastmasters

Busy day. After Kimball and breakfast, I spent the morning in going over paperwork--especially genealogy--and pulling together items for my class. My cousin Marifran--whom I call my "Cincinnati Sis"--called and we talked and talked about in-laws. Did some food prep, had lunch, then left early for town. After the walk, I went home to shower and dress for the widder dinner. I was pleased to see Nancy there--I had given her Carolyn's e-mail, so she could drive with her--and the others I like so much. I had brought my tangerines, ordered a Chardonnay, and enjoyed it, as ever. I left a 6:45 so I could get over to the Toastmasters' meeting.
I had been taken aback to see how hefty the dues are: $65 and I actually considered dropping the idea. However, I like it and decided to stay. Met some more people and participated in the "table talk" segment, which was fun.
As far as I can see, the meetings include two main speakers--last night, they were Fern, talking about a mentor of hers from college (and she's my age, at least) and Judith, who spoke on managing a mountain home (there's lots of snow). Members then vote on which one was better and the "grammarian/something else" critiques the talks, praising the good and suggesting improvements. Then there's "table topics": Ken, the president, brings up a subject (last night, it was Halloween memeories) and others put in their reminiscences. The group then votes on who was best. (Last week, this is what Ken and I won.) Anyway, I enjoyed it, but for me it was a long day. Didn't get home until almost 9:00, then sat for another half hour with T.V. and my fruit.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Usual

The usual: Kimball, breakfast with crossword, WinCo, lunch, into town for THAT usual. Oh, there were a few deviations, such as that I dug out my Halloween decorations and put some outside on Suzanne's and mine entrance walk. She had put a plant and a ceramic jack-o-lantern out and I embellished them with little skeletons I had. Later, she rang the bell and told me what a kick she got out of them. Called my dear cousin, Marifran in Cincinnati, who had asked me a question about my relationship with my in-laws. She wasn't home, so I left a message. Betty called about the silly angel and karma thing she put on my P.M. section on Facebook. Her friend took objection to my comment about it and wrote I was rude (oh, save me from these self-appointed guardians of idiocy) and we talked for a bit.
The rest of the day, I spent on the A. for A. class and other paper/computer work.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Symposium And Carole

Quite a day. It was almost 8:00 by the time I got home from Kimball and I immediately changed to attend the Breast Cancer Symposium in Cararillo. Skipped breakfast, trusting the "catered breakfast and lunch" mention on the brochure was factual--it was.
I had never driven to this area before, at least not by myself, and I set off with a little trepidation. The Mapquest directions were confusing and I did stop once to ask. However, it turned out to be pretty straightforward and I got there with no problem.
Wow, what a beautiful church and meeting building this is. It's in a lovely setting with trees and flowers everywhere; Camarillo itself is gorgeous, in fact. There are lots of soaring hills and faraway vistas--a feast for the spirit.
The symposium was excellent. The speakers were interesting and down to earth and I learned a lot about the topic. We were seated at round tables, covered with white linen and with fresh flower arrangements in the middle. The day was free for attendees and its sponsors--a bank, several jewelry companies, and so on--displayed this and that around the perimeter. The first part featured an oncologist, a plastic surgeon, a nutritionist (who will speak at SCAN next month; I chatted with her after), and a counselor. We broke about noon for lunch, then there were panel discussions. After awarding a number of door prizes donated by the sponsors, it was over.
I had no problem getting home and, of course, immediately changed and left for town. Did the m. to l. routine and on the way back to the car, Betty called. We chatted for a bit--nothing much new in Jersey. When I got home at 5:00, I rang Suzanne's bell to report on the symposium. I asked her to tell her colleagues at St. John's how much I appreciated and enjoyed it.
I was mildly annoyed, but not at all surprised, to get an e-mail from Carole saying she was dropping the acting class because she just has too much to do. This is her constant whine, but what those things are, it's hard to say. She kept telling me she wanted the same roles she had done in the last session. I kept telling her I wanted her to stretch a bit, and indicated I would put her in something else. She doesn't seem to understand that this is what a director does; players don't get to pick and choose what roles they get. Okay, I'll just adjust and see what goes in the class.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

