Thursday, May 25, 2017

More A for A

Busy as ever with A for A. I assembled the individual critiques for each member, which I had completed after I observed the first run-through. I'm not sure if I'm going to share them or not, but I might when we meet today for another semi-rehearsal.
Carolyn M. called to ask if we could go over her lines--she has the very shortest part of all, about six lines at the beginning of the "Tootie" sketch and three at the end. Unfortunately, her acting is pretty dismal; in fact, I'd say she's about the worst of the lot. However, she's anxious to do better, so I invited her to come today with the others who will re-rehearse, and I'll work with her.
Wrote out some cues for my welcome and my intro to each playlet. I still have to be sure the room is set up as I want it. Darn, I realized yesterday I had completely forgotten about dress. Usually, I would recommend that all wear black or dark pants and white tops--I simply didn't remember that this time, so shoot me.
Went to the dollar store and got two fancy wine glasses for the When Cooks Confer sketch. I know that's the one the audience will like most, as it's pretty funny.
Called my dear friend, Marge, in Little Egg. Incredibly, with all her problems, she's now broken her arm. I know bones don't heal well when you're over ninety and I feel so bad for her. She said she wishes I could visit and so do I. I'll try to arrange a trip to Jersey one of these days. I hope I can see her before I get that call from Fred I sadly anticipate. And dread.
I called Doris to see if she wanted my friend, Linda, to take her to the show. However, regardless of what our mutual friend, Carole, told me, Doris said she plans to drive herself, as it doesn't get dark until eight or after, anyway. Quite so.
Went to WinCo for salad fixings and later to the library just to get out for awhile. It's been chilly lately--I even had the heat on for a time--and I hope it gets warmer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rehearsal

I got over to SCAN by 9:30 and talked to Tony. I was pleased to hear that a large, black, kind of backdrop that was in the corner, can be moved so we can use it as our "stage."
I arranged nine chairs in the back of the room for my cast. When they came in, I asked them to put their scripts on the table. I want them to support their fellow actors and not be looking through through their scripts while others perform. I told them to laugh when appropriate and otherwise pay close attention and was gratified when they did.
As I told them we would, they ran through the whole show without stopping while I took notes on each of their performances. It actually came together better than I thought it would, although I still had to emphasize the importance of speaking more quickly, not dropping their voices at the end of sentences (a lot have a tendency to do that), and to project out to the audience without actually facing them. As for real "acting"--expressing the emotions behind the words--some are okay, some will never "get it."
Anyway, we ran through it a second time and it was marginally better. Several of us are going to meet tomorrow to go over their parts and that's fine by me. Now I have to write my welcome, introductions and windup.
Carole and Sue were going out to lunch after and asked me to join them, which I was pleased to do; first, I went home to get my tangerines. Met them, had a refreshing Chardonnay, and happily ate my citrus while they had calorie-laden lunches. I didn't get home until 3:00, at which time I had a salad and then--very unusually for me--fell asleep on the couch.
Got up refreshed and decided to go to Sprouts. Stepped out the door and found a note from Suzanne, saying she had taken a clipping from my rosemary tree and it isn't dead, after all, but will come back to life. I rang her bell to thank her and will now take care of it better.
Went to Sprouts and Barnes & Noble, then got home, relieved that the show is shaping up fairly well.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Prepping the Show and Applesauce

Spent mucho time on preparing for today's A for A session. I'm going to have the group go through the entire program, then I'll critique and we'll go through it--I hope--at least once more before Friday.
Used my new apple peeler/corer, but had some difficulty with it. I know it's not the device itself that's at fault--it's the operater (that's me). I just don't exactly know if I'm doing it right or not. Oh, well, I'll get the hang of it before long and I made the applesauce, which is yummy, of course.
Drove to town and walked to the library a half-mile away (and back). Asked Branch Manager Lori if I could put up flyer about the show and she said sure. By the time I got back to my neck of the woods, it was almost 4:00. Went to Wal-Mart for a few things, then WinCo. Saw my neighbor, Don, and gave him an invite to the show. Took two more into the office to give Patti and Jim. Rang Suzanne's bell, but she was on a conference call, so she stopped over my place after. She stayed for a half hour visit and we had fun chatting about relatives and others. I told her I had received a bill for $116 from the plumber--darn, I thought Ventura Del Sol would pay it. I'll ask Patti about it, but I won't protest--the apple core/garbage disposal thing was my fault, after all.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sunday

After my usual Sunday morning, I went to WinCo to stock up on salad fixings, veggies, and a nice piece of rockfish. Got to know my new apple parer by performing on an apple. Yay--it works! Didn't have time to do more, but will today.
Got to El's at 1:00 and we spent several hours selecting and packing, interspersed with watching various house shows on T.V. Home again about 4:00 and I revised my e-mail to my A for A group. As I advised them, at tomorrow's session, we'll run through the entire show without stopping. I'll make notes, then I hope to add another meeting before the show on Friday.
Sent a separate message to the cast of Hell on Wheels. There are five, the largest group, and the little skit is in rhyming couplets. They all have a tendency to ignore punctuation and stop too abruptly at the end of a line. It needs to flow more smoothly, as it's supposed to be conversation, even if humorous.
Stir-fried ground turkey, onions, peppers, and garlic for dinner and it was good.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Organizing And Apples

