Day 274, FOPAL, lunch

Monday, 9/2/2019

Today, Labor Day, the kitchen staff is to get off early. At breakfast they offered a “sack dinner” service where they made a sandwich to order and bagged it with a container of fruit or potato salad, a cookie and chips. I got my bag and put it in the fridge.

I opted not to do a run today, as I still feel vestiges of vertigo especially when I lean over, and I didn’t want to risk a fall. Before I went down to breakfast I did a set of the exercises I collected off the internet a few days ago, focused on core strength. It’s a start, but I need to develop more.

About 9am I went to FOPAL and processed the waiting computer books, then did a couple of hours of sorting. From there I picked up some groceries, mostly my no-calorie drinks, and went to get the car washed. While there, Scott called wondering where I was, or rather, why I wasn’t at the restaurant we’d agreed to meet at. Well, because I messed up the time, and thought it was 1:30 not 1. No harm done. Had a pleasant lunch and chat.

Back at C.H. for a quiet afternoon, although I did spend an hour studying Bridge Defense out of a book I snagged last week from FOPAL. It’s amazing how much you can derive logically from the bidding and the first trick, if you actually count and think. But it’s hard. Thinking, that is.

Then to watch SYTYCD and to bed.

Day 273, Scottish games

Sunday, 9/1/2019

When I had supper with Dennis and Toni (Day 266), Dennis was enthusiastic about the Scottish Games held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds Labor Day weekend. He planned to spend all day there and suggested I join him. So this morning I left about 8am, driving first to the old coffee shop at Midtown. Had an almond croissant still warm from the oven, num! and read the paper. Then drove 35 miles in light Sunday morning traffic to the fairgrounds. Connected with Dennis by cellphone (what ever did we do back then…) and we walked about. Sat for part of one concert by a band that played “bare-knuckle pipe and drums” and part of another concert by a group that did Celtic derived music but with electric instruments and a drum kit. Walked through part of the merchandise areas. Boy if you need something plaid, this was the place.

Dennis likes that we have, through my mother, a sliver of Gaelic descent specifically from the MacNeil of Barra. (Barra is a lump of rock at the ass-end of the Hebrides chain. Note in that Wiki article that the MacNeils themselves emigrated to the New World along with all the evicted crofters.)

Anyway it was now time for events to start in front of the grandstand. Dennis had obtained very nicely placed seats in the stand. We went there to watch the opening ceremonies. Then Dennis went off to spend an hour tasting Scotch. I stayed and watched all the games, the caber tossing and other ways to fling heavy weights around. This went onĀ  pretty continuously until 4, when the closing ceremonies started. The main feature of this was to be the massed bands, about 700 musicians mostly bagpipers and drummers, but with a Marine Corps brass band mixed in. They strung it out for an hour of preliminaries before finally massing the bands. I took some cell-phone video but the light was very poor; the bands were partly in the deep shade of the stands and partly in brilliant sunlight.

Anyway after the massed bands played they announced a folk singer at which point I thanked Dennis and departed. Home before 7pm, fairly tired. Vertigo was better today, only present if I leaned over as to pick something up. Hopefully it will be gone soon.



Day 272, docent, vertigo

Saturday, 8/30/2019

When I got up this morning I had light, but definite, vertigo. A few years ago (well, sometime in this century) I had a severe spell of it, barely able to walk while keeping a hand on a wall, nauseated every time I changed posture — it was nasty. It took a week or so to wear off. I don’t welcome it back, even in this mild form. I really only feel it on major changes of posture, especially leaning over or sitting up. Walking is ok.

So I took it easy and was very mindful of my balance while taking a shower. (Some other resident, I saw on the house bulletin board, had fallen in the bathroom and broken a hip.)

The main activity of the day was to lead the noon tour at the Museum. I had a good crowd, 25 or so to start, and kept the attention of most of them to the end. One lady was really on my wavelength, she laughed out loud at every one of my little witticisms, the ones that usually get a smile or no reaction.

In the mail today, the final statement of the escrow. Also the refund from Amy and her staging company for part of the staging fee. Only part, because they did all the planning and loaded their truck before we called off the open house. So I only get back the installation and rental for all the furniture they were going to put in the empty house. I kinda sorta wish we had gone through with the open house because I’d like to have seen what Amy was going to do with it. But on the other hand… no.

Anyway, I have now all the data on the sale and the costs of the sale. Sometime next week I will put together a package on that to give to the tax people next spring. Meantime, the Tasso street house is definitively gone. I was thinking about that, early in the morning before I got up. What exactly is different, versus a month ago? Somehow, even when I had left, I had a mental vector, an internal compass pointing toward that house. Not surprising, having lived there 45 years, that no matter where I was, in the car, in a hotel in some other city, I had a sense of the house “over there”, accessible at need. Now it is unquestionably someone else’s house. I have the mental compass needle but where it points, I would not be welcome. Not a distressing feeling, exactly, but different.

Also in the mail, the final trip information for the upcoming Greek Islands tour, the one that I had to reschedule. And boy am I glad I did. It would have been horribly stressful to depart on that the same day as I’m moving to my temporary apartment. That trip starts with moderately stressful logistics. I’ll have to get a Lyft to SFO around 3am, and take two long flights to get to Athens the next day. Not really looking forward to that, but at least, I can approach it as a single problem, not layered with other concerns.