Sunday, July 26, 2015

Spending a Big Day with Dear Friends

Jenny with her family, old and new

Made it to the wedding in the nick of time, and a beautiful wedding it was. Up top is my favorite photo from the chapel, which makes me quite nostalgic. Left to right, the descriptions are relative to Joann, just on Jenny's left, in pretty blue outfit. So, left to right: Sister Judy, Son Philip with wife Krista and grand-kiddies McKayla & Jeremy, Nephew Sean (thanks Jo!), Groom John, Jenny, Brother John, Hubby Gene, Joann, little sister Janice and Brother-in-law Ron.
At the Reception
It was under the bright and happily not to warm San Diego sky the reception was held. The photo is the bride & groom 'laxing' in front of the arbor built by Jenny's brother Philip. Philip and Krista were married beneath. Just before the excitement of the cutting of the wedding cake - OK, it was exciting for me - Gene, Jenny's dad, gave such a sweet toast in honor of his daughter and new son-in-law that had everyone present, and in possession of a functioning heart, all teary. You rocked it Gene!

Around twilight I  drove Joann home. There I was greeted by doggie Fergus, and I was given a tour of Joann's Gardens. There was a new garden renewal and even a cute fairy garden to explore. Joann let me in on a sweet tale that concerns a little statuette of a boy and his dog near the older bit of back yard.  I loved that now one can descend a few stairs, walk a short ways and sit in a chair under a generously branched shady tree. They call that 'The Shire'. Cute!

Lovely way to spend a weekend with friends I don't get to enjoy too often these days. Tomorrow morning I'm heading back to Fair Oaks and I wish I could be in two places at one time.
Joann's little corner of remembrance

Friday, July 24, 2015

Quick Visit with Dear Friends for a Big Day

Saturday afternoon off Point Loma, San Diego (iPhone pic)
Hurrah for Cupid's arrow! Am in San Diego for the weekend, so I can attend the wedding of my best buds Gene & Joann's baby girl, Jennifer. Had no idea Jenny had a steady, much less a fiance, but then an out of town Auntie is always the last to know *happy winks*.

AirBnB flat came w/ensie twee kitty
I flew down and because hotels in San Diego are outrageously expensive - I'm talking, if you have to ask, you can't afford them - so I went with AirBnB. Got a tiny apartment for a mini weekend (Friday morn thru Su
nday morn) in the Ocean Beach area (update: seriously overpriced for where I stayed). As soon as I was settled in I headed out, visiting my parents in Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma. 

Next I might have hit any of a b'jillion tourist spots in San Diego, but having not planned a single solitary thing for this weekend, I fell to my normal default which is Old Town. That spot has a load of memories from my teenager-hood. Strolling around with my mother or roaming its streets with Joann because we always had money burning holes in our pockets in our need for cool and groovy candles. Oh, and I also had a thing for rocks at the Old Town rock shop. Still have all of those rocks you know. Yes - a little pathetic.

I was on site in Old Town before any of the shops opened so I had plenty of time for a leisurely stroll. I stopped to admire the scenery and was quickly surrounded by several young students - late teens & early twenties - for whom English was a second, if not third language. They read through a list of questions, selecting to ask me, "Are you a vegetarian?"

Oh yes, as if. When I answered I was directed to sign a form, and I surmised they were on a scavenger hunt.

Old Town has 'Little House on the Prairie' wooden boardwalks; quite fun
Old Town museum exhibit showing an old stagecoach stop restaurant
Diorama of what the whole of San Diego looked like in the 1800s
Any time I held still for more than a minute or two, a new group of students would surround me, and with various degrees of skill with the English tongue would ask me again if I was a vegetarian or some other question, in hope of completing their scavenger hunt list.
Students, in foreground and aft, who all had scavenger hunt queries for me
Mind, they all spoke much better English than I could ever hope to speak Korean, Spanish or Russian, and I would match my horrible accent against any of their's any day.

