Wednesday, February 28, 2018

“We Create Our Own Reality”

I had to remember those words, given to me by the spiritual teacher I worked with for years until she passed away, when it was reported to me this morning that Assistant Maintenance Guy (AMG) did indeed get written up -- generally a precursor to eventually being fired if one doesn’t straighten up and fly right.
Upon receiving that information, my heart felt heavy and I was beginning to feeling sorry for the guy until I remembered we are the authors of our own fate, that life is about choices and it was AMG’s choice to not only not respond to a request for assistance while on-call, but to tell the resident (Me) to climb up and perform the maintenance duty AND when I wasn’t strong enough to accomplish it, he called another resident (Handsome Guy) asking him to trot on over and perform the task.
I actually withheld that last bit from the office, because it wasn’t my intent to get AMG into the kind of trouble that revelation would have rained down on him, when I’d gone down to say I’d spent the night in a hotel, my detector was still beeping. I just wanted the smoke detector attended to. AMG got himself in a boat load of trouble all by himself.
Life is about choices.
We create our own reality.
The morning I got back from the hotel, Apache reported observing AMG arriving early at 6:00, get out of his truck, get back in his truck and drive away.
Apache determined it to be, “He just didn’t want to come to work or had other plans”.
That would be not the first time AMG’s anger and frustration at being the Assistant to some lazy kid (Head Maintenance Guy) got the better of him and he’d walked off the job. It wouldn’t be the second either, but the third (maybe even the fourth) and this time he didn’t come back until a week later -- the day he was observed being talked to/written up by Community Manager.
He’s damn lucky he wasn’t dismissed then and there for job abandonment.
I’m sensing AMG is in crisis mode – male menopause perhaps, and his issues with not wanting to be here, not wanting to work harder than his young boss, is just the tip of the iceberg.
I don’t know about his home life. He’s mentioned kids, but I’ve never heard him speak of his wife. He has, however, expressed how he “hates” his new home. 
One of the first to buy in a brand-new development, it bothered him that he had to get permission from the Homeowner’s Association to do some additions to either the house or the grounds (I forget which). It also upset him when additional homes began to pop up around him because the builders, in an effort to maximize on their build, have squeezed in homes, leaving little space between. AMG said he can open his back door, see into the home behind him, almost touch it.
When we had a huge fire in his area, I’d asked if his home was safe. He said “unfortunately yes”, that he’d wished it had “burned to the ground”.
He seemed happy enough to be working here, rushing here, rushing there, having no problems with a lazy young supervisor until he bought that house and a new truck. So perhaps he’s over extended himself and financial worries have added to whatever choices have brought him to this point.
In all fairness, it doesn’t seem right that HMG lives on the property, but is not the one always on-call. That on-call duties rotate between the two and AMG has to drive down from Devore to respond to emergencies.
But it also occurs to me, especially since Apache is reporting AMG “isn’t worried and doesn’t seem to care about the write-up” that, just like AMG wishes his house had “burned to the ground” so he can get out from under, it may very well be he’s making these choices of not responding and not coming to work in hopes Corporate will get fed up, terminate him, so he can get out from under this job and sue under a claim of “racism”.
Which is what Corporate may be anticipating as well, inasmuch as they opted for Community Manager to write him up rather than terminate for job abandonment.
As I’ve established in posts about what I’ve experienced in job situations, racism does occur. However, in this case, AMG doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Whereas my choice in work situations I found abusive was to continue to do a kick-ass job, put on a brave face, maintain my professionalism, cry in private (that people could be so cruel just because they didn't like the color of my skin) and pray for strength to survive it all, giving them no ammunition to justify their actions against me. AMG's poor choices have given Corporate all the ammunition it needs.
So, anyway, life is about choices and what I'm choosing for myself today is to see if the spa can squeeze me in for a badly needed manicure/pedicure. If not today, then tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Size Doesn’t Matter

