Tuesday, June 27, 2017

So How Did We Celebrate

Well, it's all downhill, celebration wise, after 50.  It was a quiet day.  The temps have final cooled, which was nice.  I went to Atria and spent an hour with my mother, then came home and took a nap.  Walt got garbage ready for today's garbage pick up and took his own nap.  After Jeopardy we went out to dinner.

I spent time researching restaurants in Davis.  We don't go out to eat very often here in town and we seem to usually go to our favorite Thai restaurant, but there have been places that have come and gone that I would like to have tried, and places, like Noodle City, which has been in town for more than 10 years, that we have never tried.  It sounded good, from the Yelp and Davis Wiki reviews (the last of which was written in 2007).

So we decided to go to Noodle City.  As I wended my way to the back part of Orange Court, I heard lots and lots of people and found Sophie's Thai Restaurant to be overflowing.  I was afraid we would have a wait at next door Noodle City.  But not only did we not have a crowd, there was only one other couple in the restaurant.

I loved the curtains that separated the kitchen from the eating area and the bathroom sign was cute.

The bored looking waiter took our order and we started with some delicious green onion bread for an appetizer.

I had read that the "DanDan noodles" were wonderful, so I ordered them.  (The thing about Noodle City is that they make all of their noodles in-house)

It was delicious, but not very substantial.  Kind of like Top Ramen, with just noodles and a peanut flavored broth and topped with chopped peanuts.  I liked it, and there is enough in my doggie bag for lunch today, but before I finished I was wishing for a bit of meat too.

Walt did better with his five spice beef soup.

This was by far the most popular dish in all the reviews I read and it was indeed delicious with huge chunks of beef, vegetables and a delicious broth that made me understand what they mean on the Food Network when they talk about "depth of flavor."  If we ever go back, I will order this.

And since it was a special event, though I usually just drink water, I even had a glass of wine with Walt.  We had to have SOME way to toast our anniversary.

The air was so deliciously cool when we left, that I kept the car window rolled down for the drive home.

I watched an episode of Genius while Walt finished the garbage collection.  And then, since I had a glass of wine, I was falling asleep by 11 p.m. (one reason I don't drink any more--I don't like falling asleep so early!)

It was a quiet celebration, but fitting 52 years!

Monday, June 26, 2017

What Have I Done?

Well, in yesterday's entry about the ending of Sunday Stealing, I said I was feeling guilty for not volunteering to do the job myself.  All day today, I watched the entries from other members of this community that has grown around this weekly meme.  I finally couldn't stand to see it all end, so I wrote to Bud to find out what was involved in actually doing the job.  He answered me.  I mulled that around in my head for awhile and finally wrote and said I would do it, if nobody else volunteered.
So I have o idea what I have just done.  I have not heard back from him since I wrote, but I assume I will hear from him soon.  Gleep.  I just hated to lose contact with all the people I have come to know over the years...

Looking back...

It was only yesterday when I was climbing aboard that fire engine across the street from my apartment, decked out in my wedding attire, so that the photographer could take a photo of me and the bridal party hanging onto the side of a fire truck.

Wasn't it?

Can it really have been fifty-two years?

Fifty two years.  My god.   I remember when reaching one's 40th birthday was a huge deal--now we've been married longer than that.

I told the tale of our actual wedding a few years ago.  What about the 52 years since that date?  If you're going to survive 52 years of marriage, it helps to marry someone with whom you can laugh.  Someone who thinks Puff the Magic Dragon is a swell song to be "our song" (because it was the first song that came on the radio after we realized we didn't have "a song"), someone who enjoys telling people that we dated to Stan Freberg, someone who will put up with all of your idiosyncrasies. 
I'm not sure if that describes me or Walt or both of us.  

When you live with someone for 52 years, you begin to speak in in-jokes, in your own personal code, where explanations aren't necessary because you share the same background.

With who else (other than your children) can you speak in dialog from every play you've ever seen...and admit that you've lost the ability to find original material any more.

Who else will snicker with you about "63" or "fire hose"?

Who else will laugh with you when you toss out lines like "rumble, rumble, rumble...mutiny, mutiny, mutiny" in your journal and get an e-mail back from someone who recognized the reference to Stan Freberg?

Who else will let you drag him to every possible Steve Schalchlin appearance without (much) complaint?  Who else would sit through every Judy Garland or television appearance ever put on video?

Who else would have indulged me all of my flights of fancy, from cake decorating to Chinese cooking, to working for the Lamplighters, to driving AIDS clients, to taking in stray puppies or stray Brasilians?

I still remember fondly Walt's excitement the day we brought Jeri home, the way he'd decorated the house with pink roses and had a recording of music box music playing as I carried her up the stairs.
I still remember the way we clung to each other on those terrible, terrible days following Paul's and David's deaths.

Sometimes after 52 years, you feel you've said it all.  You sit at a dinner table in silence, no need for conversation because you both know where you are, what you're doing, where you've come from, and how you feel about things.

You do things automatically because you've been doing them for 52 years and there is a certain comfort in not having to wonder how best to handle things.

You know each other's foibles and you accept them because you've learned to live with them after all these years.

You look back on 52 years and you see how far you've come, what good friends you still are, and that you still love one another.

And that's not such a bad thing to discover, 52 years down the road.

Happy anniversary, Dear.   Here's to another 52 years.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sad Sunday Stealing

The End of An Era- A note from Bud-
Sometimes I feel like the boy who cried wolf. But when I left Saturday 9 to The Gal (who I freely admit improved it - greatly) and Stealing to Mr. L and then Kwizgiver I was so burnt out that I even ended the WTIT Blog at the same time. Now while I won't be doing that, I will be leaving Sunday Stealing after next week. We've had a marvelous run - we are in our 10th year - but if a new host isn't found this week, we will end Stealing. About two years ago I started a book about WTIT. It's a daunting task to cover 50 years of anything, and so I stopped writing about a year ago. And while the hour or so I spend on Stealing doesn't sound like a lot. I'm just not feeling it and I think that now that I am out of work on disability I should start anew on the book. It's not like there's not a lot there, I had nearly 20 chapters written. 

I won't be leaving the blogospohere. I will still play Saturday 9. And Stealing if we are lucky enough for someone to take it. It needs to grow. We got hit hard from the social media switch from blogs to Facebook and twitter. But there are thousands who still play memes who need to be contacted. I just don't have the time. But if you do, we could have fifty players a week. See, you don't run a successful meme blog without having to find players. I haven't done that since well before I left the first time. If you want to be the host of Stealing either leave me a comment or email me at bud.weiser@wtit.net. It has been an honor to be your host for for so long. But I've got a book to write.

