Saturday, August 23, 2014

Friday, Glorious Friday

I think I've decided that Friday is my favorite day of the week.  It used to be Thursday, the day I work at Logos and that is now my second favorite day of the week.  But once I leave Logos, I know that I have six days before I "work" again.  Sometimes there are shows to review...often there are shows to review, but when I wake up on Friday morning, even if there is a show to review that night, I have nothing pressing to do until late afternoon.
It's a psychological thing.

Jeri spent the night here last night.  I conked out on her and Walt and was on my couch dead to the world before they finished chatting, turned out the lights and went upstairs to bed.  Phil had spent the night with friends he wanted to spend time with.

treattimesm.jpg (70378 bytes)In the morning Jeri got up, called her grandmother at 9 and invited herself over for a visit.  She had things to do in the late morning so thought she could sandwich in a visit beforehand.  She's also been working on making friends with Polly and the best way is always through Polly's stomach...the other two got the benefits of Jeri's Polly campaign.

When she went to Atria, she took Sheila with her.   I've been thinking about taking Sheila to visit my mother for a long time but have never gotten around it.  I would be hesitant to take Lizzie, and would definitely not take Polly, but mellow Sheila is just perfect and now that she's been there I will have to take her again some time. Jeri says I should walk her over, but I probably won't, being too lazy to do it!

As for me, I spent a lot of time organizing Compassion things today.  I had a few letters from kids I hadn't answered yet, and had not posted to my Compassion blog, where I post all the letters and pictures from the kids.  I usually write letters to all the kids--you can write one e-mail letter and have it duplicated to all the kids, sometimes adding a personal note for the specific child I'm writing to, which makes it go more quickly.  I can pretty much do it in an hour or an hour and a half.  It has made writing to the kids so much less time-consuming.  Not that I have ever minded it, but writing individual letters takes more time than sending out 19 individually produced e-letters!

I don't print my letters to the kids on the blog (they are stored on my computer), but always print a letter when I get one from one of the children.   It's the easiest way for me to keep organized and remember who wrote when and what I said in response.

After I finished doing some Compassion stuff, and when Jeri was out of the house, I got caught up on some TV that I hadn't seen in the last 3 days. Jeri is not a TV watcher, so I try to keep it off when she is around.  She doesn't understand my need for "white noise" all the time and I know it would drive her nuts, so being a good hostess, I just let the DVR handle what I would normally be watching.  But that does mean a lot of catching up to be done when I get to have the TV back again.

Kindergarten.jpg (69415 bytes)

The big concert is tomorrow night and someone from Lawsuit posted the above picture on Facebook.  A million years ago, before a Lawsuit concert, the Davis Enterprise posted this photo on the front page and Walt nearly fell off his bike on his way home from work when he passed by a newspaper machine.  This is exactly 12 people who performed with Lawsuit, when they were each in Kindergarten.  They weren't in kindergarten together, of course.  Jeri, with the braids, was in kindergarten a year before Ned, just below her, who was in kindergarten a year or two before Paul, bottom right.  I look at this picture and it makes me smile...and Marta, next to Ned, definitely has the best picture, though K.C. (with the bow tie) may be second--and he hasn't changed a bit since then!

Norm & Olivia, and Alice Nan are all coming up from Petaluma for the show and we are going out to dinner before hand.  It's just like the old days! (except now I make sure that I have a chair to sit in, since no chairs will be provided by the band!)

Day 54:  They're BOTH happy!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Today at Logos ... and More

Sandy and I chatted for 30 minutes again today.  We've discovered we have so much in common it's amazing we never met before Logos.  We compared child birth stories, San Francisco stories (she lived there too, but after I left), medical office stories, and psychologists and psychiatrists we have both known.   We might have talked longer but a "talky guy" (not one I'd met before, but Sandy had) was asking about a psychologist and we started brainstorming about who it could be (he didn't have his name).  Paul somebody possibly married to Linda somebody, but that's as far as we got.

Anyway, Sandy left and I took over.  She had done very little business, most of which was bargain books.  But she still outsold me by about twice as many customers.  I dealt with more customers this week than last (about 5; I had 3 last week..."my friend" didn't even come in today!) but almost all of those were bargain books, so I don't think I broke a $20 total for the afternoon.  I bought a book, too, but even I bought a bargain book!

