2/11/19 Chronicles

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  Monday 2/4/19

This has been a crazy 2 weeks. I haven't had time to update the blogs at all. UGH. I think I will have a tiny bit more time now...

They kept saying it was going to rain today, but it didn't. It was 70 degrees this morning! So weird. Like early Summer.

It's been a week since I started taking hormones. I still haven't seen many changes so far. They said it would take a few weeks, though. At least it's not another pill! It's a cream that I put on my thighs or stomach. It comes in a little deodorant-like bottle.

Brandy was in the kennel since Saturday (while we had dinner guests), so David picked her up on the way home, before he picked me up, to take me into SAU. I Kristoff St. Johncalled the vet to make sure she had a bath before that.

It's a very sad morning because one of my favorite actors, Kristoff St. John, passed away. He starred in the soap opera "Generations" from 1989-1991, when he was pretty young. He actually got his start as a child actor on "That's My Mama," which I watched. He was in "Roots: The Next Generation," the TV show "Bad News Bears" and later "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper." Anyway, after "Generations," he went on to play Neil Winters on "The Young and the Restless" in 1991, which he has played ever since. He was a very good actor. We met him in 1995 when he came out to Riverside with some other celebrities to play softball against Riverside "big shots" like my husband.  It was a lot of fun to watch. Unfortunately, it was before digital cameras, and I only had a little bit of film left in my camera. I only got a blurry, bad photo of Kristoff. I did get a really good one of Shemar, who played his brother, and me, so that was cool. Anyway, Kristoff was there with his kids and looked kinda busy. 

A few years ago, I got to interview him for my site.  He was very nice, and kind to me over the phone. He was walking his cute dogs while we chatted. Those poor dogs! I hope someone is going to take care of them now.  Anyway, our call was after his oldest son, Julian, died in 2014.  Julian was an addict and had mental issues. They had put him in a mental hospital, but (according to Kristoff) the hospital was negligent and left plastic bags lying around, which Julian (whom they knew was suicidal) hung himself with.  Kristoff and his ex-wife sued them and it got settled out of court. Kristoff took some time off Y&R in 2017 to get some help after he reportedly was waving a gun around.  He was back on the show and seemed fine, but don't forget, he's an actor, so....

Anyway, he was found dead Sunday morning, and the preliminary report was that it was from alcohol poisoning. A lot of people are assuming that this was a suicide, but I'm not so sure. For one thing, he's had a drinking problem for a long while, judging by the fact that he had a DUI in 2011. From all accounts, he was really loved by everyone who knew him because he was not just a very kind person but one of those type of people who went out of their way all the time, for everyone (and especially friends).  Also, one of his good friends posted that he had hung out with him on Friday, and they made plans to watch the Super Bowl together.  So he probably just had so much to drink, after years of drinking, that it caught up with him. I don't think it was intentional, at least for that moment. I'm sure he did know, if he thought about it, that he was slowly killing himself. It's very sad. I feel bad for his daughters, his fiancee, his ex-wife, and the dogs.

He was only 52, so that's way too young to die, especially when it could have been prevented.  It's been sad all week, seeing all of the soap opera celebrities on social media talking about him and posting photos. Update: They found that he died of heart disease, although drinking was a contributing factor.

Anyway, back to Monday.  I believe I had lunch with the ladies from Aramark, but I don't remember it too much. This is why I need to make sure to blog every day. I'm very forgetful.

I had my advanced speech class today... Two of the guys did their presentations. We're supposed to analyze a speaker. One chose Stan Lee and the other one chose George Carlin.  Both great choices! One obviously worked a lot harder on his than the other, but that's OK...

I walked Brandy when I got home, as usual.Brandy with David

I saw this on Instagram and thought it was very interesting! Did you know that before the groundhogs took over, we asked the hedgehog if he saw his shadow? True story! The Roman Empire used to look to the hedgehog every Candlemas as a predictor of spring. The tradition was carried on by the Germans, and when they emigrated to the USA and found no native Hedgies, they adopted the groundhog to carry on the tradition. Nevertheless, February 2nd remains national groundhog day. Wow!