T.O.P.S. And A Turtle

Walked Kimball with long pants and a heavy sweater. Got home by 8:00, changed to my weighin' togs, and went to T.O.P.S. I was sure I hadn't lost--in fact, suspected I had gained; don't know why, just felt chubby or something. Actually, I lost 1.8 pounds and am within striking distance of forty pounds off at 39.44. Next week should do it.
Home for breakfast, then did this and that before I went for provisions to first, the 99-cent store, then WinCo, then Sprouts. The latter had grapes 88 cents a pound and salmon for 5.99 ditto. I bought both, then saw they had swordfish and couldn't resist picking that up, too. At WinCo, I got lots of my usual--veggies--along with frozen fruit (I buy only the ones that are pure fruit--no sugar or additives of any kind).
Home and prepared some of the stuff, had lunch, then took off for town. Did my usual Main Street walk, I stopped into the Santa Paula (a nearby town) Rescue Mission thrift store, one of the classier ones, and saw a large ceramic turtle bowl. Well, yes, everybody needs one, so I bought it.
Stayed at the library reading for a bit, then walked back and drove home. I finally remembered what I was supposed to tell Nancy: Carolyn's phone number, so she could drive with her to the widder dinner on Monday. I called, gave it to her, and we chatted about the possibility of attending The Nutcracker ballet in December, but I think I'll be visiting brother Frank. We'll see.
Saw Suzanne in her patio and asked her if the directions for getting to the St. John symposium for the breast cancer thing was accurate. Good thing I showed her--it isn't actually at St. John's in Oxnard, but miles away at a parish in Camarillo. I went back on the Internet for new directions.
Finally heard back from Valarie, who had expressed interest in the class. Unfortunately, she has family members being evacuated from the fire area and was about to go up there. Hope they'll be okay.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lunch And The Queen

Boy, it was cool at Kimball. I wore long pants and a heavy sweater when I walked. Home by 8:00, I had breakfast, then called brother Frank in Alameda.
It was such a pleasure to talk to him, but unsettling, too. He sounds very much the same, with a big, buoyant voice, but is sadly diminished. He told me he was at his younger daughter's, as his children "won't let me" stay alone. However, we had a good talk and when I said I want to come see him, he was very enthusiastic. After we hung up, I e-mailed both daughters (his sons live farther away from him) to ask their advice. I asked if coming after Thanksgiving would work, as we have the performance the Friday before.
Left to meet Nancy at 11:00. Parked at the museum and walked down (Dargan's is a half-block from the library) and we had salads, plus Chardonnay for her and Harp (Irish beer) for me. The movie is just a few doors down and we strolled there to see Victoria and Abdul.
I greatly dislike "docudramas" to begin with and this pulled out all the stops when it came blatant sentimentality, I'm afraid. In other words, I think the writing could have been better. I'm not sure how far taking liberties went; the opening said it was "a true story--mostly." I assume the queen had an Indian servant of whom she was fond, and that he taught her some Indian language, but their intimate moments (not sexual ones) seemed to me contrived. However, the scenery, sets, props, and costumes were fabulous; generally, I enjoyed the movie, if not the genre.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Talk about your catch-up day: After Kimball and breakfast, I did a slew of chores I've been putting off. Did a wash with all that entails and spent the time waiting for the dryer to finish with veggie prep. This included using my trusty Chop Wizard on a head of cauliflower; cooking, then excising the edible middle of a spaghetti squash; and chopping, then combining Romaine, tomatoes, and cucumber. I made a large salad to have for lunch a few hours later, to which I added chicken. Made an even larger one and put it in the fridge with a dampened paper towel over it. This should be okay for two more meals, but since I'm lunching out today, I may reverse my usual and eat one for dinner. Wrapped and addressed some Halloween toys for little Mr. K. in Tokyo and did a few other things. Finished all that and sat down at the computer to write an e-mail to class members.
Spent some time on shaping up an agenda for next week's class; I'm going to incorporate some short poems and get into conveying emotions without speaking. I've been trying to reach Valarie, whom I don't know, but she signed up for my class. We played telephone tag all day.
My niece, Joan, who lives in Manhattan, called and we discussed various family matters for almost an hour. Went to town as usual, stopping at the P.O. While in town, I bought two wigs, as I've decided to have some costumes at props in the show this time.
Aside from the above, there wasn't much going on.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

First Session of A. For A.

