Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Universe has Spoken

In a last-ditch effort to manufacture a good excuse for not getting out and hanging with my old younger friends this coming weekend, I contacted the doctor’s office to see if I could get an appointment today, tomorrow or Friday.
It’s amazing what lengths I will go to at times to get out of a commitment to socialize with other humans ─ even humans I sincerely like.
At any rate, the doctor can’t see me until the end of September ─ It’s a good thing it’s nothing serious, just something I should have discussed with her months ago but thought to do now to get out of that commitment. 
With my belief that we are just bit players on the stage of life, that the Universe is directing and makes its wishes known, I took that "not until the end of September" as a further sign the Universe wants me in the Long Beach/San Pedro area this weekend, the other signs being it is now too late to cancel the hotel without considerable monetary penalties, and the fact I was tempted to simply just call and rescind my rsvp yes to a no, but couldn’t bring myself to do so.
So, having resigned myself to the road trip, I wasn’t in the mood to check on the folks at yesterday’s Pizza Tuesday. Instead, the weather was nice (for a change) so I drove to an area known for its many PokéStops, parked and walked around hunting for Pokémon and Gifts.
Found a few gifts, but still not enough to satisfy what I need to feed my game friends on a regular basis.
This addition of gifts is a pain in the butt and I’m hoping it doesn’t last.
Returning to the complex in a much better frame of mind than when I left, I took a shortcut to the mail center, through the office area and ran into a group of seniors gathered in the entryway, almost blocking the door.
Being the cautious person I am, I cracked the door and asked if it was safe to enter.
They thought that funny, saying nothing to worry about unless I saw them running, but you never know. Better safe than sorry.
What the huddle was about is that Assistant Community Manager is back at her desk, one senior saying she was out because her husband is ill again and, in fact, is back in the hospital. 
That’s possibly true because her husband, bless his heart, has been struggling with some unknown illness that he previously almost succumbed to, but the timing is suspicious as his relapse and her absence occurred the same time Community Manager was let go.
Someone else said Assistant Manager had been offered the Community Manager position but turned it down.
That also is possibly true and I can totally see her not wanting the top spot because it would put her in a position of responsibility where she’d have no buffer and would have to deal directly with Corporate, which dealing with Corporate can be likened to what those working in the White House must be experiencing – stress, fear, pins, needles.
At any rate, Assistant Manager is back in her office … for now, and word is we’ll have a new Community Manager within a month (the job opening is no longer listed on Corporate's career site). I’m hoping the new person is one former office worker in particular that quit because she couldn’t tolerate that mean Nurse Ratched. We liked her so much that we gave her a going-away surprise party, and a plaque for outstanding work and being so nice to us.
While I was standing with the other seniors, being filled in, Apache came along. He's still on the warpath, working with the County and Housing to have his list of demands resolved. I can’t tell you what all he wants, other than the pit bull off the property, but he had an 8-1/2 by 11 sheet of paper full of notes, the last note being “Why is it taking so long for Corporate to repair the mail boxes". And because my buddy Apache really loves to stir the pot, he’s going to let the County know Assistant Manager is back because, he says that when the County called Corporate, they said she was not coming back.
That guy really needs a distraction in his life.
I caught a glimpse of The Seer — Shadow of course was glued to her.
She looked happy, smiling for a change and acknowledged me ─ Shadow did not. He just stoically stood there while those around him were chatting it up.
What’s wrong with him?
Is it possible he’s one of those guys that don’t want their women socializing or talking to anyone but them?
Apache says The Seer is still holding a grudge and will not speak to him since that day in June, when she almost caused a fist fight between him and Shadow because, though she’s been friends with Apache for as many years as I have, she all of a sudden tells Shadow she doesn’t like Apache’s tone ─ whatever that means, and Shadow turned around and warned Apache to watch how he speaks to her, which pitted the two guys against each other and almost ended in fisticuffs.
I find it odd that The Seer, involved in the church and bible studies as she is, can be holding such a petty grudge. Apache is over it, and Shadow is over it, but not wanting to anger or come across as disloyal, Shadow will only acknowledge Apache when The Seer is not around.
So much BS going on with Corporate and individual seniors. It’ll be interesting to see what life is like at the GenX and Millennial level of living.
Yesterday ended with one final word from the Universe. A 4.4 earthquake that nearly knocked my laptop off my knees.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Weekend with Generation X and Millennials

