Tuesday, August 31, 2004

8/31 Time flies

I can't believe August is over and we haven't really even had a summer yet in Wisconsin. I only swam once this year and that reeks.

My friend Bruce is on a concert tour throughout the US. We're trying to organize a small venue for Milwaukee in late September, but I don't know if it'll fly. I think he'll even do a bookstore or a coffee house... omigod, I just got a brainstorm...

Later: Okay, I checked it out and it's a real possibility. My friend at work--Nichole--her husband owns a coffee house on the East Side, trendy and cool. A perfect spot for Bruce to play. I called Bruce as he's driving from Santa Barbara CA to Flagstaff AZ, the start of his tour. He gave me a date, I gave it to Nichole, and she's going to talk to her husband. I hope this works. It's been two years since I've seen Bruce, so it'll will be awesome to have him here in WI. Go to his website and check out his music. He's a talented guy. I became friends with him nearly ten years ago through our writers' club.

Did I ever tell you about Housewife Writers? Bruce even has a cut named that on his first CD. It's a group of men and women (most of them well-published). We meet online and I've been involved since early 1995. It's called Housewife Writers (so I'm told) because the writers thought that the title would keep hordes of people away and keep the group small and intimate. I heard about it from another writer friend. The group was right. The title wasn't one I found attractive. But I LOVE this group. I've learned so much, but mostly I've made good friends. I've had the good fortune to meet the majority of them in person, and that makes it even better.

The first time I met Bruce he was working in Miami and he took me to South Beach for the first time. This handsome young man held my hand and called me Babe. We danced, ate, and drank beer. Such fun and this brings back good memories. I felt like a "Sugar Mama" with such a youngster. Heh-heh-heh and I liked it.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

8/28 Calls from Japan and Los Angeles

Rob and Beata called me last night. That was the best thing that happened all day. Rob said he's trying to schedule the Board for next week, and the Board will determine when they get to move back to the States. I've got my fingers crossed.

Jill, Kayla and Hunter called today. Todd was riding motorcross and they were at the track watching. They got in the truck to escape the noise and called. It was a nice surprise, especially coming so close to Rob and Beata's call. In Kayla's words, "You're a lucky bug, Grandma."

Friday, August 27, 2004

8/27 MRI r Us

The MRI wasn't bad this morning. I didn't have to totally get inside the tube, just my lower body, so it wasn't confining at all. They put headphones on me and I got to choose my radio station. So I had KLH in my ears for the hour that I was stuck there. Will find out Tuesday. 'Nuff about that.

Had meeting after meeting today at work, and not much time to actually get things done. But most of it can wait until Monday anyway. I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend of swimming and watching Olympics, but we're supposed to have thunderstorms today, Saturday, and Sunday. Aarrrggghhhh. Guess that means I'll have to work on my Scrabble game instead. I finally have my points over 700, so am feeling good about that.

Haven't spoken to my grandkids yet this week and that is rotten. They've been out and about all the time. Of course, if I lived in LA where it's sunny, I'd be out and about all the time too.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

8/26 Paying off

All ths lazing about is paying off. The foot pain has lessened considerably, and my Scrabble game has improved. There's usually a bright side to everything.

Go to 3M and click so they donate more money for Breast Cancer research. This is one of the legitimate enterprises. Please help. (You know me, I'm always checking for urban legends, scams and rip-offs, so you can trust me on this.)

Will the Olympics ever end? Doesn't seem like it, and I'm ready for some regular NBC shows. Yet, I'm ambivalent...I dearly love watching the O, and NBC has done a super job this year. I love the little box in the corner that says things like "Marion Jones in the long jump in 16 minutes." It's great...I can do a load of laundry, empty my dishwasher and be back in time to watch something I want. Or more likely, I can play a quick game of online Scrabble. (Who am I kidding? I only empty the dishwasher as needed....)

Finally got my counter fixed on my website. When I first installed it, I inadvertently connected it to the one on the host site, so it was in the millions. Yeah, right. Then I asked that it get changed so the one million was off, but realized that even 150,000 was way too much. Must have had delusions of grandeur. But I checked my statistics at the hosting site and found out that I had over 54, 500 hits. That's awesome for just being online since mid-January. It helps to have lots of relatives. I'm sure the numbers will slow down now that I'm no longer in the UK. My blog entries are mundane rather than exciting. Hence, the title.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

8/25 The travel bug is calling

Wish I knew how to make a link here... okay, I think I figured it out. I've just been back in the states a little less than three months and I'm ready to go again. Have you read about my UK and European Adventures? I'm going to try to post the journals from my trips to Japan, Australia, and New Zealand as well, but I don't have the hang of developing my website to its full potential. But it will happen.

