September 13th, 2016

storyteller doll

Reuning, Among Other Things

Celebrity Death Watch: This was a bad time for transgender performers, with the deaths of both The Lady Chablis and Alexis Arquette. Other notable deaths are of children’s book author Anna Dewdney, electronics retailer and embezzler "Crazy Eddue" Antar, and ska musician, Prince Buster, who has now gone "One Step Beyond."

Embassy of Costa Rica: My alumni association had a dinner and talk at the embassy of Costa Rica on Thursday night. I was tired and grumpy, so not very enthusiastic about it. It did, however, turn out to be a nice evening. The ambassador, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, talked about how he went from science to politics, as well as discussing the direction Costa Rica is taking, both in terms of economics and environment. I had no idea, for example, that their biggest export is medical devices. While the drink selection was unimpressive (and not specific to Costa Rica), the food was very good, especially a tasty cold salmon dish. I left feeling livelier than I had on the way there.

On Republican Turf: I went to a (work-related) breakfast at the Capitol Hill Club on Friday morning. This is, essentially, the national Republican frat house. What I found interesting is a sign of how times have changed. I am beyond the age of need for such things, but the ladies’ room offered free tampons and pads. I cannot imagine that would have been the case just a few years ago.

High School Reunion: My 40th high school reunion was Saturday night. It turned out to be cheaper (and, of course, infinitely lower in stress) to fly up to JFK. I’ve just started flying Jet Blue this year and, so far, I’ve been really impressed with their service. Their boarding process is mildly annoying, but their seats are reasonably sized and they serve okay snacks on short flights. I rented a car from Payless, which shares space with Avis. They were fairly inefficient, but it wasn’t too long a wait before I was able to drive off in a Kia Soul, which would not have been my first choice of a vehicle. On the plus side, I’ve now ruled out yet another potential replacement for my beloved Saturn.

I briefly checked out the Resorts World Casino in Queens, but they didn’t have anything much that I wanted to play. Then I drove out to Long Island. I was staying at the Homewood Suites in Carle Place and, when I arrived, I went to hang up my dress for the evening. Except, oops, I had, um, forgotten to pack it! I distinctly remember taking it out of the closet and draping it over the back of the sofa, ready to pack. Apparently, I must have gotten distracted along the way. (This is why I make checklists to pack for actual vacations.) I had planned on an afternoon nap, but had to make an emergency shopping trip instead. Fortunately, there is a Dress Barn just a couple of blocks from the hotel. I picked out 4 dresses to try on. The first one would have been acceptable. The second one just didn’t work at all. When I tried on the third one – bingo! It was exactly what I wanted, with an interesting neckline and a lovely lace inset in the back. I didn’t even bother to try on the fourth dress. The price was reasonable and nobody would have known about the fiasco had I not told the story. I just think it’s funny that I can remember part of the lyrics to our class song, but can’t manage to remember something like this.

As for the reunion itself, it was lovely. There were, alas, several people I’d have loved to see who weren’t there, but it was great to see those who were. I do admit to sometimes finding myself wondering if I ever knew certain people, but our class was over 400 people and one tended to know only those who shared the same classes and activities. I’d say that, for the most part, people seem happy and successful, though we are at an age where a lot of people are coping with aging or dying parents. Kids grown up, going to college, getting married. A lot of people have found themselves with the resources to do things they always wanted to do but didn’t think they’d be able to – myself included.

Later in the evening, they put on music for dancing. The only problem with that is that the music was very loud – too loud for carrying on a conversation without shouting. We are, after all, middle-aged. Though surprisingly few people look it. I think all the balding men and the wrinkled women just decided to stay home.

Baseball: Because I don’t have enough stress in my life, the Red Sox are being exciting. They’re in first, but there are various birds (Blue Jays and Orioles) within swooping distance.