I was looking forward to this coming weekend away from the old folks, hanging with a younger crowd, but now I’m not.
A kid I met on the job some 25 years ago, whom I’ve maintained a friendship with through my job changes and retirement, through his job changes and a relocation to Fargo North Dakota -- where he opened a restaurant, a bakery and ran a Farmers Market, is on the move again. This time, he’s back in California, living in a fancy high-rise in San Pedro, hosting a Fleet Week Roof Top BBQ, which rooftop has a view of activities associated with Fleet Week, including the sights and sounds of the Beach Boy Concert.
It appears, San Pedro has gone through a radical urban renewal because, when I was growing up in a nearby community, San Pedro was not the place to be because it was strictly a seaport and stomping ground for sailors on leave — full of bars and girls. Now it appears the area is fancy housing and activities for the Gen Xers and Millennials.
I first met Q back in 1993, when he came to the office from a temp agency to cover my desk while I was on vacation and, when hired back to do other tasks for the law firm, made a point of coming over to meet me saying he wanted to see who the person was that had made covering the desk so easy for him because I’d left a step-by-step manual of what duties I performed for each of my three attorneys.
Though he was in his mid-20’s, I in my 50’s at the time, we just clicked.
Q clicked with a lot of people. He’s just one of those humans who seem to be blessed beyond belief. He’s honest, decent, people instinctively like him, good things magically appear for him, every venture he touches turns to gold.
And so it was that, after coming to the firm as a temp to cover my desk, he became the most requested temp, eventually hired permanent, rose through the ranks and became my supervisor — with my full support because he became a buffer between myself and the difficult to deal with attorneys.
There were three of us subordinates under Q and he was the most fun I ever experienced in a job situation. There were weekend jaunts — like the time all four of us went to Catalina Island, karaoke parties after work, all kinds of fun parties and events until a merger came along a few years later and sent us our separate ways – he to another department in Los Angeles, me to San Diego.
Still, I’d make my way to L.A. to attend Q events, even once blew off my own family to spend Thanksgiving with him -- met some of his new friends, met his mom.
THEN, a further merger sent Q to San Diego to, believe it or not, the same floor I worked on, where it was on again – dinners and things, introducing Q to new coworker friends I’d met.
He charmed them all and made some lasting friendships, even though Q did not like San Diego, eventually quit and struck out successfully on his own, eventually landing in Fargo to open his own business, look after his ailing mom.
His mom passed away recently so, with no reason to live in frigid cold Fargo, Q sold his businesses and is now back in town, involved in another venture, and rounding up us former coworkers/now long-time friends from L.A. and San Diego.
How could I say no to the roof top gathering, especially when people were Facebook messaging they were looking forward to seeing me again, and the invite came with the offer that if the drive from the Inland Empire is too much, I could spend the night at Q’s place.
Q’s new apartment is only 7 miles from my favorite hotel, so I opted for that instead so I could kick about on my own.
At least that was the plan until, after saying I’d be there, I learned the event doesn’t start until 4:00 in the evening, ending 11:00 that night.
I guess that’s what the younger crowd does, but I’m more a start at 11:00 a.m. end at 4:00 p.m. age group, so these hours are going to be a challenge for me.
Then, I learned that parking is plentiful in the area, but is going to be a problem because of the Fleet Street goings on, not to mention I’m worried about my food restrictions.
I’ve been cooking and freezing meals to warm up in the Instant Pot, so hotel meals are covered. But Q’s rooftop menu has me worried — “BBQ Chicken, hamburgers, sausages (maybe some Galbi - Korean beef ribs), veggies and there will be a lot of other stuff. We will also have Smores to toast on the firepit!
I can deal with the veggies, but only if there’s no season salt or anything other than olive oil on them, plus I can take my own special turkey burgers to add to the grill, but everything is getting so involved now that I’m feeling attending is becoming more trouble than it’s worth.
My initial excitement at getting up close and personal with old younger friends is weaning. I’m seriously looking for a way out and soon, so I can cancel the hotel without a penalty.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Running on Empty