But I did have a few interesting customers.  An old guy (older than me!) bought a bargain book on poetry about mythical beasts.  He said "They say I'm too old for mythical beasts, but you're never too old for mythical beasts."  Then when he left he wished me a good day and a good life.

As he was going out, a woman in a grey June Allison type page boy haircut came in clutching a bargain book.  She dug deep in her purse, but found the $1 to purchase it with.

A guy with one of the ubiquitous messenger bags hanging across his chest came in to ask how business was.  He says his father has a book store on the Peninsula somewhere.  He was very impressed to learn that Susan and Peter donate proceeds to Doctors without Borders and Save the Children and that they had donated $40,000 last year.  But he didn't buy anything to help raise the proceeds!

After awhile, a couple came in and bought a Calvin and Hobbes book and one about Genetics (presumably not Calvin and Hobbes genetics)

Things were so dull, I snuck off to the back to use the bathroom and was shocked to discover three customer in the store when I returned a couple of minutes later.  None of them bought anything.

But then my favorite customers of the day arrived.

Logos.jpg (154650 bytes)

Even they didn't buy anything.  I encouraged Jeri to check the bargain books because she had $2, but she didn't find anything.

A very thin woman was looking for books about horses, but didn't find what she was looking for.  

At 5 p.m., my friend had not come in and one of  my last two customers of the day bought "the Kite Runner" and we very briefly discussed Afghanistan and the two books by Khaled Hosseini, and the last customer bought "Monuments Men" and we talked about the film and the men who saved the art work.

Susan relieved me early because we had made plans to have dinner at Atria with Jeri & Phil and Ned, so we rushed right over there and met the kids there.   It was a very nice dinner and I was one again touched by how seeing her grandchildren perks her right up.  

IceCream.jpg (119144 bytes)

They get her laughing and that's what she needs more of.  When the evening was over, Ned drove home to Sacramento, Phil rode his borrowed bike across town to spend the night with some different friends, and Jeri came back here so she could show us the DVD of a concert of excerpts from A Chorus Line that she conducted recently.

All in all a very nice day.

Day 53:  How could this NOT make me happy?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jeri's Here! Jeri's Here!

Nights when I have to get up early for something are often nights when I can't sleep at all because I'm too worried I'll oversleep.  I got home after La Cage aux Folles last night and started the review, and then I took a break, as I usually do.  But I wanted to be sure to finish and submit the review first thing in the morning, so that I wouldn't have to worry about it when Jeri and Phil woke up and could concentrate on them. So I set the alarm for 6 a.m.  And then I couldn't sleep.  At all.

Finally at 2:30, I got up and finished the review and sent it off to the paper. Then I tried to get to sleep.  I did get a couple of hours, but the alarm I had set went off at 6 a.m. anyway.  I knew I wanted to make blueberry muffins for breakfast, so I got up then, made the muffins, fed the dogs, and went back to my recliner to see if I could sleep a bit more, knowing that as soon as someone of "those people" sleeping upstairs started down the stairs, I wouldn't need an alarm clock.  Polly would be barking her fool head off.

And she did.

It was so nice to see Jeri and Phil...and later, Alice Nan.   We sat around drinking coffee or tea and eating the blueberry muffins and just having a great time. The kids decided to take the dogs out for a walk. Walt decided to go along, so all three dogs were very happy.

Leashes.jpg (55439 bytes)

Alice Nan decided to go along for the exercise, though we had run out of dogs who needed walking.  This picture reminds me of following the yellow brick road...

BrickRd.jpg (65549 bytes)

After they returned, Jeri had to go downtown to pick up a cello she is borrowing for the week (she is learning the cello and needed one to practice on.  A guy who owns a music store doesn't know Jeri and she doesn't know him, but he knows her name from Lawsuit and figured she was OK to use his personal cello while she's here.  "It's nice to be Davis royalty," Phil joked!).  She and Phil took off for downtown in our car while Walt, Alice Nan and I took AN's car and went to Atria.

AN200sq.jpg (29255 bytes)We had fun visiting.  I just love how my mother comes alive when visitors are there.  The old sparkle is back.  I had gotten to the apartment before Walt and AN, and she was looking distressed.  I asked what was wrong.  She said she just didn't feel good and thought she might vomit.  It was the old, droopy, unhappy mother I visit every day.  But when Alice Nan got there and they started reminiscing about working together at the Bank of America, my mother lost the hang-dog look and joked and laughed just like her old self.  When I asked her, on the way to the restaurant, how she felt she grinned "fine!" and when I asked about her nausea, she said it was gone.

