Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Alarm Bells

Woke up at 6:44 this morning to find I had no lights.

I’d not forgotten to paid the bill, so that wasn’t it.

The microwave was powerless, as was the television.

After looking out the window and seeing no lights in any of the other units, I concluded we’d had a power outage.

What to do about breakfast, was my immediate thought. So with plans to go out for breakfast, hoping the outage didn’t extend as far as Starbucks, thereby cutting off my morning coffee fix, I ran a bath, prepared to get dressed and DING, I heard the microwave go on at 7:08.

Searching the internet, I found no information as to when the power went out, whether it was just this complex or an area outage, but thank goodness I was only powerless for 20 minutes or so.

When leaving my unit yesterday, heading down to the Community Room, I glanced over and noticed cobwebs on my neighbor’s door. Alarm bells went off in my head.

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen or heard her coming in or going out, and the significance of the cobwebs was like newspapers piling up -- she’d not opened her door for some time.

Arriving at the Community Room, I mentioned the web and not being able to remember when I last saw the neighbor to The Seer, who keeps up with everyone’s comings and goings, “Did she mention going out of town to you?”

“No. Is her car in the lot?”

“I don’t know her car”, says I.

The Seer immediately called my neighbor’s cell. Getting no response, she left a message to call back … there’s concern as to her well-being.

I didn’t have that feeling of dread I’d felt when I’d gone down and asked for a welfare check on the previous occupant of that unit, who was later found deceased. This time, it was just a sense she might be inside ill – in need of assistance.

At any rate, I heard nothing further after returning to my unit – no one came up to check, The Seer didn’t call to say she’d not made contact, so I let it go until late last night when I heard footsteps coming up the stairs.

Opening the door to see if it was an Emergency Crew, there the neighbor was. She’d gone out of town to visit her sister for a week, was surprised at the phone call, but grateful we’d cared enough to notice her absence, check on her welfare, and promised to let us know of future extended absences.

It’s a good thing she wasn’t in need of assistance because it took me a week to notice she wasn’t around and, but for the spider web, no telling how much longer it would have taken me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Coffee and Lemon Water

Imagine my surprise when, after having taken away the coffee pot and water cooler – for budgetary reasons management tells us, I walk into the Community Room this morning and find lemon water set out for us and coffee brewing.



“How nice” says I.

“It’s for show” said one of the residents. “There’s people on the property doing an inspection and they want to demonstrate how well they treat us.”

ROFLMAO!

She’s right. There are bigwigs making random unit inspections, to make certain everything is up to code. They won’t be here tomorrow, so it’s a safe bet neither will be the lemon water and coffee.

At one point, while sitting in the Community Room, I began to smell something burning. After making the others aware, I walked around and pinpointed the smell as coming from the coffee pot. Everything looked okay – no loose wires, no fire, just a burning smell, so I said, “It’s probably because the pot hasn’t been used for so long.”

That brought down the house. Everyone was laughing and agreeing.

If bigwigs are here making random inspections, I wondered out loud how they’d react to Bird Man’s apartment – the guy who turned his unit into a giant bird cage, allowing birds to roam and nest and poop freely throughout.

“Oh, they finally were able to get rid of him” said the Seer. “They got him out a couple months ago.”

Color me surprised as they'd been working on him for over two years, with no success.

She went on to say, “They took him to court and he was given a choice – the birds or his unit. He chose the birds. He let those birds put him on the streets cause that’s where he is. A couple of the guys were worried and went looking for him. They found him living in the park.”

“What happened to his birds?” asked I.

“What he could take with him, he did. He has them in cages.”

So, NOW, he puts them in cages, thought I. Never would have been a problem in the first place had he’d kept his birds in cages rather than turn his unit into an aviary.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Blessing in Disguise

I, along with several thousand others, were all geared up for tomorrow’s Bacon Run, where we not only had access to Bacon Stations along the course, but a Bacon Medal upon completion of the 5K, a Bacon T-Shirt just for registering, a Bacon Bar and Bacon-Themed Foods at the end. THEN comes an email yesterday -- “unforeseen circumstances … event rescheduled to Saturday, October 24”.

Looking at the event’s Facebook page, this has angered and inconvenienced quite a few, especially those who’d arranged for childcare and booked hotels. Fortunately for moí, the event is only a 15 minute drive from the complex, so not much of an inconvenience. Except, I’m registered for The Monster Run that rescheduled October weekend. In fact, there are numerous other races that weekend. Consequently, Bacon Run is going to lose more than a few participants.

