Saturday, May 31, 2008

My daughter, the playwright

Lindsay took a playwriting class at UCR this last semester. One of her plays was selected to be performed at the year-end, um, performance of student plays (I forgot what it was called). They did seven short plays. Two of them were stand outs, Lindsay's was one. She lucked out by getting the two best actors. Everyone really enjoyed her play. They weren't full performances, just staged readings.

Pretty cool.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Three days not long enough

I whine for more.

We went to open mike last night. One woman who preformed was a poet. In her introduction she said that Memorial Day is when we remember those who have given their lives for our country. She said most would prefer not to have so many memories. Why is that sentiment missing from all those ceremonies?

On Saturday Drew, Mindy and Dede came over to help get the yard sale stuff covered and more organized. We're going to wait a couple more weeks before the next one. There's just too much going on for everyone. But that means I'll have all the stuff in the driveway for a while longer. I don't mind, but I'll bet my neighbors are getting a little nervous. I should put a sign out front that says, "Sorry. It won't always be this way."

Saturday night Jeff and Bill came over for uke practice. Oh Lordy, that was fun. I don't know why, maybe Kyle's presence inspired us to hilarity. We just laughed our asses off all night long. We did manage to play some music as well. It was just a really fun night. The next day we met at Bill's to practice a bit before leaving for open mike. We were still pretty giggly. Liam and his girlfriend, Samantha, went with us. It was a pretty good open mike. We did well on Tweedlee Dee, not so well on This Land Is Your Land. Oh well, that happens. One old guy sang a song that he wrote. One line was something like, "That's good ol' country livin'." But he took a breath right in the middle of the word "country". I laughed a little and Jeff leaned over and said, "I know what you're laughing at." It happened over and over. We were sitting there, trying to be quiet, trying to be a good audience, but really! That was pretty damn funny.

Tonight we went to the Towers where Jeff and Bill's mom lives. Virginia and Liam came, too. They were having a party downstairs so we were going to set up and play in the library upstairs. Bill and I left to go get dinner and when we got back they told us that the entertainment they had hired for the party didn't show up and they asked us to play. Bill and I went upstairs and got Jeff and all our stuff. Virginia and Liam brought Jean down. We put on an impromptu show with about 7 or 8 songs. We even had a heckler! Some old lady was yelling at us. But everyone else enjoyed it and we put on a decent little show. Afterward we ate our cold dinner and then played some more around the table. Liam sang a couple of songs. The boys did I Shall Be Released, which always slays me. It's those Odien voices. Virginia said, "Play that song that always makes Donita cry." Yup. I had Jeff singing right in my ear. Hoo boy.

Tomorrow, back to the mines.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blogging from work

Shhh, don't tell anybody.

Just about everyone from the office is at a luncheon. I'm here holding down the fort. It's just the two student employees and me.

Well, I got a B on the last Psych test. That's MUCH better than I thought I'd get. I think I'll end up with a B for the semester.

Dang, it's supposed to rain this weekend. I really want to get this second yard sale out of the way. There's a ton of crap piled up in my driveway. Some of it is yard sale stuff and some of it is stuff that's waiting to go into the garage. If I don't get the records up off the cement and covered it'll be the end of them.

Once the second yard sale is done and the leftovers carted away I'll have room to get the house cleared out. I'm so glad we have a long weekend coming up. And, yay!, it's MUCH cooler!

Boredom setting in. Falling asleep.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hey, it's Give Kyle A Wedgie Day!

Happy Birthday, Kyle!

So, today is the last day of the heat wave, right? Please, please, please...

I got lots of stuff done this morning. Well... I was going to go to Kaiser to get some blood work done but when I got there my wallet wasn't in my purse. Dang! It had fallen out when we were doing all that moving on Saturday. I found it in the truck. And my Kaiser card wasn't in it! I have no idea at all where it might be and trying to find anything that small in this house right now is just about impossible. I'll have to tell them I lost it.

I came home and started working on getting some paper work out of the way. I called the Agilent and Hewlett-Packard stock people to have the stock ownership changed to my name. I've been doing that kind of thing in bits and pieces ever since Jim died. Sometimes people are helpful, like they were today. But most of the time I seem to get ahold of some complete idiot who will tell me that whatever I want done can't be done because it's in Jim's name and they need his signature. This is after I started the conversation with, "My husband died last year..." There have actually been times when I've had to yell at people, "Do you understand that he is DEAD? I'm his wife! It belongs to me now! Do NOT tell me it can't be done!" Seriously, it's happened several times.