Of course the best part was when Jeri arrived and there were warm hugs all around.  Those two have always had a very special bond and a hug from Jeri is like a magic tonic for my mother. It amazes me that with the number of people she doesn't remember, or has to be reminded about, or has to have dates written down for her, with the fact that she doesn't know her great grandchildren, or recognize their pictures, and has to be told who they are when you talk about them by name, Jeri is the one constant (well, maybe I am too).  She knows when she is coming, she recognizes her, she knows her name, and just having Jeri here has always been a great boon to my mother.  Jeri, with her unflappable optimism, brings out the best in her and I just love it when she is able to be out here for a visit.

We went to lunch at the Atria restaurant and my mother ordered her usual vegetable soup and fruit salad, but when she saw everyone else going to the salad bar, she decided she'd have a green salad too.  The waitress (Sara) was very surprised.  She was even more surprised when my mother decided to have the dessert of the day instead of her usual ice cream cone.

lunch.jpg (42312 bytes)

When we finished lunch, we went back to the apartment, where Jeri gave us some examples of her growing cello prowess. Alice wanted to sit close so she could watch better.

cello.jpg (47124 bytes)

Walt just found the whole thing very relaxing.

WNap.jpg (47924 bytes)
Alice Nan had things to do and was going to Norm & Olivia's this afternoon, so she had to leave, and the rest of us decided, after looking at Walt, that naps all around sounded like a good idea -- and I could tell my mother was getting sleepy too -- so we told her goodbye and came home, but first we made a reservation for dinner tomorrow night back at Atria again.

Everybody kind of crashed after we got home, but I made the mistake of checking something on the internet about an article I'd written and got livid at what had been done to it, so I had to get up and Contact People.  Fortunately it was ultimately resolved (mostly, but not entirely, in my favor), but my adrenalin had been stirred up and I never did get my nap.

I suspect that with non-TV watching Jeri and Phil here, I may head off to sleep very early tonight.

Day 52: Everybody was happy especially the dogs!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Turning Straw into Gold

By 11 a.m. this morning, I was convinced Jeri and Phil and Alice Nan were dead.  Or at least mortally wounded. We knew they were headed north from Santa Barbara and were driving Hwy 101 so they could stop at the Burger Queen en route.  Whenever Walt or his sister or Jeri travel, they send one word text messages to each other along the route, letting them know where they are at any given time, so whoever is at the other end can keep track of progress.

But when 11 a.m. came, and there had been no text messages, not even in answer to my two to them, I figured the only reason was that there had been a terrible traffic accident.  I knew they had arrived in California all right because I'd had the photo of Joe and Alice meeting them at the airport.

JoeANsm.jpg (47689 bytes)

I decided to call.  I called Jeri's cell phone and there was no answer, so I called Phil's cell phone and he didn't answer either, which made me more convinced that they were all dead.

But then I called Alice Nan.  I called her last because I knew she would be driving, but I also knew that she frequently talked in the car through her blue tooth.  She answered and the first thing I said to her was "So you're not dead after all..."

Turns out they had just forgotten to send mile markers.   They had left late and they were still a way from the Burger Queen, but they were fine.  And then the text messages started arriving - "San Luis Obispo" ... "King City"... and, as expected, eventually this photo of Phil and Alice.

AN-BQsm.jpg (46046 bytes)

I didn't get everything done I wanted to do before they arrived (is anybody surprised?), but I did get quite a bit accomplished, most important of which was cleaning off the kitchen table and making a dent in the piles on the kitchen counter.   With that done, I felt better about going off without cooking dinner and leaving them to fend for themselves (with Walt).

I had to leave at 6 p.m. in order to pick up my friend Ruth and then double back to get my colleague Jeff but I pulled up in front of his house exactly on time, which was a first, I think.

This was the last show of the Music Circus season and it was La Cage aux Folles, a show I dearly love and which I have not seen in awhile.  I was really looking forward to it and I'm afraid that by intermission, I was extremely disappointed.  But it's going to be tricky to write that in a review (so I decided to write this journal entry first).  The actor playing Albin, the flamboyant gay character, the star of the female impersonators' club happens to be black.  And I don't think his being black was the cause of my disappointment, it was his portrayal of a character I love.  He wasn't flamboyant enough, I didn't feel a chemistry between him and Georges.

