Sunday, July 27, 2008

An afternoon with Bob

Jim and Bob, back in the day.My good buddy from high school days came to Riverside yesterday. He has a friend who is appearing in the musical A Little Night Music that's running at Community Players right now. Bob emailed me last week and asked if I'd like to see it with him. Sounded like a great way to spend an afternoon.

The play was so-so. The songs were clever and fun but the show just doesn't hang together very well. There were some pretty funny moments which probably weren't meant to be funny. In one scene the young man in the play was trying to hang himself. The "hanging tree" was a branch that they lowered from the ceiling. It looked more like a perch for a very large parrot. For the big show-down scene between the two older male characters this guy brought out a tiny statue on a pedestal that was supposed to evoke a garden space, but really just looked like a tiny statue standing in the middle of the floor. The women in the show did a lot of walking around, holding up their long dresses. That looked pretty weird to me. Back in the day when long dresses were in style if women had had to hold them up that much they would have been saying, "Hey, we need to hem these dresses up a couple of inches."

The other kind of quietly hilarious moment came when the old-lady-in-a-wheelchair character came out. Damn, she looked awfully familiar. I looked her up in the program and her name was Janet Hodge. I didn't know a Janet Hodge but I knew a Janet-formerly-Schrader-formerly-Lang. Yep. It was Janet, Dad's second wife. From her bio in the program it looks like the old bitch has been busy. I tried talking to her after the show but she was swamped by her adoring fans.

It's interesting to me that almost no one in the cast was from Riverside. This ain't no small town. I'm sure there are plenty of talented people who live here who could have done a much better job in some of those roles. So, what's up with that?

After the show Bob had a hankerin' for Mexican food so we went to Olivia's for dinner. The food was good and the conversation was great. We had a lot of catching up to do. After that we came back to my house and split a bottle of wine. It was so nice spending some time with Bob. We talked about our kids, our health (y'know, middle-aged stuff), what it's like to be single at this time in our lives (he's recently divorced), and (ugh!) dating. He's tried it and is pretty fed up with the whole process. I'm pretty sure it's not for me. Like WAY not. Right now I'm more interested in meeting new people and making friends.

It was a comfortable, warm visit. Bob says there's lots of fun stuff to do in Long Beach so I'm going to go visit him one of these weekends. He's doing Inherit the Wind at the end of August. I'll go see him in that.

Thanks, Bob! I had fun.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Paige!

The baby is 18!
Man, she has been waiting for this day since birth. Ok, kid, you're a legal adult now. Do your stuff.

We went to dinner at Joe's. It was the usual internal-damage-from-sushi stuff fest. Lindsay gave Paige a picture she had drawn of Eddie Bunny on a motorcycle. I gave her a car adapter for her iPod. I had included one of those inflatable japanese paper balls on top of Paige's gift. We had an unruly game of paper ball volleyball at our table. They gave Paige a free bowl of green tea ice cream and made her stand on a chair while the whole restaurant sang Happy Birthday to her. We all had a very good time.

Both my kids are legal adults!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Food log

This week as an assignment for Health Science class I'm keeping a food log. I've done this before. One of the things about keeping a food log is you tend to eat less because you don't want to write too many things down. It works pretty well if you can keep it up. It kept me from snacking on nuts at work today.

Last night the teacher showed us a film about these two doctors who took four people, cleaned out their cupboards of everything that was bad for them, taught them how to shop and cook and gave them some exercises. The program lasted three months. Of course, in the end everyone had lost a lot of weight and looked fabulous. In one scene they took two of the people to the lab at their hospital. They had some human organs spread out on a table. First they picked up a normal heart. Then they showed an enlarged heart. Holy moley! I'd heard of someone having an enlarged heart but I never knew how big they could get. It was HUGE! They also had the aorta from the same person. They had it on the table with a normal aorta. Huge difference. That scene had quite an impact on me.

