Saturday, December 31, 2022

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Grey Gardens

Though it looks like it’s going to be a page turner, I’ve not yet had time to get into The Faun of Grey Gardens. However, the thought did occur to me we’ve got our own little Grey Gardens here on the complex.

Don’t know why I didn’t see the correlation between the two Edies before, and characters I’ve blogged about who have come and gone, the current Black Witch, R who won the Halloween Costume Contest dressed as a witch, and who doesn’t like children being in the Community Room, not to mention the Smoker.

What brought about the epiphany was when Red Light telephoned me last night to say her next door neighbor — the Smoker, had vandalized her door.

Story is that Red Light, awake for some reason and sitting in her front room at 3:00 a.m., lights off, heard a rustling noise at her door.

Afraid someone might be breaking in, she peered through the peep hole and saw Smoker.

Why Red Light didn’t make a noise, like bang on the door to scare Smoker away, I do not know. What she said she did was to wait until she heard Smoker go back into her own unit, then open the door to see what Smoker had been doing.

Smoker had ripped apart the Christmas Wreath on Red Light’s Door — a wreath that Red Light had herself made, even attached a little red Christmas wagon.

She said pieces of the wreath were spread out all over the concrete outside the door, and the red wagon was gone — Smoker took it.

After Red Light paused her story long enough for me to finish laughing my arse off, she went on to say she’d call Security, but no one showed or seemed to care. Likewise, when she reported the incident to the office — they said, "We’ll look into it", which Red Light said that’s what they always say and nothing happens.

Red Light toyed with the idea of making a police report, because vandalism is vandalism, but she’s afraid the cops will laugh at her.

She’s probably right.

Asking what I would do, I said "Well No. 1, I’m happy to know Smoker finally went outside. No. 2, I’d play the game with Smoker — put up another wreath, sit/sleep by the door and wait. If I heard her vandalizing that one, I’d quickly open the door and pepper spray her arse. If you don't have pepper spray any old household spray will do."

Of course, she won't do that. I believe she enjoys playing the helpless victim.

At any rate, I can’t stop laughing at what Smoker did.

As for WHY she did it, Red Light is surmising someone has yet again complained about the smoking and cigarette smoke seeping into the complainer’s unit.

"I only complained about her that one time Shirley", said Red Light but she thinks Smoker thinks all the complaints are coming from her, and destroying the wreath is revenge.

So many crazies/witches in my life story and here in our own little Grey Gardens. Hard to determine which witch the song (Ding dong the witch is dead) is referring to.

I'm afraid I'll be having flashbacks and giggling over this episode of our little Grey Gardens every time I think about it.

On another note, I've cancelled consulting with the holistic dentist 12 noon Monday, because the all-female dentist will see me 2:00 Tuesday. If there's a cancellation on Monday, she'll see me then.

Also, my girls turn 55 today.

A lot of people change so much as they age that they no longer resemble photos taken in early years.

I think my girls still look as they did when babies and, interesting enough, in most photos I've noticed they position themselves just as they did when babies — Twin 1 positioned to the right, Twin 2 to the left.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Funny You Should Ask

Finally had a good night’s sleep. Slept all the way through and woke up with a song in my head that I can’t shake — Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.

Right away I’m thinking of Henrietta, Jane, Joyce — the three witches that made my working life so traumatic years ago.

None of the three are popping up on Legacy’s obituary site. Too soon maybe?

The song is still in my head, so hopefully which witch is which will be made known to me somehow some way.

Of course, there’s the Black Witch — the resident who tried to bully me, called me the B word at bingo.

She’s done no damage, is not important enough for a song to be in my head but, if by chance the song is about her, I’ll know soon enough.

There was a ping on the phone at 8:21 this morning. It was a message from the dental office — "Thank you for being a patient. We would really like your feedback. Rate your experience with us here and we’ll enter your name into our raffle to win a $200 gift card".

How’s that for timing.

The plan was to hold off firing the dental office until AFTER I’d found a new dentist, hopefully before January 19 — the date scheduled for me to return for the necessary crown and additional unnecessary work they’d planned to scam me for.

Cats out of the bag now because my reply was — "Funny you should ask, as I’m currently in the process of seeking dental care elsewhere".

As of today, I have two options, both with great reviews and both who appear to focus on quality care, rather than quantity.