But today everyone I talked to totally knew their shit. Even so, no matter how helpful they are, I still have to sit here and cry for
about five minutes when I'm done. It happens every time. If I'm lucky, my throat won't close up until after I hang up the

I also checked up on how the stock is doing. I read that Agilent is predicted to do well this year. The other stuff is doing ok too. That's all comforting to know. If we don't have a big crash I just might have a decent amount of money to retire on some day. So, you can all relax. I won't be showing up on your doorstep all destitute 'n' stuff.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

A productive weekend

Yay! We got the rest of our stuff out of storage! Now the house is full of boxes and crap! Yay!

Oh yeah, the place is majorly blasted. Once we have the second yard sale things will unclog a little. I put a lot of stuff away today. But damn, it's too hot to do much more, even with the central AC. All the yard sale stuff from last weekend is packed tightly in the driveway. I wish I'd had thought about it before we packed it all in. I can't get in there to water the plants. The boxes of records are sitting right in the middle, which is where all the water runs down when the plants get watered. I can squeeze through with a hose but I don't think I can water them without the run-off. Oh well, the only thing that's really important to me is the bamboo. I can reach back there with a pitcher.

Why do they make weekends so damn short?

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Last night Lindsay and I took Katie to the emergency vet and had her put down. She'd been sick for a while and we knew she wasn't going to get any better. Last night she let us know it was time to let go. We're going to miss her. She was the best cat we ever had. She was a good buddy to me last year.

I remember when we first brought her and her brother Mack home as tiny kittens. Mackie was with us for only a year. He was a sweet but curious kitty and one day he just disappeared. But Katie stuck around. She was very much Lindsay's kitty. She didn't have much use for the rest of us but you could really see how happy she was in Lindsay's arms. I used to call her Snooty Boots back then. As the years went by she warmed up to the rest of us. She loved a good lap.

She was a very pretty girl.

Bye, Katie.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Holy cow!

I'll start off by saying that Stacey is ok. She got into a bad car accident yesterday. She's ok and it wasn't her fault. The other guy and his passenger are ok, too.

Some guy pulled out in front of her as she was going 40mph down Van Buren. She had no time at all to react and t-boned the other car. The air bags went off. She's got a badly sprained ankle and some bruising from the air bag, but she's fine.

Ok, I'll write more later. I've been staring at a computer screen all day and I need a break.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Yard sale weekend (and Happy Mother's Day!)

I'd say it was a successful yard sale. I made about $230. Dad pulled in quite a bit more. Drew and Mindy did pretty well, too. Tori and Tyler sold a lot of toys.

I took Friday off so I could help Dede with the set up. We spent the morning putting my pergola together with Lindsay. Thank you, Dede!!! It was nice to have a shade canopy for the yard sale. Drew and Mindy also brought an easy-up on Saturday.

Saturday was a madhouse for the first three hours. Then it tapered off, but people kept coming until about 3:00. We put out about 1/3 of the records. The records were a hit. You just can't stop looking through them once you start. One guy bought 130 of them. We took phone numbers from several people who want a crack at the rest of them. Dede said there are still 44 boxes of records in storage.

It's a little hard to tell how much stuff went because we kept putting stuff out there throughout the day. I think Drew and Mindy and I did most of the selling. Dede was a replenishing machine. She kept going through boxes and putting things out. I don't know where she gets her energy. Once she was done with the boxes she started demolishing the inside of my garage. She busted out all those useless shelves they had in there. Behind a panel she found part of an old army uniform and this way cool, old army bag. Kind of like a messenger bag. She took it home to Stephen. Billo stopped by. Hi, Bill! Ken and Sherri, Amber, Steve and Anthony came by too.

Drew installed some ceiling fans for me. It's so great to get them up off the floor. I was very glad to see that ice cream parlor style ceiling fan go from the office. Getting that electrical work done was great but it caused a problem later that night. At the end of the day we had covered everything and consolidated the records and wrapped them up in a tarp. I had turned off the sprinklers, but when Drew turned off the electricity to work on the fans the system reset itself when the electricity came back on. Late in the night the sprinklers came back on and got the records wet! EEK! I found out about it right after it happened. I grabbed Lindsay and Kyle and we worked as fast as we could to get the records off the lawn and onto the driveway. Most of the boxes had disintegrated. We lined the records up along the driveway. We caught it pretty quick so there wasn't much damage. What a huge pain in the ass. I was already so tired and sore from the day. Moving a couple thousand records in the middle of the night was the last thing I wanted to do.

