Feedback, Feedback, Oh the Perfect Feedback!; McBride Lane; Dead Audiences; the Iris Apfel of Vancouver; Me and Benedict Wong

So my life is rapidly changing, at the ripe old age of 75. I am accumulating a new set of friends who actually give me feedback. You do know who you are because you are often quoted on this blog, I reply tp your emails of praise and I also dole out thanks when you like me on Instagram, and even better yet when you – COMMENT! It shows the rest of you lazy people up. You think you are cool but all that is going on with you are constrained by conformity. Do you not love that phrase? It comes from a book (my book of the moment) Soul Friends . This passage describes the hero of another novel. “Gene, who is the narrator of the novel, is very much indeed like myself at the same age: scrupulous, eager to do the right thing, often constrained by conformity, burdened with a distinctively sensitive and intellectual bent. Gene was often scared. But we, the reader, come to like and admire him, because, to his credit, he was always working against the fear. Underneath his careful, methodical exterior, Gene was longing to connect with his free self. (italics in the original pg. 78)

Now I shall give you this – not all of the readers of this blog can respond to me and that is/was purposive. Chris, my guru, prevents such as I decided in the beginning that I did to want negative comments from a bunch of strangers. It was a wise decision and I shall never regret it. However, many of you know perfectly well how to get in touch with me and you do not bother. You know who you are!. I do not need daily stroking, moreover, not does it have to be responsive. F Guy, who has made his appearance on the blog, sent an email yesterday, It was hilarious. The subject line: maybe a place to live?

He: saw this on Craig’s list. Thought you might like the street name! McBride Lane!

Me: Hahahaha! I am attempting to ascertain whether you want me closer at hand or further away. I do LOVE the thought of living on a lane named after me – but the Santa Rosa location is a bit off putting. Santa Rosa’s glory days are of the past – an old Hitchcock movie. Actually think that Berkeley might be a good place to settle – so if you could find a McBride Lane (or even street) in Berkeley – it would be ideal. The rains have descended again but I do not have any outdoor plans – well a trip to the library perhaps. I am reading a great book – Soul Friends. I met an actually nice guy – he is going to help me transport art from the Vancouver Art Gallery tomorrow..

This is an edited reply- the lazy readers do not get all of me because believe it, or not, I maintain a zone of privacy and am fiercely protective of those I care about (and even some people who I do not care about). Some guy complained about the frequency of my emails, therefore, coldly responded that if he wanted to be entertained without any commitment he could always read my blog. I have not heard from him since, but in all fairness – I have not emailed him. I suppose an” I am sorry” might be an email subject line – but it will not be forthcoming from Alexis McBride because I have nothing to be sorry about.

This is an example of feedback which greeted me this morning. Friend Jennifer W. responded to my mentioning, on the blog of yesterday, the sheer passivity of Vancouver audiences.

She: Loved your sublime blog today! I’m glad you have such a good friend in Tracy and now a granddaughter too! I love to clap and yell Bravo at the symphony. At the SF symphony almost everyone does, so I don’t get Vancouver’s audience. Guess they aren’t worldly enough to recognize grandness when they hear it.

Me: I loved your comments about the blog and I shall quote what you said about the Vancouver audience – if that is OK with you using your first name. Soul Friends contains a phrase that probably describes them – constrained by conformity. So my other plan for the day is to get out my winter clothes. This damn seasonal stuff is a pain. Chris is traveling today so I do not think I will blog. He is leaving Viet Nam to return to London. He does miracles – he is such a treasure in his consistency and caring. I am blessed! Well I do pay him but not hardly anything.

Is that all I wrote in my email to her? Of course not as I respect the privacy of others and Jenn W. and I have our secrets. I am excellent at keeping secrets because, of course, I had to during my childhood and youth because of the abuse.

Now here is another example of feedback. I was waiting for the light to change at Howe and West Georgia, standing beside a young woman. I glanced over to see she had a stunning tattoo on her arm and told her so. She told me that she loved my coat and bright yellow purse. We were walking in the same direction, I was in a huge hurry as DDD was coming to lunch and I needed to be on time. But we walked as we talked – I veered off at Richards after spelling my name for her. She sent me the most marvelous email which I use on this blog with her permission.

She:For the Iris Apfel of Vancouver, I am emailing to thank you for your pleasant company this afternoon. However brief a meeting, you have come as a brilliant reminder that youth does not pass with age. My first impression was admiration and an outstanding hope. You see, I am at a turning point in my life; marked with social norms, and an exuberant pressure to follow suit.

Thank you for teaching the world that women can live beyond their thirties.

Warm regards, Ms. McBride

Me:It was so incredibly wonderful to awaken to your email! It lifted my spirits to great heights! Would you mind if I quote you in my blog? You can be anonymous – as all are on my blog. Well, except for me! Hahahahaha Alexis

One photo accompanies this blog. It is me pictured with Benedict.Wong which I Instagrammed immediately with the following caption,”OMG that is me with Benedict Wong! He is making a movie in the West End of Vancouver and I was walking by. I did not get a speaking part – YET but there may be hope. Not been an actress – yet. Stand up comedian once in London.”

So 23 people liked it on Instagram but one the most important of all. Tracey emailed to correct me as I had called him Fong and not Wong. Then a young girl from Switzerland showed me how to edit in Instagram. But two more things which are amazing. I was not just walking by the film set – I was on a Walking Tour. The guide was walking super fast and I could not keep up trailing the group and so, rather desperately, asked a man on a park bench if he had seen a group. He pointed down the hill, but I sat on the bench with him. He gallantly shared his vodka and coke and we had a great chat. I did not even attempt to finish off the tour with the guide who was actually treating me rudely. It was serendipity, the 69 year old man on the bench with the vodka and coke (not my drink of choice but any port in a storm”). I googled Benedict Wong finding a You Tube about his return to Manchester. Now there is definitely a story there – but it is private.

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