I spent several hours in the morning organizing things for the show. Got my copies of the scripts in my binder and looked again at the order of performance I had made up. I'm not entirely happy with it, so may tweak it, but I guess it's okay. I then acted out all parts of all playlets, keeping time to see how long the show will go. I want to do this again to be sure I'm close to its length; must also add time for a welcome from Tony and intros for each from me. In addition, I'll go through to see what props should be used.
Called El to see if she could use me to help in her coming move. She said yes, so I went over about 1:00 and did some minor packing at her direction. Took time out to go over to Goodwill and pick up the small table I had seen Friday. I'm very pleased, as it turned out to be just as I had hoped: perfect for hiding the ugly computer wires in my bedroom. It has a rectangular space on the top, which looks as if it used to hold a tray or something. I'll look around for something that fits into, or fits over it. Back at El's, we continued packing; I left about 3:30, but will go back today to help tackle the garage.
I still haven't put together the peeler I bought. I'm just hopeless with mechanical things and haven't even read the instructions. Actually, it's mostly assembled already, so I just have to add a few component. Must do it soon, as I have several pounds of apples waiting.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Another

Another varied day. Went to T.O.P.S. and found--no surprise--I had actually gained a bit: four tenths of a pound. I chalk that up to Mothers' Day and the fact I haven't been walking as much, and it doesn't worry me. Met with Bob after and we went over his role in Hell On Wheels. I know he'll be fine with it. We then fell into talking politics (he's a lefty) and religion (neither of us indulge). His--well, wife in love, I guess you'd say, as he and Michelle aren't married--called and the three of us continued talking politics. We don't agree, as they're neo-libs, but so what? It was a good, vigorous session and Bob invited me to join them for brunch, but since I had a lunch date with Nancy, I said another time.
Didn't get home until after 11:00, so I sort of combined breakfast and lunch by having two pieces of chicken and half an orange. I had just time to slice some summer squash and onions, add garlic and olive oil, and stoke up slow cooker before I left to meet Nancy.
We went to the Paradise Pantry and, as ever, enjoyed ourselves. I had brought my Honey Belles and she ordered the cheese plate. Hmm...I had the wine sampler, which is all I ordered, yet my total bill was over twenty bucks. The sampler was sixteen, there was tax, and I left a tip, but still....
After that, we browsed here and there; Nancy loves broaches (is that still a word?) and bought six of them at three different thrift shops. I didn't get a thing, but enjoyed looking around. Unfortunately, even though she had gotten her regular infusion on Thursday, Nancy got very tired just walking a few blocks. We sat down for a bit, then I walked her to her car.
Went home to check on the squash--it was done and I had a bowl--then took off for the Goodwill near Ellen's, just to get out again. I came across a darling little girl on a bench, made of some material that resembles marble. This is a nice size, about a foot high and I couldn't resist it. I bought it, put it in the patio under the rosazlea, and it looks great. I also saw a small wooden table; I measured it and think it would fit well under my bedroom window to hide wires and things. Maybe I'll go back and buy it today.
Stopped to get paper from Staples, then saw a wine-tasting sign at BevMo nearby--samples for a nickel each. Went in, was given little glasses of Brut and two other nice wines by a very pleasant and knowledgeable sommelier (that's correct; the idiots at SpellCheck don't know how to spell it!), and even learned a bit about them. Next door at Trader Joe's, I was served a sample of a lettuce salad, so that took care of dinner. Gee, if I could figure out where to get samples all over town, I'd never have to cook.
Happily, I slept well last night, so I hope the restless siege is over.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Varied Day

Darn, I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights. Over Tuesday and Wednesday, I woke up for the usual about 4:30, then couldn't get back to sleep. I'm constantly fretting over this show coming up--why didn't I make it for a later date?--and worrying how it will turn out. Gave up trying to go back and got up at 5:00. I always feel better after I have my coffee, but after that and the computer stuff I do, it seemed a long time until breakfast.
However, I revived and set off for the Pierpoint Hotel about 9:30. I had seen an ad that appraisers would be there and I took my coins and paper money. There were only two appraisers and there were about ten people ahead of me. That was no problem, though, as a woman took names at the door and there were chairs to sit on while waiting. Ice water and coffee were provided, too, so although I was there almost an hour, it was pleasant and I enjoyed it.
As I was approaching the entrance, I fell into conversation with a woman staying at the hotel. I was amused when she said she recognized my Jersey accent and she told me she was from Vineland, although she's lived in San Diego for years. We exchanged ages--she insisted she couldn't believe mine and asked me to guess hers. I thought she was probably in her late sixties and told her that, but nope; she was eighty in March. Anyway, it was enjoyable and I gave her my card and asked her to keep in touch.
It turned out I don't have any great treasures. The 1880 quarters are worth only about twenty bucks each, so I decided not to sell them. The appraiser--a really nice guy--and I laughed together about most of my coins--face value, only. There was a half dollar worth a dollar, I took it--whee! a dollar!--and left giggling.
Went from there to the library and got a few things. I'm in the middle of a new bio of Elvis, but I also picked up one of Stephen King's--not a new one--and a small book on Ventura. Stopped to get a binder for Bob's script and some veggies. Once home, I spent several more hours on a program for the show and a few other "Acting for Amateurs" chores.
Nancy had left a message, I called her back, and we made a date for today. We'll meet at Paradise Pantry, have a glass of wine, then shop on Main Street. El sent an e-mail saying her GIANT FANTASTIC MOVING SALE will be June 10. Great; I'll handle the classified because if you put it in the Ventura Star, they'll give you signs and stuff. I have plenty I want to sell, too, and it's such fun to do. Somehow, the idea of getting actual cash money for things I can't use anyway, just thrills me to death.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Around Town