In retrospect, I think that’s why so many dentists are scammers. With these dental conglomerates that have offices in many locations, there is the need for each dentist in each location to earn his spot, bring in as much money as he can. Whereas, with the two I’m looking at, they’ve been in business for many years, same location with focus not on becoming bigger and better, expanding, but maintaining patient loyalty.

No. 1 is an all-female dental office. No. 2 is a "holistic" dentist.

Needing a crown ASAP, the all-female office is problematic as they are on holiday until Monday, January 2nd.

The holistic dentists is reading as expensive, but can schedule me for a consultation Tuesday, January 3rd.

The deciding factor will be if I hear from the all-female dental office on Monday and how soon they can schedule me for consultation and the crown work as compared to how soon the holistic dentist can do the work.

No one won the Mega Million last night, so here we go again with my feeling compelled to take my chances until someone finally wins.

I had invested $10 in last night’s drawing, won $4 back. The pot is up to $640 milliion now, so I’ll be purchasing more tickets after this morning’s workout.

Can’t win if you don’t play.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Pizza Tuesday

Thinking less and less about family members not getting along with each other — it is what it is, and feeling better about the dental situation — I’ve decided to fire the current dentist as soon as I find another dental office, I was close enough to being back on center yesterday that it was back to baking shows — starting with The Kids Baking Competition.

When one of the young bakers was asked the name of the spice she’d sprinkled on top of her macaroons, she’d answered "Canine Pepper".

"Canine" as in dog.

Of course, she meant "Cayenne", but her blooper reminded me of an expensive blooper that occurred in 2010, where 7,000 copies of the Pasta Bible had to be reprinted because a recipe for Spelt Tagliatelle called for "Freshly Ground Black People" instead of "Black Pepper".

Many years ago, a girl working in a branch of the office where I worked — called the Public Affairs Department, submitted for publication a citywide booklet that omitted the "l" making it the Pubic Affairs Department.

She was terribly embarrassed and, because she was such a nice person, I was embarrassed for her. As far as I can recall, she did not get fired for the snafu, but the booklets had to be recalled and reprinted at considerable expense.

Looking at the news this morning about people freezing to death, I won’t be complaining about the cold any longer. Especially since, up until today — when it’s beginning to look like rain is coming, we’d been blessed with sunshine while others are dealing with such miserable and deadly conditions.

Today at noon was Bingo with the new Activity Director.

I decided to go down to the Community Room, get a feel for how she's going to work out.

She’s young, seems personable enough.

She arrived on time, but seemed rushed to stick to schedule so, at this point, the jury is still out, time will tell.

I was glad I went because today was my lucky day. I won the Blackout game, covered the card.

Blackout Card

My Prize, Epsom Salt Gift Set

Today was also Pizza Tuesday. So, while we were playing Bingo, residents came in, quickly selected a pizza from the kitchen counter and quietly exited the room.

One of those doing so was our Karen character.

There were at least a dozen or so full-sized pizzas on the table. She opened every single box, stuck her face in, took her time looking closely at each pizza.

I didn’t see her touch them, infect them with her DNA. She just stuck her head in close.

The former Activity Director would never have allowed it.

She'd have told her to stop opening the boxes, just pick one then stay or go.

This young Activity Director could have cared less.

At any rate, Karen's Dream Lover was in the room, so it’s possible her actions were more a stall tactic — hoping he’d turn around, make eye contact so she could engage him, but it didn’t happen. So, she eventually opted to take the very first pizza she’d inspected and exit the room, with one last over the shoulder look back at Dream Lover.

Inasmuch as no one has won the Mega Million and the pot is up to $565 million, feeling lucky because I won the Blackout Game, instead of heading directly for my unit after Bingo, I walked down to the gas station played my numbers.

Hope springs eternal.

Monday, December 26, 2022

The Day After

Christmas Day came and quietly went, feeling more like a normal day rather than a holiday, especially since today is Monday and business as usual.

Trainer is not taking today off, so it's a workout this morning.

The Elf has gone back to the North Pole — not to be seen until next December, but before he left, I was able to hunt him down one last time.

The Security Guard was in conversation with a customer. So, though he saw me, I hurried past his post before he could interrupt his conversation, tell me where the Elf was hidden.

The plan for Christmas Day was to get caught up on sleep.

Sleep last two weeks has been tossing, turning, waking up anywhere between 1 and 3 a.m., meditating, browsing TikTok until I felt sleepy again, then arising at my regular time feeling unrested, bags under my eyes.