Just when my sleep pattern had returned to a more acceptable wake up time of 4:30, alert and raring to go, worry kept me awake all last night until around 5:00 this morning. I dozed off for a bit, but was awake and alert at 6:30, anxious to perform my morning ritual and head down to the mail room to check on that which kept me awake and worrying all night.
Though the mail carrier had indicated not to leave mail in the outgoing slot -- to give the mail directly to her because the mail thief tried to break into the outgoing, it wasn’t an easy request to comply with because delivery can be anywhere from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
I don’t have much of an exciting life, but I do have better things to do than sit outside and wait for the mail truck to arrive.
I could have walked the correspondence to the UPS Store on the corner, but anxious to get the mail in the post and not able to leave my unit due to the announcement of yet another inspection between 8:00 and 5:00 (after we were told there would be no further inspections for three years), I took a chance and dropped the correspondence in the outgoing early Thursday morning, knowing the carrier would eventually arrive, take the outgoing, leaving nothing overnight and no reason for the mail thief to break into the outgoing slot.
Inasmuch as we have no Community Manager and no Assistant Manager, I was curious to see who was going to sphere head an inspection. My curiosity went unsatisfied, because no inspectors arrived, at least not on this end of the complex.
Total waste of a day when I had things to do in preparation for spending the Labor Day Weekend in Long Beach and the weekend after that at a meditation retreat.
At any rate, late Thursday evening, I went down to the mail room to pick up that day’s mail and double-check the outgoing had been picked up. Peeping into the outgoing slot, I saw the envelope I’d dropped off early that morning was still sitting right on top, just signaling the mail thief something important was there for the taking.
I’m the go-with-the-flow type, not the worrying kind but, all of a sudden, I tapped into worry, thinking that if the mail thief broke in overnight, I’d have to put a hold on what was in that envelope. But then, just in case the mail thief was sophisticated and “washed” the contents, changed the amount, he could clean my account out, so maybe it would be better to close the account altogether.
So many scenarios ran through my head as I stayed awake all night (worrying while playing Candy Crush, worrying while playing AlphaBetty Saga, worrying while reading Omarosa’s book, worrying while studying the DMV handbook in preparation for license renewal), worrying and waiting for daylight so I could go down and see if the slot was further damaged, the envelope gone.
Thankfully, there was no further damage to the slot, the envelope was still there, but not wanting to chance another night of worry, I posted the following to the mailboxes, as I headed out to get started on errands.

While out and about, I noticed I was walking funny ... slow, sluggish, balance off, felt a little dizzy. Driving back to the complex I struggled to stay alert.
Probably wasn’t the smartest idea to get out and about, taking care of business as usual while running on empty – an hour and a half’s sleep.
At any rate, I made it safely home around 2:00 without hurting myself or anyone else, and immediately went to see if outgoing mail had been picked up.
Thankfully, it was. But I don’t think the mail carrier appreciated my note.

I’m taking this to mean yesterday’s outgoing had been picked up yesterday, today’s outgoing picked up today.
Yesterday's mail was not picked up, and .... why is it so hard for people to accept having made a mistake?
Worrying now over, errands run, I’m off to catch up on my sleep.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

End of Summer Luau

No bad dreams last night, but woke up at 2:00 sharp just the same.
Go figure!
Gave up trying to go back to sleep and instead putzed around playing Candy Crush and reading blogs until 4:30, after which I hopped back in bed to give sleep another try. This time, however, not wanting to finally fall back asleep and wake up as late as yesterday (9:00), I set the alarm for 7:00, which would give me plenty of time to take my time getting ready for today’s back-to-back activities.
Activity Director showed up today, per schedule, albeit a half hour late (actually, three hours late if you count the fact she skipped picking up pizzas herself and just showed up later for the luau), but the point being she’s still on staff.
This morning's Pizza Tuesday was the same old same old, with two new residents picking up, delivering, organizing in Activity Director's absence, and the afternoon “Luau” turned out to be just a fancy name for “yet another potluck” – hamburgers and a few dishes, brought by residents, which dishes can’t be identified but which I’m assuming are cultural in nature.

Would have been nice if dishes had been labeled as to who made what.
Would have also been nice if Activity Director had livened up the event, which was well attended, with leis and Hawaiian music, but noooooo. And the only decorations were those purchased by the Residents Volunteer Activity Committee, which turned about to be a few lanterns, the cloth and banner underneath the serving area.

Looking at those dishes that can't be identified, I was glad to not be able to eat anything.
About the only things that looked good, and which I recognized, were melon, chips, potato salad and The Baker’s macaroni salad, all of which I love but, so conditioned now to clean eating, that I had no problem staying away from.
On the other hand, it was painful to see Banana Pudding (provided by Church Lady), and not dare to indulge.

What stopped me from digging in is the fact, as good as it probably was going to taste, no way would the taste be as good as not being sick for a week would feel.
So, that's it for the End of Summer Luau. Hopefully summer will cooperate and also end, so I can get back into my walking routine.
No word on The Seer's supposed birthday party this Thursday. A birthday card was passed around for signature, but neither The Seer nor Shadow graced us with their presence at the luau. If, however, The Baker follows through with baking a cake, I'm sure The Seer, followed by Shadow, will come to the Community Room to bask in being the center of attention.
This homie don't play that, so I'm going to try my best to make myself scarce that day, including not answering my phone.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday

After a fitful sleep, caused by weird dreams – one of which was so disturbing that it snapped me awake at 2 a.m., followed by first being unwilling to fall back asleep and see that again, then unable to fall back asleep when I was once again clear, I finally did evidently sleep because I found myself waking up at 9:00 a.m. thinking I had only two hours to prepare for Pizza Tuesday, to be followed by the End of Summer Luau.
So, quickly jumping in the shower so I could wash my hair, I began to think, because of a night of sleepus interruptus -- third night in a row actually, that I really wasn’t up to rushing around to do all I had to do to prepare – breakfast, makeup, fresh manicure, and would skip Pizza Tuesday all together and just drop into the afternoon Luau, take a few photos for the facebook page, then head back to my unit.
A short while later, I began to think …. WAIT! Is this Tuesday or Monday? What did I see on TV last night? Realizing it was Big Brother and Preacher, both of which are on my schedule for Sunday night, I breathed a sigh of relief that today is Monday, not Tuesday.
Later still, trying to figure out why I’ve had three nights of exhausting dreams, I realized that instead of meditating just before bed or reading something enlightening, I’d been reading Omarosa’s book … Unhinged.
Even more telling is the fact the part of the dream I found so awful that it woke me up had to do with one of the Orange Traitor’s sons going off his nut and first stalking a woman then doing something to her too terrible to mention, except there was screaming.
Putting aside the politics, the book is well-written and interesting, quickly reaching the hard to put down level, even though I’ve not yet gotten to anything disturbing or new – except I never knew Omarosa had a pageant and beauty queen background.
It would have been nice to see photos in the book covering that period of her life. But not only are there none of those, there aren't any photos at all, which one would expect in a biography, which is more like what this book is -- thankfully more about her rather than him … thus far.
At any rate, now making the correlation of three nights of disturbing dreams to three nights of reading Unhinged, needing a good night’s sleep tonight so I can be ready for tomorrow’s events, I’m going to have to go back to my regular schedule of meditating or reading something enlightening tonight.
I’ll be sacrificing some of my daytime needlepoint time to reading Unhinged, starting today, right after breakfast which, inasmuch as I got a late start and it's now after 11:00, appears breakfast will be more like brunch.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

He’s Baaaack

The outgoing mail slot was fine when I picked up mail on Wednesday but, when I went to the mail center yesterday afternoon (Friday), I could see where the bad guy had returned and begun working on getting into the outgoing slot.

The mail carrier is still not delivering to the boxes the guy damaged two weeks ago, management -- other than to make the area less hazardous to walk through by putting the medal back in place with duct tape, has not yet set about repairs, and the bad guy is back for more already.

Taped Off so No One Would Get Hurt

Another Use for Duct Tape

I don’t imagine there’s any point of management making repairs if no steps are being taken to solve the issue of break-ins. Either post night security on the property, relocate the mail center to the inside office, or enclose the mail center in a gate with key access to residents.
For now, the mail carrier has told us to give outgoing mail directly to her or drop off at the UPS Store next to the corner market.
Though nowhere in the world is completely safe from bad things, and there are worse things that can happen beyond mail theft and breaking into cars, I’m feeling we’re under siege here. Like I’m living in an episode of The Walking Dead, surrounded by reanimated corpses, having to always be aware of my surroundings during the day, pepper spray and a taser at the ready, never venturing out at night.
Residents have reported regularly seeing guys jumping the fence to get onto the property, a homeless guy was chased off twice as he tried to enter the Community Room, Apache recently chased a guy away from the pool shower (I forgot to ask if the guy was naked showering, but I can’t imagine showering with clothes on).
Inasmuch as the police are slow to respond, or totally non-responsive, we don’t even call them anymore. Apache has trouble sleeping at night because of back pain, so it’s not unusual that he’s outside early a.m., trying to walk the pain off or is doing his laundry. When I told him a resident had seen a guy and a girl arrive on a bike, hop the pool fence and go swimming, he made his mission to catch them. Early this morning he did – at 3:00 a.m., and ran them off.
Because there are worse things that can happen and nowhere is completely safe, moving is not a viable option for me. Because of where my unit is located on the property, it’s safe inside and I have a great view. Plus, I can’t imagine being able to have a unit as nice as this one at so little cost because of its location not being anywhere near walking distances to anything of major importance – like a beach, mall or entertainment, where units not near as nice as this go for thousands. 
The downsides of living here are I now feel the pool is too creepy germy to swim in, I have to leave the area for better produce (as the freshest produce is not shipped to markets in this area, like today when I drove 20 miles to get cauliflower that didn’t have brown spots, cherry tomatoes and apricots that weren’t already soft, and apples that weren’t blemished), leave the area for entertainment, and now the fact we’re being preyed upon.
One resident I spoke with is already looking to move. The choice for me is ... take a chance on a better area and spend so much on rent that finances become a worry, or put up with what’s happening in this area and enjoy, what we in the spiritual circles refer to as, “plenty plenty plenty to spare and to share”.
Right now, it’s an easy choice to keep my lovely unit, beautiful view and extra cash, but who knows.
Saw Head Maintenance Guy (HMG) walking around on Friday, so he's baaaack as well. No word yet on his aunt -- Assistant Community Manager. The rumor mill is now saying she’s not sick, nor on vacation, but fired.
I don’t see her job listed on Corporate’s Career site, so I’ll believe it when I see her job posted and/or a moving van at her unit.
As far as I know, Activity Director is still on staff, but I won’t know that for sure until Tuesday when we’re scheduled for an End of Summer Luau. If she shows and the luau is on, she’s still employed here. If she doesn’t show ...... well then.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Me and MY Shadow

