Monthly Archives: June 2014

Eleven days

June the 30th will be here in eleven more days.

Today, I forged ahead with finalizing some paper work required by AmeriCorps. I still have a bit more to do, but the bulk of it is done.

The lovely lady at CSUMB payroll is so great under pressure. She looked at my paper work and just as I got into my car in the parking lot far away, she called.

One little itty bitty mistake would have shut the whole thing down, and then I’d have to start all over again. Been there, done that!

Today, we at the Arts Council, were still preparing for the gallery opening tomorrow. I put the cost of the work on the wall next to the photos. They are very expensive, but worth it. I’d love to have one of the elephant photos. I’m amazed at how he got close enough to capture their spirit and personality of the elephants and all the other wild animals from Africa. He is gifted.

My job, aside from over seeing the volunteers, will be to photograph the artist and the many people in attendance. There will be lots of people and we will be working the entire time.

Then Saturday, I’ll preside over the volunteer party, on Sunday, I’m working at the Cesar Chavez park at an Arts Council booth, and then it begins again on Monday.



One week and five days

I’m on a count down to the end of the AmeriCorps experience and sharing a space with a roommate. The replacement roommate has already arrived and made many changes. There is now a black, playful kitten, a huge TV, and I’m sharing the space with another person, waiting for the bathroom and the washing machine and dryer.

They are both nice folks so I’m not complaining, but I now know why I love living alone. There are benefits to living alone for someone like me, who loves to ‘do my own thing’.

So the AmeriCorps experience is closing down, with only one week and five more days. I got a shock when learning that I was short of over 100 days per week of earning my stipend. If you don’t get the whole 1700 hours, you will not receive one bit of the stipend. This is wrong! But at this late date I cannot argue. So I tried to find an over night camp where I could be on call 24 hours for a couple of days to make up the time. I couldn’t sleep thinking about how I could manage to get those hours in.

So I told my supervisor and we worked out a plan. I remember for the first few months, I never reported the time I worked at home, figuring out the monthly reflection report and adding up my hours, so I will go back and insert them into the last weeks time sheet and reflection, so I will make the hours.

I took all of the typhoid medicine, got one more shot and have one more to go.

I’m amazed at how much this stuff costs. Everytime I get a shot it’s $150. Now I know the manufacturing of these meds are making tons of dollars off of folks like me. Oh well, the price of staying well.

The gallery melodrama

I left you with one guy calling another guy an idiot for wanting me to take down the photos so he could patch the walls.

So the plaster guy showed up this morning, but before that, I had a chance to take the photos down. I went to work erasing the pencil marks on the wall with art gum eraser that fell down all over the framed photos. So I had to real quick-like brush the stuff off the top of the frames, but it fell all over the glass.

The plaster guy came in, saw that the photos were off the wall and made some comment that everyone has their own style.

He went about patching and then painted over the patched part and put the photos back on the wall.

There was one photo that was too heavy for me to lift off the wall, so I left that one there.

After it was all done, and I went back to my computer to do some work, I heard, “Oh, no!”

And then another, “Oh, no!” And then another, “Oh, no!” The largest painting, and the most expensive one, and the only one I didn’t get off the wall, and the only one not covered with glass, had drops of paint on it.

Now, who’s the idiot?

Wild Ginger

Ginger Baker is a wild man on the drums. He played with another percussionist, a base player and saxophone last night at Yoshi’s in Oakland.

Before going up there to watch this mad man, I saw a biography of Ginger on Netflix. He was/is a naughty man, now in his 70s. But can that man play the drums.

And you could’t follow the hands of the percussionist; if you could see wind, I saw it last night.

My son, Ron and I took the day to visit the town of Hercules on the bay.The houses looked mostly new and the city looks as though it has and is seeing lots of growth. But the town next to it, Penole looked more interesting, with an old town still active, and better access to walking trails near the bay.

My son, Brad told me that Hercules would be a nice town to live in and the rent was more affordable than in Monterey, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay.

But the traffic getting there was just awful. I do not want to live in the Bay Area, so for now, I’ll put my dream on a studio or something similar in the places I know.

Spending the time with my son yesterday was awesome.

Dealing with personalities

The next gallery opening on June 20 is by a well known photographer who traveled throughout Africa and took striking pictures of wild animals.

A faithful volunteer with the precision of an engineer, hung the photos in a beautiful arrangement on white walls. Since they hang on the same walls that other artists’ work have been admired, there are nail holes and some smudges to cover up. The perfectionist said the photos must come down so whomever patches the walls can get to all of the spots. He cannot come back to do the cover and plaster of the holes himself.

So I contacted another volunteer who has done some work for the center in the past, and he has agreed to patch it all up on Monday. I told him that the guy who hung the collection said the photos must come down. (He happened to be there to get a look at the photos before the show next week.)

“What? That’s not necessary. The guy who hung those photos is an idiot. I can patch the holes without taking them down.”

“Okay.” I felt I’d better obey.

So I called the administrative assistant with the good news that the patcher will come and patch the walls but he won’t remove the photos.

“Oh, you must remove the photos, or he cannot get to the areas that need to be patched, and there’s a good chance the photos would get ruined. You must take them down before he gets there.”