LaCageauxFolles1.jpg (165588 bytes)
(This theater comany sucks at publicity pictures.  I can't beieve
this is the best picture of Albin and Georges in the packet of publicity photos!)

The instrumental arrangements of his music were different, a blues sound where it should have been a music comedy sound, which kind of made the action drag (no pun intended).  I sent off a text to Jeri (who had arrived in Davis by that time) and told her how disappointed I was.

I will admit that the actor nailed the musical's signature piece, "I am what I am," standing there as a defiant Diana Ross, livid at his life partner Georges and their son, and that ended the act on a positive note, performance-wise.  Something must have happened at intermission.  They must have had a pep talk, because Act 2 was head and shoulders better than Act 1 and when Albin arrived in the personna of their son's mother and fooled the son's fiancee's parents, it was golden.  

So I left the show feeling much better about it than I would have had I left at intermission...which shows you, children, why you stay to the end of shows you think you don't like.  You never know how much it is going to improve!

By the time I had dropped Jeff, and then Ruth off and driven back across town to home, it was after 11 and everyone but Walt had gone to sleep, so I still haven't seen them, but there are signs that they are here, and I look forward to seeing them all in the morning.  Or later in the morning (as it is already creeping toward sunrise as I write this).

Day 51:  I love this picture.  It's so rare they will sit still for a photo!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting Ready for Company

Well, I finished the article and got it submitted to the newspaper by noon, or shortly after.  I would have submitted it earlier, but I was waiting for a promised comment from the mayor, who said he would send me something by late morning.  But he's a politician, so I waited all morning and didn't hear from him.   I finally sent him an e-mail showing what I would write without his statement and he sent me a statement by return mail which is, of course, better than I had written.   I got that worked into the article and sent it off.  The rest of my day was free and clear.
We are expecting Jeri & Phil and Walt's sister here tomorrow, to spend the night.  We don't really do overnight guests.  The only folks who have stayed overnight here in the last 10 years or so are Jeri & Phil and Ashley, who takes care of our dogs.

Cleaning or straightening needed to take place.  

Walt does about 99% of the work around here, without a complaint, and I'm very grateful. I'm trying to get the kitchen clean and the laundry folded before they get here, which of course at 1:30 a.m., when I'm writing this, still hasn't been done.

And naturally, with my little goals for pre-arrival cleaning, the first thing I did was to take off for Atria to visit my mother.

It was a surprise when she wasn't in her room, and it was full of "stuff" -- a basket, some boxes, a shirt, casually thrown over a chair, and a dish of plums. My acute powers of deduction immediately figured out that my cousin Niecie had come for a visit and to give her a pedicure again.  When I was there 2 days ago, that was not on her calendar, but I noticed that it was today. 

I had already checked the dining room and hadn't seen my mother, so I figure Niecie had managed to convince her to have dinner somewhere other than Atria.  I left a note for her and left the apartment.  When I got to the lobby, there were my mother and Niecie sitting on a couch, eating an ice cream cone and chatting. I just hadn't noticed them when I checked the dining room.

I chatted with them for a bit, but had to get to the supermarket to do some shopping, so said my goodbyes and left, telling my mother I would return in 2 days, with Jeri.

I went off to Nugget Market and managed to stock up on nearly $200 worth of impulse buys.  We were out of a lot of things

On the way to and from, I was listening to my audio book, "Drop Shot," by Harlan Coben and it had only 10 minutes to go when I left the supermarket.  I took the long way home and finished the story about the time I arrived back to the house.  I've decided I like Coben's sardonic/ wise-cracking hero, Martin Bolitar, who isn't a detective, but a sports representative, yet he seems to get involves in a lot of crime solving.  This was Book #2 of the series and I've put book #3 on my Audible.com wish list so that when my monthly credit is activated, I will choose that as my next download.

I made a teensy dent in the laundry before All in with Chris Hayes was on. Hayes is reporting from Ferguson and I had read this morning that he had been threatened by the police with macing and I was interested to see what, if anything, he would say about it, but he didn't mention it. Guess he didn't feel the need to inflame resentment in the Ferguson police any more.

The whole situation is so distressing because it is a continuing sign of the disintegration of our society. The thought crossed my mind that maybe Robin Williams was the lucky one.

Walt announced he was going downtown to help Ned hang lights on the plaza for their upcoming concert on Friday  I could, of course, have used his being gone as an excuse to finish either the kitchen or the laundry, but instead I watched Dead Poets Society.  I am watching a lot of Robin Williams right now, it seems, and I am finding it very cathartic.  I didn't know him personally and only saw him on film anyway, and watching these old films seems to make his loss less painful for me anyway.  He's still there, just a click away on my TV or computer screen, just as accessible as he was to me in real life.

