Thursday, March 29, 2018

Egg Coloring Party

Yesterday was our annual egg coloring party.
The Galaxy Eggs I’d intended to strive for turned into freewheeling it, as there was just too much going on for me to attempt such an endeavor.
We had children in the room. Lots of them. And somehow I ended up interacting with each in one way or another, from answering questions about painting wooden eggs, to helping paint one or two.
Apache’s helper brought her two girls, The Baker brought her two Great Granddaughters and Great Grandson, and The Seer brought her Granddaughter, Great Granddaughter, Great Grandson.
All the children were very well-mannered, cute and distracting.
And here I really have to commend Dkzody for her ability to work with young children on a daily or almost daily basis and come out alive because, for me, even though it was fun and entertaining, it was also exhausting. After three hours, I was so drained I could barely make it back to my unit.
One adorable little boy sat down next to me and I opened a conversation with him by asking, “How old are you?”
So cute, instead of speaking, he held up five fingers, was quiet for a second and then began to tell me his whole life story.
“I have two houses, two moms and one dad. My dad doesn’t live in my mom’s house”.
Didn’t take me but a millisecond to process that information and understand he meant divorce and a stepmom, but WOW!
Do all 5-year olds just blurt out stuff like that?
It seemed like something he needed to talk about, so I said “Two houses, two moms. That’s a lot. Which mom do you like best?”
He looked very thoughtful as he pondered which he liked best for a little too long, so I surmised and said, “You like them both the same.”
“No. I like the mom at my house best”.
It was just about then that his Great Grandma retrieved him and took him to the kids' table to dye eggs, unaware he'd divulged family dynamics she’s never mentioned in the six years I’ve known her.
One little girl took such a liking to me that she was back and forth at my side, asked her GG to take a photo of us together and even presented me with a special Easter Basket she made.

She referred to her Great Grandma as “GG”, which is a term I’d never heard before and thought very clever.
This little girl seemed quite mature for her age, but confused me when she pointed out her much taller, looking much older sister and said they were two days apart.
“Two days apart, but different years. Right?”
“No same year, two days apart”.
“That’s not possible”, said I.
It was indeed possible. She and her sister, who looks nothing like her, is taller, looks years older, are twins.
Can you image her poor mother being in labor delivering twins two days apart.
My girls are five minutes apart.
At any rate, this little girl spent so much time at my side that late comers to the event would ask, “Is this your granddaughter?” (As you can see in the above photo, this is a little White child, but I imagine her being mine is within the realm of possibility).
“No. This is B___’s Great Granddaughter, but I’m going to adopt her. I want her?”
That seem to make an impact on the little girl that I’d said so because her GG later approached and actually said, “I want to thank you for making C___ so happy”.
Apache made an appearance. His plan was to once again dye eggs using a method he found on the internet. Last year, it was shaving cream. This year it was to be kool-aid, but he ended up not dyeing eggs. Instead, he was eating them. 
That guy I’ve not yet come up with a blog name for was in attendance. Of course, that was because The Seer was there and where she is he follows.
And I just thought of a pseudonym for him. Since his purpose in life seems to be The Seer's shadow, let’s call him that -- “The Shadow”.
The Shadow also did not dye eggs, just hovered around and watched.
The Church Lady was in attendance. (This is the woman who dresses sharp as a tack on a daily basis, and even sharper when headed to church. I imagine her unit looks like a Nordstrom’s Department Store – pearls, diamonds, hats, high-end dresses. The woman who, upon hearing Assistant Maintenance Guy was no longer an employee, announced “There’s more to this. Something is going on. I smell a rat. A big one”.)
At any rate, she cracked me up because, after dyeing her eggs, she went to the refrigerator, found mayonnaise, relish and turned her eggs into egg salad.
As good a use for them as I’ve ever seen, but the fact that she didn’t waste any time admiring her creations, before breaking them down and devouring them, is hilarious.
With so much going on, I only managed to get five eggs decorated.