I love Sunday stealing an am feeling guilty for not volunteering, but I'm pretty sure that I would not be able to do as good a job as Bud has done for so long.

We found this gem  from a blogger and blog named Greenish Lady. She states that Becca invited everyone to do it. But, it was probably stolen at that blog as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Cheers to all us thieves! 

Sunday Stealing: The Greenish Questions

1. What is your current obsession?
I am setting aside 1-2 hours a day to read in the hope of getting back in reading again

2. What’s your go-to coffee place?
Mishka's Cafe.  I don't go there often, but it's a good place to meet a friend for coffee (also, the pastries are good, and there is free wifi).  To buy coffee, I go to Peet's, but their sit-and-sip area isn't as inviting as Mishka's is.

3. Who was the last person that you hugged?

4. Do you nap a lot?
A lot.  These days I almost always have an afternoon nap, but sometimes a morning one too.

5. Tonight, what’s for dinner?
A Home Chef meal -- beef on skewers.  Or maybe something faster, since we have a show to review tonight.

6. What was the last thing that you bought?
A Gourmia GMS9280 Mii Slicer Pull String Manual Food processer I ordered from Amazon.  It's OK, but doesn't work quite as advertised, but then it was only $6-7, so I got what I paid for.  I will use it.
7. What is your favorite weather?
Cold and drizzly.  Or thick fog.  Definitely not 100+

8. Tell us something about one blogger who you think will play this week?
I have become intrigued by Country Dew, who is an excellent (professional) writer and we seem to have a lot in common.  Also anybody with a pet cow is OK in my book

9. If you were given a free house that was fully furnished, where in the world would you like it to be?
In the hills above Santa Barbara, with a beautiful view of the ocean.

10. Name three things that you could not live without.
Air, Water, and I'd say Sunday Stealing, but it seems that I'll have to learn to live without it!

11. What would you like in your hands right now?
A tall glass of water with ice in it.

12. What’s one of your guilty pleasures?
A spoonful of peanut butter right out of the jar.  (Creamy, not crunchy)

13. What would you change or eliminate about yourself?
Eliminate about 80 lbs.

14. As a child, what type of career did you want?
A nurse, a nun, or a mother.

15. What are you missing right now?
Cool weather

16. What are you currently reading?
I'm finishing "The Horse and His Boy," the 3rd book in the Narnia series.  Not as good as the first two.

17. What do you fear the most?
Losing my mental capacities and becoming helpless and dependent on others for everything.

18. What’s the best movie that you’ve seen recently?
I've only seen one movie this year -- Beauty and the Beast -- and liked it.

19. What’s your favorite book from the past year?
Silent Footsteps, by Sally Henderson (about observations of elephant societies)

20. Is there a comfort food from your childhood that you still enjoy?
I used to love U-No candy bars, which you almost never see any more.  I still buy them when I see them, but they don't taste as good as they used to.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday 9

First of all, Laurelie, you asked for the shrimp recipe.  I added it to the June 16 entry for you.  Now on to the business of the day:

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love to answer questions, however, and here is today's questions!

Saturday 9: Listen to the Music (1972)
Because Zippi requested it.

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The lyrics say, "What the people need is a way to make them smile." What song lifts your spirits and makes you smile every time you hear it?
It's one of Lawsuit's songs, "Thank God, You're Doin' Fine," which always got audiences dancing and me smiling to listen to the song and watch people's reaction to it.  In more recognizable music it would be John Denver's "Grandma's Feather Bed" which is just a fun tune (especially in this rendition with the Muppets).

2) Lead vocalist/composer Tom Johnston reports that he's made a lot in royalties because so many radio stations use this as a jingle. Tell us a jingle that sticks in your head.
Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener....

3) The Doobie Brothers got their start in San Jose, California. San Jose is the largest city in Northern California, thanks to all the tech companies that have headquarters there. Let's talk about the device you're on right now: are all your applications up to date?
Heavens no.  I hate updating.  My guru is always appalled whenever I call him (every few years) at how out of date my applications are.  I figure if they work fine for me now, I don't need an new bells and whistles.

4) When they were still a local band, the Doobie Brothers had a strong following among bikers. Are you attracted to biker culture?
Not at all.  Well, there is one part of biker culture that endears them to my heart.  It's that at Christmas time, all the bikers in California get together and bike en masse to the capitol in Sacramento to deliver Christmas gifts for kids.  There is nothing more endearing than watching some big leather-clad, tattooed, bejeweled biker with a Raggedy Ann doll on the back of his bike, or a tiny Chihuahua zippered in his jacket.

5) This week's song is from Toulouse Street, which is considered their "breakthrough" album. Tell us about a moment in your own life that you consider a "breakthrough."
I guess it was volunteering to "help" with putting together a record of The Lamplighters 25 year history.  I assisted on that book, made some of my best friends, and ten years later wrote a follow-up.  (Someone needs to write of the years post 1987, but I'm too old to do it now!)

6) In 1987, the Doobie Brothers did a benefit performance for Vietnam Veterans at the Hollywood Bowl. Next to the Beatles, it was the fastest-selling ticket in Hollywood Bowl history. Which group do you listen to more often -- the Doobies or the Beatles?
Since I've never heard the Doobies (that I know of) and have heard the Beatles (though am not a fan), I guess it would be the Beatles.

7) In 1972, when this song was popular, Wranglers were America's best-selling jeans. Are you brand-loyal to one jeans manufacturer?
I can't remember the last time I wore jeans!

8) Grocery stores saw seafood prices fluctuate wildly in 1972 because of a series of confrontations between the United Kingdom and Iceland regarding fishing rights in the North Atlantic. (Iceland won.) What was the most recent seafood dish that you enjoyed?
Last night I cooked Argentine Shrimp Chimichurri with polenta and it was quite tasty.

9) Random question: Which of these "top ten" lists would you prefer to be on -- the sexiest, the smartest or the richest?
Definitely the smartest.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Oh to be in Gdansk

Supposedly, today was the hottest day of our heat wave.  Supposed to get up to as high as 111⁰ though it didn't quite get that high here.  But I hadn't been to Atria in several days and went today.  As I left the building, I glanced at the outdoor thermometer and saw that it was about 101-102.  When I got into the car and turned on the radio, a guy sitting in a recording studio in Sacramento had just finished playing a piece by some Polish composer and was saying that the forecast for Gdansk, Poland was 57⁰.  He then said "Oh to be in Gdansk!"  He said what I was feeling too.