Got to the Ventura Council for Seniors meeting a bit after 9:00 and was pleasantly surprised to see Tony from SCAN there. He was with Jacqueline L., from the corporate office in Long Beach, whom I've met before. The meeting was the usual--long on Suze'es histrionics, short on anything interesting. The speaker was an audiologist, who explained being hard of hearing--a snooze fest, I'm afraid. I was able to talk to Suze about my desire to relinquish the "leadership role" for Senior Strategic Services and she agreed it would just be a committee four (including me, but without a head person).
Deb M. had to leave early, so I stopped in her office after lunch. Wow, it's quite a place. She owns a financial advising firm called "The (Blank) Group" and she has a spacious and nicely decorated layout. We talked for fifteen or so and both are satisfied the committee will just meander on and that's fine by us.
Went from there out to stores for this and that, then back home and organized a bit more for the upcoming show. I called Bob B., who's in T.O.P.S. and asked him to step into the Sam role in Hell on Wheels, since I needed another man and he's the only one I know around here. I was happy that he agreed; I e-mailed him a copy of the script and he'll be there for rehearsal on Tuesday.
Did a few things around the house, then went to the BCNN Happy Hour at the Wood Ranch about 4:30. About twenty women were there, I guess, including Terri, who's in my acting class, and others I've met before. I was taken aback to be told the "Happy Hour"--that is, reduced prices--pertained only to food, not drinks. Well, the hell with that: I ordered a Chardonnay and took out my Honey Belle tangerines. As it was, the hugely overpriced wine ranged from 8.75 up to 12:50 and more, which irritated me no end. I did get a glass, but ordered no food.
Actually, I had an enjoyable time chatting with Terri and a few others at my end of the table. Stayed a little more than an hour, then left, saying I had a dinner date. That was a fib--okay, I lied in my teeth--but I wasn't going to sit there and get sloshed. Cooked up my tuna steak--I just sear it and leave it raw inside--and settled in for the night.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Busy-ness

Well, rehearsal turned out better than I had expected--about 90 percent good, I'd say. Unfortunately, Margaret (she had been the nutritionist at SCAN) left a message that she had a family emergency and couldn't be there. I know she didn't just blow off the session--she likes it, is good, and is caring for her 92-year-old mother in L.A.
Anyway, that turned out to be eerily providential: I had accidentally assigned Margaret and somebody else the same part. Luckily, I was able to give it to the person who was there, and slip something else into Margaret's assignments.
Anyway, most the performers were fairly good. I did interrupt in order to direct for most of them. A universal failure is timing: the dialogue in humorous playlets should usually be a rapid back-and-forth (but not so much that the words get lost). These inexperienced actors have a tendency to speak too slowly, giving the impression they're reading the lines. Of course, they are reading, but the audience should be able to ignore that. In the "serious" plays, the players need to speak more slowly and in a more contemplative way, adding pauses or glances to the other person, or whatever, depending on the situation. Anyway, this is called "Acting for Amateurs," so I didn't expect Meryl Streep. My big dilemma is that the other man for "Hell on Wheels," which takes place in hell. Larry has dropped out and T.J. will be away, so that leaves Jim, who plays the devil. I'm going to call Bob, who's in my T.O.P.S. group, to see if he'll fill in.
Got there early, of course, and had a long political discussion with Tony, the SCAN director, beforehand, and that was very enjoyable (for him, too, I know). We're on different--I wouldn't exactly call it opposite--sides of the spectrum, that's a cinch. He's a member of what's now being called the War Party, that is, a democrat and he dotes on Clinton. As for me, I find them all despicable; we agreed that money has thoroughly corrupted D.C. and neither of us see change coming anytime soon.
I stayed after with Carole and Luisa to listen and direct theirs, then discussed Sharon's role for a time. Finally left and went directly to WinCo for salad stuff, and so on. Didn't have lunch until after 2:00, then drove off to town to relax in the fountain park, visit Goodwill (found a nice oblong copper container I'll use for the patio), and stop into the library.
I had gotten an e-mail from son in Tokyo to the effect that the kiddies in grandson, Mr. K., class are asked to bring cancelled stamps into nursery school. Presumably, they talk about them and learn about other places. They now have only Japanese ones, so I sent the precious child two cards. When I got home, I ranged Suzanne's bell to ask her to save stamps, if she gets any; I had called to ask Ellen the same. However, we don't get many such stamps anymore, but they said they'd save when they did.
Suzanne asked me in and we chatted for a bit. She then said she was cooking salmon for dinner and would bring me some. I had some raw shrimp and was sauteing that, but ate only half to save room for the salmon. It was delicious and I'll have the rest of the shrimp for lunch today.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Prep Day