Wednesday, March 28, 2018

User Defect

Another chilly morning with me warm and cozy in that onesie as I was making coffee. 
I’m very surprised the little FlexBrew coffee maker I’d purchased from the market back in January is still working.
Not because the item is defective in any way, but because of a defect in the user. I’ve forgotten once to push the lever down when brewing, which lever in the down position is essential to operation. I’ve forgotten to put water in the tank at least four times and, once, I forgot to put a coffee cup under the drip spout, resulting in coffee all over the kitchen counter.
Oh well.
This morning’s post is coming to you courtesy of the HP. 
Yes, it’s back.  I picked her up Monday afternoon.
An estimated one month’s absence turned into two weeks, while damage done to the operating system and the keyboard, caused by those dreaded Windows updates, was repaired by the geeks.
That was fast.
The reload the geeks anticipated after the factory reset didn’t happen. They were able to auto recover all programs.
The geek assisting me laughingly validated my fears that I’d seriously doubted there will be what he termed “technical bliss” henceforth, because I fully expected future Windows updates would cause me grief. He indicated the frequent updates are due to the fact there will not be a Windows 11, 12 or 13. To which I replied “Thank God!”
However, he says, the down side to that is they just keep updating and “It’s only going to get worse”.
Oh well. It is what it is.
Getting around to removing the HP from the box yesterday afternoon, setting her back up on my worktable, plugging her in, booting her up, I found she no longer recognized the mouse.
I do not have the patience for that slide click-it thing, don’t see how anyone does, but fortunately I had another mouse that connected itself to “USB Receiver”.
Of course, no sooner than I had the HB all set up and ready to go, than a Windows Update popped up.
On the topic of defective humans, a group of “kids” were spotted breaking into cars Monday night.
Head Maintenance Guy’s truck was broken into. His wife’s makeup line (Evidently, she sells makeup on the side) was stolen.
One of the residents who, like Apache, walks around odd hours of the early morning, keeping an eye on things, saw three/four boys and a girl, going through the truck, called the police, and the police never came.
That doesn’t surprise me. They don't care and are completely useless.
Head Maintenance Guy parks his truck next to my little horse (the Jeep) so, even though mine appears untouched, that does give me pause because I think he's being targeted. The shed where he keeps his tools was broken into two weeks ago.
I recall saying to someone, a month or two ago, when management brought in a lot of younger people to help with getting the place in order for the inspection, and chose the cheap (free) labor of guys doing community service, that it was likely to cause problems later. That the community service people would now know we are here, that we have no security and are easy pickings. Though I'm told I'm wrong, I believe that's where these seemingly targeted crimes are coming from. Like who else would know where he keeps tools locked up just before, after all these years, the shed is broken into? Who else would know about what he keeps in the back of his truck, as he shuttled the community service guys around?
At any rate, with all the homeless encampments in the area, the lack of jobs for young people, the use of community service folks, crimes against us seniors is another thing that’s likely to only get worse.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


I think I’d blogged some time ago about how the nights had been so cold that I’d been sleeping in a hoodie, with a heavy quilt on top of me, another quilt I’d made some time ago on top of that one, and an afghan my daughter made for me on top of that.
Last night I slept all warm and snuggly like a baby, because I’d had the bright idea to purchase a onesie for the next cold snap, which was last night.
I’d looked at a couple onesies online and saw some really cute fuzzy animals, superheroes but, inasmuch as I’m into denim, camo and Americana, I opted for this one.

You can’t believe how good it felt and, waking up to a somewhat chilly unit, there was no need to run the heater.
I’m probably going to end up with a collection of onesies, some with feet in them.
With nothing better to do with my time today, I decided to head down to the Community Room and people watch this Pizza Tuesday.
Generally, so many pizzas and side dishes are donated that there’s leftovers -- even after folks take two or three each. This time there wasn’t enough to go around and the pizzas were fresh, not frozen.
Speculation is management is cutting off Pizza Tuesday, that this may be the last. Won’t know how true that is until next Tuesday, but a lot does seem to be going on as Corporate Boss Lady was on the premises and her being here is a sign something’s up.
And something definitely is up because the lights were off in Community Manager’s office. Word is she’s been suspended for 30 days.
Why I do not know, probably will never know except maybe the complex didn’t pass that inspection after all or passed with a lower rating than Corporate is willing to accept.
Either way, I hope she’s going to be okay. Though I’d like to see her return, I’m not sure working for this corporation is the best thing for her, so I’m just going to trust the Universe to do what’s best for her.
Remember when I’d blogged that The Seer was having visions of dominos falling?
First was Assistant Maintenance Guy, now it’s the Community Manager's suspension. On top of that, I’m told there’s a new rule coming into play when we pay our monthly rent.  When we turn in our checks and money orders, we are now required to sign a log. That sounds like Corporate is initiating a system whereby they can double check what management is reporting.
This you won’t believe but, leaving the Community Room, stopping at the mailbox on my way back to my unit, I ran into Handsome Guy.
“What did you do about your Dish situation?” asked I. (Management had notified him that he could not have his Dish attached to the patio rail and couldn’t have it at all without insurance).
“I’m getting insurance”, said he. Then he said, “What do you think of J____’s (The Seer’s) new boyfriend.
“OMG, you see it too ... the way he hovers around her, always in her space?”
“Yes, and there’s something wrong with him. He's mental”.
“I don't know about mental, but I’ve had that same feeling, that something is just not right”.
“You can see it in his eyes. Look at his face. He’s 51/50. You know what 51/50 is right?”
I knew 51/50 is generally used when referring to someone going off the deep end, but Handsome Guy explained it as “Crazy ... Mean. That guy is Mean. You can see it in his eyes”.
“I can’t tell by looking at his face. It’s just a feeling I have that something is not right. But what surprises me is that J_____ (The Seer) isn’t picking up on it as she's usually very intuitive.”
“That’s because she’s desperate. She told me herself that she wanted a man in her life. She won’t see it until something happens, until he shows his true self.”
So there you have it. My sense perception has been validated, and the fact that Handsome Guy is deep enough to have intuited it as well and, like me, is aware of why The Seer's vision is blocked, has elevated him in my eyes.
Before Handsome Guy and I went our way, I asked him, “He says he has a Purple Heart. Do you believe him?”
“No. He’s crazy. Be careful. You know where I am if you need me."
Once back in my unit, I logged into the National Purple Heart site, searched the guy’s name, and he was not listed.
In all fairness however, the site does say, “If you did not receive a search result for the person you entered, this likely means that the person has not been enrolled in the Roll of Honor. Enrollment is voluntary as there is no comprehensive list of Purple Heart recipients in existence."

