Sunday, October 15, 2017

Inventory and a Boom

Saturday was spent taking inventory.
Not of my life – did that years ago and worked through most of my issues, except forgiveness. I still have a hard time with that but taking inventory in the sense of making a list and taking photos in preparation for obtaining renters insurance.
Renters insurance is not required at this complex. Nevertheless, I’ve thought about it every time we’ve had a fire in the area, and decided against it because the things I valued couldn’t be insured.
What got me thinking about it again are the seniors displaced by the fire at the Santa Rosa complex. I thought about the fact there's a new television in the unit, two new laptops, an exercise bike and I would need, at the very least, to replace the This End Up platform bed, night stand, sofa, dining table, book cases. After researching how much it would cost to replace those and other essential items, I find, notwithstanding the things it would kill me to lose, I do need enough renters’ insurance to cover the basics.
So, photos and making a list was Saturday’s project.
The plan for today was to make good use of the fabric left over from the kente cloth gluttee by using the excess fabric to recover throw pillows I’ve fallen out-of-like with.
That plan was scrapped when, around 11:00, I heard what sounded like one of the downstairs neighbors slamming their door really hard. The building shook, the television shook and went to black.
I kept fooling around with the remote, turning the TV off/on, pushing random buttons for some time with no results. Logging onto the computer to seek remote service, I found I had no internet, no Wi-Fi service. I could see connections surrounding mine appeared to be connected, so somehow it was just me in this building.
After dialing up the cable service provider, following steps, I ended up with a message to “wait it out”, that there was probably an outage in the area.
Sure there was, but it appeared to be just me.
At any rate, I put in some time on my needlepoint project and adjusted to the quiet for another hour before checking Wi-Fi connection.
It was back on, but now the television wouldn’t connect to Wi-Fi.
Dialing up the television technical support line, I was walked through factory reset.
What a nightmare experience that was.
The poor agent spent no less than two hours walking me through steps, with me not understanding what buttons to push on the remote to get from Point A to Point B, doing it wrong, restarting, hitting roadblocks that necessitated the poor girl running back/forth between me and her supervisor to figure out what to try next AND, when we finally got past the factory reset, the screen made me set up a Samsung account before we could continue and get picture, which was a whole nother nightmare, at which point I “lost” the agent.
I say “lost” because I think she accidentally on purpose got exhausted with me and hung up.
It was a solo hunt and peck the next hour and a half, but I got it done.
I have to say though, I didn’t like the fact I had to set up a Smart Account to get to television, including name, email address, date of birth. Whatever happened to simple plug and play? The guys who delivered and set the television up didn’t have to go through all those steps, so I’m thinking I jammed up the works when I was randomly pushing buttons trying to get the television back on before I realized it was off because there was no Wi-Fi.
It wasn’t until around 3:30 when everything returned to normal, at which time I logged onto facebook and discovered my buddy Apache has posted that an accident had happened on the property.
Heading outside I discovered it wasn’t a door being slammed that knocked out my Wi-Fi, it was someone moving in hitting the gas, instead of brake, losing control of their U-Haul truck, smashing the wall of a building all the way in to the equipment boxes.

It wasn’t my building but, evidently, it was where my server connection is located.
I didn’t see the responsible resident hanging around the scene, but I did see the Complex Manager and the No. 2 maintenance guy had been called in, neither of whom live on the property and had to come from home while we have the Head Maintenance Guy and Assistant Manager on site.
Go figure.
What a horrible, embarrassing and expensive thing to happen to the individual moving in, but thankfully she wasn't hurt -- and I hear it's a woman, and thankfully she didn't hit any parked cars or people walking dogs in the area.
Hopefully repairs won’t knock the Wi-Fi out yet and again.
Bake Sale to benefit the seniors displaced by Northern California Fires is tomorrow. Totally exhausted by today's technical issues, my decision is to take the easy way out and donate cash to the bake sale.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Highly Illogical