I can't remember when I was last at Atria, but its been at least 4 days.  I hadn't planned it that way, but when the temperatures were so hot, Walt couldn't bike around town.  I didn't want to run the risk of him collapsing from heat exhaustion somewhere downtown, so he has been taking the car.  Which left me without transportation, since we only have one car.

In all honesty, in this heat I was delighted to have an excuse not to go to Atria!

I felt guilty, though, because my mother seems to have stopped answering her phone and though I called her several times to explain why I wasn't there, she never answered.

I knew she was fine, but daughter guilt just kicked in.

But when I talked with Jeri on Sunday, she said she had also tried to all her grandmother and never got an answer and wondered when would be a good time to call.  Not knowing what her so-called "schedule" is in the memory care unit, I couldn't tell her, but I told her to pick a day and time and I would be sure to be there to make sure she was there and that she would answer the phone.

And so, out into the cauldron that is Davis this week I went.

I prayed there would be parking in the Atria lot and I found out that 3 p.m. on a hot, hot summer day is the perfect time to find a spot.  There was not one, but three vacant spots.  Nobody wants to visit grandma in this heat!  First hurdle conquered.

She was not in the common room when I passed by, though I noticed that the strains of "Ah leave me not to pine" from Pirates of Penzance wafted after me as I went down the hall to her room. (When I returned an hour later, I could see the video of Pirates playing and they were in the early scenes, where Frederick is asking the young ladies "oh is there not one maiden here....?" so apparently they had run through the operetta the first time and then put it on again.

From the looks on the faces/bodies of the "audience" in the common room, I doubt that anybody noticed.

[Aside:  The common area is not the place to show someone who has a loved one who still has a mentis they are compus with.  It is like a scene out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and every time I pass by I think "She's not that bad, is she?"  But every time I see her there with the rest of the slouching, slack-jawed old folks staring off into space, I realize she looks just like all the rest of them.  I wonder what they are like when they are back in their rooms visiting with their kids...]

Jeri said she would call at 3:30 and I got to the apartment at 3 and texted Jeri that I was there and that her grandmother was there.

At 3:30 on the dot she called, and, as I suspected, my mother didn't know what the noise was or what to do.  She did pick up the phone and they had a nice conversation.  Jeri, evil child she, when my mother told her that I was there visiting, asked her if I was going dancing tonight.  

When the conversation ended, she didn't know what to do with the receiver and after a second or two, didn't know what it even was and didn't have a clue what to do with it.  But I put it back in the cradle for her and realize now that the only way she can talk to someone on the phone is if I am there to make sure she actually answers the phone.

But Jeri was pleased and suggested that we do it every week, which I think will be a fun thing to do.  Hopefully by next week, it won't be so damn hot.  It is scheduled to "cool down" to 97⁰ on Saturday before going up into triple digits again next week.  Amazing to think of 97 as "cooling down".

But there was a very good thing that happened today.  As I said, I had not been at Atria for three days, and sat home feeling guilty for feeling relieved that I couldn't get there.  But, unlike other times, she didn't seem to have a clue that it had been 3 days, so I'm going to start giving myself permission to skip a couple of days and not go over there nearly every day.

Her roommate, Marge, walked in while we were talking.  I've seen Marge a few times and I have yet to understand a word she says.  She rattles on about something that is important to her, but her thoughts never make any sense and she eventually just kind of turns and leaves.  The aides tell me that she and my mother are good friends.  I don't know about that. After she left, my mother said "who is that woman?"

However, today she knew Fred and talked about him a lot, how much she missed him, how much fun they had together when they were married, etc.  It's nice that every now and then she can have those memories back again.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Media Babe #2

A year ago, my colleague Jeff and I were interviewed for Capital Public Radio's "Insight," a program about local "stuff."  The host, Beth Ruyak, was interviewing us about the 2016 season of Music Circus.  

It was a fun segment and she said she enjoyed it and would like to have us back again sometime.  Today was that day and we were there to talk about the 2017 season of Music Circus, so it was handy that we had just seen Beauty and the Beast, the season opener, the night before.

As before, we were ushered into the green room, where I was given an enormous cup of coffee and they brought in gluten-free peanut butter brownies (way too sweet) and granola bars and told us to just ask if we wanted anything else.

There was another interviewee there, a writer named Raheem F. Hosseini, there to talk about his late mother's decision, after years of fighting and suffering to choose to end her life, shortly after assisted suicide became legal in California...and the difficulties they had finding someone who would help her, even though it was legal.  He was a very nice, positive, upbeat guy, and his interview was prompted by a wonderful article he wrote for Sacramento News and Review.

The walls of the green room (which was really grey) were lined with posters, many of them autographed, by people whom Beth had interviewed over the years.

I was amused to see the collection of toys on the coffee table, things for people to do with themselves while waiting for their segments.

(Last year I signed that guest book with "omigod you guys" because we were about to see Legally Blonde.  I didn't sign it this year because I couldn't think of anything clever.  It wasn't until I got home that I realized I should have written "Thank you for letting us be your guest."  Owell)

The show is an hour long and each segment is scheduled for 15 minutes. The first interview was a telephone interview with a guy in Washington, DC taking about the latest congressional elections and then comparisons between Senator Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris; then Raheem; then us; and finally a jazz band from Sacramento State College.

While Raheem was in the interview room, the band came in and the young men spent a lot of time playing with each of the toys on the coffee table, concentrating on trying to work the puzzle that was that little box next to the guest book.  I don't think they ever figured it out.

Our segment seemed to end almost as soon as it began.  Beth played two recordings that Jeff had made for his own radio show later this week.  Then I talked about how comfortable the theater is and how blessed we are to have air conditioning.  Jeff went through the remaining shows in the season.  We both talked about the new projection system that Music Circus has just installed.  Beth asked how I felt about young children seeing the show, and would it be too scary for them.  I thought that 4+ year olds (under 4 can't come) would be fine; Jeff disagreed and cautioned to know your child before bringing them.

And then it was over.  Beth said that she'd have us back to talk about fall "movies" (she misspoke) and by the time we got to the car, Walt had texted "fall MOVIES" ?  Beth took a picture of Jeff and me, and I took a picture of her.  Her schedule was too crammed today to do the picture of the 3 of us we did last year.

It was painless, I don't feel I did as good a job as I did last year, but I enjoyed the experience and whether she has us back this fall or not until next summer, I'd love to do it again.
I'll keep at it until I get it right!  (Though I just listened to the recording and it didn't sound all that bad)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Be Our Guest

It was another lazy, hot day only this day very little got accomplished.  I can't even remember what I did.