I was puzzled by comments made by the neighbor who parks to the right of me in the carport and drives a big old gas guzzler.
“What happened to your car?” she asked the day before yesterday when she caught me exiting the Jeep.
“It’s over there (indicating Guest Parking where I’d put the Saturn until I could turn over to grandbaby). I’m giving it to my granddaughter”.
“So, you bought this? Why so small? You want to have something you’re comfortable in”.
What does that mean?
Was she trying to throw shade, dis my horse, trying to infer it’s more like my little pony instead?
My first choice was the four-door Wrangler but, seeing it in person on the lot was terrifying. It’s HUGE and the thought of driving something that big scared me. The two-door was too small but, when daughter and I spotted the Trailhawk, the size looked just right, manageable and, on the test drive, I felt comfortable and anxiety free.
I didn’t realize the Trailhawk was smaller than the Saturn until I turned into my parking spot and saw it positioned in the carport but, it’s not as small as neighbor was inferring.
“There’s plenty room in the front. It’s a little tight in the back, but how often do I have a back-seat passenger (that would be never). Besides, I’m older now and need less” I replied to justify the purchase.
“Well, it’s cute”, she gave me.
One of the bonuses of the Trailhawk is that it looks so much like the Saturn that I thought it being a new car would not be noticed.
How naïve was I.
It’s being noticed.
At any rate, talk about driving scared, waking up this morning to pouring down rain, facing an hour and a half drive to Newport Beach to deliver the Saturn to granddaughter, I began begging the Universe to please stop the rain because the long drive was bad enough without having to worry about how people drive so carelessly in the rain.
The Universe heard my plea and the rain stopped around 8:00.
Very first time in the Newport Beach area and, since the drive was so long, would have liked to rest a bit, check things out. Instead, it was a quick turnaround. I pulled up to granddaughter’s place, she jumped in the driver’s seat, drove us an hour and a half back to my area for an appointment with Redlands DMV, where I signed the pink slip, she registered the Saturn, dropped me off back at the complex, and went on with her life.
Granddaughter driving me around was surreal, not just because she drives fast and a little crazy, weaving in and out of lanes, but because of all those years with me driving her around, here she was, as all grown up, driving a car, with me as her passenger.
I made the doll sitting next to her.

And because of how she drives, the one and only time I’ll be passenger in a vehicle with her behind the wheel.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Facts of Life

Ran into a couple neighbors while cleaning the Saturn out this morning, getting it ready to turn over to granddaughter tomorrow.
I mentioned that I’d not seen Assistant Maintenance Guy (AMG) since calling him about the smoke detector last week; he didn’t respond, so I’d had to go to a hotel for the night.
I’d heard through the grapevine that he’d come in 6:00 a.m. the day after, but then turned around, got in his truck, drove off, and did not return.
Another prima donna walk off the job episode, thought I.
“He’s here now”, one of the neighbors said. “He’s in the Manager’s Office and it looks like he’s being talked to”.
Probably a corrective interview or write-up.
That started a discussion about how disappointed I am with his becoming lazy like his supervisor, Head Maintenance Guy (HMG).
“He’s not lazy. He’s trying to outdo the other”, said she.
That made perfect sense.
He’s been upset for some time that HMG makes him do all the work, but I told the neighbor that AMG needed to be smart. He just bought a house, a new truck, and needs to accept the facts of life. Those facts being he’s Black and it’s always been our dharma that we have to be smarter and work harder just to get our foot in the door. And don’t expect any thanks, acknowledgment or reward.
That’s the way it was during my mom’s tenure in this world. My daughters and grandchildren are experiencing it and, of course, it’s certainly was my experience in the working world. I had to keep my head down, work my butt off, swallow, not complain about abuse of authority or how the rules were different when applied to me, because I was the sole support for my children and could not afford to not “know my place” and lose my source of income.
That was then, this is now, but not much has changed. I'm guessing AMG doesn't realize this is the first time a Black man has been employed by Corporate to work on this property. Color us surprised when we saw Corporate had evolved to hiring color, and he represented well by being such a hard worker. But now his ego at having once been a supervisor with a workforce of his own is taking over and he resents having to work twice as hard as HMG.
If and when I do run into AMG, I’m hoping he’ll apologize, which will give me an opening to share my thoughts. That I understand why he’s pulling back on his job duties, but that he will lose in this Corporate culture. Consequently, he needs to swallow his feelings and face the facts of life.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


Yesterday’s plan to be at the University 11:00 sharp, to capture new creatures and possibly level up before the 2:00 cutoff at February’s PokémonGo Community Day, was preempted by daughter’s schedule freeing up, giving her a day to go new car shopping with me.
It was a lengthy process. I was exhausted, she was exhausted, but we got it done.