It’s bingo this afternoon, and I’m hesitant to head down. For one, because I don’t want to run into the Woman Who Wants Braids, because she’d probably still mad at me for forgetting to keep an eye on her walker after I said I would. For two, because The Baker wants to arrange a party on the 23rd, to celebrate The Seer’s birthday and I’m not feeling it, don’t want to be involved.
A lot has changed since last year, when we celebrated The Seer’s birthday. Namely, she’s undergone a personality transformation since hooking up with Shadow – and not in a good way. She’s pretty much distanced herself from us, and has been ugly, dark, defensive the few times she has been around. 
As for Shadow, I don’t know what’s ups that he too is walking around like he’s got a chip on his shoulder and no longer responds when spoken to.
I don’t have time for either one of them but, if a party is to be arranged, my thinking is the onus is on Shadow himself to do the arranging. After all, The Seer was the one who arranged his birthday party.
The Baker says she’s definitely going to make a cake.
Good for her, but I didn’t commit. Maybe there are others The Seer and Shadow haven’t alienated that will feel the impulse to make a party, but I myself am out and will be staying far away from the Community Room that day.
Speaking of shadows, I had one of my own when I went to Michael’s Craft Store in Redlands last week to pick up more floss.
It has happened in the past that, because of the color of my skin, I’ve been targeted and shadowed by clerks and uniformed security – like the last time I attended the Harvest Festival, but it’s rare because I’m so careful to dress appropriately and not carry or do anything that might be misconstrued. But I guess it looked suspicious that I was spending so much time picking out floss colors.
I was spending so much time because the needlepoint isle is located in the back of the store, in a somewhat darkened area, making it difficult to read the tiny little floss numbers, and I needed a lot of them.

At any rate, at one point I became aware this youngish guy, maybe mid 20’s, very cute, lean, cowboy looking, wearing a plaid shirt, jeans and boots, was zigzagging around the isle I was in, but didn't think much about it until after I'd gotten all the floss needed, exited the isle and went to browse the store -- for nothing in particular, just to browse, and locked eyes with him as he came out of nowhere and crisscrossed in front of me.
That's when I consciously became aware he was security and I was being shadowed. It must have dawned on him that I knew because he began looking nervous, made a point to look straight ahead, not at me, and began walking way too fast trying not to be obvious, which made him even more obvious.
Now embarrassed and too uncomfortable to browse, I headed to checkout and got outta there.
Once back at the complex two things came to mind. One, that I should probably always have the cellphone in my hand at the ready from now on, so I can record incidents like this. Two, that when he became nervous at being spotted as he crisscrossed in front of me, I should have said, “Sorry to disappoint you”. Meaning, sorry I didn't validate your pre-conceived notion that, because I'm Black, I must be a thief.
So, anyway, I'm probably going to play it safe today and stay safe in my unit, away from bingo, so I don't have to deal with whatever party planning undoubtedly will be taking place.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Angry Black Women

Received notice the book I’d preordered (Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault Newman) has been delivered to the designated Locker, so I’m off tomorrow to pick it up, and hunt for more PokémonGo gifts while in the area.
It’s probably going to take me like forever to read the book because, my obsessions being needlepoint and meditation, I don’t have a lot of time for reading.
I did just finish an interesting new release by Zora Neal Hurston, who’s been deceased since 1960.