My DVD recorder/VCR (the one I use in the living room) stopped working recently. It blinks off and on, and I can't turn it off or eject the tray. I'm not sure if there's a disk in there or not. I tried unplugging it and then plugging it back in again, but it didn't help. I'm hoping someone I know will know a repair person to help me out! At the very least, someone that can take the DVD out (if there is one). I don't want to have to buy another machine...The cheapest one I found is about $150, used.  They don't make them any more, so.... eventually I won't be able to use it. Plus, I have to have a Magnavox, so I can close out the DVD's I have now that are not yet finished. Otherwise they won't play.

leftover nachosI took the leftovers from my dinner last week and made some yummy nachos!

My next door neighbor, Mary, knows this guy, Brian, who works at the local Suddenlink (our ISP), and he might take a look at it.

Brandy doesn't mind going to the vet's office (she loves everyone and loves seeing new people), but no dog loves staying somewhere away from home or her family.  Brandy is already very loving and needy, but she's even more so when she comes back from the kennel. Poor pup, we take her there a lot. Oh, well. If she weren't so full of energy all day, we could take her with us when we travel, and keep her around when we have company. Well, maybe one day she will grow out of some of that...

I watched "Rent" on my DVR...the one that they aired recently on FOX.  I don't know why people complained about it. I thought it was very good. Of course, I'm not a big fan of that particular musical. It's from the 90's, so I didn't grow up with it. I'm not against it. It just doesn't have the great music that the older musicals had.  Anyway, I guess it was supposed to be "live," but the main actor broke his foot, so they showed the previous night's dress rehearsal instead. There was an audience there, so you couldn't really tell that it wasn't a "real" performance. I know some people said that they thought that the actors weren't putting out their best, and that they were saving it for the next night, but I think that's just BS. They were obviously giving it 100%.  And sure, they could have had understudies for all of them, but then we wouldn't have been able to see the great work that the actor did (the one who broke his foot).  He was really good. The finale was live, so he was only sitting down for that.  They also brought in the original cast from Broadway, which was neat.  Joe from "The Flash" was in that. You might also know him from when he was on "Law & Order" for many years. His name is Jesse L. Martin. (Funny, but there's a guy in some of my classes, also named Jesse Martin!)  Anthony Rapp of "Star Trek: Discovery" was also in the original "Rent" on Broadway, so he was there. I didn't realize that Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs were also in it! Cool.

  Tuesday 2/5/19

I had my PT at 10. I'm always so glad when it's over!

It was warm again today, in the 70's. So bizarre! We had warm weather until Thursday evening. We had a little rain here and there, too.Brandy

I was at SAU earlier than usual, but I don't really remember much about what I did once I got there. In my class, the professor talked about different kind of reviews we can do for our next assignment (due next Thursday). Some of the students finished talking about their TV review blogs (that we started last week). I asked to leave a little early, so David could give me a ride home because he had a meeting from 2-5. I didn't want to have to hang around for another 2-3 hours. Fortunately, the professor is very flexible.

In class, he mentioned a review of an Indian-Pakistani restaurant in Little Rock. We'll have to check that out! We used to love this one in Riverside when we lived there. It had fantastic food.

David's working late tonight... there's some lecture at the university. I would have gone, but he's going to a dinner first, that I'm not invited to, so I didn't feel like waiting around all afternoon after my class, and then eating someplace on campus.

Mary's friend was going to come over after hours and look at the combo player, but I got it working! Thank goodness!!  I just dusted it and the other stuff in the cabinet, and I plugged it back in, and then I pressed the power button, so it turned off, finally.  Then I was able to turn it back on, no problem! Yay!!

