Today in My History

2000:  I Have a Dream
2001:  Does Size Really Matter?
2002:  Pelican Brief
2003:  Hit Men
2004:  Follow the Yellow Brick Road
2005:  Gilbert Was Right
Idle Questions
2007:  Virtual Immortality
2008:  And the Fires Continue to Burn
2009:  Firenze
2010:  Doghouse
2011:  Insidious Takeover
2012: Signing Day
2013: Bri's Bad Weekend
2014: Did God Make Farts?
2015: Home Again, Home Again
2016: Life in Threes

Bitter Hack
Updated 6/22
"Beauty and the Beast"

Books Read in 2017
 Updated 6/24
"The Horse and His Boy"

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010


updated 7/16

(you know how to fix it)

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Airy Persiflage

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The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

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7 July 2017

If  there is one thing you can say about the Sykes family, they are a chatty bunch.  We in-laws joke about "hour Baur" which means that nobody can say goodbye to anybody in less than an hour ("Baur" is a family name too).  They truly enjoy being with each other and love sharing memories of their childhood, and remembering the quirks of beloved relatives who are no longer with us.

Over the weekend, both Olivia (Norm's wife) and me (Walt's wife) were complimented for our patience sitting and listening to Norm, Walt and Alice Nan talking about the old days when they were growig up in Hawaii, though Olivia and I have heard most of the stories so often that we could tell some of them as if they had happened to us.  But they never tire of remembering the things that happened during their "Leave it to Beaver" childhoods.  I admire them. 

Kids growing up in San Francisco didn't have any of those experiences, so it's fun to relive them vicariously.

When you are passionate about something, you assume that everyone is enjoying the chit chat as much as you are, but I had a couple of ah-ha moments, things I had not thought about before.

We are a theater family.  I grew up with theater, Walt and I started dating because of theater, our kids grew up with theater, I have sworn often that we have no original often we speak in quotes from shows.  Jeri and I are forever comparing shows that we have worked, her in the orchestra pit, me in the audience making mental notes for writing a review.

I don't know how the subject of my reviewing came up over a visit over the past week but I got to talking about why I continue to review, and how it is the promise of a big show coming in the next year or so that keeps me going.  How I had first stuck around for Billy Elliot and then for The Lion King, then Book of Mormon and now I'm holding out for Hamilton, which I am guessing will come to Sacramento in a couple of years.  For free tickets I can wait!

The woman I was talking to looked blank and admitted that she has never been to live theater that wasn't a dance performance by her young grandchildren.  She had never heard of Hamilton and thought it odd that someone wrote a black version of American History.  I was struck by the fact that there are some people in this world who have no clue whatsoever about theater.  (Her own passions are with things that I can't relate to at all.)

Someone else told me that she feels left out when we talk about theater because she doesn't really know all that much and can't contribute to the conversation.  I felt guilty about that, because I don't mean to leave anybody out.  But then I remembered the days and weeks that I've spent listening to sports talk.  I know essentially nothing of sports and care nothing.  I enjoy a game if others are watching it (though I rarely get "into" it unless it's a 49er game, when the most fun is watching Tom and Bri watching together), but I know nothing of golf (I don't even know what a "birdie" is) and don't know the names of any players, whether golf, baseball, basketball, tennis or football.  So I understand how she feels lost when we talk of theater, but that's what you do when you are with people you care about.  You listen to their passions, even if you can't contribute, and they listen to yours...and along the way, maybe each of you learns a little something.  If nothing else you can enjoy their enthusiasm about something you don't understand.

A friend of mine emailed me this picture.  She had been to see my mother while we were in Santa Barbara and had brought her a box of Sees candy.   They apparently had a good visit, though I know my mother didn't remember her from the days when they used to have lunch occasionally in the Atria dining room (Peg has now moved to a different facility).

I went back to visit my mother yesterday and she looked amazed, saying she never expected to see me there.   She was watching Milo and Otis in the common room, and watching it.  I had never seen her actually watch something on the TV there. 

I tried to tell her about the Santa Barbara trip (it was something to talk about) and she really tried to follow what I was saying.  I have taken to talking to her the way I used to talk with our non-English speaking foreign guests.  Very simple declarative sentences, simple vocabulary.  I could sense she was concentrating very hard, but nothing ever registered and she would ask me questions like "who is Bri?" and why were you reading a book?

But it passed the time until 3:30.  Jeri and I have started what I hope will become a weekly thing where she calls her grandmother at 3:30 every Thursday (and spends 5 minutes answering the question "when are you coming to see me?" over and over again).  I make sure she is in her apartment at 3:30 and that she actually answers the phone, which she does not always do.  This was our second seek and it seems to be working out fine.

The best thing about being away for five days is realizing that she did fine while I was away and that the aids gave me a report on the week.  Also, her leg pain is gone which is also a good thing.  It gave me mental permission to sip a few days between visits now, which I have been feeling guilty for doing.  But she survived 5 days in Santa Barbara, so I don't worry now


That's the biggest egg I've ever seen.
Must be an offspring of Foghorn Leghorn.


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