Thursday, October 20, 2016

Third Thursday

After thinking about it for two years, I finally checked out the Third Thursday Food Truck event.

As a place to go for entertainment, it was a letdown -- a letdown I regretted choosing over housework and laundry.

It you were a civil service employee, working in one of the nearby government buildings, wanting to experience different food trucks, it absolutely was the place to go.

I didn’t want the morning to go for naught, so I explored the menu at each truck, but found nothing that interested me, which would have been a Thai, Asian or BBQ.

To top off the disappointment, there weren’t any good Pokémon in the area. PokéStops yes, Pokémon no. There was, however, a lure.

I walked over and, again, found nothing worth being lured for. There was, however, a guy sitting by the waterfall looking lonely and like he should be at University, or work, rather than hanging out.

He was focusing on his phone, but would occasionally look up to see what I was doing, then look back down at his phone. Finally, I asked … “Did you set the lure?”

“Yes”, said he.

“There’s nothing her but pidgeys”, said I.

Then ensued a short conversation as to who else his lure had drawn in.

I was the only one so, if he was trying to lure in young pretty girls, he’d wasted a valuable Pokémon asset.

Done with the so-called event, I headed home but pulled over and parked when I saw one of the government buildings those civil service employees were coming from, because government buildings are supposedly one of the places one can find rare Pokémon.

It took a little walking, but I found a Butterfree just before the entrance. I don't think it's rare, but there was also a Pikachu in the area. My luck it was in an under construction area I couldn’t get to.

So the morning wasn’t a complete waste, I found a new Pokémon, but I won’t waste my time going to Third Thursday again, unless their facebook page shows Thai, Asian or BBQ.

Still a lot of the day left by the time I returned to the complex, I had enough energy remaining to take care of laundry and a bit of housework.

Returning from laundry, I had an interesting not unpleasant encounter with a handsome guy new to the complex. This post is already long, so more on that at a later date.

Next on today's todo list is boiling eggs for tomorrow's event.

I was up at 4:00 yesterday, 3:15 this morning, so I could conceivably get up early tomorrow morning and do eggs tomorrow. However, I don't want to risk tomorrow being the one day I sleep late, so boiling and peeling tonight, everything else tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Epsom Salt and Pain Patches

Walking 3.12 miles up/down that mountain, and an additional 1.50 miles wandering up/down the rocky areas where the event was located, put into play muscles I rarely use. Stiff, sore, moving a bit like Frankenstein, Epson salt soaks and pain patches have been my life since Sunday.

I'm not the only one. A much younger friend of a friend at the race posted his recovery kit.

Results came in as 1:06:57:9.

I wish!

No way did the timing company get that right because, crossing the finish line, I glanced quickly at the clock and saw 1:25 something -- about right for my slow taking-my-time pace.

I got a kick out of coming in 1st in my age group last year, even though it was because I was the ONLY one in my age group of 70-99.

I thought I might get a repeat this year; however, going up the mountain I passed two ladies coming down who looked like they were older than most participants and thus would be in my age group. Sure enough, I was last -- beat out by a 70 and a 73 year old.

Overall, out of the 235 athletes competing in the 5K, I finished in 228th place.

The fact that there were only 235 registered for the 5K is a considerable drop off from the 439 registered last year, when I came in 383. I’m wondering if it’s the emcees that are turning folks off.

They certainly turned me off.

Of course there was a 10K and a Relay going on simultaneously, so there were a couple hundred other folks, but participation was nowhere near previous years.

I’ll have to think twice about registering next year -- weighing out the fun against the package pickup, emcees being so disorganized and now, a new timing company, with highly questionable results.

This coming Sunday is the Monster Run -- a small family-oriented local event, no package pickup involved, flat course twice around the Convention Center.

I’m trying to talk myself out of it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Spooktacular 2016

It was fun, as usual. 

I finished.

But that same couple from last year -- with the woman who’d ruined the costume contest, were back as emcees. Consequently, nothing went off as outlined by the race organizers.