With the loss of participants and refunds, Bacon Run in October is going to be nowhere near the event-of-the-year it looked to be before the reschedule. Hopefully, this doesn't bankrupt the organizers and jeopardize a 2016 Bacon Run.

Before the event was rescheduled, I’d been checking Yahoo Weather looking for a cool down. A cool down didn’t happen. Tomorrow is expected to be 101°.

So, though I’m disappointed I won’t be able to do the Bacon Run this year, I’m somewhat grateful at this cancellation blessing in disguise, as 101° probably would have messed me up.

On tap for today?

Today is Day 2 of the Fall Marketplace.



With household projects taken care of, and nothing else on tap, if I wanted something to do, that would be the place to go. Only, I don’t really want anything to do. After all that housework, I’m ready to chill the weekend away. I did, however, spend time in the Community Room catching up with the folks this morning.

Learned, the vacant unit in my quad has been leased.

That was unusually quick.

Seems the new Big Wig in the office is taking care of business and getting things done, as I’m seeing fewer and fewer vacant units.

I saw no one coming to view the unit, but I’m told there were three viewings -- a guy with lots of tattoos, two guys, a woman.

The woman took the unit, so more estrogen in the already heavily estrogenic quad.

I also learned the seniors are planning a Halloween Potluck Breakfast – not the Activities Director, but the seniors themselves.

More and more it looks like we really don’t need an Activity Director, though they plan to consult with her to see if she wants to be involved.

I was thinking of contributing something simple – like Tater Tots, but I’ve been asked to bring deviled eggs.

I dunno?

For breakfast?

I also learned of a not-so-funny feud between neighbors.

When I first moved in, there were neighbors who did not get along, the result of which was one neighbor chasing another with a broom down the walkway. Another set of feuding neighbors resulted in one egging the unit of the other.

This recent feud is turning into an episode of Investigation Discovery Channel's reality show Fear Thy Neighbor. There was a knock on the door of one at 4:00 in the afternoon.

The resident went to the door, opened it, and there on her doorstep was a snake.

She slammed the door really quick, so the snake did not get in, but says, “Snakes don’t knock. It had to be planted” and says she knew right away who’d planted it.

A call to the office to have the snake removed went nowhere -- "Call Animal Control" she was told.

“The snake will be gone by the time Animal Control gets here,” she replied, and ended up calling her daughter. Of course by the time daughter and son-in-law arrived, the snake was gone.

So now I’m nervous about walking around and through the complex knowing there’s a snake on the loose.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Worst Pickup Line Ever

At Home Depot, picking up carpet shampoo this morning, I attracted the attention of a very nice looking well-dressed businessman. Out of the corner of my eyes, I could see him staring at me.

After selecting a Hoover Deep Cleaning product, I went to pass him whereupon he smiled, said “Good morning”. I reciprocated his greeting then went on to the end of the isle to check out other products.

Him now behind me, at the opposite end of the isle, I’d forgotten all about him until suddenly there he was … behind me … in my space even.

Now normally when some stranger wants to make my acquaintance, he comes up with something innocuous like, “Do you know where such and such is?” The very brave and straight forward will get right to the point, “You’re an attractive lady. Are you married? … Do you have a man in your life? … Have dinner with me? ... If I give you my number will you call me?" The ridiculous will pretend to know me, “I haven’t seen you in a long time”.

This guy says, “Excuse me, but did you know the soviets are planning an attack on America? There’s a website which spells out how the soviets are going to wipe out all our electronics.”

No response. I simply listened, with an enigmatic non-committal smile on my face, as he went on to quote an online source where I could check out the validity of what he was saying.

He looked so nice, so normal, I didn’t feel threatened. However, I was assessing him and heard myself say to myself, “This guy is an alarmist. I don’t want what he’s saying in my head.”

With no verbal response or sign of interest coming from me, just that enigmatic Mona Lisa smile, he finally he gave up and walked away.

Worst pick-up line ever.

Caught site of him later on the parking lot.



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

They Had Me at Bacon

Today started off with laundry and housework. The Activities Director is here today, only the second time she’s been back since that disappointing Labor Day event she’d hosted, and she might as well have not returned at all because no one is interested. There’s absolutely nothing on the calendar and, when I walked by the Community Room, I saw only two residents.