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Wooden Eggs and One-Eyed Willie

Nothing spectacular going on last few days or, if something spectacular has happened, it hasn’t reached my ears yet because I’ve been busy doing my own thing.
I conquered the S9, for the most part. Taking that giant leap from the S4 wasn’t as complicated as I’d initially thought, thanks to YouTube videos and a manual I found online. Only thing left to do is figure out how to change the ringtone to the one I had on the S4 – Drake’s Hotline Bling.
Other than that, I’m getting closer to completing that needlepoint project and then there’s planning for Wednesday’s egg coloring party here at the complex.
Last year, I worked with wooden eggs for the first time.

Antique Finish

Those came out great and make pretty year-round decorations. This year, I’m going wooden eggs again, but trying for this look, as seen on Pinterest.

Galaxy Finish

Along about 12:30 today, I opened email and learned a Pokémon GO Event was in progress. It was slightly chilly outside, but I needed Poké Balls and thought the event might also net me a character I didn’t already have, so I suited up and headed for the University.
As I drove through the gate, headed for the highway, who did I see standing out on the sidewalk smoking, gazing out into traffic, but the new guy that doesn’t want his face on Facebook because he’s got “enemies” and doesn’t want them to know he’s here.
The highway that runs in front of this complex is a main drag. Due to the university, market and freeway entrances, we get a lot of traffic, so standing out where anyone and everyone could see him didn’t seem like something someone who’s in hiding does.
My Spidey Sense is working overtime, telling me something is just not right with this guy. I’m surprised The Seer, who sees all, intuits all hasn’t also picked up something just not being right. But that may be because her instincts have been blocked by his charming her. Every time I see her sitting in the Community Room, he’s sitting next to her. Every time I see her walking across the complex, he’s walking with her. I’ve seen him coming from the direction of her unit a couple times and, at last week’s Pizza Tuesday, she showed me a sentimental greeting card he’d given her.
The Guy’s a fast worker. He’s only been here just shy of three weeks.
The Seer describes him strictly as being in the friend zone, but I’m not so sure about his intentions because -- also at last week’s Pizza Tuesday, he pulled out his cellphone and took a picture of her.
The Seer didn’t seem to mind or think it strange. In truth, I knew he'd taken a shine to her and also didn't think his wanting a photo of her on his phone to be strange either at the time. However, now, in retrospect, inasmuch as he doesn't want photos of himself being circulated, it now seems odd for him to be taking photos of her.
I’ve not said anything to her about my feeling something is not quite right, and I won’t.  That’s not my place. Even if I figure out what he's up to, I'll keep it to myself. 
The University was full of Pokémon GO players (technically called Trainers). There was young and old, fathers teaching their young sons, a mother teaching her young daughter, Trainers running in packs. 
It was so invigorating to be out in the fresh, albeit chilly, air that, upon returning to the complex, with 2 miles logged into my Fitbit, I jumped on the indoor bike, logged in a few biking miles, then decided to register for a virtual 5K I’d been thinking about coming up in June to celebrate Goonies Day.
The medal is shaped like One-Eyed Willie’s key.