Today sales were much, MUCH lighter. Mother's Day. Oh well. I still made about thirty bucks. Drew and Mindy were here in the morning and Drew was here in the afternoon. I was on my own for a few hours. I got out my uke and entertained myself while I sat in the driveway. We're going to have another sale in 2 weeks. Drew came up with a good idea. We'll put an ad in the paper and include a blog address. I'll set up a yard sale blog so we can post descriptions of everything and include photos. I'm thinking that will be a good way to sell some of the music equipment.

Next weekend I'm going to try to get ALL of my stuff out of storage. That'll save me $300 a month! It'll be stuffed into the garage and the sun room but at least it will all be here.

Big tired. Everyone worked hard. It feels good to get such a great start. A lot of stuff went out of here. And hey, now I have a pergola!

Monday, May 05, 2008

El Torito on Cinco de Mayo

A unique dining experience.

After work I went to see Dad. He was in the dining room, asleep in his wheelchair. I shook him a little to wake him up but he was solidly snoozy. I had brought my uke so I got it out, thinking some music might rouse him. It didn't. I played for him anyway. The old couple across the table seemed to enjoy it. At least the husband did. The wife was pretty out of it. I looked around the room. Everyone else was also barely conscious. They must be handing out lots of drugs there.

I played for a little while before they served dinner. Since it's Cinco De Mayo they were serving Mexican food. Or something like Mexican food. More like astronaut Mexican food. Very paste-like.

I had to keep waking Dad up to feed him. Sometimes he'd shudder like he was going to wake up but his head would go right back down. Still, I did manage to get half of his dinner into him. I packed up the uke and left.

As I was driving home I was thinking it would be nice to get some Mexican food. I called home and asked the girls if they wanted to go out to dinner. Paige had already eaten so Lindsay and I went to El Torito. It was a mad house there. The wait was 45 minutes. No big deal, we walked around and shopped. We waited another 15 minutes when we got back to the restaurant. They sat us in that side room. You know, the amplification chamber. Holy caca.

They seated this couple with two very small, very hungry, very loud little kids right behind us. Lots of screaming and crying. Seriously. LOTS! Ok I was dealing with that. Then the waitress seated a party of about 10 people at the big table next to us. They were also kind of loud. At that point we were about halfway through our dinner. One of the guys started telling this story about the mom of a friend of his who had breast cancer and had to have surgery. He went through ALL the gory details. We got to hear all about what they found when they cut her open. We heard all about her tubes and fluids. I stopped eating, waiting for the story to end. I turned around and looked at the guy and at the people around his table. No one looked like they were enjoying this story. I finally said, "Dude, does this story have an ending?" He said, "Yeah, I know, it's so sad." I'm thinking no, it's gross. Right around that time the kids really started screaming. We heard the mom say, "Well, they're so hungry. They've been waiting two hours to eat." Ok, earth to mother! Don't take your toddlers to a Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo! When the waitress came back I asked for the check pronto. From the look on her face I gathered that people must have been complaining.

On the way out we passed by this young couple who had been sitting a couple tables down from us. They had a good view of the whole scene and they looked kind of terrified. The wife was verrrry pregnant. As we walked by I said, "See what you have to look forward to? Har, har!" They laughed. A little.

When we got home the first thing I did was change into my jammies. Ah, quiet.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


A nice weekend.

On Saturday the Odien bros and I went to the Claremont Folk Music Festival. Wow, it was big this year. Figures, since the evening concert was Jackson Browne, Ben Harper and Taj Mahal. More about that later.

The early part of the day was the usual stuff. Vendors selling vendor-type hippie stuff, organic food and workshops. I went to a belly dance workshop. Kicked my shimmy butt. I really should start belly dancing again. I could feel what it was doing to my back. It really works the core muscles like nobody's business. It felt good but I couldn't keep it going for very long. Just before the belly dancing was a tango workshop. I caught the last bit of it. It looked like so much fun. The teacher had a killer bod. I kept thinking, man, I wish I had a butt like that.

During the last session the boys taught a beginning ukulele workshop. I helped. Bill brought a bunch of his school ukes for those who didn't bring their own. Man, there were a lot of people! Jeff and Bill did a great job presenting. They got everyone playing chords right away. I took care of people as they came in and shuffled ukes around as people came and went. Some of the younger kids got bored with it and left. I had my own little clump of people off to the side and helped them with the chords. The whole thing went really well. jeff and Bill were very happy.