I’ve no desire to go down for, in addition to laundry, I’ve got an urge to reorganize the hall closet and shampoo the carpet. For sure I can’t get it all done today. I’ll spread the household projects out through the week.

I took a break between wash/dry and checked in on blogs I read.

Kathy over at The Second Half of My Life posted a fun peanutize – turn yourself into a Peanuts Character.


This is Me as a Schultz Character
There was no option for braids but, on Sunday, I’d had seven inches lopped off my braids. So with the new shoulder length haircut, this characterization works.

This last weekend turned hot.



Consequently, I never did make it to the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion, despite the fact the event ran for three days. In fact, on Saturday, I never even made it any further from the complex than Starbucks. I ventured our further on Sunday, but only because I had that appointment with the locktician for a haircut.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a “locktician” is a braids beautician.

I began growing my locks in September of 1998 and cut them to shoulder length every seven years -- when they’ve grown uncomfortably long to where I’m almost sitting on them.

After chopping my locks to a comfortable shoulder length, the locktician said she planned to attend a Halloween party as Bat Girl and asked if I’d make her a tutu or show her how to make one. I’ve got tutus coming out of my ears, only one or two of which I think I might find a future use for, so I offered to give her the batgirl tutu.

She accepted and, when I got home, pulled out the tutu container, I realized I’d disassembled THAT tutu and used the black pieces in a tutu I’d made for the Hocus Pocus 5K. So remainder of the weekend was disassembling that other tutu and reassembling bat girl.

And speaking of 5Ks, I received notice over this last weekend of a Bacon Run 5K, Saturday the 26th.



They had me at “Bacon”, so I signed up.

If the weather turns hot again, I can take my time walking the course because, according to the flyer, there are various “Bacon Stations” along the course. In addition, vendors will be offering various bacon themed foods and participants that finish will receive a bacon medal and have access to the “Bacon Bar”.

Participants are encouraged to “Dress-to-impress, wear your finest Bacon-themed outfit (pig nose, pig tail, bacon outfit, Kevin Bacon-ey)”. I received notice too late to come up with an outfit, so I’ll be wearing regular race wear.

I'll post photos of clever costumes. I'm really interested in seeing what a "Kevin Bacon-ey" costume looks like.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Adventures in Cooking

So the Chicken Sausage Okra Gumbo turned out a tasty dish. The execution could have been better, and the dish would have been a lot less slimy, had I read through the entire recipe BEFORE I began putting ingredients together. Had I done so, I would have learned that, when instructions said to add vegetable to the roo, that did not include the okra, which was to be added last and later.

Fortunately, I don’t mind slimy, so the dish wasn’t ruined for me; but I’ll know how to make it correctly next time.

Yesterday I noticed that the two residents flooded out of their units, when the underground water main broke, were back. Turns out neither one had renter’s insurance, so there’s the loss of furniture to cope with. On the flip side, they’ve got nice almost new units with new carpet, updated new flooring, new paint job. Looks like they’ve even got new blinds.

I remember when I was a kid, the way we’d clean the kitchen floor was to run the water hose through the kitchen door, turn the water on and have at it.

And no, we didn’t live in the country -- though my mom was from the country and was probably just passing on to us kids what she was taught. It was the city and quite an effective way to get behind and under the stove and fridge.

I don’t remember how we dried the floor after, but I’m assuming we used a mop to finish it off. (I later remembered ... it was a broom. We swept the water out with a broom.)

I don’t remember what we put on the living room floor – it wasn’t water from the hose, but I do remember we’d wear thick socks and skate around to polish it.

Does any of this resonate with your childhood memories or was it just us?

I’ve since learned that, in the history of this complex, it is not the first time water mains have broken, flooding out first floor units. It’s happened three times before, on the opposite side of the complex.

I personally am attributing it to the earthquakes. On a fault line, we experience tremors here ALL the time.

At any rate, I’ve since changed my mind about moving to a downstairs unit when I become too old to climb or if and when I relocate. I’ll stick to second floor or higher units. As a single woman, I feel higher floors are safer, and I’d rather struggle up the stairs than have to deal with the threat of water main breaks.

On tap for today?

I haven’t a clue.

