Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sense Perception

Yesterday was spent qualifying for the Virtual Never Say Die 5K/10K.
Forthcoming Medal
The phrase “Never Say Die” is from the 1985 Goonies movie and June 7th is Goonies Day, in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the 1985 Goonies movie.
Inasmuch as the virtual gives me the option of qualifying any time prior to end of race period and qualifying options are “run/walk/jog/bike or even treadmill”, the plan was to get it done yesterday and to reach for the 10K. No way can I walk 6.12 miles, so I did a split – logged in 3.12 miles on the indoor bike, headed out the door intending to walk 3.12 miles.
I say “intended” because, due to the heat, I crashed at 1.63, just 1.49 miles short of reaching the 10K goal.
Soooo close, but no matter. I still get the 5K medal and, with cooler weather and a little more training, I’ll get the 10K next time.
My bling from the virtual Great Donut Run arrived in the mail yesterday.

Tee Shirt, Bib, Medal
This was the event I completed by walking four times around inside the Ontario Mills Mall on the 19th, with a slow finish time of 1:25:36.
If I’m still this active next year – at age 74, I plan to participate in person at The Great Donut Run, rather than virtually, because I received Highlights from the race organizers and the event looked so fun that it will be worth the drive, hotel room and, with so many participants of varying abilities, my slow pace won’t be a factor.
Two highlights I read are very inspiring.
One was of a little 4-year old girl, with a prosthetic, who finished the kid’s 1K, started the 5K with her family and was supposed to jump in her stroller to rest for the upcoming kid’s donut dash race. Instead, she kept going and finished the 5K as well.

Then there was the guy for whom the Donut Run was his very first 5K. Competing at 70 years of age, he finished … on a walker.

I’m having second thought about attending tomorrow’s Memorial Day BBQ -- the event organized by a resident whose name I do not recognize, but who was described to me as “The woman who looks like a man”.
Back in 2012, shortly after I first moved into the complex and was becoming acquainted with the residents, I quickly learned that, when I could not place a name to a face, I was given a rather blunt description – usually something about the person’s physical appearance that later became obvious to me, like “The woman with the big butt” or “Pepe Le Pew” because the man always had a bad body odor.
In fact, I’d written a blog post back then about how folks described others in terms of surface sense perception – what residents saw with their eyes about the person or, in Pepe Le Pew’s case, what was smelled. Curious as what sense perception said about me, I’d asked a group of ladies to be honest with me, that my feelings wouldn’t be hurt, but tell me “How am I described?” Without hesitation, I got, “The walking lady with the dreadlocks”.
They’re Sisterlocks, not Dreadlocks, but I was happy to learn sense perceptions of me are in gentler terms than afforded others.
At any rate, though I’m curious to see if the resident hosting the event fits the description given, I’m just not all that interested in attending. However, I did say I’d supply potato salad, so I’ll make a run by the deli, pick up a tub and make a quick drop off in the Community Room.
Maybe I’ll catch a glimpse of the woman hosting the event during the drop off, to see if sense perception is reality.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Money Talks

The saga of prescription eyeglasses has finally come to an end, but not without yet another snafu.
I had a repeat of what happened with the vision center -- no one called me from the optometry office where I’d once encountered snobby, rude, dismissive guy, that glasses were ready , so I had to call them.
“We’ve been trying to reach you, but your number is not working” says they. “Did you change your number?”
That I did … but I changed my number BEFORE I set up the appointment, at which time I gave their office the new number.
Inasmuch as the office called that new number to verify the appointment, I saw no need to double-check to make sure the records had been changed in the computer when I arrived for the exam and eyeglass selection process.
Evidently, I should have because they tried to reach me for pickup at the old number.
Told, “You can pick up any time”, I drove out there this morning.
Walking into the optometry office, expecting to be greeted by the nice ladies encountered at my last visit, I was instead met by some guy. Not certain if this was the dismissive one, when the purchase was a $20 frame repair, I began expecting the worst. Instead, he began fawning all over me, apologizing profusely for the new number not being entered into the computer, saying things like “You spent a lot of money. We want to keep you happy”, taking multiple opportunities to touch my shoulder, my arm, giving me instructions to call, come back, if I run into any problems, and “I like you. You’re not like the mean ladies” because I wasn’t annoyed or making a big deal out of the mix-up and delay – all this I expect because the purchase this time was ninety times as much as that simple frame repair.
At any rate, all’s well that ends well. The glasses are done and I’m happy with both the near pair, the far pair and the cases which, unlike the vision center's throwaway covers that don't even fit the glasses, are nice looking and functional.

