Saturday, November 28, 2020

Checking In

The complex was spared the latest power shutoff, but I gotta tell you … the constant threats are draining and, with all the pandemic rules and regulations, I've had just about enough.

These outages and planned outages are beginning to read as just more bureaucratic bull manure, rather than necessary fire prevention measures.

At any rate, the wind is here to stay, so I guess the power company will soon be threatening us again.

Speaking of pandemic rules and regulations, we’re already under a curfew but, come Monday, we’ll also be under a Mandatory Stay At Home Order.

The curfew is not a problem for me. I’m always in by 4:00 — because that’s Judge Judy time and, no matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing, it’s imperative that I’m back at the complex in time for Judy.

Though I’m up around 6:30 a.m., I rarely head out for any reason until 11:00, so my days fit easily into curfew hours.

As for this Stay At Home Order — taking effect Monday, to remain in effect until the 21st of December, that may slow my roll because I might not be able to drive out of the area to mall walk.

We already have that mall by Krispy Kreme closed to walkers and fearing, come Monday, the mall by those fancy apartments will become closed to walkers, I suited up and drove over to complete my latest and last 5K of the year.


I’ve wanted to participate in this race for years — because participants dress up like Santa, and you long time readers know how I love cosplay.

What stopped me from registering before was the hassle of driving to San Diego, the luggage, a hotel, figuring out how to feed my sensitive gut. So, this opportunity to participate virtually was right up my alley.

I registered early, received my race package early and was waiting for December, as official race day doesn’t begin until December 1.

But, with this latest Stay at Home Order, I didn’t want to take any chances on not being able to drive out of the area and mall walk, so off I went.

The mall was crazy busy.

So crazy busy that you’d not even know we were in a pandemic.

Restaurants were doing a brisk business, there were lines outside HLM, Lululemon, et al., and there was so much traffic coming into the mall that security began blocking off the main streets and directing traffic.

Crowded sidewalks really slowed me down so, after initially forging my way through the throngs to see if a Christmas tree had been erected in it's usual place this year, I headed away from the crowds, to the farthest parking lots to walk and loop around the outside perimeter of the mall.



Before heading away from the throngs, I managed a few photos of mall decorations.




Later, at home, I dug into the swag bag and tried on the Santa beard and hat.


More appropriate Santa.



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving .... Tomorrow


Thought I’d better get tomorrow's post in now, because a notice was just posted to our doors that “Due to High Winds, Possible Power Shutoff Thursday 11/26/20".

Are they serious?

On Thanksgiving Day?

When people are cooking and having people over?

Not me, of course, but plenty others are.

Timing couldn't be worse, but nothing to do except go with the flow.

So, some time tomorrow, power most likely will be cut, leaving me without a laptop to post to my blog, read blogs of others and with no television.

Last time the power company shut us down, I had daylight so I could at least work on that needlepoint, and I had a little neck light so I could read for a bit but, after daylight turned to evening, I just sat on the couch, in pitch black darkness, meditating until bedtime. Dinner had been leftover cold potato salad.

The day after, Trainer had asked what I’d done during the blackout and, when I said I'd been left in the dark, asked “Didn’t you have candles?”

The answer was no, because I’d not even thought of candles.

In the interim, however, figuring the power company would strike again, I invested in a little power station that will allow me to make coffee and use the crock pot for hot meals tomorrow.

I also invested in candles.

 

Tiger Joe, Keanu "John Wick" Reeves, Snoop, The Obamas

 Going to be a quiet day without the television, but I’m otherwise prepared.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Breaking Bad

I felt like such a rebel the other day when, checking out at the grocery store, with 18 items in my cart, I saw all the lines were full of folks with overflowing carts.

My option was to 1) Settle in for a long wait in one of the regular lines, or 2) Break bad and hop on over to one of the lines limited to 15 items.

Feeling a little guilty, I nevertheless took my 18 items over to the 15 items line and was out of there lickety split.

From the looks of those over-flowing carts, I suspect some folks are being rebels and having more than 10 people over.

The following memes are for those rebels:



Granddaughter got smart and cancelled Thanksgiving at her place altogether, opting instead to go to the in-laws … where only the mother-in-law and father-in-law (recovering from a fall ending in a broken hip) will be in attendance.

I don’t know what the grandsons will be doing, but suspect they’ll still expect their mom (Twin 1) to feed them with regular Thanksgiving fare. Only Twin 1 and her boys don't call it "Thanksgiving", they call it "Stolen Land Day", because of what was done to the helpful gracious indians.

Whatever.

So anyway, having broken the 15 items or less rule, now I’m breaking with tradition … I began putting put up patio Christmas decorations today — two day before Thanksgiving, rather than the traditional Day After.