My friends in Ireland and the UK keep saying to come visit. Oh my--where will the money come from? I know I can swing it, but I have to come up with a PLAN (yes, it must be in capital letters).

Oh, and there's the pesky notion of not having enough vacation time. Hmmm!

Hey, the good news is that my foot is feeling a lot better today and I'm hardly limping. Hooray!

I need to change my avatar at the ComedySportz site. A friend said it scared her because I look like her mother-in-law. Made me laugh. And I've come up with a nom de plume when I write outside of the mystery field--Lanny Jude Ferris. A friend came up with it. It's an anagram of Jerilyn Dufresne. I'm thinkin' that it's very cool.

And here's the thing you guys--I know lots of you are reading this, because you tell me, in person, via phone or by email. But the only one who comments is good ole Bron from the UK. Could it be because I comment on her blog as well? Dunno. But anyway, I just applied to Google to be allowed to have ads on my website and I can make a little money that way. But if they see no comments, then I doubt if I'll be approved. Anybody want to help me out? Thanks. Jer

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

8/24 Sitting on my big butt

Didn't realize how much I walk around everyday until I can't do it. I'm bored with sitting. But I'm lucky...

And the pain is a little less today than yesterday. So that makes me REALLY lucky. Perhaps it'll be totally gone by Friday and I won't have to have the MRI. Yeah, that'll work.

CSz workshops start again September 21. They've combined 103/104 into one class, but that'll be fine. I don't mind re-learning some stuff. Plus it's a different instructor than I had last time. Should be fun.

I'm not going to our summer practice tonight. Was supposed to teach a class on music and singing in improv, but since I can't get up and dance around I'm going home to the aforementioned recliner.

Monday, August 23, 2004

8/23 Damn damn damn

I thought my foot hurt badly before. Just goes to show how wrong I can be.

The picnic yesterday really was fun. Tom did a super job of feeding us. I played volleyball in a sand pit with no ill effects. I fielded in kickball with no ill effects. The when I got up to "bat" I kicked the ball and heard/felt something in my foot pop. I limped the quarter mile back to the picnic site without telling anyone about it. Iced it, ate a quick meal and went home. Was up most of the night because of the pain, and saw a doctor today. The good news is that the xrays were negative. That's also the bad news. He suspects torn tendons. I'm telling God and the universe that the tendons are just pulled, not torn. There's an MRI scheduled for Friday. In the meantime I have to stay off of it as much as possible and keep my foot elevated. At work, I'll do the best I can. I told the doc that at home I'll sit in my recliner and watch the Olympics. If he'd just prescribe that I should have a beer in my hand then I'd be a happy woman.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

8/22 I hate my foot.

Worked in the box office yesterday afternoon. It was fun, but afterward my foot hurt so much. I ended up having to just sit at home all night. Can't wait to see the orthopedist and get something done about this. Yuck.

Today is the CSz picnic...and I WILL play volleyball. No way is this stupid foot going to stop me from having a good time. Okay, it already has stopped me many times. But not today.

Friday, August 20, 2004

8/20 Don't read this, it's boring.

Went to the doc for my foot and she referred me to an orthopedist. That reeks. I wanted an instant cure. Instant, immediate, right now, forthwith, pronto. Delayed gratification has never been my thing. Now I have to wait until the end of September for relief. I think not! I'm going to stay drunk. That will relieve the pain. Self-medication is the wave of the future.

Worked at CSz last night in the box office. (Okay, that made my foot even worse. I should have worked sitting, but didn't.) It was fun working, but we had database problems so that wasn't cool. I feel sorry for the folks that have to work on that problem.

I don't work tonight and I have no plans, so I'll be home sitting with my foot up, watching/listening to the Olympics and playing online Scrabble. I'm ashamed to say that's my idea of a good time.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

8/19 Holy shit--what a ride!

A friend wrote in her blog that she doesn't have any real friends where she lives and it almost made me cry. I don't ever write anything serious in here, mainly because this isn't a journal, and it's not for my innermost thoughts. But her blog really made me think, and I don't like that.