“Thriller Warmup” never happened.

Signing up for the costume contest turned into the guy saying, “Just line up and we’ll pick”.

Instead of a Kid’s Costume Contest, Men’s Contest, Women’s Contest, it was “Males line up", "Females line up”, with children included by gender.

When I saw it was the same couple, I planned not to enter the contest, but a facebook friend -- met through seeing each other at many of the same races, was in a costume so fabulous that I encouraged her to line up. She said, “Let’s do it”, so I stood next to her.

There was no crowd approval. Instead, like the guy said, the woman picked, but this time she picked correctly because my friend won, and the crowd seconded the choice.

Assassin's Creed

Unlike prior years, when a special medal was awarded the costume contest winner, she was given a gift certificate to be used at the shop where packages were picked up -- $75 off.

Nice, but they made it to where she has to spend money to redeem, when medals are what we look for.

She was disappointed. I was disappointed for her. She’ll probably never use the certificate.

I also ran into another woman, who became a facebook friend through other races. She talked some of her coworkers into the 5K.

Attendance was a lot less than prior years, but still a well-attended costumed event.

Here are a few highlights.


I commended the guys for having the guts to wear tutus.

They said their mom told them “Lots of guys wear them at races, but we haven’t seen anyone else.”

Doubtful it is she’ll ever get them in tutus again.

I did not see a ton of Pokémon themed costumes, just the one woman and her son dressed as a squirtle.

The woman with this cute little dog said his "brother" was racing.

She also said her dog was embarrassed about the costume.

How can she tell?

I later saw a boy in a hot dog costume, said to myself “This has to be the brother” and got them together for a pose.

Then there were these ...

I won’t know my finishing time until tomorrow. I know I was slow, because I played PokémonGo all the way up the mountain and down -- with one new capture, three PokéStops, but few other results.

I should have gotten a special medal for that accomplishment alone.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Montebello Part 2

On tap yesterday was returning to my regular schedule of getting dressed and picking up coffee in the A.M., because granddaughter put her car in the shop for additional work (there’s a noise she says) and needed me to pick her up, drop her off at work.

Since I was out and about, I stopped by the market where I ran into the Archeologist.

Upon seeing me, she lit up and gave me a hug – always does, which makes me feel guilty for not wanting to hang out.

At any rate, she wished me luck at the Spooktacular but said, after attending all three years as well, she wasn’t going this time. She’d made other plans for several reasons. One being she’d won the costume contest last year and wanted to end on a high note, another being the pickup line at the park.

I told you incorrectly about this being the first time race day package pickup had been allowed. She said she took that option twice, and the lines were horrendous.

“The park doesn’t open until 5:00. To beat the crowd, you have to FIRST be in line at the park gate to get in when it opens, and then you worry because you don’t know if all the other people in line with you are race participants or felons coming into the park to do their community service.”

Festivities do not start until 7:00, I’d planned to leave here at 5:00 arriving a little before 6:00. I could have changed my schedule to get there an hour earlier, but who are those community service felons she speaks of?

What roles do they play in the festivities?

Are they the “volunteers” the race organizers use?

The guys serving as parking attendants and security look buff and rough … is that they?

I didn’t know about the felons and never encountered a problem before, but I’m a believer in signs, and the fact I was being given this information I took as a sign.

All of a sudden a long Saturday drive didn’t seem the worse choice.

So, off I headed this morning to Montebello. Driving so far out-of-the-area, I took the precaution of filling up the gas tank and made a stop by the tire place for a pressure check.

They found a slow leak caused by “a piece of metal” in the right rear.


The Universe was looking out for me there.

The drive to the pickup point wasn’t as awful as I thought EXCEPT traffic slowed and looked to be coming to a complete stop 9 miles from the destination.

Great! This is what I expected of traffic heading towards Los Angeles, thought I. Feeling fed up, thinking I'd be stuck forever, ready to turnaround and head back home, I realized my outside slow lane was moving pretty good compared to the other lanes, and soon saw the problem was lookeeloos in those other lanes, slowing to look at an accident on the other side of the freeway.