I don't have high cholesterol and my blood pressure has always been really good. Heart disease probably isn't the thing that will take me down. I'm going down the diabetes/cancer road. I'm sure in that lab they'd have some scary body parts that would pertain to my situation.

I've been spinning my wheels for months now, trying to start a diet but failing over and over. I think I'm ready now. It always helps to get a good, solid kick in the ass. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday. I'll discuss it with her. Tonight I walked the Rube. I'll write that in the food log as well. One thing that I like about being on a diet is when I'm controlling how much I eat I feel like the rest of my life is also in control. That would be a very good thing for me right now.

Today I had lunch at the RCC Culinary Academy. Man, that is Riverside's best kept secret. For $7.50 I had a salad, seafood pasta, bread and iced tea. I ate less than half of the seafood pasta and I was still comfortably full. And it was really good! It's just down the street from our office. I'll have the rest of the pasta for lunch tomorrow.

I have two more days in the Chancellor's office and then it's back to my regular schedule. I was glad to have the extra work because I can sure use the money, but it'll be nice not to have to get up at 6am every day. I have really enjoyed working over there. I wish they could bust out the walls so it could be one big office. I like working with everyone and the Chancellor is like someone's really nice dad. Plus, this office has a kitchen. Our office is hurtin' for a kitchen.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gruber's show

Last night's show wasn't what I thought it was going to be. The new Largo has two rooms. Janeane Garofalo played the big room and her show started about an hour earlier. Gruber's show was in the little room. I like the little room. Very cozy. The show was typical Gruber-type stuff. Andy, Ben and Tommy were the band, with Gruber on piano for a few numbers. Andy's percussion set looked like a bunch of toys in a box. He sure got some sound out of it, though.

Jim Turner and Mark Fite did their stuff. You would recognize Jim Turner from SNL. Gruber also had a few guest performers. Not all of the material was strong but it was still a fun show. They ended the show with a segment called Sashay. I had heard about Sashay. It's where Jim Turner and Mark Fite basically go out and hump the audience. When they said Sashay was coming up I got a little squirmy. Well, the Sashay last night was pretty tame. They came out into the audience with boxes of chocolates. They went up to the women and struck suggestive poses, some pretty close, and gave each a piece of chocolate. It's pretty funny. It's all in the attitude and the costuming. They were wearing these cheesy disco outfits. They're both pretty dorky-looking guys but they acted like they were God's gift to women. For my sashay Mark gave me a hug and kissed the top of my head. Lindsay got a full-frontal straddle sashay from Jim. Such a friendly show. Afterward they sent us outside for cupcakes, which I thought was kind of strange. I mean, cupcakes?

While we were standing around chatting, Janeane Garofalo came out. She walked by a couple times, not too interested in the crowd from Gruber's show. Later, when we were standing outside the venue she walked by as she was leaving. She looked like she was desperate to get out of there. She was all alone, cigarette in hand, looking at the sidewalk and moving fast. I guess she was tired and wanted to get home. Yes, that's it. She sure has a lot of tattoos now.

We were going to meet at House of Pie but as I was driving over there I was starting to get pretty tired. It was already 12:30. I called Lindsay and told her I was going home.

It was a fun night. I need to do that more often.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rough afternoon

Fridays are the only time I can get business handled. Today I tried to complete the stock ownership transfer. I had everything all ready to go except for this small estate affidavit form I needed from the county. I went to the offices downtown and the clerk told me they don't have forms there. Kind of rude and not at all helpful. This is the stuff that makes me crazy. It would take so little effort to speak one additional sentence that would make a world of difference to the person asking you for help. I told her that as far as I knew this was the place I needed to be. After going in circles for a few minutes she finally told me that the form can be downloaded or I could find one at a stationary store. She handed me a little flyer with all the information I needed. Thank you, MORON!