I wrote: "Sure there are people that like me, but no one that will call me and ask me to do something. I realized that I always initiate those things. Perhaps it's because everyone I know is 80 years younger than I am (I love hyperbole). Perhaps I'm shallow. Perhaps I'm an asshole in disguise. I hate introspection."

I consider myself a nice person. However, I know I possess character traits that can drive people batty. That's why I love my family. They can tell me off and still love me. And still call me and ask me to do stuff. My 13 year-old niece, Sarah, called me last night just to tell me she missed me and loved me, and wondered when I would visit. My sister, Jane, IMd me this morning to talk about my daughter's visit to Wisconsin and hoping she and her family could visit at the same time. My daughter Jill, and grandkids, IM me every day and we speak via webcam and mic at least once a week. That rocks. A friend from out of town called last night just to chat.

Several years ago I met someone I really clicked with. She and her husband were a few years younger than I, but not too much. Later, when I saw her again after a long time, I said something like, "I had really hoped we could be friends." She answered that I project an image of being so self-sufficient and "non-needy" that it appears I don't need friends, or that I have all the friends I need.

I'm an actor.

Just got one of "those forwards" from my sister-in-law. Normally, I read and delete, but this one I plan to take on as my personal mantra. It reads:

The goal isn't to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "HOLY SHIT...what a ride!"

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

8/18 Trip to Charlotte

Just made my airline reservation to go to Charlotte NC in October. A bunch of high school chums from QND are meeting at a friend's house. Most people are going Thursday through Tuesday, but I'm only able to go Saturday through Tuesday since I need to save some vacation time for when Rob and Beata return from Japan. That is IF they return from Japan.

Both Rob and Beatka say they are down about the situation. They were first told they'd be returning last November, but because of the war in Iraq and other things they are still there. We've all got our fingers crossed that they'll be home in September or October as planned, but who knows. My major wish is that they'll be home for Christmas. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 16, 2004

8/16 Back to reality

Sunday I took the day off--from everything. Played online Scrabble, watched the Olympics, and prepared for a class I'll teach Tuesday to my practice group. Today it was business as usual. The day flew by at work, so much to do. Watched the Olympics tonight and of course played a few games of online Scrabble. A nice relaxing night...boring to read about, but great to experience.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

8/14 Saturday--a day of leisure

Didn't do much today, except worked on my website, posting tons of pictures from the World Championship. I did talk to Jill and the kids via Yahoo and webcam. It's so cool seeing the kids wave and yell that they love their Grandma. Yesterday I got birthday cards from them; Jill made them on the computer and Kayla and Hunter fingerpainted. Jill also sent fingerpainted handprints of each of them. I'll put those in my office.

Tonight I went to the 7:30 show at CSz. The teams were hilarious but the crowd was rather small--in stark contrast to the SRO crowd from the tourney last week. I miss that excitement. I miss it so much that I'm going to sleep in tomorrow in memorium.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

8/12 Back to day-to-day stuff

After such a fun-filled raucus experience, it's hard to settle back into my regular routine. I've been working during the day and the last night and tonight just came home and crashed. Watched TV, read, and played online Scrabble.

This weekend, since I've not been scheduled at CSz, I'll get some stuff done around the house, including my website and working on the novel(s). It's been in the 60s the last several days but should warm up over the weekend. If so, I'll swim--I love to swim and find it very relaxing.

The LA CSz team is planning their WC for next summer and I'm already jazzed. Hope I can arrange to go. I'm addicted to the CSz online forum...it's an easy way to stay connected to the folks, plus they make me laugh.

Am looking forward to Fantasy Football which begins shortly. That's always fun.

My sibs are all getting together in Quincy this weekend, and I can't attend. Have spent all my money, as usual. If gas prices go down it will be easier for me to do the 12-hour round trip. I've cut up all my credit cards, otherwise I'd go anyway. But now I'm only relying on my debit card, and that's a fascinating experience. Living within my means is a situation I'm not used to. I've always spent much more than I make, even though I make a good salary. Now it's caught up to me. So rather than lying awake worrying about money, I've cut up the cards. Don't get to have as much fun as I used to...but I'm sleeping better.