Traffic began moving normally once past that point; however, looking at the miles and miles and miles of backup on the other side of the freeway, I knew there was no way I was getting back home any time soon.

Arriving at the pickup point, I found I’d told you incorrectly yet again – It wasn’t NEAR Old Town, it was IN Old Town, so after picking up that all important bib, knowing I couldn’t head back for a couple hours, I turned on the PokémonGo app, and found lots of interesting PokéStops (which eventually will be posted to my GO page) mixed in with the local attractions.

Mark wasn’t a Stop, but I found him interesting.

There’s this weird thing I do when I see a statue with a book … I always look to see what they’re reading.

This film maker in front of the Krikorian Theater also was not a Stop, but interesting nonetheless.

Pokémon in the area weren’t any different than those in my area, but I did catch a second Pickachu. Those little buggers are difficult to find and even harder to catch. They like to toy with you – show themselves, make a teasing noise at you, then run off before you’re armed and ready. So, I quickly threw a Razz Berry to slow it down and, instead of a regular Pokéball, threw a Big Ball to increase my chance of a successful catch, which is was.

That two, which equals 6 Pickachu candies. I need 48 candies to evolve so, unless I run into a nest of Pickachu, evolving one may be an impossible goal. 

Finally back in my little unit, I'm exhausted and looking a little less forward to tomorrow. However, the show must go on.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Where in the World is Monrovia?

I’ve been lying low last few days, working on that needlepoint project, resting up, eating right, so as to be in as reasonably good a shape my 72 years old body can be for this Sunday’s 5K. Lying so low, in fact that, when I opened my door yesterday, heading to Starbucks, my next door neighbor opened her door and asked if I was okay because she hadn't seen me for a while.

I've not been to the Community Room, and I guess she didn't hear me going out for coffee on previous days. Probably because, now that I don't have to get dressed first thing in the morning in case granddaughter needed me to Uber drive her around, I've not been getting dressed until noon and out for coffee until around 1:00/1:30.

I told her I was fine, my morning schedule had changed, and thanked her for checking on me.

My fourth year in a row for the Spooktacular, I’m find myself filled with both excitement and dread.

Excitement because of the opportunity to interact with thousands and thousands and thousands of other costumed participants.

Dread because the first half of the course is a steep steady climb.

I’ve learned from experience that slow and steady gets me there, yet and still there’s always that anxiety about the climb, and the closer I get to race day Sunday, the more anxiety I feel.

Adding to that anxiety is package pickup.

Saturday is package pickup day. Thinking I’d be in the area of the Montclair Plaza for that, where I could kill two birds with one stone – pick up the race package/look for new and different Pokémon than can be found in my area, that plan was nixed when I received notification package pickup has been relocated to Monrovia.

Where in the world is Monrovia?

Looking at MapQuest, Monrovia is over an hour’s drive from here, more than halfway to Los Angeles, very near Old Town Pasadena.

That’s an insane drive for me, especially on a Saturday when the whole world is on the road but, fortunately, the race organizers have given us an option this year. They don’t generally allow for race day package pickup but, because of the location change, we can pick up our package ON race day but are warned to “expect long lines”.

If it’s anything like the lines to the ladies’ room, I’m expecting a nightmare.

Last year, the line to the ladies’ room was so long that those of us waiting were at risk of missing the Start time.

Some of the women, myself included, made a decision to invade the men’s room. Security didn’t show up in time to kick us out and it didn’t seem to bother the guys as they came in anyway and used those things mounted on the walls giving us total access to the sit-down stalls.

To give the guys privacy, the women would turn around to face the wall. I, on the other hand, have been single a long time, some of those guys were awful cute, so I didn’t turn my face to the wall.

It was above board though, as those wall things and the guys were situated where I couldn’t see anything anyway.

