Monday, July 16, 2018

It’s a Good Thing He’s Dreamy Looking

Waking up at 6:00 to 62˚ weather this morning, I thought it a good time to head to the mall to do the Virtual 5K that was too hot to complete on World Chocolate Day before 62˚ rose to the expected 99˚.
Two things prevented me from doing so. One was the fact Mall Security had given me a flyer, last time I was there, indicating it wasn’t safe for mall walkers before 7:30 and walkers spotted before that time would be asked to leave. Second was the fact I had a dental appointment scheduled for this morning. So, looks like the 5k is going to be pushed forward yet again.
This morning’s dental appointment was the first visit since the emotional goodbye to my long-time hygienist.
I was apprehensive of someone new, because I’d had a bad experience many years ago when another long-time hygienist, in a Huntington Park dental office, retired and the young lady taking her place made it clear, by body language and tone of voice, that she didn’t like working on a Black person.
Her anger at having to do so transmitted into her fingers and she actually hurt me.
Racism embarrasses me. It’s so ugly that I don't like to acknowledge it. I don’t like to point it out when it happens to me, I don't like to talk about or fight against it. I’m a “rather switch than fight” type person, so that’s what I did -- I switched to the current dental office and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
Of course, having been with the old dental office for decades -- even my children were patients, when I told the dentist’s assistant that I’d not be returning, she questioned my reason.
I lied saying it was too far to travel.
There had obviously been some discussions with the young dental technician expressing her not wanting to work on a Black person, and being told to do so or go elsewhere to work -- which is why she worked angry, because the assistant pointedly asked me, “Is that the REAL reason?”
I lied again and said yes.
At any rate, this morning’s new hygienist turned out very well.
Through chatting between moments when a tool was not in my mouth, I learned she too does 5Ks, some virtual, some in person. And, in fact, when the Diva Run came to Ontario some three/four years ago, she’d participated but didn’t remember seeing the costumed group I was walking with (Justice League – Wonder Woman, Spider Girl, Bat Girl).
She, like the last hygienist, is an older lady (late 50's early 60's maybe) working in an office full of young girls, and she only works three-days a week. Since we hit it off so well, I can only hope she’s not planning to retire any time soon.
I was prepared for x-rays this morning, but that didn’t happen. However, the bill was so high that I questioned if they’d included x-rays by mistake.
They had not.
By the time I got back to the complex, certain there had been a mistake because the bill was over $100 more than I’m accustomed to pay for a cleaning, I called and asked for a detail of charges.
The extra $120 was for an exam, because Doctor McDreamy came in, examined my teeth, said they were pretty, well-cared for and no cavities.
Since all he gave me was good news and because he’s still a drop dead handsome silver fox, after 12 years of watching him age, I guess looking upon his eye-candy self is worth an extra $120.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Risky Business

Yesterday was Friday the 13th and I didn’t freak out and stay indoors in order to assure safety from any mishaps.
Am I superstitious?
Why yes ... yes I am.
I admit to avoid walking under ladders, throwing salt over my left shoulder, and there was once a black cat here on the complex. One day, when it happened to be headed in a direction that would take it across my path, I turned around and began walking backwards so the cat would not be technically crossing my path but my back.
Having planned to leave the complex at 11:00, headed for Macy’s in Rancho to replenish moisture cream and go athletic shoe shopping BEFORE I realized yesterday was Friday the 13th, once I saw the date it took me until 1:00 to work up the courage to overcome superstition and head out.
The drive was brown knuckling all the way and, arriving without incident in the parking lot, I was rewarded with a Summer Pikachu as I stepped out of the car.



Needing a black pair of trainers, because the current pair has been worn to excess, I walked into a sale.



Unfortunately, the black ones were not on sale, not available at another store and, I am told, not in stock to be shipped to me, so I settled for the red white and blue (looks pink here but trust me, it's red) -- on sale at minus $30.
I still need black trainers so I’m just gonna test that out-of-stock theory and see if I can’t find them online.
Later, leaving Macy’s, I caught another Summer Pikachu.



So all in all, not an unlucky day.
There was a Farmer’s Market in progress in the area. However, not wanting to push my luck, I headed straight for home.
On another note, I’d like to thank the UK for giving our Orange Idiot-in-Chief the welcome he so richly deserves.



Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What’s Happening Now

Nothing to report on today’s Pizza Tuesday. That’s because I didn’t make it down to the Community Room in time to people watch the event.
Why?
Well, that’s because I woke up at 3:00 this morning. I was still lying in bed awake, trying to go back to sleep, when it felt like the bed and building shook just a tad.
Was that an earthquake? thought I.
Not being sure, I looked over at the cellphone to check the time and reminded myself to Google “earthquakes today” when I later got out of bed – it was 4:09.



