Monday, September 25, 2017

Off to NT Live - Yerma

Rebecca and I share the same compulsion. That would be, going to National Theater Live Events in our respective Cineplex Theatres. She is an hour behind me, going in Victoria. By the time I have come home and written up something on the blog, she is just arriving home, ready to make a response.

I missed the original event this Thursday and when she called to see if I had gone, she said it was a good thing I missed it. The only event that has been worse is the Medea play a couple of years ago.

With that warning from her, I could hardly have wanted to go see the show.

But I saw an encore was being shown this Saturday and like a lemming to water, I ran out the door of my house on my way to the theatre, with barely enough time to get there. No earrings or necklaces. No rings on my fingers. No lipstick. Old jeans and a t-shirt. Not even the hard fruit candies that I slip into my purse to keep me awake. I was just praying that I wouldn’t meet anyone I knew either coming or going.

Billie Piper in Yerma
The show was as Rebecca warned: gut wrenching.

I don’t know how Duncan continues to go with her time after time, because when a show is billed as a tragedy, things just don’t go well at the end of the film.

They just can’t. It is a tragedy. And in this show they went very poorly.

At one point in the film the couple in question had a baby in their arms and Duncan thought to himself, “If that baby dies, I am just going to walk out of the theatre.” But the plot didn’t go in that direction, thankfully, for it is a long walk home from the theatre in Victoria to his suburb.

The show was worth every painful moment. I loved the scene changes. The theatre blackened and all the viewer saw was white letters on the screen, either telling us which act we were in, or how many months or years had now passed. Kind of like the early silent movie films.

The actors were in a huge glass box with minimal props: a tree, some grass, some moving boxes – stark.

As the day has passed, now one day since I saw the show, I have been thinking about how much over-talking was going on between the actors. I had to either watch her (Billie Piper was called Her in the credits – she was never named) or her husband, (actor Brendan Cowell). I liked the power of that dialogue – in your face, but making it possible for me to listen to either one or the other.

I don’t know when the next NT Live showing will be, but I hope we have done the tragedy for the year and can go onto something much, much more fun.


P.S.  Nex National Theate Live?  Cyrano de Bergerac.  Can hardly wait!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Tap, Tap, Tap

Moiya and I had a sleep over last night. We had been to court in the morning and during the early afternoon. We spent most of that shopping time, just sitting on a bench at Costco, sipping diet Coke and rehearsing the day’s events Then Wyona, Moiya and I spent what was left of the night, doing shopping therapy at Winners. Moiya’s bought an agate necklace.

Red Silk Scarf: $24.99
Agate Necklace: $30.00

Ccst? cheaper than a visit with a psychologist
I bought a red silk scarf and Wyona couldn’t find anything to put in her basket. Wyona dropping Moiya and I off here after all of the stores had closed. Moiya and I typed up notes and finally hit the bed about 1 am.

I wanted to talk a bit more to her, but Moiya does a considerable amount of lip reading, so after the lights were out and every time I wanted to say something to her, I had to leap up out of bed, turn on the light, say my piece and then hop back in bed. I did this a number of times, for there is always just one last thing for me to say at night. When I was finally in bed for the last time, I wanted to say one last-last thing to her without turning on the light. I wanted to tell her I loved her.

That is when I remembered the way Doral used to tell Wyora he loved her. He would lean quietly over to her in church, put his hand on her shoulder and go tap-tap-tap. I must have been into my teens when I asked him what he was doing when I saw him do this at church to her. It was a one way gesture. Doral would do it to Wyora and then she would just smile. I never saw Wyora do it back to Doral.

When I asked Doral why he did that to Wyora, Doral told me that the 3 taps meant “I love you”, and that is the way he could tell Wyora he loved her anytime.

He said he would do it to me too and then he gave me one of the taps that usually went to Wyora.

On remembering this gesture, late at night, I thought I would use it on Moiya, for she was part of the family, and must know about how Doral would send this message to Wyora.

That would be better than jumping up and turning on the light again.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

All I did was hit her enough that she was startled out of the sleep she had already fallen into. And she said, What? What?

That is when I jumped out of bed again, turned on the light and explained what I was doing.  She had no family memory of that gesture.

That being over I turned off the light again.

 Then I felt, boom, boom, boom.

 Either she really loves me or I had woken her one too many times.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

On My Cell Phone

The last thing I do every night is search for my cell phone. This is made easy by my landland which I use to call my cell phone and then I can plug in my cell phone so that it has enough power for another day. That and my fit bit – they feel like children that I must remember to tuck in at night.

I should have learned to love my cell phone by now. I set alarms for medication with it. That feature should be worth the price of its existence every month.

I set other occasional alarms during the day -- to pace my work, or to remind me that it is time to go an appointment.

I take pictures with my phone. I never would have dreamed of having a phone that would take pics.

My phone keeps track of my fitbit progress. I should hail its existence. I also get congratulatory messages over weight loss or the number of steps in a day. How is that for a phone that really cares!

Occasionally someone messages me on my phone and on days when I notice I text back but I am very bad at that. After texting me a person should also phone me and get me to read the text right away, if it is something important.