I spent virtually the entire day preparing for our first rehearsal this morning. I now have nine left in the class--of the original three men, Larry has dropped out and I have to assume T.J. will be out of town. That leaves Jim. Trying to fit one (or two) men and seven woman into several short plays was an exercise in frustration. I doubled up on some of them, but that could lead to problems in rehearsals. Inga is another problem. I didn't give her a part, as she has indicated she doesn't want to act (so why is she in this class?), but it's okay if she just observes.
Interrupted myself by going out to buy nine binders; I will, of course, add the cost for these on a requisition so SCAN can reimburse me. I still have to go and and get some high-lighters before the group meets. I asked them to bring them today, but who knows who will? I just fervently hope they all show up today.
Had a 3:00 pedicure appointment, so kept that, but didn't get out of there until after 4:00. Ran home to finish up the Acting for Amateurs prep. I didn't have time for dinner, as I went to the widder dinner gathering a bit after 6:00, taking my tangerines with me. Got my usual glass of Chardonnay and greatly enjoyed being there--only six of us this time, but all very congenial.
Slept okay, but got up at 5:00, as I'm worried that I didn't cover all my bases in prep for the class. I'll go over it now.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mummy Day

Got a welcome Mothers' Day call early on and opened the caller's present while we talked. It was a beautiful card and a gift card which I'll make good use of, naturally. Betty called, also, and we wished each other a good one.
As we had planned, I got to Ellen's at 1:00 and we went down to the harbor, as I had asked that, instead of going out for dinner, we could take a harbor cruise. We did that a few years ago and greatly enjoyed it. But at the boat launch, we found there was a huge crowd in front of us waiting to board, so we sensibly decided we'd do it another time. Instead, we took a long walk along the quay, then crossed over to the beach. Sat and talked for an hour or so, then left. Stopped at Ace Hardware to pick up some boxes for El's coming move, then went to her place.
She made us both Margarita--so good and I had more than I should have, maybe--and sat on the sunny patio. El gave me a lovely bunch of purple tulips, plus a 1988 calendar featuring the historic Dudley house, just the kind of thing I love. I opened my gift from the Tokyo Trio, a wonderful framed picture of the three of them, with little Mr. K. looking adorable in his school outfit. A charming handmade card was included, in the shape of a red teapot with a yellow butterfly on it. The front reads "Good May!" and the inside "May you have a happy Mother's Day!" Of course, I'll save this, as I do all the unique cards my daughter-in-law makes.
Mike called while we were there and El and I talked to him, at this point kind of, sorta, a little bit two sheets to the wind (have no idea of the origin of that expression, but I suspect it's a nautical reference). I thanked him for the rozaela plant and, most of all, for my granddaughters.
El then made a yummy salmon dinner, with mixed veggies and baked potatoes, plus rocky road ice cream for dessert. I remarked that it had been more than two months since I had tasted either of the last two, and boy, were they good. And yes, I'm prepared to take my lumps at T.O.P.S. on Friday.
Parted from my dear girl with many thanks, went home, and slept well.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Getting Up And Gymnasts

When I woke at 5:00 for the usual reason, I foolishly stayed up. That meant that by the time I finished my computer stuff, it was only about 7:00, but I was hungry. Had breakfast too early, then was hungry before 1:00.
However, I managed to overcome that by getting absorbed in putting my Christmas decorations in a different place. I had them on the shelf in my clothes closet--which extends almost the full length of the room--but I realized I had two cupboards over the closets in the hall. I had known they were there, but they're so high, I ignored them. With my new step stool, they became easily accessible.
Wow, this was a find! I had most of the stuf in a large out container that wouldn't fit in the spaces, so ran out to the store and bought some smaller ones. I was delighted to free up the space on the clothes closet shelf and transferred some decorative pillows there. I still have room, so will continue moving things around.
After lunch, I went to Bank of Books, a neat used book store in town because Terri S., who's in my acting class, was having a book signing. This was to promote her A Road to Barcelona,/i> which concerns her daughters' gymnastic careers. Went, bought it, and asked her to write a dedication to granddaughter, Vivian, who's also a gymnast. I'll read it first, then send to Viv.
Went a few other places for shrimp and cottage cheese.