She’s quite cute and totally me, even down to the leather upholstery, with red stitching that has a country/western saddle look about it.

Next door neighbor calls her car Maxine. Maybe I should name the Jeep “Horse”, even though she’s a girl.
It’s been 14 years since I bought a new car and a lot has changed.
So many bells and whistles for me to learn.
The salesman, of course, went over all the features, but it was too much for me to take in while I was tired and stressed out. Most of what he had to show me went in one ear out the other, and I don’t know why new car buying isn’t listed on the stress scale. Purchasing a home is listed as a 100-point stressor, so I’d place new car buying at 110.
I absorbed so little of what the salesman demonstrated that I even had to refer to the manual to lift the trunk, after I’d driven her home yesterday, so I could open the back and attach my parking sticker to the rear window -- only it wasn’t referred to as “trunk” in the manual, but “tailgate”.
Shows how far behind the times I am because to me “trunk” is the back of an automobile while “tailgate” is a party.
While sitting on the couch last night, looking through the homework, trying to absorb some of what I need to know to operate all the bells and whistles, the words “parking brake” jumped out.
Oh oh, thought I. Accustomed as I am to pulling a lever back to engage the brake, I totally forgot the salesman showed me that I am now to push a lever down.
It was 10:30 by then, no way was I going out in the cold and dark night. I wasn’t parked on a slope, so I figured the Jeep would make it through the night without rolling away.
On tap for today was heading back down to set the parking brake and figuring out how to turn off the heated steering wheel feature because, driving her from the lot to the complex, my hands were way too warm and I didn’t know how to turn it off.
As I’m a simple no-frills person, I have a feeling a lot of the bells and whistles will never be used. But I guess it’s better to have and no need to use, than it is to not have. Plus I got a great deal and a lifetime warranty.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

No Substitute

There just is no substitute for peace and quiet.
And that’s how its been since the smoke detector beeping was resolved – peaceful and quiet.
However, by the time the dust had settled yesterday, it was too late to head down to the Community Room to people watch and learn what else is going on in the complex during Pizza Tuesday delivery.
I also opted not to head down at 2:00 to take photos for the residents Facebook page at cake celebration for February birthdays. Instead, once it was quiet in my unit, I curled up on the couch, heater on (because I felt chilled to the bone), bundled up in the afghan my daughter made for me, watched television and occasionally glanced out the patio window at people going in and out of Cranky neighbor’s unit, helping her pack up to move.
You remember Cranky – the older lady who took the upstairs unit across the quad in December of 2016.
After 20 years of living in Nevada, she relocated to Sacramento, came to us from there and, a week after moving in, was threatening to move back to Henderson, Nevada, because “I like my unit but I don’t know where anything is in the area … I’m too old to make new friends … I don’t like how things are done here in California as opposed to New York”.
She also didn’t like the fact that she’d driven all the way to the post office on a Monday (Holiday), found it closed, doors open, but no forms in the counter area.
When she didn’t get the parking space she wanted, already angry about all the paperwork she’d had to provide to get a unit in the complex, it was complaints about how the office had no legal right to intrude into her financial privacy to the extent they did and “I’m so fed up with the office, so frustrated. I’m going to get an attorney, send a letter to the Attorney General.” 
Stating she’d previously contacted the Attorney General about a parking situation at the university where she’d taught, I was intrigued and asked “How’d THAT go?”
"I got a call at home. My husband picked up the phone and said, 'A Mr. ____ would like to speak with you.'"
"That's the Dean!" she said she’d uttered in surprise and, with a faraway look in her eyes, like she was remembering something very unpleasant, responded to my inquiry with, "He (the dean) was not happy with me".
I can’t image the Office of the Attorney General was any too happy with her either -- bothering them over such a trivial matter.
Another thing Cranky complained to me about was the son who’d moved her in. He was getting married, Cranky did not care for the woman and brought it up as another reason to move because, as she says she told her son “You’ve got two kids. She’s got two. You won’t need me anymore”.
Stopping into Starbucks at the new location one day, I spotted Cranky wiping a table down and made the mistake of making myself known, instead of sneaking away so as not to hear her complaints, by walking over and jokingly saying, “Are you the cleaning lady?”
That opened the door for her to complain about how “I can’t stand this that and the other” on a table. Which led to complaints about the new location, “I don’t like that the door doesn’t open properly and there’s this long wall of windows with no tables that have plug ins. All the plug-in stations are on that (indicating) wall and those (indicating) tables. Why couldn’t they have blocked off this (indicating) and yada yada yada.”
Since then, I’d been pretty successful at avoiding Cranky until she began attending Community Room events a few months ago. Lo and Behold, she wasn’t complaining (at least not to me), seemed to have settled into Community life and was having a good complaint-free time here.
But now she’s packing up and on the go yet again. This time to the Long Island area of New York, telling me she likes us but still hates California.
Oh well.
I’m once again hoping we’ll get some good-looking testosterone in that unit to balance out all the estrogen in the quad.
But I’m not holding my breath.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Someone is in Deep Bandini