Shortly after I replied to a comment that I’d not been told much about the corporation’s senior complex in Santa Rosa, other than it had been destroyed by fire, management posted a bulletin to my door confirming Monday’s Bake Sale, proceeds to be sent to “our sister property in Santa Rosa affected by heavy fires” and asking for donations of “sleepwear, underwear, socks, hygiene/toiletry kits, bedding, dog/cat food, charging cables/power strips", etc. Also, "some of our team members live in mandatory evacuation areas, some of which have not been able to report to work due to road closures".
So much trauma every where you look, not to mention all the political drama, it really is beginning to feel like the end of the world to me.
I’m torn between donating cash or heading to Walmart to purchase items, but not until tomorrow because today is Friday the 13th and I’m just superstitious enough to not want to leave the unit and go any further than to drop off trash and attend tonight’s movie night – Madea Boo Halloween.
I’ll decide tomorrow.
Thursday’s recertification session, scheduled for 15 minutes, went on for 45, by which time there was a backup of the three residents scheduled behind me.
The extra-long session wasn’t because paperwork took that long, but because I had to listen to Assistant Manager’s personal problems.
I didn’t stop her because what she had to say was actually quite enlightening.
She lives on the property and, as mentioned in previous posts, she’d taken a lot of time off ill, in the last year or two, because of the stress of her husband’s sudden illness. I hadn’t realized the husband’s medical issues became so serious that he fell into a coma, not expected to live until it was discovered the cause of his decline in health was due to malpractice -- doctor giving him “wrong medication”. What his original problem was that called for medication, I do not know. Just that, over time, the wrong medication impacted his health and almost killed him.
On the mend now that the medication issue has been resolved, husband is weak and just starting to walk again, but wife credits his recovery to so many residents praying for him. To show gratitude, she and her family are hosting a dinner/dance for us residents.
Nice, but my gut issues preclude my attendance. Plus, I can’t dance – except for country/western line dancing.
As for the recertification paperwork, it’s signed and Assistant Manager reiterated I’m grandfathered because, “After the first year, you can win the lottery and still be eligible to live here”. 
Great, but if that’s the case, why are we doing all this proof-of-income paperwork? I even had to provide a statement as to the source of that windfall.
I didn’t think to ask at the time, but I will because my inner Leonard Spock finds the process highly illogical if my income is no longer a factor and inquiring minds want to know.
And this is just Step 1. Once the powers-that-be look over my recertification paperwork, there’s still a lease to be signed in February, and she tells me “Rent will remain the same. No increase”.
Color me lucky, relieved, but really confused.
After the session, I popped into the Community Room and ran into the resident you long-time readers will remember as the woman whose only income was caring for her mother. When her mother was taken away by the sister, she lost her income and became so gripped with fear and worry as to what would happen to her, where she’d go, what she’d do that she ended up hospitalized with a bowel obstruction that required surgery. Through the Grace of God and the goodness of her son, she’s managed to stay in the unit and later, when that source of income played out, got hired on as live-in caretaker for another resident.
It’s not a job she enjoyed, or a person she enjoyed working for/living with but, having no other options, welcomed and stuck with it.
Now she tells me she might be moving because she, like me, was blessed with a former employer tracking her down, and making her aware she’d left money behind in a plan. It’s a nice tidy sum and though she’d love to rent a unit here, her situation is different than mine in that my windfall arrived years AFTER I qualified to be a resident. Her living with someone else, she is not actually considered a resident and her nice tidy sum is over-income for qualifying to become a resident.
If she can’t work something out with management, and she’s going to try, her backup plan is to buy a trailer and relocate to a trailer park in Yucaipa.
Good for her.
Wish I could be as adventurous.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Decision Day

