Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Anniversary Fat Cat!

On Thanksgiving Day, I got an email from Fat Cat inviting us to join them from 1 to 4:20 today for jazz. Today was the its tenth anniversary.

I had a class to teach, followed by a tutoring appointment scheduled to end at 3:30. Jeff walked over to Fat Cat and I planned to meet him about 4. I figured at least I'd hear about 20 minutes plus of music.

Unfortunately, I ran into heavy traffic going from my class to my tutorial. It took me an extra 15 minutes. After the session, my student's father talked to me for about 10 minutes about scheduling. I had had to leave immediately after our first session, and didn't want to rush off again.

Luckily there wasn't much traffic on my return trip, and the band played beyond 4:30.  I got to hear two songs. We had a health pizza, one of the specials. Once Jeff learned it had lots of garlic, he ordered it. Delicious. A nice way to celebrate an anniversary.

Friday, November 29, 2013

In the 56 Percent

I had two tutoring appointments today, and I heard many commercials as well as news reports about Black Friday shopping when I was in the car. I hate the over-commercialization of Christmas. I hate that holiday is just another excuse for rampant consumerism. I hate how the start of the Christmas season creeps earlier each year.

I heard that 56 percent of Americans do not intend to go shopping this weekend. I am among that group. I have no interest in shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year. I don't want to wait in the cold to fight crowds and get stressed out.

I just don't get the appeal.

One of the most frustrating recent developments has been the extension of Black Friday to Thanksgiving day. It bothers me on principle, but more importantly it's troubling what this does to retail workers, forced out of their holidays. It was damn disappointing to hear how successful Thanksgiving day sales were.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts

It's been a tough week for me to be thankful. I've been focused instead on what I don't have--what I'm missing. I know it's a crappy attitude to have, but that's where my head's been lately.

Just taking the time to focus on the good makes a difference.

As usual, I'm thankful that I don't have to travel this holiday.We had a nice visit and dinner with Jeff's family.

I'm thankful for Jeff and Spike. Jeff and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in September. Spike has fully recovered from a health crisis in February.

We have a good life. Can I ask for more than that?


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Veronica Mars Re-Watch: Season Two Episode One

Normal is the Watchword

It's been a while since my last Veronica Mars episode post. Now that the movie is in the works, I want to re-watch Season Two and Three before we see the film.

The opening scene has Veronica trying to get back to a normal life; she's not solving mysteries anymore--she's working at a coffee shop, Jabba the Hut (great name.) Keith's on TV, being interviewed about his book about Lilly.

In flashbacks, we see the resolution of one of the Season One finale cliffhangers: who was at Veronica's door in the early morning after her showdown with Aaron?

It was Logan. His appearance answers another cliffhanger question--he was beaten up by Weevil and other members of the PCH gang. They found a drunken Logan when Weevil still thought Logan had killed Lilly. Soon Leo arrives to arrest Logan--PCHer Felix has been killed in the fight with Logan.

Veronica's normal life doesn't last long: Wallace and Meg (among others) have failed their drug tests and have been kicked off the basketball team and cheerleading squad respectively. That's the mystery of the week.

More flashbacks: the case against Logan was dropped, creating more conflicts between the 09ers and the non-09ers. Veronica has broken up with Logan because of his part in the ongoing feud with the non-09ers, and has gotten back with Duncan. Meg is bitter about that development and blames Veronica. Logan is having an affair with Dick and Beaver's ex-Laker cheerleader stepmother.

The episode ends with the journalism students' field trip to Shark Stadium. The baseball team's owner is running for mayor, and introduces his daughter Gia. 09er Dick complains about a bad smell on the bus and gets a limo for the return trip. All the 09ers except Meg take the limo.

Veronica misses the bus, so Weevil gives her a lift. As they drive around a bend, they see smoke, kids rushing from the limo and learn that the bus went off the road into the water below.

The season-long mystery emerges.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Weird Story

Once again Shakesville has given me the idea for today's post: a weird story from my life.

The first time Jeff and I went away together, we drove up to Cape Cod. We stayed in  Dennisport, but headed up to Provincetown for the day. Back in a Dennisport restaurant for dinner, I visited the ladies room. This restaurant continued its marine theme by labeling the bathrooms Gulls and Buoys. I was surprised when I emerged from the stall to see a guy in the ladies room.