You do get what you pay for, and money does talk -- or at least, in this case, had an impact.
The old sugar cravings raised its ugly head this week in the form of a desire for ice cream at night. I managed to squelch the craving with frozen cherries, but then I’d also been craving See’s Candy.
It just so happened the optometry office was 2.6 miles away driving east away from home to See’s in the Montclair Plaza, 8.3 miles driving west towards home to See’s in Victoria Gardens Plaza.
I decided not to resist, and opted for the mall towards home.
Arriving back at the complex, before heading upstairs for an unhealthy lunch of candy and coffee, I made a run through the Community Room to see if there were any late additions to the bulletin board.
There were.
Tomorrow’s movie is The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
Seriously … that old thing?
No thanks.
I also saw a Memorial Day Potluck is planned. The notice says, “Must bring a side dish. Meat will be provided”.
“What kind of meat”, asked I.
“Ribs, and hotdogs”, someone replied.
“I’ll bring the potato salad and play it safe with turkey dogs”, says I and added, “Who’s bringing the meat?”
“A woman named Xxxxxxxx”, was the reply.
“I don’t think I know her”, says I.
“The woman who looks like a man.”
I still don’t know who that is, but WOW!

Monday, May 22, 2017


I was like the energizer bunny yesterday – up and down the stairs doing laundry, then training for my next 5K by walking around the complex -- in 97˚ heat no less, finishing up with 3 miles on the Schwinn Exercise Bike.
This morning it was training in 86˚ heat, which felt like 100˚, and a 2.7 exercise bike ride to cool down.
I’m finally back on a roll.
Judging from how difficult it was to get back, I’m thinking the lesson to be learned is don’t stop, because once you power down it’s difficult to reboot.
To be fair, I didn’t exactly power down on my own. I was sidelined for six months by that foot injury, and became much too comfortable with and accustomed to the Great Indoors.
I did make it down to the Community Room, Friday afternoon, for movie night – The Founder.
Arriving 15 minutes early, I was surprised to see the room full. Activity Director was hosting bingo, but it wasn’t a problem because they were on the last game -- blackout. The Founder started only 5 minutes late, and I had a good seat.
It was a bit of a surprise to see the Activity Director hosting bingo because, last I’d heard, she and neighbor (President of the Resident’s Committee), had gotten into an argument, which was described as “They really got into it”. Inasmuch as Activity Director is an employee, I thought for sure she’d be suspended for yelling at a resident, especially since it’s her second time.
In her late 20’s/early 30’s, with a degree in social work but, from the looks of it, not much experience, Activity Director fails to accept how often she screws up and doesn’t seem to realize that the women she resents being told how to do things better by are women to be appreciated as mentors. We like her as a person and with some of our residents being highly intelligent women, women who’ve had careers in all manner of fields -- way more accomplished than she, if her ego wasn’t in the way, she’d realize these older wiser highly intelligent women are trying to help, not hurt her.
But, oh well. Some of us insist on learning the hard way.
The Founder was an interesting movie, but I had mixed feelings at the end.
For one thing, I wasn’t clear on whether or not the lead character stole the business contact’s wife he coveted.
Researching online, I see he had three wives. So, if he divorced his first wife, stole the second, evidently it didn’t work out.
Another thing is … I understood the lead character’s frustration at the brothers being stumbling blocks to progress but, didn’t understand why the lead character had to be so vicious and vindictive after having found a way through the blocks, not to mention not being fair with the first wife he divorced.
Reminded me of that guy I’d mentioned years ago in a post, the one at the office who’d won a million dollars in Las Vegas.
In the midst of a divorce, even though he’d won enough to share with the wife, put that behind him with enough left over to start a new life with the girlfriend, he hatched a plan to make sure the wife couldn’t get any of it -- he let the girlfriend claim the winnings.
His unfair intentions caught up with him quick, fast, in a hurry because, the girlfriend decided, since she had the money in her name, she didn’t need him. She bought a condo in Palm Springs and told him to get lost.
The stress of the divorce and the girlfriend’s betrayal, took its toll. He became too ill to work, had a heart attack and, last I heard, had been spotted walking the streets broke, sick, homeless, looking for a place to live.
Inasmuch as Ray Kroc had been so unfair to his wife in the divorce, and the brothers in the takeover, I wondered it Karma caught up with him as well.
From what I found on the internet, he did good things for society with his wealth, lived a long time and lived well, except for the stroke and alcoholism part – which may be signs vicious/vindictive did weigh on him somewhat as Louise Hay’s Cause and Effect theory describes the root cause of stroke as being “resistance, rather die than change” and “guilt” as the root cause of alcoholism.
The movie also prompted me to make a run by the 15 cents sign at the McDonald’s Museum to see if the sign was like the one Kroc had edited to take “McDonalds” out.