Sleep did not come Christmas Day.

Instead, to keep my mind off things I did not want to think about — like family relationships and my anger/frustrations with the new dental office, I stayed busy. Worked on that needlepoint, made more tamales — as I'm down to the last two of those made three weeks ago and, while the rest of you were probably watching Holiday movies, I was watching/listening to the Snapped Marathon.

The day before (Christmas Eve), I binge watched Homicide for the Holidays — featuring family annihilators.

The upset with the dental office began on Thursday, when I went in for a cleaning and learned the dentist I was becoming comfortable with was no longer with the office, and my first interaction with his replacement was his pulling the same padding the bill crap that caused me to leave the last office.

One would think he'd at least get to know me before trying to screw me, but nooooo.

Not only was he coming up with work that, at my age, I feel doesn't need to be done, but he missed the one thing that does need attention — a tooth that is vertically broken, in need of a crown. It was the hygienist who detected it, not Mr. DDS.

It's just so frustrating that, ever since Dr. McDreamy's practice was taken over by crooks with quotas to meet, that I can't find a dentist that is not a crook trying to bring in as much money as he can.

I don't imagine it will do me any good to look for yet another dentist, as I now feel this new breed are all crooks. I'll just have to learn how to manage this particular crook — let him do the crown, dig in my heels and not allow him to talk or scare me into anything else.

At any rate, this frustration with the dental office, having occurred just before the Holiday began, sent me on a downward spiral of filling my head with mayhem and murder, rather than heartwarming Holiday movies/baking competitions and added to my restless sleep.

One of those mornings when I’d tossed/turned myself awake at an ungodly hour, I entertained myself on TikTok and ran across an interesting story about a kid named Jeremy who had a beef with Santa.

Jeremy’s letter to santa started off "Deer Santa. i am riting this on the day after x-mas and i am very sad. i only received 1 of the 2 presents i asked for. Sense you ate my cookys i will asoom that my missing gift wuz a miss take. i will give you 1 week too fix this."

Santa (actually his parents) replied, "Dear Jeremy, I’m sorry you are disappointed with your presents. You asked for two very expensive presents and Santa can only do so much. You need learn to be grateful for what you have, not upset about what you don’t. If you continue to complain I will have no choice but to add you to the naughty list next year."

That reply seems to have enraged Jeremy, who then wrote, "Deer Fahy (fatty), your threats don’t scare me i played your game and you did not deliver. This is nOt Oke. i will give you 1 week and then you will pay. P.S. i don’t know why you care that it is expensive when you have Elf Slaves to make thingS for you. i think you are naughty for having slaves."

Santa replied, "Dear Jeremy, You are being a very bad little boy. Because you cannot be happy with what you have, I have talked to your parents and told them to take away your Wii U. Now you have nothing. Once you learn to be grateful, perhaps you can have it back. I am very disappointed in you, Jeremy. You will need to be an extra good boy this year if you want to make it back on the nice list."

It was at this point Jeremy went completely off the rails, replying, "Deer Santa, i do not like that stunt you pulled with my parents. You are on my naughty list now. Be afraid. You look slow and easy to kill. Enjoy your cookys next year because they will be pOisOn."

I don’t know if Jeremy is a real little boy or if this is a joke but, if Jeremy is real, then the Tooth Fairy had better not cross him.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

All I Want for Christmas

I came sooooo close to last year's Christmas Wish becoming true all of 2022 — that family handle their own squabbles and issues without worrying/involving me.

Now it looks like this year's Christmas Wish is the exact same wish as last year — that family handle their squabbles/disagreements with each other without worrying/involving me.

I’ve done my time.

In addition, I'm adding to this year's wish list — a trustworthy dentist that will tell me he or she can find no need for a crown or fillings, and that I win a couple million if not billions of dollars in the lottery.

That is all.

Have a Fun / Fabulous / Happy / Drama Free Merry Christmas / Kwanzaa / Hannukah, Solstice.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

On the 20th Day of Christmas ………

I received a surprise present from Red Light.

Nice, but excuse me if I feel no compunction to give her a gift in return.

I spend a lot of hours editing and posting event photos, have often responded to Red Light’s request for cash donations to get what was needed for events, and though I was not expecting anything in return for doing those things, I’m considering this gift a Thank You, no need to reciprocate.