Okay, I'm lying. I am having as much fun as I used to. Just am not spending money.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

8/10 New comedy nickname

I found it hard to keep my eyes open at work. Luckily I'm very busy, so that helps. But I'm so tired and am having trouble falling to sleep the last few nights. Must be because I became a night owl during the tournament.

Some CSz friends gave me a list of suggestions for my comedy nickname. Every player has one, even us workshoppers and wannabes. I've never had a GOOD one. So I got tons of great suggestions. Kudos to Bill from Portland who had a list a page long. Very impressive. But the winner was Andrew (also from Portland) who came up with the name that my practice group voted for unanimously. One of the things about a CSz nickname is that is needs to be punny if at all possible. So mine is--Jer "Singin' in" Dufresne. I love it. Of course, it only works if you pronounce my name correctly, to rhyme with rain.

Had rehearsal tonight. It was fun, but I was kind of low energy. Am still tired. I feel like I could fall asleep at my zzzzz-zzz.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

8/8 Recuperating, or trying to

I spent most of the day either lying in bed watching TV, or in my recliner watching TV. It felt so good to do absolutely nothing. Maybe I played a few games of online Scrabble, I can't remember.

By the way, online Scrabble is free and AWESOME. It can be found at www.isc.ro (ISC stands for International Scrabble Club. You choose the language you want to play in, register and off you go.) You can choose to play short games or long games, doesn't matter. When I'm in a hurry I play 5 minute games with people. Stressful, yes, but fun. I'm hoping Rob and Beata sign on from Japan. My son and d-i-l both love playing Scrabble and when I visited them, we played a lot and all three of us are comparable players.

I signed on to the CSz website (for players and managers) and the place is buzzing with talk of the WC (world championship). What a memorable week. Putting faces to the names was fun, and getting to know people better was aces. I especially enjoyed the many hugs I received (and gave). Oh, and at the awards ceremony I won Miss Congeniality. How cool is that!

Plus the workshops were so enlightening. I attended a three-part music workshop with James Bailey of LA. He doesn't allow auditors... everyone needs to participate, so that was an added bonus. I LOVED IT! He's so affirming and positive, but does give excellent feedback on things you need to work on.

Attended a workshop by Milwaukee's Eric Price. As a performer he's one of my comedy gods, so I learned a lot, but most of the time I felt like I was in over my head and shouldn't have been in there. Well, them's the breaks I guess.

I cherished the past week...

Thursday, August 05, 2004

8/5 Tired from laughing so much

(I just copied and pasted what I posted on the CSz forum, am too tired to write any original stuff. Hope to get back to my regular blogging after tournament. Got home at 2:15 AM.)

Spokane is another great team. I met Will, Caleb and Gabe when they registered on the first day and I personalized their water bottles. (Nope, it's not a euphenism for anything else. I really personalized their water bottles.) It was so fun to meet the guys behind the avatars. At scrimmage and in workshops all three of them make me laugh. (Congrats on the poker win.) And "That Tod" is such a stitch. In two different games, he hardly said a word but both times had me guffawing. Speaking of guffawing--okay twittering--Andrea from Indy takes the cake. She has the most unusual laugh and is a great one to have in any audience. Met Todd and Jack from DC--nice guys with loads of experience. Bought their CD--Yes And--but won't be able to watch it until after the tournament. Looking forward to it. Had lunch with Matthew Wheeler from Richmond. What a great guy, and such a physical player. Whenever I saw a body flying across the stage it was usually his. Love to watch him play. I want to make sure I mention all the folks who post in the forum. (No way can I mention all 100 participants.) Stephen Bennet from Texas is a great guy and cracked me up when I looked through the door to the arena and saw him festooned in boa and wig. Wish I could have seen their match. Unfortunately during the shows I'm working some of the time, so I can't even say if they've performed yet. Thursday night during the Euro vs the US show, I did get to sit and watch with Bron's mum. There was some serious crossing of the legs on my part as I laughed so hard I was losing control....but didn't dare leave for fear of missing something. One of my favorite parts was when the Milwaukee team had to use specific British accents and the UK team members each had to use an accent from a different state. The matches started late because of an unfortunate reservations snafu. So when the last match was over it was about 12:30 or so--I'm not 100% sure of the time because I forgot to look. But then Portland's Screaming Meemies put on a superb rock opera. They had three special guests from LA (James, Mark, and Lauren). Called Happily Ever After (I think), Betse and Nate were betrothed rugby players. Really funny stuff. I didn't get to stay afterwards to congratulate everyone, but I did talk to a few of the players on my way out... It's amazing that the roof doesn't explode off the top of CSz...there's so much talent in that building. I attended Parts 1 and 2 of James Bailey's music workshops and he rocks! I've loved singing all my life and it's such a riot to learn more and to play with others in developing my improv skills in that area. He's very affirming of everyone in the class, and is such a talented teacher. We were all begging for more, so he's going to teach us Part 3 Saturday. Can't wait. Guess that's it for now. PowWow is late today, which is very cool by me. I look at all the young players and remember when my body could survive on no sleep, alcohol, nicotine, and flirtation. Alas, no more. More later on other players... Your roving and tired reporter, Jer

