Animal House, Part 2

Animal House Pool

Pool Guy showed up today. I guess draining the pool is old school because, rather than draining, along with the usual pool cleaning tools, he used some sort of underwater vacuum cleaner that crawled along the pool bottom, sucking up sand and debris.

I watched for awhile to make sure he was doing a good job to where I felt comfortable getting back in the pool. He did, so I text messaged the girls to let them know what was happening and we made arrangements to start back with pool exercises at 11:00 tomorrow.

Spa is still out-of-order — something to do with needing a valve.

Running into Assistant Manager Sid, while I was watching the pool guy, I asked about possible consequences for the individual that threw the bash, and was told his identity is known and an attempt has been made to inform him 1) he is not allowed to have as many people in the pool as he did; and 2) the children who’d been jumping in and out of the pool were doing so in their regular street clothes rather than the required swim wear. (No mention was made that she’d spoken to him about the sand). BUT … and this is the kicker, it was “Difficult to communicate” his transgressions as “He is a foreign immigrant and doesn’t speak English”.

How convenient.

How convenient for him, that is.

How convenient OR how clever.

Management seems to be somewhat laid back about the situation … which is highly usual. On a normal day, Nurse Ratched would be raging, calling the tenant a “liar” (trust me … she’s been known to call tenants “thief” and “liar” to their face and has never been hesitant to issue a nasty note or eviction warning upon the smallest infraction). So this, “We tried but he doesn’t speak English” is out of character.

Perhaps the result of comments about management in that survey we were asked to submit?

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Animal House

Remember that old John Belushi film “National Lampoon’s Animal House”, where a misfit group of fraternity members wrecked havoc on university property? Well, while I was away over the weekend, a similar occurrence happened here in the senior complex, in the pool area.

When Nurse Ratched is on duty, the rule of “Residents are only allowed two visitors in the pool” is strictly enforced. But neither Nurse Ratched, nor any other office personnel, is here on weekends. At one time, staff rotated work days, so property management would be on premise 7 days a week to handle resident requests and show the property to prospective tenants. Lord knows there are now enough vacancies where someone needs to be on duty 7 days a week, but this new group – young people all, do not seem to have the work ethics us older folks are accustomed to seeing.

At any rate, someone in the complex took advantage of the absence of management and threw a huge pool party. Word is there were kids and teenagers and adults all over the pool and spa, making a lot of noise, splashing, urinating, diving (even though signs are posted “no diving” for insurance purposes because the pool is not that deep).

As a result of over-crowding and all the shenanigans, the spa is now inoperable and has been taped off until repairs are made.

Animal House Spa Area

AND, the bottom of the pool is filled with sand, rendered unclean/unsanitary and is also now inoperable.

Where the revelers found sand, and why they chose to dump that sand in the pool is bewildering — unless it’s one of a number of residents who have a vendetta against management and, in their misguided way, feel that cutting the tops off flowers and dumping sand in the pool is the way to exert themselves.

Pool maintenance was contacted and expected to start the draining and cleaning process today, but never showed. THEN, around 7:30 this evening, I got a call from one of the women in my pool exercise class that the pool was spewing water, flooding the area.

By the time I got dressed and made it down to take a look, two of the maintenance men had got the water turned off — which caused tenants in that area to come down and complain because the water was now turned off in their unit, and the surrounding pool area had pretty much dried up already, but you can clearly see the pool water has leveled off at the very top of the ledge.

Animal House Pool Area

I’d be very surprised if management broke its back spending money to get the spa and pool back up and running ASAP so aquafit classes can resume, so I’m pretty ticked off.

I hope management is ticked as well … ticked enough to do an investigation (view security camera tapes), determine which resident those people belonged to and make the resident responsible for the damages.

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Stick a Fork Because I’m Done

I’ve not yet seen the final results, but I’m fairly certain I, once again, was the oldest participant at this weekend’s Hocus Pocus 5K. And, once again, it was hot and I struggled, but this time I was so lacking in energy than I began to hear myself say to myself, “I can’t do this anymore. This is my last 5K”.