The smoke detector in my unit began beeping around 4:50 yesterday afternoon. Not one loud long beep, but a sharp beep at every few second intervals.
Great, thought I. It would happen after the office closed.
Just on the off chance someone might be working overtime, I walked over, but no. They were all outta here at 4:00.
The Head Maintenance Guy lives just over the office, but he doesn’t give a damn, so I knew better than to ask, incur his anger and hear him repeat his mantra … “I’m off the clock!!!”
When Handsome Guy had glued himself to me at the potluck, one of the things he’d talked about was having a problem with his smoke detector after hours, which he’d resolved by removing the battery.
I really didn’t want to ask him for help, because I didn’t want to seem to be encouraging him and didn’t want him to know which unit I lived in. Not that I was worried about him being a bad guy, but because I didn’t want him misconstruing my calling on him for help as interest and, knowing where I live, give him the opportunity to stop by.
But the constant beeping was annoying, so I bit the bullet and knocked on Handsome Guy's door.
He followed me right over, detached the smoke detector cover from the ceiling, opened the battery compartment and removed the battery.
Didn’t work. Still beeping.
He decided I needed a replacement battery. Not having one, I said I’d go to Rite Aid, pick one up and, now that I saw how he opened up the battery case, felt confident I could handle the rest by myself.
He left his telephone number to call for further assistance just in case.
I was wrong. I couldn't handle it myself because, after I put in a new battery, the smoke detector kept right on beeping.
No way was I going to call on Handsome Guy again, so I called the Emergency Line.
It was the Assistant Maintenance Guy’s (AMG) turn to be on-call and he didn’t want to do his job. He asked me to disconnect the back-up by pulling out the plastic thing that housed the wires and wait until today. I tried, but couldn’t disconnect, at which point AMG said he’d call Handsome Guy to come back.
If I had called Handsome Guy, he would have come. However, Handsome Guy doesn’t like AMG, and for sure would have been aghast at being asked to do AMG's job for him; so knowing this, getting a headache from the constant beeping, I grabbed the Go Bag I’d prepared when we had that last fire on Little Mountain and authorities told us to standby to evacuate, took off and spent the night in a hotel.
Arriving back this morning, around 9:30, I found the smoke detector exactly as I'd left it.

Dangling from wires, still beeping.
Why is it so hard to get people to do the job they’re paid to do?
At any rate, I marched downstairs. Community Manager was busy with the Lady that Wants Braids, but Assistant Manager was available.
“How are you?” she asked.
“Good. Just got back from spending the night at a hotel because my smoke detector kept beeping”.
“Did you call the Emergency Line?”
“Yes, T___ (AMG) told me to disconnect it, unplug the wires.”
She got a puzzled look on her face.
“Why he told you that? … You’re not supposed to touch anything … That’s dangerous”.
AMG is in deep Bandini. Might even get a write-up for not only not responding to an emergency situation while on-call but telling a senior to perform a dangerous maintenance duty.
I know AMG is done with working here, has gotten into arguments with Head Maintenance Guy, walked off the job a couple times, is looking for a new job but, thus far, always comes back in a day or two or three; but he may not be allowed to come back next time or, with stunts like this, is on his way to being asked to leave.
At any rate, Head Maintenance Guy showed up and put in a new battery around 10:45.
I had him show me how to properly disconnect the smoke detector from the wires (there’re two little clips on the side) and which way to insert the plus minus 9 Volts. 
Even though I’m not to touch anything, I won’t be sitting around waiting on Maintenance, or escaping to a hotel, next time -- and there's always a next time.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy Not My President’s Day