I came home and looked it up. The small estate affidavit is for estates UNDER $100,000. AAARRGGHH!!! The guy I talked to at Fidelity told me that was the form I needed because my stock holdings are much less than $100,000. Ok, but what about the rest? There's the 401K and some other stuff. Why didn't he at least ASK me about that before telling me to get the wrong form?

I called Fidelity and asked about the whole thing. What I really need is either a letter of appointment or a letter of testamentary. Ok, how do I know which one to get? How do I get it once I know? Well, I have to go through probate! CRAP! I told her I thought in California everything just pretty much automatically transfers to the surviving spouse. She said IRAs do. Bank accounts do. Not stock and other assets. She said I probably should hire a lawyer or I could buy a NOLO book called How to Probate an Estate. Oh sure, like THAT'S a good idea.

So, how much does a freakin' probate lawyer cost and how do I find a good one? This is making me kind of sick. After I got off the phone I just lost it. This shit is endless.

I took a nap and woke up feeling a little better. I helps a lot to have a small kitten chewing on my fingers and toes while I'm trying to sleep. She's such a doll. Ivy lightens the mood. I goofed off for a while and then went out to the garage and moved things around. It always feels good to make some progress on the house.

But damn, I was really thinking I was on track with the business stuff. I don't know how long it will take me to get this handled. It's funny, because the other items I took care of that were very similar didn't require any special forms. I filled out what they sent me, had it all notarized and mailed it off. And now it will be another week before I can deal with it.

I sure do wish I knew about this stuff a year ago when I still had money for a lawyer. I'm going to see what kind of help they can give me down at the court house. I'll check out that NOLO book.

An oh yeah, Paige just rolled up on a different motorcycle. She bought another one. This one is bigger, 700ccs, and the frame is too tall for her. But hey, it's painted white with blue flames so it must be perfect. I stood out in the street and told her several times that she needs to keep looking for the right bike. This one is just too big. She turns 18 in a week. Once she gets her license she'll be riding on the streets.

Where's that kitten?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I am completely alone here in the big office. The highly degreed ones are upstairs in a meeting and the woman I usually work with is taking a class on campus. Some disgruntled student called trying to get his VA benefits ferried through the system and wanted to complain endlessly to me about it. Meanwhile, the other lines are ringing. I finally got off the phone with him and researched who is supposed to know what the hell to do to help him. I found the right person and asked her to call him, which she did. Then he called ME back so he could bitch some more. In the meantime two other lines are ringing. So, I'm not answering the phones because I'm stuck listening to this whiner talking to me about stuff I can't help him with and besides, it's been HANDLED. Now I know what Dean goes through every day.

I have to pee but I'm AFRAID to leave my desk! What if one of those people who called earlier and didn't make it through calls back? Of course, now that I'm not chasine down VA benefits the phones are silent. I just know that as soon as I get fully committed to a bathroom break that phone will ring.

Yesterday while I was poking around Google I found a spanish blog that has linked to this one. Mine is the only english blog that she linked. I thought that was pretty interesting. I wonder what it was about my blog that caught her eye? I wrote her a note to say hello. I'm assuming she speaks english.

Ooh, someone from my office across the hall just came over to give me a project. Yay! Something to do!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Sucker messed me up today. I don't get horrible migraines, like Zoey. And I don't get them often. Like once every two years. They're short and usually not that painful. I'll get the visuals, like a hole in the center of my vision and the periphery gets all weirdly sparkly. Sometimes I'm mildly aphasic. In the end I'm left with a small headache. That's the usual pattern.

This time the headache started first. I was going over some documents looking for this specific contract (I know, that does not sound like me) and I noticed I was having trouble concentrating on what I was doing. Then I noticed the band of shape-shifting, multi-colored triangles moving across the upper half of my visual field. I told my co-worker what was going on. At least I think that's what I was saying to her. I was having trouble talking.

