Monday, November 12, 2018

Fire Weather

Waking up this morning, feeling like I’d had a full night’s sleep, out of bed I popped, feeling energetic and ready to get the day started.
Then I looked at the clock.
It was 1:45!
I don’t usually wake up that early unless my subconscious is telling me there’s a disturbance in the force, so I looked around the unit, outside through the windows, perked my ears, but saw and heard nothing.
Not ready to try to go back to sleep, I booted up the computer, logged onto facebook and saw my Archeologist friend had posted this …

That’s behind the University, where I’d planned to go walking today.
Thinking my spidey sense had awakened me at 1:45 because I needed to be concerned, I opened the patio windows, stepped out, listened for sirens, smelled for smoke. Having neither heard nor seen either, I decided it was safe to go back to bed, only I wasn’t sleepy.
Knowing I was going to have a hard time falling back asleep, I meditated for a bit THEN pulled out something better than a sleeping pill --- Bob Woodward’s Fear.
I STILL haven’t finished that book, but it’s not that I’m a slow reader, it’s because, unless you’re a History buff, the book is soooooo bloody slow, soooooo boring, a snooze fest. I’m lucky if I can get through six pages without yawning and then getting too sleepy to continue reading.
At any rate, after the book put me back to sleep, I reawaken at 7:00, checked to see what was happening behind the University and found fire services had everything under control. The fire was out.
Strange though that I didn’t hear engines or helicopters.
Looking at what happened in Paradise California — where the entire town has burned to the ground, and seeing what's happening in Malibu, I’m taking last night’s sleepus interruptus as a warning and reevaluating my priorities.
There is nothing in this unit I value more than the 15 Creative Memory Albums and, considering the Jeep I bought back in March doesn’t have near as much trunk and back seat space as the Saturn I had before, those albums and important papers are my saves. The two laptops can be replaced and, much as I love my sewing machine, that too can be replaced. A couple pair of leggings, tops, pj’s and toiletries are in the go-bag, but the go-bag comes after the albums and important papers, only if time permits --- because I can always buy more clothes and toiletries.
Heading over to the campus to put in some walking miles, and collect Poké Balls, didn’t happen. It was way too windy for that. Instead, I joined the seniors for November Birthday Celebration in the Community Room.
Attendance was sparse. Actually, only one with a birthday this month made an appearance. Then there was myself, The Baker, younger sister, older sister, The Seer and, of course, her Shadow. We all came just to support the event. But, with the poor attendance, I doubt the new Community Manager, whose event it was, will bother with December birthdays.
Checking the bulletin board, I see 42 residents have signed up for the catered Thanksgiving affair.
That’s quite good. The room will be full.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Senior Down

Today started off well with an in-depth apartment cleaning, including replacing the patio’s outdoor rug, severely damaged by wind, rain, sun. The cosplay costumes went back into storage for this time next year, scrapbooking supplies came out of storage in preparation for adding photos from the last three events to the album, i.e., the community’s Halloween Breakfast/Costume Contest, Halloween Wigged Out 5K and last Sunday’s Wonder Woman Run.
Along about 11:00, I headed out to the dumpster and spied a roadrunner ─ the second I’ve seen on the property, and realized I didn’t have my cellphone.
I rushed to the dumpster, deposited my bag, then rushed back upstairs for the cellphone to take video of the creature.
Because it’s not something I see every day. In fact, never until that first encounter about a month ago and it fascinates me that they walk, instead of fly, and walk just like in the cartoons ─ at hyper speed, but without making a beep beep sound.
So, cellphone in hand, I rush back downstairs, walked along the perimeter and managed to find him over by the mail center.
The mail carrier thought I was taking photos of her.
She started posing and asked, “You taking photos of me?”
“No”, replied I, “I’m trying to capture this roadrunner”.
She went back to her mail sorting, I turned around and spotted the roadrunner sitting on top of an air conditioning thingie, stepped off the concrete path into landscaping, started video running and that’s when my day took a turn for the worse.
Focus on the roadrunner, I began moving about for a better shot, failing to remember I’d stepped off  the path and into shrubbery, backed up and fell over a bush.
I managed to hold onto the cellphone during the fall, so the fall and roadrunner were captured on video, which video I’d post for you except I heard a strong curse word come from my mouth during the fall and no one needs to hear that.
The No. 1 fear for us seniors is a fall.
A fall can change your whole life.
One guy took a fall on the property, hit his head, went into rehab and we never saw him again.
One woman took a fall, ended up having to have a shoulder replacement operation.
In my case, nothing was broken ─ thank you God, but I ended up with a bruised and very sore right hip, a nasty looking bloody scrape on the right elbow, my right ankle feels sore, as does the palm of my right hand, which I probably tried to use my right hand to brace the fall from soft landscaping dirt onto the pavement.
I don’t think anyone saw me, not even the mail carrier. If anyone did, it’ll get around and will eventually work its way to me. In which case, the rumor mill will probably say I was drunk -- which is what was said about the woman with the shoulder replacement. I myself don't drink and the Santa Ana Winds were blowing hard so, if I anyone tells me they heard I fell, rather than admit I made a stupid mistake, I'm gonna blame it on the strong winds. ROFLMAO!
The injury didn’t slow me down. After treating the broken skin areas with Bactine and Iodine, to avoid infection, I limped around and finished the in-depth cleaning, including vacuuming the carpets, waxing the linoleum tiles.
Knowing my body is going to stiffen up and begin to ache from the trauma, as soon as I stop moving ─ making it difficult to get out of bed tomorrow, plan for this evening is a good soak in Epsom salt.
Me thinks I’d better restrict my cellphone capturing to virtual, i.e., PokémonGo.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Back in the Saddle