“But he’s coming at 9 a.m. and I don’t have a key. So I must get there when another staff member comes and that means I’ll be taking down the photos while he’s there.”

“He was probably just kidding you.”

“No, he sounded like he meant it.”

“I’d be there but I’ll be entertaining my friend from Germany in San Francisco. But if you want the key we can meet now. We’re on our way to San Francisco.”

Well how likely is that, that I could intervene their trip to San Francisco to get the key so I could take down the photos before the plaster guy shows up?

The melodrama will be continued.

Medicine: it gets confusing

Sometimes all the meds I’m taking gets me confused. But I’m managing it.

One of the regular meds, I take on a full stomach but need to wait an hour to take the other meds. The meds I take for preventive illness while on my adventure to Cambodia, needs to be taken on an empty stomach at least an hour wait upon eating.

The other preventive meds needs to be taken on a full stomach.

I still have two more shots to go and one more capsule (on an empty stomach).

I’ll be a walking pharmacy and won’t even get a runny nose.

I’m feeling fine, however.

Visiting Nurse Association

The doctor recommended that I get my shots and meds from the VNA, which is also for travelers.

So this afternoon, I met the nurse who was wearing a bright green shirt. I tried to be funny, but that doesn’t always impress folks.

Anyway, she gave me a shot for two items, and I’ll need two more of those before I leave. I also got tablets for typhoid to take one a day for four days. Then I’ll also get the meds for malaria, and guess that’s it. The doc gave me some other items, as well.

I have a mosquito net, purification tables, a large water bottle for the purification, Imodium and lots, and lots of other items to use in case I get sick.

I’m wondering how I ever survived traveling all year two years ago. Well, I did get very ill in Morocco and while traveling on to Spain. If I had some of what I’m taking with me to Cambodia, I might have gotten well sooner, or not sick at all.

So I’m being well prepared, thanks to that incredible doctor who is an expert in traveling through 3rd world countries. He told me his biggest thrill was hiking/walking to a spot in South America where he knew no one had ever been before. You know he was prepared!

So far, the meds, doc and VNA has set me back for over $800. Wow, the high cost of going to a poor country.


Gang wars

I wonder what it would take to get gang warfare off the streets of Salinas and south county cities?

Even more, I wonder how people get into the gangs in the first place.

I’ve attended many seminars on the subject, but I still haven’t found an answer.

It’s embarrassing to me when I travel to another country and I hear that people think the U.S. is a dangerous place to visit. It’s hard to explain that it is made up of a few stupid people, and some who are following in their parents’ foot steps.

I am just never satisfied with any answer I get.

But there are many good, young people who know better, who care about their fellow citizens and manage to stay out of trouble.  I meet them all the time.


The diner

After achieving some success in measuring my luggage to make certain it wasn’t over the width, height, and length of the carry-on suitcase, I deserved a break.

So after I purchased the yard stick – the kind that I used to get whipped with when I was a kid – and a lock for my checked-in suitcase from Ace Hardware, I went to Daddy’s Diner in Marina.

It should be named Momma’s because it’s just like what Momma used to cook when we were young. All American type food from years gone by, very nostalgic for me.

I sat at a table by myself and marveled at how busy the restaurant was, but how well people were served by only two waiters.  A man sat at the table next to me across a small aisle and began speaking to a man at a table in front of me. It sounded as though they had worked, or do work, for the same person.  I wasn’t really interested because I was busy waiting  for a box to take Mom’s home-cooking  home to enjoy later.

“Pardon my language ma’am,” the guy next to me said.

“Huh? Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t hear anything.”

The waitress brought the box to me and after it was all boxed, I couldn’t help it:

“What did you say? Now I’m curious about what I shouldn’t hear?”

“Oh, well,” he said and cleared his throat.”It was about a man acting like a woman.”

“You’re right, I am offended.”  I laughed.

The other man said, “He didn’t mean any harm to women by what he said, he just meant that the man we’re talking about was…..”

I interrupted him and helped him out a bit: “Oh, a sissy?”

“Yes, “ they both laughed.

Pity the poor boss. I’m just glad they didn’t mention his name. You never know who might be listening.

Getting it done

Every single last paper, email, phone calls…everything is completed for Cambodia.

I have my airline tickets and some small gifts for the people, some English teaching tools and I’m ready.

The doctor has done all he can do to get me ready with first aid and my regular meds. (except for that one expensive item)

I made a reservation for a hotel in Cambodia  by phone and someone there agreed to pick me up at the airport, however, the organizers of this adventure said they have their own country host/worker and it would be better to have him pick me up.

I cannot argue with that; I’d much rather have someone from the organization than depend on someone I don’t know.  It will be near midnight.

The only thing now that I need to do is finish up the next three weeks at the Arts Council and move out of the apartment, store my car at my sons’ place, and then leave. I’ll be at two different sons’ houses until I leave.

I have all I need to be comfortable in Cambodia, and even in Colorado. I put some warmer clothing in a bag that you can take the air out of and make it into a small package.

I’m going to spend all day on the 15th with my son, Ron. We’ll go to Yoshi’s in Oakland to listen to music.