"What are you doing in the men's room?" he asked.

I told him, "This is the ladies room."

He insisted that gulls were guys; I disagreed.  "Look, there's a tampon machine; this is the ladies room."

He then asked if I was in the such-and-such bar in Provincetown that afternoon. I was; that's where Jeff and I said lunch.

It made for a good story when I went back to the table.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Soup

I intended to make pumpkin soup today, but I was lazy and forgot. Maybe tomorrow.

I made a batch a few weeks ago: vegetable broth, organic pumpkin, carrots, apples, pears, garlic and scallions. I didn't have a recipe; I improvised based on what we had. It was pretty good.

This timely post was on Shakesville today. One of the entries describes a spiced pumpkin soup: more ideas for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Random Sunday Thoughts

It's the coldest day of the season. Yet, winter is almost a month away.

Winter is Coming.

House Stark, will you recover? I heard that the original title of the last volume of A Song of Ice and Fire was supposed to be A Time for Wolves. Starks survive!

As I was driving back home today, I heard a story about trust in news sources. It said that Walter Cronkite was perhaps the most trusted man in America--"Uncle Walter." In this Kennedy-heavy news cycle, the program included Cronkite's reporting of the Nixon resignation.

My brother used to call me "A Walter Cronkite groupie."

One of the most interesting Kennedy articles I read recently is from the New York Times. It discusses the interruption of As the World Turns with the news of Kennedy's shooting.

We watched our second UVM basketball game versus Duke. We weren't expecting much because Duke. But it was an exciting game. The Catamounts came within seconds of a huge upset, losing 91-90. Kurt had seven points.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Morning Girl

Morning Girl is one of Jeff's nicknames for me because I walk Spike in the mornings. When Spike first came to live with us, Jeff had to start work at 8. I worked at home doing freelance work, and had an afternoon job. I've also been a little more of a morning person than Jeff. So, it was only natural for me to assume the morning walking duties.

Currently, I'm teaching classes on Saturday and Sunday morning starting at 9. For the last few weeks, I've relied on Jeff to walk Spike those mornings. Either Spike was still in bed, or I was pressed for time.

Today, Spike got up with me. This is common because each morning he gets a thyroid pill (in a yummy pill pocket), a greenie and a greenie joint care (with glucosamine and chondroitin.) He usually gets his "breakfast" and immediately goes back to bed.

Today, Spike waited for me outside the bathroom as I showered. I quickly dressed and took him for a walk, around 7:15. It's possible that Spike just had to go, but normally he waits by the door if that's the case.

I prefer to think that Spike just wanted to ensure that he and I would walk together.

It makes me happy to think that.

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years

As someone old enough to remember JFK's assassination, I feel compelled to write about it today. Even though I don't have anything profound to say.

I was in the third grade, Mrs. Owens' class. I remember her going to the doorway to see Mr. Buck, the principal. Then she came back and told us the news. It must have been shocking, though I don't remember feeling much of anything.

We watched TV for the next several days. I think I saw Jack Ruby kill Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV, though there were so many replays that I can't be sure.

I remember the 1960 election at our house. My ten-year-old sister was a Nixon fan; she had a Nixon headquarters sign in her bedroom. She couldn't understand this later as a 17-year-old supporter of Bobby Kennedy. I remember her coming downstairs from her attic bedroom in 1968 to tell us that Bobby had been shot after the California primary.

This has been a kind-of-stream of consciousness post. From the JFK assassination to the 1960 election to Bobby's death. They all blend together for me.

There have been so many mass killings and assassinations since 1963; it's hard to remember how shocking JFK's death was back then. I won't say we were innocent as a country, but maybe we were naive.

I don't know, I was too young.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Work (Out) in Progress

I believe in making goals, plans and to-do lists. But belief is never enough or what Roseanne said.

One goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year is to exercise for at least a half hour every day. I knew all along I wouldn't meet this goal; it's clearly aspirational. I figure if I can meet it halfway--I'll be in good shape.

A big part of the exercise goal is going to the gym--three or four times a week. I take a small notebook with me to keep track of my workouts.  Looking back at my entries for this year, I didn't do as well as I remembered. July was my best month--I visited the gym 16 times. I did poorly in September--only three visits.