Uncle Howard, cousin Denny and cousin PattyHappy Birthday to my Uncle Howard, who turned 85 today! throbbing heart Both of his parents lived to be over 100. It'll be interesting to see if he lives another 20 years! He's in pretty good shape. I don't think he drank or smoked, so he's healthy. You never know, of course. His oldest brother died in WWII. My dad died in his late 80's, but only because he drank and smoked a lot. My Aunt Hazel died of complications of diabetes, and my Aunt Betty died of cancer. He may have had cancer, for all I know.  He's in good shape, so he probably doesn't have diabetes. Heck, I hope *I'M" alive in 20 years! I only have half of that genetic gift that they all have. My mom was an orphan, so I have no idea what her family history was. I've already outlived her; but then again, she was a smoker, and she didn't take care of herself.

Last week, Trisha planted flowers for me. They're looking very nice with all the rain we've had lately. Also, I put up a flag that says "Hello February."  Not sure if I saidflowers that already or not.  It was a crazy week! This week has been all about catching up on things I should have done last week.

I ordered my MIL's birthday and Valentine's Day presents and cards. Whew!

I was working on my singing, and I was going to do some recording. Then I realized that I forgot to do my Powerpoint presentation that I'm supposed to do for my class tomorrow. Whoops! So I spent most of the day working on that.  Fortunately, I'm very good at Powerpoint now. I stayed up working on it until about midnight.

For the past few years, whenever I did a presentation for my class, I wouldn't really work on presenting it. I mean, I've been a teacher before, so I didn't feel like I should really rehearse it. However, when I would get up there, I would be really nervous, and my voice would shake, and I would say some "er's" and "um"'s and "y'know's" and "sorta" etc. that the professor doesn't like. I would often lose my place. No matter what note I left for myself, I did this.  SO this time, I made sure to print my speech up in big type and number each section to go with each slide. I put on the paper, between each paragraph:


Also, I practiced the speech a few times, making some changes and notations, and I timed myself.  And finally, I also decided to speak in a sort of "acting voice" or "radio voice." In other words, I didn't speak like myself. I spoke as if I were narrating something. It was almost like singing (not quite). This actually forced me to slow down as well. I timed the whole thing at about 14 minutes, give or take. This included the three videoclips I had.

  Wednesday 2/6/19

Wow, what a day... I had plenty of sleep, but it took me awhile to wake up. After I left the house, I realized I had forgotten to bring my lunch. I had made a sandwich and put it in the fridge, then forgot to get out the insulated bag to put it in. I left my laptop at home, too. Wow!! I was definitely not awake. Brandy

While I went to PT, David did some errands and retrieved my lunch for me. I had left the insulated bag in my backpack, so he put the sandwich inside the ice cream maker canister (which is stored in the freezer) and put an ice pack on top of it. Ingenuity strikes again!

I was at Reynolds earlier than usual because of my PT. I ate my sandwich with my friends there.

When I was going to class, I passed a table that the International Students Organization (or whatever it's called) had up for Chinese New Year! It started today. I chatted with one of them for a minute about how we used to live in Chinatown. I sure miss that!  I loved the parades. I don't miss all the loud drumming and fireworks that we could hear inside our place, though! 

It was a bit weird when I got to class because no one else was there. Usually there are other people there first. Apparently the previous class with our professor (in a different room) ran late. They all straggled in a little later.

I gave my speech/presentation first, and it went pretty well. All that extra work and preparation paid off. Yay! The only dumb thing I did (and it didn't affect my grade; it just made me look stupid) was that I sat down when I was done with my speech. I forgot that the other students would be asking me questions. Whoops!  But the questions were very good, I thought, and I answered them well. Luckily, they were all fairly easy questions.  At least my voice didn't shake, only my hands (which is no big deal). Even though I timed it at 14 minutes, I think it was more like 20. Which is fine! Better to be a little longer than too short. I didn't rush through it or anything.  My presentation was about Patrick Stewart. You can see the Power Point here and my notes here.

The other student, Lauren, did her presentation on Fred Rogers. That was very interesting as well. I never watched him growing up, that I recall.

Brandy being sillyDavid took me home after class, and I walked Brandy.

All week, my right arm/neck/shoulder has been hurting (from my spine problem).