Copperbones 5K

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The New Guy

There I was, pulling into the parking lot of the office supply store yesterday, when the first sign of rain hit the windshield.
I’d better figure out how to work these windshield wipers, thought I.
I always keep the manual with me for just such situations and sitting in the car, motor running, looking for the wiper section, more drops of rain falling, all of a sudden the wipers swept across the front window.
Turns out the wipers are moisture-sensitive and activate on their own.
Works for me.
I’m beginning to miss the Saturn less and less.
Heavy rains expected that day ("Storm" the weather folks said), I actually had no plans to be out on the road. However, in the middle of printing out an enlarged view of the pattern for the section of needlepoint I was working on, the printer stopped. It needed magenta ink.
Of course, I had cartridges in every color except magenta.
It wasn’t raining yet, so I headed to the office supply store in hopes I’d beat it.
Almost, but not quite, but so light a rain that the wipers didn’t have to work that hard.
Anyway, I picked up the cartridges and was headed home when I saw equipment loading huge containers of sand onto a truck.

Probably headed to the areas expecting the worst when the storm arrives. 
I don’t know which is worse – being in the Red Zone when it rains, which I’m not, or in the Red Zone when fires erupt on Little Mountain, which I am, but I imagine being in a traumatic situation while dry is preferable to being wet and muddy.
At any rate, I made it home before the rain got any heavier and the first thing I did when I arrived back was to scour the residents’ Facebook page and remove any images of one of the new guys. 
Not the new guy who moved into the upstairs unit across the quad -- he’s keeping a low profile, but the guy Lo0sey Goosey (our resident nymphomaniac) was chasing and, since I didn’t know he’d end up fodder for this blog, I haven’t given thought to a name for him yet.
I removed his images because, as I was leaving the complex, heading to the office store, he approached and said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t put me on Facebook. I’ve got enemies and I’d rather they didn’t know I’m here.”
Inside I went WOW, but outside I said, “No one but us sees the page, and I find it hard to believe that you’ve got enemies. You’re a hero. But sure, I’ll take down any photos you’re in”. 
After I’d removed photos in which he appeared, I had a wait-a-minute moment.
Don’t want them to know I’m here???
Who talks like that?
A fugitive from justice maybe or someone in witness protection?
Probably not a fugitive, because the office has vetted him and, if a fugitive, he would not be here.
On the other hand, James Whitey Bulger -- on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for 17 years, was living in an apartment building in Santa Monica when another resident recognized him on the FBI’s website, turned him in and collected a two-million-dollar reward.
That’s $2,000,000!
I’m sure Bulger was vetted in one way or another by some leasing agent, yet there he was, hiding in plain sight, while probably not allowing his image to appear on Facebook.
So, fugitive is not totally out of the equation but, more likely, if he’s talking “enemies … don’t want them to know I’m here” witness protection is more likely.
Either way, it’s terribly interesting but I’m beginning to question everything he’s shared with us residents, like is A____ his real name, is he really a Purple Heart recipient (which is why I had referred to him as a “hero”).
We do have another resident who has asked me not to post her photo on our Facebook page, but she didn’t say anything as dramatic as having enemies/being in hiding. It was just a simple “Don’t put me on no Facebook”.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sensory Overload

Too much learning of new stuff going on over here.
I still haven’t figured out all the bells and whistles on the jeep. I did figure out how to use the GPS which, by the way, is awesome. I also figured out how to turn the radio on, find my favorite country station, but can’t figure out how to turn it off.
Research online indicates I can’t turn it off … ever. I can mute it, but once turned on, I’m stuck with hearing music as soon as I start up the car, when I’d rather not.
The popup accessory I ordered to organize the trunk is working out.

The four compartments hold up very well when filled.