Year-to-date, I've been to the gym 96 times. It isn't even close to my goal, but it's a big improvement over 2012--I visited the gym only 35 times all year.

Small steps. Maybe I'll get there eventually.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Netflix Movie Night: 42

I expected to like 42: a baseball movie with good triumphing over evil.

I did like it, though I know the struggle against racism continues. And I'm sure the movie whitewashed (pardon the pun) much of the bigotry and racism.

A few things stood out for me:

I didn't know from where I recognized the actress who played Rachel Robinson until I saw the credits: it was Nicole Beharie from Sleepy Hollow.

The racist Philadelphia manager was played by Alan Tudyk, my beloved Wash from Firefly.

"Robinson round third, headed for home sweet home." This was a line written by Wendell Smith, the black sports writer who cannot sit in the (all white) press box.

A young boy catches a ball that Jackie throws from a train. I asked Jeff if he was going to be someone famous, such as Hank Aaron. In the end credits, he was identified as Ed Charles, a member of my beloved Mets, the 1969 Miracle-Mets version.

I also loved one of the end credit songs with the line," Life is a ballgame, but you got to play it fair."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seen and Photographed

As I've mentioned before, there's been a lot of construction and repair work going on in our neighborhood. It has curtailed Spike's current favorite morning walk route, but we were able to take it today. Down the hill around the hospital, up the next street and back home. It was a sunny day, warmer than I expected, so the walk was a pleasure.

I stopped to take this photo:

 
 
This owl is sitting on a lawn of a multi-family house near its parking lot. I suppose there's some kind of story behind this owl. I've tried to imagine it, but haven't come up with anything good yet. 



Monday, November 18, 2013

Catamount Basketball

I used to watch a lot of professional basketball, but not college ball. That's changed. Our nephew, Kurt, is now playing for the University of Vermont.

Tonight was the first time we were able to catch a game on TV. It wasn't a good night for Vermont--losing by 21 points to Providence. At least Kurt got a decent amount of playing time and scored five points.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hampton Court Memories

I wasn't feeling well earlier this week, so it was a good time to catch up on some DVR recordings. I wrote about a few Bette Davis films I saw. I also watched a show about the secrets of Hampton Court.

In 1982, I went to London with my father, sister and a few of my sister's friends. My sister Joanna was good at finding tours and bargains. We got a good fare but didn't spend much time with the tour group. Joanna had lived in London for a year and was able to show us around.

Anne Boleyn's home, Hever Castle, was closed when we visited London in November. Of course, we went to the Tower of London, but we also visited Hampton Court Palace. We took the train from London one morning. I must have heard about the influence of Charles II, William and Mary, and Queen Anne during the tour, but I only remember the Tudors. I loved seeing the intertwined H and A that remained in the gateway despite the workers' best efforts to remove all traces of Anne. I also imagined Catherine Howard running down the Haunted Gallery in her attempt to reach Henry. I remember our gift shop purchases: I got an Anne Boleyn paperweight and a Six Wives of Henry VII tea cup. I think Joanna got a Six Wives dish towel.

We stopped for lunch at a local pub around the corner before heading back to London. It was one of the best meals we had that trip.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Moon Over Taylor Farm

Today we got to Taylor Farm about 4:45. It was already growing dark. It was warm, and we saw a few familiar faces. Nice, if not as nice as Dog Park Friday.

We saw a beautiful full moon:

 





Bonus Photo: Here is Spike resting on the ride back from Vermont last Sunday:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Joanna's Song Parodies

Last weekend when we were in Vermont, I suddenly remembered the lyrics of a song my sister (and perhaps her husband) made up about an imaginary restaurant, Pork and Cork. I don't know what triggered my memory.

Joanna had a talent for parody. I remember a lyric about her lawyer to the tune of  the Spiderman cartoon,

"Is he bald? Listen bud, he's so bad he wears a rug."

Her song that I  remember best was written for Jeff's friend after Jeff's bachelor party; the tune was "The Ballad of Jed Clampett."

      Listen to a story about a man named Jed
      His plane was late, so he didn't get fed
      He started to drink without any food
      Later that night he was acting crude
      Puking, that is.
      Well, the next thing you know, ole Jed's puked up his guts...