I sat at my desk with my eyes closed. It took about half an hour for the triangles to go away. I remembered I had an Advil in my purse and took it. By the time I left I felt like I could drive home. That was pretty difficult. My head was pounding like a mo-fo. When I got home I went straight to bed and slept for three hours. I still feel pretty crappy. I hope this isn't what they're evolving into.

I had one once when I was on stage doing a matinee at SRJC. I noticed that the lights looked unusually bright. I was having a hard time just standing up. Fortunately, I had no lines, I just had to stand there and look interested. When I got off Stage I had the stage manager call the director and ask if it was ok for me to sit out the rest of the show. All I had after that was a crowd scene and the curtain call. I went into one of the classrooms and laid down on some floor mats. I think being under the lights made things more sparkly. It was weird. By the time the evening performance rolled around I was fine.

The migraines also affect my thinking. I tried talking to Lindsay on the phone and I couldn't remember certain words. If you read my comment on the Unhappy Kitten post you can see I was having some trouble. So, I'm going back to bed to sleep this off.

The kitty is happier today. We're having many litter box successes.

Unhappy kitten

Lindsay took Ivy to the vet today. He confirmed that she's an Ivy and not a Larry. She got her shots, a worming, a leukemia/AIDS test, an application of Frontline and endured the extraction of a stool sample. That's on top of all the big events of yesterday. She was captured, bathed, de-flea-ed (jeez, how do you spell that?), crated, transported and then smooched to death. She is one stressed out kitty.

She's seems to be settling in very well. Yesterday she was a bit skitty. She would take off every time we approached her. Tonight she sat on the bed and let me sit down next to her. She snuggled right up. I'm sure it's partly because she's wiped out.

This morning I went to work early to make sure everything got done before the big meeting today. I made coffee, filled the water pitcher and set out a tray with everything that would be needed. While I was pulling all that together the new Chancellor showed up. It was just me and him! I introduced myself and as he shook my hand he said, "Ah, Donita. I've been hearing good things about you." (Me, on the inside: Tra-la-la!) We chatted a little and then he said, "I don't have my computer here. I think they were supposed to set it up for me." I said, "I'll call the Help Desk and see what's going on." He was all impressed 'n' stuff. I got on the phone and called the Help Desk, who referred me to Facilities, who referred me to MoVal Facilities, who sent me to voicemail a couple of times and then hemmed and hawed about being the only one there, but finally agreed to, by gum, get it done! Yee-haw, I came through for the Chancellor! I was able to justify the good things he heard about me in the first five minutes of our meeting! And it went on like that for the first few hours of the day! His phone wasn't working. He said, "Could you also call someone to come look at my phone? It's gone dead." Well, that happens sometimes. They go out for some reason. You just enter the extension three times and push a different button in between. Voila! So, I quickly looked up his extension and tapped in the code. It worked, and I looked like a jeeen-yuss.

Man, I love shit like that. Half the time I feel like I just don't know enough to do my job. The people around me are so accomplished and experienced. I know I bring my own special gifts to the job. But there's limited opportunity when it comes to doing artsy stuff at the office. Today I had to perform for the new top dawg and I did more than ok. That's the kind of thing that will help get me full-time and bennies sooner rather than later.

Another funny thing happened. I received a Dismissal Probation letter from OUR office! I guess some computer somewhere finally kicked on and noticed my HORRIBLE grades from 33 freakin' years ago. My transcripts read pretty goofy. I have a few A's from back then, but also C's, D's, F's, W's, I's and maybe even a parking ticket. Who knows? But my grades from Santa Rosa are really great and my RCC grades since 2003 are all A's. So, why didn't I get that letter five years ago?

This morning I showed it to Patti, the matriculation assistant. She thought it was pretty funny. If I get a good grade in Health Science I'll be taken off probation. Wait, don't I have any pull with this office? C'mon, take me off probation now!

Damn bureaucracy.

Dog Haiku

This is one of the first Forwards I ever received and it's still one of my favorites. Dean sent it. Virginia had a bad day today so I posted it on her blog. And then I thought, hey, I'll share this with my faithful readers!