It’s a good day to be out, weather-wise, so I’m trying to talk myself into killing two birds with one stone – log in some walking miles AND entertainment, by attending the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion!



Before I had to relocate to Long Beach to help a relative out of distress, I lived in a senior complex one block from where the event is located. Now that I’d have to drive, deal with traffic and parking, I’m not feeling the hassle, so we’ll see.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pick-A-Color

So that new nail salon didn’t work out.

When I walked in and saw so many male technicians, I lost interest.

I do not care for or feel comfortable with male nail technicians. Not since I dealt with one, a few years back, when I received a Special in the mail, which Special encouraged me to give a newly opened salon a try.

A female was on the desk, the three technicians were male.

I didn’t think anything of it at the time, except I wasn’t happy with the technician constantly trying to engage me in meaningless conversation during the process; and I REALLY wasn’t happy when the final bill came to twice the amount noted as the Special which brought me there in the first place.

When I challenged the price, I was told the technician had put some something on my nails.

I said I didn’t request or approve adding that some something, was not happy with it having been done without my request or permission or knowledge, would not be back, but paid the bill to be done with them.

To add insult to injury, when it came time to remove the polish, that some something was like the devil to remove and ended up damaging my nails.

Second time I ran into a male technician was a salon I walked into which ended up being like a sweat shop. There were too many seats in the salon. We were packed in close, tight, like sardines in a can.

My female technician was working on myself and several other women AT THE SAME TIME, rushing from chair to chair.

She looked so rushed and so pressured to get in as many as she could that I foresaw a heart attack … if not that day, sometime in the future.

There was only one male technician and he was a clown … making himself the center of attention, loud, obnoxious, thinking he was cute, flattering the women he was working on – which they seemed to soak in and take for real, but which I could clearly see was for show and for tips.

The guy just never stopped.

I watched and though my face was not showing judgment, my eyes gave me away because, at one point, he noticed, said something to one of his clients, and toned it down just a smidgen.

Since then, I’ve been doing my own nails; except for twice a year when my daughter treats me to a trip to that expensive spa of hers. There are male technicians there, they seem okay, but I’ve always requested women with no problem.

If I want to go back to that salon, and I do, I may have to carve out time and money to treat myself, because I don’t know if daughter will ever treat me again. She’s very angry with me right now over something I said intended to be supportive and helpful. She of course took it as criticism and went full on Drama Queen.

I’ve learned a lot about human nature in my ongoing spiritual development. The spiritual principle which comes to mind in this instance is, “I am never upset for the reason I think.” Daughter’s upset with ME is pent-up frustration with current trials and tribulations …. Misplaced anger.

Not softening her anger towards me is the fact I view those trials and tribulations as cause and effect, lessons to be learned.

I’ll be down her way, end of next month and, prior to her meltdown, had thought about an overnight visit. However, I can’t deal with the worry or the drama right now, so the best option is to nix the visit, give her time and space to process.

“Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you. In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, ‘My brother, chose again.’ ”

A Course in Miracles, T-31., P-620

On tap for today?

Cooking.

I’ve been wanting to try a recipe I ran across for Chicken, Smoked Sausage and Okra Gumbo.

Today’s the day.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Results and Results

It took like forever for the organizers of last Saturday’s Appreciation 5K to post results.

Yesterday’s online posting had me ranked 32 out of 34 athletes.

Not bad for a 71-year-old walker, especially inasmuch as I out-walked a 35 and 53 year old.
Time wasn’t bad either … 57:54:00

As long as I come in under an hour, I’m happy and encouraged to keep at it. Not being last is just icing on the cake.

The 68-year-old grandma, who ran the entire race, posted a time of 33:00:00.

Would you believe the top runner -- turning in a time of 21:54, was a 13 year old girl? Grandma was only 10 runners 12 minutes behind the top!

I probably could have shaved a few more seconds off my time, had I not stopped to take this 
photo.



Curious as this is someone’s back yard in what is known as the upscale part of town.

One of these days, while in the area, I’m going to drive around and try to find what the front looks like.

It’s probably a mansion.

Lab work results are also in. Looks like I’m okay except for cholesterol level. The doctor has been telling me for two years I need to take medication. I’ve refused, preferring to work it out holistically through diet. After numerous attempts at losing weight, it’s only in the last four months I’ve shown signs of success in the weight loss area, but losing eleven pounds isn’t nearly enough, and I’ve once again become stuck. No further weight loss.

