Saturday, October 1, 2022

It’s the First of Halloween!!!

Let the decorating begin!

The rug and candy corn wreath went up on the front door bright and early.

Patio decorations will go up when the weather cools down a bit, or late one evening if a cool down doesn’t happen.

I guess I’m not the only one that was anxious for the First of Halloween as I did see some cute decorations when I was out and about this past week.

One of the ladies working the deli counter of the market, brought in and decorated the display case with her personal stash of witches.

At the medical center, the doctor’s assistant had this planter on her desk, saying she saw on social media that Trader Joe’s had them, so she rushed over and bought one.

Cute, but not something I was jonesing to run by TJ pick up one for myself.

My indoor decorations began to go up when, about a month ago, I ran into a skeleton cowboy. Seeing another skeleton cowboy a few weeks after, I snagged that one as well and, when I two weeks ago saw a spooky candelabra, I added it to the mix.

The shelf speaks to me, what with the skeletons and all year round on display Ex’s Ashes jar, so the shelf is going to be an all-year-round exhibit, displaying my dark side.

Then there’s this gem I ran into at the craft store when I wasn’t even looking for it.

I was really bummed out when, a few days after returning from Long Beach Pride, I could not find my Wonder Woman coffee tumbler and realized I must have left it in the hotel room.

Unable to replace that exact tumbler, I wasted $30.14 on a Starbucks tumbler. “Wasted” because hot coffee didn’t stay hot but a minute.

Deciding to live with luke warm coffee when out and about, the Witches Brew tumbler jumped out at me while at the craft store.

It was kismet because the tumbler was the only one on the shelf and in the wrong location had I been looking for a tumbler. Hot stays hot and the cost was a third of the Starbucks tumbler.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Custom (sic) Contest

I was not looking forward to today being a bingo day, because I had much too much to do after this morning’s workout, but I pivoted and showed up.

Talk at bingo was about the death of my former friend the Seer.

Word was she passed away in the hospital, surrounded by family with "compassionate care" last night.

I was sorry to hear it and somewhat surprised, though I should not have been because I was forewarned in 2021 that she’d be the next to go.

When I woke up one morning in March, began heading out of the bedroom, I suddenly heard "J____ (The Seer) is next".

That’s a weird thought, I said to myself as I stopped dead in my tracks thinking it to be a death premonition. Then, I shook my head to get the thought out of my head.

At the time, I’d assumed it meant the Seer would be the next person living on the complex to die. However, inasmuch as she didn’t pass away until last night, in 2022, I’m thinking it must have meant the next person in our group to die.

After shock and surprise by us bingo attendees at the announcement, and a group prayer, bingo went on as usual.

I didn’t win anything, but I was fine with it because there wasn’t anything on the prize table that I wanted.

The Monthly Calendar for October was posted to our doors fresh and early this morning, which gave us another topic to discuss during bingo because on the calendar is an event management is hosting for us — October 18, Custom (sic) and Pumpkin Decorating Contest.

Inasmuch as the office generally makes errors, like desert when they mean dessert, I’m assuming they meant Costume instead of Custom but, even though that’s a week and a half before Halloween, I so love doing cosplay that I’ll show up in a custom, oops I mean costume.

As for why the event, color me suspicious.

They raised the rent after the last time they hosted something for us, so I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop as to what’s next.

So, that’s two costume contests next month — the one hosted by management, the other being costume bingo on the 28th.

The plan is Superhero all the way — Wonder Woman on the 18th, Batman on the 28th. Though I did tease the girls when they asked what costume I'd be wearing by saying "It’s a secret, but I’m thinking of doing Lady Godiva — a long wig, no clothes".

As for pumpkin decorating, I don’t know nuthin bout carving a pumpkin. I know it’s messy work, so I’m hoping we’re decorating with paint, not carving.

Painted Rock Lady said she picked up a bag of candy corn as inspiration for making candy corn rocks BUT, when she sat down to paint, she realized she’d eaten all the inspiration.

