And For My Next Trick

Four days until I’m off on another adventurous 5K weekend. “Adventurous” as I’m taking a chance on a hotel found through researching Expedia and Yelp, which hotel is supposedly 11 minutes away from the event (Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K), near Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and next door to a wax museum – so there’s plenty to do before … and after the race if I’m not all stiff and sore and can still walk.

I had really good luck with the hotel I booked for 4th of July, but I’m not sure about this one. The online photos of the room depict “neat, clean, tidy”, but the carpet and furniture read “old … outdated”.

Hotel 072514

Hotel 072514

Also “adventurous” as the location for the event is a walking path I’ve never raced on before, which unfamiliarity tends to slow me down, plus it’s in Creek Park, which is purported to be haunted – not by one, but by TWO incorporeal visitors.

The story goes that park neighbors and late night visitors to the park have either “seen or heard the specter of a little girl across an old wooden bridge, right on top of a stair case full bush on its sides and where the dusty and lonely trail extends. Allegedly the spirit seems to recreate the moment in which she loses sight of her mother and nervously starts calling for her. While some people claims to have heard her echoing and worried voice through the bridge, others say they have seen her shape but never her face or extremities. She stands still. The park is too dark to see how she looks or what she’s wearing, but the moment you hear her you will know she belongs to the nonliving.”

The story goes on to say, “Not enough with the creepy sightings of a little girl, other say that near to her location you can also encounter the spirit of a hooded man who makes his walk toward the squeaky bridge. To finalize, many witnesses believe that these two souls were the victims of alleged satanic ritual that were held at the recreational area back in the 80’s, and that they are trying to prevent visitor from something sinister that happened to them.”

That’s some scary stuff and anything is possible, so the possibility of ghostly encounters gives me the incentive to NOT end up behind the pack at the near dead last position, as in that last race, or worse … THE dead last position. Curiously though, I’m intrigued by the story enough that I will be slowing to snap photos if I happen to see something that looks like a “stair case full bush on its sides and where the dusty and lonely trail extends”.

Lastly, I finished Tutu No. 5 — the tie dye one.

Tiedye Tutu

It fits the race description of “crazy tutu” and it makes me smile, so I’m like 90 percent sure it’s my final answer. There is, however, a 10% chance, I’ll switch at the last minute back to my original choice – the patriotic one.

I don’t ever recall being this indecisive … or indecisive at all. Which one do YOU like best?

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Things That Go Bump in the Night

After getting all settled into bed last Monday, I heard what sounded like someone bumping into the stair railing. Thinking it was the across-the-way neighbor or one of her visitors coming in late, I listened for footsteps and a door opening and closing.

Hearing neither, just one more bumping into the stair railing sound, but too settled in to check out the sounds to make sure no one was creeping about, I simply rolled over and went to sleep.

Heading to the pool around 11:00 the next morning, I saw this by the railing.

Tail and Partial Hind Quarter

Appears to be what’s left of the latest victim of the coyotes — a salt/pepper colored tail and partial hind quarter.

For as long as I can recall, every single night I go to bed, I walk by the bedroom window and through slats in the blinds get a glimpse of the east walkway where I’d always see an old salt/pepper colored cat sitting in the walkway by the olive tree.

One of the rules that came into play with new management is “cats are not to be allowed outside the units”. But there cat would be, regular as clockwork, late at night when there’s no management personnel around to complain, just quietly sitting in the walkway by the olive tree (which management had recently marked for removal, but decided to keep).

I do recall thinking once or twice that cat was very brave … and lucky, considering hungry — and now desperate coyotes inasmuch as their babies have also been spotted with them, are coming out of the mountains and onto the property late at night, and cats have been known to disappear with bloody remnants later found on the property.

Since that bump in the night and spotting those remains, I walk by the bedroom window and through slats in the blinds get a glimpse of the east walkway but no old salt/pepper colored cat.

East View of Complex at Night

I keep looking and hoping, but it’s been well over a week and no cat, so I’m guessing cat ran out of lives.

Elsewhere on the complex, nothing much going on other than pool exercises, trying to decide which tutu to wear to next week’s Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K, and waiting for survey results — which I’m hoping will be shared at next month’s residents/management meeting. General consensus is “nothing’s going to change”. I prefer to hold onto positivity — Nurse Ratched will be sent to manage a different property and Sid will get promoted to the manager position.

And speak of deciding which tutu to wear, the indecision is because there’s a prize for the “best dressed participant”.

So Cute, and It's Wearing a Tutu

So Cute, and It’s Wearing a Tutu

Going for the win, I’ve reworked practically all my old tutus, made two new ones but still can’t decide.