I don’t like the idea of becoming dependent upon medication, but inasmuch as the level is now dangerously high, I don’t see as how I have a choice.

She wins.

Medication it is.

Last couple weeks, I’d become dizzy and the room started spinning for a sec when I wasn’t even moving – simply sitting at the computer or turning my head too fast.

I thought it was the heat.

What’s on tap for today?

Got a line on a new nail salon that just opened up in the area, so I’m thinking manicure pedicure.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What Does Okra Taste Like?

When the young woman bagging groceries asked that question this morning, it was the second time that had been asked of me. Last week, it was the grocery cashier.

I congratulated him on knowing what it was because, when I first observed okra in the market -- middle of last month after having not seen it literally in years, I’d been asked by various cashiers, every single time I went through the check stand, “What is this?”.



Originally, I thought the local market was taking advantage with the high price, until I ran into okra elsewhere and realized, $2.49 per pound was a bargain.



After a while, the checkers came to recognize the veggie, but then came, “How do you cook it? … what does it taste like?”

My response is always, “I can’t equate the taste to anything else. Okra has a flavor of its own.”

As to how to cook okra, I tell them all the various ways I’ve been enjoying okra while it’s been available.


Okra Salad

Okra Stewed

Okra Omelet


Okra Breaded and Fried

Then there’s okra baked in the oven with olive oil, okra sliced and added to soups and stews. I’ve even added sliced okra to turkey chili; but coming up with a description as to how it tastes, eludes me.

I'm no expert in the kitchen but, to those who've said, "I'm going to try it", I've cautioned, "Don't buy the big ones, cause they don't cook. Look for small and medium sized."

It's been such a hot uncomfortable summer that I can't wait for it to be over. Only thing I'm going to miss are the really tasty sweet watermelons I've come across and the okra.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The 411

There are a group of seniors who congregate in the Community Room every morning during the week (it’s closed on weekends). It’s basically the same group of residents who comprised the Activities Committee we had in place before the new owners took over, disbanded the Committee and gave us an Activities Director instead. So, I guess, it’s out of habit, the ladies and one gentleman, get together still, bring snacks, drink coffee, chat with each other, the residents who stop by to check in, and stick around until lunch time.

I should probably say “use to drink coffee” because the community coffee pot was discontinued by management for what I’ve since learned are “budget purposes”.

Me thinks that if Nurse Ratched didn’t keep running residents off, creating vacancies, there wouldn’t BE a budget problem.

But I digress.

So, Tuesday after the Labor Day Holiday, I went down to check in with the group to see how the potluck in the patio area had gone and whether there’d been any repercussions from Nurse Ratched.

For the very first time in the three years I’ve lived here, no one was there. Not a single solitary soul.

Checked in again on Wednesday.

No one.

Thursday.

No one.

Did Nurse Ratched do something to them?

Were they hiding?

Finally, on Friday, there were signs of life.

Asking, “Where was everyone?” I received no clear response, learned the potluck had gone great, and had the tables turned on me with, “A couple people said they saw you coming, but then you disappeared. Where did YOU go?”

ROFLMAO!

I told them the truth, “It was too hot and when I saw Creepy Guy’s head, I decided I could not handle the heat AND him, so I turned around and went back to my unit.”

The response was a lot of laughter.

So, anyway, the 411 as of Friday was … there had been no repercussions. In fact, Nurse Ratched had been mysteriously absent that entire week. The office said, “Sick”. The Seer, who knows all, said, “I don’t believe it. I think she’s being phased out.”

I’ll believe it when I see it; however, what gives credence to that rumor is Nurse Ratched was forced by Corporate to get rid of her daughter’s boyfriend whom she’d put on staff and given access to our personal financial records. Turns out, “Corporate said he wasn’t supposed to be here. Wasn’t qualified.”

That's kinda huge.

I also learned, the flyer announcing Bingo today, Tuesday the 15th, had been removed ... just like last time.

Did that mean the new Activities Director is gone already and there is no Bingo today?

Those present expressed they didn’t know and were beginning not even to care anymore.

I didn’t get to check-in with the folks yesterday, Monday, because I’d begun fasting 7:00 pm night before in preparation for lab work and focus was on getting that out of the way so I could put something in my stomach.