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

8/4 More fun

Bill promised to blog about the WC, but he lied. When I left he and Betse were still partying. Last night I got home at 11:30, tonight 1. (I'm writing that this is 11:59 just so it posts for Wednesday.) Tomorrow scares me.... maybe I'll bring a pillow and just crash there. Wow, what fun. I hate to talk about it too much because I don't want you to feel bad, but what the hell--it's been awesome so far. All the actletes are talented and fun. The liquor and food are good. The workshops rock. And I love flirting with the young guys...omigod I love Nate (and others). Betse and Jenny make me want to re-think my sexual orientation--they are so gorgeous. Portland people indeed rock! But everyone's cool. I'll just mention some of the forum folks.... David (from Indy) and I did talk about writing as we promised, but things are moving so quickly that we haven't had much time. I did notice that he's not lacking for company though, so that's cool. He'll get the first bound galleys of his book soon, so that's big news. Jill Bernard performed her drum machine last night and it was awesome. She's amazing. I had lunch with the LA team yesterday. They are so neat too. My daughter lives out there, so I'm sure I'll visit their arena soon. The UK and Dublin teams are awesome. Their accents lend a cosmopolitan air to the WC (hee hee). Everyone knows I already love the UK team. Last night at the scrimmage Pij did a super American accent. Enough. I need to get ready and get back down there. My fee ACHE! But luckily my head doesn't. I know lots of people won't be able to say the same. I shouldn't mention names because I'm leaving tons of cool people out, but damn I'm tired. I didn't drink tonight until right before I left when a bartender said, "Jer, I'd love to make you a killer Russian." I told him I was out of money (having bought way too many shirts), and so he bought it for me. Wow, was that puppy good! And I am blogging, but because I'm so tired, I'm copying and pasting this note from the CSz forum to my blog. Cheating, but tough! Nighty-night, Jer

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

8/3 Wow, what fun!

Okay. It's 11:30 PM in Milwaukee and I'm home. Yes, I'm a loser. However, I had such a great time. Worked all day helping to register people and I LOVED meeting folks f2f after knowing them online. I'm so in love with several (you know who you are....).

Fun news for me--I had three beers and didn't buy any of them. How cool is that!

When I left the arena The Mighty Lumberhorns were still playing and the young'ns were still having fun. Me? I need my sleep so I can party all week. What a great bunch of people! I'm looking forward to learning a lot this week, and playing a lot too. Life is good.

Monday, August 02, 2004

8/2 Happy Birthday to Me!

I had such a wonderful day. This morning I arrived at work to find my office festooned with pink crepe paper streamers and the office full of balloons. What fun! My boss gave me a beautiful African violet plant, and colleagues brought all the ingredients for sundaes. We had brownies, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, pecans, strawberries and whipped cream. Yum.

I left work at 4 to drive down to CSz to prepare for a 5:30 meeting with the volunteers. That was fun, especially showing off the new arena to Milwaukee folks. Afterwards we adjourned to Slim's where Jen paid for drinks and food. What a nice b'day gift. As well, she gave me a Parisian journal and some Parisian stickers that were made to go on steamer trunks. How cool! Bron, Pij, and Jools gave me some Cadbury chocolates. Cool again. Some folks from Milwaukee joined us. And two early arrivals from LA.

On the way home I spoke to Jill and the kids on the phone. I miss them so much.

But all in all it was a super birthday.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

8/1 Goody Bags

Went to CSz today to stuff goody bags for the tournament participants. It was fun, but my feet still hurt from working on that darned cement floor.

Tomorrow's my birthday. Hooray! It's always nice to have lived another year. :)