After the energy and excitement of the Wonder Woman Run, it’s taking some doing to settle back down into senior living.
This month’s Activity Calendar showed a Veteran’s event, 9:30 – 11:00 yesterday.
I usually don’t have my makeup on that early in the morning, but made an effort to pull myself together, get out and down to the Community Room in time for the event only to find the main building deserted and locked up tight as a drum, because it doesn’t open until 10:00.
Once management and the Activity Director appeared and the building opened up, nothing happened. There was no event.
Next on the calendar is Fall Crafts, next Tuesday, 9:30 – 11:00.
Fool me once.
I now know to ignore 9:30, go down at 10:00 but, based on yesterday’s experience, I’m not banking on Crafts actually happening.
It’s not all about Activity Director being disorganized ─ which she is, but also having to do with Corporate’s spreading her too thin over too many different Corporate-Owned facilities.
Bottom line however is ... don’t put it on the calendar if you can’t do it.
On Wednesday the 21st, we have the first Residents/Management meeting with the new Community Manager.
My annoyance at events being scheduled for 9:30, when no one in management is here until 10:00, is not worth mentioning in the grand scheme of things, and I’m not aware of anyone else on the property having issues worth complaining about ... except my buddy Apache whose mission in life is to bend Corporate and on-site management to his will, but I will be attending.
Management may take some heat for the mailbox repair being so tacky, what with duct tape around the edges STILL rather than being cemented in.
Also on the calendar is a Thanksgiving Celebration, Tuesday the 20th, 11:00 ─ 1:00.
Lo and behold, it’s not a potluck. Management is going back to having the event catered.
Even though I won’t be able to eat anything served, I’ll go for the experience, sip on water, catch up with the seniors, take photos for our FB page.
Then I’m on the road, next day, for the second annual Thanksgiving visit with my formerly estranged daughter (Twin No. 1 by 5 minutes) and her brood to remind them I’m not dead yet, as no one on that side seems to pay any notice of me at all ─ even though it was I and Twin No. 2 who were there for them all those years when their mom fell down on the job of being a mom.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Wonder Woman 5K/10K

Sunday’s run/walk was more fun that even I had imagined.
Fun started with Saturday’s package pickup. There was music, interactive displays and, of course, a Wonder Woman lookalike.

Interactive WW Invisible Plane

Interactive Doll Box

Interactive Save the World

There was also a “Share Your Wonder Woman Moment” board to post the most bravest thing you’ve ever done, what you’re most proud of.

Most just wrote their name, but for me it was a no-brainer. My bravest moment and what I’m most proud of is having outwitted my ex-husband the week he planned to kill me to stop me from leaving him. I managed to trick him into leaving me alone and unguarded for ten minutes and, in those ten minutes, I was gone in the first two, having grabbed my six-month old twin girls and fled with the clothes we had on our backs.