After the workshop we walked down to the village and had dinner. Then we walked back for the evening concert. The field was already pretty crowded and it was going to be hard to find a seat. I heard someone calling my name. It was Lisa, one of the people I had in my uke clump. She and her family had staked out their spot for the show and had some extra room. They invited us to sit with them.

Jackson Browne was on first. Most of his songs were slow and quiet. This kid a few seats down was playing with some spoons. You know, like the spoons they use as a percussion instrument. He's whacking them during the concert and the parents weren't doing anything about it. At one point I got the mom's attention and asked her to make him stop. She did, but only for a little while. After a song or two he started up again. I waited until the song was over and tried to get his attention but he was ignoring me. I said, "Hey spoon boy!" and told him to knock it off. Lisa's brother said, "Man, you gotta stop because she's gonna flip out." It was pretty damn funny. He stopped. No more spoon boy. Later, after it got dark, spoon boy's little sister started playing with a bright blue, flickering LED light. I decided to let that one go. It was so annoying I think even her parents couldn't stand it because it stopped after a little while.

The concert was great! Ben Harper had some really awesome songs (I'm paying a lot more attention to songwriting now) and Taj Mahal got people up and dancing. What a wonderful day.

Today was uke circle. A sparse group today. We had to quit early because some people were using the basement for a memorial service. Still, it wasn't a bad session. Afterward I came home and took a nap. At 5 I went to The Towers where Jeff's mom lives. Bill and Zoey showed up later and we ate grinders downstairs in the big common room. We had all brought our ukes so we had a little practice down there. I had a good time.

Onward to the week ahead. Dede is coming down on Thursday and we're going to put a quick yard sale together to get rid of some of Dad's stuff. I haven't gone through all my stuff yet but I have a lot I can put out there right now. I'm going to try to get as much done as I can this week. That's the bummer about having to work. I just don't have the time to get this kind of thing together anymore. It's going to be a relief to get rid of some of this stuff. Michele and I were talking about it. It's like one of those tile games we had as kids. You have to move the tiles around just right to make a picture out of the thing but you only have one free space to move them. That's my life right now. A little tile game.

Things are pretty good these days. I do feel this kind of vague restlessness and I still worry about the same stuff, like money and my health, but mostly it's all pretty good. Just keep going, keep going.

And now I'm going, going to bed.

Friday, May 02, 2008



Yesterday morning just before I was leaving for work Paige came in holding Vesuvius. Poor little dude was floppy and barely breathing. His belly was distended. We rushed him to the rabbit vet in Corona and got there at 8:00. Unfortunately, the vet wasn't due to arrive until 9. The receptionist told us we could go to the closest emergency vet, which was in Yorba Linda. Holy crap. But the traffic wasn't too bad so it didn't take us long to get there. They took him in right away for assessment.

While we were waiting, and it was clear to see we were quite upset, this kind of crazy woman with a weird dog came over and sat down next to Paige and threw her arms around her. She said, "I know you're worried about your baby but I want you to know he's going to be alright because this vet is the best in the world. You wait and see, she's the best. Don't worry about your baby, blah, blah, blah..." I know she was trying to be helpful and comforting but it only made it harder for me to hold it together. I think Paige was feeling the same thing. They finally took us into another room to talk to the doctor.

Vesuvius had some kind of severe intestinal blockage. He was already so stressed that surgery wasn't an option. The doctor told us she could give him something that would help with motility but she really wasn't giving us much hope. Paige and I discussed it and decided to have him put down. We both felt so horrible about it. Vesuvius was a sweet, cute bunny. We left and came home. I went to work.

When I got there my glasses, my good glasses, weren't in my purse. I called the vet and yep, they were there. In Yorba Linda. At lunch I zipped over to Kmart and bought some cheaters so I could get through the rest of the day. I left work a little early, hoping I would beat a little of the rush hour traffic. It didn't take me long to get there but I could see that traffic heading back to Riverside was bumper to bumper. As I was walking into the vet's building I heard someone say, "Hey, how's your baby?" It was the crazy woman! What does she do, hang around the vet's office all day??? I was still pretty raw and close to tears so I kept my conversation with her as brief as I could. I got my glasses and came home. Very slowly. For miles and miles.

Jeff and Bill were here last night for uke-ing. We worked on some new stuff. It was nice having them here after that shitty day. Tomorrow is the folk festival in Claremont. They're going to teach a beginning uke workshop and I'm going to help. I'm hoping they can get me into the festival for free. It's going to be a good one. Taj Mahal, Ben Harper and Jackson Browne are going to play at the evening concert.

My Curioso email is acting squirrely. I can receive mail but not much is sending. Gotta get my IT team on it.