Wednesday, January 17, 2018

No Escape

I over estimated in thinking I’d have no contact with the folks for another two weeks.
Ran into The Baker and another resident at the market.
Baker said, “I just noticed they have gluten-free cupcakes in the Bakery section. If I bought you some, could you eat them?”
The Baker is just the nicest, sweetest, most thoughtful person you’d ever meet, always wanting to do something for someone, but I had to let her down.
“No, because it’s not just the gluten. It’s the high fructose corn syrup, baking powder, which has corn starch in it, regular butter and regular sugar”.
These things I know because I’ve learned the hard way – trial, error, cooking something with everything I think wouldn’t set off a gut reaction, only to get sick, go back and read what was in every ingredient until I pin-pointed the problem, which generally is some version of soy, corn, wheat and put the product on my never again list.
The Baker then said, “Well, what if you gave me some recipes?”
I can do that, but I probably won’t because she has no idea how many ingredients she’ll have to stockpile that she normally doesn’t use.
Next on The Baker’s mind was, “Everyone’s talking about seeing police on the complex this morning, wondering what it was about.”
Believe it or not, I knew the answer.
“That was a welfare check on my elusive downstairs neighbor”.
Shortly after 10:00 this morning, I heard voices underneath my patio. Looked out and observed Complex Manager and both maintenance guys.
Few seconds later, they were joined by two police officers.
The group then walked to the door of the unit beneath me, where the weird resident lives. The resident who is never seen because she comes in late, leaves early for work, doesn’t talk to us the few times we’ve seen her taking out trash or heading to her car, except to tell me, when I welcomed her to the quad, “I don’t like people!” (with considerable emphasis added). She evidently also doesn’t like sunlight either, because she never opens her patio doors to let in fresh air, and keeps all her blinds shut tight.
At any rate, Community Manager knocked on the resident’s door.
No one answering, she opened and let the officers in to take a look.
The officers came out smiling.
Complex Manager looked relieved.
I really think they thought she might be dead in there.
She’s not old, probably barely over the required 55 years of age, so I don’t know what prompted the Welfare Check, but she's fine. I hear her coming in most nights, lately with male company.
Returning to the complex from the market, more contact with residents was made when I walked through the corridor, heading to the mailbox, and noticed something new had been added.


A fairly new resident has opened a nail salon.
Moving on up.
THEN, the resident I’ve only once or twice mentioned in this blog as Casino Lady, because she used to work at one, approached me about that pervert who jumped the fence, tried to corner me at the mailbox area and exposed himself.
She thought what I’d originally thought, that inasmuch as management had him on video, they should post a photo of him, from waist up of course, so residents will know who to be on the lookout for, and tells me she's taken it upon herself to request management do just that.
Management told her it's not legal for them to do so.
Not satisfied with that, she went to the police department with the issue and was told the police department could not release a photo from the video either, but management can do so with the victim’s consent.
She said, “I plan to bring this up at tomorrow’s Residents/Management meeting” and wanted to know if I, as the victim, would consent to the pervert’s photo being posted.
I don’t like that word, victim, but “Hell yeah! Post him everywhere.”
That guy so rattled me that I’m still overly nervous and jumpy. I want him caught. Besides, knowing they are being taped, and photos will be posted, might deter others from the multi-family complex next door from jumping the fence, for whatever purpose.
I wasn’t planning to attend tomorrow’s meeting, but now I'm there.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Downtime

Monday’s walking of the University Campus netted 1.52 miles, 3638 steps, 113 Pokéballs, plus I added a new capture.
I was so excited to see a Plusle that I failed to snap a photo in Augmented Reality Mode (real-world environment), so I’ll have to show you what he looks like from my Pokédex.