In order to beat the crowds, ensure a good parking spot, I generally arrive early – before dawn. Hopefully this will be early enough to also get to the pickup point before the line gets too long, so I won’t miss any of the other activities.

There’s no hope for the ladies’ room line. It’s always like that and security might be wise to us this year and block the invasion, so who knows.

Well, it's 12:40 now, so I guess I'd better get dressed and head out for coffee. Maybe I'll swing by the Community Room, so the others can see I'm still alive.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Exercising My Prerogative

Five days until this year’s Spooktacular 5K and I’ve exercised my prerogative to change my mind as to which costume to wear.

After all that work in putting together a PokémonGo Red Team Trainer, including accessioning with a red cap and red fanny pack – both to which I’ve added appropriate iron-on patches, I decided not to wear it.

Looking at the activities planned for the event, which include a 7:30 Thriller Warm-Up requesting “sport your spooky costume as we warm up”, I decided to once again suit up as Walking Dead Chic with a Sword Fan Favorite Michonne.

Spooktacular 2015

Last year’s fiasco, when that clueless old lady emceed the costume contest, ignored the crowd, chose what SHE liked and ruined the contest for me, is what prompted me to go different this year. But the joy of being Michonne for a day, the shout outs of “Great Costume!” and “Hey, Michonne!” is just too much fun to pass up.

So Michonne it definitely is and whether or not I enter the Costume Contest is dependent upon who’s emceeing this year.

The Trainer costume won’t go to waste. Instead of Minion at the Halloween Brunch Potluck here at the complex, I’ll wear the Trainer outfit.

Really doesn’t matter which I wear around here, these folks are so stuck in the past that they don’t know nothing from nothing anyway, couldn’t appreciate either, so I’m opting for the Trainer because it’s the easiest and simplest to wear.

On another topic, looks like my last visit to drop off/pick up at the bus terminal was my last visit as granddaughter bought and now has possession of that car.

Not knowing one make and model from another, I asked, “What is it?”

“A PT Cruiser” said she; then added in what sounded like embarrassment, “It’s old ... a 2006”.

“That’s two years younger than my car”, said I, which immediately perked her up.

The car is in really good shape considering the seller’s loser adult children, which she allowed back into the home, took advantage and drove the car without permission and without having driver licenses.

She’d given the DMV book to the daughter to study for licensing, and probably would have given her the car; however, unwilling to take responsibility and move forward in life, daughter declined to study and put her mom, and mom’s new marriage, in jeopardy by doing what she wanted, when she wanted, without permission – as did her brother, expecting mom like always to tolerate, put up with, protect them in their wrongdoing.

It’s a miracle no one or thing was ever injured, so the car requires no body work. The inside, however, looks like a crime scene and will require granddaughter get it cleaned and detailed.

Concerned for granddaughter’s safety, the seller added new tires, new brakes, but charged granddaughter so little for the car as to almost have given it away for free.

The seller was also fairly accurate in saying “it needs work” estimated around $1,000. So far, granddaughter had an oil change service done and, because those loser adult children drove it hard, invested $600 in fixing a problem with the power steering.

Those two millenniums, who think the world owes them a living, can’t be too happy about the car being sold to another relative, rather than gifted to their unlicensed selves, but oh well.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Up All Night

So sleepy last night that I gave up trying to watch television and headed to bed a little before 10:00, only to be wide awake at 1:05.

Sounds carry from unit to unit in the quiet of the wee hours so, not wanting to disturb sleeping neighbors by walking around too much, doing housework, or with noise from the television, I meditated for a bit, worked a Woman’s World Magazine crossword puzzle, jumped on the puter, read blogs, and checked out facebook.

Facebook was all Trump and the debate and bla bla bla.

I don’t talk politics, didn’t like seeing so many political discussions on my page BUT, I laughed so hard and so loud when I saw this that I defeated the purpose of not disturbing my neighbors.

It is now 5:00 in the morning, and I’m feeling remarkably energetic for having gotten no sleep, so what’s on tap today, other than a trip to Starbucks, will be whatever lack of sleep allows.