However, it took so much finger strength to snap the organizer together that I seriously doubt I’ll ever unsnap and fold it down when not in use.
Then there’s the new cellphone. I’ve learned that going from an S4 to and S9 is a huge leap in technology, and with no instructions in the box, it’s all how do I do this that and the other YouTube videos, but I’m getting there.
One function I’m going to find useful, once I figure out how to load and apply it, is the blood pressure monitor.
Optical BP monitoring is in its infancy but inasmuch as I keep a close eye on my BP, because I prefer holistic remedies, only take medications when I absolutely must, do not follow doctor’s orders to take daily and, instead, try to take as infrequently as possible, but don’t want to mess up and have a stroke, a monitor on the phone will come in handy.
Insofar as sensory overload, I used to be a sponge for learning new things. Was always reading, studying, taking classes, keeping pace with technology; but now not so much, because things are changing too fast, getting too unnecessarily fancy.
On another note, long-time readers will remember when, back in 2015, I was headed to the market and saw one of our residents down on the ground, walker turned over.
She’s been having okay days, bad days and worse days since then, but gave up the ghost and passed away yesterday morning.
That’s the third resident we’ve lost this month.
First was the suspicious death of Apache’s neighbor. Second was a death in the family of three in my building, living in a unit around the corner.
In that unit is an elderly father, an elderly mother, and a middle-aged son who, although in constant pain himself, is caretaker for the mother and father.
It’s scary how one’s life can change in an instant, and so it was for this middle-aged gentleman. He was working construction digging a ditch, jumped in to continue his digging and, just like that, the impact of that jump so damaged his spinal cord that he can no longer work and is in constant pain.
It was his mother who passed away this past Sunday.
I saw the ambulance take her to the hospital a few days prior, and she succumbed there.
Third was the now 95-year old I’d blogged about back in 2015.
Three in one-month is a lot. Girls in the office are so over-whelmed that they’ve signed themselves up with a grief counselor to learn how to deal with loss of residents they’ve become attached to.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Happy First Day of Spring

I was three hours without a phone yesterday and saw more butt cracks in those few hours than I’ve seen in my whole entire life, so wanted to capture the absurdity of it all, but could not because my phone was in transition at the cellphone store.
My S4 had begun giving me trouble last month. Photos were coming out blurry, it didn’t always ring when calls came in, didn’t always notify of messages, and completely died on me twice. I lived with the blurry photos and managed to jiggle the battery to bring the old girl back to life when she died, because I didn’t want to purchase an S8 so close to it being outdated by arrival of the S9.
The S4 held on, the S8 arrived either Friday or Saturday and, not wanting to press my luck any further, off to the cellphone store I went yesterday.
The young lady that assisted me in the purchase started off great.
Off course, she tried to sell me a lot of accessories I didn’t want or need, including a Tablet.
Having researched new phones, I’d been saving and was prepared to pay the three times more than I paid for the S4 outright, but was stunned to be told I could not. That their system doesn’t allow customers to buy the phone outright.
I could finance it, yes. I could put down a sizeable down payment so the monthly bill wouldn’t be too high, but I could not pay it off outright.
I found this difficult to believe. It’s like saying, we don’t take cash, we do credit only.
No other way around it and guaranteed there will be no finance charges, I opted to be billed monthly, but was told I could return in 30 days, and pay it off.
Once the paperwork was out of the way, it should have been a simple matter of transferring data from one phone to another, but she had to first put the S9 on a charger. Saying it would be a little wait, I opted to take care of other errands in the area.
First, I walked over to the craft store, then to the office supply store next door.
Checking out of the office supply store was a lengthy process, because there was a young man holding up the cashier. He had bandages on his arms that looked like he’d just been released from the hospital and he wasn’t acting quite right. He was not wearing those awful saggy pants young boys wear that purposely expose butt cracks, but the pockets of his pants were heavily weighted down to the point where his pants were literally being pulled off his body and he was not wearing underpants.
He was tripping so hard, holding up the line, deciding he wanted to add candy items on the shelf behind him, bending over, picking up bags, pants being pulled down, butt crack to the world, pulling pants back up, bending down again, pants sliding, butt crack to the world, pulling pants back up, us ladies in line trying to look away, obviously embarrassed by what we were seeing.
I came to the conclusion he was on drugs or medication of some kind. Something about his face reminded me of the nephew whose funeral I’d gone to a few months back, my heart felt heavy and instead of being disgusted by what I was seeing, I felt sorry for whatever it was that brought him to this point and began to silently know the truth (pray) for him.
He must have felt something because he turned around, four several pound bags of candy in his arms and asked me, “Is this too much candy? Be honest”.
Yes, I said.
He mumbled some other things as he tried to simultaneously balance the candy, pull his pants up, pull his shirt down, and asked me to choose for him.
I chose the Hershey’s Miniatures.
He wanted to know why.
“Because if you’re going to put all that sugar into your system, the pure chocolates are your best health bet.”
By then, another cashier had arrived, the line was whittling down as his cashier was still waiting to complete his purchase, giving me a “What’s the matter with this guy look” I giving her a “Who knows” look in reply.
He was still mumbling something to the cashier about the candy I’d suggested he purchase as the second cashier checked me out and I was heading out the door.
I hope the kid wasn’t driving. 
Arriving back at the cellphone store, I found the saleswoman with another customer, a male customer wearing Jordan high-tops (what Manoli Blahnik's are to women, Jordan's are to men), bending over her station, butt crack to the world, no sign of underpants.
“Is this a thing now?”, I began thinking to myself.
“Do men not wear underpants nowadays?”
His pants weren’t falling down. It was just that when he bent over, his shirt rode upwards on his body, and his jeans were such that plumber’s crack popped out to say hello, with no sign of underpants.
I kept glancing away, as I waited. And it was a long wait, as I listened to the salesgirl service him in a way I thought flirtatious. She even gave him her business card saying pointedly, “This is me. Call anytime.”
She didn’t give ME her card. Plus, my phone wasn’t ready. She evidently didn’t charge it while I was gone because she tried to do something and it died on her.
Told she had to put it back on the charger, I had time to run another errand, I went grocery shopping, to the bank, and returned to the cellphone store to find her serving other customers – two girls this time.
She wouldn’t break away from that guy she was flirting with, but had no problem, leaving the girls just long enough to give me both phones, say something about wait more.
I waited and waited and waited. Saw an older gentleman come into the store, bend over, again with the plumber’s crack but, being an older gentleman, he did have the decency to flash to where I saw underpants.
I waited so long as the salesgirl chatted and sold to the two women that finally another salesperson approached.
He looked confused as to what I was waiting for, said everything looked fine, but I told him, “She’s not transferred the data yet”.
He looked even more confused as he said, “She hasn’t?”
It was he who transferred the data and familiarized me with the new phone.
When all was said and done, I could have walked out with both the S4 – which I’d sold back to her for $50 and S9, as both were in my possession and the salesgirl was done serving me, I’d become invisible to her.
She must work on commission.
At any rate, I walked the S4 over to her, gave her an exasperated “I’m disappointed in you look” and walked out a full three hours after I first walked in.
She’d better hope I don’t receive a follow-up survey.
When the other salesperson was transferring my data, I sought to confirm the salesgirl had told me correctly that I could not purchase the S9 outright.
He said that was correct and it has something to do with scams.
It still sounds unbelievable to me, and I’d like to know how a company gets scammed on a cash sale when you have a customer's address, telephone number, and the customer still has to pay you monthly for data usage.
Oh well, it is what it is.
Today is Pizza Tuesday. Not sure if I’ll go down to people watch.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Missed Opportunity