Left a little early for Kimball, so got home before 8:00. Jumped in the shower, had breakfast, dressed, and got to SCAN about 9:15. (Why, yes, an hour and fifteen minutes early, but that's what I do).
I wanted to set up the room and so on, and also get any other little tidbits Elisa had to tell me. One was that I was asked to have everybody fill out a waiver. I guess the idea is, if you drop dead during a strenuous scene, your survivors can't sue you. I accepted about a dozen waivers from her before I noticed they said "Acting for Armateurs." Gave them back and they were corrected. I asked for the easel and paper and Elisa brought them, plus helped me arrange the chairs in a circle, and so on.
Anyhow, the class went well. I was pleased to see repeaters Sharon, Jim, and Char, plus Carole, who came after all, although her back was killing her. Besides them, we had two newbies, Marcelle (I like her a lot) and Mikkii. Two others, Cathy and Valarie, were not able to come yesterday, but will next week.
As for Nikkii--yes, that's the way she spells it--I anticipate some problems with her. She's looks to be in the her middle seventies and wears her totally white hair in two braids that reach below her waist. She's one of my least favorite older people--or any people over six--who thinks she's cute. She has a tiresome habit of a kind of swarming showing off; said she volunteers at the prison (which one, she didn't say--San Quentin?) and couldn't decide if she should hug or not. However, she was very animated and innovative with her improv situation and may prove to be the type who's obnoxious in person, but good on stage.
Did the usual: opening remarks, improv, then asked them to tell me the components of a play, then of performances, which I listed on the easel paper. I then handed out parts for "The Potato Family," a little skit for five I wrote years ago for the Sunrise Bay Drama Club. I was surprised (and pleased) at how much they like it; it's really pretty slight. Over all, they did a pretty credible job, but there's a fair amount of work to be done, of course.
After our hour, a zumba class came in and, since there were only three attending, I was asked to impersonate one of the attendees for a picture. I did, then had to sign a waiver for that. I'm not sure where it will appear, but maybe on the web site or brochure.
I sat and chatted with Sharon and Carole for a bit, then left. Went home to change, had just some shrimp for lunch, then went to the office to ask Manager Bianca if Toastmasters could meet here. She asked me to send her an e-mail she could forward to upper levels.
Took off for town; Betty called while I was walking back to the car on Main Street and we talked. Got back to my neck of the woods about 5:00 and went to WinCo for salad stuff. When I got home, I saw Suzanne had left a note on my door thanking me for sweeping the tree debris (we had strong winds) from our joint front walk. I rang her bell to say thanks for the thanks, but I didn't do it. I said her guardian angel probably did, and she laughed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Day Before The Day Of

When I walked Kimball, I was almost blown away by the Santa Ana winds. They came swooping down from the hills, almost pushing me over and stirring up a lot of dust off the fields. Actually, it was kind of exciting, although it was warm wind.
Home, I did the usual, then spent the rest of the morning getting my ducks in the row for the class. Betty called; she had had a scare after her mammogram, but it seems, all is okay. Nancy then called and we firmed up our plans to go to lunch, then see the Victoria movie in town on Thursday.
Had lunch, then stopped at SCAN. Two more have signed up for the class and, happily, they're both men. One, I was pleased to see, is Jim C., who teaches at Ventura Collge; he was in the class last time. I wasn't thrilled that the nutrition talk on cancer has been scheduled for the same time and room as my final class before the performance. I wanted the players to be able to have the last rehearsal in the same place. I'll see if we can get the room after and if my class can come later just that once.
Went from there to town and while I was in the library, Carole called. She had signed up for my class, but her scoliosis has been bad, so she may not be able to come today. That's okay; she can catch up next week, as she already took my last, anyway. Sue would also like to come next time, as they have the boat inspection today. No prob on my end.
Got home and continued preparing. I'm pretty sure I have all the loose ends tied up, so am ready for the class.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Stagecoach Inn And Venus