Not surprising with the weather we’ve had – extensive heat, mixed with flash floods, an earthquake had to be next.
Fortunately, it was rather tiny. If I’d not been awake, I would not have even noticed it.
I eventually fell back asleep, and found myself waking up around 9:30, rather than the usual 6:30.
By the time I’d completed the morning ritual, it was too late to head down to the Community Room, so I decided to run errands instead.
I do know Church Lady was back in the Community Room this morning. I happened to see her headed that way with her young grandson. In fact, I’ve been seeing Church Lady back into her old schedule of heading for the Community Room every morning.
School out for summer, we see a lot of pre-teens and teens staying with grandma until school starts again.
Nothing for them to do here, it’s got to be boring.
We have the pool and I’d mentioned it to Church Lady’s grandson last week, but he said she won’t allow it.
Why?
I’ve no idea.
Handsome Guy is on vacation. Told me last week he was heading for Atlanta, then Alabama, then New York saying he had to get out of here because he’s tired of seeing the same faces day-after-day. He then chided me for not following suit, saying “Lot of folks here are stuck, but there’s no excuse for you, because you have a car.”
True, but “What’s the point when I don’t like to travel” said I. And further, “I don’t understand how other people do enjoy it”.
“It’s something new”, said he “Different faces, different places.”
“Yes, but it's still the same old thing with a new face in a new place. I’d rather read about it or see it on television”.
It ended with Handsome Guy not understanding my desire to stay put, and my not understanding his desire to roam.
May have something to do with the fact he’s bored, talking about moving again.
He’s been talking about moving ever since I’ve known him. In fact, when I first became aware of him in 2016, as he was moving from the west side of the complex to the east side, he was in his third move. That’s moving from one unit to another, to another, to another.
Why?
I don’t know why the first two, but the third was because he was on the bottom floor and had an old lady above him who wasn’t happy with a Black male so close by. She ran him off by making racist remarks and purposely dropping things on the floor to annoy him downstairs.
Since his occupation is that of Security Guard, and he has a concealed carry, and he's friendly, helpful, protective, that resident should have been not only happy to have him as a neighbor, but grateful. However, as I’ve known my entire life, and others are beginning to now see, some folks are so stuck on skin color they can’t see content or character.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Mmm ... Chocolate

Yesterday was World Chocolate Day, commemorating “the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550” and, in celebration, Krispy Kreme was transforming its traditional glazed donut into a chocolate version.



Of course, I can’t eat chocolate, let alone a donut, without becoming ill, but I’d pretty much made up my mind to do it anyway. After all, thought I, how sick can I get from one or two or three Krispy Kreme’s and for how long? I was planning on finding out.
But I woke up that morning with sweat dripping down my face and the thermostat registering over 90 inside the unit, because I’d not set the A/C to kick in over 85 because I don’t like the sound of the A/C running during the night and I was trying to tough it out.
It’s a wonder I didn’t die of heatstroke in my sleep.
The plan for yesterday, other than to indulge my chocolate craving, was to walk a virtual 5k in the comfort of the air-conditioned mall, with yet another cool medal to arrive in the mail upon completion.



Fortunately, rules state the virtual can be run at any location, with participants either walking, using the treadmill, or biking, and “Complete your race any time in July, even better if you complete it on July 7th!”.
After waking up, already wiped out from the heat before I even got out of bed, the 7th was not an option. Of course, I could have employed the indoor bike, but that doesn’t burn as many calories as walking, so I’ve put off the 5k until the mood hits next week or so, minus the stop by Krispy Kreme because chocolate glaze was a one day only thing.
You know how they say “everything happens for a reason”? Waking up wiped out not only kept me from a gut episode, but indoors, away from the mall area, and that turned out to be a good thing because, in the middle of this heatwave, warnings began popping up on the television of a flash flood in this area and where I would have been had I driven to the mall.
No way, thought I. The sun was shinning and it was Hyades hot.
But then, sure enough, it suddenly went dark outside, I heard thunder then came the heavy rain.
So ominous, thought I. What’s next ... an earthquake?
I got caught in a flash flood a block from my current residence once, and it was scary. I couldn’t see ahead of me to drive on or pull over, so I stopped in place not knowing what was coming up behind me. Fortunately, it was over as quickly as it appeared and I made it around the corner and into my complex.
Same with yesterday’s flash flood, it was over as quickly as it appeared and the sun went back to burning.
Last night, I set the A/C to kick in at 85 inside, which it did at 7:00 a.m.
That’s still a little warm, but I didn’t wake up in a sweat or wiped out, so I might venture out in search of a Summer Pikachu today. One appeared in the unit yesterday.


So cute.
But I need to catch 300 in order earn a Fan Medal, which gives me access to special gear.
Of course, I won’t hunt in motion. I’ll drive to a known Pokéstop, park, sit in the air-conditioned car, load the app, catch what I can, exit the app, drive to the next stop.

