Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Dry Spell

With no interesting 5Ks on the rise, no further activities on this month’s calendar here at the senior complex, having not run into Apache ─ to fill me in on the latest, I’m experiencing a dry spell.
With nothing interesting to occupy my time, I’ve managed to log in quite a lot of hours on the latest needlepoint.

Progress: August 2019 - November 2019

Progress: November 2019 - January 2020

Still days, weeks, months away from completion, but it’s always exciting when I see the picture come into being.
Also, with time on my hands, I made a run by the library to drop off all those books I read last year about No. 45.


Those hardcover books aren’t cheap, and with the books being fairly new and relevant, one would have thought the library would be happy to receive and offer to its members. That being said, maybe it’s just me but I found it off putting when I drove up to the drop box, as the library was closed, and saw this sign.


Seriously?
If they expected me to turn around, go back home, return at their open hours convenience, they were sorely mistaken. I dropped the books off in the drop box.
You librarians can’t be so busy that this is that much of an inconvenience to you. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
And while we’re on the subject of librarians, a little known fact is that was once a goal of mine when considering a career. Mom nixed my first choice ─ to become a nun, by forbidding me to continue to attend the catholic church with a neighbor girl, and decided for me that I’d be a teacher. Mom not being a woman to be defied, I somehow had the inner strength to oppose her, researched library sciences but, in a hurry to make money and get independent, I learned to type, and began my secretarial career immediately out of high school as a clerk typist.
Technical College, night school and evolving work experiences, while marrying, bearing twins, divorce, raising twins on my own, I finished my career as a legal secretary.
Notwithstanding, experiencing racism, sexism, and abuse of authority in work situations, it was a fun ride. The atmosphere not always easy, but the actual work aspect was always fulfilling and fun.
There have been no signs of that dream of trainer and I having a dispute coming into fruition, thank goodness. So I’m writing that one off not as precog but, as Barbara commented, influenced by what happened with the two women seeking training.
Speaking of which, trainer did sign up one of the ladies. This newest client, at 51 years of age, signed up for boxing.
When trainer started me off by assessing my capabilities, I was exposed to those bags and was worn out within seconds. So, to me, boxing ─ though a faster track to getting fit over all, rather than cross fit which focuses on individual areas over time, is also harder than cross fit, so kudos to her for going that route.
Trainer tells me she’s since said to him, “I bet I’m your oldest client”.
HA!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Chaos in the Craft Room

As predicted, Community Room was not open at 9:30 and Activity Director (AD) did not show up 10:00 sharp. I arrived 10:05, she came in shortly after.
Not a problem, it gave me a few minutes to catch up with the seniors.
Winter Crafts” turned out to be flower pot snowmen.
We painted terracotta pots, wrapped the bottom with ribbon, made ear covers of puff balls and pipe cleaners, then color penciled in faces.