Escaped My Abusive X

Icing at package pick-up was watching snippets of Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman television series and Gail Gadot’s movie version playing on a big screen. In addition, Linda Carter welcomed us to the event.

I’d previously posted that, inasmuch as my bib number was 1990 and I’d registered early, there was the likelihood of a lot of numbers after mine.
Was there ever!
Race Day was an ocean of participants dressed as Wonder Woman, men and women. A total of 5000 participants and a live band.
One could barely move through the venue, but so much life and activity and fun and excitement that no one seemed to mind.

I totally geeked out when I saw Batman in the crowd.

Geeked out AND managed to embarrass myself by saying, “I’m so excited to see you” as if he is the real Batman ... as if Batman is a real person.

As you can see, I decided to wear the tee provided by the race organizers, because it was cooler, paired with red leggings. The crown was too heavy, so I decided not to wear it and have it slow me down, as I’d planned to push myself and cross the finish line in under an hour.
Batman had competition.

At the Start Line, I turned around to show how many were ahead of me. So many that you can’t even see the front. And this is just the 5Ks, as the 10Ks started 30 minutes ahead of us.

This is what’s behind me. Once again, so many that you can’t see the end.

It was so cool that Linda Carter counted us down and we set off to the sound of the Wonder Woman theme.

Under an hour didn’t happen because, with so many on the course, it was difficult to maneuver. Plus, there was entertainment to see and enjoy all along the course ─ Cheer Squads, a D.J., the LA Clippers Spirit Team, Dancers.
Here are some interesting others I saw on the road.

What with dodging other runners/walkers, stopping to watch some of the entertainers, I came in at 1:06:30, ranking 8th in women 70-74.
At the finish line was water, bananas, protein bars and Wonder Woman donuts to refresh us.

Of course, I declined all but the water.
Also, at the finish line, was this cool medal for my collection.

Being as how this was an Inaugural Run and was so wildly popular, there’s a good chance they’ll be back next year.
I can’t wait, but next year I’ll wear the crown and cape.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

On the Road Again

Packing up for this afternoon’s package pickup for Sunday’s 5K.

I can’t decide on black leggings, red leggings or blue, so I’ll take ‘em all, try ‘em all on race day morning, and decide what looks best then. I’m leaning towards blue.
Whereas other (younger) participants prepare for the run/walks by loading up with carbs (pasta and potatoes), this is how I prepare.

Dr. Scholl's Running Insoles, Arthritis Crème, Pain Patches

But that’s not the dark side of participating in run/walks. The worse part, in my estimation, is package pick-up.
Because I can no longer handle a full day of an early morning drive of miles and hours on race day, pick up my bib/tee at the site, THEN immediately race and after drive miles and hours back to the complex, I drive up the day before, pick up race package, then book myself into a hotel near race site, so I can rest up and be fresh and ready to go that next morning.
It gets expensive, which is why Sunday’s Wonder Woman Run will probably be my last away run/walk this year. Maybe my last 5k this year period, as I’m not inclined to do the Riverside Turkey Trot again because I didn’t like that course. The path was rocky, which caused a foot injury and there were steep hills.
Fortunately, I can still do hills, but I don’t like ‘em.
At any rate, today’s package pick-up should be easy peasy as the pick-up point and the race site are both a block away from the hotel.
My bib assignment number is 1990.
That’s one thousand, nine hundred and ninety, and I registered fairly early, which means there are a lot of numbers after mine.
This race is going to be HUGE.
Type to you after.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween Candy Giveaway

Halloween here at the senior complex was trying to lure children in from passing cars.
Our intentions were pure, however.
We had fresh baked cupcakes and candy to giveaway.

We have no small children in this complex --- well we do have Head Maintenance Guy’s (HMG) two boys and now his little girl, but they don’t count because they don’t interact with us.
Not that any of us would mind but, judging from the way HMG doesn’t bring himself, the kids, his wife down for events, even when invited to do so, I get the impression they all keep away because Corporate directs staff not get too cozy with residents.
At least HMG smiles and says good morning to us now. When Nurse Ratched was managing the place, she ordered staff to keep their heads down -- not speak to us at all and not reply if we addressed them. The excuse she used was our greeting them, their greeting us back interfered with their workflow. In reality, she was just a control freak and also jealous – wanting all attention placed on herself.
But, as I was saying … even though we have no small children per se, moms and dads do sometimes bring their costumed children to show their grandmas before setting out to trick or treat, so we do get those few when us seniors set up a Trick or Treat here situation. Plus, cars driving by, with children, see us and pull in.
We did well enough last year that we were eager to get out there again.
This year, after an hour and a half in the cold wind, we received only one little visitor, and that one was the grandchild of a resident, so I headed back to my unit.