With enough Pokéballs in my virtual backpack to get me through to the 24th, when I’ll hit the University Campus to see what the game has to offer at February’s PokémonGo Community Day, I’ve no special plans for today (which is a good thing because it’s another wet and rainy Monday) and actually have not had to leave the unit since Thursday.
Except I did make a run by the market yesterday for supplies.
While there, I observed something strange in the parking lot.
I thought it was a creepy clown cover on the passenger side and, inasmuch as I’m always taking photos of things I see while out and about, for posting to Facebook or Instagram, I positioned the cellphone to capture the strangeness.
The strangeness waved at me.
So not a car seat cover.
I froze, but got the picture before the car drove away.

Later, showing the photo to Apache, he said, “That’s not a creepy clown, that’s Anonymous”.
He's entirely correct, and I should have known that; but Anonymous, the good guys, is creepy looking in person.
Also, while in the market, I checked out the Potato Chips isle.
Not that I wanted or could have eaten potato chips, but to take a look at the Smile Bags.
Lay’s Potato Chips is running a marketing plan called “Operation Smile” – “Every Lay’s Smile Bag purchased helps us reach our goal of a $1 million donation to Operation Smile, an organization that changes lives one smile at a time”.
Based on all the awfulness let loose in the world right now – the lies, double-dealing, greed, self-interest, I’m not at all sure this is a philanthropic endeavor or just a clever marketing scheme to sell chips but “smile, snap, share” seemed like a fun thing to do, from a pop culture standpoint, so off I went to check out smile bags.
If it’s a marketing thing, I’d have to say it’s brilliant because smile bags were flying off the shelf, selling like hot cakes. One smile bag had already sold out. I can’t tell you which smile it was, because that particular slot was completely empty.
I managed to find a bag with an image I could work with, and should I be tempted to eat what was in the bag and set off a gut episode, I made sure to choose a flavor I thought disgusting – Wavy Ranch.

Smile Snap Share ##SmileWithLays

One last strange thing before yet another unstoppable Windows update, that's about to run, kicks me off the computer. Looking at the calendar, unless I’m mistaken, Easter falls on April Fool’s Day this year.
How odd is that?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Barn Burner

