Friday, September 30, 2022

Custom (sic) Contest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for why the event, color me suspicious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Face in the Crowd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She has exquisite taste, and her unit shows it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 23, 2022

Familiarity Breeds

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

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

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

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

Can we say melodramatic boys and girls.

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll see about that.

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

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

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

Familiarity breeds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Christmas in September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I looked it up.

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

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

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

Also worth looking up.

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

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

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

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

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

It isn't.

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

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

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Happy Batman Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s harsh.

I also got an update on our Karen character.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 16, 2022

If You Build It, They Will Come

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then one day Tent Guy disappeared.

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

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

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

From this …

To this …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 15, 2022

After the Flood

The flash flood we had on Sunday though necessary with giving us water we desperately needed, did a job on the area — Mud, rocks, debris in the streets, on the property, the college campus closed due to a mudslide, Walmart closed due to flooding inside.

Some of our painted rocks washed away, some ended up covered in mud, while others stood their ground.

I loved it because, being upstairs, it gave the patio the power washing I’d been wanting to give it but couldn’t for fear of water dripping down to the patio of little miss Illusive Unfriendly living in the unit beneath me.

It took three days for the two maintenance guys to clear mud and debris from the walkways — management doesn’t want anything around that could cause an accident. Not that they’re concerned about us. What they’re concerned about is a resident tripping, falling, suing.

So the walkways are pristine clear, but the driveways are like a beach — dirt, gritty sand, tiny pebbles.

The beach extends to the streets — dirt, gritty sand, tiny pebbles and boulder like rocks. Driving from here to the Pain Cave is an obstacle course around those boulders, in order not to damage the Jeep’s tires.

It appears the larger obstructions are coming from the street and sidewalk corners literally breaking apart — substandard construction materials perhaps.

As one would do at the beach — play with the sand, someone (probably one of the local crackheads) had fun.

Yes, that is a sandcastle.

A flash flood is no joke, as I learned a few years back when I was returning from Starbucks.

I was at the corner, just yards from the complex when the sky suddenly opened up and dumped its contents seemingly on top of my car. I could not see in front of me, became fearful of what might be coming up behind me that could not see me stopped. As my vision adjusted to the blurs around me, I fortunately was able to safely make the corner turn, get to the complex driveway by which time as quickly as the sky dump began, it just as quickly stopped.

I shudder to think what would have happened had I been on the freeway.

The flash flood we had on Sunday was hours long — I forget how many inches per hour the news said, but I was snug as a bug in a rug inside, watching the patio get the power wash it needed.

Monday, September 12, 2022

And Just Like That, It's Monday Again

Yep, it’s Monday again.

Last week was a lot — Excessive Heat Warnings, Flash Flood Warnings, Wildfires, Ukraine, Mar-a-Lago, Steve Bannon, The Queen, 21st Anniversary 9/11 Terror Attack. In between was waiting to see how the cops were going to spin away the latest trigger-happy cop murder of an unarmed person of color under the category of Sleeping While Black (Donovan Lewis, Columbus, Ohio).

I did read something hilarious about Mar-a-Lago, which Michael Cohen pronounces as Mar-a-Lardo because it more appropriately describes the physicality of the bulbous orange guy.

What I read was that because it’s become clear that serving as one of No. 45’s attorneys is a risky job, the joke among lawyers is that MAGA stands for "making attorneys get attorneys".

I haven’t a clue what if anything has been going on blog worthy around the complex, because of all the above happenings. I did put in a few hours on that never ending needlepoint project. I also put in some time on that clutter management project I began last Monday.

Focusing on items taking up space, not serving a purpose, I got the Starbucks coffee cup collection and other miscellaneous whatnots down to a manageable level. Not that anything went anywhere because, not ready to part with those things, I just moved them from general population (everywhere) to solitary confinement (packed in clear containers, stored in patio storage area).

That alone cleared up a lot of cabinet space and is a good compromise to weeding stuff out so, if anything happens to me, family won’t be burdened. They’ll find a lot of containers, but it’s a lot less hassle to move containers, set aside to investigate contents, than it is to pack stuff up, decide what to take, what to toss.

While at it, I finally did something I’ve been wanting and planning to tackle for like forever …. organize the junk drawer.