I’m not alone in breaking bad.

The Seer put her lights up last week and a few homes in the neighborhood already have their lawn displays out.

On another note, I ran into Assistant Manager’s husband. They are both fine, except he says his left side, from hip to ankle, aches a bit.

According to him, the accident was hit and run. 

He was in Los Angeles, someone ran into him and kept going.

I dunno about that.

I suppose someone could have hit him head on, but the front-end damage looks more like he did the running into.

At any rate, because of the extensive damage and no injuries, I said, “You’re very lucky”.

“Yes, God is good to me”, said he.

From what I know of him, that’s very true.

First, after being divorced from Assistant Manager, for how long I do not know, she took him back.

Shortly thereafter, he came down with an unknown, to us residents, debilitating illness that caused his body to shrink down to nothing. So weak and frail that, instructed to try to walk, it was difficult for him to do so. Whatever illness he had came close to taking his life altogether (per his wife, Assistant Manager).

It took a while, but he recovered from that and now, once again, looks healthy, strong, fit.

Now he's walked away from what looks to have been a pretty horrific accident.

Yes indeed, God has his back.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Curfew

Heading to bed last couple nights, it struck me as to how unusually quiet it was. You could hear a pin drop was my thought.

It finally occurred to me that the unusual quiet was because of the curfew — no street sounds.

Positioned on a main drag, there’s usually city sounds — cars, buses, motorcycles, but evidently everyone is complying with the curfew, the streets are quiet.

Second and last time I remember living under a curfew was doing the Rodney King Riots. First time was during the Watts Riots.

During the Rodney King Riots, I was living in an upstairs loft appointment in the heart of town, surrounded by restaurants, a mall, all manner of entertainment in the area.

Living so high up in the sky, looking down, gave me a bird’s eye view of quite a few interesting sights, without anyone knowing they were being observed.

Confined to home during the rioting, hunkering down much like I’m hunkering down now due to this pandemic, it wasn’t unusual to see tanks rolling down the street as the National Guard came in and set up a command center on the top level of the J.C. Penney parking garage, which top level was across from my patio.

There was also an armed guardsman stationed at the intersection outside our building, which intersected with the Mall, a newspaper office, and a drugstore.

I’d been so comfortable having that high up privacy, with a bird’s eye view, that I’d not considered the command center across the street meant there were now people able to look at us.

That is, until one of my daughters spotted a group of guardsmen looking our way with some sort of viewing device and said something to the effect that we were being spied upon … I should probably stop walking around barely clothed.

No tanks now, no National Guardsmen and me too old to care who sees what this time around.

But I do sometimes wonder about the people who live across from my now patio.


The backside of their unit faces me. There’s nothing there but a wall and one window. (The other window is the front side of the unit belonging to the nice old guy who's sweet on Church Lady).

Inasmuch as I make a point not to look into neighbor's windows, there's no reason for the couple to cover their window with all manner of drapes and black screens. So, I have to wonder if the coverage is not so much to keep me from looking in, but to keep the husband from looking out.

It's surprising management hasn’t given that couple a violation, because it’s in the lease that all management want to see on windows is white — white curtains or white blinds.

And speaking of management, heading out to the Pain Cave this morning I saw Assistant Manager’s car had taken a beating over the weekend.


Looks like Assistant Manager or her husband ran into the back of someone else.

The damage appears to be extensive, so extensive that I wonder how they managed to not only drive it back to the complex, but back it into their parking spot.

My better angel is telling me to call the office, check on Assistant Manager, see if she’s okay.

The not so angelic part of me is saying … keep out of it, let management take care of management.

I’m going not so angelic today — hoping everything’s okay with Assistant Manager and her husband, but not reaching out.

Sooner or later I’ll run into my buddy Apache. He’ll fill me in.

By the way, that loft apartment I had back in the day, even though it was in the heart of everything, only cost me $750 a month in rent. Since the area is now even more popular than it was back then, I went online to see if the building was still there.

It is and appears to have a new look, and a boatload of amenities that would attract millennials. A one bedroom rents for $2072 - $2104. Monthly rent on the loft is now $2338.

I was the right person in the right place back in the day, so lucky to have had that loft before it became too expensive. I loved living there and only left because a job relocation moved me to San Diego.

Hated it.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

So Much Drama

Whining, bitching, arguments, crying … so much crying, so many tears.

I’m not talking about the world of politics, nor am I referring to anything happening here on the complex. I’m referring to Food Network’s holiday competitions.

I don’t know if it’s the stress of the pandemic reaching over into the world of cakes and cookies, but there are behaviors on camera like I’ve never seen outside of one of those housewives’ or bachelor/bachelorette shows.

In last week’s episode of Holiday Wars, one team member was baking an egg-shaped pastry for the judges.