A resident entered the room, asked what we were doing and, instead of saying decorating pots”, Baker mistakenly blurted out “making pots”.
“Oh, you’re making pot?” joked the resident, which sent us into fits of laughter.
Another bout of laughter occurred when, using white paint and white glue in separate bowls, both liquids looking remarkably similar, we got confused and it became necessary to sniff to determine which was which. At which time someone pointed out, “We’re making pot AND sniffing glue”. LOL.
In the midst of all this frivolity, Greedy Grabby made an appearance and joined in making a snowman. Only, she didn’t want to follow AD’s instructions. Instead she wanted to make her pot differently than the rest of us, wanted to cover the pot in ribbon.
No”, said AD. “There’s not enough ribbon on the roll for that. We need to make sure there’s enough to go around”.
First thing I knew, AD rushed over to Greedy and asked her to stop cutting ribbon.
Evidently, just like always, Greedy had ignored directions, did exactly what she wanted to do and AD caught her in the process of cutting more ribbon to cover her pot.
Greedy replied, “Without more ribbon, I can’t finish”.
Something I can’t explain came over me. I turned to Greedy and said, “You always have to be different, and you always have to take more than you are entitled to. To finish the way you want, you can always go buy your own supplies”.
Greedy said nothing. She continued to try to cut ribbon strips.
Fortunately for us, the scissors were so dull that considerable time and effort was required. Greedy was unable to just snip snip away, but she was trying ─ with AD standing right there, asking her to stop, hand out, requesting the ribbon roll to be placed in the outstretched hand.
Greedy turned away from AD’s outstretched hand and began sawing away faster, trying to get as much ribbon as she could before handing the roll over.
I lost it.
Having entered an altered state, unable to stop myself, I snatched the ribbon from Greedy’s hands with, “You don’t care about anyone but yourself!”
I then placed the ribbon roll on the opposite side of the table, away from Greedy, in front of AD’s seat.
Greedy then signaled to her friend, seated near the ribbon, to pass it over.
Before that could happen, I picked the ribbon up and put it in AD’s bag saying to Greedy, “It’s in her bag now. If you go in her bag to get it, that’s stealing”.
I kid you not ... Greedy then climbed under the table, crawled to the chair holding AD’s bag, and began to drag the bag under the table.
Another resident seated near the bag grabbed it to prevent it from falling under the table, and AD rushed over from where she was helping another resident with decorating, and red faced with anger said to Greedy, “That’s it! I’ve had enough!”
It was at that moment Community Manager walked into the room to check out our crafting.
All he saw was AD, all red faced with anger, addressing Greedy’s bad acts. Greedy tried to play the victim saying all sweet like to Community Manager, “Well, I didn’t know. She never told me”.
There was a chorus of voices at the table saying, “Yes you did. She told you three times”.
Greedy dropped the act at that point. Her face got dark with anger, her lips tight with determination and she demanded of Community Director, “Make her give it to me!”.
Can you believe that?
Community Director said, “I can’t do that. She (AD) is in charge here” and then I don’t know what else was said as I, having to hurry up and finish before heading for the pain cave, stepped away to the glue gun.
When I returned to my seat, Greedy was preparing to leave.
I kept an eye on her to make sure she didn’t shoplift any craft supplies and, as she prepared to exit, she had the nerve to hold up her creation and ask me, “Do you like it?” 
“I’m too disgusted to even look at you right now”, said I.
This thing with Greedy taking what doesn’t belong to her, and more than her share of what is offered, is what got Greedy banned from the local Community Center. I’d be very surprised if AD allowed Greedy to participate in future craft sessions.
And it’s not that Greedy is on medication, nor is it an age thing ─ Greedy isn’t that old. Greedy is just plain spoiled ... accustomed to being catered to, being in control, a princess.
At any rate, in posting photos from the event to the residents' facebook page, I see that luckily I captured Greedy's creation ─ or at least as much as she was able to manage with the ribbon she snagged.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Husband in a Box

Other than finishing and placing in my first 5K of the year, the only other 2020 accomplishment is giving the sitting area of my little senior unit a long overdue makeover.
Makeover because the couch cushions ─ long past the suggested replacement period of 7 years, were showing signs the time is now ─ tired and faded looking, frayed in spots; not to mention the throw pillows and backrest had long ago lost their looks and buoyancy.
After the experience of growing up dirt poor, having to do without and make do, then later in life struggling financially to raise my twins ─ see that, within my limited resources and within reason, their growing up years were better than mine, that they did not also have to do without, it is now engrained in me to continue to budget and get creative with what I have, rather than purchase new ─ even though that way of life is no longer necessary. So it was that, for the longest time, I made do by flipping the couch cushions over to the not so worn side and stitched up new covers for the throw pillows.
All sides of the couch cushions now looking equally worn, faded, frayed, the throw pillows coming apart at the seams, I gave in and went for a complete makeover.

BEFORE
AFTER
I didn’t bring in a new couch. Instead ─ thrifty woman that I am, I thought ahead when I eons ago purchased a couch built to last a lifetime, so only had to replace the cushions, throw pillows and began looking for a new backrest.
I would have been content taking the easy/less having to make decisions way out by reordering everything same same, but the old southwest cushion pattern had been discontinued, which put me in a quandary all of last year, as I delayed the inevitable decision for fear of making a color choice I’d regret and have to live with.
Having finally decided to just do it, the only other southwest print the manufacturer offered was horrendous so I went safe, narrowed down the color choices, and went with Hitchcock Denim.