With no one doing laundry at 3:30 in the morning and no loud snoring coming from Little Miss Looney Tunes downstairs, got a great night’s sleep.
First order of duty this morning was to post, to the resident’s facebook page, photos taken at yesterday’s event. After seeing issues with the clarity and sharpness of some of the 75 photos, I posted only 25 and decided to head to the cellphone store for a new phone. I’m working with an S4 – a dinosaur in this age of S8’s.
But OMG! Looking online (and btw, the blue screen is still in charge of my laptop), at the cost of a new phone, I decided blurry and a little out-of-focus isn’t so bad after all.
I’ve to first take care of this new car purchase. If there’s anything left over, it’ll go towards a new phone.
It’s been taking me a long time to do this thing – stop looking at the website of various dealers, reading service reviews on yelp, just pick a lot and purchase a car, so grandbaby can inherit the more reliable Saturn and give her less reliable PT Cruiser to her brother.
I thought I was stalling because it’s so hard to let go of the Saturn, and that I think is partly the problem. However, in reading Margaret's post on personality types I think the other part of the problem is I’m Over 70 Type -- confused (True because I’m not understanding a lot I’m reading on what’s included as part of the package on a new car and not exactly sure what I need to add) and a Techie Type -- looking at websites, not really wanting to call and talk to a salesman or set foot on a lot and deal with a salesman in person.
So, what to do about moving forward and getting it done?
I called my daughter. She’s going to take a day off from work and walk me through the purchase.
After posting photos, reading blogs, the day was spent catching up on recorded television programs, simultaneously working on the counted cross stitch project, while waiting for the 3:00 Residents/Management meeting.
Heading down 10 minutes early, I glanced at my watch and saw it read 3:50.
That must be wrong.
But no. Instead of 10 minutes early, I was 50 minutes late.
A major senior moment?
Walking in, taking a seat in a packed room, with everyone seeming to be talking at the same time, someone whispered in my ear, “You missed it”.
“What did I miss?”
The resident who’d opened the nail salon had just “gone off”. Saying that the women here are rude to her – but not exactly saying it, more like yelling I’m told, that she walks past some of the female residents, says good morning, good afternoon, they don’t respond, then Nail Lady stood up and gave the finger to the group.
Complex Manager was said to have told her to calm down.
In the six years I’ve lived here, I’ve only experienced people not responding to my being friendly twice. The former Community Manager (Nurse Ratched) would look down her nose and not respond to my smiles and waves, and it wasn’t until recently when Little Miss Looney Tunes began responding to my smiles and waves. 
The fact that Nail Lady is making a federal case about being ignored, going ballistic over women not being friendly, causes me to think twice about her mental stability. That perhaps she came in under that same County Program that brought to us Little Miss Looney Tunes.
I don’t imagine giving the group the finger is going to help her business get off the ground any and, though I’ve been friendly with and supportive of Nail Lady’s business, I’ll be giving her a wide berth from now on.
Also, I’m told I missed Community Manager being so upset with residents that she said there will no longer be a Residents Volunteer Activity Committee (RVAC). She's disbanded the group and said any activities residents want will have to go through her in future.
Her reason being -- not enough residents show up for Committee meetings, not enough residents make use of the Community Room on a daily basis, residents bullying other residents in the Community Room.
The RVAC Meetings are boring -- I rarely sit in, and who in their right mind would want to sit in the Community Room every single day? Some residents are infirmed and can't get to the Community Room, other residents aren't the socializing type, and some of us have television shows to watch, needlepoint projects, computers, a life. And management is well aware of who the two bullies are, so why not just deal with them directly?
Management would not discuss the pit bull. When the topic was raised, Community Manager was said to have responded, “We’re not discussing that”.
Someone wanted to know about the huge Sheep Dog spotted on the property. “Are they moving in with that dog?”
“They were shopping”, replied Community Manager. “You understand what shopping is ... because this is a beautiful property.”
I didn’t know what "shopping" meant, but kept quiet because I didn’t want to show my ignorance in a room full of people.
Apache later explained “shopping” meant the people with the sheep dog were walking around, checking out the premises.
“Well, if they're checking out the premises, that means they’re looking to move in here with that giant dog”, said I.
“Yes, but they’ll never let them move in with a dog that big”.
I don’t know. They let in a pit bull.
At any rate, after the meeting ended and Community Manager went back to her office, the President of the RVAC said, “The Committee is not disbanded, we’re still having it”.
In the room a total of 20 minutes, I soaked up a lot of negativity and left with a headache.
I’m thinking the senior moment I had -- arriving 50 minutes late, was the Universe protecting me from experiencing a brain aneurysm from soaking up the entire 60 minutes, and I imagine I'll be spending a lot more time in my unit, less in the Community Room with the folks, because there's a universal craziness in the world right now, some of which is having an impact on this community and the individuals who live and work here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine Dance

It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t first post my annual anti-valentine gif ….

That sentiment out of the way, I woke up tired, draggy and in no mood to attend this afternoon’s dance.
For some reason I wasn’t sleepy until after midnight and, when I did make it to bed, I couldn’t sleep because the downstairs neighbor – Little Miss Looney Tunes, was snoring so loud that I couldn’t drown it out.
At some point, I did finally fall asleep but waking up tired and draggy told me I didn’t get enough rest.
At any rate, it was touch and go as to whether I’d make it downstairs at 4:00 or take a nap.
Thinking fresh air would bring me back to life, I took a drive to the Amazon Locker to pick up a package and stopped by the market on the way back.
Fresh air didn't help, nor did the fact I ran into two of the neighbors that live in units across the quad, who made me aware of mixed messages concerning the afternoon event.
“Are you ladies going to the Valentine Dance this afternoon?” asked I.
“Dance? C___ (Apache) said it’s a BBQ.”
“Well, that’s confusing. Now I don’t know if I should dress up or go casual”.
I’d planned on a skirt, even picked up a pair of stockings, and had done my nails twice because the basecoat used the first time was too thick and clunky -- made the color and top coat look awful. 
Four o’clock came and went with me too tired to go in the first place, the mixed message as to dressy dance or casual BBQ in the second place, but finally pulled myself together to go down for a few minutes, take a few photos and scram.
I went casual with my usual black leggings, boots, fanny pack and threw on a blazer, just in case.
Wasn’t much dancing – some, but not a lot, but the event was a success.
BBQ turned out to be hotdogs grilled in the kitchen, chips, chili, cornbread, cake and residents turned out in force, all dressed casual except for one snappy dresser.
There wasn’t an empty table, and everyone looked to be having a great time. I ended up staying to the end and returned with 75 photos to weed through for posting to the resident’s facebook page.
Hope I get a good night’s sleep tonight, because tomorrow is the Residents/Management meeting and this one is not to be missed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Fourth Time’s the Charm