T.O.P.S. And Time

Went to T.O.P.S. and found I had lost another 1.2 for a total of 17.4. It's slow, but steady, and that's all right with me.
Chatted with a few people after, including Bobbi R., who's also in BCNN with me. I was surprised to hear her eightieth is coming up next week; I thought she was a lot younger than I am, but no. Bobbi said she had had problems with her heart and has an artificial valve put in. Two of my three brothers have the same.
I talked so long in the parking lot that I didn't get home and start breakfast until 10:30. No prob, though, I held lunch off until 2:00. Went into town, parked, and walked around to a particular thrift store for a particular reason.
Some time ago, I saw in the window of this store a plate on sale for $25.00; it looked a lot like the ones I have at home. This are salad plates, very shallow, that my mother gave me. I actually took one to this store, then asked the very pleasant sales clerk to get the other out of the show case. Hmm...it's hard to tell, but I think mine may be an imitation. Anyway, I took pictures of both, back and front, and someday when I get around it, will see if mine are worth anything.
Got a lovely rozalea plant--a cross between a rose and an azalea--from Mike, which I put on the patio. Got a package from Tokyo and a thick card from elsewhere and will open those tomorrow.
I've been posting on Facebook pictures of my mother when she was young, probably in her late teens. She was 36 when Betty and I were born, so it's impossible to even imagine what her ideas and ambitions and feelings were then. Time is a thief.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Not Much

Every once in a while, I'd like to drop all the activities in which I'm involved, and just vegetate. However, I know I'd be bored out of my mind in hours, if not minutes, so I don't try it.
Got a call from Debra M., of the Council for Seniors and Senior Strategic Services (of which I'm unfortunately chair) and we talked again about how vague everything is that surrounds these groups. I said I'm going to talk to Suze before or after the VCS meeting on Wednesday about turning over my so-called leadership role to Deb.
Stopped at SCAN to ask Brenda if she knew if the "Chris" on the waiting list was male or female. Turns out he's male, but Brenda and I kind of agreed it was a little late to put somebody in, so I'm going to let it go.
Home, I looked on my e-mail and found I couldn't get in, although I had when I got up at 7:00. Tried this and that and nothing worked, so I went to the library. It turned out I couldn't get in from there, either. Went home and ditto. After a round of calls, I was told in a phone chat with XFINITY that they had lost contact with the Internet. Darn, I thought it was my fault and spent a lot of time on it.
Drove again to Oxnard and stopped to see Greg. Went from there directly to WinCo for supplies, then to Sprouts for berries, which were on sale. Betty called and I was happy to hear her procedure (can't remember what it's called, but it involves a camara down the throat) didn't even have to be done and there's no cause for concern. She was worried about something and I'm glad, of course, it turned out to be a false alarm.
Went to Kohl's after dinner, as I have a 30 percent off card. However, I didn't see a thing I wanted to buy, so left empty handed.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Non-Routine Day

The day started off routinely enough. I took wash to the laundry place, put it in to dry thirty minutes later, then spent the 45 minutes it would take paring and slicing apples.
I had bought of bag of fifteen apples and they happened to be rather small ones, so were a pain to prepare. I kept nicking my knuckle, but finally finished. I always pare directly into the sink so the garbage disposal can whisk it away. I stuffed the skin and cores in, put the cold water on, then pressed the switch--.
AAGH! An absolute geyser shot up from the other side of the double sink, with water, peelings, and seeds all spouting up about three feet! Tried again and the same thing happened. Called the office, Patti came over right away, she did the same, it did the same, and she said she'd have Javier come in. She also told me--courteously, as ever--that apple cores aren't supposed to go in the disposal. I didn't know that, but now I do.
I had several errands to run and when I came back Javier and Jim were here working on the damn thing. It looked as if the clog--my damn apple garbage--was farther in than could be reached, so long story short, a plumber was called and cleared it out, I thanked him profusely, gave him a tip, and that, I fervently hope, is the end of the story.
Then Ellen called with some great news, which I'm not at liberty to divulge, but will eventually. She picked me up and we drove over to Ojai,where we stayed for several hours and, if all goes well, will be an area of importance to her. We didn't leave until after 7:00, then she treated me to dinner and I ordered off a menu for the first time in months. Yummy, yum, I had skewers of shrimp and salmon, plus two glasses of Chardonnay, and enjoyed it so much. I'll probably have to pay the price tomorrow at T.O.P.S. by either gaining or (I hope) maintaining, but I'm reconciled to that.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Class Two

The class went well yesterday, although two people didn't show. One had called SCAN to say she had broken her leg--I'd not so sure--and the other was Jana, surprisingly. Jana is in my T.O.P.S. group and she hadn't responded to the e-mail I sent to the class. Okay, I'll deal with it if she drops out. I announced about the show we'll do on May 26th and everybody seemed pleased about it. However, T.J. who plays the guitar and sings, may be out of town unless he gets a certain gig he wanted.
Boy, this is too bad. I wrote a song a few years back ("Why do you have to be Young?") and was going to incorporate him singing it into the show; in fact, I was going to write a little skit around it, easy enough to do. Well, we'll see.
I spent the first half of the class with the easel and asking for components of a play and of a performance. That went well, then I assigned playlet roles to those who hadn't had them last well: "The Potato Family," and "The Truth, the Embellished Truth, and Nothing Like the Truth." This time, I'd stop them to direct, i.e. to add more gestures, facial expressions, and so on. Most were fairly okay; interestingly, Char, who I think is older than I am, was really good. Carolyn was terrible and so was Larry. I'll be giving them small parts in the show, that's a cinch.
After, T.J. asked me to listen as he played and sang (mostly country), as he wants me to network for him. He's a good guy and I will, especially with Suze and the Council for Seniors crowd. In fact, I intend to bring info on our show to the VCS meeting next week. I showed Tony the flyer I had made up inviting people to the show and he approved it.
By the time I finished listening to T.J., it was almost 1:00. Went home to change and have lunch, then took off for Oxnard to try to straighten out the check thing at La Dolce Vita. Stopped at Whole Foods first, but Greg wasn't there--I forgot he's sometimes off on Tuesdays--then got to Heritage Square after--oh, about 35 minutes being lost. Manager Joe and a hostess were there and I showed them what Bank of America had paid. They couldn't understand it, either, as their receipt said the bill was eleven dollars less. They gave me a copy and I'll take it to BOA today.
Finally got around to pulling together the old Ventnor pictures that have Jack B. in them. He and my brother, Larry have been best friends for more than seventy years now; one of the pics shows them in their First Communion outfits, white ribbons with big bows on their arms. "O lost, and by the wind grieved/Ghost, come back again."