It wasn’t.
Until seeing the movie, I’d not realized the location was the original McDonald’s site and, except for the oddly shaped golden arches, the sign seems legit and the plaque underneath credits the brothers, with no mention of Kroc.
I’m surprised the location isn’t a pokéstop. Though I've come across side-by-side pokéstop, perhaps this is an exception as The Military Museum next door is a stop.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Better Safe Than Sorry

Halfway to the car this morning, all suited up, heading out to qualify for the virtual Great Donut Run 5K by walking 3.12 miles around and around and around inside the Ontario Mills Mall, I suddenly felt a little light – like something was missing.
Something was -- I’d failed to put on the knee braces.
Already suited up, ready to go, I thought to take a chance and continue on without the extra support for my weak knees. But then that little voice in my head said, “What if your patella slips? What will that do to the other 5Ks you’ve signed up for?”
Good point.
Better safe than sorry.
So back I go upstairs, waist wrap off, fanny pack off, shoes off, leggings off, knee brace on, leggings, shoes, fanny pack, waist wrap back on, and off I go to the Mall.
Already somewhat exhausted by the time I arrived, from dressing/redressing and the drive, I struggled. At one point, I heard myself say to myself, “I can’t do this anymore”.
However, I persevered and, by the end, realized the struggling had more to do with having not trained – having not gotten out walking every day as had been my custom.
Indoor cycling is good in keeping me somewhat active, but nowhere near the calorie burn and level of effort walking requires. So the struggle I experienced motivates me to reorganize priorities – put needlepoint aside, stop being so lackadaisical, get up and out and walk, even if it’s just around the complex a few times.
The medal for the With You May the Fourth Be 10K Cycling event arrived in yesterday’s mail.

Advertised as “Glow (in the dark) I Do”, it didn’t. Not even a little.

I registered at the very last minute, the event sold out, so maybe the promoters ran out of medals, made more without the glow.
No matter … I still find the medal worth the effort.
On tap for remainder of the day is rest and recovery from this morning.
Tonight is Movie Night here at the senior complex. They’re showing “The Founder” – how McDonald’s came to be.
I would like to see that, but it all depends upon being able to sufficiently recover by movie time.
Yesterday’s Residents/Management meeting didn’t happen for me.
It happened … just not for me.
I denied my body the nap it was craving and instead went down to the Community Room at 2:45 for the 3:00 meeting. Three o’clock came and went, with no signs of a meeting. Then the Assistant Manager poked her head in to tell us the meeting was getting a late start because the Community Manager was tied up on a telephone conversation with “Regional Office”. Assistant Manager said she herself couldn’t step in because she was busy handling paperwork with a client … that it would be another 25/30 minutes.
With better things to do, like that nap or needlepoint, I headed back to my unit.
That nap didn’t happen. Walking in the fresh air to/from the Community Room revived me, but today’s walk so exhausted me that I feel like I’m falling asleep even as I end this post. So, off I go for that nap.
Hopefully I wake up in time for the movie.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Aging for Dummies