Happy Fat Tuesday!
I didn’t realize today was Mardi Gras’ Fat Tuesday until I was already downstairs, in the Community Room, chatting with the folks while they waited for pizza delivery. Had I known, I would have brought beads because, even though I gave away quite a few last year on Fat Tuesday, I still have a half container remaining.
Conversation in the Community Room centered around that pit bull.
Didn’t get the details but, evidentially, Animal Control has been contacted twice and just this morning, a woman rolled through the Community Room on her wheelchair, headed to the office, to complain about the dog chasing someone. A few minutes later, she rolled past us upset that management said, “The dog is a service dog and has a right to be here”.
The next Residents/Management meeting is this Thursday and, from what I’ve heard, it’s going to be ugly. I'd better arrive early and, if I could eat popcorn, I'd bring some – that is if management doesn’t get afraid and cancel.
Apache said he’s tried to ward off the ugliness he knows to be coming down the pike for management and corporate office by trying to get them to see that failure to handle the pit bull situation is going to result in monumental consequences. 
What he’s hinting at is someone having contacted an attorney to represent us seniors, to look into not only who authorized the pit bull, but other issues and suspicions of improprieties residents have voiced concern over.
The Seer is having visions of dominos falling. She said she keeps seeing the first domino fall, which causes the next one to fall, so on and so forth.
Going to be an interesting week.
Tomorrow is the Valentine Dance, and residents being so upset over the pit bull situation, your guess is as good as mine as to whether folks will turn out.
I’ll be there, taking photos, wearing a red tank top I had overnighted.
Yep. Instead of wasting $42.90 on a Betty Boop Tee that was totally wrong for my body type (actually $32 with the 25% off), I decided the dollars would be better served ordering that red tank top I’d passed on in January. Even with the added charge of overnight delivery, the red tee is a more reasonable purchase than Joshua’s winning Project Runway look.
I had one Project Runway impulse purchase already.
One of the perks last season, Season 16, was that the winning look would become the newest design for Dixie To Go Cups. A designer named Claire actually won that challenge but, when it was determined she’d cheated, the win went to Brandon.

Vacationing in Long Beach, the week leading up to Thanksgiving, I walked into a market, saw Brandon’s cups and it was like oooh Project Runway.
Now here they are sitting in my cupboard -- paper cups I don't need, probably will never open or use because they’re special.

Lastly, even though I’d gone, at least three times, through the file where I keep assembly instructions, registration info and other paperwork on every household item purchased, something kept nudging me to look again.
Sure enough, fourth time’s the charm, because out slipped -- from between two large pieces of paper, the little card needed by the Geek Squad to factory reset the laptop.
Now that I know I can get rid of the blue screen, and the Geeks have assured me it’s not a virus or some kind of spyware, I was planning on living with the status quo, hold off to see what subsequent automatic updates would do.
Would you believe, however, that in the middle of typing this post, an automatic update knocked me out, restarted the laptop, and the welcome screen came up without having first to go through the blue screen.
Problem may have rectified itself.
Next logoff/login will let me know for sure.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Curses! Foiled Again

Sunday didn’t go exactly as planned.
I did make it to the University Campus to collect Pokéballs, but much later in the day, after a run by Best Buy to have the Geek Squad take a look at the latest problem caused by those automatic updates Windows 10 constantly runs.
Every single time an unstoppable update runs, something goes haywire; and this time it looks like they’ve taken complete control because I now have to go through a blue screen to get to the login.