When it came to finding a backrest of a color that would work with the new color and style to give me the support I needed for long hours of sitting ─ working on the latest needlepoint, watching television, daydreaming while looking out the patio window, watching neighbors heading up/down the walkways, I ran across something described as a “Husband Pillow”.
WHAT?!
I had to Google it.
“A husband pillow is a high backed soft pillow which has two arms around it and is used to support your back”.
Ohhhh, a backrest.
Okay, but why call it a husband, when a backrest is what it is and would have sufficed to say?
I personally was a little offended at first ─ is there a girlfriend pillow for guys? But the color and style were what was needed, so I clicked “buy” and husband arrived ... in a humungous box.


All that box, for such a small looking husband?
Instructions were to remove from packaging, then “shift, shake or move around the filling with your hands to speed up the expanding process” ─ in other words give him a massage. The other option was to give him 24-48 hours to expand on his own.
Bad enough to call it a husband, but then instruct to give him a massage? I chose to remove packaging and wait the 24-48 hours.


Not unhappy with it/him, but what’s with the tubular object?
I have a sneaky suspicion that tube, which reminds me of John Gray’s tree incident, is the real reason the manufacturer calls it a “husband”.


All in all a successful makeover, but I’ll be dispensing with the tube.
On another note, I am so glad Megan Markle has made the decision to flee to a more welcoming environment, take Baby Archie and Harry with her. What she’s essentially saying to her detractors is “take this job and shove it”.
I have a sense that if Harry hadn’t support this move, she’d still have taken Archie and fled.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Run to the Beat

Heading out early this morning in 38˚ freezing cold weather to participate in the Run to the Beat 5K, I questioned my sanity ─ even inwardly asked myself, why do you do this to yourself?
Not wanting to catch pneumonia, I’d bundled up in two long-sleeve athletic tops, wrapped a wool scarf around my neck and covered my hands with gloves.
Arriving at the venue, I observed some participants wrapped in blankets, but then there were two ladies in tank tops.


OMG! What were they thinking, thought I, but they didn’t seem to feel the cold air like the rest of us ─ a sure sign they were alien visitors from another planet.
At any rate, though I actually never warmed up enough to take any of the layers off, this turned out to be a fun 5K ─ which, I realized is why I continue to do it. Once you get over the hurtle of getting up, getting dressed, getting out ... it’s just so much fun.
The 5K was advertised as we’d be chased by musicians playing music at us.
I really couldn’t envision how the organizers were going to manage that. Were the musicians going to hide behind bushes and jump out at us, as was done by scary looking people at the Zombie Run? Were they going to run after us and play while holding musical instruments?
It just didn’t seem possible, and it wasn’t.
The course was stationary student high school musicians, spirit teams, and a full student orchestra at the start/finish.
Worked for me.



My friend the Archeologist was there, along with her two little runners.


In posting the photo of the Archeologist, I noticed a telltale sign of just how cold I was. Let me know if you spot it. LOL.
Archeologist's son came in second in his age group but, sadly, the Archeologist had to drop out because daughter became ill.
I took my time around the course, yet still came in with a respectable 59:48, 2nd in the age group 75-99.
There was a spot for three wins in age group 75-99 ─ 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place but, inasmuch as I was the oldest participant in that category (and there were only two participants registered in that grouping), there was no one to finish other than the first place finisher at 75 and myself.
As I’ve said before ... if I can’t beat ‘em, I can outlive ‘em. LOL.
So it was a two-medal win for me, my first ─ Finished and Placed.
There was one other 5K, I don’t recall which, when I finished 1st in my age group because I was the only one in that group. I didn’t realize that meant I was part of the medal ceremony, didn’t stick around and lost out on a Finish and Place for that one.
Now I know to hang around after, just in case.




