Killing the Meetup Group

As some of the longer term readers know, I had a meetup group to encourage myself to get out of the house and meet people. We’d meet for coffee once a month and have happy hours occasionally and attempt to do touristy things every few weeks.

Only a few people showed up regularly, and I didn’t get to know very many in the group, but I would not say that the group was dying. When the shelter in place started, there was no point in meeting, because we had nowhere to go and it’s hard to drink coffee and wear a mask. No one seemed to want to meet by Zoom, so that was the end of that, it seemed.

I let it go for a while, since I had paid through June. Not one person answered messages. So, when the bill came last week for renewal, I sent a message to everyone in the group telling them that I would close the group and reopen it when things got to the point where we can meet in person again.

Only one person responded, and he had already moved away from the area months before we were sheltering in place.

When we are ready to meet again, I’ll reassess. Right now, it doesn’t make sense to pay for something I am not using.

An evening out on a Wednesday

I had scheduled an evening out with some people. We were meeting for coffee.

I left home early, intending to stop at the library before the meeting and getting a walk in. I got to the library and found an interesting book right as I walked in the door. The point was to return books. Oh well.

I ended up finishing up the reviews for several children’s books I had checked out and returned them. I realized that I didn’t have my library card with me, since I didn’t carry my whole wallet with me. The librarian was kind enough to let me check the book out with my driver’s license and he told me that I had two holds waiting at a different branch of the library. Ok. Add to this week’s agenda.

I left the library and walked down the street, checking out the different shops along the way. I wandered into the bookstore, of course, and I picked up the schedule for the rest of the month. At first glance, nothing was interesting. I’ll look harder later.

I continued down the street and I was headed to Walgreens. On the way, a gentleman said hello to me. When I said hello back, he informed me that he loved me.

I continued toward Walgreens, with the idea that I’d buy sunblock. Nope. Left the wallet at home, remember?

I found that they hadn’t yet reopened the candy shop that closed last month and the toy store was closed. I didn’t know about the toy store. How sad. 22 years it had been there.

I started walking back to the meeting location and ran into the gentleman who said hello earlier. He had a friend with him and they decided to ask me to take a photo with them. I politely declined and kept walking. A man walking his bike came up behind me and laughed “they didn’t ask me for my picture.” We chatted a bit on the way to the location.

I got to the meeting place a little early, so I settled in with my tea and my kindle, with my usual book to let drop in people know we were the group.

Only the one person who usually shows up at the meetings was there. Everyone else backed out at the last minute, as usual. We chatted for a while then headed home.

I did manage to get my walk in, and was home early enough to do my next day preparations. It was a productive evening, I think.

Happy hour before the art final

My daughter and I had to present our work from the semester at class on Thursday. We also had to get stuff for the potluck end of semester party. We decided to leave early and go to the grocery store before class. It was also a buy one get one free day at Starbucks.

We went to the store and picked up supplies for this potluck and for the potluck for my daughter’s other class, so she’d be prepared. We started to do a mobile order from Starbucks, then realized that the happy hour prices might not work if we ordered that way, so we went inside.

The line was long, but moving quickly. We ordered and waited. The barista chatted with us a bit.  I said that it was busy and loud.  He said it was because of happy hour.  I mentioned that I was going to do a mobile order, but I couldn’t get the price.  He said it was because happy hour isn’t happy hour unless we get to see his face.  Uh huh.

We got to class and prepared our presentations.  We grabbed a snack from the potluck table and sat down to watch our classmates present.  We had six minutes each to present.  I didn’t have enough to say about my paintings.  

 

These are the pieces I submitted for my final.

These are my daughter’s paintings.  The instructor is playing with the paintings, to see if they look better with the figures facing inside or out.

The rest of my daughter’s paintings.

These are a classmate’s paintings.  She gave me permission to post them here.

The semester is over.  We start up again in January.

Holiday cups

Last week, I got a message that Starbucks would be giving out reusable cups when you got your drink, but, I was warned, you had to get there early. Even though you get $0.50 off each holiday drink when you go in, I decided that it wasn’t worth the effort to get up early. I ended up going at around 3pm. Turns out that you only got them with a holiday drink, and only until supplies lasted. They still hadn’t opened the last box when I was there.

So, now I am the proud owner of a reusable Starbucks cup. I can only get holiday drinks in it, and only get the discount when I walk in. Not when I pre order or go through the drive thru. So, whenever I wander in for holiday drinks, and I have a clean cup in my car, I’ll get the discount. I have a feeling it isn’t going to happen often.