Later on, I called the garage door repair guy (he had been referred to me by Scott, the electrician), and he came by to take a look at our garage doors and the mechanisms that aren't working. He said that some part in the boxes needs replacing (each door has its own box, Brandywhich is on the ceiling).  It will cost a couple of hundred dollars to fix it. UGH.  So, he left and is going to order one of the parts. We never use the other garage door, anyway, so no need to fix it, since it costs so much. He is going to call me when the part comes in, so he can install it.

My friend Kathy got some good news this week about her job, so that's good. She also was battling sinusitus, but she's much better now.

I was really sleepy tonight, for some reason. I went to bed at 10pm! That's super early for me.

  Thursday 2/7/19

I slept for 10 hours! Wow! I got out of bed around 8:30.

The pest control guy came around 9:45. I put Brandy back in the bedroom. I called them because we've seen a few live insects in the living room. Hopefully this will be the end of the live ones!

I'm still trying to do tons of dishes and clean the kitchen...it's taking me a while because I've been so busy.

Brandy was annoying this morning. She grabbed a pair of my socks (they weren'tSAU early in the morning even on the floor!) and ran with them, trying to get me to chase her. I was not happy to do that.  I can't get mad at her because she thinks we're playing a game. She loves to be chased.

David came home around 10:50, and he took me in to school. Trisha couldn't make it today. I had breakfast before I left, so I wasn't hungry. I mailed our birthday card to my MIL and said hi to Mary and Carla, who were having lunch. I got a soda and chatted with them awhile. Then I rushed off to my voice lessons. It wasn't a great lesson because I was congested and not very warmed up.

It started raining when we left the house, and then it was pouring a lot of the day. When I got up, it was 70 degrees. By the time I came out of my last class, it was in the 50's. Then it dropped to the 30's at night. So weird!!!

I got more soda at Reynolds. I saw Amber, who didn't have a coat or an umbrella. I offered to walk with her back to Bruce, and share my umbrella with her, before my class. That was my good deed for the day! Fortunately, she's short, too, so it was very easy.

I was sick off and on today from something I ate with gluten.

My class was fine...nothing special. I got a lot of work done on my site with my laptop during class. I went home right after. The rain was letting up, so I took Brandy chicken dishon her walk. I really do want to walk her twice a day, again, but I've been very tired.

I had a late lunch, so I wasn't really hungry for dinner. Brandy on my lap

Later on, David picked me up again, and we went to Java Primo for dinner.  They got rid of the bison burger, which I liked a lot. Bummer. I ordered this chicken dish that I'd had before. It was not as good this time. The chicken was over-cooked. I mostly ate the veggies and took the rest home. I ate the rest later on.

Brandy likes to be a lap dog sometimes, even though she's way too big!

I stayed up way too late, until about 5am.

  Friday 2/8/19

I woke up before the alarm went off (don't you hate that??!!??) and then tried to go back to sleep again. I got up around 9:30. I just barely had time to take a shower, check the mail, eat breakfast, take my pills, brush my teeth and get the dog ready before David picked me up around 10 till 11.

My neck and shoulder were hurting a little; the shower helped. Later on, I took hand wrapped upanother Aleve and muscle relaxer.

I had my physical therapy at 11. I thought it was my last one, but I guess I have two more, so we scheduled them for next Wednesday and Thursday. This pictures is my hand! First they put a plastic glove on it, then they dip it in hot wav, and then they wrap it in towels and other stuff.

It was 27 degrees when I woke up, but it had gotten to 30 degrees by the time I went to PT. I read on Facebook that even Los Angeles was 30 today! Weird weather.  It was cold all day and night.hot chocolate

After the PT, David took me back home. I had been very sleepy all morning, but I took Brandy out for a walk. I made sure to bundle up, so it wouldn't be too cold. The nice thing about it being so cold is that there were no other dogs out or barking at us.

I had run another load of dishes last night, so I put it away this afternoon.  The guys came from Dyson to look at the dishwasher. It was still leaking. I put Brandy in the bedroom while they were here. They took about an hour but fixed it. It cost way too much, though. Hopefully it will keep working!

I ate way too much today...I took a nap in the afternoon because I was so tired.

I've just been working on my site, doing laundry, and watching TV. I think I'll go to sleep around midnight.