Kinda looks like Pikachu with big ears.
This morning's estimated 2 hours, $250 at the dealership’s service department, for transmission service, wound up 3-1/2 hours $190.
Not my favorite thing to do, downtime at the dealership, but had to be done. Want the old girl to keep going, if not for me then for Granddaughter, who is likely to inherit the Saturn when I let go for a new car.
That might be happening sooner rather than later, because she needs a better car than the PT Cruiser she purchased from a relative, and No. 3 Grandson needs a car, period. If I give her the Saturn, she can give her brother the cruiser who, along with his dad, can better handle mechanical issues.
Lot of good walking areas around the dealership, but to step outside the waiting room is to be accosted by hungry sales personnel trying to sell you a car.
I’ve already researched the dealer’s inventory, and find no makes/models I’m interested in, for when ready to purchase, so I stayed inside – read a Woman's World magazine, worked the cross-word puzzle, put time in on my needlepoint project.
And would you believe, I have to waste more of my life away at the dealership again next week, because I asked them to look at a problem I was having with my driver side window slipping, not giving me the range of view I usually have.
Inasmuch as the problem happened overnight – and I do mean overnight, like one day it was fine, next day it wasn’t, I’m fairly certain someone exiting the truck which parks next to me in the complex car port, Head Maintenance Guy’s truck, managed to hit it, knocking it out of position. Maybe even the gardener backed into it when clearing the area of leaves and tumblweeds.
Either way, I'm sure it was an accident, but the bottom line is a new side mirror has to be ordered -- Estimated cost $450.
Parts are also being ordered, for next week, to repair steering wheel’s tie rod ends – Estimated cost $450.
Going to be an expensive month.
To his credit, the service advisor did not try to talk me into next week’s costly work, saying wasn’t necessary right away, just something that eventually was going to need handling.
Better I get ‘em done now than stick Granddaughter with another problem vehicle.
With my having not made contact with residents since last week’s Pizza Tuesday, missing today’s Pizza Tuesday, and scheduled to miss next week’s Pizza Tuesday, I’m looking at 21-28 days away from and out of the Community Room loop.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy MLK Day

I had hoped to spend this past Saturday walking the University Campus, collecting Pokéballs, as the nearly 200 balls collected, when in Long Beach during the Thanksgiving week, have been depleted.
Because a Poké Gym has been established less than a quarter mile away from my unit in one direction, and because there’s a Pokéstop in the other direction, at the multi-family unit next door, I’m the recipient of cross activity and have been lucky enough to catch Pokémon without getting off the couch.
Pikachu himself is particularly fond of popping up on or near my needlepoint station.




Or Pikachu herself -- I can never tell the difference, and there is a difference, having to do with shape of the tail.
At any rate, Saturday walking the campus was preempted by my having to drive out of the area to the rescheduled appointment with the locktician (beautician for braids).
Sunday, had me scheduled for the nail salon.
I can actually purchase Pokéballs: 100 balls at $0.99, 500 at $4.00
But why pay for what I can obtain free with just a little leg work and fortunately, today is a holiday, campus closed to classes, and me with no commitments in my way.
There will be no people watching for me tomorrow, Pizza Tuesday, as I’ll be at the dealership having the transmission serviced.
It’s just as well I won’t be connecting with the folks for a few days, because so many seem bored, discontent, and I don't want to buy into that.
Even The Seer has been depressed of late, but her issue is that of being resentful -- resentful of where she is in life, more critical of others than she normally is, projecting her frustration that prayers are not being answered, that she’s not getting what she wants. My philosophy of don’t ask, trust the Universe, listen to what it’s telling you and go with the flow because “Your Father within knoweth what things you have need of” is wasted, falling on deaf ears, so I won't be expending any more energy on trying to lift a person who doesn't want to be lifted right now. And I can’t anymore with Apache -- his love affair with, admiration and defense of the Orange Idiot in Chief, even in the face of “sh*thole” is more than I’m willing to handle.
This thing with The Seer is temporary, she'll get over being upset with the Universe. But you can't cure stupid, so there's little hope my pal Apache will ever wake up and smell the covfefe.
So suffice it to say, I’ll be spending less time with the folks for a while, more time hunting Pokémon and training for The Great Donut Run, which I’m hoping is a flat trail, no hills.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Second Wind

I’d been hoping for but not really thinking I’d get it -- a second wind, so I could get back to a daily walking routine and participating in 5Ks.
After a foot injury put me out of commission for a few months, I’d put together that Schwinn and turned to virtual biking events. Once the foot healed, I was feeling slow and sluggish and not able to keep up, so I turned to Virtual 5Ks until my strength, energy and balance began to fail me, from probably that ear infection I didn't know I had.
At any rate, I’ve actually not participated in activity of any kind since November, just sat on the couch watching TV and needlepointing.
Of course, I did notice, while on hiatus, that my back and hips began to hurt from all day sitting.
I remembered reading somewhere about inactivity leading to joints stiffening, locking actually, which is probably why so many here depend on canes and walkers.
I felt that beginning to happen to me, but still couldn’t get off the couch until that second wind hit me this past Sunday, when I found myself putting in a mile on the indoor bike. The following day, I put in a mile and a half. This morning I woke up, felt like my old self, put in 3 miles on the bike, then headed out and completed 1.5 miles around the neighborhood.
I’m back!!
This year, instead of being medal motivated, I’m just going to walk and bike to stay active.
That’s not to say that, if I see a medal I absolutely must add to my collection, I won’t register for the virtual. But the plan is to get back to fun outdoor events – hundreds of participants, no pressure races. And right now, that looks to be the Great Donut Run, which I participated in last year as a virtual.
I’m not planning to cosplay this event, but if I just happen to run into donut fabric, I might make a pair of leggings.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Whatever

I had to practically swim through the downpour, but I did make it to the Community Room for this afternoon’s celebration for residents born in the month of January.