Junk Drawer Before

Junk Drawer After

Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. Believe it or not, I can do magic because, other than craft items that belonged elsewhere, mostly everything that was in the drawer before is still there, just better organized.

Eventually, I’m going to have to make some decisions about all the containers previously placed in the outside storage area, to make room for more containers, but not any time soon.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

The Queen

Dear friends across the Pond: So sorry for the loss of your Queen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Twelve and Counting

Time flies when you’re not being badgered and bullied by some racist agency CEO and his complicit Klansmen/Klanswomen or screamed and yelled at by the Law Firm’s Environmental attorneys because they’re functionally insane and can’t control their madness.

This retirement was hard earned and though I never looked forward to retirement (I loved the work I was doing even though I didn’t sometimes care much for those I was working for), never thought retirement would happen for me.

Looking at my future back then, I envisioned myself as this little old lady who one day just keeled over dead at her workstation.

Suddenly, like a bolt out of the blue, the Agency lost a lot of its funding and there was talk of layoffs to balance the budget. I was 99.99 percent certain of being exempt from layoff, so I wasn't worried. In fact, I was actually hoping, like other employees, that I would get laid off. I'd have missed the paycheck but getting laid off and collecting unemployment seemed somewhat of a blessing in disguise at that time.

At any rate, to see if they could get enough people to leave voluntarily in order to offset some of the layoffs, management sent out an offer of an early retirement package to all staff. 

The offer was so minimal that most staffers were insulted, and it was felt no one would take it. I, on the other hand, crunched the numbers.

Realizing I was in a position to take the offer because I lived simply then (still do), that though finances would be tight it was doable, I saw it as an opportunity and accepted the offer.

It's been so far so great ever since.

It was the right decision then and, looking at all that’s happened in the world since — pandemic, declining job market, rising cost of living, et. al., it was a smart decision.

I don’t even want to think of where I’d now be had I let that gift — wrapped up as a voluntary retirement package, slip by.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Labor Day? It’s Still Monday

It’s still Monday, which meant a workout this morning and a stop by the market after.

The only change to a normal Monday routine was when Trainer set the workout playlist to old school Boys 2 Men, instead of the usual playlist of today’s music — like Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Doja Cat and the likes — even Justin Bieber (anything but Country because Trainer hates Country Music).

When I said Boys 2 Men was a nice change except, back in the day, I was more into NSync and the Backstreet Boys, had even taken granddaughter to an NSync concert, Trainer switched the music up for me and himself got caught up in the groove.

I didn't receive word the seniors were doing anything special today for themselves — it’s too hot outside for a potluck BBQ anyway. So back in my air-conditioned unit (fortunately the a/c is still hanging in there after a vigorous workout last few very hot days and everyone in the complex pulling from the system) it was back to a kitchen de-clutter project I picked this Labor Day weekend to begin.

I don’t know if it was seeing Red Light’s cluttered kitchen that sent me on this project, or the fact I learned the Seer moved out last week, went to live with her daughter because she (the Seer) had a stroke. However, every time we lose someone, I do think about getting rid of stuff — not leaving so much for family to have to deal with should something happen.

I knew I’d not seen the Seer walking down the walkway or in bingo for weeks and weeks and weeks, was wondering where she was. Learned at Friday’s surprise birthday party for the Baker that the health issues she’d been dealing with for years had gotten the best of her, she’d had a stroke, was hospitalized and instead of returning to the complex, moved in with her daughter and grandkids.

Though the close friendship we enjoyed was long ago gone because, when she hooked up with Shadow, she suffered a drastic personality change (as documented here and there on the blog), I’m sorry to hear life has not gone well for the Seer.

Especially sorry because Shadow was such a bad influence on her, sent her on a path that ended with putting her at odds with most everyone here on the complex at that time which, in the end, cost her valuable helpful friendships that could not be repaired after the two of them were splitsville.

I remember when the two of them walked into an event and the bad vibes coming from the two were palpable, killed the energy in the room. I was still in my not giving up on her stage back then, so I greeted her with "Hey! How are you?" Her reply was "I’m good, but nobody better not say nothing to me".

Alrighty then. You create your own reality.

After scaring people thusly, on more than one occasion, nobody would know what to say that wouldn’t offend her, so everyone just stayed out of her way.