Walt didn't get home until 9.  I asked if he and Ned had eaten anything and he said they had a snack from a local Indian restaurant, but not a real dinner, so I cooked up a batch of tortellini I had bought this afternoon.  A quick, easy dinner that he likes.  Especially good topped with home grown fresh basil snipped off the plant on my kitchen sink.

Now it's way past my bedtime and I have just written one of my more boring entries, but it's done and I can go off to sleep without worrying about it.

Tomorrow will be more interesting, because Jeri will have arrived...and it will be anybody's guess whether I get the laundry and/or the kitchen finished before they all get here.

Day 50:  This makes me very happy

Monday, August 18, 2014

Me and Will Hunting

Whenever I tell my mother about a review I'm writing or an article I'm working on, she will think about it and always asks me "how long does it take to write your thing" (because she can never remember what you call that thing I'm doing).

As she's proud of not using assistive devices to walk and not socializing with those other people at Atria, she is also coyly proud of not being a writer.  It tickles her that she has never written anything (I may have received one or two letters from her in my life).  She's proud of her failure to communicate with anybody about anything by writing.  I don't understand that, but...whatever.

When people talk to me about being a critic, they often say to me "I don't know how you can do that."  I am reminded of Good Will Hunting, where everyone was so impressed with Will's ability to solve complicated problems that stumped even the best mathemeticians.  He says something like "you can't do this, so you don't know how easy this is for me.  Do you have any clue how easy this is for me?"  He doesn't intend to lord it over anybody, but is just trying to let them know that they may have a talent in one direction and his lies in mathematics, he doesn't know why he has that talent, but he does, and it just is, not because of anything directly that he has done.

That's kind of what it's like for me with writing.  I have always written.  I come from a long line of writers.  My great grandfather started a newspaper and was its editor, and columnist for many years.  My great, great grandfather wrote eloquent letters from Iowa to his children in California.  My aunt was a wonderful writer.  I aspire to be as entertaining as she was. It's not because of anything directly that I have done, it just is.

I'm not a great writer.  I'm an OK writer.  I'm a sloppy writer who has never bothered to study writing, but who can put my thoughts on paper.  Occasionally I research something, but basically this is just verbal diarrhea put on the page.

My journal entries, like everything else I write, kind of grow organically.  I may have an idea in mind where I think an entry (or an article) is going to go, and as I start writing it, it veers off in directions I had never expected, planned, or anticipated.  I don't write fiction.  I'm terrible at fiction, but I hear fiction writers talk about how the characters they create take them in different directions and insist that they be written in a certain way.  I understand that.

And so it has been with my project today.  I can't tell my mother how long it has taken (or will take, since it's not finished yet) to write the article I'm working on, but I've pretty much been at it for the better part of three days.

I always thought my writing process was strange, but the more I read things from other writers, the more I discover that I'm not so strange after all.  I write a little bit and then I have to leave the computer.  I eat, or make something, or clean something (rarely the latter), or I might go to sleep for the night.  While I do this, thoughts percolate around in my head that I'm not even aware of.  When I finish my break, I come back to the computer with renewed thought energy.

Today I am working on an article celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Davis Musical Theater Company (DMTC).  This group started in 1984 (see?  I'm a math whiz) with a production of Peter Pan that both Walt and Jeri worked on.  Its next show was The King and I, where Jeri was one of the king's children, and had dyed black hair and darkened skin.  Walt was the company's first set builder. So we are part of the history of DMTC.  

Five years ago, I wrote an article to celebrate its 25th anniversary and I went back and reviewed that article as I prepared to write the one for the 30th anniversary.  It seemed that I'd said it all then.  I figured my approach this time around would be to rehash the old article, intervew a couple of people who have been around for a long time, and the article would pretty much write itself.  But no.   My brain doesn't work like that, even when I want it to.
I first interviewed Steve and Jan Isaacson, the founders of the company, people we have known since before there was a DMTC.  It wasn't a formal interview.  We just sat around and chatted while the tape recorder ran and I figured I'd pull bits and pieces from that.