After a short afternoon stop at my 'digs' in Ocean Beach I headed over to the home of Jenny's new in-laws. There everyone on both sides of Jenny's old and new family gathered for dinner and a nice chat. Thought it was sweet of them to include me in this family get-together. Got to meet Jenny's soon-to-be hubby, and the 'Scarborough' sisters whom I haven't laid eyes on in ages. Also at long last, I got to meet Joann's newest grand baby-boy. When Joann's around her grandkids she absolutely glows, and who can blame her, they are cuties.

Joann and her curly-locked little Grandson

  That was a nice end to my first day in my old stomping grounds. Tomorrow is the big day for the double Jays, John & Jenny. 

Monday, July 06, 2015


Yesterday started off as a perfectly lovely Sunday. Met up with friends Nancy & Jeri and we had a ball. First we saw SPY, the new comedy with Melissa McCarthy. It was both funnier and cooler than I expected. Part of what I loved was McC had fight scenes that were every bit as hard core and real as the ones you see with male stars such as Daniel Craig. I mean, how often do you see a fat lady in an action movie doing anything other than get murdered in a funny manner or sweating. Really, the movie was action packed and genuinely funny. McC is a badass.

After the movie we decided a meal was in order so we hit Sacramento's Queen of Sheba for some Ethiopian atmosphere. OK, OK, must share pics of the food, because you know I had to photograph anything that went into our mouths.

Here is Jeri's vegetarian plate with cabbage, greens, potato with carrot in mild sauce & a little cold salad. Her Injera (bread) was special, gluten free.

Nancy had Chicken served in a mild sauce with cauliflower also served on an injera, the gluten packed sort. She said it was delish.

'They call me Mr. Tibbs!'

I, the group's super-carnivore, had spicy Lamb Tibbs, it too came on an oversized injera. The injera is prepared on a special Ethiopian grill and it resembles a crepe. All the food is served on top of a giant Injera, with additional injera served along side the meal so one meets one's daily injera requirement.

After stuffing ourselves there were still left overs so we all exited Queen of Sheba with Basenji Bags. I dropped Jeri off at her house, then stopped by Nancy's where at her insistence I visited for a while with Rick, son Adan (and natch, Tippy the dog) who all watched the Women's Soccer world championship.

After a short visit, I headed home where I found... good neighbor Bill and a Sheriff's car parked outside of my house. Long story short, I was freakn' robbed! Bill spotted a suspicious looking guy perusing houses on our block, and saw the guy peek into my garage, and seeing no car, the crook opened the side gate and went in. Bill immediately 911'd the sheriffs, who arrived, *sigh* after the thief had entered my home, then scarpered off.

Some may recall I was robbed nine years ago last February, not long after having started up this blog. Right after I was robbed good neighbor Bill started our Neighborhood Watch program which is still running strong - and I might add, still working.

I let the sheriffs in and we crept around my house looking for signs of theft (almost needless to say, one of my big ole bras was front & center in my bedroom). The only thing I knew for sure was gone, was my lightweight laptop which is, as I recall, just shy of 2 years old. The only reason it was out in
Modus Operandi
the open I just got back from a short trip a couple of days ago. Late afternoon, a fingerprints officer came by & after 2 hours dusting for fingerprints she came up with oodles of prints. It was she who discovered the crook climbed up into my 10 foot high  bedroom window from the side yard. He must have been half Spider-man. He landed with his muddy feet on my bed, and left the house through my patio door.

The prints expert got no less than 29 hand/finger prints. What a hard working, patient soul she was.

Here's creepy tidbit... later in the evening, I went in my fridge, and discovered my unopened pint of half and half was nowhere to be found. I told Bill about it this afternoon and he probably correctly surmised the guy was hot and tired from climbing in my window & probably thought a cold beer or soda was in order. Of course he wasn't finding any of that at my house so he settled for a nice cold pint of half and half. Probably a tad rich, but it gave him the strength to vault over my backyard fence with his booty - my stuff jammed into my back pack. 