Then, when she and Shadow broke up, there she was pretty much alone. Now she’s gone, he’s still here.

I never did find out why she and Shadow broke up, but thinking about it reminded me of another couple I think have called it quits.

It may be time for our Karen character to take a new try at Dream Lover because, at the surprise birthday party, I noticed Dream Lover and his girlfriend were not only not speaking to each other, not looking at each other, but sat separate and apart — he at one end of the room, she at the other end farthest from him.


Too bad these couples didn't live by that old idiom, "Don't poop where you eat".

Friday, September 2, 2022

All Fun and Games Until Somebody Chokes

Bingo was preempted by a surprise birthday party for the Baker today.

Red Light, the organizer of the event, went all out.

Potato Salad


Corn on the Cob

Pièce de résistance

Of course, my sensitive gut demanded I decline but it was not only my gut issues stopping me from eating anything.

It was just yesterday when Red Light texted me to come down to her unit, sign the Baker’s birthday card.

That was the first time I’ve been in her unit and it didn't feel right. Sorta anti-feng shui.

She’s got that nice patio window to open out to the world, let the sunshine in, but the curtains on the patio window were drawn and inside was like a dungeon — dark, gloomy, cramped.

The dark brown couch and matching big chair, which were too large, took up too much space. The color did not serve to brighten up the place. Nor did whatever was causing the kitchen and kitchen table area to look small and cramped.

Hers is a one-bedroom, same as mine and we all have the same space to work with. So, the idea of Red Light sitting in that dark depressing atmosphere all day, no space to move around … if I could have eaten what she’d prepared in that kitchen of hers, I could not, would not.

Would you believe that, in the midst of the seniors enjoying their meal — me with a kale salad, cherry tomatoes and walnuts, there was a loud bang.

One of the seniors was lying flat on her back on the floor.

Pandemonium broke out as we tried to grasp what had happened.

"Did she just fall and hit her head?" someone asked.

"Don’t touch her!" someone else yelled.

"I’ll go get management" was another voice.

"Should I call 911?" asked another.

The woman on the floor, in response to "Are you hurt?" began touching her chest.

Assistant Maintenance Guy rushed in, took one look and said, "I can’t touch her".

By then, the woman on the floor had somewhat caught her breath and asked to be lifted from the floor.

AMG repeated, "I can’t touch her", so two ladies managed to get her off her back into a seated position. The woman who’d fallen then grabbed onto the edge of the table and, with the help of the two ladies, got herself off the floor back into her chair.

When someone again asked, "Should I call 911?", she replied "No, I’ll be okay".

The problem she said was food got stuck in her throat and, first thing she knew, she was on the floor.

When she said food had gotten caught in her throat, I thought Ah Ha!, food from that dark gloomy kitchen, but who knows.

The new manager (No. 10) showed up, as did Head Maintenance Guy.

I couldn't hear was No. 10 was saying to her, but she did give her a piece of a paper and a pen, had her write down what happened, had two other residents sign as having witnessed seeing her on the floor.

I'm assuming management was protecting itself from a lawsuit — it wasn't a slip and fall.

At any rate, I looked over shortly after all was said and done — the fallen resident looked fine, fully recovered, had gone back to eating, went onto participate in the party games.

Other than the choking incident, the event was a success.

Unlike her drab unit, Red Light had decorated the room beautifully.

Sitting in my usual spot, regular table, what did I find but boots.

How kismet was that.

The Baker was thoroughly surprised, cried several times, even though she arrived before most of the residents, because there was a miscommunication as to when to arrive.

I’d planned to be there well before she, in order to capture her look of surprise. However, due to the miscommunication, I missed her initial surprised reaction. So, what I did was to later have her go out, come back in, do a reenactment, LOL.

Terrific acting job.

At the end of the event, as we were preparing to clean up and head out, I saw a half-naked woman enter the pool area.

It’s your lucky day Mike …. Black Bikini is back. She’s wearing a different skimpy outfit, but it’s definitely your girl.

No one in the room claimed to know her, but she absolutely must be a new resident, not a visitor.

Last time I spotted her, she was cleaning the pool's filter. This time she grabbed pool equipment and began cleaning the jacuzzi, then the pool.