Explaining that she was unfamiliar with the altitude, she burned a batch, but quickly recovered, had the time, made another batch.

The camera pans over to a teammate who began throwing shade ….. “Why’s she even here? … She’s not doing any real work”.

“What? …. Me? .... I’m not doing anything?” asked the one making treats for the judges.

“Nothing but burning things”, said the teammate throwing shade.

The shade was totally unnecessary in my eyes, especially coming from someone on the same team.

Nothing further happened on camera, but I hope the one making treats called the other out on her unnecessary digs and gave her an in-your-face because that team won the challenge, and won mainly on the basis of the little egg-shaped pastries that the judges gushed about.

And speaking of the judges … There’s a new judge working alongside long-time judge Shinmin Li.

I don’t know who this new judge is, never heard of her, but she’s quite rude.

She and Shinmin are butting heads, making no effort to hide the fact they don't like working with each other.

There was a verbal catfight between the two on last week’s episode that had me clutching my imaginary pearls.


The word "war" in Holiday Wars is supposed to refer to one team battling another, not the judges fighting between themselves.

And the crying

Mostly from this one guy on a particular team, who can’t seem to hold it together and looks to have come to the competition already on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

He’s constantly looking worried, wringing his hands, weeping, so insecure about his skills as a cake artist that his team members have to take time from the competition to reassure him that he’s doing great (he isn’t).

Even the judges have been walking on eggshells, when critiquing his work, as he's obviously on the edge.

That cake artist is just not wrapped tight enough to handle the pressure of a competition, and previews of next week seem to indicate the meltdown happens. Clips show him shaking, crying, yelling at a team member that he doesn’t like the way she’s talking to him, possibly walking out.

I hope he does because there’s a reason for his insecurity, i.e., his work isn’t that good, and his histrionics over it is bringing the team down.

I know these shows have medics on duty, just in case a participant has a culinary accident. Me thinks they should also have a shrink on set.

On Monday’s holiday cookie competition, hosted by Food Network Star Winner Eddie Jackson and Pioneer Woman Rhea Drummond, one cookie maker referred to Rhea as Sandra Lee.

Sandra is the blonde chef who hosts Almost Homemade and looks nothing like Rhea.

Who knew there could be so much drama in cake and cookies.

There’s a new show based on a game called Candyland.

I’ve never heard of the game and though the premise of the show is interesting, I’m not all that sure I can continue to watch because the moderator has this high-pitched squeaky voice that is hard to listen to. Not to mention there’s a sugar artist in the competition that I’ve seen in other competitions.

She’s been the sugar artist on several Halloween competitions, and came across as mean, a bully. So much so that I, as a Black woman, was embarrassed because she too is Black.

Thankfully, I’ve not seen her on screen in last two years — probably, because of her behavior, no team would accept her.

When I saw her face pop up on Candyland, it was like OH NO! NOT YOU AGAIN!

So far, she’s keeping a smile on her face, but what she’s now presenting to the camera seems forced, fake.

She’s not a pretty woman, but nothing that a little make up can’t fix, and she needs to do something about her hair.

Speaking of hair, my locktician quit the business a few weeks ago.

She has a full-time job, is raising her niece’s daughter as her own and says that, with having to home-school the little girl AND a full-time job, she can no longer work in the braid salon.

Though she’s turned me over to another locktician, I’ve decided not to risk, in a pandemic, being that close to anyone else. Especially, since the locktician she turned me over to is the teenage daughter of the woman who owns the salon.

I’m sure the kid qualifies as a locktician, but I’d rather let my braids grown out, and go for whatever style I'm left with, than risk a teenager, or even another adult.

It’s a bright sunny day outside, the wind is down, so I finally got around to giving the severely weather damaged patio chair a makeover.

Before

After

It needs another coat or two, but is already looking better ready to be surrounded by Christmas decorations, which I hope to get to next week. Possibly on Thanksgiving Day.

Oh ... and by the way. In the process of painting the chair, I somehow managed to get paint in my hair and ruin a perfectly good tank top.



I think I'd look good with red hair. LOL.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Whatdoyaknow

Watching an episode of Dateline on Sunday, an episode I’d recorded earlier in the week, I looked away from the screen when a Honda commercial popped up.

THEN, hearing a voice that sounded familiar, I looked up and whatdoyaknow ......... it was Twin 1


Sitting in that infamous throne-like chair no less.

"Infamous" because the chair was the prized possession of my ex-husband — the girls’ dad.

The throne-like appearance of the chair really epitomizes how their dad viewed himself ... his personality.