She definitely had a flair for music. I miss her songs.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dog Park Afternoon

It's been over a week since I went to a dog park with Spike--his birthday to be precise. We were busy, then away, then I wasn't feeling well and it was cold.

I decided today was the day. It had warmed up to around 50 degrees, and I had some free time. Spike got excited as we approached Taylor Farm. He started what I can best describe as a high-pitched squealing. He even barked as we pulled into the parking lot; he couldn't wait to get out. I was happy to see him so happy.



Here's a photo of the afternoon sky.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hitchcock Revisited: The Girl

I watched Hitchcock the other night, and today I caught the other 2012 Hitchcock film, The Girl.

Toby Jones looks and sounds more like Hitchcock than Anthony Hopkins, but he seems more distant. I like Imelda Staunton, but her role as Alma is much smaller than Helen Mirren's in Hitchcock so I won't compare the performances.

I didn't like this film; it just left me cold. Hitchcock is an ass (at best); Alma apologizes for her husband's actions but is unwilling or unable to do anything about it. And I don't know why, but I just couldn't care much about Sienna Miller's Tippi Hedren.

Overall, a disappointment.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

TCM Catch-Up: Storm Center and Payment on Demand

Storm Center 1956

It's always a pleasure to see a Bette Davis movie for the first time. By my count, she's made 87 films, and I've only missed about six of them (not counting television movies.)

Bette plays the town librarian--Alicia Hull. She appears in the first shot, striding purposefully to the free public library, then greeting the children, directing the custodian, telling the assistant where to find a book and discussing a new children's wing with a member of the city council.

Alicia's problems start when she is asked to remove "The Communist Dream" from the library shelves. She agrees at first, but finds she can't do it. Alicia loses her job, is personally attacked as a Communist and becomes the town pariah.

Unfortunately, the story gets too melodramatic; the town too suddenly realizes the error of its ways. It could have been a much better film.


 Payment on Demand 1951

Bette is great as Joyce Ramsay. In the opening scene, she clearly establishes herself as a snobby society matron. Watching her sweep around a train on her gown reminds me of a story of how director William Wyler made her shoot and re-shoot a scene looping part of her riding habit to capture the feeling of the old South in Jezebel.

After her husband David suddenly tells her he wants a divorce, she relives her marriage through a series of flashbacks. Joyce cheats a friend by steering lucrative legal business to her husband; Joyce refuses to move to a farm because her children will have to play with farmhands; Joyce maneuvers an invitation to a society event; Joyce lies to the cheated friend who desperately needs financial help. Next, she blackmails her husband into giving up all his money to save the reputation of his paramour.

This is another film hurt by a weak ending. Joyce is disillusioned by her new role as a divorcee This happens after only two weeks or so--and is a bit heavy-handed. After the marriage of their daughter, David tells her he wants her back. She says she'll be waiting. This comes out of left field, as she's shown no regret at her behavior, only fear of a lonely life.

Still, I was glad to see this movie again after several years. The acting was very good, especially Bette and Jane Cowl as a society matron turned lonely divorcee.

Monday, November 11, 2013

HBO On Demand: Hitchcock

We watched Hitchcock last night. It's more of a story about the making of Psycho than a biography.

I enjoyed it on that level. I didn't realize what a departure Psycho was from mainstream films of the late fifties.  It was fascinating to see how wrong the studio was about the film's profitability, and the controversy about the flushing toilet.

Hitchcock as a person was an ass. I wasn't interested in watching him be a jerk to his wife, but Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren were both good.

Hitchcock was made in 2012. Ironically so was The Girl, detailing the making of The Birds. I haven't seen that film yet. Apparently, Hitchcock was more of an ass in that.

Droopy

I've been exhausted all day. I guess I didn't get enough sleep in Vermont and it's catching up with me. As the day continued, I felt achy and chilled. So I took it easy; I unpacked, did four loads of laundry and started to work on my new SAT manual.

I hope going to bed early will help me feel better.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Vermont Getaway

Jeff and I hadn't been up to Vermont in years; I'd forgotten how much I like it. During the drive up, I looked at villages nestled in valleys and tried to imagine myself in them. Snow showers started as we approached our motel in Quechee. That was a bit of a shock; I hadn't prepared myself for snow.