Having tried to head to the University campus for the last three weeks to collect Poké Balls, only to be thwarted by errands or rain, I found myself with nothing pressing to do today, and a dry somewhat sunny day, perfect to head out, catch some balls, log in walking miles, except I didn’t. I let the opportunity for fresh air and exercise pass me by and settled for sitting activities -- television and needlepoint.
Yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration was a major success.
The green deviled eggs went fast.

They weren’t as green as I’d have liked, but I didn’t have enough food color left in the bottle to get the darker green I would have preferred. I also thought the filling was a little dry. 
I used Rea Drummond’s recipe, but replaced the ingredients with gluten free products -- gluten free mayo, gluten free mustard, gluten free pickle juice, so I could eat and not get sick. I don’t think anyone noticed the difference – if they did, no one said, but if I were to make them again, and I probably will, I’ll just add more mayo than the recipe calls for, and a touch of olive oil, to counteract the dryness coming from there being none of the dreaded soybean oil in gluten-free mayo.
Apache hooked up a karaoke machine for after-dinner entertainment.
Entertaining it was as none of us can sing, though we tried, which made karaoke a hoot and a holler.
Ran into something interesting on Friday, when I attempted to get cash from the ATM.
The machine, located in what had been a safe area, next to where Starbucks had been until it relocated across the street, is now pretty much surrounded by a homeless encampment behind the building and up in the hills.
Getting out of the car, I took a step or two towards the machine, eyes on the cellphone to capture Poké Balls, because the ATM has not one but two PokeStops surrounding it. That was not a good idea. Knowing of the encampment, I should have stayed alert and aware of my surroundings. But, fortunately, before stepping too close to the ATM, too far from the car, I looked up and noticed a scary looking guy standing next to the machine, talking to himself. 
My instincts told me he was playing crazy while actually waiting for the right victim to draw cash, at which time, he’d probably knock the person out and take off with the cash. So, I fast backed into the car, locked the door, turned in the seat, snapped a photo for this blog and took off.