I have learned how to slide my finger across the keyboard to make texting faster. How cool is that?

As well I use the microphone, and then just hope that the reader can unlock the secrets of words that I say. e.g. Moiya becomes any number of moana, moeia, my yah, etc. Never her name. I solve the problem by just not saying her name. Now that I think of it, and I feel a need to say her name, I will just say, dear sister.

I am going to find a utube video today and learn some more tips and tricks about my phone. I have watched a couple videos and am stunned by all the things I cannot do yet, most of which are about double tap or double swipe and either up and down or left and right.  Or maybe "go to settings".

I am carrying this electronic device that has more secrets than I have time to unlock. And it carries more games to play than I am learn (I just found chess on my phone a couple of days ago). And there are more books to download than I can read (I haven’t even been able to get one yet).

No wonder I don’t love my phone. It is an electronic world that I am afraid to really enter. Just a couple of steps and that is all I am ever going to do with my phone.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Annual Physical

What I am going to talk about isn’t for everyone. But it has been a good idea for me, an idea which started when my mother died at 55 years old. She told me that she had been to the doctor many times while having her babies, but she didn’t have an annual physical on a regular basis. I decided to honour her death, by making sure I had a physical each year – visits to the doctor for having babies or not.

The time for another physical has rolled by again and I booked my appointment – doubling up to also check in after a cardiac oblation. A resident did the exam, which makes it very thorough -- a physical exam and then checking the obvious lungs, ears and heart. As she was doing her exam, I was trying to get her to promise me 7 to 13 years more of a good quality of life. She was holding back on making any promises. The more she resisted the harder I worked to get some kind of commitment from her. Finally she said, “Look, I just came from one of my rounds in oncology.”

“Whoops,” I said. “That is a place where doctors often make life-span predictions. I am backing off.”

I did tell my regular doctor, when she came into the room, that I was surprised at the hands-on physical. A few years ago she told me that those are a thing of the past. That she will give me one if I want, but modern medicine is showing that there are better ways to test what is going on in a body than that old way of doing a physical. She said, “Residents still give them.”

I did get three good warnings from the resident: watching for dizziness, watch for light-headedness, and watch for skipped heart beats. I think all of that is going to work for me.

So I will make the predication about my longevity without the help of medical science.

I have in mind thirteen more good years. I did lament to the intern the slow rate at which I have been able to shed excess pounds.

She said, “Don’t worry about the weight. Just keep moving. That is going to be where your pay-off is.”

Since I got out of the hospital in April, I have done 10,000 steps a day, excepting the two days I travelled to Boyce’s funeral. I know I can’t keep that record up for thirteen years.

Or maybe I can.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

At the movies

LtoR: Alice, Michael, Betty
Michael, Alice and Betty came over to play.

I set up The Fox and the Hound for them to watch and then proceeded to find snacks in a snackless house.

I did have popcorn.  Everyone had a bowl the size of the one you see in front of Betty. Michael needed to eat Betty's popcorn first before diving into his bowl and so I scolded him.

"No, Michael," you can't eat Betty's until your own is finished. Please work on your own bowl. "

I had hardly got the words out of my mouth when she looked straight at me, while turning to him, passing him the bowl and saying, "Here, Michael.  You can have mine."

What?  I am the enemy?

Whenever Alice comes over, she likes to take out my crystal nativity set and play with it.  I was curious about why she did that, so I bought another set, a South American nativity, and yes, she takes that out and plays with it.  So this week I found a boxed wooden set for her, the box opening up into a stable and landscape.  At the bottom left-hand side of the picture, you can see the two wisemen getting rides on a camel and a donkey.

I poured pop for them into shot glasses.  They could drink it faster than I could fill the glasses.  We went through a can of orange, root beer and grape pop.  How fun was that, ounce by ounce into those tiny little glasses.


The clarinet goes doodle, doodle, doodle det ....

How much fun is this!  Learning to play an instrument is the most fun ever.  This brought back lots of memories.

Yesterday I was over at the Bates's house and Charise was practising for her piano lesson this week.

Now Bonnie tells me that David is going to play the clarinet this year.  I can hardly wait to get out there and hear practising from him.

Music to my ears.

I will even offer to be the accompanist when he begins to do solo work.


Thursday, September 14, 2017


... a close up of the texture of injera ...
Pouria prepared an Ethiopian feast for us tonight.

Our meal was set out on injera, a sourdough-risen flatbread with a spongy texture.

When I was looking at it, I was reminded of the underside of a mushroom.

LtoR:Iranian stew, dahl, spicy beef, roasted red peppers

My injera is draped over my 12" plate
to give you an idea of the size of my meal.

So delicious!
He had purchased the injera over at an Ethiopian grocery in northwest Calgary, and then prepared some stews to put on top of it: a dahl, a stew of roasted red peppers, and a spicy beef. “This meal is only 75% Ethiopian,” he said, for he had added an Iranian beef stew as a fourth.

They offered me a fork for a utensil, but I know that the injera is at the same time food, an eating utensil and the plate. I ripped off small portions of the bread, using it to pick up pieces of the stews.

I bet everyone wishes they were at our house tonight.