I’m still up in the air about participating in that upcoming 5K. My body is telling me I’m fine, so I registered. My blood draw numbers are painting a different picture, so I’m going to give my body an opportunity to prove readiness by having trainer start me on hill climbing this next week. If I can do it in the studio, I’ll be fine on the course. If I can’t handle it in the studio, I’ll withdraw from participating.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Face in the Crowd

That challenging Mission Inn 5K — the one with the hills, that I completed in 2021, is coming up soon — Sunday, October 23.

The computer calculated my Overall that year as 1,020th of 1,158, 535th Female of 637, which at 77 years of age was all good and well except I was essentially last in my age group.

Hoping to improve on that when the 5K rolled around this year, I’d been training on hills in my workout sessions at the Pain Cave; but then the excessive heat we had got to me and dizzy spells arose that caused me to slow down, go back to basic training — no hills.

Blood work gave me an idea of why the dizzy spells. Unfortunately, I was unable to take the pills the doctor prescribed because my gut couldn’t handle pills (they made me sick for days). I was also not able to take the holistic vitamin cure (500 mg Tri-Chromium capsules, B-50, 1000 mg B-12, Atomic Iodine) again because my gut couldn’t handle the vitamins. Consequently, I’ve been using food as a cure — fewer eggs for breakfast, added rolled oats with blueberries, walnut, half a banana instead. Also switched from white potatoes to red and incorporating more salmon to the menu.

Feeling stronger and better already, not to mention down 10 pounds, I went online this morning looking for a local 5K to test my readiness and though I didn’t find anything, I did see a face in the crowd of an old 5K advertisement that looked familiar.

I’m tempted to just go ahead and register for the Mission Inn 5k, trusting that I won’t get dizzy, fall over or pass out on the course, but I’m getting a retake on the fasting blood test this Thursday, so I’ll wait to see if my numbers have improved using food as a cure instead of medicine or vitamins before I commit.

I’d hate to think that, at only 78 years of age, my 5K days have come to an end.

Other than that, I’m just making a few Fall upgrades to the unit — new shelf paper, new rugs for the bathroom, new denim quilt for the bed.

Next Door Neighbor is also making Fall Upgrades. Saying same as I was thinking, that since we can’t afford to live anywhere else, at least keep this space comfortable, she called me over to help her decide to keep or return a new purchase as the wrong color had been delivered.

I wish I could have taken a photo of her unit to show you, because it’s so beautifully decorated — like a museum.

There’s not a wall not decorated with some kind of artwork — mostly African in nature. In addition to the normal couch and eating area, she has a huge glass curio cabinet in one corner, a computer and television station set up in another corner, and yet it doesn’t feel cramped or crowded.

She has exquisite taste, and her unit shows it.

What she wanted me to look at was a huge glass mirror that was supposed to match the glass curio cabinet but didn’t because she’d received the wrong color.

She was thinking of having the maintenance guys paint the wall in a color that would allow the wrong mirror to fit in, but I told her it would clash too much with what was on the other walls and the curio cabinet, send it back.

Last I heard, she was sending it back, but it was interesting to learn we can request our units be repainted — at a cost to us of course.

I don’t need a paint job, but good to know if and when I do.

If you think Next Door Neighbor is in a better position than Red Light so that she can make her unit ready for a photo shoot by House Beautiful, you’d be wrong. She came in under the same welfare program Red Light did. She just has better taste, better than me even.

We are currently getting flashes of light in the sky — lightening. 

With Halloween Wars, Halloween Baking Championship and the big finale of Big Brother on TV tonight, I'm praying our power doesn't get knocked out.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Familiarity Breeds

Red Light phoned me earlier in the week and asked if I knew Talker was mad at her, had stopped speaking to her.

Though I had no idea the two had a falling out, I wished she’d have asked me if I cared, because I didn’t.

The two have been thick as thieves, go everywhere together, do everything together, have come to be involved in each other’s family.

