Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about going to a dinner Saturday and then a party Sunday for my niece who just graduated high school and nephew who will soon graduate 8th grade. Her older brothers and sister-in-law were able to come in to town for the festivities and it was great to catch up with them. The dinner was at Ruth Chris so it was extra special. The party was a barbecue despite a slight chill in the air. The dinner was just family so it gave me a chance to talk more, while the barbecue had a larger guest list including lots of friends and neighbors.

I’d tell you that Wednesday, when I had to go get my fingerprints done for the Census job was exasperating. The office was way off the beaten track and took me twice as long to get to. I’d missed the appointment time, but hoped I could get squeezed in. No such luck. The small office had a sign saying they were “off site” and I should call Priscilla. I dialed the number and Priscilla told me she wouldn’t be back for 4 hours. So I had to reschedule for tomorrow. I could not believe the location for this service. It’s inconveniently located far west. Near downtown makes so much more sense for just about everyone who’d apply.

I discovered the upcoming deadline (May 31st) for a writing contest from NBC called Writers on the Verge. I’m scrambling to enter. The first writing sample they want is a current TV show from a list they’ll consider. I am trying to find a spec script I wrote in 2018 and it’s vexing because I didn’t dream writing a script but it’s not easily found. It’s somewhere and I’ll have to search my Time Machine and box.com accounts.

I went to my playwrights’ group and was glad a member, who’s working on her play about Maria Montessori showed up. I really like this play and was happy to see it’s progress. I read my work last time so I didn’t bring pages this. We’re off for the summer so I hope by the time we meet again in spring, I’ll have something new.

I’m continuing to watch Flambards episodes. Now I’m on the last few episodes and I’d forgotten what happened after Christina got married. It’s such a good series. I have to say I like it more than Downton Abbey, though it isn’t as polished. Flambards has the right amount of conflict and there’s a lot of interesting points about the early days of aviation, which I’m enjoying.

 

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about going to a party for my niece’s birthday and nephew’s confirmation at my sister-in-law’s brother’s home where I got to see his newest additions to his menagerie/home. Marty now has a cavy named Bucky and a hyacinth macaw named Baby Blue. For years Marty has had an aviary in his basement. I never even heard of these species till yesterday.

Saturday I had lunch with my old friend Luzanne. It’s tough for us to find time that’s good to meet so I’m delighted that we succeeded. After lunch we took a free walking tour of Chicago’s Riverwalk given by the Chicago Architecture Center. Though rain cut the tour short, it was a fun experience. Afterwards I took Luzanne to Uniqlo, which she’d never been to before. She loved it. I’m cheered as I’m a big Uniqlo fan as they have quality basics for good prices. They have lots of sales, so if you see something great there, wait a week or two because it’s sure to be marked down.

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Another bird in Marty’s basement aviary

I was delighted by Doris Day’s Lucky Me and disappointed with the film Like Someone in Love. There’s no love in the film and if you watch I just bet 12 minutes from the end you’ll be urging the silly girl to go see a doctor and for the girl or old man to “Call the police!” which any sensible person would do. Ugh!!

I’ll watch more Flambards episodes to counteract the disappointing effect of Like Someone in Love. 

I’m reading a biography, geared for children, on E.B. White. I’m learning a lot from this charming book on the author of Charlotte’s Web. 

As I can’t go on forever with just a part time library job, I applied to the Census office for work a few months back. Now they’re hiring and I just had a phone interview and job offer for full time work. If it makes sense for you or someone you know, people can apply at 2020Census.gov/jobs. Pay is above average and varies according to locale.

Tasmania

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Since I have friends in Tasmania, I thought I should hop off the mainland and see what Hobart and its environs had to offer. I discovered that incredible nature and a more relaxed pace abounded in Tasmania.

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Tasmanian Tiger

Here’s what I learned about Tasmania:

  • The Tasmanian Devil is familiar to non-Australians because of the cartoon character but the Tasmanian Tiger was more of the state’s symbol than the former. However, the Tasmanian Tiger has been extinct (or believed to be so — some claim to have seen signs of them) for decades.
  • The tallest flowering tree, the eucalyptus regnans can be found here. The only tree that’s taller is the California redwood.
  • What is now called Tasmania has been inhabited by aborigines for approximated 12,000 years when it was cut off from the mainland.
  • Tasmania was named after Abel Janszoon Tasman, a the Dutch explorer, who saw what is now Tasmania in 1642.

My first full day in Tasmania I went with my friend cum hostess to the Tasmanian National Park, which was swarming with tourists, which is quite uncommon. We saw the Tessellated Pavement, which is an area of flat rock on the ocean. The ocean has cut into the rock over the course of time and what’s unusual about that is that the cuts are at right angles. It looks manmade, but isn’t. We also saw the Remarkable Cave, which is an arch from the land to the ocean, the Blowhole, a natural pool where water shoots up periodically, and lots of gorgeous seascape.

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  • My second day we went to Mt. Field National Park where there’s a rainforest and famed waterfall. This rainforest is home to the eucaluptus regnans.

    We had a great day strolling through Salamanca, the hip part of town by the harbor. (Sorry I can’t find photos.) Salamanca is home to dozens of craft shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.

    Day three was spent at the beach in Dodge’s Ferry, Tasmania. A word to the wise: reapply the sunscreen often. I’m still peeling my sunburned skin off. Still it was a wonderful trip. I want to go back to see Tassie’s funky Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

    Healesville Sanctuary

    To see the wide variety of Australia’s unique wildlife, go to Healesville Sanctuary. When I was there I got to see kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, which are little mammals that lay eggs, platypusses, the other mammal that lays eggs, kookaburras, pelicans, wombats, enus, all kinds of snakes and more.

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    an echidna

    The sanctuary offers animals a naturalistic environment with some amenities like awnings that keep the sun off them and spray water periodically to keep them cool.

    There are cafés with decent food, but you can bring your own for a picnic. Admission is $32 (Australian) and kids are free during school holidays and on the weekend and $16 .30 Monday – Friday.  There are discounts for seniors, full time students and others. You can pay with credit cards.

    The Spirits of the Sky (see below), a birds of prey show, offered twice a day is not to be missed.

    Healesville is near Melbourne and can get quite sunny and hot so bring water, a sun hat and sunscreen.

    Zootopia

    Disney’s Zootopia is a fun kids’ movie that adults can enjoy. Zootopia’s plucky heroine is a new police officer, who though highly qualified gets put on meter maid duty because of stereotypes and discrimination against rabbits. She must team up with a fox who’s a con artist to catch the mastermind behind a slew of kidnappings. If she can solve this case, she can prove her worth. As you’d expect in this “buddy” film the fox is her polar opposite in terms of ethos and personality.

    The film is fast paced and clever, but like many Disney films lacks unique perspective. It feels like it was made by a committee rather than an individual artist. Not a bad film. It’s an entertaining film, but I do wish an American studio could produce some films that are not so packaged, so pat.