A fun day. After the usual Kimball, breakfast, and crossword, Suzanne stopped over to ask if I'd like to go to Newbury Park (about twenty miles away). At the Stagecoach Museum, they were having a "living history" performance. Local residents were to portray historic figures, including the actor Joel McCrae, who had once owned a home here. Absolutely, I responded, and we left about 12:30. However, when we got there--Newbury Park is lovely and I surmise is a very affluent area--we were told the performance wasn't until 4:30. Damn, Suzanne had sent me a newspaper article on it, then she had looked on the web site, and neither had listed the time. Since the museum opened at 1:00, we assumed we should go then.
So we missed the performance, but we took the tour and that was absorbing. It seems the inn was first a stagecoach stop, then a hotel, then a private residence. We were taken aback to learn it had burnt to the ground in 1970 and that this was a replica (luckily, the construction plans were available). Anyway, it was a good tour and the artifacts were great. One room was devoted to Victrolas, of which there were at least fifty; they had been in the possession of a collector, who left them to the museum. Another room was devoted to "hair art" and displayed a great number of such strange works, including a picture frame made of beard hair--aagh!
This Is just the kind of thing I like. There's lots of California history in this area, although it's much more recent than what you see on the east coast. We were taken on the tour by a docent who had been doing this for fourteen years. Driving home, we had a good talk about books. Suzanne is reading The Birth of Venus, which is an "historical novel" and not my preference. I was surprised to learn she had never heard of the painting by that name (Botticelli); sent her it later.
We were home by 3:30 and I immediately changed and took off for town for my usual. Took John Hersey's Hiroshima out and will steel myself to read it again.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

A. For A. And Art Walk

After walking Kimball and breakfast, I spent about two hours going through my mountain of stuff relating to the Acting for Amateurs course. I still haven't completed my agenda for Tuesday, let alone pulled together what I want to take, but I got a start. As my teacher daughter advised me some time ago, there should never be "dead time" in a class. Of course, you have to make it look relaxed, but woe betide you if you find you have nothing else to do with twenty minutes left in the session.
I rolled up all those coins I accumulated and took them to the bank. Before that, I called Ellen and we had a long--about an hour--talk. It's always a pleasure to hear about her doings, especially activities with her third-graders.
As for the bank: I'm still floored that big fat Bank of America doesn't have a coin counting machine. As I never fail to tell them there, poky little Ocean First bank in Jersey does and what's more, lets its account holders use it with no charge. My wrapped coins have to be sent to L.A. and, if there's any over or under, it will will credited or deducted from my checking account. What a drag.
Went from there to town, parked at the museum and, as I was passing its meeting building and courtyard, I noticed an exhibition by an artist named Hashimoto (I think). I walked in and sat down; I guess there were about a hundred people there. Ms. Hashimoto was explaining Chinese/Japanese characters which I found highly absorbing. She was about 70, I think, and she said her father was an expert calligrapher. She herself won a gold medal in a country-wide (Japan) contest when she was in fifth grade. I introduced myself when it was over and told her I have family in Tokyo.
After that, I walked to the library, of course, and was interested to see there was an "Art Walk" all down Main Street. Lots of artists of all kinds, lots of people walking, chatting, and sight-seeing, and it was a fine, festive day.
I spent an hour or so in the library. I'm still hung up on The New Yorker and Harold Ross and read more about it and him. Walked back through the crowds. Stopped before I got home for salad dressing, lettuce, and a few other things.
Spent time, finally, on filing a slew of paperwork and pictures. I have a bad habit of stowing various papers in a basket on top of my printer, then getting it filed "when I have time." The problem is, I kid myself that I don't have time because I don't feel like doing it.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