No word yet on a memorial for that deceased Klansman and, after the initial two/three days of facebook accolades, comments have ceased. I did pull that Nordstrom suit out of storage -- the only item of clothing I own that’s suitable for a memorial and, lo and behold, it still fits. Waist is a little tight … a lot tight, but I think I can suffer a few hours of being cinched in, so I’m good to go when word of a memorial comes down.
I hope the memorial is scheduled locally, because I’m not one to drive out-of-my-way just to prove a point. I also won’t join the train to the grave site, because I’ve had experiences you would not believe and stay far far away from cemeteries because I don’t want any ghostly apparitions on the property to latch on and follow me home.
So, there’s that.
Today is the day to sign paperwork certifying my qualifications to reup for another year here at the complex.
At issue is that windfall I was blessed with a few months back and whether I am now over income and must relocate or whether I’m deemed grandfathered in.
Even though I’d informed management of the windfall and had been told I was grandfathered into this restricted income community, with the only change being an increase in rent, I couldn’t trust that information to be correct until the recertification paperwork was actually presented to me and signed. 
I’d already decided that, once the paperwork was presented, and the rent increase was equal to what I’d pay elsewhere at a multi-family complex or a luxury senior complex, that I might opt out and relocate to Henderson, Nevada -- to be near the excitement of Las Vegas. I’d even researched a 55 and over community in Santa Rosa, California, because I remembered attending a meditation session years ago in Santa Rosa and it seemed a nice spiritual area to be in.
So, we all know what happened in Las Vegas, which gives me pause as a good backup plan. Plus, the shooter was said to have been living in a senior complex. Which one? New neighbors, not knowing who any of them are, what issues they’re dealing with, is sounding less and less attractive.
And would you believe that I just learned that property in Santa Rosa I was looking at is owned by the same corporation that owns this property AND the property was one of the many properties destroyed by the Northern California wildfires.
We’re having a fundraiser on Monday to provide food and clothing for the seniors displaced from the Santa Rosa property.
We have our dramas around here – our fires on the hill, our weird neighbors, our lazy surly Head Maintenance Guy, but with the Universe showing me all these pictures of trauma north, south, east, west, I’m feeling very fortunate to be here, stuck in the middle, and plan to sign the paperwork no matter how much the rent goes up.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Death Becomes Us

Yesterday morning started off with a message from a former coworker alerting me to the passing of a department manager. I didn’t work directly for him but, located in the same area, he was hard to miss, especially so for me because he was part of the group I use to blog about (when I had a blog titled "Black and Blue"), describing them as Klansmen, who actively tried to run me out of the company because that’s what Massa (the CEO) ordered to be done because he didn’t want a Black woman in a secretarial position.
Janitor, yes.
Bus driver, yes.
But in an office position, no; but I’d already slipped through the cracks before Massa learned I was Black and could prevent the hire.
Consequently, the CEO did everything he could to find a reason to fire me, even personally threatening me that, “You will be taken care of!”, and encouraged his Klansmen and Mistresses of the Plantation to give me a hard-enough time so I’d leave. He even specifically hired a woman, placed her over my boss (who was well pleased with me and hired me because she said she didn't care what color I was, that she wanted someone who could do the work, even when a representative from the Personnel Department tried to get her to change her mind saying, "Why do you want to hire that n.g.e.r"). At any rate, the CEO fed the new woman some line that I was a problem and, on Friday of her first week, she called me into her office and said, “They don’t want you here, so why don’t you leave. Just go”.
This wasn’t my first rodeo with racism and abuse of authority. I knew how to maintain my spiritual integrity, professionalism and give them nothing to grasp onto as justification, and consequently gained the respect and support of those who stood by as observers. Even some of the CEO’s Klansmen didn’t put their heart and soul into harassing me, they just did what they had to do to stay safe and off the CEO’s radar, as those who did not support his views, those he deemed not loyal were themselves fired and/or harassed out. Which is what happened to the woman who was to have gotten me to leave. I didn’t leave, she couldn’t force me, she even came to like and depend on me and refused to get blood on her hands and put herself in line for a lawsuit by firing me without cause, which is what the CEO wanted her to do, so he yelled and screamed at her until she said she was demoralized/couldn’t take it any longer and quit after three months in the job.
Sound familiar?
Sounds like the same insanity, borne of insecurity and a God complex, those working for the Orange Guy are subjected to.
At any rate, this went on for six years, with two more women being hired and told to find fault and fire me. They not only did not find fault, but praised my skills, performance, eventually came to realize they were dealing with a mad man and one moved on, the other was forced out for being so bold as to say, "I don't fire good employees".
What ended it all was a series of state and federal audits wherein a number of "findings" were imposed against the agency -- financial improprieties that had to be explained. The CEO suddenly retired and fled the state ahead of an indictment, the Klansmen scattered, like rats from a sinking ship, to employment at other agencies before their part in financial misdeeds were uncovered, reputations ruined and though the four Mistresses of the Plantation and two Klansmen remained, because they were not skilled enough to go anywhere else, with Massa gone, his Main Bully Overseers out of the agency, those remaining kept a low profile, resulting in racism going down to a normal every day level, and the focus became no longer me. Now that the struggle was over, I felt my work/my reason for being there was done, eventually got bored and retired.
How much did my direct boss, the woman who hired me loved me?
When I announced I was retiring, she said, “If you’re not going to be here, I don’t want to be here” and she too turned in her papers.
She unfortunately learned a month or so after retiring that she had lung cancer and passed away. It was so unfair. She didn't get to enjoy her retirement. We were so close that I think about and miss her all the time.
The department manager I was alerted to passing was one of the two Klansmen who stayed. Only 54 years of age, his death made news as he “fell” some 16 stories from a hotel balcony in Atlanta while attending a conference.
Authorities have said no foul play is suspected, but my spidey sense is telling me “suicide”.
Yesterday and today has been facebook comments about how sad and devastated and broken hearted everyone is, that there are no words and it's not to be believed he's gone because he was such a great guy, yada yada yada.
Are they being honest or is it because death becomes us, people only speak good things of us once we’re gone?
I simply can’t believe some of the accolades I’m reading, and there are many being posted.
I’ve kept quiet because I’m not about to lie and say he was a great guy. He wasn’t the worse of the Klansmen, but he did sell his soul to the devil CEO and did a lot of things at Massa's behest, and not just to me. So, sorry, not sorry.
I imagine the Klansmen and Mistresses will all come together for his memorial, which tempts me to go as one final slap in their faces that, in spite of their machinations, I’m still alive, thriving and surviving quite well.
Depends on when the memorial is, where it is, what time and if I can still fit into that Nordstrom suit I’ve held onto.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fashion Knockoff