No surprise I came in Dead Last.

Starting off positioned in the middle pack, I quickly began falling to the back mere inches from the start line.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

Further into the course, I fell so far behind that I eventually lost sight of every single participant.

With no one to follow, I lost my way and aimlessly wandered about in an uninhabited area of the park for a bit and had to traverse this really spooky tunnel all by myself before I once again saw the course markings.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5KSome runners had finished the course and were coming around for a second go at it by the time I caught sight of the finish line. Each and every one was very encouraging, urging me on, and it was like a big party, with clapping and whooping and hollering when I finally did cross the line.

Though embarrassed and feeling totally defeated, I was good natured about coming in last … and last in such a spectacular fashion that I even struck a last-place-pose as I hit the finish line.

One competitor captured the moment.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

I was so overjoyed to touch the other side of that start post, which was marked “finish”, that I hugged and kissed it.

Too bad there’s not a photo of that.

At any rate, though I’ve already signed up and paid for October’s Hocus Pocus 5K in the same location, and a Halloween Spooktacular elsewhere, with plans to participate in a Thanksgiving and Christmas 5K, I am 95% sure I’m done, really can’t handle another competitive run/walk, and will be henceforth confining my activities to Virtual 5Ks — where I can walk at my own pace, relax and enjoy the scenery.

But who knows … 5Ks are a little like child birth, where one swears one will never put them self through the pains of labor ever again only to forget how traumatic it was and end up putting oneself through another round.

Now about that hotel.

One of a number of well-known chains that provide cookie cutter type rooms in amusement areas for vacation travelers, there was nothing actually wrong with the room, but it just wasn’t right for me.

I’d stated in the last post that the online photos of the room depicted “neat, clean, tidy”, but the carpet and furniture read “old/outdated”. The room lived up to neat, clean, tidy, but, having just gone through a renovation, the furnishings weren’t old/outdated at all. They were just ugly, resulting in an absence of relaxing invigorating chi (energy) in the room.

The seating area was so aesthetically NOT pleasing that I couldn’t bring myself to sit there.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

And the desk area was so dark and gloomy looking that I used the area as a counter for my belongings and as a coat rack for outfits – since I declined to bother with opening the closet door because the energy in the room was so not there that I didn’t want to settle my things any further than the desk area.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

The bed was the only area in the room that didn’t turn me completely off — probably because the white coverings provided a little bit of energy, even through the beige bed skirt was kinda ugly, so that’s where I spent all of my time … when I wasn’t outside exploring, with the pillows propped up to make the bed serve as a couch and chair.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

There was a nice café in the lobby (they served Starbucks), and there was even a Starbucks next door.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

The hotel was centrally located to all the attractions. I wasn’t interested in Knotts or Disneyland, but I did find a Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor for late lunch/early dinner, after which I headed over to the Movieland Wax Museum only to find, though the sign is still up as a landmark, the museum closed some years ago and now housed the Body Exhibit. Not wanting to lose my lunch/dinner I passed on that.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie

So, like I said, there was nothing really wrong with the room, it just wasn’t my kind of place – bright, energetic, glass, mirrors. And, it is entirely possible the lack of chi in the room, plus waking up at 3:00 in the morning, had something to do with my lack of energy and inability to keep up in the 5K. But I won’t know for sure unless I go back for the Hocus Pocus and book a different hotel and right now my sense is … no way, I’m done.

Oh … and in case you’re wondering, I did NOT win “Best Dressed”. Didn’t even come into consideration. I should have topped my tutu with a green top and worn shorts, instead of leggings under.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

At any rate, the race organizers chose five they felt were cutest, and audience screams, hollers and clapping determined the winner.

Crazy Tutu Ugly Necktie 5K

Funny thing is, when I first saw the pink tutu walking across the bridge approaching the check-in table, the thought ran through my head, “Here comes the winner”. Sure enough, she won the stuffed dressed-in-a-tutu dumbo.

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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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