Tuesday, May 09, 2017

More Stuff

Ran over to SCAN in the morning, just to check with Tony that the twenty-sixth is okay for our show. It is and I later worked up a flyer. I'll announce the show date to the class today--and tell them we're having a show--but will give out flyers later.
I also spent an inordinate amount of time selecting, revising, and otherwise readying scripts, both for the informal class readings and the show. I'll give them to those who didn't get a role last week, due to the attendance mixup. First, though, I plan to go into what constitutes plays and what players.
All that took me past lunch and after that, I had to get out. Went to WinCo because I was low on berries and grapes, got gas, then drove to town. I parked at the fountain square and walked to a few stores. Didn't buy anything, but it was a nice, sunny day to walk around.
Before I went home, I stopped at Smart 'n' Final and picked up chicken thighs. As soon as I got home, I preheated the oven, seasoned them, and put them in. Made a copy of the "Smart Garden" schedule for Suzanne and gave it to her.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Mishmash

After going out a lot last week--not to mention my chronic leaning toward not-so-benign neglect--I realized things were getting messy around the apartment. I was determined to get something concrete accomplished and dry-mopped the hard floors, dusted, then took all the office supplies out of the drawers and put them on the kitchen table to sort and organize.
This sounds easier than it really was. I had tape, rules, stamps, paper clips, rubber bands, magnifying glasses, and the scillions of related items in four different drawers. This included my computer desk, t.v. table, and two side tables in the bedroom. I didn't start until after lunch and it took me several hours to get it done.
After that, I just had to get out and I drove to Office Depot for printer ink, then to the Dollar Tree to check out binders. What I want to do is to have the players use uniform binders for their scripts--maybe I'll change colors for male and female--so there isn't a lot of fumbling and rustling of paper during the performance. I'll submit a bill to SCAN for this, along with the rest of my expenses. I didn't buy them yet, in case some drop out and I have to modify the plays, but I'm prepared to do that.
When I came home, Suzanne invited me in and we sat and talked for a half hour or so. She said she had been to two parties over the weekend--"why, Suzanne, are you hung over?" I asked. Of course not, as she doesn't drink, but she got a kick out of that.
One of the parties was the annual shindig for St. John's (which was founded by the Sisters of Mercy) at the Ronald Reagan Library, where I've been. It was a big deal and Suzanne herself presented one of the awards. She attended with three colleagues of hers, whom she said she'd like me to meet. After I left her place, I walked over to VONS to get TracPhone minutes and blueberries.
I'm continuing to work on the class; tomorrow, I'm going to use the easel. I'll ask the group for components that are usually needed for both plays (script, actors, set, etc.) and players (voice, gestures, facial expressions, etc.). I'll then give out playlet roles to the few who didn't get them last week and this time. I also plan to announce that next week, I'll distribute parts for the show.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Here And There

El had mentioned she and Greg had to be out of the house from 9 am to something, as it was being inspected. She said they might go to Peet's (coffee shop), so I dropped in there myself before I went to town. Found them and had twenty minutes or so of good talk before I left to attend the container gardening lecture.
This was in a flower shop called "The Secret Garden" near the library and about fifty people were there. I loved the talk, with demonstrations, of the owner/horticulturist, and learned some good things about container gardening, which is what I want to do. It took about an hour and a half; after, drove to the library. Picked up a CD on the Boston Marathon tragedy about the two brothers who committed it. This is actually called The Brothers and looks into some of the reasons they may have committed the act. This isn't an excuse for it, but it's important, I think, to try to understand what motivated them to do what they did, rather than simply condemning them as monsters.
Checking my bank account on-line, I saw that I was charged $27.80 for the iced tea and Chardonnay Suzanne and I had last week at La Dolce Vita in Oxnard. What? How could it be that much? I printed it out, then called, and the manager couldn't figure it out, either. He said his records say ten something. I'm going to take in the copy and try to get to the bottom of it.
Had a big salad with chicken for lunch, then went to Lowe's and bought a step stool. Salmon for dinner, along with spinach, and it was tasty. Continued to pull together some of the acting class stuff, which is about equal parts absorbing and a pain in the rear. It's essential, though, to prepare, and once the groundwork is laid, the class practically conducts itself.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Busy