But I had forgotten my aversion to transcribing.   Something weird happened to me after 30+ years of being a transcriptionist.  I literally could not STAND the thought of transcribing anything ever, ever again.  So I kept putting off this transcription.  Fortunately it wasn't going to be a literal translation, but just playing the audio and picking out salient pieces for the article.   But I put it off for a couple of days and had to actually FORCE myself, by reason of a looming deadline to actually sit down and just. do. it.

As I transcribed, I got an idea of how to start the article and wrote that...or, more accurately, copied it from five years ago.  With something on the screen, I began to fill in.  The article grew like Topsey.  One thing would suggest something else, an incident would suggest an interview subject whom I would then call, something totally changed my mind on how to start the article and I rewrote the beginning.   Things that seemed to be in the right order suddenly were out of order and I had to move them around (thank God for computers!).

I did phone interviews (I don't mind doing them because I can transcribe as the person talks and I don't have to listen to it a second time to transcribe...thank God for learning how to be a fast typist!)

I got far enough in the article and it had taken such a different path than I anticipated that I was able to write the closing paragraphs, which I really like.  I still needed to fill in some stuff, but if I can't, for whatever reason, the article is good to go as is.

I'm waiting for 3 people to call me and if they don't I'll live without it, but I really would like their input.  When I got up this morning, the "thing" (as my mother would call it) loomed threateningly over me, because I knew it had to be at the newspaper office tomorrow, but as I've worked on this, pretty much all day long (with those busywork breaks I mentioned), I've become familiar with it.   I've read it dozens of times.  I've tweaked it, I know what I want to add, but if I can't, because I don't hear from the people I need, I can work around it.

Like Will Hunting, I don't know how I do this, I just know that I do it and that for me, it is an easy thing to do.

Sort of.

Day 49:  A sight to make anybody happy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Growing Up Meme

At the time I always write these things, there is no new Sunday Stealing, so I'll pull a meme from my files that I dont think I've done before.

How much schooling have you had?
8 years Catholic grammar school, 4 years Catholic high school, 1 yr at UC Berkeley.

Did you enjoy school?
Neutral on grammar school, loved high school, hated the school part of UC Berkeley.

Stop and count, Since you were born until today; how many homes have you lived in?
1. The flat my parents rented in San Francisco from 1943 until about 1974, when they finally bought a house.
2. Dorm at UC Berkeley in 1961
3. Apartment in Berkeley, living alone
4. Apartment in Berkeley, living with Gerry (Ned's godmother)
5. Living with Mike and Char for about six months
6. Apartment in Berkeley, living alone
7. The first apartment Walt and I had after we married, in Berkeley
8. A house we rented in Albany (next door to Berkeley)
9. The house we bought in Oakland in 1971
10. The house we bought in Davis in 1973

While growing up, did you have any role models?
My typing teacher, Sister Anne, who was my teacher, then my good friend for the rest of her life, until she died about 20 years ago.

While growing up, how did you get along with the other members of your family?
My sister (who was 4-1/2 years younger) and I were never close; I got alone well with my mother, not so well with my father. We were all united in our dislike of my grandmother (my father's mother), though I loved my mother's mother. My two grandfathers were always kind of distant. My cousin Peach was my good friend from the time we were both very young.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
First, a nurse (until I thought about the smells and yucky stuff I'd have to deal with), then a nun.

What were your favorite activities 3 years ago?
Pretty much the same activities that I do today. Things don't change much when you retire!

As a child, what kinds of personality traits did you display?
I was untidy, uncoordinated, shy, lazy, but good natured and lovable with a good sense of humor. I have not changed

As a child, were you popular?
No. I had a few friends, but was never one of the popular guys.

When and with whom was your first kiss?
I don't remember when, but I was 13 and it was from Bill Farrington, who was my boyfriend for 3 years, until he went into the seminary to become a Jesuit brother.

Describe any influences in your past that led you to do the things you do today.
* Sister Anne, of course, had a HUGE influence on me. I can't imagine where I would be today if I had not had a solid foundation in typing.
* I credit Sister Mary William, the music teacher, with getting me started on writing, since she was also in charge of the school yearbook and newspaper and got me on the staff of both.
* From my father I got my love of music my sense of humor.
*I wish I could say I got the ability to keep house, cook, or garden from my mother, but somehow those traits never "took" with me.

What's next?
Beats me. Too many completely unexpected things have happened in my life for me to predict "what's next"? It's all an adventure.

Day 48:  Happiness is hearing from a friend who hasn't written in more than a year--and having it be a 30 page letter!