T.O.P.S. And So On

It was so chilly in the morning I wore long pants and a sweater to walk Kimball. Changed when I got home and went to T.O.P.S.
Well, I lost, as I have every week, but only a pittance: two tenths of a pound, darn it, for a total of 38.3 off. I'm pretty sure it's slow because I eat too much fruit at night. The question is, should I eat less of that or just reconcile myself to a very slow loss? Dunno.
I got an e-mail notice from the Santa Paula Theatre Company to the effect they're holding open auditions Monday night for It's A Wonderful Life On The Air. Just as we had done in LETCO, it entails actors playing radio actors, plus themselves when there's a crises. The notice said there are roles for "one to two females." That's because people will play multiple part. Unfortunately, it opens on November 17 when my SCAN A. for A. group will have its performance, so I guess I'll pass.
Speaking of my class, I now have seven sign-ups. I hope for an addition or two, but since I have to modify for various size classes anyway, this should be okay. Fewer people will mean they'll get more individual attention.
Called my friend, Bobbi, as she has had heart problems for some time and now is experiencing breathing difficulty. She already has a pacemaker and a valve replacement. I told her I was available if she needed me, although she has a husband and children.
Talked to Nancy, who would like to see the Judi Dench movie. I'll go with her, although I dislike "docudramas"--must prefer non-fictionalized history. She'll find out where it's playing and we'll go next week.
Heard from son, Mike, that he, Paula, and the girls will visit Japan during their spring break. Yay--they'll see their little cousin, Mr. K., and he'll see them.
Scrubbed and chopped a big bunch of carrots and put them in the slow cooker with some Italian seasoning. Boy, it was good; had some for dinner and have a lot left over. Also had salmon, mushrooms, and broccoli for dinner. Yum.

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Usual And Processed Food

Did the usual Kimball, breakfast, WinCo routine. Went back and forth with a load of wash. Met Suzanne as she was going out. She said she has cut down on her workload, but still teaches a class on Thursdays.
Called Betty, who's home from Baltimore, and we chatted for some time. She said my brother, Frank, was going back to Alameda yesterday; son Patrick would go with him.
Saw Jim, the assistant manager here, and asked if Toastmasters might be able to meet in the big room. He said I'd have to ask Manager Bianca, who's off until Monday.
After lunch, walked the usual. I stayed reading at the library for an hour or so. I'm very much into John Updike and picked up his book of poems, Endpoint, which I had requested. His are so good. I read a bit of his bio, but found it leaden, so I just took out his book of literary criticism. I'm still listening to Pandora's Lunchbox in the car and think I'll get the book from Amazon. I'm more and more coming to believe we're poisoning ourselves--and worse, our children--with processed foods and added sugar.
I'm about a quarter way through Genius In Disguise, the bio of Harold Ross, founder and editor of The New Yorker, which I bought from Amazon. Very absorbing.
After dinner, I changed and went to the Lexington to attend The Humor & Drama Club Fern of Toastmasters had mentioned on Monday. To my chagrin, I thought her card said "first Thursday," but it says "third," so it's not until the 19th. Oh, well, no prob, I'll just go then.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Walked Kimball a bit earlier than usual and was home about ten of eight. Showered and had breakfast, then went to the 9:30 BCNN meeting. I was happy to see Sue there and we greeted each other with a hug. The scar tissue in her knee is a big problem and so is her health insurance, which is SCAN. (But I do my thing at their Ventura Health & Wellness Center and have no connection with the insurance side.) Sherry came, too, although Carole didn't and, presumably, Doris is still in rehab.
I had made up some flyers about my class to take to the meeting and put a little bio info on them. I mentioned I'm a BCCC member. BCCC? That stands for Bucks County Community College, not Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers! Well, tough, I couldn't very well change them all, so I let it be; nobody may have noticed, anyway.
Sue, Sherry, and I signed up for the holiday luncheon at the yacht club on December 7. I was genuinely shocked when the woman taking reservations actually didn't realize that was Pearl Harbor Day. Unlike the vast majority of the members, who tend to be sixty and up, she was probably in her thirties. However, it then occurred to me that maybe it's a good thing--that we don't hang on and hang on to those kinds of events. In fact, I HATE that idiotic meme "Never Forget," applied to 9/11. I think we should forget so we can get on with making a better, more peaceful world.
The speaker was an intensely boring rep from the Harbor Commission, who had a lot to say about mussels. H had no finesse, plus the overhead didn't work, so it seemed to go on for hours. My pal, Sue ("Sailboat Sue") found it absorbing, of course; I said she could have done it herself.
After, the three of us went to Stephen's for lunch. Lunch? Good grief, it was only a few minutes after 11:00. I don't eat until 1:00 or after, but I can adapt and enjoyed a cup of lentil soup and a cold beer. We had a good time talking and stayed for more than an hour.
Went home and changed, then took off for the post office to send son Mike something. Went to town, parked, walked, read, walked back, and had yummy rock fish for dinner.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017