The plan was to go visit my mother around 1, after she's had her lunch so in he late morning, in the middle of writing a 10 page letter to my friend Ann MacNab (co-founder of the Lamplighters, housebound and unable to attend the memorial).  We always write very long letters to each other.  The letter from her I was answering was 17 pages long.

I took a break to have my now-scheduled reading time.  I read for about an hour and a half and since it was still just a little too early to go to Atria, I went back to writing the letter, when Jeri called.
We had a very nice, long chat which was so long that by the time we finished, it was getting late and I really didn't feel like going to Atria, so I just finished the letter and got dinner ready, since we were going to go see Beauty and the Beast tonight.  Believe me, the very last thing I wanted to do on such a hot night.

This was the opening production of the 2017 Music Circus season and I gave thanks, as I usually do, that Music Circus finally built a real theater.  For many years they performed in a giant circus tent with no air conditioning and the kind of chairs that stars sit in on the set between takes.  A decidedly unpleasant experience.

But the building was built three years after I started reviewing and I give thanks every time I enter the air conditioned building and sit in the padded theater seats!

It is a theater in the round and while we were waiting the stage was set with just a single red rose that looked like it had a God Light shining on it.

As for the production, it was absolutely wonderful.  The director, Glen Casale, is the major director for Music Circus and he had directed this show here before, but he had also taken a company on a European tour with it and the costumes for this production were from that tour.

It was an opulent production.

The performers were all professionals, many of whom had had major roles on Broadway, so the quality was top notch, my only complaint is that it was entirely too loud and with my hearing you know it's loud if I'm complaining about it!

We enjoyed the show so much, we'll see it again in 2 weeks when we go to another production in Solvang with Tom and family.  It will be the girls' first "big theater" production.  I wonder if either of them will come dressed as princesses, as many little girls did tonight!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Havin' a Heat Wave

The heat wave continues.  Day 5 now.  It's predicted to get up to 106 today, and will have cooled off to 103 by the time we have to go to Sacramento to review Beauty and the Beast.  The extended forecast shows that it isn't going to get out of the 100s until Sunday, when it will cool off to a high of only 97, which at this point does seem cooler to me.

I think in the nearly 44 years we have lived here this is the longest stretch of triple digit days we have had.  Last year, I remember getting to the start of fall and remarking that we'd only had a handful of triple digit days, spread out over 3 months. It's only June and we have already had more than last year.  Climate change?  Nahhh.  Couldn't be.

Of course we live in air conditioner country and so with the combination of the house a/c and strategically placed fans, I am blissfully unaware of how hot it is outside  I didn't go to Atria yesterday because of the heat, but I feel guilty if I miss more than 2 days (I felt it was OK to skip Sunday because I knew Ned was visiting her) so I'll be out and about this afternoon.

Yesterday was "Orva Day."  I wrote yesterday's journal entry about the memorial service and got my one video posted to YouTube.  I had a bunch of photos that needed to be cropped and edited to make them look better than they really were.  That took a big chunk of time but I got them all posted to Facebook.  I also wrote to a few people to direct them to the photos and video, afraid they would otherwise miss them, and started a long letter to Ann MacNab, the co-founder of The Lamplighters, who was unable to attend the memorial due to health problems.

By the time I did all the Orva stuff and got my afternoon nap in, I completely forgot that I hadn't written my review of Legally Blonde, which we saw on Friday.  I was up at midnight finishing that.
I spent the afternoon reading all the glowing comments on the photos and loving memories of Orva and just the Lamplighters family coming together on Facebook .... that is, until this crazy comment showed up on my photo album for the memorial:
He was a dishonest person. He and the Lamplighters producer repeatedly sent out audition notices stating "All roles are cast by open audition" but they always cast the same people in each show.
There were wonderful rebuttal comments on this hateful comment and some urged me to delete the comment, but I felt (others agreed with me), that I should leave and let people see what a hateful person this was.

Never make an accusation like this to a historian.  I went to the Lamplighters history and discovered that this guy had been in the chorus for 7 Lamplighters shows in the 1970s and had actually moved up to a principal role for his last show in the late 1970s.  Which seems in contradiction to the comment.  

So tonight, as I said, we are going out into the heat to review Beauty and the Beast, which we last saw when Caroline was here and wanted to see the movie.  When we go to Santa Barbara for Tom's birthday barbeque, we are going with the girls to their very first big theater show, Beauty and the Beast.  It's a good thing I actually like the show!

Tomorrow my colleague, Jeff, and I are being interviewed again on the local PBS radio station to discuss the current season of the Music Circus.  We were interviewed a year ago and I guess all went all right because we've been invited back.  (Of course, it doesn't hurt that Jeff also has his own radio program on the same radio station.) It's nice the interview takes place the day after Beauty and the Beast opens.  I must bone-up on the other shows in this season.

Today is the big day of the Georgia senate election.  I do not live in Georgia and while I understand the importance of the democrat winning, I have heard from Ossoff's people many times a day for a year now.  I even was guilted into making a small donation once (good Lord don't do that!!!) and their requests for "just $5 more" increased.

By now I really don't care who wins.  I just want the harassment to stop!!!!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Molecule Failure

From time to time at the end of the day it seems as if my molecules just collapse.  No matter what I should be doing, my body just. won't. move.  That's what happened at the end of the day yesterday.  It's not that it was a particularly energetic day, just eventful.  

Ned came at 9 with bagels to celebrate Fathers Day and we had a nice visit before he left to go and visit his grandmother.  Walt and I were delighted to be headed off to San Francisco, hoping to escape the predicted 107⁰ temperatures here.  We were headed to the Presentation theater, old home of The Lamplighters, for a memorial to Orva Hoskinson, co-founder of the company and "father" to hundreds of performers who have trod the Lamplighters boards over the years.  A cool breeze greeted me as I got out of the car.  How wonderful!

The stage was set with a display of Orva's costume for his iconic role of Bunthorne, the fleshly poet, in Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience. 
While Orva performed all of his life and performed and directed not only Gilbert & Sullivan, but opera, operetta, recitals, etc. (as a recording of "Donna non vidi Mai" from Manon Lescaut recorded in 1958 with LeRoy Miller accompanying, which began the memorial demonstrated) for Lamplighters, he will forever be remembered for his Bunthorne, of which one San Francisco Chronicle critic once wrote "There is Gielgud's Hamlet, and there is Hoskinson's Bunthorne."

There followed a parade of memorials interspersed with performances and film clips of Orva in performance that was an emotional roller coaster. But it was absolutely perfect and I think Orva would have approved

The memories started out with a song, written by co-founder Ann MacNab (unable, because of health problems to attend) to celebrate Orva.  It was perfect "Ann."

