Monday, June 11, 2007

City Views, Country Dreams

Good Monday evening from New York.

Do you all think that a week begins on Sunday or on Monday? I can take either view, but since I always seem to work on Sundays, I tend to look forward to Monday for my fresh start on the week.

My work schedule, prepared by me, gave me a day off today. Last night I watched a bit of the Tony awards on television. These are our major theatre awards, and are a blend of artistic and commercial recognition. During the past year, I regret that I have not been to the theatre.

In general, my best remembered visits to dramas have occured in London, since for most of my adult life the ticket prices were much more reasonable in the West End, and also the plays and performances were superior. (Seen Olivier, various Redgraves, Holm, Massey, Smith, Richardson, Jackson, Rigg, Pinter, Finney, Dench, Guilgud (spelling ??,) Courtney, O'Toole, Price, Rickman, Ashcroft, and so many other fine actors.) With the dollar in the basement, I cannot travel, but also find that our Broadway ticket prices are just outrageous.

Makes me so angry to realize that I have quite lost the connection to superb artistry. Simultaneously, I do wonder if commercial interests have taken over more artistic and intellectual goals on the stage.

So...watched the Tony awards program without even knowing what the plays might have been like. I do not like musicals, even though my first New York play was the original "Oliver" and I did see Angela Lansbury in "Mame." Give me a dark, engaging drama any night.

Woke us this morning, determined to relax. How revealing is that use of the word determined. How optomistic.

I knew that it would be necessary to go out to the neighborhood bank to get quarters (25 cent coins) to do my laundry, and planned to join that jaunt with a grocery run. But before any of that could occur, my phone rang, and I heard one of my staff members angrily complain that I had scheduled her to work on an upcoming Saturday.

Let me skip past my dark thoughts about why this person should be very glad not to work on more Saturdays. What followed during that call, and many others I made trying to revise the troubling week's schedule, was a reduction of my day off, to an almost half-day off, intermingled with settling troubled waters.

Sometimes I do get quite tired. I had an hour-long nap. I went out in pursuit of my digital camera purchase, only to discover that the model I had picked was out of stock in my neighborhood discount store. More may arrive on Friday, my next day off. I will get there eventually.

It is this repeated putting off of goals that tend to make me impatient. And to wonder why I do work so hard.

Finally got the schedule re-arranged with the whiner. Think she may, or actually may not, realize that the shop is short handed with the absence of our assistant manager. Still no news of the baby, and I am getting more concerned at no news.

In late afternoon, I had a warming phone call to my younger brother, and it was so good to get caught up with him. He is off to the beach next week with his girl friend, and will soon be celebrating his birthday. Since he is the youngest, it is so difficult to realize that he is no longer young. On the other hand, it is lovely to realize that he is a pretty mature man, with a good view on life.

Today's mail brought the annual report that our U.S. government sends us about the status of our "Social Security" benefit. This is what we are to receive when we officially retire from employment, or reach an age that will entitle us to receive the benefit and still keep working.

This September, I will be eligible to receive the benefit, but delaying my filing for that benefit for a few years will definitely increase the monthly payment. I plan to delay my filing, but all the same, on a day like this, it was fun to see that another option was soon to be available. That I would not have to spend another bunch of years of days off on the phone sorting off shop responsibilities.

I have gotten the Margaret Forster "Diary of an Ordinary Woman," checked out from the library and have read about 50 pages while traveling on the subway. When I am waiting around as a prospective juror next week (for what will most likely be two days of jury duty) I very much look forward to taking the Diary along with me. Also may take the sketchbook.

Right now my days and weeks seem to pass way too quickly. I do not feel that I am achieving anything of real value, and that my dreams just drift away. I do not mean to complain, but since this is my diary of sorts, do want to lay down a marker of sorts. I wanted to draw today, but did not.

Again, the expected thunder storm has passed us by. The air has changed while I have been writing these words.

Pleasant dreams to all.


  1. I grew up on musicals and have just bought the dvd of "South Pacific" fro old times sake. Do hang fireo n retirement until yo have totally completed yuor wardrobe! Imagine teh loss of allthose free clothes and having to shop for them and PAY!!!!
    ps blue ridge mountains and carolina plus I understand daughters of the revolutional though goodness knows what they

    I may do anotehr blog onmy otherside about that..