Love my master;
Thus I perfume myself with
This long-dead squirrel.

I lie belly-up
In the sunshine, happier than
You ever will be

Today I sniffed
Many dog behinds—I celebrate
By kissing your face.

I sound the alarm!
Paper boy—come to kill us all—
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I lift my leg and
Whiz on each bush.
Hello, Spot—Sniff this and weep

I sound the alarm!
Garbage man—come to kill us all—
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

How do I love thee?
The ways are numberless as
My hairs on the rug.

I sound the alarm!
Mail carrier—come to kill us all—
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

My human is home!
I am so ecstatic I have
Made a puddle

I sound the alarm!
Gardener—come to kill us all—
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I Hate my choke chain—
Look, world, they strangle me!
Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack!

Sleeping here, my chin
On your foot—no greater bliss—well,
Maybe catching mice

Look in my eyes and
Deny it. No human could
Love you as much I do

The cat is not all
Bad—she dots the neighborhood
With Tootsie Rolls

Dig under fence—why?
Because it's there. Because it's
There. Because it's there.

I am your best friend,
Now, always, and especially
When you are eating.

My owners' mood is
Romantic—I lie near their
Feet. I fart a big one.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Say hello to Ivy.

Yep. Gots a new kitten. She's a stray, about 6 weeks old. She was hanging around Kyle's friend's house, mewing in the bushes. Lindsay called the other day and asked what they should do about it. I said catch it and bring it home. If it's a cuddle kitty we'll keep it. I've been missing having a house cat and it does get lonely around here sometimes.

Well, she's pretty cuddly. She seemed to relax right away. Lindsay is taking her to the vet tomorrow. We're pretty sure she's a female but the vet will confirm that.

So yeah, I know, I don't need any more animals. I don't care. She's a cutie-patootie.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Just now I was out on the front porch drinking a soda and chatting with one of my cats. I had just put some food out. She was chowing down while I was providing dinner conversation. The bush at the corner of the house rustled and she took off. Then a raccoon poked it's head around the corner! SHEEEIT!!! I lobbed a plastic flower pot at it and clocked it right on the head. Then I threw the plastic cup I had been drinking from. It turned and went back into the bushes. I jumped up and went into the house. Then I went back out and grabbed the cat food bowl and took it in.

A few minutes later the dogs started barking like crazy. I went back out and made a bunch of noise to make sure the raccoon was sufficiently spooked. Then I let Boz out. He ran like crazy all up and own the street, peeing on everything. Um, good boy? There were probably ten raccoons up in trees watching everything he was doing. He crashed around all over the place, which was exactly what I wanted him to do. Then I put him away. I should probably let him do that for a few minutes each night just so he can get some exercise. Letting the raccoons know there's a moron on the loose might discourage them a bit. Anyway, I'll be feeding the cats in the morning from now on.

I need to catch Marty and get him to the vet for his shots. I'm sure he's overdue. I'll have to rent a trap to catch him. He's pretty much feral now. I've had good cats, I've had crummy cats, but I've never had one that was a complete asshole. Until Marty. Marty and Zoe are always in the front yard hanging out in those same bushes. Zoey's shots are up to date.

Last week after class I was walking to my car and noticed some movement out the corner of my eye. It was a skunk! Not 10 feet away! It was ambling along with its tail up and ready for action. There was a girl walking next to me and she and I noticed it at the same time. We both stopped and froze, and then backed up a few steps. Yeesh!

Freakin' wildlife.

Last night I went to Ken's to play music. I invited Jeff and Bill. I went over early to have dinner with Ken and Sherri. Just as we were finishing Trever called and told Ken that Pop was on the way to the hospital. (One of the family quirks. Bernie called Trever, who lives in Tennessee, and told him about Pop. Then Trever called Ken. Bernie is braindead.) Ken called Bernie's granddaughter and got the full story. Pop and Bernie were in a casino playing some game. He kept passing out and his hands went cold. When they couldn't wake him up they called the paramedics. That was as much as anyone knew at the time. Ken and Sherri left for the hospital, in Indio, right after John and Jeff got there. Bill showed up soon after.