It took all this time for her estate to decide the time was right to release her written interaction with the last survivor of the last known ship ever to bring slaves from Africa to the U.S. And it took me all this time – from May 28 to last week to read the less than 200 pages, which included reading the Afterword and Additional Materials, Acknowledgments, Glossary and Notes because it was all so interesting – from a historical standpoint.
Omarosa’s book looks to have three times as many pages.
Checking the news this morning, I about busted a gut when I saw where so many denied the existence of tapes wherein the Orange Traitor had used the N-word and further denied conversations with Omarosa as to how to “spin” his having done so, only to have CBS This Morning release a tape, provided by Omarosa, wherein conversations were being held as to how to “spin” his having done so.
Even Sarah Sanders is backtracking, now saying she "can’t guarantee" the Orange Traitor doesn’t say the N-word on any recordings.
When are these idiots going to understand not to challenge Omarosa? If she says she has tapes to back up her assertions, believe her and don’t continue to embarrass yourself by saying she’s making stuff up, which only propels her to release a tape as proof.
Looking at how well Omarosa has documented her assertions, I have to admit that I’m beginning to admire her preparation, courage and strength as this can’t be easy for her .... or safe.
Omarosa isn’t the only angry Black woman I’m aware of at the moment.  I think I’m in trouble.
I popped in this Pizza Tuesday morning to check in with the folks. Activity Director wasn’t scheduled to make an appearance, so the Woman Who Wants Braids (WWWB) and another woman headed out to see if the pizza place would release the pizzas to them.
WWWB asked me to keep an eye on her walker.
I said sure.
There is a storage area under the seats of those walkers, where folks keep what they need while out and about – much like a purse.
Ready to head back to my unit before WWWB returned, I completely forgot about her walker. It was like an hour later that I had an on-snap the walker moment.
Things go missing here. Not everyone is honest. My buddy Apache’s iPhone and gate pass recently went missing after he put them down and briefly walked away.
At any rate, WWWB is probably so angry right now that I’m scared to call, apologize, tell her I forgot. I can either just wait until I see her again, give her a hug, apologize and hope nothing has gone missing or avoid her long enough to give her time to forget the incident ever happened.
I’m leaning toward giving her time to forget.
Speaking of pizzas, that cheeseless bacon and kale pizza turned out pretty good.

The crust, made with almond flour and flaxseed meal, rather than regular pizza dough, wasn’t as flavorful as a flour-based crust, but it was rather tasty and the slices held up much like a regular pizza. There was enough for lunch yesterday, dinner last night, breakfast this morning (with an egg on it) and dinner tonight.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tales of the Tape

Though I am not a political person, and certainly not a fan of complicit former presidential adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman, I admit to listening Sunday as a news source released Omarosa’s tape of her being fired in the Situation Room by General Kelly.
What surprises me is reaction is not that General Kelly threatened her, and subsequently lies were spread about her throwing a hissy fit when told to leave -- which clearly from the tape showing she was calm, rational, not rampaging through the White House, was not the truth that instead the focus is outrage that she made the recordings, "violated rules".
"Who in their right mind thinks it's appropriate to secretly record the White House chief of staff in the Situation Room?" tweeted Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.
Well Ronna, someone smart, who knows how to protect herself because, as Omarosa said on Sunday that but for the tape no one would believe her version of being fired and she’s correct.
So why is the focus on her recording rather than her being correct.
And as to the question “Who in their right mind thinks it’s appropriately to secretly record”, taking this situation out of the realm of politics, looking at it purely as a Working While Black thing, I have to say from my own experience(s), you’d damn well better keep documents, notes, recordings to protect yourself ... to be able to prove your case for unlawful termination should it come to that. Fortunately, I was able to survive more hostile work situations than I care to remember, but you can be sure I had notes and document galore (plus that password protected blog where I documented the daily forms of harassment), as I didn't have access to recording instruments back then.
So having gotten the answer to Ronna McDaniel’s question of “who in their right mind” off my chest, I’m done. I do, however, plan on reading the book. I’m not expecting to learn anything we don’t already know about the Orange Traitor, but I pre-ordered the book over a week ago.
Speaking of books ... magazines actually, that July/August issue of Women’s Health with Walking Dead Michonne on the cover was either sold out everywhere I went -- five different stores, and in some places, the September issue was already on the shelf.
At any rate, looking to purchase a single issue from the publisher, I found one for sale ... on EBay already.
On tap for today? I’m going to try to recreate a Kale and Bacon pizza I saw on Food Network over the weekend. Only, so as not to make myself ill, I’ll have to make the crust of almond flour/flaxseed meal and use uncured bacon.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