Thursday, January 9, 2020

Rough Morning

Today started off rough with a dream trainer and I were having a disagreement that resulted in my walking out.
I hope it’s not a precog dream, but it felt pretty detailed not to be.
A few weeks ago, two women came into the pain cave looking to get fit.
Trainer had posted, just before Christmas that he’d not be accepting anymore cross fit clients, as he’d be focusing on his muay thai boxing clients this year.
A lot of his decision has to do with the cross fit clients complaining too much about how hard it is, not wanting to follow instructions without complaint, not showing up. He says the complaining, lack of dedication brings him down.
Okay, I understand ... his time is valuable, his choice as to where to use that time. I was just relieved he’d be keeping those of us already involved in cross fit on his roster.
What I had a bit of a problem with was the way he spoke to the two woman, who were quite literally begging him to take them on. Instead of saying no, he said maybe and lectured them that, if I do take you on, I expect this, that, the other, I don’t want to hear this, that, the other.
Had he laid down the law to me, as he was laying it down to these two women, coming from a place of ego, I would have said “Never mind, F you” and suggested he get over himself as I headed for the exit.
That pretty much was the substance of the dream, only it was me being lectured to.
I was in session, there were others in the room, trainer told me to make a move I was unfamiliar with and I began looking to him to give me a demonstration. He became short tempered that I didn’t know what to do and, showing off a bit in front of others, began lecturing me.
I wordlessly picked up my stuff and headed for the door.
Where are you going?” asked trainer.
Thank you for the work you’ve put into me, but I won’t deal with this ego of yours” said I as I walked out the door.
Trainer followed, there was an apology ─ which I ignored as I got in the car and drove away. There was then a text message apology, a request for me to come back, but I said, though I accept the apology, it would feel weird, that I’d no longer feel comfortable with him.
The dream then shifted to thinking how to continue training on my own when I was suddenly awakened by a BEEP!
It was the smoke detector yet again.
Looking at the clock, it was 3:15 a.m.
Happy to be out of that dream, but not planning to repeat what happened last month, when it was smoke detector hell, with the mechanism beeping every 19 seconds for something like 6 hours, because management said, though I’d described the beeping as “driving me crazy”, it wasn’t considered a maintenance emergency, that the guys would get around to it.
Long-time readers will recall that brouhaha when the detector went off after hours, no one would come fix it until the next morning so, unable to sleep through it, I went to a hotel.
It’s like every month there’s drama with this smoke detector, so obviously there’s a problem with the mechanism but, after all I'd tolerated only to be told this last time wasn’t considered an emergency, I decided I’d never call in a fix-it request again. I’d find a way to fix it my own darn self.
Tada! …. Fixed it!

All units are getting their annual inspection next week/week after. Can’t wait to see management’s face.
If asked why I didn’t call it in, my reply will be “I was not willing to be inconvenienced from 3:15 in the morning until you guys decided to get around to my non-emergency”.
BAM!
After that very detailed dream, I was a little reticent about this morning’s training session. Everything was normal, went well, but the dream has me a little on guard ... waiting for the shoe to drop.