On this 20th Day of Christmas, I also won the glass table decoration at this afternoon’s Annual Holiday Celebration, hosted by the new Activity Director.

I say "hosted by the new Activity Director" but my introduction to how she's going to work out was observing her leaning against a wall, playing with her phone, while the Complex Manager, Assistant Manager and the two Maintenance Guys ran the show, did all the work.

So, it remains to be seen how she'll work out when I attend her next activity on the 27th — Bingo.

And before you think how nice it is that management has been doing so much for us lately, I who have been suspicious all along, find us residents are pretty much paying for everything with rent increases.

In addition to the increase we received in July, after the Tiki Party, I learned that as residents currently reup, a $100 rent increase is being levied.

I reup for my 11th year here in February and fortunately can handle the additional $100.

Red Light is reupping now, got the $100 increase, but said she's not worried because the county pays her rent.

With all this extra money coming in, there were drawings for quite a few pizes at today's event.

I had my eyes on the Starbucks’ Gift Card, but Jenne of the naughty cookies won it, gave it to Painted Rock Lady who, in turn, flaunted it, LOL.

Once all the prizes had been awarded, management began raffling off the table decorations, which is how I ended up with the glass centerpiece.

The response to the event was tremendous. Residents showed up in droves — new residents, old residents who’ve never attended events before, residents returning to events, deciding to reintegrate with the rest of us, necessitating management having to set up two more tables.

The Baker’s husband, whose ill health prohibited him from joining in events, made his way down.

Big Friendly Guy and Shadow, who mostly keep to themselves, were also in attendance.

Even Next-Door Neighbor (NDN) showed up.

Out of bitterness, NDN hasn’t attended an event since 2017 when she was impeached as President of the Residents’ then Activity Committee.

Also present was Nice Old Guy (NOG) — upstairs across the quad, who stopped attending events in 2019 when, after asking Church Lady to be "his friend", she became jealous and demanding.

With Church Lady being as uptight as she is, and barley able to get around without a walker, and him also struggling to get around on a walker, I was never certain what being "his friend" entailed or why she thought that meant she owned him.

At any rate, NOG wasn't having it. He broke up with her, stayed away from activities to avoid her since and showed up today looking all spiffy in a Sean Jean tee.

As for Church Lady, she moved from an upstairs unit — about a year ago, to a downstairs unit on the other side of the complex, and we don’t see her around much any longer.

Also, on this 20th Day of Christmas, I saw the missing neighbor — downstairs unit beneath Next Door Neighbor, the unit inhabited by the Ghosts for over a month.

SHE’S ALIVE!! returned to her unit and was sweeping leaves from the walkway.

Over the weekend I did notice the Ghosts’ SUV no longer parked in guest parking, also that missing neighbor’s car, after having not been moved for over a month, was also missing from its parking spot.

Busy hunting the Elf and building Gingerbread Houses, I didn’t pay too much attention. Just made a mental note of the changes and assumed the Ghosts were out/about and missing neighbor’s car had probably been towed.

Looking back, it must have been that the Ghosts had resolved their housing issue, moved on and missing neighbor had reclaimed her domain, was out and about.

Thus, that episode of The Boots & Braids Mysteries (Thanks Mitchell for that tagline) has come to an unclimactic close. No humans having been harmed in the episode.

As for the Smoker, Red Light reports that, after Smoker did not respond to the visiting nurse, the police were called. Once the police verified she was at least alive in the unit, that was that, as she declined whatever assistance was being offered.

Red Light also reports that, a few days after that, she saw Smoker open the door to accept a grocery store delivery. So, we know she’s at least eating.

We all know this is going to end badly — with yet another unit in the quad needing a sage ritual to cleanse it of bad energy, but it is what it is.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

On the 18th Day of Christmas ….…..….

Feeling back to center this morning, I ventured out as far as the corner market where the Security Guard unintentionally almost ruined my Elf Hunt.

I guess he thought he was being helpful when I walked in and he said, "The elf is in the fresh fruit section".

"I’m pretty good at finding Zippy on my own, but thanks for the heads up", said I.

Fortunately, the hunt was not ruined, because I did not find him in the fresh fruit section, so I set about searching the entire market.

While doing so, I saw two little girls bounce through the market door with their parents, excitedly saying, "We’ve got to find the elf!".