In Small Doses

Today is this month’s PokémonGo Community Days and, for the first time, it’s a two-day event, spilling over into tomorrow. Also, for the very first time, I find I really don’t care.
The game just isn’t as fun for me since “Friends” and “Gifts” have been added because they bring with it pressure and an expense.
Pressure because, in addition to The Archeologist and the son of a former coworker having requested and been accepted as game friends, the son and daughter of The Archeologist asked to be included.
That’s four people I have to provide return gifts to on almost a daily basis.
Of course, I could have declined the friend requests, but who says no to a child.
In addition to the pressure of having to get out and find PokéStops with gifts, I have to keep increasing my game backpack at $4.99, pretty near monthly, to hold all the game stuff I’m gifted in return.
It was fine when I was working solo, didn’t have to deal with anyone but myself, but enjoyed running into other players I knew when I was out and about. 
I like people, people like me but, as you can probably tell from how infrequently it is I connect with people, I can only handle dealing with them in the occasional small dose.
So now that four players are connected to my game, send me gifts every day, requiring I return the favor, it’s just beginning to get too much for me, not so much fun anymore.
However annoying as the game is now becoming, I’m not ready to quit and delete the app, so I grudgingly pulled myself together and got out around noon in search of PokéStops with gifts.
Thank goodness it was only 87˚ with a breeze outside as I drove to the Civic Center area, where there are like 50 PokéStops. I walked around and hit about twenty, got lots of balls – which I don’t need, but only one gift.
What a gyp that area was.
Headed home, I managed to pick up three more gifts by stopping by the Military Museum, a Church and Starbucks.
This is so not fun, plus I had to upgrade my bag to hold all the balls I got from those 20 or so PokéStops for another $4.99.
Tomorrow I’m off to the braids beautician (locktician), and can maybe find more gifts in that area. Otherwise, I may have to not opt completely out of the game, but resort to only opening the app once a week -- If I don't open the app, the gifts sent to me from all four remain in limbo and they are blocked from sending additional gifts. So, only opening once means I only have to reciprocate once a week -- four gifts total, instead of four per day.
My spirit animal Michonne, also known as Danai Gurira, is on the cover of this month’s issue of Women’s Health. 

It’s not a magazine I subscribe to, but I’m going to have to get this issue while I’m out and about tomorrow, to add to other special issue magazines I've held onto. I use to have that 1972  issue of Cosmopolitan that had a nude Burt Reynolds on a bear skin rug, but I tossed it during a move. Why? I don't know, but I regret it because might be worth some dollars now. I don't expect Michonne's cover will increase in cost, but I do want to find out how to get those arms.
Word on the street is Walking Dead is going to kill Rick off this next season. What’s Michonne going to do with both Carl and Rick dead?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Rumor Mill

After checking in with the seniors on Pizza Tuesday, I learned “Everything is confused and the two people in there (pointing towards the office) are not talking to anybody”. Consequently, with no facts to rely on, the rumor mill is coming up with its own explanations for missing staff.
“Assistant Complex Manager is on vacation”.
“Assistant Complex Manager is sick”.
“Head Maintenance Guy is taking time off”.
“His mother bought a house up the street. He’s spending time there with his new baby”.
“The people in the office are not from a temp agency. They’re from HUD (Housing and Urban Development. The complex has been taken over by HUD”.
That rumor was so ridiculous that I dismissed it on the spot, telling the rumor spreader that it didn’t make sense.
“The guy in the office is from Corporate, the girl is a temp employee”.
That rang the truest and came from the most accurate source, who’d actually charmed her way into the guy’s office, talked him into loosening his lips enough to identify himself and also saw he was wearing an ID Badge.
So, Corporate is in the house but your guess is as good as mine as to why regular staff has gone missing.
I do know for a fact that Corporate does not have a replacement for Community Manager in mind, and it will be a long time before one is appointed, because the position is posted as an opening on the Corporate’s Career site, which means Corporate has to first accept applications then interview candidates before deciding on a hire.
We may get lucky as former office assistants, whom we liked and who liked us and only left because a previous Community Manager (Nurse Ratched) was impossible to work with, may be interested in the job.
That is ... IF any of them know of the opening and IF any of them can handle the Corporate politics.
I was happy to see Activity Director walk into the room carrying pizzas and stuff when I went down Pizza Tuesday. So, she’s still here.
Residents hurried out to help her unload her car, but what happened to the residents she had picking up pizzas for her?
Did they get fired from the volunteer activity because they refused to fill out that form Corporate had requested, which form included a background check OR have all these staff disappearances prompted Activity Director to hide the fact residents were continuing to pick up and deliver without filling out the form OR is she just now seeing the need to prove her worth ... “Look how hard I’m working”.
Activity Director is usually very chatty about what Corporate wants, what Corporate is doing, but she’s not talking now -- we’re getting the distinct impression she’s been warned not to.
At any rate, she’s planning on an End of Summer Luau for us in two weeks, on the 21st. Potluck, of course, so I’m not expecting much. But I’ll go, take photos. That is ... if the Luau actually happens because, from the way things are going with Corporate, a lot can happen in two weeks.
Lastly, after checking in with the folks, I headed out to the tire place where I’d previously purchased tires for the Saturn. Having not really paid attention to the sign, when I use to pull into the bay to get the Saturn tires checked, this time I noticed it said “free tire pressure check” ... free ... period ... no purchases necessary ... no strings attached.
Woo Hoo! because this having to do it for myself on the Jeep was a drag.
I will however carry the portable air compressor in the car and, it in the case of an emergency where I have no one to rely on but myself, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Clean Sweep?