Most nights when I head to bed, I see the two sitting on the bench across from my window, enjoying the cool evening air while chatting — but not lately and didn’t think anything of it until I got the call from Red Light saying how hurt she was Talker wasn’t speaking to her. So hurt that she doesn’t "feel like" organizing bingo any longer.

Can we say melodramatic boys and girls.

I don’t know what she expected me to say, if she expected me to take sides, but the whole thing reminded me of elementary school; also reminded me that phrase "Familiarity Breeds Contempt". There’s always drama, in one way or another, when one gets too close to others. That’s why I like being friendly with everyone but keeping a wall around myself that few are ever allowed to gain entry beyond the wall.

The drama in this case, as told by Red Light, is that Talker was at the pool with her little granddaughter. Red Light was with them and talking on the phone to her brother. Talker said something to granddaughter about a plant around the pool that was poisonous, the granddaughter made some kind of macabre joke about using it on someone (that’s the first thing I would have thought of as well, LOL). Red Light’s brother said something about it not being a thing to joke about, tell a child about, and Talker took offense. Red Light’s brother apologized, Talker did not accept the apology and told Red Light that she and her brother "don’t get it".

"What don’t I get, Shirley?" whined Red Light when she was recounting the event to me.

"I don’t know what you don’t get, but I can’t take this seriously" and told her to give it some time, that Talker would get over her anger and they’d be friends again.

"I don’t want to be friends again with her", said Red Light.

We’ll see about that.

I was looking forward to next Friday’s bingo game to see if this elementary school phase was over — that the two were back on speaking terms, sitting at the same bingo table, hanging out at night on the bench. But then …. posted to facebook yesterday was a photo of Talker out having lunch with Painted Rock Lady and a resident who lives around the corner from me.

Ouch! It has to sting that missing from the photo is Red Light who has to have also seen the photo.

We'll see how it goes at next week's bingo but, thus far, we have Dream Lover not talking to his former girlfriend and now Talker and Red Light not speaking.

Familiarity breeds.

I’m just happy to be a loner and that my gut issues got me out of joining the girls for lunch without offending anyone with the truth — that I don’t want to join your lunch group, get that involved, it’s just a little too friendly for me.

I took a drive out of the area after this morning’s workout to pick up a package.

Instead of picking up the package, getting back in the car, driving back to the complex, I first went to check out the store's Halloween display and found the funniest thing.

Distracted from my mission, I picked up a few incidentals and was heading back to the car when I remembered, OH THE PACKAGE!

That's right, I’d almost forgotten what I’d made the trip out of the area for.

Eight more days until the 1st of Halloween and I can begin to set up spooky scary whatnots.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Christmas in September

It’s not yet even time to set up my Halloween decorations and here I am buying for Christmas already because, at the craft store yesterday, I couldn’t resist this little Christmas boot.

Here I go again … on one hand wrapping up whatnots, sending them to solitary confinement, then turn around and bring another whatnot in.

I think I’m not so much getting rid of clutter as I am just swapping old clutter for new clutter.

As for what else I’ve been into … not much. In Redlands yesterday, I got the flu shot off the to-do list and then browsed the local shopping mall’s craft stores.

Passed on hay bales and a skeleton for the Halloween patio display, bought the little Christmas boot instead.

While at the medical center waiting for the shot, I did finally get in a little down time to continue reading Randy Rainbow’s autobiography. I also had time a few weeks ago when I was at the center waiting for the second shingles shot.

When last I posted about my slow progress reading his book, I’d just learned Randy had been a blogger here on Blogspot.

Picking up from there, more fun facts I’ve learned is that he added YouTube videos to his portfolio. The first being a comedic monologue called "Vision Board".

I looked it up.

It starts off slow but once you get the gist of where he’s going it’s hilarious.

Among other noteworthy videos worth a peek is "Randy Rainbow is dating Mel Gibson".