I did think about calling the police about a suspicious looking individual lurking around the ATM but, after the poor response I got from them when I called about the pervert who tried to corner me in the mailbox area and exposed himself, I told myself calling is not worth the effort and promised myself not to bother them again.
At any rate, I won’t be returning to that ATM. Inasmuch as it was the only one in the area where I felt safe, now that it isn’t -- with the encampment, I’ll be driving to the bank from now on.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Good morning and Happy St Patrick’s Day.
Caught a glimpse of the new neighbor moving in yesterday. This would be the person moving into the unit across the quad previously occupied by Grumpy – the woman who was quite nice, but complained about anything and everything.
Grumpy relocated to the Long Island area of New York just in time to experience the nor’easter, and is probably complaining about it right now, wishing she were back in California.
New neighbor is a guy, so we’re finally getting some testosterone in this quad, but he’s not tall, not handsome. He’s coming to us from Minnesota and is battling cancer.
If I only caught a glimpse of him, how do I know all this?
Community Manager announced it in Thursday’s Residents/Management meeting.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought it was TMI (too much information).
Suppose new neighbor wanted to deal with his medical issue in private.
If it were me, I know I wouldn’t appreciate it.
Back in 2012, shortly after I first moved in and was becoming acquainted with residents, I quickly learned that, when I could not place a resident’s name to a face, I was given a rather blunt description – usually something about the person’s physical appearance that later became obvious to me, like “The woman with the big butt” … “The woman with one tooth in her head”, "The woman that looks like a man" … or “Pepe Le Pew” because the man always had a bad body odor. Fortunately, as I later learned, residents were much kinder in describing me as “The walking lady with dreadlocks”.
Since we’ve all been told about the new resident’s condition, when his name can’t be placed to his face, he’s sure to be referred to as “the man from Minnesota with cancer”.
And it didn’t end there. It was said we have eight new move-ins, one move back and an eviction in progress. One of the new move-ins is bedridden, another is just out of rehab. (That’s not drug rehab, but medical rehab).
As for the move back, it’s not unusual for residents who’ve decided they don’t like it here to move out, find the grass is not greener elsewhere, reapply and move back. 
A woman, who was one of dozens who left us because they couldn’t tolerate the former Community Manager – that evil Nurse Ratched, reapplied but has been denied.
There are only three reasons for that – a criminal record, which I know she does not have, a problem on one’s credit report, or being over the income limit.
At any rate, going to be a lot of new faces around here.
This afternoon, the Residents Volunteer Committee (RVAC), disappointed with Activity Director’s St. Patrick’s Day Hotdog Potluck, is hosting a celebration of its own -- corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and karaoke.
You might remember, at last month’s Residents/Management meeting, the Community Manager disbanded the RVAC, saying all events had to go through her in future.
The committee brushed that off as her being stressed about the urgency to pass the then impending super bowl of inspections, kept right on with their meetings/planning. And today’s event is not a potluck. The committee is providing everything.
Even though we don’t have to bring anything, no longer feeling the need to close myself off, instead feeling open again, I was up early this morning, doing what I said I’d never do again – making deviled eggs, dyed green for the event, turning my thumb green in the process.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Residents/Management Meeting