During a period when I was struggling to provide for his daughters, a period when finances were so tight that we were living on pinto beans and hot water cornbread, no meat in the beans because I couldn’t afford meat, their dad made a point to tell the girls during one of their visits, knowing they'd tell me, that he was spending $5,000 on having this chair, his throne, refurbished.

He was so proud of that chair that he’d probably would have liked to be buried in it.

That didn’t happen, so the girls’ stepmom (Wife No. 4) gave the girls the throne when he died and, it’s been going back/forth between the girls ever since.

Last few years, Twin 1 seems to have taken permanent possession.

When visiting, I make a point to taunt their dad by planting my butt on his throne. I get such a kick out of imagining my doing so is probably causing him to roll over in his grave.

During one such visit, I think the girls’ dad got so riled up that he not only roll over in his grave, but jumped out of it and made his presence/displeasure known because, sitting on his throne, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my lower back, which pain lasted a while, but didn’t encourage me to get up.

LOL.

Me on His Throne, Thanksgiving 2018

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Smooth Operator

Returning from the Pain Cave yesterday, before heading upstairs to my unit, I looped around the path to pick up mail. Then, continuing the loop to get to my unit, I could see someone, off in the distance, sitting on the bench outside the farthest laundry room.

Inasmuch as I couldn’t see clearly who it was, I looked in another direction and pretended I didn’t notice the figure. But then the person, in an obvious attempt to get my attention, coughed.

I played along, looked over and, when the person waived, I waived back, by then pretty certain it was Handsome Man.

Since he'd gone to the trouble of, clearly, forcing a cough to be noticed, I walked over to chat him up.

It appears that, with the holidays coming, Handsome Man is either bored or lonely because he turned an otherwise innocuous conversation about this, that, the other, into trying to impress me with his resume — repeating a lot of what I already knew, having heard it from him before.

That he’s a Seventh Day Adventist, active in his church.

Has a side security business.

Is licensed to carry.

That he’s also a barber. Which, by the way, during this pandemic, he says he’s now cutting hair in people’s homes.

His resume is good … that is if I believe it.

I’m jaded, remember.

But with Handsome Man, I actually do believe what he’s been telling me for some time now. Problem is …. I'm not interested in his impressive resume, because I'm not hiring.

He’s nice. I like seeing him around ... you know, eye candy. I like talking to him. And I like that he, like my buddy Apache, looks out for me, but that’s all.

I'm way too old, too tired, too jaded, way too content with the status quo to throw a monkey wrench into my peaceful, quiet existence with anything else ... anyone else.

Handsome Man, however, appears to be a lot less tired or content, because he's on the prowl.

He interjected, a few times into the conversation,  “I’m a single man ... I've been single for three years ... a single man needs a good woman”.

No way, no how, with his good looks and impressive working man's resume do I believe he's been single for three years. Perhaps I heard it wrong and it's three months.

At any rate, I'm quite sure he can have his pick from the ladies at his church.

He can have his pick around here as well.

In fact, when he first moved in, my Next Door Neighbor gave it a shot. Had him over to dinner and was gleefully jumping around when telling me she’d gotten his telephone number.

I guess that didn’t go anywhere, because she’s never said anything about him since, and he’s never mentioned her to me.

So anyway, along with repeating multiple times in the conversation that “I’m a single man … a single man needs a good woman”, he kept complimenting me on how I take care of myself by working out, how good I was looking in my leopard print mask and leopard leggings. THEN, he worked into the conversation something to the effect that a good woman would be an aid, that they could share and life would be easier.

RUH ROH!

Easier for who ... easier how?, thought I.

Was he shopping that old theory that "Two can live as cheap as one"? 

If so, this one is doing fine by herself, so I said, “I don’t think so. If you get a woman (meaning me ... not that he would or could get this woman, but just so he knows who he's dealing with), she's going to expect the onus to be on you. No halfsies, no sharing, no help a brother out, but you going all in".

Does that make me sound like a gold-digger?

I don’t think so, because I'm not the one shopping my resume around.

I like my life just as it is. If some guy wants to disrupt my flow, take up my time, it should be made worth it to me ─ wine, dine, flowers. Especially when it’s someone I’m not particularly interested in as anything other than a friend.

Handsome Man smiled and said "understood".

I think he enjoys that I'm such a hard case. That I sometimes talk to him so harshly, so bluntly.

We chatted a little while longer about this, that, the other, Thanksgiving plans and our conversation ended with his saying he hoped to run into me again ... before Christmas he said. So we'll see if he "understood".

Smooth Operator? … Not so much.

Speaking of wanting to get involved in my life, a short while later, back in my unit, I logged on and deleted that friend request from Friend’s Sister. She and I had little contact in the beginning of the 40+ years I’ve known her sister, and she’s had no contact or interest in me since I last saw her, some 30+ years ago, so pffff.