After waking unconscionably early this morning (3:45 am), puttering about waiting for daylight so I could log in some walking miles, I was all suited up and ready to go at 6:00 when I heard water running.



It’s raining!

Thank goodness, but puts a kink in my morning plans to walk, run by Starbucks, check-in to see if Bingo is on for today.

I’m at the point where I also am beginning not to care.

If the rain stops by noon -- when Bingo guy is suppose to show up, I’ll go down and check. Otherwise, I’m in for the day.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Day After

Woke up raring to get the day started at 5:00 this morning -- early enough to beat the heat and do a mile or two of slow walking to limber the body up from yesterday’s 5K, only I had a hard time moving because I hurt all over.

Thanks to the epsom salt soak, my feet were no longer burning, but every bone in my body felt like it had been hit with a hammer. I’m thinking I probably need to add Dr. Scholl’s Air Pillows for extra cushioning to my athletic shoes.

There is a 69 year old grandmother I frequently see at these 5Ks, also named Shirley. She doesn’t walk, she RUNS. The top runners, age 26 to 31, generally finish a 5K in 16 to 25 minute. Grandma is right behind them, finishing in 33 minutes.

Talking to her yesterday, I said, “I don’t see how you do it. You must have been an athlete.”

“No ... I’ve never been an athlete. I didn’t start running until five years ago.”

What?!

Amazing!

As the two oldest in the group, I should have taken a selfie with her.

Next time.

At any rate, I passed on getting out any time today for any reason.

With nothing to do, other than housework and needlepoint, I thought I’d tackle the last piece needed to complete the Minion Halloween costume I’m working on – a yellow top.

You would not believe how long I’ve been working on that yellow top, nor the expense.

I started with a bleaching a lime green long sleeve active top I already had. It turned just the right shade of yellow; however, the heat had me rethinking long sleeved.

It’s not the right season for yellow, so trolling the internet for days looking for a yellow short sleeve active top went nowhere until I lucked up on a yellow Danskin Now top on sale.

However, once received, I saw it had ruching along the sides.




Didn’t like it for the costume, but decided to keep as might come in handy for something else.

Next I tried dying my white short sleeve active top. Being as how it’s 100% Polyester, I wasted time and gas going to the two craft stores which the internet indicated sold poly dye.

They didn’t, so I ordered poly dye from Amazon.

I did something wrong with the dye bath and the item came out splotchy.



Heartbreak.

I gave trolling another shot this morning, landed on Ebay, found and ordered a yellow cotton v-neck short sleeve tee. I prefer the polyester spandex fitted active tops but, at this point, I’ll settle for a cotton tee.



I think it’s going to work.

I just have to transfer the Minion Logo onto the front, costume completely done and onto whatever comes next.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Shoes for the Homeless


Up at 4:30 this morning to get ready for the Appreciation 5K at Pacific Electric Trail.



This particular race organization partners up with various community organizations. This time they’re collecting running shoes that have outlived their purpose for exercise, but can be useful to the homeless and those in need through the organization “Shoes for the Homeless”.

I came thisclose to dropping the shoes off in one of those Salvation Army drop boxes just before I became aware this organization was collecting.



Someone will be lucking up on a brand new pair. I’d only worn the top GravityDefyers once, didn’t care for the way the reverse trampoline sole felt, and couldn’t return because they’d been worn outside.

Out the door by 5:30 and on the road, the streets were deserted, except for some guy jogging/boxing down the road, and it looked like two people were getting an early start on laundry at the new Laundromat that opened up a few blocks away.

Would you believe that with laundry facilities on premise, the resident who’s involved in the casino trips -- let’s call her Casino Lady, prefers to pack up the car, travel down the street, use the Laundromat.

Weird.

Once on the freeway, I was surprised to see so many cars.

Where can people be going this time of the morning, thought I.

The race went well. It WAS hot, so hot that I -- as my mother use to say, “Sweated like a whore in church”, but fortunately the heat was tempered with a little overcast so I didn’t get faint or dizzy.

I didn’t get my time, so I won’t know whether or not I took last place yet again until the results are posted tomorrow or the next day.


Race Photo


Medal No. 21 and New Socks Won in Raffle

I ended the race with a slight limp on the right side, the bottom of my feet were burning and my ankles hurt. I slow walked the limp off but, hours later, the bottom of my feet are STILL burning.

I’m thinking a soak in hot water and Epsom salt.