Good luck, thought I, since they'd hidden him so well that I wasn't finding him.

I walked the perimeters, checked the isles, made it back to fresh fruit and was about to give up when I glanced over …… and there he was. Right where Security Guard said he'd be.

Hunt over, I went looking for the little girls, found them, said "I overheard your wanting to find the elf".

The girls didn’t get an opportunity to respond as the mother excitedly asked "We’d heard he’s in the meat department, but didn’t find him. Where is he?".

She thanked me when I told her, while her husband, thinking the whole thing hilarious, began laughing.

So, there’s that.

Remainder of today was finishing up my second attempt, this season, at a gingerbread house — appropriately the Elf on the Shelf kit.

I now know the meaning of having "skin in the game" because, using sugar glue last evening for the build, I managed to blister two fingers and cut another, but at least I ended up with a good clean sturdy structure.

Having learned a few tricks from watching gingerbread shows since the little house I built a few days ago, including icing the windows, I'm happy with the results and, quitting while ahead, done building gingerbread houses for the season.

Oopsie. I misidentified which side is which in the video. The first shot is the back, not the front. The front has the chimney.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

On the 17th Day of Christmas ……………

I never made it to Sprouts or the Drug Store today as planned. Ongoing family drama ate up my energy, and the time it took to organize, edit and post the 55 pics from yesterday’s event to the residents’ website took up my time.

Rather than push myself to even leave the unit, not to mention drive out of the area, I ordered the needed specialty items online and expect delivery before I’ve depleted what little remains on hand.

Basic staples can be replenished at the market after Monday’s workout.

All in all, barring unforeseen circumstances, I don’t have to leave the unit, face the world until Monday.

In the meantime, there’s needlepoint and my latest project to work on.

Yes, I’ve been bitten by the Gingerbread Build Bug.

We’ll see how this one goes.

The Guessing Game Results are in.

The front runner is Olivia with 6 out of 10.

Mitchell and Bob tied for second with 5 out of 10.

Mitchell scores brownie points for pointing out Cratchit was in A Christmas Story, not Scrooge. None of us caught that error at yesterday’s event — probably because none of us knew the answer either way.

Bob was the most humorous with Christmas Trees being decorated with small edible children. ROFLMAO!

Sorry Debra. You’re in the bottom, with 2 out of 10, but you did better than some of the seniors that got zero, zilt, nada out of 10.

Now for the answers given at yesterday’s event.

1) What direction is Santa’s Route? — EAST.

2) Bob Cratchit’s son’s name? — TINY TIM.

3) What is made for Christmas but never eaten? — FRUIT CAKE, which answer I thought to be disputable, a trick question, because some people do eat it.

4) What were the very first Christmas Trees decorated with? You were correct if you answered any of the following — APPLES, GINGERBREAD COOKIES, NUTS, WHITE CANDIES.

5) What is traditionally put on top of a Christmas Tree? — ANGEL.

6) What was the name of Frosty’s girlfriend? — KAREN!!!!

7) What color is Holly? — GREEN.

8) What Christmas beverage is called Milk Punch? — EGGNOG.

9) What words follow "Silent Night"? — HOLY NIGHT.

10) What happens every time a bell rings? — AN ANGEL GETS ITS WINGS.

Some of you who did not post your answers, but kept a list — like Drum Major/Linda in Kansas ..... How’d you do?

Friday, December 16, 2022

On the 16th Day of Christmas ………

I took the morning off from the Pain Cave, in order to get to today’s White Elephant event, on time — 12 noon.

I was happy to see so many had brought gifts for the exchange. The table was full of beautifully decorated gifts.

Then there was my plain wrapped gift.

My picking up this plain paper and twine tie at the craft store was a misstep. Though I myself liked the paper, it wasn’t enticing, didn’t scream "PICK Me".

Consequently, though not last to be picked, it was 3 gifts from the last to be chosen, and ended up in the hands of the guy our Karen character used to chase — Dream Lover.

The gift he initially chose turned out to be a purse.

Luckily for him, next to pick — Older Sister wanted the purse, stole it from him.

He next picked a very nice candle and bath towel set.

I stole it from him, whereupon he ended up with jewelry — a bracelet.

Someone then stole the candle/towel set from me that I’d stolen from him.

I ended up with a Travel Mug/Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Set.

Not too shabby, but I’d rather have kept the candle/towel.