Friday, July 6, 2018

My New Normal

Planning on a lazy day inside under the A/C, it wasn’t until late, around 10, when I decided to get started on the morning ritual of makeup and getting dressed.
About that same time, I heard sirens.
Not unusual in this senior complex, especially when it’s hot like this, but I nevertheless listened to see if they appeared to be stopping here.
They weren’t, so I went about my business of doing nothing, planning another indoors day.
Along about 10:45, I was on facebook checking out comments to a comment I made on the Big Brother site. There’s a woman on the program named Kaitlyn, who prides herself on her occupation as Life Coach – teaching others how to meditate and handle life’s circumstances calmly quietly. However, upon learning the guy in the house she likes is in like with someone else she fell apart ... crying and raging with jealousy, eventually out-of-anger flipping and voting for the opposition. To make matters worse, she is now Head of House. No question her targets for eviction, as a woman who feels scorned, will be the guy she likes and the girl he likes.
I should be ashamed to admit watching and getting involved in "reality TV", but I’m not. I’ve been hooked on this show since the first episode in 2000 and have never missed a season. What interests me is how people are blind to their true selves until, placed in a situation with others and no outside diversions, the masks they wear in daily life begin to peel off and true character appears – like Kaitlyn’s occupation of telling others how to live life when she’s a mess her own darn self.
It’s fascinating.
At any rate, while on facebook my archeologist friend posted ...



Ohhhhh. Thus, the sirens.
I quickly finished dressing, opened the front door and was faced with a wall of heat ...



I managed a short walk around, no fire in sight, but I could smell fire and saw helicopters off in the distance.
Once back inside, feeling a little dizzy from just that short time in the heat, I logged into local news.



That’s the Devore area where lives our former Assistant Maintenance Guy. He said he hated his new house and wished that last fire had swallowed it up.
Be careful what you wish for.
At any rate, not close enough to us for worry, but I'm prepared. My Go Bag and Checklist for My Family papers were rechecked, restocked, put in place and made ready the minute Summer, known around here as Fire Season, appeared.


To the left are items I've recently added to the Go Bag -- a carry bag for the Instant Pot so, if I land in a hotel during an emergency, I can cook my own food, and a soft-sided electric cooler with adapter, so I can comfortably store food items in the car or hotels that do not have mini fridges.
Hope for the best this fire season, plan for the worst.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