Though I survived hanging with the young guns today, I’m 100% sure I won’t be participating in the October 26th Monster Run. I’m going to register so I can attend the pre-race activities, but I won’t be participating.

Besides, there’s no medal at the finish line to motivate my doing so. I don’t think I even get a tee shirt for registering.

So no.

Friday, September 11, 2015

While America Slept

Today being the 14th anniversary of the terror attack, thought I'd repost that day's entry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

While America Slept

I hardly know what to say.

I stopped at Starbucks' for coffee this morning and found the doors locked. One of the servers unlocked the door to tell me Starbucks was closed because the building had been evacuated in light of the "terrorists" attacks. When the server saw the blank look on my face, he filled me in. I then noticed the streets were kind of empty for a Tuesday, a lot of businesses were shut down, and security personnel were standing guard everywhere. As soon as I reached work, I was sent home.

I hardly know what to say.

The words that come to mind are "life changing" "consciousness raising."

For a great many of us, things will never be the same -- though all around me everything seems the same. The first thing that struck me was there were as many cars as usual parked outside the local nudie bar during the lunch hour -- which is to say the parking lots were full. Then I noticed other groups of workers sitting outside their place of employment eating lunch as usual, people shopping, sightseeing -- they won't be seeing Sea World today though ... Seaworld has been shut down, as has been the local airport. The only difference I noticed was that where people generally say to me and others, "Have a nice day" today they were saying, "Be safe." That's heavy.

Are you a blogger? What did you post that day?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

That Right Person, Right Place Thing

Early last week, while leaving Starbucks, I observed two elegant Beverly Hills looking women -- whom I’d earlier spotted relaxing in the patio, putting their dogs in a car. Evidently, one of the dogs didn’t want to leave Starbucks because, headed to the exit door, I glanced out the window and saw the dog running as one of the women tried to catch it.

It was kinda hilarious as the dog appeared to be playing a deliberate game of hide and seek -- ducking behind an object, waiting and, as the owner reached that object, the dog would duck behind another, look back, wait, duck again.

When it got to the pillar by Starbuck’s door, the dog hid and, as the woman looked behind that pillar, the dog waited then moved in the opposite direction towards me. Holding a cup of venti coffee in my left hand, without thinking, I reached down with my right hand and said, “Hey, you little runaway” in a soothing voice.

The dog stopped and went to lick my extended hand. I let it do so then saw I could hold the dog in place if I grabbed the leash harness, which I did. The dog looked back to see what I was doing, its mouth a mere inch from my hand, at which point it occurred to me it could very well bite me. It didn’t, thank God, and the owner was able to grab her dog and keep hold.

If I haven’t mentioned before … I am NOT a pet person. I don’t mind other people’s pets but, as a rule, I don’t get near, stroke or let them get near and touch me. So the fact I allowed a dog to lick my hand pretty much amazed me. I think I reacted to the woman’s dilemma out of instinct but immediately after, I heard myself say to myself, “What the heck were you thinking? That dog could have bit you and set up a whole set of unnecessary problems for you.”

At any rate, that was last week’s right person, right place episode.

Yesterday was another hot day here in the Inland Empire. Too hot to walk the less than quarter mile to the market, so I decided to drive. I did not come across any elderly residents in distress but, I did come across a neighbor widowed about a year after I arrived here in what was then Paradise but is now Purgatory. She asked if I could give her a ride back as the individual she was with was scheduled for an operation the next day, the groceries bags were heavy and the heat too much.

No problem but, on the drive back, I did ask why she hadn’t driven that big old truck of hers, rather than walk in this heat. Turns out, her deceased husband did all the driving. She doesn’t drive at all. The individual she was with (her adult daughter) is the one who’s been driving since the husband passed but, because daughter is having problems with her eyes, she CAN’T drive right now.

I hope there’s a right person, in the right place, at the right time for me when the time comes – which will probably be this coming weekend, because I’m beginning to worry about participating in Saturday’s Cheetah Runners Appreciation 5K if the heat doesn’t abate. After thinking my old tired body couldn’t handle participating in competitive 5K’s with the young guns any longer, I’m feeling less old and tired since clean eating and anxious to see if it makes a difference. But I’m really worried about becoming incapacitated on the trail due to the heat.