Then Painted Rock Lady stole the jewelry from Dream Lover. With four gifts left to choose from, he picked the baking sets.

No one stole it from him, so he was stuck with it.

No matter. He can regift it to someone else, or just eat the cookie pieces.

All in all, it was a fun event and almost like old times, insofar as the number of attendees. I saw people I’ve not seen in ages, along with a few new faces.

Gift Exchange was actually fourth on the agenda. First being the meal — tamales with all the trimmings.

The room emptied somewhat after the meal, as some came just for the tamales.

Next on the agenda was a fun Guessing Game.

Ten questions were called out. We wrote the answer down on paper and prizes were awarded to those that got the most correct. No one got all ten correct, so prizes went to one resident that got 8 correct and two who got 7 correct.

I only got 4 — It was a tough quiz.

How tough? you ask.

You be the judge.

No cheating, no googling the answers.

Comment your answers and tomorrow/next day, I’ll blog the correct answers.

1) What direction is Santa’s Route, which way does he travel in delivering his satchel of gifts?

2) In the film Scrooge, what was Bob Cratchit’s son’s name?

3) What is made for Christmas but never eaten?

4) What were the very first Christmas Trees decorated with?

5) What is/was traditionally put on top of a Christmas Tree?

6) What was the name of Frosty’s girlfriend?

7) What color is Holly?

8) What Christmas beverage is called Milk Punch?

9) What words follow "Silent Night"?

10) According to the film "It's a Wonderful Life", what happens every time a bell rings?

Then came the Cookie Decorating Competition.

We were given a Christmas Tree shaped cookie and a small female Santa cookie to decorate.

I obviously didn’t put a lot of time or energy into the tree but, taking inspiration from Dawn’s granddaughter Princess T’s cute little Black Santa ........

Princess T's Cookie

...... I made a Black Santa to go along with my Christmas Tree.

My tree didn’t stack up to the Picassos some of the others made, and we weren't being graded on the small cookie, so I wasn’t expecting to win a prize. But then, the Baker gave me a gift, saying it was something she wanted me to have.

Later, taking inspiration from resident Jenne’s naughty cookie ......

Jenne’s naughty cookie

Yes, it's what you're thinking

........ I edited my cookie — gave my girl implants.

Next up was the White Elephant Exchange after which I was out with my loot.

Tomorrow I'm off to Sprout's for specialty items, with a stop by the drug store, as younger sister said the drug store has an Elf Competition — a hidden one on the premises.

It's possible she's confusing the drug store with the market, but I feel the need to check it out.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

On the 15th Day of Christmas …………

I found Jippy the Elf strapped to a pole in the meat department.

I don’t know if it’s just my dirty mind that I’m seeing some kind of naughty subliminal messaging in the Elf being strapped to a pole in the meat department but, other than that, whoever is hiding the Elf this year is making it too easy with this hiding in plain sight.

When out and about, I may check this store in a different location, see if the hiding spot is more challenging.

In other news, returning from my trip to Long Beach for Thanksmas, I’d reported the Queen Mary — closed due to deteriorating conditions, needing an estimated $700 million for repairs, was saved from being sunk into the briny deep by an influx of $5 million for partial repairs.

The plan for the Queen was, after certain areas were repaired, a reopening of those areas by end of the year.

With end of year rapidly approaching, I doubted the deadline could be met.

Lo and Behold, the Queen is open for business.

Did you hear the Guide confirm? ....... "Definitely yes, the Queen IS haunted".

I must admit, the idea of touring the Queen, for the purpose of hunting Pok√©mon, sounds tempting; but I’d be too afraid some invisible something would stick to me, follow me home, so no.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Tale of Two Drivers

On the 12th Day of Christmas the Universe gave to me ……… a jeep that would not start after the morning workout, necessitating a tow to the local dealership — not my dealership of choice due to years of bad reviews.

Any port in a storm so, because the dealership was sure to be a lot less busy —because of so many dissatisfied customers than my far away dealership of choice, and easiest to get to, I went out-of-pocket and got a $130 tow in 30 minutes.

The tow would have cost $0 had I gone with the service my auto insurer wanted to send, but their ETA of 3 hours was a turnoff.

The disappointment on the face of the service advisor at the dealership was palpable when, looking me up in the computer, he saw I had a Lifetime Warranty — "The best warranty there is", said he.