It wasn’t too uncomfortable for me. Mainly because, when I walked in, The Baker and The Seer didn’t make a big to-do to single me out. They kept it on the down low that the event was because they wanted to celebrate me by whispering “Happy Belated Birthday” in my ear.
Two other January residents arrived for a cupcake, one came in quietly and replied “yes” when asked if this was her birthday month. The other danced through the door singing “Happy Birthday to me”. Not surprisingly, it was the woman I've described in this blog as projecting an attitude of entitlement.
Whatever.
Surprised I was to see Activity Director in attendance. Her schedule had her at this location last Tuesday, but she didn’t show. Her schedule showed her not at this location this Tuesday, and there she was.
Whatever.
Her schedule also indicated a crochet class last week, when she didn’t show, to make afghans (activity calendar spelled it “aphgan”) for the dialysis center – a good and worthy endeavor; but moving that class (unannounced) to today, what she was teaching the ladies was how to make cute little caps to be distributed to premature babies in the local rehab center – equally a good and worthy endeavor.


Because of my frustration at Activity Director’s habit of not showing up, as scheduled, for arts and craft sessions, I’m disengaging and won’t be looking to do any projects with her in future.
In chitchatting with residents, I learned the status of my smoking neighbor. She’s actually back in her unit, having been released a day or two after the EMTs took her away. It wasn’t a fall, or an accident of any kind. She just suddenly felt seriously ill.
Maybe that influenza confrontation that’s bringing so many to their knees.
At any rate, the hospital pumped her with antibiotics and, though I've not seen her, I’m told she’s fine now.
As for the gentleman thought to have liver damage. He’s back in his unit as well, and that’s all that was said – just that he’s been released and is back in his unit.
Hmmmmm.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Low Profile

Been keeping to myself, maintaining a low profile this last week, to give the seniors time to get Happy New Year’s hugs and thoughts of my birthday out of their system. 
Even the fact I was running out of food supplies didn’t get me up and out. I just got creative with what was available. Nor did the fact the Mega and Powerball were up there, over $400 million, calling my name, saying I needed to take a chance I might be the one because Granddaughter needs a better car and No. 3 Grandson needs a car period, also didn’t motivate me to get up and out.
What finally did motivate me to get out and make a run on Saturday was running out of a needlepoint floss color. So off I went to the craft store, with a stop by the market for groceries, and a stop to pick up a Powerball ticket, as the Mega was no longer up for grabs, then it was back to hibernating.
Having not made contact with anyone in the complex for days, I’m not sure what the status is of the resident rushed to the hospital with what is thought to be liver damage. Nor do I know what happened to one of the neighbors in my quad.
While watching Project Runway Thursday night, I head sirens and the sound of a truck engine stopping just at the end of my walkway.
Looking out the patio window, I watched as EMTs headed for the upstairs unit, across the quad, to the left, where lives the smoker.
This is a no-smoking community, folks are required to exit the gate and smoke somewhere outside, but folks don’t always follow the rules.
If it was impacting my life, I’d complain; but it’s not. She’s a nice lady, her unit is across the quad, the smoke doesn’t reach my windows, so not my problem.
At any rate, the EMT’s went into her unit and, after a time, neighbor was gently escorted down the stairs with an EMT assisting behind her, an EMT in front of her, and an EMT behind the guy in front of her as a safety precaution should anyone stumble he could block the fall. Every step Neighbor took looked painful for her, but they got her down to the gurney and took her away, at which time I said a prayer for her and went back to Project Runway.
No idea what could have happened, though falling in the unit seems to be the No. 1 cause of injury around here, but won’t know for sure until I come out of hibernation and get with the folks again, which looks like it will be tomorrow – Pizza Tuesday.
I actually wasn’t planning to go, but The Baker posted to our Facebook page that, after pizza delivery, there’s to be a cupcake party for January birthdays.
She’s not fooling me, I’m not stupid, I’m not a Republican. I know her baking cupcakes and arranging for this event is for me. The Seer -- the Baker’s BFF, was unable to ascertain my birthday, so the two of them came up with this workaround.
Last time anyone arranged a celebration for me against my wishes was when I retired from that job where the racist group had tried to run me out of the company because the CEO didn’t want a Black woman in a secretarial position. 
I worked myself through the situation by standing firm in my understanding that the Universe put me there because, as a spiritual student, I was strong enough in my faith to not react as they expected me to react, as the many others they had targeted had reacted (fled, quit), just stand firm and let the Universe fight the battle for me.
Though it was a painful episode, I saw the Universe at work in many things that happened to individuals in the racist group until eventually the worst of the worst retired or moved on to other companies, after which the remaining racists crawled back under their rock and ceased their openly racist behaviors. 
After my work was done, spiritually speaking, the Universe gave me an opportunity to retire. I took it.
Those in authority, including the remaining racists, wanted to arrange a retirement party for me.
I can’t be fake. Can’t eat or socialize with people I don't respect or who've been unkind to me.
Besides, the party was not for me, more like a show they were putting on to make themselves look good.
I did attend a luncheon with a group of work pals, but told the others that I wasn’t going to play that game with them, don’t arrange a party.
They did anyway, arranged for a party at the office -- three days before my retirement date so, staying true to myself, I called in sick that morning.
Of course, they ended up embarrassed, a laughing stock.
Did I care?
No.
Not even when the guy I referred to in posts during those difficult years as "The Weasly Klansman" had the nerves to say to me, when I recovered from my illness and returned to work the day after the party, "You shouldn't have done that".
Seriously? You treat me like crap all these many years and you expect me to help you save face, look like good guys and girls, by playing along with a retirement party organized by you?
This situation with The Baker and The Seer is a different scenario. Their wanting to do something for my birthday is a love offering.
I’m the person who is always there for others, doing for others, accustomed to receiving nothing in return. So unaccustomed to people wanting to do for me that it’s hard to accept when someone does something nice for me.
To repeat myself -- I can’t be fake, I’m a terrible liar, it’s hard for me to pretend but, in this case, I’m going to try my best to  play along -- go down to the Community Room and pretend I'm clueless, didn't know I'd been duped, act like a Republican.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Back to Normal