Even though it’s a timed event, the plan is respect the heat -- take it slow and easy. If I survive, I might be confident enough to sign up for October's City of Ontario/Citizens Business Bank’s First Annual 5K Monster Run.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day

I just realized that not only is today Labor Day, today also marks the beginning of my fifth year of sliding the chute.

Yep, I officially retired on September 7, 2010.

I usually buy something to mark the occasion. In the past, I’d generally be walking into Starbucks, forgetting all about my anniversary date until I’d spot a Starbucks Anniversary Mug -- issued because Starbuck’s Anniversary coincided with mine, so I'd add the special issue mug to my already extensive collection of Starbucks memorabilia.



Starbucks issued no mug this year. Instead, they put out Anniversary Blends.

I’ve no interest in making my own coffee, and I’ve nothing else up my sleeves to commemorate the date, so I’m going to settle for the fact I even remembered without an anniversary mug to jog my memory.

Yesterday’s get-together appeared to have been successful.

It was hot as Hyades when I headed for the patio area at the appointed time of 2:00. As I approached, I saw everything was already in full swing, with quite a few residents packed into the patio area.

They must have gotten started early, though I, because people were already eating.

I’d had a premonition the festivities might begin early, because they generally do when food is involved so, when I returned from the market with the hot dogs buns and chips, inasmuch as the route to my parking spot went right by Apache’s unit, I parked, got out of the car, rang his bell and handed over the buns and chips.

“Aren’t you coming?” asked Apache.

“Yes, but I figured you’d be out there early to get things started.”

And so it was.

I never did get to see whether there were outlets for the George Forman grills or if hibachis were utilized instead because, halfway there, I spotted Creepy Guy’s bushy gray hair and, just as I said I would, I turned right around and returned to my air conditioned unit.

The heat AND creepy guy … I just couldn’t.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Seniors Doing it for Themselves

Quiet uneventful holiday weekend thus far here in Purgatory; but not as uneventful as I’d expected it to be because I received a call yesterday afternoon from The Seer. She, Apache, The Baker, and The Author (the new resident who is a published author of Christian literature) are organizing a hot dogs and hamburgers get together, 2:00 today, Sunday, would I like to participate?

Sure.

You bet.

What better way to thumb our noses up at Nurse Ratched’s successful sabotaging of the new Activity Director’s Labor Day potluck than to do something successfully on our own.

The area chosen for today’s get together is the patio area by the grill.



As you can see, we do have a grill, but inasmuch as we no longer have permission to use said grill, we will be barbequing on resident-owned George Forman grills.

To backtrack a bit … back when the previous Activity Director was Nurse Ratched’s target, there were several instances of sabotage and being uncooperative. One such act of sabotage was the June Father’s Day event.

Barbeque Hot Dogs were on the menu. However, when the then Activities Director and her three teenage daughters – whom she said had wanted to come to work with her for some time, had finished lugging in chips, dozens and dozens and dozens of packages of buns and hot dogs, and went to the grill, they found it inoperable. Nurse Ratched had removed the propane, and made sure she wasn’t around to be asked to give it up.

Residents had already gathered, so the then Activities Director and her daughters had been forced to run out and BUY enough chicken from El Pollo to cover the event.

An expensive proposition, and then there were all the hot dogs and buns she’d purchased for the event but were unable to use.

Since that time, the propane remains locked away and the grill goes unused -- except when management hosts an event for us residents, which is generally twice a year.

Not to let the lack of propane get in their way, Apache and The Author (she’s learning rather quickly) are bringing their George Forman grills.

This should be interesting, as I think those Forman grills are electric and need outlets. I don’t recall any outlets in the patio area, but I guess I’ll find out at 2:00 today. Otherwise, it will have to be hibachis or grill inside our units (the Community Room Kitchen is closed) and bring outside.

Who needs an Activity Director, when we can find ways to do it ourselves.

I imagine, Nurse Ratched will go berserk when she reviews the tapes and finds out what we’ve been up to over the weekend. She might even try to come up with a rule to impose that we can’t use Forman grills or hibachis in the patio area.

But for now it’s on.

Though I agreed to bring the hot dog buns and potato chips, I don’t imagine my clean eating will be affected much, as I don’t eat hot dogs or hamburgers. Maybe just a little potato salad, a few chips and just enjoy the company and the gossip.

However, if Creepy Guy is there, I won’t be tempted even to potato salad and chips. I’ll be turning around and heading back to my unit.