I’d asked for a diagnostic six months ago, at the preferred dealership, when I’d taken the jeep in for its recommended multi-point inspection because it had been exhibiting little quirks.

"We’ll have to keep the car for seven days", said the service advisor.

"Bull Crap" thought I, knowing full well it takes about two hours for a diagnostic test.

I think it’s a situation of the Lifetime Warranty biting me in the butt.

Mr. Service Advisor, realizing it wasn’t going to bring in any money, didn’t want to take a technician away from a money job. He was just going to park the car for a week, get around to having the test run when business was slow — which it rarely if ever is at that dealership. They have a good rep, so everyone takes their jeeps there for service.

Not wanting to be stranded far from home, I let it slide, settled for the multi-point inspection and now here I am with the jeep being towed to the local dealership.

At least this service advisor offered someone to drive me home.

I didn’t have to worry because, being close to home base, Trainer had offered and Twin 2 was standing by, but I took the offer and was driven home by a Fair Haired All-American type.

What’s interesting is that Tow Truck Guy, with whom I rode to the dealership with, looked like the kind of guy a woman would be afraid to be in a car alone with.

All tatted up, he had a gruff gangbanger look about him — much like Trainer. The kind of look that turns those with no depth of vision off; but for me — just like when I first lay eyes on Trainer, I felt Tow Guy’s warm energy, friendly nature, liked him immediately.

We had a fun conversation on the ride to the dealership.

On the other hand, I felt the cold dead energy of All American Ride Home Guy the moment I sat in the van with him and, by the time Ride Home Guy dropped me off back at the complex, I was experiencing a raging headache.

Ride Home Guy made me think of Jeffrey Dahmer, both in appearance and as he talked about how much he hated working for the dealership, how much he hated his immediate supervisor and the big boss — i.e., owner’s son; he also had nothing nice to say about the bigger boss — i.e, the owner, saying the dealership ripped customers off.

He regaled me with a tale about the owner currently suing a customer for posting something to TikTok warning people about the dealership ripping him and others off.

I later checked TikTok, did not find the video in question.

Ride Home Guy lives with his grandma — hates it. Has a baby by a girl in Pasadena and often gets up at 3:00 AM, drives to Pasadena to help the girlfriend’s parents out with some kind of Farmer’s Market thing.

No surprise, he hates having to do that, but they pay him — I forget how much he said, which isn’t enough per him.

He once "beat up" his supervisor at a previous job. Actually got into a fight on the parking lot where an argument turned into the supervisor throwing something at and damaging Ride Home Guy’s car, whereupon Ride Home Guy beat the boss "bloody".

"Did you get arrested?" asked I.

"Told we could bring charges against each other, nothing happened" said he.

Of course not ….. Fair haired All American Good Looks Privilege. No one will see him as suspicious or a threat until after the fact. After he un-alives his grandma, his girlfriend’s parents and all the bosses at the dealership, while people like Trainer, Tow Guy and People of Color in general get hassled for breathing, thought I.

In fact, on the ride to the dealership, Tow Guy told me of a recent incident where, walking out of a business with his baby in his arms, he’d been surrounded in the parking lot by cops brandishing guns.

Is was the same ol’ trite "You fit the description" excuse ……… "of a guy who just robbed the bank".

"With a baby in his arms?" asked Tow Guy.

On the 13th Day of Christmas ……

No car in the carport, which might have been a good thing because I heard the voice of Talker's little granddaughter coming from near my walkway. No car in the carport, indicating I wasn't home, probably saved me from her knocking on my door.

So, anyway, the jeep was ready for pickup around 4:00 yesterday. I picked her up after this morning’s workout — Twin 2 drove me to the dealership.

Inasmuch as Ride Home Guy, said the dealership "rips customers off", I was suspicious and looked into the $497.35 for "Test, Removed and replaced battery, cleared 43 Codes, Retest and Test Drive".

Having only had the car for three years, it didn’t seem possible for a battery to die so soon, but nooooo.

They just don’t make ‘em like the used to — "A Jeep Renegade battery will usually last between 3 to 5 years" and it is not covered in the lifetime warranty.

Furthermore, "the average cost for a Jeep Renegade battery replacement is between $262 and $275. Labor costs are estimated between $53 and $67 while parts are priced at $209".

So, all in all I think the charges to be about right.

On the 14th Day of Christmas ……

Back in the Saddle Again.