May the 4th Be with You

That would be the 4th of July, not the 4th of Star Wars Day.
Either way, I’m not feeling it this year.
It may be the heat that’s killing my vibe, it may be the political climate, it may be I’ve been infected with negative vibes coming from one of the seniors I was around at today’s potluck, it may be I had another attack on my parenting skills a few days ago by someone who made my life a living hell for two plus decades, walked all over me saying “You can’t tell me what to do” when I tried to keep her from creating what is now her reality, and somehow feels I’m the bad guy and don’t love her and that I'm judging her because I’m not now involving myself/stressing myself in whatever it is she is experiencing in having to deal with/work herself through what she herself created. It may be a mixture of all of the above, but I’m not in the mood for this holiday.
Nevertheless, I made it down to Pizza Tuesday and hung around after, just long enough to take photos of the potluck for the resident’s Facebook page.
The event was a success, but in no way because of the Activity Director, but because of her volunteers.
In fact, the Activity Director drove into the parking lot around 11:00, exited the car, headed to Community Manager’s office, and we didn’t see her until around 1:30, well after everyone, once again, did her job for her.
The two ladies who opted out of picking up and delivering pizzas, because Activity Director wanted them to fill out a form and submit to background checks, evidently changed their mind because they did the usual pickup and delivery.
The loose woman organized the pizzas, breadsticks, chicken wings, handled the sign-in sheet and distributed the goods.
The Baker and The Woman that Owns the Room set up the potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, melons, cookies, and other dishes residents brought to the potluck. Assistant Maintenance Guy barbequed the hot dogs.
Head Maintenance Guy is on vacation and, btw, his wife hasn’t delivered yet but “any minute” I’m told.
When I left shortly after 1:30, I’d not seen Activity Director do a single solitary thing except walk in, push for her Thrive in Place -- she’s calling it, and disappear again. She’s saying insurance companies are looking at being fined for their insureds going in and out of hospital. That our plan information is needed for purposes of health information being analyzed to see what we need to thrive in place.
No thanks.
What I need is for you to stop putting your job off on residents, even if they are willing minions.
I was correct in estimating about 30 residents would show up, with only seven having signed to bring a dish. That number eventually rose to thirteen, but 30 or more did show up and there was plenty of food for all.
Handsome Guy made an appearance. We had quite a nice conversation on varying topics, one of which is how much The Seer has changed since hooking up with Shadow.
I’ve been noticing the change in her and was trying to figure out the what and why of it. First thing I noticed was her beginning to come across as over-the-top arrogant and the loss of her sense of humor. Instead of the usual laughing at what I’d say, she began taking my words way too seriously, shutting me down with “You see, I don’t like this... that ... the other”. It came across as arrogant, but I let it go and, because she wasn’t fun any longer, I began chatting with her less and less.
I don’t mean to knock Shadow’s appearance but, believe you me, he’s visually nothing for her to be arrogant over, even if he does cater to her and call her “My Queen”.
When she walked into the Community Room today, all by herself, I inquired “Where’s your shadow?”
Her head went up in a royal manner, she looked down her nose at me and said, “What shadow do you mean? A lot of people shadow me.”
“Your White Shadow”, said I.
She went into a tirade about being sick and tired of people calling him her shadow.
I thought I was the only one, but if others are saying so as well, then there you go. However, I actually don't think anyone else has said so to her because other people don't really talk to her any longer. I think it was just another instance of her being judgmental, finding fault with what I'd said.
At any rate, I tried to peel her off the ceiling by saying that if others are saying so, then they must be joking because I was joking. And further, that I found it sweet that he follows her around.
She calmed down but left it with, “I’ve had enough of having him called my shadow”.
Heard.
Later, when Shadow himself walked in, I said, “Your girlfriend is going to tell you I’ve given you a nickname ... White Shadow. Do you have a problem with it?”
He smiled, shrugged his shoulders and said “No. When I was in high school they called me Tigger”.
“Tigger ... Like the comic character?”
“Yes”.
“Why?”
“Because I had a girl on both arms”.
I don’t get it, but okay, at least he’s cool with me.
As for The Seer, arrogance and pride go before a fall. She’s heading for a great one.
She’s been complaining that “all these women are hating on me because they’re jealous”.
I bought into her losing friends because of jealousy, but now I see ... it’s not jealousy, it’s just that folks are not putting up with her new haughty “I am the Queen” behavior and judgmental attitude.
Talking with Handsome Guy about how The Seer has changed, he said something about how surprised he was to see her dropping so far below her level in choosing Shadow. That’s when I got it ... Her arrogance is actually her being defensive because, in the back of her mind, she realizes she’s settled low and is looking for an argument and a fight where there is none.
At any rate, I can’t deal with people I have to walk on eggshells to be around. So, girl bye.
One funny thing that came out of today’s event was when The Baker asked Handsome Guy to sign a birthday card for R_____. He said he didn’t know who R_____ was.
“Sure you do”, said The Baker. “She lives in our area”.
He still couldn’t place her.
“She’s tiny, drives a red Cadillac”, said The Baker.
Still, Handsome Guy couldn’t place her.
“She’s a little b!tch and a bully”, said I.
“OH! I know who that is”, says Handsome Guy and he signed the card.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Touché

I had no intention of getting on the road day before a holiday but, when I realized this morning that I could go no further on the needlepoint project, because I was missing a color, I decided I had no choice but to head out to the craft store into what I expected to be crowds and traffic jams.
I made it as far as the market yesterday, wearing shorts, and the world did not end but chickened out of going out-of-the-area in shorts and changed into leggings before heading to the craft store.
The roads were surprisingly clear, and the only crowd or jam I observed was at the Costco gas pump, which I decided I wasn’t in desperate need of gas and passed on.
Arriving back at the complex, I detoured through the Community Room to check the sign-up sheet for tomorrow’s 4th of July BBQ. With only seven residents signing up, I didn’t pick up a lot of interest but that doesn’t mean 30 moochers won’t show up and partake of the hot dogs provided by Activity Director and the side dishes provided by the seven who signed up to bring a dish.
We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.
Heading back to my unit, I ran into the grandmother that brought her granddaughter to last week’s Pizza Tuesday and said, “It’s probably hard to tell because she’s blond, that her dad is Black” and I’d said, “Not hard at all. I could tell she was mixed the minute she walked through the door”.
Grandmother was sitting in the lobby, I wasn’t quite sure if she was angry over my being a little too honest, but took a chance and greeted her with a smile.
She greeted me back and made a comment about the weather.
I said something about expecting a high bill because I’ve been having to turn the A/C on at 7:00.
As we were ending the conversation about the weather, and I began to move on she blurted out, “How old are you?”
What a question. People around here don't ask questions like that but, after a moment of shock, I replied “Seventy-four”.
“Oh? Really? I thought you were around 69”.
“Touché!" I thought to myself as I smiled because, inasmuch as I’m accustomed to people thinking I’m much younger than 69, I took it as an attempt at revenge for my not playing the game and feigning surprise at her pronouncement her granddaughter was mixed.
At any rate, inasmuch as I'm 74, 69 is not much of a burn, but if it makes her feel better, then okay, feel better.