Today went by fast.
I drove out-of-the-area to a city I’ve never been -- Yucca Valley, and got off my to-do list an Estate POA (Power of Attorney) and POA for Health Care opting to have the plug pulled.
I still have to put together an addendum that I wish to be cremated, sprinkled someplace warm – like the desert, and do not want a memorial service.
Downside of being a loner is I don’t know enough people to make a memorial service worth the effort, but don’t cry for me Argentina because I’m good with that.
As far as I know, I’m not going anywhere soon, but you never know; and that windfall necessitated those POA’s and it appears I also need a Transfer Upon Death Kit.
So much paperwork involved in aging, and with no clear roadmap – other than word of mouth, as to all that this aging thing requires be done so as not leave a nightmare behind for others to take care of, I’m feeling the need for an Aging for Dummies book.
After the initial meeting, as to names of individuals to be plugged into the POAs, I was told to wait for 20 minutes while documents were prepared or explore the area. Inasmuch as I was in the middle of four blocks of shops, stores, movie theatre, Starbucks, I took a walk. I don’t know if it was May Gray that made the area look so gloomy or if the area felt gloomy to me because it was just not my kind of chi, but the walk was good for getting me back out there. I ended up logging in 1.50 miles in 40 minutes.
That’s slow going, but a stop into Kmart was partly responsible for the slow pace.
I seemed to be in a spiritual flow, one where I thought it, it manifested itself, because I woke up this morning thinking how much I miss the stainless-steel copper Starbucks Thermos I had to toss because, last time I went to the movies – in 2012 to see Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2, snacked on popcorn and Starbucks coffee from the thermos, I’d dropped the plug on the theater floor, was not about to pick it up, and was unable to find a replacement or another thermos I liked. I’d actually held onto the thermos, in hopes I’d be able to salvage it with another plug, but finally gave up and tossed it a couple months ago when I did a cleaning purge.
So anyway, here I was thinking about that thermos this morning and, passing Kmart on the walk in Yucca Valley, something said go inside and take a look at what they have. Since I no longer stop into Starbucks, I was thinking I could carry butter coffee around.
What Kmart had was another of my favorite things, and they only had one, like it was waiting there for me.

How much do I love camo?
My outfit for today consisted of black long sleeve top, camo leggings, camo headband, camo fanny pack, and actually, with four pairs of camo leggings in the closet, that’s been my day-to-day outfit for most of this year when I’m not wearing black leggings.
So that’s one productive day outside after days and days of hibernating indoors. Whether tomorrow will be in or out is anyone’s guess.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Disruptive Behavior

Remember Tent Guy – the guy who camped out in the vacant field across the street for a time?
He wasn’t friendly, didn’t like to be bothered, didn’t appreciate our looking out for him -- wanting to take food over, etc., but we still kept an eye out that he was okay.
He attended the same local church as some of our residents so, as posted in late 2015, when I’d not seen him for a while, I asked around and learned he’d been blessed with a car and was about to be blessed with shelter.
I guess he got shelter because residents reported seeing him all spiffy looking at church and I’d see him now and then getting out of his car at the market.
Here we are two years later and, all of a sudden, returning from the market yesterday, I see this.

I’d assumed it must be another guest. But no. It’s been verified as our old friend tent guy, he's back. Wonder what happened.
THEN, turning into the gate, I look over and see this.

Not one, but two police cars.
I hope they’re not here because someone complained about him, thought I.
They weren’t.
Remember last month when bingo was disrupted by Fire and Rescue pulling up in front of the Community Room? A senior was down -- the same senior that had previously been found wandering around, saying she was escaping from being abused.
Believe it or not, the cop cars were here for her, and you won’t believe why.
She was in a fight on the front lot ... a physical fist fight, with her caregiver no less. It is said one party was in the process of choking the other when the police arrived and separated them.
Don’t yet know the outcome of that but, late last night, there was a helicopter flying overhead, making an announcement. I couldn’t make out the announcement and, to tell you the truth, wasn’t much interested until the spotlight lit up the quad and my patio.
At that point, I got up, looked out the patio window. Seeing nothing, but wanting to make out the announcement, I stepped outside the door. It hit me later, that was not the smartest move as, had they been looking for an escaping criminal, he could have been hiding on my porch. At any rate, the helicopter police need a better sound system, because all I could make out sounded like Charlie Brown speak … Wah Wa Wa Wah Wa Wa.
The chopper and lights were over the property for only about five/ten minutes, so I went back to what I was doing and thought no more about it until picking up mail today. I’d entered through the Community Room, and seeing quite a few residents present, because it’s Pizza Tuesday, I asked, “Did anyone make out what last night’s helicopter people were saying.”
That would be yes.
They were searching the area trying to locate an elderly female who had wandered off and were asking the public to call 911 should she be spotted.
I'm thinking that by now you can guess where this is going … who the elderly female they were looking for might be. And, yes, it was she, the same woman who claimed she was escaping being abused, the same woman who had a physical fight with her caregiver.
The fact that she was in a fight makes me wonder who’s abusing who. Of course, I can’t say for sure, but my guess is the caregiver was trying to restrain her and ended up in a fight for her own life.
Can you imagine?
At any rate, the woman was found this morning.
No word on where, no word on how, no word on by whom. Last night was cold, so she's probably under medical observation.
I checked the newspaper, but find no mention of a missing elderly woman last night or today.
This community is designated as “Crime Free”, which means residents are vetted before being leased a unit, and problem troublemakers are subject to eviction. Even neighbor disputes have been resolved with, not who is right, not who is wrong, but with both parties being asked to leave. However, inasmuch as this resident is obviously ill, suffering some form of dementia, I don’t think the crime-free addendum to the lease applies, that management has any control over her running amok.
I've a feeling we've not seen or heard the last of cop cars, helicopters, spot lights.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Great Indoors