The four of us jammed and had a pretty good time. It would have been great if Ken had been there. Oh well, next time. I called Ken after a couple hours. He said they were still in the ER but everything was ok. Apparently Pop is now diabetic and had gotten dehydrated. He's been struggling with bladder cancer for a few years now so his general health hasn't been so good. He was just bouncing back from the cancer and now this. Ken and Sherri said that Bernie was arguing with the doctors about it like she's some kind of diabetes expert because she also has it. They had to explain things over and over to her. Sounds like AD to me. This is who is taking care of Pop. Man, that is one bad situation.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to write about Mindy's sister. She died suddenly last weekend. I haven't gotten the latest report on the whole thing so I don't really know why. I'll catch that one up later.

So yeah, there's some family stress going on right now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Do I have an accent?

As Jeff and I were coming down from Mt. Rube last night we were talking about song writing. I said that I thought some of my song fragments would make better poems than songs. After a little bit Jeff said, "Can I ask you a question? Don't be embarrassed." Now, when someone says something like that don't you just know an embarrassment is on the way? He said, "What kind of accent do you think you have?" I said, "I dunno...West Riverside, maybe?" He said, "Not Texas?" "No." I told him that when my folks moved to California my dad took classes to lose his Texas accent so he could be a better salesman. We were raised speaking Californianian. Jeff said he wondered if I had some traces of Texas because I said "powems" instead of "poems". He said I said it twice. Powems. I was shocked. It was also pretty damn funny.

I tried to say it again. Even when I tried to stress the POE it still came out POW. Dang! Now I'm hyper aware of it. As I was driving home (by way of the farm) I kept trying to say "poem". It kept coming out as "pome". Oh well. It was good for a laugh. Now I'm wondering what other words are possibly Texafied.

We also talked a little about Jeff's speech patterns. He said people sometimes think he has some kind of accent. I said I can see why because he has a way of flattening his vowels at the end of a sentence. I think it's just his way of adding emphasis. Just now I realized that Bill doesn't have that same quality in his speaking. Pam doesn't either. I think that all of my sibs and I speak in pretty much the same way. Well, except for Debbie. She's been in Missouri for too long. Anyway, it's kind of interesting. My ears perk up when I hear an interesting voice.

And now I'm going to go write some Edgar Allen POEtry. Damn, it still isn't coming out right!

A big pile of dirt

Yesterday evening I walked with Jeff up the Rube. Afterward, I decided to swing by Trader Joe's. I was taking the same route I would take to go back to the farm. It was still light outside so I figured, what the hell, let's go have a look at the farm. I had heard that the houses were gone and I wanted to see it before they started building. I really had to work myself up for it. I didn't know how it would affect me emotionally. The way things have been lately I wasn't so sure I wanted to put myself through more upheaval. But hey, since I'm already driving in that direction...

Boy, that was weird. It's just a big, empty hill. The fence is still up around he front with the sign I painted (We're closed. Thank you, Riverside) still hanging there. The front gate was open so I parked on the street and went up the hill. It was dark by then. I walked straight up saying, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god" the whole way. I got to the top and stood right where Dad's back door used to be. There's still a hole where the pool was, and a hole where the front of Dad's garage was, but everything else is pretty unrecognizable. Just dirt, nothing else. The boulder in the front field is still there. I didn't walk over to where our house used to be. Too dark and too dangerous. Without the farm's features you can really see how big it was.

So weird! Everything gone. Where Jim and I got married, where Stacey and Scotty, Drew and Mindy, and Dede and David had their wedding receptions, the Hoedowns, the parties, the work, the Christmas trees, where we had our horses and animals- all gone. Scraped clean. Just dirt.

