Day 110, many appointments

Last night’s play, at local playhouse The Pear , was the world premier of


by Evan Kokkila-Shumacher. It was… interesting. The staging was clever and attractive. The acting was competent. But it was a lot longer than it needed to be. I almost left at intermission, but stayed for the second half to see if they could resolve the many issues; in the end I don’t think they did.

The setup is that two astronauts have been launched on a no-return mission, to pass Jupiter, then Saturn, then apparently to just keep going on toward the Oort Cloud. They have aboard fertilized human eggs and incubators and are supposed to keep decanting babies to be raised up as replacement crew members. This whole mission plan seems, in hindsight, screwy, impractical, and pointless, but it is revealed gradually through the first act so the screwiness doesn’t really hit you until you’ve left the theater. On the ship, things have gone profoundly wrong. Back home at NASA, the management wants to cut funding. But all the stage time is taken up by endless, repetitive arguments. The two astronauts argue in circles about the mission plan. Back home the mission director and a nasty manager argue in circles about funding and the value of the mission. It was all quite tedious and I thought, even as it was going on, that the main points of debate could have been conveyed in a third the amount of dialogue. But then you’d have a one-act play, I guess.

Friday, 3/22/2019

Today is full of scheduled to-dos. After a shower, shave, and dressing in my Museum Docent clothes, I sat down to assemble some

financial documentation

that I was supposed to have included in my initial C.H. application! I was politely reminded of the need for this stuff in an email from Kim, just after the email telling me I could have the nice 1BR unit. It took a while to assemble the needed documentation (basically, proving I had as much assets as I claimed).

One item wanted was a copy of “the first few pages” of our 2017 tax return. I thought I knew exactly where to lay hands on that. There is a small banker’s box with a folder for each of the last five year’s tax returns, organized meticulously (of course) by Marian each April. I opened it, there was the folder for 2017, but it only included the supporting documents — not the actual spiral-bound return document from the accountant. The folders for 2016, 15, and 14 had their returns, but not last year’s. Thinking about it… the taxes would have been finished just about when Marian got her pancreatic cancer diagnosis. We got really busy around then, with lots of doctor appointments and procedures. (I commented more than once that, when you get cancer, you have a new job: you are “doing cancer” for the duration. It just occupies your life.) So not too surprising that, either we didn’t keep the spiral bound printout, or more likely, we didn’t ask for one because the return was e-filed.

At 9am I sent an email to Cindy at the financial advisors’, and at 9:40 she had emailed me a PDF of the 2017 return. I’m getting great support from that outfit. Printed out the first 8 pages, added it to the other copied statements showing the value of various accounts. I had promised this for Monday but I think now I will drop it off on my way to the Museum for an

11:30 tour.

Which was a bit of a mess. On the volunteer scheduling site it was given as “11:30” but in fact the group arrived at 10:30. I got there at 11:00 but Mike, the second docent, didn’t show for another 15 minutes. I had the group of 40+ herded into the 1401 lab and vamped about that machine until Mike arrived. Then we split the group up and started our normal tours — he very generously offering to do his in reverse, from the present backward, so we wouldn’t conflict.

Then, five minutes in, a CHM staff person interrupted me to remind the group that their lunch would be ready upstairs at 12:00. Only now it was 11:20 and I was barely started on what is usually a one-hour tour. I edited myself severely and managed to get them off to their lunch about 12:05 but it was not a relaxing experience. For me; they seemed to enjoy themselves well enough. But seriously: this is the second time in a month that the museum staff has screwed up the scheduling of a custom tour.

I stopped on the way home to buy coffee. I use three scoops for my morning cup, and had only enough left in the canister for tomorrow. But I’m getting to be such a


everything I do has a resonance of, will I do this again? Will I finish this pound of Peet’s Gaia Organic in the old house, or will it last until I’ve moved to C.H.? I bought a pound of bacon because I like to fry up a couple strips and an egg for supper. Will I actually finish that pound, or will I have to throw some away because I’ve moved to C.H. where meals are laid on? It’s an uneasy, but exciting way to live.

Next event was the 2pm arrival of Chuck

the realtor

We reviewed the termite report and he confirmed the low price of fumigation and the reliability of the company he’d used. So it really isn’t a big deal or problem for the sale. He still hasn’t gotten input from any developers. We went over my likely time-line: that I could be signing for my C.H. unit as soon as next week or the week after, and when that’s done, I can begin moving things out of the house into C.H. Which means that almost surely by May he can have the house to stage and sell. He was taken aback by the speed of events but accepted it. I also asked if his stager, Amy, whom I met back on Day 94, would be open to my paying for design assistance in fitting out the new place. He said she did do that and he would let her know I was interested.

I also googled the niece of Chris the hairdresser, who she had recommended as a designer two days ago. She has a small website touting herself as a designer. However she had not responded to the voicemail that Chris left for her two days ago. I sent an email to her business address. We’ll see who responds quicker.

Then off to C.H. to meet with


who is a resident of C.H. and a client of Chuck’s. I’d asked to meet her because she has an “Alcove” (large studio) and at the time I thought that was what I’d be offered. Now I’ve been offered a 1BR I don’t care so much, but I kept the appointment just to begin making acquaintances in that community. She’s a very pleasant lady and we chatted about room decorations and antiques for a few minutes. She had an idea of what I might do with the numerous decorative objects that aren’t valuable enough to sell. She suggested I donate them to the C.H. Gift Shop, which is run by residents to generate money for the library and for newspaper subscriptions for the lobby. They give a receipt for tax purposes, she assured me. I think this sounds like a grand idea.

two scratches

Louise the gemologist was to come by at four, but she emailed earlier saying she wasn’t done with my report, so we postponed to Monday.

I had planned to go to a Stanford Baseball game at 6, but light sprinkles of rain continue, so I passed on that. No fun sitting in the open on a wet plastic seat — assuming they even hold the game. That left a whole afternoon open to install the

sound bar

which I did. I removed the receiver and its subwoofer and five speakers from around the room, and connected the DVR directly to the TV. Connected the sound bar and it works OK, definitely better sound than the TV itself, definitely not as good as the old 5-channel system. However, the sound bar has an output to drive a separate sub-woofer, so I brought back the woofer and hooked it to the sound bar. That helps, adds “meat” to the sound even when the woofer is set low.

Fed myself and watched some TV. Quite a day.


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