Saturday was interesting. The weird downstairs tenant spoke to me, smiled even.
Having moved in quietly dead of night back in March, the tenant underneath me is a recluse who made it clear she wants nothing to do with any of us when she pointedly strongly emphasis added told me the one and only time I’ve actually seen her outside her unit and introduced myself that, “I.don’!” 
All is mostly quiet downstairs, blinds always shut, windows never open, I’m not even sure she’s home or even still alive most of the time, except for when I hear her yelling at someone in the unit with her, or it may be someone over the phone, or it may be an imaginary friend. I don’t know. It’s all very weird.
At any rate, I was on the patio Saturday, looking through the costume container I’d hauled out of the patio storage area, to see what I could put together for the Halloween Potluck – that is IF I wear a costume, as I’m now going back and forth on the Halloween event.
While digging through the container, I saw out the corner of my eye that she’d exited her unit and was heading down the pathway. Honoring her request to be left alone, I didn’t shout out a greeting, didn’t even look at her. My mind just registered for a second that she was out of her unit, but then the next second I’d completely forgotten about her and was focused on what I was pulling out of the container. All of a sudden, I heard a cheery voice say, “Hello up there”. I turned to look and it was she, actually looking up and smiling at me.
I’ll be darn, this is a first, I thought as I greeted her back.
But then I began to wonder if I should be concerned, because her smile and cheery greeting were so out of character. It sorta reminded me of the demonic smile my abusive ex-husband would display just before he went off.
If she EVER knocks on my door for a supposed cup of sugar, or anything else, I won’t be opening it.
As to a costume … I do love cosplay, and have like a dozen costumes to choose from, including a Wonder Woman tutu I made a few years back for the Girls-On-The-Go 5K, when a group of us went as the female Justice League (Wonder Woman, Bat Girl, Spider Girl), and Wonder Woman is what I ended up pulling from the container, along with the WW socks and Lasso of Truth.
But wearing a costume is no fun when I’m the only one, so I’m thinking I’ll go down to the Community Room first to scope out the scene. If I see others in costume, I’ll go back to my unit, dress and go back down. If not, I’ll skip the event entirely.
Also on the weekend, I knocked out two Gluttee Wraps – one for myself, one for daughter.
It was surprisingly easy to make a pattern without disassembling the original and, inasmuch as the ties on the original don’t cover my poochie stomach, I modified my knockoff version to longer ties.