I was a little surprised at how ok I was with it all. No sadness. Just WEIRD!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blogging to stay awake

Right now there is NOTHING to do here. I had a project earlier but it could only be done at someone else's desk. Now she's back and needs to get her own work done. I'm sitting here at the empty desk, having a very hard time staying awake. Jeez, it's not even 1:00 yet. How will I make it to 4:30?

This isn't working very well. I keep having to wake myself up from these drowsy dreams. I wish I could watch Youtube. Or Naked Trucker on iTunes.

Sorry, I know this isn't the most interesting post I've ever written. Maybe I'll dink around with a graphics program.

Ok, bye.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Click on photos to enlarge.Michele, Nancy and me and... who's that in the background? The one with the string bass? Also, check out the woman at the far left chowing down on paella.
Sybil, Ross, Nancy, Michele, me, Ron, and Carol down in front.

Great weekend!

Man, what a great weekend

I must have been starved for girlfriend talk because the whole weekend was one big yack fest. I got to knock it around with four of the best.

The drive up was uneventful and my energy was good. As the scenery changed and started looking more Sonoma County-ish I started to feel a little strange. It's just so damn beautiful up there. Southern California just can't touch it. I guess I'll always feel I belong in two places.

I arrived at Lorraine's at around 7:00 Thursday evening. They had just gotten back from a camping trip. We sat in the kitchen with her mom and drank wine and talked while they made strawberry jam. Then we switched to these rum and pomegranate juice drinks. Lorraine made them a bit strong, but they tasted like punch so they went right down. Oops. One minute I was fine and having a fabulous time, the next I was completely shit-faced. Oh, Lordy. That ended that evening.

The next morning Michele arrived. We hung out for a while and then she and I left to do a little shopping before heading to Dave and Nancy's to go to the Occidental Farmer's Market to see Amelia play with her band. Walking around the farmer's market was so wonderful. Those people are my peeps. Just a bunch of Northern California hippies. You don't see too many babies in tie-dye around here. One vendor was selling barbequed oysters. I hadn't had an oyster in five years. I got six of them! Another guy was making paella. He had three huge vats of it cooking. Right before it was ready to serve this huge line formed. It took a while to get up there but it was worth the wait. Oh man, it was delicious. I walked by there later and all three vats were scraped clean.

While we were waiting in line Amelia's band played. She was on stand-up bass. What an amazing and acomplished girl she is. She was up there looking completely confident and serene and playing beautifully. Dave and Nancy have a lot to be proud of.

Afterward we went back to the Lorenz's and dinked around on ukes. Nancy wanted some help figuring out the harmony to this one Hawaiian song. Of course, Michele and I came up with two more parts. We just can't help it.

When we got back to Lorraine's Michele and I stayed up late and watched tv. They were running a Maverick marathon. I hadn't seen that show since I was a little kid. Jeez, I was cracking up! I want to see if they have the series available on dvd. It was really funny.

The next day we went back to Dave and Nancy's for a uke workshop and dinner thing. Her hula teachers, Ron and Carol, led the workshop. Two more friends, Sybli and Ross, were also there. We went through their whole book of songs. Like, a LOT of songs. Hawaiian music is pretty simple (well, except for the words) and all of the chords they used were very familiar. Ron showed us a lot of strums. Then we broke for dinner. Kotzian showed up right about then. (Hi, Brian! Great to see you!) Hoo boy, great food. We ate out on the deck, had a lot of wonderful conversation and played with their new chickens. These three girls look almost full grown but they're still peepers. The chickens were very entertaining.

After dinner we went back inside for more uke-ing. This time Ross switched to guitar, Dave and Amelia joined us on stand-up and accoustic bass and Ron, Michele and I played ukes. Nancy, Carol and Sybil danced! Oh my god, they were so beautiful. I gave up trying to sing in Hawaiian and just played and watched them dance. Hula seems so serene and meditative and these three women were the perfect embodiment of grace and beauty. It was certainly the high point of the trip. And the sound in that room was just amazing. What a perfect night.