My best beloved Attu Patch

So that was my adventure over the Fourth of July weekend. Bummer, eh? You know I went to bed Sunday night of the robbery tossing and turning and fretting, over what? My laptop? Hell no! I was tossing and turning because of the loss of my Attu patch which I thought, was sewed to the stolen back pack. I adore my hard earned patch so the thought of its loss was heart breaking. It wasn't until the wee hours of early morning I realized, DUH! I have two back packs and the one stolen wasn't the one with the patch. Fell into a lovely deep sleep, knowing my silly patch is safe and sound.

UPDATE: THIEF CAUGHT!  This afternoon Bill came by, and said the sheriff's called him over to where 'my' thief was nabbed. He was caught trying to burglarize more homes - once again - in the same neighborhood. Well, they say crooks aren't necessarily the brightest crayons in the pack. The guy was easily ID'd as the one seen racing away from my home yesterday afternoon. Since his finger prints were taken from my house, that's a nice clear case. The crook had a pick-up with other people's goods in the back but not my stuff which he had already had enough time to fence or whatever. I believe that my stuff seems gone does not bother me probably as much as it ought. Could I possibly enjoy shopping that much? I think not.

I must say, thanks to good neighbor Bill and a Sheriff's Department for outstanding work. YAY!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

An Evening on the Mississippi

No one seemed too excited about The Big River when we first heard it was the 3rd for this year's Music Circus productions. My initial thoughts on the production were Mark Twain, the Mississippi, yeah, whatever. And earlier this evening, one of the production managers told the ushers this was the best production of The Big River he'd ever seen anywhere, and there was a bit of interest shown, but nothing overwhelming.

Well, holy crap, or should I say, Tarnation! That was one powerful big production, and I and every other usher (oh, yeah, and the rest of the fifteen hundred audience members) enjoyed the hell out of The Big River. I thought for entertainment as well as performances, it out did the two previous productions by a country mile or three. Really this here was the first time since I've been an usher I've been powerful sad I see these plays on their last night, because when the curtain goes down, it's done and over, in Sacramento at least. I wish I'd seen it the first  night so I could crow about it to friends, yes suh, it was that good.

The big star of the show was the Mississippi, which was present in most of the scenes, and convincingly so. I'll get back to it in a bit. Now the two human stand outs were  Huck Finn and his friend Jim, as the musical is based on the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In this production Huck was played by a man, who for his height and all convincingly played a boy as did the other 'boys', Tom and their rascally friends. Surprisingly man playing scallywag boys didn't dissolve the heart of the story. Huck was a total crack up with his lines, that sometimes seemed to go in one direction, but then swung back the other way like he was fishing for catfish in the audience; so freakn' cute. The other stand out was Big Jim, the runaway slave, particularly for his wonderful bass voice which was in fine fettle for tonight's final performance. He and Finn struck out to run away to Freedom, or certainly adventure.

Said I'd come back to the River's starting roll in the production, but hey, you can see it here in these clips. I wish this play had a dress rehearsal because I certainly would have enjoyed seeing it a second time. This video gives you the gist of the lovely music, but doesn't give away any of the belly laughs that seem to flowed as deep as the Mississippi on that ensy little Music Circus stage.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

At Last, My Musical Love Has Come Along....

It's the season of the Music Circus, and I entered this year a tiny bit reluctantly. I have worked as substitute usher for more than a decade now and I've long held the feeling I am waiting for one of the older ushers to die so I might replace him or her. I've felt a bit ghoulish and guilty. And darned if I haven't placed slick banana peels about the beautiful Music Circus venue, I mean for the sake of hurrying things along. Just sayin'...

 But it has at long last happened, all banana peels aside, the Sunday Night usher organizer Elliot, asked if I would like to take on a full time position. Just imagine - no one had to die - that I know of. OHMYGODS, be still my heart; would I ever!

So the season is now three productions in, I've for once, have seen them all, no longer having to hope and wonder if I'll be selected from the ranks of substitutes to usher at the performances I most would like to see. Nope. I am now included without exception. I can plan around being present every-second-Sunday night performance for all six Music Circus presentations. I am bound and determined to make each and every performance of the ushering. Hurrah for moi!

The season's first production was My Fair Lady, an old favorite of mine, and I always it as always love that Pygmalion presentation. Might I be allowed another squeal? SQUUEEEEEEE!