Yesterday’s Residents/Management meeting was civil, jovial even –- that is until a resident brought up the pit bull. Not much got said because the Community Manager refused to discuss it, allow discussion about it and quickly changed the subject.
She was, however, willing to discuss the departure of Assistant Maintenance Guy (AMG), saying she was only doing so because she wanted to dispel the rumor that he was fired.
Body language speaks volumes. She looked down, rather than out at the crowd, while saying, “He had some issues he had to take care of. We were actually very sad. We took it hard as a team. He brightened up our day.”
I did hear from a reliable source that Community Manager had cried when AMG left. That she’d hoped writing him up was enough, but Corporate was pushing to have him fired, so he quit rather than wait to be axed.
I still think he should have let it happen so he could at least collect unemployment, but there’s no one but himself to blame. He let his pride and ego lead him into battling when he should have just sucked it up, put on a game face and played the game as I learned from experience is how you survive in a corporate culture when you’re a minority.
Community Manager has a soft heart. In addition to managing this complex, she has a husband, small children, is a youth minister at her church. She’s a nurturer. And all this caring and support of others -- getting involved in the lives of residents to the degree she does, is cause to worry about her own health problems and well-being as she tries to navigate between nurturing us residents and her staff while pleasing Corporate.
It’s obvious how heavily AMG’s departure weighs on her, because she mentioned him several times during the meeting. First to explain why there’s a backlog in handling maintenance requests -- because AMG isn’t here and he was fast she said; and second to explain why no one was doing this that and the other -- again she said because AMG is no longer here. Also, when a resident entered the room well after we were on to other topics, she felt compelled to let that person know the departure of AMG had been discussed, and “He was not fired. He had other things to do.”
Community Manager also touched on the dead guy, saying only “Mr. G______ passed”, and that some of his furniture was given to a new resident who “Literally has nothing”.
Again with the nurturing, she asked if we had items to donate to this new resident.
Also discussed was the laundry room.
I’d been wondering why I was sleeping straight through and not being awakened by someone doing laundry at 3:30 in the morning. Not since I’d convinced my downstairs neighbor that was where the sound disturbing her peace was coming from, that it was not me roaming round at 3:30, have I heard a sound from the Laundry Room.
Turns out there’s a master lock on the Laundry Room door – the lock we do not have a key for, and Apache has been going around locking that master in all the Laundry Rooms at 10PM, reopening at 7 AM.
How in the world did they get a resident to perform this duty … a resident who pays for his unit when we have Head Maintenance Guy and Assistant Community Manager living here rent free?
How wacked is that?
One of the two can’t do it?
I’ll have to ask Apache how he got roped into this. I have a sneaky suspicion the office used my name. I never complained about the sound, that was Little Miss Looney downstairs who did the complaining. But if the office told Apache I’d mentioned to Looney that I’d been awakened as well, being as protective of me as he is, he would have agreed to do it.
At any rate, Apache doesn’t seem to mind, but they should at least take something off his rent for putting himself out like that. 
Other announcements were an Easter Potluck on April 3.
Inasmuch as this is Activity Director’s event, I wonder if it’ll be something illogical like sandwiches or hotdogs again.
I’m done with her tacky potlucks, so I’m out. Probably won't even do a walk-thru to take photos for our Facebook page.
Lastly, the complex passed that super bowl of government inspection.
That’s good news for Community Manager because Corporate was all over her about the necessity to pass to the point where it looked like her job depended on it.
Out of the 178 units on this complex, only 24 were inspected at random. Community Manager said, with the exception of two units that were “very disappointing”, she was “impressed” with how well residents maintained their units.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Slave to Technology

The laptop’s annoying blue screen was something I could live with and was living with. However, the backspace key becoming inoperable was the Achilles heel that sent me to the Geek Squad yesterday.
Thanks be to the Universe for that Achilles heel, because it was a keyboard corruption issue, covered by the warranty, and the warranty was set to expire in 10 days.
Dodged an expensive bullet there.
As things stand, the laptop was shipped out to the service center for keyboard replacement. When returned to the geeks, they will do a factory reset – wipe everything out, make it as though just purchased, out of the box. I then go back, give them the virus protect and Office cards to reinstall and, supposedly, things will be “technical bliss”.
Inasmuch as my faith in Windows is nil, I seriously doubt things will be blissful because Windows 10 will run yet another unstoppable update and another and another.
I think I heard some time back that Bill Gates might run for POTUS. If that happens, he won’t get my vote because, if he runs the country the way he’s running his Microsoft Windows Product, we’ll be plagued with daily updates, malfunctions, crashes, corruption, aggravation, frustration.
Oh wait … we’re already having those from the current POTUS aren’t we.
I’m such a slave to technology (television, cell phone, computer) that the idea of being without any one of those for a day, let alone a month, would ordinarily drive me to drink. Fortunately, I solved being without a laptop when Windows 10 sent the HP in for service last time. I’m coming to you now from a backup – the little Dell. Inasmuch as updates are now beginning to run unstoppably on the Dell, it’s probably just a matter of time before this laptop fails me as well.
Oh … and that blue screen on the HP meant the operating system had been corrupted.
All in all, that’s a lot of damage to a laptop not yet a year old. One that I only used for blogging, manipulating photos, browsing the internet, Facebook, Instagram, playing Candy Crush and AlphaBetty Saga.
I asked the technician if I could turn it in as a down payment on a MAC. He never answered the question, instead said, “You paid a lot for this laptop”.
He got that right, too much to be having these kinds of issues.
He went on to say, “It’s top of the line”, that it’s got a this and a that, etc.
If this is top of the line with all these issues, I’d hate to own bottom of the line.
At any rate, we’ll see how things are when the laptop is returned to the geeks, they do what they do and all is said and done. But honestly, I hope the laptop gets lost in the process, so they’ll have to pay me for the loss and I can take the money and head over to the Apple store.
By the way, there were three other customers in for laptop repair. All three were the same brand as mine … HP’s with Windows 10.
This afternoon is the Residents/Management meeting.
Since I bungled arriving at the correct time last month, and missed all the action, I’m setting my alarm for 2:45 to make sure I’m downstairs by 3:00.
If it’s raining as hard at 3:00 as it is now – rain so heavy and so hard that it sounds like the angels are throwing rocks at us, I doubt many residents will attend.