It was a busy day. In fact, looking at my calendar, I see it was a busy week. I went somewhere every day, which is the way I like it.
Yesterday, I went to T.O.P.S., of course; lost another two pounds, which adds up--or down--to 16.5 pounds off so far. Talked to director Tony after and arranged to switch my class to the big room, which will be much better with 14 people. Had just time for breakfast before I left for Ellen's school. Met her in the teachers' lounge for lunch--she had tamales, I brought my tangerines--then accompanied her and her class to the Cinco De Mayo celebration.
I loved seeing this. This year, only the fourth-graders performed, doing a lot of exuberant dances and some songs, directed by one of El's colleagues.. There was a nice gathering of parents there and the day was so festive and the children so beautiful and full of life. Virtually all the children at the school are Hispanic--here, that means of Mexican descent. That's the future, I think, and high time. Europeans have ruled this country for too damn long and their culture has dominated at the point of a gun. Too bad coexistence was never offered in the past to darker skins and black hair; we're lucky they're generally conciliatory.
Said goodbye to Ellen and her precious third-graders and had a late lunch. I had very little in the place, so went to WinCo for all kinds of goodies--cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and more.
Needed printer ink, so went to Office Max. I also wanted to get prices for the supplies I'm using for the class, as Tony told me to submit a reimbursement request, so i started on that. Stopped at SCAN and asked office person Brenda if an easel is available. It is, and I asked to have it set up in the room on Tuesday. Aside from more--much more--organizing and printing for the class, that was it.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Some Meetings And Stuff

I had annoying exchanges with Bank of America, first on the phone, then in person at the Ventura branch. There's no point in elaborating except to note that, along with AT & T, they constitute the scum of the earth, corporate division.
Home, I pared, cored, and cut up apples for you-know-what, diced onions and green peppers for a stir-fry today, and sliced the pint of strawberries to have with the applesauce for my single snack time.
Got calls from Debra M. about our planning meeting for Ventura Council for Seniors (VCS) and the confusion that always seems to surround the things in which Suze is involved. I told her I wanted to defer to her for the "leadership role," which Suze had bestowed on me. However, I didn't get a chance to express that because this meeting was on an entirely different topic than we had thought. Luckily, it wasn't the regular one, so only Deb, Suze, Hans, Lori and I were present. We got some things hashed out, but I'm not sure to what purpose or where the damn thing is going.
I went directly from there to the Caregivers' volunteer recognition gathering at Foothills Christian High School. A number of the students there volunteer to help needy old folks under the auspices of Caregivers. It was okay, with veggie appetizers (I had a few carrot sticks) and a lovely big cake donated by Royal Bakery. I'll remember them forever, as the cake I picked up for Christmas the year before last cost fifty bucks. It was only one layer, too. I was pleased to see Tony from SCAN there and told him I'd like my class to meet in the big room. Also, we'll talk today after T.O.P.S. about the show.
Betty called while I was at the last affair and I called her back when I got home. By the time we hung up, it was after six, so I skipped the salmon I was going to cook and just had spaghetti squash. Ellen called. I'm going to the Cinco DeMayo celebration at her school tomorrow and she invited me to come for lunch first in the teachers' lounge, which I will. I'll take my own, though.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

BCNN And Other

Went to the BCNN breakfast at 9:30. Carole saved me a seat, and we were with Doris and Sherry, too. I saw Terri, who's in my class. She's having a book signing on May 13 which I guess I'll have to go to unless I can squirm out of it. I already looked up her book on Amazon and it's just not my thing: very religious in a kind of simple-minded, fundamentalist style.
The speaker yesterday wasn't my thing, either. In a nutshell, her talk was on how having a good attitude will make you live longer. She tended to wave her hands around and most sentences had an implied !!!! after them, as if she were a fifteen-year-old girl describing her prom date. She cited all kinds of "studies" that support her hypothesis, but I'd like to see them myself. Guess I'm just an old cynic.
Good thing I had had breakfast, as this time, they had no fruit on the brunch table, only sweet, mostly store-bought, stuff. The president actually mentioned the lack, so I hope next time, somebody will provide it. Okay, I could sign up and do it myself, but I'm not going to.
Had a good chat with Carole, who likes the class, I'm happy to say. Also got a sweet e-mail from Sue (she had to take Mac to the VA to have his cataracts removed, so wasn't at the meeting). She also said she liked the class, so that was nice.
Went to Lowe's to get a metal dowel thing for my sliding glass door, so it can't be opened even if the lock is broken. However, it's too short, and I didn't see a longer one. I need a 43-inch; hope I can find it.
Went from there to the best thrift store in town and couldn't resist yet another little succulent. This one is in a pretty oriental container in blue and white. Hit the library after that and read for awhile.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Acting for Amateurs