Patriotic Tutu (New)

Patriotic Tutu (New)

Hawaiian Grass Skirt Tutu (Christmas Tutu Reworked)

Hawaiian Grass Skirt Tutu (Christmas Tutu Reworked)

Camouflage Tutu (New)

Camouflage Tutu (New)

Batgirl Tutu (Batman Fabric Added to Halloween Tutu)

Batgirl Tutu (Batman Fabric Added to Halloween Tutu)

Though all the tutus are cute, I’m not feeling any of them because I’ve been putting myself in the minds of the judges and trying to please THEM not knowing if “best dressed” is going to be prettiest or craziest or most patriotic. Waking up this morning and deciding to do what would please ME, I am now in the process of reworking yet another old black tutu into a tie dye version — which would fit the theme of the 5K,  match the medals we are to be awarded, and match my new tie dye headband.

Tie Dye Buff Headwear

Tie Dye Buff Headwear

If I don’t win, at least I’ll be comfortable and I’ll be me.

I’m going to throw the other tutus in the car, take ‘em with me and offer as a loaner to any participant without. Wouldn’t it be ironic if one of my loans won.

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Survey Says

Last three days in the pool, every single time the complex manager with the Nurse Ratched personality walks by, it sets off a wave of negative comments.

People really passionately hate the woman.

I’m in the pool to exercise, not get involved in complex politics and get upset about people and things that don’t matter, so I play stupid as to having an opinion and just listen.

Today was particularly ugly as, while we were exercising, a wheelchair resident accompanied his visitors to the pool – three teenage girls and a child not old enough to walk yet.

The girls were very polite and sat to wait for our exercise class to end, but our instructor told them to jump in and enjoy themselves as they’d not be disturbing our activities.

Nurse Ratched can see the pool from her office and not five minutes after the girls got in here she comes. Addressing the wheelchair resident she asks, “Are these your visitors?”

“Yes” he says.

“You are only allowed two in the pool area” says Nurse Ratched.

“I’ll claim one” says our instructor.

“I’ll claim another” says Nan.

“You can’t” says Nurse Ratched.

Feeling unwelcome, the wheelchair resident and his visitors left the area.

The women in the pool turned into an angry mob. Their faces got ugly as they one and all spoke on how ridiculous and power mad Nurse Ratched was being, and what they’d like to do to her. It was pretty funny when one of the women said that because Nurse Ratched dyes her hair so much that the dyes have given her brain damage … her hair went from blonde, to red, to blonde streaks, now it’s purple.

That was funny, so I did laugh but otherwise, I just listened to them vent.

Funny thing is, just yesterday complex management posted a survey to our doors asking us residents to complete and return.

Questions on the survey are …

Do you have people to visit you?

Do you have hobbies?

What kinds of activities would you like to see?

Do you volunteer?

Would you volunteer?

Do you like living here?

Would you recommend living here to others?

What two things do you like?

What two things do you dislike?

Do you like management?

Based on what I’m hearing in the pool, and elsewhere, this should be interesting – that is if people actually do complete the survey and turn it in.

It’s been my experience folks would rather gripe and moan than do something about what bothers them.

Not me.

I don’t waste energy griping, moaning, complaining. I quietly do what’s necessary and move on.

And so it is in this case. I suggested to the ladies that they voice their displeasure in the survey, but I’ll be very surprised if they do. So I continued to play stupid, not trusting them enough to let them know I had already done so.

Do you have people to visit you? … No

Do you have hobbies? … N/A

What kinds of activities would you like to see? …  Zumba

Do you volunteer? … No

Would you volunteer? … No

Do you like living here? … Yes

Would you recommend living here to others? … Yes

What two things do you like? … 1) Price is right 2) Units are nicely appointed.

What two things do you dislike? … 1) Dxxxx (Here I named Nurse Ratched) 2) Dxxxx (Here again I named Nurse Ratched)

Do you like management? … “Yes, except Dxxxx. She is not a people person and, consequently, this is not the place for her.”

I was detached and to the point. If others actually do complete the survey, I imagine the responses will be more emotional, filled with the disgust and hatred I’m hearing in the pool.

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Yankee Doodle 5K

Traffic flow was surprisingly good heading out to Long Beach on the 4th.

I have a favorite hotel right smack dab in the center of the downtown area — walking distance from the Beach Path, Shoreline Village, Aquarium of the Pacific, and the restaurants – including SuperMex (best Mexican food on the planet), but I waited too late to register and that hotel was booked up for the 4th. There are only two other “nice” hotels in the area, but those two had priced me out by raising their rates 2/3 times their regular price over the Holiday weekend, so I did some research on Expedia, Yelp and ended up taking a chance on an unfamiliar over by the airport – about a 10 minute drive away.