Apache, who stayed after I left, texted that four more showed up.
On another topic, along about 3:45 yesterday, next-door neighbor knocked on the door to say, “They’re getting their car back. They’re out there now”.
So Nosey was right, a car actually had been stolen.
Looking out the patio window, I could see a tow truck delivering the Toyota Camry to its parking spot, and a police officer helping the resident, I’ll refer to as The Old Guy with the Cane, go over the car. To check condition and contents I suppose.
With him was a woman who met Nosey’s description of having a breathing tank. I’m accustomed to seeing the Old Guy, but never saw the woman in all the years I’ve lived here, never knew Old Guy had a wife upstairs.
At any rate, I’m happy they got their car back and in what looks to be good condition. I hope they caught the thieves so they’ll be disinclined to come back and bother any of us again.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pizza Tuesday

Getting worried about Nosey — the neighbor in the downstairs corner across-the-quad unit that nothing gets by, I thought I’d check in with the folks this Pizza Tuesday morning to gather intel.
What has me worried about Nosey is, passing her unit returning from running errands yesterday, she saw me through the open patio window, called out my name and hurried out to the patio to say she was warning all of us in the quad to be on alert because, “The woman in that unit (pointing to my next-door neighbor’s unit) had her car stolen”.
“Do you mean L____”, said a stunned I.
My next-door neighbor being the woman who’d had such a difficult time adjusting to our simple level of living here, what with her background of being large and in charge as a State Commissioner, ordering staff about, always on the go, hanging out at fancy places, attending fancy events, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful.
It took her a little over two years to accept this not-fancy senior complex is her new normal, but evidently not really, because in an effort to recapture the past, she got herself elected to the position of President of the Residents’ Volunteer Activity Committee, then got herself quickly impeached because she was considered rude, imperialistic, treated other members of the committee as her employees/servants.
Nosey confirmed yes, it was L____ and, while Nosey was talking, I glanced over to where next-door neighbor parks and saw her car in its regular spot.
“Isn’t that her car right there?” asked I.
Nosey looked over and said, “No. That’s another car here that’s similar to hers”.
Skeptical at this point, I asked, “Who told you her car was stolen?”
“She did. She said she had a bar on it and everything, and only has liability”.
That’s pretty specific, so I walked away confused. Maybe there was another car that looked just like hers. Maybe they stole her car and returned it. I didn’t know.
However, later catching next-door neighbor taking out the trash, I asked, “Did Maxine get stolen?” Maxine being the name she’s given her late model Nissan.
She looked concerned for a second, looked over to where she parks, then said, “No. It’s there”.
Neighbor knew nothing about any car being stolen and said she’d had no such conversation with Nosey.
Either Nosey is pre-cognizant or losing it.
In the Community Room this morning, I learned there’s stuff going on, which has to do with Apache’s ongoing feud with management, but nothing about a stolen car.
Off to the market afterwards, I stopped by Nosey’s patio, got her attention and said I’d spoken to L____, her car had not been stolen.
“NO, not L_____ ..... HER! The woman who walks around with a breathing tank” (and she pointed upstairs but around the corner).
I’m not sure who that is, but why then didn’t she say so when she'd pointed upwards yesterday and I'd asked if she meant L_____ and she’d said yes? And why did she give me that song and dance about a similar looking car in L____'s parking space?
At any rate, since Nosey is the only one who says a car was stolen, I'll be playing it safe, just in case, and locking the bar on my steering wheel, instead of just slipping it on, for appearance sake, without locking.
Also, in the Community Room, I saw on TV that Whitey Bulger passed away.
True confession time ....
I uttered out loud that I’d developed a mad crush on Whitey after seeing Johnny Depp portray him in Black Sabbath, and that I’d researched Whitey and found he was drop dead handsome when he was younger. Oddly enough, another resident said she’d had the same experience of falling for Whitey after seeing Black Sabbath. We had a good laugh over “We always fall for the bad guys”, as she put it.
“Because they’re sexy and exciting”, added I.