"The World is a Broken Toy" from Princess Ida brought tears from many remembering that the Lamplighters have lost FIVE in the last year.  In addition to Orva there was patterman/board chairman John Vlahos, the marvelous soprano, Rosemary Bock, patterman John Rouse, and Patience Bauman, daughter of two Lamplighters who met and married in the company.  Patience also performed in Lamplighters choruses.

Rick Williams, patterman, and soprano Jane Hammett recreated Orva's staging for "I have a song to sing o" from Yeomen of the Guard.  Rick also gave a shout-out to myself and Alison Lewis for writing the Lamplighters history, which was very sweet of him.

The afternoon continued through memories, laughs, tears, and, at the end, hugs.  (Highlight was a marvelous video montage by Judy Epstein, which will be uploaded to YouTube today.  Who knew Ova once had hair?)  Someone even remembered the incident (recorded in Arthur Bloomfield's History of the San Francisco Opera) when Orva streaked a production of The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, on suggestion of then-director Kurt Adler.  (Three people at the memorial remembered being in the Opera House audience to see it.) Then there was a reception at the Lamplighters World Headquarters, which we also attended, not wanting to leave the cool air of San Francisco and head home!

When we finally got into the car, we decided to find some place to eat, for Fathers Day.  It took four tries before we finally found someplace that could take us without a reservation.  We tried Spengers Fish Grotto in Berkeley, but they turned us away, then Skates, on the Berkeley Marina, where we had gone with Caroline when she was here, but there was such a line of people waiting, I didn't even ask if they could take us.  Lowering our standards we tried Sizzler, a bit farther toward home, but they had a long line waiting and few tables open, so on we went to Denny's in Cordelia.  It wasn't anything fancy, but at least there was no line!  

We were now back in the heat again, though. I had told Walt I would drive home from Denny's, but my molecules started fading before I had finished my steak (which I brought home and he said he would drive.  I think I was asleep before we got on the freeway and barely awake long enough to stumble in the house and collapsed into the recliner.  Walt fed the dogs.

But it was a memorable day and I think even though it was an unusual Fathers Day, Walt enjoyed himself.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday 9

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme. 
Saturday 9: As Long as We Got Each Other (Theme from Growing Pains)
... because it's Father's Day weekend
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This is the theme from the 1980s sitcom, Growing Pains. Alan Thicke played Dr. Jason Seaver, one of TVs popular dads. Who is your favorite TV dad?
Jim Anderson, from Father Knows Best.  I was sad to find out that Robert Young was battling alcoholism at the time!

2) Joanna Kearns, who played
Jason's wife, reports that she teased her costar by calling him, "Al," a nickname he hated. Is there someone in your life that you enjoy needling?
Only my brother-in-law.  I tease him every time he has a birthday because every time I have a birthday, he reminds me that I am now older than he is.  Three months later, we are the same age again.

For most of the series, the Seaver children each represented a "type." The oldest, Mike, was the trouble maker. The daughter, Carol, was the brainiac. Young Ben could be very high maintenance. Which of the Seaver kids were you most like when you were growing up?
None.  I was quiet and a bookworm, but definitely not a brainiac.

4) In the song,
BJ Thomas sings about being "the luckiest dreamer who never quit dreaming." If you could have any dream come true this Saturday, what would you wish for?
To spend the day with my mother as she was before dementia took that which was "her" away.

) When he mans the grill, Sam's father proudly wears the "Kiss the Chef" she gave him for Father's Day years ago. Tell us about a gift you gave someone that was a hit.
Last Christmas I had a blanket made for my mother with pictures of the family on it.  She seemed to like it when she got it, though most of the time she doesn't know who all those people are. But for one brief shining moment, I think she liked it.

6) Sam's
dad takes his grilling very seriously and jealously guards his special marinade recipe. Do you have a secret you haven't even shared with family members?
I can't think of one.

) He recommends using a grill basket when barbecuing vegetables so you don't have to worry about them falling through the grill. Share one of your culinary tips with us.
This method for shucking corn on the cob:  https://youtu.be/J89FJcHJ1pQ

) Sam's father hates it when she swears. What's the last curse word you used?
The f-word.  My favorite curse word, though few hear me say it

9) Sam's father satisfies his afternoon sugar craving with an almost endless stream of Butter Rum Lifesavers. When you crave a snack, do you usually want something sweet or salty?

Usually salty.  Crackers or nuts.  It used to be sweets, but lately sweets are tasting too sweet for me (I assume this is another "gift" of growing older).

Friday, June 16, 2017

All in All, a Good Day

I knew it was going to be a good day when I woke up.  I had a decent night sleep.  My usual middle of the night 3 a.m. waking wasn't until 4:30 and I was able to go back to sleep right away.  By the time I came to life at 8, Walt had made coffee and fed the dogs, so I knew I would not be getting up to their yapping and jumping.

Usually the first thing I do when I come to life is to think about dinner and what will I cook now that I don't have any prepared Home Chef meals left for the week.  But we were going to a dinner at night, so I knew I wouldn't have to cook.  Last night I made Caroline's shrimp curry and it was as delicious as it was when she made it.  Good, simple recipe to have ingredients on hand for!  (Walt laughed when I told him I had to go and stock up on coconut milk.)

The second thing I think about before I get up is whether or not I should go to Atria that day, but since I was just with my mother yesterday and since we never have anything to talk about and she doesn't know if I was there an hour ago or a month ago, I felt comfortable skipping Atria today.
So the whole delicious day stretched before me, with lots of little things I could be doing, but nothing pressing I had to do immediately.

I sat and finished "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," so I'm ready to discuss the book with our "book club" when we are all in Santa Barbara in a couple of weeks.

I spent an hour or so turning yesterday's photo of my mother, a picture of Benny from our day in San Francisco, and a picture of a guy sitting at a table at Fenton's into this picture of Benny;

Then I wrote to Brianna to tell her about going to Fenton's and also that I had finished the book and was looking forward to talking to her about it.  I also wrote a letter to Lacie congratulating her on learning how to ride her bike without training wheels.

I was disappointed when I heard Walt fixing his lunch when the sound of the microwave made me think he had finished last night's shrimp (because he is a huge lover of leftovers), which I had been looking forward to for my own lunch.  But later, when I went to the fridge, I discovered he had not finished it and I was able to have a bowl of it and quench my craving.

The afternoon passed quietly and at 5 we left to go to an awards dinner for Citizens Who Care and Yolo County Hospice.  We got to the parking lot and saw all these grey haired, stooped people shuffling into the hotel and knew we had found our event!

The evening started with some music by The Threshold Choir.  These lovely ladies visit people at the end of their lives, sit quietly with them and sing to them. I've heard about this before and it seems a lovely, loving thing to do and a peaceful way to leave this life.