Of course, he wasn’t really dating Gibson. What he did was, after Gibson had that infamous racist, homophobic, misogynistic, antisemitic rant, Randy put that rant into a phone call he was having as him calling his boyfriend Mel, asking innocuous questions about what to make for dinner and asking Mel’s opinion on home decorating, with Mel’s rant screaming in response.

Also worth looking up.

Another fun fact, before hitting it big because of skewering No. 45 and all his Making Attorneys Get Attorneys fools, is that Randy had a side gig as a bingo caller — Broadway Bingo at a place in NY called Therapy.

While hosting bingo, Randy wore a pair of ruby red slippers that he hand-sequined himself and which became so popular with brides and Drag Queens that Randy opened an Etsy store where he sold his hand-sequined pumps.

So many fun facts in his background and I’m only halfway through the book.

Inasmuch as I’m at the part where he is now famous, I can’t imagine there’s anything left that those that are fans don’t already know, but I won't know for sure if there are other surprises until I squeeze in time to finish.

This is the longest it’s ever taken me to finish a book — not that it’s boring.

It isn't.

It’s just that he's not Walter Mosley — the only writer I so enjoy reading that I'll stop everything to read his books, finishing practically overnight, and there’s not enough hours in the day to read others — what with working out, needlepoint, scrapbooking, TikTok, television, cooking, cleaning, napping. Reading time is relegated to when I’m away from home in a wait situation — wait for the doctor, wait for the car to be serviced, both of which wait times are seldom and few in between.

When I do finish this book, my next reads are already lined up.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Happy Batman Day

Nothing special going on other than a Virtual 5K, which I did not register for because I’m over virtuals.

Batman Day did help me to make a decision as to which way to go in a costume for the Halloween Bingo/Costume Party being planned by residents, not management, for next month.

For months I’ve been planning on being a vampire should there be an event, even long ago purchased a vampire face mask.

Then, at yesterday’s Bingo, when the event was announced, I immediately thought of my Wonder Woman gear as the costume to wear.

But for sure I’m now feeling the Batman outfit I wore for the 2019 DC Batman Run (see photo in sidebar).

I might still wear the vampire facemask. I can say Batman got bitten and is now a blood thirsty creature of the night.

Yesterday was my lucky day at Bingo, and I didn’t even dress for luck. Wearing my regular black leggings, black top, with not much care as to whether I won or not, I won two games.

First win, I opted for a cute Mary Poppins figurine.

Ironic isn’t it that I’m weeding out whatnots that serve no purpose other than to sit and look pretty, and here I was adding yet another whatnot.

When we have a win, our photo is taken for the resident’s facebook page. As my photo was being taken, I sang a few bars of A Spoonful of Sugar. Talker, taking the photo, quickly switched to video and told me to sing the entire song.

I managed, but quickly realized (I don't think anyone else did) that I’d gotten one word wrong.

Here’s a little quiz for you — Can you identify the one word I got wrong?

I overheard Painted Rock Lady say to someone, "She (meaning me) took what I wanted to win". So, inasmuch as I figured the figurine will eventually get wrapped up and put into storage, I thought I’d enjoy looking at it until November 29th — PRL's birthday, then gift it to her.

At least that was the plan. However, now that the figurine is in position, I like it so much that I don’t think I can part with it.

Second win, I opted for a Halloween Spiced Tea Candle Set.

Now THAT I can use because it will serve a purpose — at least through the month of October.

It’s definitely looking like Dream Lover and his girlfriend are splitsville. I saw him peer into the door, look around, see her sitting too close to the table he usually sits at, back out and exit stage left.

That’s harsh.

I also got an update on our Karen character.

She’s still complaining — about the noise Talker’s brother makes when walking up/down the stairs, about every little common household living noise Talker makes. She's also reporting residents walking their dogs without a leash to the office and reports/complains about excessive barking.

That would be Nurse Ratched's mother's dog, and I'm glad Karen is making an issue of it because that dog's barking has been the bane of my existence for years. I even purchased a dog whistle to blow in the dog's direction hoping to distract it from barking hours on end.