There was no place to go, nothing to see within walking distance.

Fourth July Weekend 2014BUT the isolation was balanced out with the hotel being all shiny and new, with rooms that I wouldn’t consider “opulent” but much nicer than the three downtown hotels, a luxurious pool, spa, gym, fancy pantsy restaurant and, best of all, Starbucks in the Lobby.

Fourth July Weekend 2014

Fourth July Weekend 2014

Fourth July Weekend 2014

Fourth July Weekend 2014

Fourth July Weekend 2014

Too tired to do much of anything anyway, I put my feet up and made myself comfortable in what became my favorite spot in the room …

Fourth July Weekend 2014

… meditated and watched TV until along about 8 p.m., when I heard fireworks. Looking out the window, I found I actually had a bird’s eye view of the Fireworks Show going on at the Downtown Board Walk.

Now I’m torn. When next in that area, do I opt for this newer nicer isolated hotel with all the perks, or one of the hotels a little older, a little not as nice, but where I can walk to points of interest.

Decisions, decisions, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Up at 4:30 the next morning, I got dressed, fueled up with instant oatmeal and headed out to the 5K meet up place.

Yankoo Doodle 5K

Yankoo Doodle 5K

Yankoo Doodle 5K

I’d expected the Beach Path at 7 a.m. in the morning to be nice and cool and breezy.

It wasn’t.

Lots of people out biking, skating, running, and hot as Hyades.

Because of the heat, I struggled, sweated all my makeup off, and came in next to last.

Yankoo Doodle 5K

That’s last place over to the left. She’s considerably younger than I and ran most of the race, so how I got ahead of her is a mystery.

At any rate, worse results EVER out of a field of 50 or so …. But I did finish.

Yankee Doodle 5K

A New Medal on the Bid and Medal Display Board Just Had Made.

 

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July 4th BBQ

Bitstrip 4th of July

July 4th was celebrated at the senior complex this afternoon, Thursday, the 3rd, with a BBQ.

Turnout was really good, in the neighborhood of 30 or so residents – the usual suspects, plus the three old guys who always show up, a new old guy, and a few new female residents.

4th July at Senior Complex

4th July at Senior Complex

Of course creepy guy was lurking about, but he didn’t come into the eating area. He could have signed up for the free hot dogs. He could have also paid $3.00 for chicken or ribs. Instead, he does what he always does, which is to lurk creepily around outside the doors. But at least he didn’t bother me, nor did I catch him watching me. So it was all good, except I found out I am not the only one to notice his interest in me. One of the ladies at my table said, “I think that guy likes you. I can tell. He’s kinda handsome.”

I didn’t ask how she could tell. I just said, “I’m not interested, he’s not handsome to me, and he creeps me out.”

There was one bit of unpleasantness at the BBQ. I did not see what precipitated it, but all of a sudden Nan — the resident who is in dispute with management over suspicions her son and grandkids are living with her, got up from her seat at the table, went to get something from the food table and, when she returned yelled “Backstabbing Bitch!” loud enough for the whole room to hear, loud enough for office staff manning the food station to hear, then said, “I hope SHE heard me.” Of course we all knew she was speaking of the complex manager – the woman with the Nurse Ratched personality.

I didn’t look to see if there was a reaction from Nurse Ratched, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Nan doesn’t eventually get herself put on notice for eviction.

Food served was quite satisfying. Complex management provided hot dogs, BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs, chips, salsa, lemonade, and one of the residents made pasta salad. I don’t eat hot dogs, and I played it safe by passing on the pasta salad, opting instead for a couple scoops of the deli potato salad I’d picked up at Stater Bros.

4th July at Senior Complex

Chicken was a little dry, but the ribs were delicioso, and included my favorite seasoning …. seconds.

I ate so much that I had to save my slice of cake for dinner.

4th July at Senior Complex

Remainder of the afternoon was all about juicing up the iPod, recharging the stun gun I keep in the car for potential carjackers, opening up a fresh can of jogger’s mace to keep in my pocket for dogs and muggers, charging up the GPS, washing the car, gassing up and packing an overnight bag in preparation for hitting the road to Long Beach tomorrow, where I am scheduled to check into a hotel and rest up for Saturday morning’s Yankee Doodle 5K along the Beach Path.

Hopefully I won’t get stuck in heavy traffic and can get into Long Beach early enough to do some sightseeing and people watching before check-in time.

Have a safe and sane holiday.

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