Then, before the actual awards began, we were invited to go to the buffet table and get out food.  We were in Table #2.  There were 28 tables of 10 in the room and they started calling tables from the back forward.  All these people got their food before we did...and some got their food, ate it, and went back to get their desserts and we were still waiting to be called (we had not chosen our table; it was assigned)

Cass Sylvia, the former Public Guardian for Yolo County was at our table and was ready to lead a revolt if we didn't get something to eat!

The advantage of sitting for half an hour watching everyone go for food was that they all had to pass by our table, so we got to see who had showed up, like Jeri's high school band leader, a woman I worked with at the Physics Department in Berkeley a lifetime ago, a guy who went to school with Tom, and a woman who came over to tell me we were friends on Facebook and she loves my posts!  We recognized a lot more faces, but probably had not seen them in 30 years and while we have not changed, they had and the names didn't come.

As we finally got our dinner and sat down to eat, they turned off the lights to show an audiovisual presentation about the recipients of this year's awards.

How many of these things have I been to in my lifetime?  Hundreds.  Why is it that nobody (except Ned and his friend Jon) thinks it's important to have an A-V rehearsal before keeping nearly 300 people in the dark while they fumble around trying to get it right.

They finally did get it going and except for a sound level so loud I had to find earplugs in my purse and wear them (and I have hearing problems!) and terrible feedback, the presentation was nice, and the people honored were very inspiring (and make me feel like a piker).

There was an auction and a silent auction, but nothing appealed to us.  They did get $1,900 for two tickets to Hamilton in SF (I'll wait a couple of years till it comes to Sacramento and I can see it for free in better seats than these auction seats!)

We are usually the last to leave anywhere we go and I sat at our table and waited for Walt to be ready to leave.

But all in all it was a nice event, the food (when we finally got it) was OK, the awards were inspiring, and we were home before 9, capping off an all in all good day.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Narcoleptic Walruses

This isn't really all about narcoleptic walruses, but I loved the phrase and decided to use it as a title.  A 1555 tome about Nordic life describes a "hirsuite, fearsome walrus-like beast, that was said to snooze upon cliffs while hanging by its teeth."

See how informative this blog can be? 
Using their tusks, these animals clamber right up to the cliff-tops, as if they were going up a ladder, in order to crop the sweet, dew-moistened grass, and then roll back down into the sea again, unless, in the meantime, they have been overcome with a heavy drowsiness and fall asleep as they cling to the rocks.
He also can kill a man in an instant with his big teeth.

But I digress....
A couple of weeks ago our local PBS station had one of those fund raisers where they dust off old timers who were big names in the 1950s and let them put on a show.

I'm not sure when this show was made, but several people in it have died since then (like Pat Boon, Patti Page and Debbie Reynolds--who called in to the show because she was doing her own show elsewhere)  

It was a great trip down memory lane for Walt and me, since we are products of the 50s, though this show didn't have a lot of "rock" in it, which would have been Walt's favorites.

Still, we were able to sing along to just about every song that came on and marvel what those boy singing groups (they all came in fours) are looking like as retirees.  Depressing!

However, in listening to the show I kept thinking I should buy it and play it in the car while driving my mother around, since she responds well to this kind of music.

So today I picked her up, supposedly to take her to lunch, but they told me she had just finished breakfast, so I asked if she wanted lunch or ice cream. She chose ice cream and so we drove to Fenton's Creamery, which the Food Network just named the place with the best dessert in the country.  (A banana split with three pounds of ice cream!)

Fenton's is farther away than Denny's, so we had longer to listen to music and she started singing along with the first song and either sang or tapped her foot to every number.  I was delighted.  It was worth the money I spent for the set.

Her back was bothering her and someone at the memory unit gave her a cane to use and I was giving her "cane walking" lessons and as she started getting into the way to do it, she remarked, in surprise, that it really helped.

We both had small sundaes.  They got my order wrong.  I meant vanilla for each of us, and chocolate sauce for my mother and strawberry sauce for me, but the waiter misunderstood.  That's OK.  It was still delicious.

and yes, that is real whipped cream.

She sang all the way home again and I took her back to her room and sat with her for a bit, while I identified my sister in her photograph every minute or so and assured her that yes, she really did live in this room.

I finally needed a nap so I left the memory unit and sat in the chair outside the door.  Just sat there.  I couldn't move.  I can always feel the depression descending on me whenever I leave her.  I sat for a long time (until so many people tried to help me that I finally left).  

I came home and immediately took a nap for about 2 hours (I felt like a narcoleptic walrus), waking to feel a bit more myself.  But these visits are starting to take a lot out of me, emotionally.  It's so hard to watch her slide like this -- and she seems to be failing faster now.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Turn it up / Turn it down

I know I have hearing problems and am procrastinating getting hearing aids.  (Walt picked up some information for me at Costco, but I haven't been able to read through it yet).

But the TV drives me nuts, hearing problems or not.

For one thing, you finally get the sound level right and then a commercial comes on at what is at least half again the volume, so you have to turn it down and then back up with the TV program comes back on again.

So then you go to Netflix and go to watch something like House of Cards or Orange is the New Black and the volume is so low that whereas you have the volume set at, say, 25, for TV shows, you have to raise it to 70 or sometimes as high as 90 in order to hear the Netflix video.  Then, God help you if you forget to turn the volume back down again before you turn back to the regular TV channels.

But then there are things I don't understand.  When I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep, Morning Joe is a great thing to put on, at a low volume.  Unless #45 is going batshit crazy again, it usually puts me to sleep.  But if there has been a volley of tweets and lots to discuss, the show keeps me awake, but I have the volume set at 12 or lower and have absolutely no problem whatever in hearing the show.  When the sun comes up even if there is no other sound in the house, I have to turn the sound up to 25 in order to hear what I had been able to hear a couple of hours before when it was quiet.

 (These are the first world problems that irritate us!)

I am missing more and more of the dialog in shows that I review and I know that hearing aids will have to be a major purchase this year.  I am afraid of some things about them -- mostly that I will lose them. or break them.

How do you handle hearing aids with earphones?  I have essentially worthless speakers for my computer, but I just listen to everything with ear phones.  If I have hearing aids will I have to also get new speakers for the phone, and give up listening to audio books on the bus?

I didn't need to worry about volume level watching whatever that mess was that was supposed to be an interrogation of Sessions.  Never saw so much stonewalling and avoiding questions in my life.  And why?  Because he didn't want to reveal a conversation with the president in case one day the president might want to evoke executive privilege.