And not only that, but the automatic update has replaced the virus protect I opted for with a windows virus protect.
What the heck!
The Geeks tell me the only way to undo these changes is a factory reset. I’ll lose everything, but I’m down with that because everything important is backed up on flash drives. However, the Geeks also need the Office 365 card, so they can reload Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Paint, etc.
I don’t have it.
As far as I remember, I opted not to take the monthly or yearly subscription but to pay the full forever price and the Geeks did all the loading. It’s not like me to not keep something like that with all the other paperwork and packages associated with these kinds of purchases – and I do find everything except that card, so I don’t think they included it in what I got back after they set the laptop up.
And btw, I still can’t believe Office doesn’t automatically come with computers, like in the good old days.
Bottom line is, I’m stuck with the permission-to-enter blue screen; and, if the blue screen mucks up, I’m stuck with an expensive paperweight.
I can only hope one of the subsequent updates will restore the previous settings, solve the problem on its own.
If push comes to shove, I’ve got a backup laptop, but it doesn’t have all the 365 bells and whistles.
After this frustrating start to the day, the 2.5 mile walk around the University campus was calming.
Saw quite a few others, heads down, looking at their cellphone screens, hunting, including a middle-aged couple. That was an oddity because it’s usually just young people I come across. Seeing the couple standing together, heads down working on a capture, was such a novelty and so cute that I was just about to snap a photo. But then they caught whatever it was and were on the move.
I also came across that same young lady that helped me out at last month’s PokémonGo Community Day.
She lives on campus – how fun that must be, and was on the hunt for the Wailmer her screen indicated was in the area. I’d just caught it and was able to lead her right to the spot it was hanging out.

On tap for this rainy and wet Monday morning is needlepoint and, in light of the latest Windows snafu, getting into an area of study to extricate myself from Microsoft Windows should a new laptop be required.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Community Breakfast

Made it through this morning’s Community Breakfast without hurting myself.
Waking up at 7:00 A.M., with my stomach feeling normal for the first time in days and hungry, the Community Breakfast not scheduled until 10:00, I decided to feed the hunger, thinking by the time 10:00 rolled around I’d be better prepared to pass on biscuits/gravy which would set off another five/six/seven days of an angry gut episode.
It worked.
I drank coffee while others ate and wasn’t even tempted.
Praise the Lord coffee is still on the list of what my gut will accept.


Creamy Gravy

Scrambled Eggs

Put it all together ....

Along with pastries, a middle eastern spread for the bread. Also, not pictured, were late entry breakfast potatoes.
Of course, there was the usual “Why aren’t you eating” by those that don’t know of my issues with certain ingredients, but instead of “I’ll get sick if I eat this that the other”, I just said “I’m on a diet”.
The Baker and The Seer gave me a funny look when they heard me say what they knew to be a lie, but I explained to them that’s how I’ll be describing my not eating at events from now on because it’s easier.
And by the way, I figured out what brought on that gut episode. As far as I knew, I was eating healthy but, in going over ingredients, I learned the culprits were these two items.

Searching for wheat-free grain-free soy-free products, I’ve found Alexia is a good brand. However, I didn’t realize not all of their products are safe for me. The sweet potato fries contain not one, not two, but three ingredients that drive my gut insane -- rice flour, tapioca starch and corn starch. With the Perfect Pitch Mexican seasoning, the problem was corn flour.
At any rate, mystery solved, gut issues resolved for now, I was able to enjoy hanging with the folks at this morning’s breakfast.

Not a lot of residents were in attendance, but this I think is because the event was not properly advertised.
The woman who took over as President of the Residents Volunteer Committee, after next door neighbor was impeached, is doing a good job on arranging events, but then is sometimes sloppy about letting residents know of upcoming events.
For instance, this morning’s breakfast did not make it to the Monthly Calendar of Events, no flyers were posted on the board in the Laundry Rooms. Notice was first a hand-written note on the Community Room board. Then, when someone complained about the tacky notice, the hand-written note was replaced by a flyer but, if you didn’t frequent the Community Room, you didn’t see it. Not to mention that, when I went down to sign up that I’d be bringing Starbucks coffee, there was no sign-up sheet.
Those of us who attended and brought dishes just spoke amongst ourselves as to what we’d bring and showed up.
On tap for tomorrow is a trip to the University for more Pokéballs. I was trying to hang on until the next PokémonGo Event – which is the 24th, but I went to the market after breakfast, ran into a swarm, and two new captures. Some weren’t easy to catch, they fought and used up way too many balls, so time to replenish.