Life has returned to the norm here at the senior complex.
I got my Christmas decorations packed and back into storage promptly New Year’s Day, without exhausting or hurting myself. Even used the opportunity to organize other containers in the storage area better.
I was fairly well organized with costumes in one container, tutus in another, scrapbooking had two dedicated containers, but everything else was kinda lumped in so that, when I needed something, like say a needlepoint frame or a stylus, it was easier to just go buy one than move containers and go hunting.
Now it’s organized so that each specific craft has a dedicated container. In the process, I discovered I had seven needlepoint frames, two tubes of aida cloth I’d altogether forgotten I had and various other bits and pieces I’d looked for but could not find in the past.
Curious to know how much energy I’d expend by packing up and reorganizing, I’d worn the Fitbit.




Results indicate I’ve still got it and may be ready to start back with 5Ks.
After delivery of pizzas yesterday, was to be a class entitled “Reframing Your Perspective for 2018”.
Sounded intriguing. I planned to attend.
After the perspective class was to be a Crochet Class. “Learn how to crochet an afghan that will be donated to the Veterans’ Dialysis Center”.
A worthy endeavor for a worthy cause, but I’m all crochet out.
I did a lot of it in the 60’s, 70’s – caps, rugs, clothing -- even taught one of my daughters, who is now like a master at crochet and use to have an Etsy store, until she decided it was more fulfilling to gift items than to sell them.
I didn’t leave the other daughter out of being taught to sew, knit, crochet, it’s just that she didn’t want to learn, never took to crafting of any sort.
At any rate, I wasn’t interested in Tuesday’s Crochet Class, but other residents were.
Problem was, Activity Director was once again a no-show – no perspective class, no crochet class, but Head Maintenance Guy (HMG) took her place in picking up and delivering pizzas.
One of the residents commented on how HMG all of a sudden is moving around like he’s got a fire under his arse – going from unit to unit handling things, picking up pizzas, that buying donuts for residents at last month’s meeting with his own money, smiling and greeting residents.
What happened to bring about this change?
No one knows for sure, but rumor is one too many complaints and a scathing email to Corporate about his previous lack of motivation and poor attitude.
If that’s what happened and he consequently has been warned by Corporate to get in gear or look for a job elsewhere, I assure you – it wasn’t me. Well … yes, I’ve complained to other staff, but in a joking way – like when I told Complex Manager and Assistant Maintenance Guy that I was going to put a lump of coal in HMG’s stocking. And yes, I did put him on blast at the Residents/Management meeting in front of his Corporate Boss, but I didn’t send the email.
Whatever the reason for this change, I welcome the new him.