No word yet on a replacement for Community Manager, but no one has seen Assistant Community Manager or Head Maintenance Guy in over a week.
Someone we’ve never seen before is walking around assisting the fairly new himself Assistant Maintenance Guy and the office is now staffed with people from a temp agency.
What the heck is going on!?
I’m not liking the idea of workers from a temp agency collecting rent checks and having access to our computerized personal information and what’s in the file cabinets. Hopefully, these people are at least bonded.
With errands to run today, including finding some place for a tire pressure check (because I wasn’t able to figure out the portable air compressor and ended up letting air out of the tires, instead of pumping air in), I wasn’t planning on heading down for Pizza Tuesday. However, in light of all the missing staff, figured I’d better head down to see if Activity Director is going to show up today, or whether she too has gone missing which would indicate Corporate has mastered a blindside and done a clean sweep.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Out of the Woodwork

So, it didn’t take long for the anonymous commenters to crawl out of the woodwork and waste my time with nonsense, necessitating my once again having to close the door.
A pox and a smite on them all!
And while we're on the subject of woodwork … my route returning from picking up packages at the Amazon Locker takes me through a neighborhood where, many moons ago, I observed a homeowner redoing his yard, including chopping down a huge tree.
Every time I travelled through that area, I made a point of noticing the owner’s landscaping progress and saw, once the tree was down, he’d had the logs split into stumps and piled up off to the side.
Next, I noticed the stumps were being placed around his property as a sort of decorative gate, which I thought was a great idea -- repurpose the yield from the tree, give it a new life.
But now that the landscape project is completed, I don’t know.

I think the idea was right on, but the execution appears to have failed.

This idea of curb appeal makes me now cringe every time I drive through the area.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Neither Rain Nor Heat Nor Damaged Slots ...

... Stays our courier from the swift completion of her appointed rounds because we got a mail delivery today.

Needless to say, I was not expecting mail today. However, heading for 1:00 Bingo in the Community Room, I spied a group of seniors waiting around outside the mail center, as they often do when the postal worker is putting mail in the slots.
Then I saw the mail carrier’s cart and asked of the group, “Is she actually delivering mail today?”
The postal worker, having overheard my inquiry yelled out, “Only the boxes that weren’t damaged”.
“Oh” said I. “I thought you were gonna get to have a vacation from us”.
She laughed and said “Talk to my supervisor about that”.
Fortunately, my slot was not damaged so I got mail, but I feel for those impacted. They’ll probably have to find their way to the post office to pick up.
Since the noise from the bad guy breaking in appears not to have disturbed the Assistant Manager – who lives directly over the mail center, unit on the left nor Head Maintenance Guy – who also lives directly over the mail center, unit on the right, I was a little worried the bad guy might come back last night to finish the job.
He didn’t, but there is not a doubt in my mind that, having gotten away with it this time, he’ll be back.
Apache is still after management over the pit bull; except, in the absence of a Community Manager, he’s going directly after Corporate – even has the Housing Department now involved. In addition to that, he’s on the warpath as to how is it that staff, living over the mail center, are deaf dumb and blind to what’s going on right under their noses -- the mail center break in, and the homeless couple who often have been observed using the jacuzzi, swimming in the pool, using the shower and then riding away on their bikes.
The pool is right under staffs’ windows.

A indicates Assistant Manager’s unit
H indicates Head Maintenance Guy's unit
M is the entry way into the mail center
The pool is so close to the both of them that any splashing around in the middle of the night/early AM, when the complex is so quiet you can hear a pin drop, would have to be heard. Is it they don't care to look out for us?
Perhaps residents who are more vigilant than staff, like Apache and the resident in cahoots with him, should have those units.
Upon seeing Apache at this afternoon’s Bingo, I asked if the camera caught anything. He tells me Assistant Manager says the camera did catch the culprit in the act, but he can’t be identified because he had a hoodie covering his face. 
That brings us back to Carol’s son, who would know to cover his face because there’s a camera overlooking the area.
However, Assistant Manager also told Apache that the guy had tattoos on his arms.
I don’t know if Carol’s son has tattoos, but Apache correctly pointed out that description doesn’t make sense because hoodies cover not only the face, but the arms. 
So, who knows, but I have a feeling the bad guy will return to do further damage and that, if and when we ever have another Residents/Management meeting, it’s going to be contentious.