Well, it was quite a day. I got to SCAN fearfully early, of course--I'm notorious for being early. I wanted to put my framed picture (of yours truly on stage in my various productions) around the room and did so, but not before I found (nobody had told me this before) that the WE bowlers were in there from 9:30 to 10:30. My class starts at 10:30 and when I mentioned this to director Tony, he said he would have them out by 10:25. Great...
...except that "Paul," who proudly told me he's 86* and started the virtual bowling thing, plopped himself down while I was setting up the room. He went on and on about how he was a Hoosier boy and had the lead in his class play (in 1845, no doubt), and blah, blah, blah. I interjected a "really" and "is that so?" an "ah" and a "ha" now and then, and I guess that satisfied him. I got the message that he had organized the Wi bowling thing and was waiting for the other players; however, they never showed up. When it got near 10:30 and I looked at the clock, he asked if he could "address your group" to interest them in Wi Bowling. I said, "No, I'm not agreeable to that at all, absolutely not." He argued a bit, but finally left. Annoying as hell.
My class started coming in, all 14 of them on time. Wait--fourteen? I had told SCAN to cap it at twelve (which is two more than I prefer), so what's with 14? The snafu was so complicated I just don't want to go into it, but the upshot was, I kept the two extras. That meant, of course, that I had to modify my agenda to an extent, and will have to for the other sessions, but I can handle it.
The class went very, very well. I started off with just a bit of personal history, then a few nitty-gritty items: turn off your cell, please be on time, and so on. I sent around a sign-up sheet for e-mail address and gave each my card with my info on it. I then started with improv. I had each pick out a folded slip from my little red box, read it to themselves, then hand to me and I read it aloud. At that point, they had one minute to react the situation. Most did pretty well and they enjoyed it a lot. I then gave out four short humorous plays, three of which I wrote myself. I assigned parts and they read, some better than others, of course. Next week, I'll start emphasizing the importance of gestures, pauses, facial expressions, interjections, and more.
Actually, the hour flew past. After, I took Margaret (who had been the nutritionist at SCAN for many years and is in the class) to pick up her car at Toyota. I then went back and talked to Tony about the class size problem, but agreed simply to modify and work with it. We also talked about doing a show for friends and family after the course--yes, sure, I want to--and that was good.
Anyway, that was it. I'm happy with the class composition--I have three men--and the extra two I'll just have to work with. Incidentally, one of the men, Jim, came to me after and said he had a problem being interesting when he talks to his classes. He teaches philosophy at Ventura College and indeed, comes across as dull as dishwater with a monotone. I'm going to work with him and I'm looking forward to that.
Did all kinds of chores and errands the rest of the day, but the class was the high point. Even with all the problems, I love doing it and am looking forward to next week.
*Why in the hell people think reaching a certain age is some kind of achievement is beyond me. Also, I hate generalizations about people, so will observe that some--only some--older men (yes, men in particular) seem to think anything they say is amusing and/or intelligent. I suppose this is because they were brought up in an era where the male dominated, they were mummy's favorite, and they never got over it. Of course, like Paul, if somebody's a bore and a jerk at 16, he'll almost surely be a bore and a jerk at 86.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Widder Lunch

Finally got my class agenda, notes, and schedule in shape, after working several more hours on it. Went to the widder lunch and, as ever, greatly enjoyed it. A newcomer, Sharon, who lives in Thousand Oaks, had noted on MeetUp that she would attend and I was very much interested in meeting her. That's because she indicated she's also a member of the Humanist Society and I want to explore that. As it turned out, we hit it off right away. I sat next to her and we got to know each other; maybe she'll become a friend.
Speaking of friends, Nancy was there and I was delighted to see her. Her daughter is still visiting, but didn't come with her. Nancy mentioned that there's a house for sale across the street from her in Oakview. I looked it up later on Zillow, but it's really small. I saw another in that neighborhood and e-mailed it to Ellen, although she's probably already seen it.
Had my usual (when on my regimen) glass of Chardonnay and ate my tangerines with it. Dear Donna was there, as well as Carolyn, Gayle, and Vera, all of whom I like a lot. Oh, that's right, Chuck and Pam were, too. They'll be leaving for Arizona, where they're moving in "two weeks and three days," according to Chuck, one of the most humorless, deadly dull people I've ever met. He's tall, well built, and quite good-looking, but there seems nothing else there. Inside, that is.
Spent the rest of the day on various activities, such as grocery shopping and paying bills. Talk about dull! In two hours, I'll leave for SCAN to set up the room for "Acting for Amateurs" and start my theatre career on the west coast. I hope all goes well.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Nothing Of Note

Sunday was mostly just chores, errands, and prep for the acting class. Betty called and we had a long talk. El called and ditto. Went to the library, saw my friend, Marie M., and we chatted. Sat in the fountain park--I'm not sure why, but neither fountain was operating-and called Nancy. Yes, more talky, talk, talk. I'll see her at the widder lunch today. Got some walk in on Main Street.
Went to WinCo for supplies, including zucchini and when I got home, sliced same, added onions, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings, and put it in the slow cooker. Turned out pretty good and I had it with my salmon for dinner.
I was annoyed that, for some reason, I couldn't get into my xfinity e-mail. Kept getting an error message. Even tried at the library's p.c., but no luck. Finally, I changed my password and got in.
Aside from all all that everyday stuff, nothing of note went on.