  Saturday 2/9/19

hanging out with BrandyI slept until 10:30! Too much sleep. It's been very cold today, mostly in the 30's. Brrr!

We went to lunch at Backyard Barbecue, which is always great. I wanted to try their pie, but they were low on pies today, so I just had a tiny slice of cherry cheesecake (it was OK, and I didn't eat the crust). I want to go back sometime and try their coconut or lemon meringue, which always looks so good. I only had a little of the BBQ. It wasBBQ way too spicy today. They put sauce on the ribs, which they usually don't. That makes it more spicy as well as adds carbs I don't need. I ate more of it later in the day for my other meals.

We stopped briefly after lunch at Brookshire's to get a few things.

Then I took Brandy out for her walk. I made sure to bundle up. I hate when my glasses get fogged up.

I've just been working on my site today... and messing around on social media.

In the evening, after dinner, we watched some TV and listened to the usual America's Top 40 from Casey Kasem. This week it was 1973.

This is so funny...earlier in the week, I passed by the room in Reynolds where people were donating blood. I saw Rhett, from my classes, hanging out, so I chatted with him (mostly about giving blood). I had intended to stop by there and donate blood, too, but I just never got around to it. I tend to be pretty busy when I'm on campus. I'm either eating, practicing, or in class, usually.  Anyway, tonight I checked my SAU email and Rhett won the prize they were giving out for donating. It was some kind of prize pack of a dinner in Texarkana, something like that. I'm so glad that he won. He's a nice guy.

BrandyI think it rained a bit in the late afternoon, early evening. I'm glad I was indoors.

Later on, after David went to bed, Brandy decided to eat some Hershey's Kisses foil wrappers that he'd left on the table next to the couch. Stupid dog! I swear, she eats everything. I hope she'll be OK.

I stayed up way too late, catching up on this, until almost 4am. Yikes!

  Sunday 2/10/19

I guess the rain helped warm things up because it's supposed to be a little warmer today, in the 40's and 50's. That's good. I don't think it cracked 40 yesterday!

BrandyI know I've been saying this for years, but I've been trying harder this month to take my blood sugar at regular intervals and trying to stay in the right range. It's not easy. I tend to go up above 200 if I even look at sugar. I will keep trying, though!

I woke up around 11, took a shower and got the bedroom ready for Brandy. David and I went to the Italian restaurant, II Brothers. My salad was OK. He didn't think his spaghetti was quite as good as usual.

Then we went to Wal-Mart to do our regular grocery shopping.  We didn't have too much to get...

When we came back, I walked Brandy, and then David and I shared some chocolate-covered strawberries I'd found in the produce section. Yum!Brandy

It's in the high 40's today, so it's warmer. Supposed to rain later, too.

I spent the afternoon working on my site, among other things. Brandy was being a pest! I took a short nap in my chair. Getting old! LOL!

chicken dinnerGoing to Antigua's soon with David. I'll just watch him eat...that place always makes me sick. Which is too bad because I like their food. Well, I did end up eating their chicken dish, anyway. ARGH!

Here's an actual conversation we had today. I posted it on Facebook because I think it's funny: Typical married middle-aged conversation:

Me: Is this magazine new?
Him: I don't know.
Me: Well, did you leave it here? Did it come in the mail today?
Him: Well, it wouldn't have come in today's mail, since it's Sunday. No mail.
Me: Oh, it's Sunday? (shocked)
Him: Um, yeah....Oh, no, wait. Never mind.
Me: I thought you had gotten the mail...so, it didn't come today?
Him: No.
Me: OK. Good. Don't confuse me!

This week's new flowersI've got so much to do today. I have to watch some episodes of this new show "American Soul" because I'm interviewing one of the stars of that tomorrow. Then I have to come up with the questions. I have to do laundry and dishes, and put away last week's laundry. I have other things to do on my site, and I have to practice my singing. I also need to start my blog post that's due Thursday.  Too much!!!

I stayed up until about 1am watching TV shows to prepare for my interview. I did manage to run the dishes, too.

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