Didn't work, but I have observed that lately it's been a lot quieter. Nurse Ratched's mom brings the dog inside when it won't stop barking. So, good on Karen for that one.

As for quieting Karen down, Talker said she’s tired of going to the office about Karen's harassment, so she just no longer bothers. However, there’s some tit for tat going on with Karen and other residents.

Karen was so upset that she actually took the issue to Talker (looking for sympathy if you can imagine after all she's done to Talker). Karen was upset because the office called her, said others were complaining about her cat being allowed outside without a leash.

All this time I’ve seen her outside picking up olives that have fallen from the tree, her cat trained to roam, come when she calls, I’d forgotten the rules state cats are to be kept inside unless on a leash.

Can a cat be leashed? Seriously, I don't see that happening.

At any rate, residents are retaliating against Karen by reporting her cat outside without a leash and it ticked Karen off.

Talker gave it to her straight saying, "What do you expect? You reported them, they’re reporting you".

It’s the Tit for Tat Wars folks, and I love hearing Karen is getting a taste of her own medicine.

Friday, September 16, 2022

If You Build It, They Will Come

Just before we had that flash flood, I noticed a red flashing "Open" sign across the street.

Long time readers may recall that across the street was formerly a vacant lot, and not just a vacant lot but also home to Tent Guy.

I admired Tent Guy’s ingenuity. Here he was a homeless White guy, with one arm, yet he managed to camp out in the lot undisturbed late night/early morning in a tent, while I wouldn’t dare to risk even walking out my door during those hours in this area.

No one ever complained about him living there, which was a feat in itself because some of these old ladies complain about everything going on in the neighborhood that doesn't meet with their approval and the police never hassled him.

Maybe it was that the police never spotted him because, except for when they’re having a lunch party at the pizza place on the corner, the police are rarely seen in this area.

It may also be because Tent Guy would take the tent down in the morning, roll everything up and go elsewhere during the day.

Then one day Tent Guy disappeared.

He wasn’t friendly, didn’t like to be bothered, didn’t appreciate our looking out for him -- wanting to take food over, etc., but we still kept an eye out that he was okay. So, not seeing him that day in the lot, nor walking his usual route while I was out walking or driving, I got worried, asked around and learned, from a resident that attended the same church as he, that he’d been blessed with a car and shelter.

Tent Guy’s timing, on getting a car and shelter, was perfect because shortly after there was a For Sale sign posted to the land. The owner was looking to sell the property for purposes of development.

That was around 2018, and the sale and development has taken us to present day where the build is flashing a red open for business sign.

From this …

To this …

Of course, the complaining old ladies were not happy with the build as it went along — still aren't, saying putting anything on the lot was just going to draw traffic, cause accidents, give the homeless and drug addicted a place to hang around, but their complaining didn’t stop the train and, thus far, I’ve seen no problems caused by the build.

I also didn’t see anything going on that would indicate the flash flood caused any difficulties.

A Circle K with a gas station and car wash isn’t the Gentrification I’d hoped for — I’d wished for a Starbucks and a Gym (but that was before I found Trainer and had to give up Starbucks due to gut issues).

The good news is a Circle K isn’t something to write home about, so it won’t cause our rents to rise in the way Gentrification would have.

In fact, back in 2019 when news of a Starbucks being built just steps away from the complex reached us, our rent went up $49.

Inasmuch as we’d not had an increase in three years, I’d called it the "Starbucks Effect".

When Starbucks reneged and a 7-Eleven went up inside, the $49 didn’t go away.

We did have that recent increase, but I don’t think the Circle K caused it. More like Corporate was jumping on the bandwagon of property owners everywhere increasing rents because they can.

With the vacant lot gone, and a new building giving us a little shelter from when the Santa Ana comes through, we won’t be getting the dirt we used to get coming from the lot, but we also won’t be getting the tumbleweeds, which were fun to watch.