Saturday afternoon

I had a quiet afternoon planned for Saturday, since my original plans were cancelled.  Somehow, my sister sensed the cancellation and invited me to go visit her and her kids.  I had to stop at Starbucks first to get the energy.

She suggested we go to the playground, but it was so cold and windy, we thought better of it.

We ended up going to Target.  Why not?  I am not used to keeping track of small cars, but I managed.

 

This toy set off several rounds of “The Wheels on the Bus” from the two year old.  He seemed surprised that I knew the words.  He had the song stuck in his head, but kept singing different verses, at least.

I am not sure why he thought that the eagle needed to live in the dollhouse, but it kept him quiet and busy for a while.

I ended up getting my contact solution and several other items while we were out.

I took the older boys on the hunt for the contact solution.  Her middle son asked me what we were looking for.  “oh, I hope we don’t find it.  Once we find it, our mission will end.”  This somewhat explains why children can’t find things in front of their faces.

It was a fun day, and I definitely needed the caffeine for the outing.

A very happy fun chai

I went to Starbucks on my way to work this morning.  I tend to use the mobile order from the parking lot so that I avoid the lines.  Today, they were busier than usual, I guess, since I arrived before my drink had been made.  I was waiting patiently and the barista called out, “A very happy fun chai for Denise!”  Ok.  Someone was entertaining herself, or having a good morning, or maybe she was hoping that I would have a good morning.  Whatever reason, I found it funny and walked off with a smile and my tea.

Summer reading prize and adventures

I joined Summer Stride at the library soon after the program started.  The goal was to read 20 hours this summer.  Well, I finished that in the first week.  I turned my form in yesterday and got my prize, a library tote bag.

I had to complete a little survey.  Did you read more than 20 hours?  Yes.  Did the program cause you to use the library more?  No.  Do you go to programs at the libraries?  Yes.  Any comments for improvements?  Yes, make the form less confusing to fill out.  Random blank lines don’t mean a lot.

After I left the library with my tote bag, I headed off to my meetup group.  It was coffee and chatting to make plans for future meetings.  I had 3 people RSVP for the meeting.  2 of those people showed up, plus 2 who hadn’t RSVP’d.  One man, at the next table, was just there having a drink, so he joined us, too.  He later joined our group online.

It was a productive meeting and we have a couple of events schedule for next week and the week after, with some ideas about what else to do.  And there is an assistant organizer/host volunteered for the job.  He can add events to the calendar and host when I am not available.  I hope to find more people to help out with this in the future.

Out at Breakfast

I was at Breakfast with Daisy Jones and the Six. The server came up to me and asked how the book was, excited when she saw the title. I gave her a vague “it reads like a Rolling Stones article.” She asked if I meant that it just goes on without real chapters and then said she’s been wanting to read it. I was surprised she knew what I meant, but I am guessing she had heard about the book.

Later, after three cups of coffee, she came back and asked me if I’d like more coffee. I didn’t say what I wanted to, which was “sure, if you’d like me to stay here and you have to deal with me bouncing off the walls all day.” I just declined a fourth cup. She offered me water. Maybe she read my mind?

I left there considering bringing the book to her when I finish it. I know where she works, so I suppose I could. I wonder if she’d appreciate it.

Shazam

I had little on yesterday’s agenda, and Shazam was playing nearby, so I decided to take myself to the movies.

The movie was cute. It wasn’t the same as when I was a kid watching it on Saturday morning cartoons, but I laughed a lot and followed the action.

After the movie, I stopped at Starbucks then at the book store. I browsed for a long time. Independent book stores are great. I always want to buy them out. Today, the employees were discussing an upcoming contest involving guessing how many objects are in a jar. One was arguing that they can’t do that because someone can do the math and figure out the exact amount. No one is going to do that was the argument back. I pitched in my two cents. These are readers, not mathematicians, plus no one is going to take the trouble to figure it out mathematically.

I took the train home. I got to the station and just missed a train. I looked at the board and there was nothing listed for upcoming trains for my line. I was really confused. I went up to the board that showed each train and where it was on the line. There was a train about 8 stops away. And one ten stops away. “29 minute wait.” Something was definitely wrong with the system. I watched the train move closer and closer. It arrived about fifteen minutes after I arrived at the station. So much for 29 minutes. On the way home, the drive was smooth, other than the driver stopping at a stop that isn’t a stop anymore. Scenic route, I guess.

It was a nice, mostly uneventful day. I should have more of those.