We didn't have much time to explore. We checked out Quechee Gorge Village Friday and today (we didn't have time for the antique mall on Friday.)  Yesterday before the wedding, we drove over to Woodstock and did a little shopping.

Instead of taking highways the whole way home, we selected a different route. We took I-91 down to Brattleboro and then took Route 9 West (also known as The Molly Stark trail) to Bennington, where we picked up Route 7. We stopped at Hogback Mountain for the 100 Mile View and finally found a restaurant in Lanesborough, Massachusetts around 3 PM for a late lunch.

It was a long day. Our drive up including a quick lunch stop took four-and-a-half hours. Our return drive: nine hours. We spent about 45 minutes at Quechee Gorge Village and much longer than expected at lunch. We also made a few wrong turns. Early nightfall made the drive seem longer and less enjoyable. It was a relief to get home.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Vermont Wedding

Today we attended a wedding at Our Lady of the Snows Roman Catholic Church in Woodstock, Vermont, luckily without the snow in the linked photo. I usually don't care for wedding masses, but this was a beautiful ceremony.

Onto to The Parker House in Quechee for dinner and music.

Congratulations Jess and Jared.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Heading to Vermont

Sometime in the next hour, Jeff, Spike and I will hit the road for Vermont. Jeff's best friend from high school is getting married tomorrow. Of course we're attending, but getting here was a little rocky.

I teach a SAT small group tutorial on Saturday mornings. I don't like missing sessions, but this will be worth it. I secured a substitute back in September.

Next, what about Spike? Jeff found a conveniently located, dog-friendly motel, but we had to figure out what to do with him during the wedding and reception.. A friend of Jared (the groom) has offered Spike the run of her house during that time.

What to wear? Jeff has a few suits, but I had nothing. I'll spare you the details of my shopping angst and frustration. I ordered a dress (actually two dresses to compare sizes) and it arrived two days earlier than expected.  The wedding isn't formal, so I should have many opportunities to wear the dress again.

On Tuesday, I learned that my substitute has some family problem and can't teach this Saturday. I started to stress. I had done everything I was supposed to do, but now wondered if I would miss the wedding (and today with Jeff and Spike.) Luckily, the office manager assured me she would find a sub, or reschedule the class.

Just waiting now for Jeff to finish a phone interview and we'll be on our way. It's a nice day; I'm looking forward to the drive.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Netflix Movie Night: The Kiss of the Vampire

When we were reviewing Netflix for Halloween movies, I added the Hammer film, Kiss of the Vampire to our queue. I used to go to the Saturday matinees every week and often saw horror movies; this was one of those movies. I've seen it since then, but not in many years.

The movie holds up for the most part. It is mysterious and atmospheric, with a haunting score. The sets are stunning--from the spooky woods to the almost-deserted Grand Hotel--to the eerie but beautiful castle. The opening cemetery scene is memorable, as well as the masked ball.

But, there are a few buts. Why was Gerald so oblivious to the creepiness of the Ravnas? Why did the Ravnas try to convince Gerald that he didn't have a wife? How could they pull that off? Why didn't they convert him at the same time as they converted Marianne? Why were the vampires so whiny?

Still, I was glad to see the film again.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shattered

Last night as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I picked up a small piece of pottery from Key West with a rooster painted on it that I use it as a spoon rest. As I was dried it off, I started thinking about the Key West chickens. It was nice to have the spoon rest--something I see every day--to remind me of our visits.

 About ten minutes later, I picked up the dish towel and heard a crash. I had forgotten that I left the rooster spoon rest in the towel. I found three large pieces and thought that I might be able to repair it, but then I realized that another piece had shattered into tiny pieces. I actually teared up. An overreaction to be sure, but I don’t have much from Key West.

Why do I break the things that are hard to replace? One of life’s household mysteries—along with what happens to missing individual socks?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Winner of Face-Off (Season Five) is....

Laura.

Laura first appeared in Season Three and was consistently strong throughout her season, making it to the Final Three.

This year in the veterans versus newbies, three veterans made it to the finals. Laura, Roy (Season Three) and Tate (Season One.) The challenge was Swan Lake in a specific historical setting: Laura--Italian Renaissance, Roy--Ming Dynasty, and Tate--Industrial Revolution.

All of the make-ups were awesome. I did think Laura's was the most beautiful.