And didja see that now it's all back in Hillary's lap?  Whenever the heat turns up on the misdeeds in the administration, sure as shooting they will answer with some variation of "yeah--but what about Hillary!"

I loved Kamala Harris, who, as a former prosecuting attorney knows how to question a witness.  She was interrupted twice by the chairman for improper questioning.  
This whole thing just makes me sick.

And I do hope you managed to catch the love-in at the first cabinet meeting.  Here is Jack Ohman's cartoon: Reflections on Donald Trump's cabinet...

How soon before we're all going to be required to refer to him as "our beloved Leader" ??

I'm glad that I am now forcing myself to turn off the TV and sit and READ.  Somehow walking through the forests of Narnia is much more pleasant...witch or no witch.

Send Aslan to Congress....

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Confessions of a Critic

I became a critic in 2000 and I don't know how many shows I have seen in the past 17 years, but we have seen between 40 and 70 shows a year, more now that I am reviewing for two newspapers.  Does this mean I am a theater expert?  Heck now.  I've always called myself a faux critic because I have no "credentials."  I am a life-long theater fan who can write a bit, who stumbled into this job, who gets free tickets to everything, and get paid to write about them.

People often ask me how I got the job. It was definitely nothing I interviewed for.  I am fortunate to live in a small town where everybody knows everybody. Years ago I was asked if I wanted to be the critic but at the time good friends of ours were often in local productions and were not very good and I didn't want to be in a position where I would have to give honest opinions about their performance.  To save our friendship, I turned down the job.

While I had no formal training in anything that would qualify me for this job, I did grow up around theater.  I can't remember the first live theater I saw, but during my senior year in high school, I was dating an actor wannabe and we saw several shows together, going to the stage door after the show to get autographs from the performers (anybody want to buy a Florence Henderson autograph from 1959?)

When I started going to UC Berkeley, I found out about ushering tickets.  A sweet deal where you got to see the show for free if you ushered people to their seats before hand.  Walt and I started doing that and I think we saw every show that came to town including some shows by a little group called The Lamplighters.

After we married, we continued seeing shows, and became season subscribers to The Lamplighters and then I volunteered to help write a history of the company, to be published to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

That book project changed my life, as I became an active member of the company, volunteered in the office once a week (Walt pointed out that I waited until we moved 80 miles away before volunteering in San Francisco), made some of my best friends, helped start a newsletter that is still going today, and was part of a group that wrote the annual fund raising gala each year.

At the same time, I was also involved with theater here in Davis.  I think at one time or another I was the public relations person for every theater group in town (maybe four or five of them?  I can't remember now) and after a production of Sound of Music where our neighbors children were involved, I offered the director of the show my assistance if she ever wanted to start a children's theater (since so many kids had turned out to audition for the von Trapp family children she had to double cast it to give as many kids as possible an opportunity to be in the show).

Out of that chance meeting in a supermarket grew the Sunshine Children's Theater, which our kids belonged to for maybe four years, until the director left town.  I did publicity, of course, and helped wherever I could.  The kids learned to do everything, from performing to hanging lights, to making costumes, to how to keep the theater clean.

Walt became involved, too, in helping the kids build sets, which led to his becoming a set builder for a couple of theater groups in town and the kids got involved performing with other groups outside of SCT.

We had become a real theater family and a kid who was also doing theater locally grew up to become the entertainment editor for the local paper.  There were two theater critics at the time and when one of them decided to leave and become a teacher, he called me to ask if I would like the job.

I was terrified, because of my lack of formal training, but also intrigued  Could I do it?  I don't remember what my first review was, but one of the very early reviews I did was for a touring Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast, which was held at the big 2,400 seat Community Center.  We had "critic seats" in the middle of the fifth row and realizing that these were seats we never could have afforded, I decided that being a critic wasn't such a bad gig!  They give you great seats to shows for free and then you get paid to write about them.  

Sometimes it seems like a scam and I still never feel comfortable writing about some shows.  I never studied Shakespeare or Ibsen or Chekhov or any "serious" playwright.  My background was being in the audience for musicals.  But over the years I have learned a few things and I can fake expertise more confidently than I did at the beginning.

Of course Walt is sick of hearing me say that the good thing is you get to see everything and the good thing is that you have to see everything.  We've seen some absolutely wonderful things and made fantastic discoveries (including Grounded, a one-woman show about a female fighter pilot that, if you ever see it coming you must see.  It is a tour de force I never would have thought about seeing were it not that I had to review it).

I remember seeing Lion King sitting on the aisle so that I could have petted the animals as they paraded to the stage, if I wanted.  We now see every production of Music Circus, the summer musical festival which does all the familiar musicals, which we had never attended because of the cost.

And we've discovered wonderful little theaters in Sacramento like Capital Stage, which used to perform in a riverboat in Old Sacramento and now has its own theater.  If and when I give up this gig, it is the one company that I will consider buying tickets for because I just love their productions.

Of course there are the clunkers.  The University often does experimental theater and perhaps the weirdest of those was one year when we saw a one woman show.  It was held in a big empty warehouse type building and they brought in anything sort of thing you could sit in for the audience--office chairs, folding chairs, beanbag chairs, etc.  There was also a literal vat of popcorn for us.  And the actress stood on stage in various positions for about an hour and a half  No dialog, no interaction with the audience, just standing there.  Try to write 700 words about that!

But then if I were not a critic, I would never in my wildest dreams have purchased tickets for a show called Puppetry of the Penis, which was, I kid you not, "The ancient art of genital origami."  I had great fun writing that review, using every possible double entendre in the book.  It remains perhaps my favorite review.

And now I write for two newspapers, the second a free newspaper in Sacramento.  I got the second job the way I got the first--they needed a fourth critic and a guy I commute with the shows suggested me.  

I know I will give up this job eventually.  I think about it every year when I have to do the fourth or fifth review of a show that I am sick of seeing, but there is always the possibility of seeing one of the big Broadway shows when they tour through here.  I'm not sure when Hamilton will be here, but I know it's only a matter of time.  I stuck around to see Billy Elliot, and then Lion King and then Book of Mormon, so now I wait for Hamilton and then see what else might be coming up that will keep me doing this job.  While tickets may sell for as much as $100 (I think that might have been the top price for Book of Mormon tickets) I enjoy my critic seats for free and continue to "fake it."  What is the saying?  "Fake it until you make it."  I'm not sure I've "made it" yet, or if I will ever feel I have made it, but it does tickle me when people tell me they read my reviews and go to see shows based on what I think.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Comey, the Leaker

OK. as much as it pains me I'll admit it: Trump is brilliant. Look at what he's doing to Comey -- the same thing he did to Clinton. Hillary became "Crooked Hillary" to everyone because he and all of his minions refused to call her anything else. Comey is now "Comey the Leaker" because he shared his own memories of his non-classified meeting(s) with the president with other people. As someone pointed out on Stephanopolis this morning, the very worst you can call him is a whistle blower, but I wonder even about that. But by Trump and all of his minions using "Comey the Leaker" in every statement, it is going to be burned into the minds of people who don't follow the news and he will forever be branded as the Leaker. 