I am so happy to have Mother’s Day behind me, because I was full UPTOHERE with all the Mother’s Day commercials on TV. It seems to me that the advertising community really pushed it this year with way more advertisements on what to get mom by way of gifts, cards, flowers, fruit baskets, jewelry than previous years, along with Facebook friends posting photos and sentiments of their moms -- some still living, some long passed away. The many mentions of Mother’s Day on TV and Facebook began to feel like water torture.
At least two loving sentiments about moms – one living, one passed, made me want to throw up in my mouth a little because I knew the moms and they didn’t match the sentiments. One now deceased mom abandoned her children for the grandmother to raise and did not reappear until the children were grown, the son became a celebrity in the music business and mom’s life of drugs and partying had her in ill health in a wheelchair and she needed them. The other mom did not intervene when the daughter told her mom’s boyfriend was sexually abusing her.
I can understand that perhaps these moms have been forgiven by their now adult children, but mom didn’t raise you, she didn’t support you, she didn’t protect you, so why the sentiments of “Missing a loving mom” and, in the case of the other, a photo with arms around mom and a notation “Best mom in the world”.
I don’t get it.
At any rate, Mother’s Day is thankfully over, done with and I don’t have to think about being overloaded with ads and undeserved sentiments again for another year.
In the meantime … I got up this morning fully prepared to put in some miles. I recharged the iPod, so I could walk to music, and cellphone so I could run my timekeeper app. Even went so far as to suit up in the knee brace; but when I sat down to put socks and walking shoes on, the couch felt comfy, the needlepoint project called my name, and that’s where my day went – needlepointing, on the couch, while suited up for walking.
Maybe this inability to leave the unit to do other than the basics -- take out the trash, pick up mail, run by the market, is just a phase, one which I’m hoping will soon pass.
I thoroughly enjoyed daughter taking me to the spa and lunch for Mother’s Day but, even when she asked after if there was anything else I’d like to do, and I was tempted to have her take me to Macy’s and See’s, I said no because indoors was calling me.
Indoors is just so comfortable, so cozy and with the indoor Schwinn for exercise, no new Pokémon in the area, and no need to head out to Starbucks for a cup-o-joe every morning, there’s just no motivation.
I’ve not even been to Starbucks since beginning of March, when I gave butter coffee a try.

After running across an article about a coffee that was purported to be an aid in healing angry guts, PLUS detox toxins out of one’s system, enhance mental clarity AND lower blood pressure, I ordered off Amazon to see what it would do for me.
I won’t know the full scope of whether or not there’s been a change in my body’s chemistry until the next blood test, but I’d have to say yes to detoxing, maybe to helping the gut and maybe to lowering blood pressure a tad, but the taste is so pleasing that I’ve not been to Starbucks since.
I’ve not abandoned Starbucks entirely, as I strengthen the milder Bulletproof grinds a little by adding a half teaspoon of the stronger Starbucks blend.
There are some business things I’ve put off for as long as I dare, so tomorrow I’ll be setting up appointments, which for sure will force me to get out in a few days. Also, I should be hearing from that far away optometrists by end of week, which means a long drive outdoors.
Other than that, I’m not gonna push it any longer. I’ll just go with the flow, and let that flow lead me where it will -- outdoors or over to the couch.