Congratulations, Laura.

Congratulations Mayor-Elect Rilling!

Harry Rilling has defeated current Mayor Richard Moccia of Norwalk to become the  next mayor of Norwalk, CT.  According to News12, Norwalk has only had a Democrat as mayor for four of the previous 26 years.

I had no idea I lived in such a Republican city.

I'm glad to see that change.

Happy 13th Birthday Spike!

Today is a happy day.

 


Sorry the photo is off center; it's hard to focus with a beagle walking towards you. It's the only picture today that captures what we call "happy face."

Yes, it's a happy day, but I can't help but think about how it could have been...If I hadn't seen Spike keel over, if we hadn't gotten Spike to the vet's when we did. Luckily, we did take care of Spike, and he's fully recovered.

Spike's had a good day. We had breakfast with duck bacon. Later we took him to Cranbury Park. First, Spike played with a few other dogs. Then we went for a walk along the trails.





 Later, I'm making filet mignon for dinner. Spike will also get a celebratory Frosty Paw for dessert.

We love you, Spike. Happy Birthday.

Monday, November 4, 2013

TV Time

Now that the baseball season is over, we have more time to watch prime time television. But we watch too much TV anyway, so maybe we should take this opportunity to turn it off.

But not tonight--we watched Sleepy Hollow. I've only seen three episodes, but I think Jeff's caught them all. We watched the pilot as a lark; it was interesting, and not as silly as I expected.

Haven't gotten into any other new shows this season, and we lost a few that we did watch. We liked Copper. Unfortunately, the season finale was also the series finale. Copper had a good mix of complex, gray characters in an unusual setting: the 1865 NYC neighborhood of Five Points. I'll miss it.

I watched The White Queen over the summer. I was disappointed with the witchcraft angle, but the show got better as it went along, The last two episodes were very good. Apparently, it was only intended to last for one season. The series ends with Henry VII winning the crown. The Tudors started with Henry VIII. I'd love to see more of Henry VII's story.

Our favorite reality show is Face-Off--now in its fifth season. The twist was veteran contestants competing against newcomers. I think an all star format would have been fairer. I also would have preferred to see the runners up from the previous four seasons. Two of my favorites, Tate and Laura, returned. Each had made the final three in his/her season. Tomorrow night is the season finale with the final three contestants: Tate, Laura and Roy. Roy was another season three contestant with Laura. He should have made final three that season. I like all three but think Laura and Tate are both stronger than Roy. We'll have to see what happens.

.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Year-End is Fast Approaching

Got this article in my email today. Most of it doesn't apply to me--I don't worry about holiday festivities; I don't overbook myself; I don't host any celebrations; I don't bake.

But I need this message: don't write off the year yet.

It's November 3rd: most of my goals are as far from completion as they were on January 1st.  But that's not a good reason to give up. I still have two months to go. Plus any kind of progress is good.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Evening at Taylor Farm

As I mentioned here, last night was possibly the final dog park Friday of the year. It was a beautiful, mild night. I'm just sorry that I had to leave before everyone else.

Here are some photos.







Friday, November 1, 2013

Mixed Bag

I'm tired and should be in bed, but I'm still winding down and couldn't let the first of November go without some kind of post. I expected to be home around nine tonight, but it was after 10.

I had a mammogram and breast ultrasound today and all was well. I don't worry despite my family history. But I was several months late with these tests and needed to get them done.

Jeff, Spike and I went to probably our last dog park Friday for the year. Next week with the daylight savings fall back, it will be dark by 5 PM. Tonight we had a good turn-out for this time of year: ten people.

I left the dog park because I had an teachers meeting/cocktail party. That was disappointing. The "scrumptious" appetizers promised weren't close to scrumptious in my estimation. More importantly, the 7 PM sharp meeting started at 7:15 and went a half hour later than promised. Many blew off the post meeting get-together at the Southport Brewing Company. Either they had too far to drive or it was too late. At least it was a good idea.

Last month I considered whether I should try National Novel Writing Month again. I decided against it. Instead I'll do National Blog Posting Month. I did well with it last year; I wrote 35 posts for November, though I missed one day by posting at 12:01. I will also do some other writing.  I'm thinking 500 words per day besides the blog. I know I won't make it today and didn't do it last year, but I've got to try.