Friday, January 3, 2020

The C-Word

Looking at this month’s activities, I see the C-word is back on the calendar ─ CRAFTS.
Listed as “Winter Craft”, I can’t even guess what that is, but slated for the 14th, 9:30 to 11:00, it’s early enough that I can attend before heading for the pain cave.
EXCEPT, the office does not open for business until 10:00, doors to the Community Room are not unlocked until 10:00 sharp AND I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if Activity Director EVER shows up as early as 9:30. We’ll be lucky if she shows up at a timely 10:00.
Nevertheless, I’ll show up for crafts, but not until 10 and see what happens.
Another C-word showing up on the calendar is Community Meeting on the 28th. Formerly titled Management/Residents’ Meeting, we’ve not had one of those since June of 2018 because, after they fired the manager we had at that time, it took an entire year for Corporate to find another sucker. That sucker quit a few weeks in, the one after that came all the way from Texas, but also soon quit. So now we have this new manager ─ with us only since mid-November. Hopefully he’ll last long enough to pull this meeting off.
He’s nice enough, respectful, cute but Apache and he have already crossed swords and, running into Apache this morning, they’re getting ready to cross swords yet again.
Evidently, Apache has been emailing new manager about complex issues, but it didn’t really hit the fan until just before Christmas, when Apache emailed the new manager about our needing security at night, because a car was stolen from the back lot and another car had been used for parts ─ someone stole the front grill off a Honda Civic. Also, Apache discovered a hole had been chopped in an empty garage, against a back wall, where entry could be made by an individual or individuals (to sleep perhaps). Apache had taken a photo of the hole, saying having such a way to enter the property from the mountain side was not safe for us.
Manager’s response was to say, “Don’t bother me anymore with what’s going on around here”.
OH SNAP!
Management can’t talk to Apache like this. He’ll take it from me and other residents, but management must tread lightly.
Inasmuch as this property is certified “Crime Free” and there are certain standards to be met in order to keep that designation, Apache contacted the agency issuing the certification about “crimes” occurring on the property ─ stolen car, vandalism of automobile and garage, need for security guard.
Sure enough, a representative from the agency showed up, did a walk through on the property, made some notations, and I expect some of what happened with that inspection will be discussed at the Community Meeting.
Corporate and management can’t be too happy about Apache reporting them, putting in jeopardy the crime-free certification, and whatever tax breaks comes with it.
The other thing likely to be discussed on the 28th is the New Year’s Eve Party.
I think those that attended are in trouble, might be forbidden to have another such party because there was alcohol ─ tequila and Rémy Martin (cognac).
There are seniors here who can’t drink. There are seniors here who shouldn’t drink. That would be, the 81-year-old who has the hots for Apache who, after taking a shot of tequila, ended up disrobing in the Community Room.
She took off her top. She took off her bra. Apache says he grabbed for his phone to take a photo by which time someone had rushed up and covered her with a wrap.
In a way, I’m glad I didn’t go. I won’t be one of the seniors on report. In another way, I’m sorry I missed it. Drunk seniors would have made some interesting fodder for the blog.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

An Ominous Beginning

New Year’s Eve started off a business as usual day with a mid-morning workout at the Pain Cave, and plans to bring in the New Year with the seniors at a party in the Community Room, slated to begin at 5:00.
By the time five o’clock rolled around, I was way too comfortable to bundle up against the cold and head for the Community Room. I instead opted for a quiet night in ─ working on the latest needlepoint, watching the Twilight Zone Marathon.
THEN, along about 6:00, the cable services went down ─ no television, no internet.
The evening became a lot quieter than I’d bargained for.
At least the lights were still on, so I could spend the evening needlepointing ─ not like the day after Christmas when we had a complete outage first thing in the morning. Not only no television, no internet, but also no microwave, no stove, no lights. There was enough light seeping in from the outside that I could dress myself, but putting on makeup in the dark was challenging.
That outage was short, lasted a few hours. This latest outage lasted through New Year's Eve, and looked to be continuing all day today, with no end in sight and me with no access to information as to why it was happening and when will it end.
Along about 3:00, I decided to drive out of the area for bubble wrap and got cellphone access there to the internet. Able to log in, call my provider, make a complaint, I saw the outage was listed as system wide and caused by someone having damaged a fiber optic cable, whatever that is.
Whatever it is, the timing of it doesn’t sound like an accident or happenstance. More like the work of a disgruntled employee of the cable company or homegrown terrorist looking to ruin much for many.
I hope they figure out who, otherwise we can expect this kind of disruption again.
Expecting another night with no television no internet, about a half hour or so ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see lights once again blinking on the modem. Television and internet restored ─ too late to catch Judge Judy, but in time to catch tonight's episode of Vikings on the history channel.
Turns out the culprit cut the cable in two places between San Bernardino and Los Angeles.
Definitely someone with knowledge of the system's infrastructure.
At any rate, life will catch up with the culprit, if the authorities don’t, and karma will kick his arse. So though the start of 2020 seems ominous, it’s onward and upwards.