Original Gluttee Wrap
Kente Cloth Knockoff

It's going to drive the kiosk workers nuts when they see me rocking their product in the mall, but not in a pattern they produce. Maybe they'll take the hint and do a couple in kente cloth as I've made it clear to daughter that if her friends in the gym want one, and they will, I'm not making any other than the two cause I don't care to be involved in a legal action.
So that was my productive weekend. On to whatever comes next.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Movie Night

I almost didn’t make it down to the Community Room Friday afternoon to see Wonder Woman. Exhausted from the week’s activities, plus I’d had to drive to Redlands earlier to pick up an online order, I didn’t think I’d be able to keep my eyes open. However, I set the alarm and took a quick one-hour nap around 2:30, drank a cup of coffee when awakened by the alarm, and rallied in time to go down at 4:00.
Thank goodness Wonder Woman was engaging, and not a slow quiet kind of movie, or I’d have drowsed off yet and still. As it was an entertaining adventure, I was pretty much on the edge of my seat throughout, and clapped at the end.
The reason I wanted to share the recently released Wonder Women with the folks had more to do with me than them, as I have a tendency to purchase DVDs but then, constantly recording television programs and then catching up, it takes me like forever to get around to viewing the DVD. Sharing with the folks serves the purpose of their getting to see something more recent than the old seen on tv movies they’ve been complaining about, and I’m encouraged to get out from in front of the television, go down and view the DVD.
In fact, next week’s movie is one that has been sitting around here since I picked it up in January.

There’s already a sequel out and I’ve not had time to watch this one yet.
Inasmuch as next Friday is the 13th, Boo Halloween should be fun for the folks, after which it’s back to the same old same old because there’s nothing else out there I want to purchase until Victoria and Abdul comes out on DVD.
Plan for today and tomorrow is me … inside my unit, focusing on needlepoint, sewing, with no errands to run until Monday, when I’ll have to drive to Ontario to pick up deliveries at Amazon’s Toffee.
It’s kind of a drag that I can’t trust the US Postal Service to get deliveries right and residents to be honest when postal service inevitably gets it wrong, but it is what it is.
In fact, I burst out laughing when, returning to the complex from Redlands, I saw the postal guy – the one observed sorting mail last month while on his cellphone, had the nerves to attach a bungee cord in the walkway by the mailboxes so no one could come near and disturb his concentration while he sorted.

What’s the point?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Officially Worn Out

Having the car serviced is off my to-do list and couldn’t have gone better. In at 9:00 yesterday, I was out at 10:47, which included the time it took to wash the car, and the service consultant did not try to talk me into anything other than what I came in for -- a straight 12-point inspection – rotate tires, fluids, check chassis, belts, hoses, exhaust system, air filter, yada yada yada. Except I did notice later, when at home checking the invoice, a notation “recommend tie rod ends trans service”.
I don’t know what that is, it wasn’t explained, so I’ll research on the internet to determine if it’s something I should have taken care of next service, or if it’s a pad the bill thing.
At any rate, service went so smoothly, so quickly, that I began to doubt all that was to be performed actually was performed -- especially rotating the tires. I guess it's a situation of damned if you do, damned if you don't on the part of the dealer. When they let my car sit for 2 hours before they begin work, I let them have it on the follow-up survey. When they get started right away, I'm in and out in record time, and suspicious.
Nevertheless, I wish I’d set a trap, like put a mark on one of the tires so I could see if that tire was in a different location at the end of service.
Next time for sure.
I had every intention of heading out early this morning to complete the latest 5K, but having been awakened at 3:30 this morning, by someone doing laundry, that plan was put in jeopardy.
Who does laundry at that time of morning?
I wondered but, though I could not go back to sleep, I wasn’t about to go outside to find out.
I forget what Laundry Room hours are but, for sure, it’s not 3:30 in the morning.
Though my unit is upstairs, at the end of the building, with the laundry room right around the corner, I don’t normally hear the start/stop of water rushing into the washers.
But when all is quiet, late at night/early in the morning, I hear a faint gushing sound -- just enough laundry room sound to disturb my rest. I can’t even imagine what the weird new tenant underneath me has to deal with, because her walls are right up against the laundry room.