  2. Frances, you sound a little sad today. Is it the fact that time is racing? Dont retire just yet, you must keep busy....choosing your next season's wardrobe, of course.

  3. ...and while everyone else is hanging on the theatre and the clothes's me wanting to know about the jury service sad is that? I know you cannot say a word... but perhaps a little peek when its all over?

  4. I always see the beginning of the week as a Monday too.

    Good that you can nap. I can never nap in the day time-I always feel much worse and also can't sleep at night!

    warm wishes

  5. I always see the beginning of the week as a Monday. My husband has recently started a new job as a director of a theatre, huge benefit for me is complimentary tickets! I know what you mean about neding some markers to the days, I feel like that sometimes too.

  6. Hi Frances, I am just catching up. Monday is definately the first day of the week I think.Loved reading your tagged list, it is so much fun reading these snippets about others.

  7. Hi Frances, the beginning of the week is without doubt Monday, you must not feel as if you are not acheving anything of value, just keeping this blog is of value in itself, we get to hear about you life and get to know you. Perhaps like me you feel down when the weather is thundery once it breaks you will feel better.

  8. I always think of Monday as the beginning of the week, though there was a time that Monday was my day off so it didn't feel like the beginning of the week until Tuesday! All relative I suppose.

    I do like some musicals, but not all depends on the songs, have to be very good to keep my attention otherwise bore me, much prefer the good acting, you've certainly seen a lot of excellent actors. i don't get up to the West End much too expensive!

    Shame you've had to give up part of your day off to accommodate someone else, that's being a manager I guess.

    Warm wishes
    Elaine x

  9. hello frances im just catching up on your blogs hope you are well xx jep

  10. Dearest francis,it is so bloomin frustrating when your day of is interrupted with work and i bet you where really polite to her wearnt you.. never mind imagine how rude you can be to folk when you stop working [ you know when your wearing purple tights and red shoes].And no camera how useless is that shop?? i'm dyeing to see some photos.. I hope your day off doesnt fall on jury day that would be a complete pain...xxxooo

  11. Monday is definitly the first day of the week for me - and September will forever be the start of a new year!
    I agree with Un Peu - hang in there until the wardrobe is as complete as can be. Imagine swanning around in retirement in such beautiful clothes.

  12. Oh Frances, I realised I haven't read your blog for ages - I get so caught up in our emails that I forget you're here too! Mea culpa. And I have missed some treats, silly me.
    I'm with you on dark drama over musical - although I worked in the box office for Andrew Lloyd Webber in my early twenties - at the Palace Theatre. I love the spectacle of opera yet can no way afford Covent Garden prices. When we lived in London A and I used to go to the ENO - but not quite the same really. You've seen some great names... I have a dreadful memory but do recall seeing Helen Mirren (fabulous actress) when I was a student at Manchester..

    Still love the idea of you and that basement laundry room!

    PS move happens on June 29th.

  13. Good Morning Dear Frances,
    Thank you for your concern, my husband should be discharged from hospital later today. There was a slight blip on the reading of the Cardiology test, will be sent home today with extra medication.

    I will catch up with you on blogs later today hopefully, apologies for not returning your messages sooner. Thank you once again for your comments.

  14. Of course we are all thrilled with the state of the dollar as we can travel to you - but realize how difficult it is for you guys.
    I have several friends who want to come over to see me but the air fares and cost of living when you get here are just way out of their reach at the moment. So we go over to them. Sometimes via New York and fly down South and sometimes straight to Miami - it is very cheap for us at the moment.
    Jury duty should be interesting.
    Not your usual upbeat self today I feel - its the New York heat I expect.I start my week with Mondays and end with Sundays. hope the week improves - mousie

  15. Good Evening Dear Frances,
    Have managed to get here eventually, thank you for your comments. Husband was not discharged in the end, it was decided that he had to have a STENT (small wire tube) fitted to his heart, to keep arteries from being blocked, so he will be in few more days, thank you for your concern.

    Sorry to hear about member of staff at the shop, hope all gets sorted out for you, such a worry.
    Yes I had heard of the GALLERY in New York, sorry you missed the Dora Carrington one, hopefully there will be others on her. Did you manage to read the L. Woolf book? As I type there is a ferocious thunder storm, dog has gone and hid under the table!
    Speak with you again tomorrow Frances.