It was a good catch-up day. After Kimball (and nurse Diego was there; BP was 119/92, which was a relief), breakfast, and a few chores, I jumped in the car and got a number of errands done.
Went to the bank for coin wrappers; I have a habit of dropping my change in a mug on a table in the living room. The quarters I take out to use for the laundry machines, but I probably have twenty bucks or so in pennies, nickels, and dimes. Incredibly, Bank of America doesn't have a coin-counting machine--they send coins to L.A. and I was told it takes ten days to get them back. So I got wrappers and hope it isn't too tedious to wrap them.
Went from there to SCAN to 1. see if they'd let Toastmasters meet there in the evening, but as I thought, no, they're not open and 2. to find out if I got any other sign-ups. I did, now six have signed up and I hope to get a few more. I'm going to take info on my class to the BCNN meeting this morning. Stopped at WinCo for fish (got talapia* and rock fish), plus salad goodies. Went to the dollar store for sponges and wastebasket bags.
After lunch, I was about to get in my car when Suzanne drove up. I told her I had seen Don and she and I discussed Ken, the very elderly man who can barely see and--we hope--the agency on aging will be instrumental in getting him in an assisted living facility. Ken is not destitute; he had been an engineer and has a healthy pension, plus some other assets, but he desperately needs some assistance in just everyday living. Walked m. to l., of course, then home.
Called Doris to see how she's doing after the knee operation. There was no answer, so I'm wondering if she's still in rehab. I'll probably see Carole at BCNN, so she may have been in touch with her. Made up some flyers to take to the BCNN meeting today.
*I know that's not how to spell it, but incredibly, SpellCheck wants it to read "lilliputian," fer cryin' out loud!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Widder Lunch And Toastmasters

Kimball: yes. Breakfast: yes. WinCo for veggies: yes. After all that, I dressed for the widder group lunch.
We had a ball yesterday. There were eight of us, all very high-spirited and congenial. I took my usual tangerines, got my Chardonnay, and--unusual for me--ordered a glass of red to follow it. I had a good talk with Sharon, a kindred spirit, and Barbara, who's a devil-may-care type like yours truly. I was happy to see that Nancy came (I was embarrassed because I had thought she said Sunday that she wasn't going) and my pal, Carolyn was there. After most left, several of us stayed to chat. We decided we'd all go on the bus trip to the Getty Musuem in L. A. the county is running in December.
Went home to change, then immediately drove off to town for my second walk. I've been reading John Updike lately--damn, he was good--and I delved into one of his books of short stories. Walked back, went home, and had an early (5:30) dinner, so I could get to the Toastmaster's thing at 7:00.
That turned out to be a find. When I walked into a largish conference room shortly before 7:00, there were six people (the officers, I was later told), who meet before the membership meeting--or something. In fact, only one other regular and two newcomers came in, so the group--not sure if it's the usual--consists of only ten, if you count me. Anyway, I was greeted with great warmth and welcomes. Stayed for the whole session and I was included in the exercise called "table topics." We broke into teams (my partner was Ken, evidently a mover and shaker in the group) and one of the members (Rachel) had us pick from slips of paper. The idea was to link together three things that have something in common. Ours were "whale, wildebeest, and walrus." This is improv and right down my alley and Ken's good at it, too. They vote on presentations and we actually won.
Anyway, lots more went on, plus I distributed flyers for my acting class, we chatted and laughed and I'm going to continue. I did find it odd that the meeting started with the pledge of allegiance. Why in the world would it be included in a little twice-a-month gathering? It's one thing at a government connected group, but this always strikes me as nationalistic overkill. More than that, I was taken aback when the secretary, "C.C.," a woman who gave one of the talks later, quoted "our president"--at first, I thought she meant the president of Toastmasters--with an "inspirational" snippet of what he said in response to the Vegas horror. Geesh, if she can't find anybody other than Trump for a quotable quote, it is to gasp.
However, I greatly enjoyed the evening and will continue with Toastmasters.