At any rate, wide awake and unable to go back to sleep, I turned on the laptop, played a few rounds of Candy Crush, AlphaBetty, read a few blogs, researched kente cloth fabric sources and eventually was able to get back in bed and sleep, waking at 8:00, with no plans to do that 5K.
However, after pulling myself together and realizing the source of the fabric I wanted was less than a mile from the mall, I all of a sudden got an energy boost and headed out to kill two birds with one stone.
The 5K got done in a crazy circuitous kinda way, as I paused the Runkeeper in the mall when I stopped to purchase a poorly made cheap looking gluttee wrap.

I noticed the gluttee kiosk during last week’s 5K. It’s like a hoodie around the waist, without being an actual hoodie which, tying a hoodie around my waist is something I always do because I need the pockets and I’m not comfortable wearing leggings in public without a butt covering.
At any rate, I noticed how poorly thrown together they were and knew I could do better but, unable to find a pattern, I bought one to use as a pattern so I can make one in kente cloth and other fabrics for myself and my girls.
After making the purchase, I unpaused the tracker and did a few more laps in the mall.
Close to finishing, I paused again and drove to Target and the bank – taking it off pause as I walked between the two locations.
Then, I paused and drove to the fabric store, where I finished up on the parking lot before heading in for fabric.

Though the start/stopping/different locations added 15/20 minutes to my time, considering all I accomplished, I’d say 1:33:58 is pretty good time.
A 5K last week, one today, the car serviced, other errand during the week, I am officially worn out. Thank goodness, my next challenge isn’t until November 1st.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Challenge

Having barely recovered from last week’s challenge, I’m not much feeling like completing another challenge so soon. However, inasmuch as I’d already registered for the Virtual Halloween 5K, to earn another cool medal, I’m committed.

Tomorrow would be a good day to walk the mall, but I’ve an appointment at the dealership to have the car serviced. No idea how long that’s going to take, or what repairs they’ll manufacture in order to up the bill but, after researching new cars, I find nothing I like as much as my old reliable Saturn Vue – not even a Jeep, which I’ve coveted forever, so there’s no limit to how much I’ll pay to keep the Saturn going.
If the car is in and out, with nothing requiring overnight service and a rental, I’ll aim for the mall Thursday as I’ve plans to hang with the seniors Friday to watch Wonder Woman.
The monthly calendar was distributed and indicates an Ice Cream Social on the 17th and a Halloween Potluck on the 24th. Of course, the ice cream social is out because of my gut issues but, even though last year’s Halloween event was a bummer and ruined the season for me – because I was the only one who wore a costume, I’m seriously thinking about participating.
I don’t know what happened that the seniors had so little enthusiasm last year because, always before, everyone came in costume.
To bring back the enthusiasm of yesteryear, I’m going to pick up some inexpensive masks and headwear to ensure everyone in attendance is wearing something.
As for my contribution to the potluck, in the past it's been deviled eggs.

Halloween 2015
Halloween 2016

However, deviled eggs are a lot of work -- especially if one adds themed decorating to the task and, when the seniors disappointed me last time, I vowed I’d not go to that much trouble for them again … and thus far I haven’t, not for Easter when I always brought deviled eggs or green deviled eggs for St Patrick’s Day or any of the multiple other occasion I was known for being the “deviled egg lady”.
So, since I can’t eat any of the sandwiches the Activity Director plans to bring, or anything the seniors themselves contribute, I’ll just make deviled eggs for myself to have something to eat and let the masks and head bands be my contribution.
That’s fair, don’t you think?