Anybody see US Attorney Preet Bharaha this morning? Apparently his interactions with #45 were similar. Two innocent phone calls from president elect Trump, which he described as an unusual attempt to forge a friendship, which made him uncomfortable and then a third call following the inauguration, which he did not return because he reported to the attorney general's office that Trump was "trying to cultivate some kind of relationship" and that he felt it would be inappropriate to return the call.  He was fired two days later.
From CNNBharara explained it was important for him to stay at "arm's length" from the President given the then-US attorney's jurisdiction over business interests, including the Trump Organization's, in New York.
He also argued that Trump knew such outreach was problematic.
Bharara said 22 hours after he declined to return the call, he was asked to resign along with the other US attorneys.
I don't know about you, but my head is spinning these days as the nightly news reports yet another busy day in Washington.  I don't know how the reporters and talking heads are staying sane.  It is unrelenting.  It just never stops...and each new day brings some other revelation or some other tweet or whatever.

I remember Watergate.  I remember my father glued to the television watching the hearings, keeping voluminous scrapbooks about everything that was written.  Sam Ervin was his hero.  We threw the scrapbooks away when cleaning out his house after he died.  But sometimes it seems like I am living my father's life all over again.

What I really need is a break from the 24/7 news and from the depressing thing that is visiting my mother regularly (no longer daily....she never knows if she's seen me an hour before or a year before).
And so this new reading regime has been wonderful.  The sound of silence in the house, no more "breaking news"....and not even NCIS, Criminal Minds or SVU reruns.  I don't even have the sound of turning the pages, since I am reading most things on my Kindle.  I finished reading three books I had been reading simultaneously this week, including "Silent Footsteps," a book about a woman living in Zimbabwe observing elephant behavior for several years.  I started the book about a year ago and then set it aside to read something else.  But I've now finished it.

Though I found it fascinating it had the unexpected "perk," I guess, of making me realize that I don't really want to go to Africa after all, so I have removed that item from my bucket list.  Reading about the heat, the bugs, the dangers, and how tourists are talked about by the natives made me realize that living my African safari vicariously is good enough.

But a new reading adventure was presented to me this week.  For all the years I have lived in Davis, I have wanted to belong to a book club.  Though friends and colleagues often praised the wonders of their respective book clubs, and though I always commented that I'd like to belong to a book club, nobody ever invited me to come to theirs.

I did, briefly, join Char's book club, which met once a month about an hour's drive from here, but having the opportunity to be in the middle of a book discussion was great.  However, then Char moved farther away and it's too far to consider joining her new book club.

But yesterday I received this email from my daughter-in-law, Laurel:
So Jeri and I had an idea when she was here visiting so we could all talk books with Bri.  A virtual book club!  Anyone is welcome to join, and we thought July 1 would be a good day for our first meeting since many will be in town for the BBQ.  If not, we'll Skype it!

Our first book (series in this case) is the Chronicles of Narnia, but you have to read it in the order Bri did.  C.S. Lewis reissued the books in the order he wanted them read, starting with The Magician's Nephew, so that's what we are starting with (hoping we can catch up to her because she is already on book 6 of 7!)!

What fun -- a book club with my granddaughter!  Also participating will be her mother, Jeri, Walt's sister, and his sister-in-law.  

Having just finished "Silent Footsteps," I am now reading through "The Magician's Nephew" and finding it an easy, quick read.  Apparently Brianna wants to be discussing Book 3 by July, so we're all going to have to hustle to keep up with her!

Decidedly a more pleasant prospect than watching the news.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The High School Questions
1. Did you date someone from your school?
I went to an all-girls school, so no.
2. Did you marry someone from your high school?
Same answer

3. Did you car pool to school?
No.  Public transportation.  Living in San Francisco, I took the cable car (which was a block from our house) and then transferred to a bus.

4. What kind of car did you have?
I have never had my own car.

5. What kind of car do you have now?

Walt and I have a Honda Accord.

6. It's Friday night...where are you now?
If I have no show to review, I am probably at home watching TV.

7. It is Friday night...where were you then?

Hmmm...I can't remember.  Doesn't seem like we did a lot of night stuff, unless we went to a movie or something.

8. What kind of job did you have in high school?
Babysitting, counting money after Sunday Mass for our church, and working after school washing test tubes for a nearby medical laboratory.

9. What kind of job do you do now?
I have been a theater critic for 17 years.

10. Were you a party animal?

Not then, not now. 

11. Were you considered a flirt?

Again....it was an all-girls school

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
I loved being in the choir.

13. Were you a nerd?
I don't think we had nerds in the pre-computer days.  I was a bookworm, though.

14. Did you get suspended from school?

15. Can you sing the fight song?
Well, we didn't have a fight song that I remember, but I can sing the school song, sort of.

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher?

Sister Anne taught me how to type, became my friend, and remained my friend until her death.

17. Where did you sit during lunch?

I usually brought my lunch to school, but I think we all ate in the cafeteria.

18. What was your school's full name?
St. Vincent (it doesn't exist any more.  It blended with Sacred Heart boys' school and the newly built cathedral, which shared the grounds.  It is now Cathedral-Sacred Heart, and people have forgotten about St. Vincent.)

19. Where did you party the most?

Other people's houses, I think.  Or at the beach (such as it is in San Francisco) on warm days.

20. What was your school mascot?

We didn't have one.

21. Would you do it again?
High school?  Heaven's no.  I loved my high school years, but once was enough.

22. Did you have fun at Prom?

I attended my junior prom with my boyfriend of 3 years.  By the time my senior prom came around, he had entered the seminary and I had no boyfriend so I went with a neighbor's son and didn't really enjoy myself at all.

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with?

Bill (the Jesuit) and I still exchange Christmas cards.  I can't even remember the name of the guy who took me to the senior prom.

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion?
No.  There were 60 in my graduating class and I went to our 50th reunion.  Only a handful showed up and only one was someone who had been a friend in school.

25. Do you still talk to people from school?
Talk, no but I am in communication either by e-mail, Facebook, or Christmas card with four or five of them.

26. What are/were your school's colors?
Blue and white.