The next morning I got up early to go to Mary and Jon's for breakfast. Michele had other people to visit so we said goodbye. I had a lovely drive out to Napa. Lorraine and Danny showed up about 40 minutes after I got there. We had a good breakfast and a very nice visit. Mary showed me her new uke. Ok, I've found my new love. Since I can't steal Mary's uke I guess I'll have to get my own. It's a Lanikai tenor with a pick up. It's not an expensive uke, but it has a wonderful, full sound. It was great seeing Mary and Jon but like all the other visits, it was way too short. Thank you, Lorraine and Danny for taking such good care of Michele and me.

The drive home was also uneventful but my energy wasn't so good. Yuck. I had to take a lot of breaks. On the Grapevine traffic got pretty heavy and slow. It sped up once I was in LA. I was so glad to get home. And now I'm at work at my subbing gig across the hall. Looking forward to Friday so I can work on my house. I was inspired by Lorraine's and Mary's and Nancy's wonderful, comfortable homes. Mine is still so NOT there.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A dream

Oh my god, I just had the most vivid dream I've had in years. I have to get this down before it drains away.

I was at this big picnic kind of event. My whole family was there. There was also this guy, Carl, that I know from uke group. Carl is a very nice man who has this awful skin condition where there are big, flaky patches on his hands, elbows and legs. Carl was kind of following me around because he was clearly smitten with me. He kept dropping little comments about me about how cute he thought I was. Finally he said, "Donita, I want to take you to Las Vegas. I want to go out with you. I really have fun when I'm with you." I'm thinking, cool, I'll go out with Carl. Maybe the skin thing isn't contagious. Really, he's a very nice guy.

We're going to different booths and events around this picnic thing. I lose track of Carl. Inside this concert hall I meet this guy who wants to perform with our uke group but he wants to play guitar and he doesn't want anyone strumming with him. As I'm explaining to him that that won't go over so well with the uke group, Carl walks up and we go find some seats for a concert that's about to start. Carl is having trouble getting comfortable in his seat because he's so fat (in reality, Carl isn't fat. A little husky maybe, but certainly not fat. In fact, he was his normal size all through the dream. He only got fat when he sat down for the concert). Lindsay and Paige arrive and sit in the row behind us.

Suddenly Jim walks up! He's starting to walk by and I say, "Oh my god, there's JIM!!" He stops, completely startled. He was just at the event and didn't know I'd be there. The girls and I are both yelling at him, "Where have you been?!?" Carl's getting mad because he's now just lost his chance at a relationship with moi. I tell Carl to shut up, I jump up and grab Jim and drag him outside. The first thing I do is hug him real hard. Then I drag him over to a bench and just start yelling, "You're DEAD! We had a funeral for you! (Here Jim turns white and starts breathing hard) I saw you dead! I watched you die! You stopped breathing and your lips turned blue!!!" Then he says he needs to get something to eat because he feels like he's going to faint. We start walking towards the snack bar. I said, "I saw you at the mortuary! You were on a gurney covered with a blanket! Jim, I had you CREMATED! I have your ashes at home!!! If those aren't your ashes, then whose are they?!?" We get to the snack bar and Jim orders a double burger, ketchup only, just like he always did. I'm still yelling at him and he's acting like this is the most amazing news he's ever heard. I kept asking him where he's been for a year and a half.

And then I woke up, feeling like a truck ran over me. Damn, I wish it had gone on longer so I could get an answer from him. Really, the boy has some esplainin' to do. He's shown up in my dreams before and I always ask him where he's been. But those were just flashes of Jim in dreams that were patchy and chaotic. This dream was very clear and linear and it seemed to go on forever. Hoo boy.

Ok, I have to get off this computer and go pack. I've got a long drive ahead of me.