Anastasia and the Cuban

Anastasia and the Cuban

Monday, October 13, 2014

Senior-to-Senior Bullying...the new ugly.

I have learned of a new problem among seniors that I never would have believed existed.

Senior-to-Senior  Bullying!   

I came across it in an article after doing a search on the words, "senior-to-senior bullying."

It began with a friend of mine, living in a retirement housing complex.  She appeared to have become victim to something that I had only seen among high school nitwits.  Immature kids who aggressively levy negative attention towards one victim, over and over until the victim is hopeless.

I believe my friend had reached that stage.  She has a palsy, but after a group of old biddies had done everything from having male friends scream in her face and call her a bitch to gossiping about her, disparaging her country of origin and even threatening her physically, I wondered...

Could mature people really resort to such childish behavior?  Was there a name for this?
Was dementia involved?  It had to be!

And then I read the article, Mean Old Girls: Seniors who bully, by Diane Mapes.  I realized that this new ugly was exactly what I was witnessing.

It begins much like it's teenaged counterpart...with a control group.  A group of seniors or a clique who seem to feel safe making disparaging racial slurs, or using various people in the group to intimidate one person.  In my friend's case, it was a woman who claimed to have been treated poorly by the Caucasians who lived in the area, because she  "was married to a Mexican and everyone she met here was racist".

I found it interesting that she identified her husband primarily by race when she introduced herself as Gustavo is also of Mexican American descent and I don't introduce him that way.  I found it odd too that this woman who had moved to the U.S. from Germany was so eager to bestow negative comments onto a woman from Hungary, telling her that "Hungary is a shit country" and other odd remarks she made to bully her.

I was also surprised that another woman in the group who had explained that people hated her and talked about how she was some stereotypical poor white trash, because she was originally from the south, also projected the same bullying onto another poor soul.

But the various articles I read confirmed that a lot of the root of this evil revolved around dementia, and that seemed to be what I had observed in this group.  I had observed a great deal of impaired judgement in the members of the bully squad.  They seemed almost to approach things in an almost child-like way; including their angry outbursts. Many of them had gait, motor and balance problems too; which I gathered likely added to their misery in life to a degree.  You could tell they suffered a great deal of loneliness too; as they almost desperately clung to one another as they lashed out at their victim.

And it seemed like the behavior had grown more hateful and violent, as if they needed it to escalate into something physical.  They were screaming at this 77-year old woman with great regularity and seemed to be enjoying her misery more and more.  The men were true to what I read.  They were in this woman's face, confrontational with mysoginist slurs and intimidating behaviors when she walked alone.

That's when I stopped speaking to the bullies and explained that I wasn't about to associate with bullies and gossips.  And oh boy!  The fangs came out at me.

Fortunately, I've got a thick skin or I would have become e their next victim.

Instead, they backed down a bit.  Especially after Gustavo told the men to knock it off.

But, now I've learned that bullying isn't isolated to school girls.  Nothing amazes me any more!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Crackhead and the Croupier

The woman is seventy-seven and from Hungary.  She escaped during the Communist regime when Russian soldiers came to her home, busted in her door and raped her.  She's full of piss and vinegar when she's angry, screaming an assortment of Hungarian expletives.  Calling men "horsedicks" and telling them, "pichabo" and "bassz meg" swearing in English and Hungarian like a seasoned pro.

For the most part she's got a healthy mind. However, there are problems with anger and rational decision making at times, especially involving her finances.  And she may be a bit of a kleptomaniac.  At least I'm told so.

The other woman is a crack head, with forty-nine years of poor living under her belt.  So much so, that the activities of her life have caused that familiar crack head droop in her facial muscles.  She looks years beyond her age.

Like most crack heads, she smells of cheap bubble gum perfume and spoiled milk, and human rot.  She lies cheats scams and steals and has no guilt or remorse over hustling old people as she shivers and bobs her way through life, acting tough one second, and playing the victim role the next.

She lives with a slob of a man who works as a croupier at a small casino on the outskirts of the Las Vegas strip.  Together, they associate with the local pill poppers and alcoholics and junkies of the neighborhood.  People that the rest of society usually watch getting arrested on television shows like  "Cops". They are a group of forty-plus has-beens who struggle to hold onto their youth.  At least, to the point that they appear childish in doing so; as drug addicts usually do once they do enough drugs to stop their mental development.

The two women met at a local function a year ago.  They struck up a friendship...likely out of the idea of using one another in ways that old women and young hustlers do.  And it ended up the same way it always does in such friendships.  The crack head outdid the more senior Hungarian.  And this is where the story begins...

It all began with a broken down car.  The crack head and the croupier had formed a plan to use the Hungarian's car to drive other elderly people to doctor's appointments, for a profit of course.  And drive it they did!  Right into the ground.  Until the Hungarian was complaining about the costs to repair the car to the tune of thousands of dollars.  And until the crack head and the croupier defended their actions by claiming the hustle was a business deal that had profited both sides. And until the hustlers had turned the whole affair around on the Hungarian and made her seem like a bitter old woman. It was at this point that the croupier and the crack head did a hasty retreat from the Hungarian's life.

But that didn't stop the harsh words from escalating into screaming matches and threats. And the friendship spiraled into the toilet.

Since there is always an outcast in these situations...and usually the victim becomes the outcast...the Hungarian became the subject of many naive little old lady discussions. As the rumors grew and the crack head and the croupier befriended more and more naive elderly ladies, to scam and hustle, the Hungarian no longer was taken seriously.  Because after all, she was from another country and the crack head was a red-blooded American.

It was at this point that the crack head realized she had befriended enough gossipy old ladies that she felt sufficiently comfortable telling the Hungarian, one day, "I'm gonna kick your ass bitch, when you are alone.  Mark my words, the next time I see you alone, your ass is mine."

At which the Hungarian responded, "Oh shut up you fucking bitch"!  But, the quiver in her hand grew to a tremor. And her entire body became engulfed by the fear arising within her.  It was when her coffee cup dropped from her hand that I confronted the crack head.

"You're awfully confident threatening little old ladies.   How are you with women more of your age"?

"Fuck off bitch!  You don't even know me."

"You're a crack whore.  What more is there to know"?

And it was on.  Now most words like this would turn into a fight; but this crack head postured for a moment or two, backed down and ran into her house.  But the croupier wasn't happy with that.

Two minutes later, the slob marched up to me yelling, "who's calling my wife a crackwhore?"

"That would be me, ". I screamed back. "If it looks like a skid row crackwhore, and acts like one - threatening little old ladies, and speaks like one, then I call it like I see it."

There was some more posturing and the croupier retreated back to his house.  At one point, the police were called and a report was filed. But that did nothing to curb the fear in the Hungarian.

Now, as much as I wish this was a fictional story, 
I hate to admit that this is a real ordeal I recently experienced.  And the crack head and the croupier still reside near the Hungarian.  And the animosity is still there.  And the blame is still levied at the Hungarian.  

So goes the morality of American culture.  And people ask me why I write!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Renewing the Aging Life in Vegas

For those of you who have followed my posts, you probably noticed I've been away for some time.

Vegas Baby!

First of all, we moved and were adapting to our new state and city. 

We moved in the early fall and have been learning the ins and outs of our new place. 

We absolutely love Las Vegas and feel we made the right choice for a place to retire.

Dicey or Not

I've learned that it's not all about gambling here. 

This city has an old-west-meets-cosmopolitan-city feel to it. 

The people are genuinely nice and its so nice to enter buildings without having to go through metal detectors, everywhere. 

I feel like I'm living in America once again, instead of existing in some cold war environment.

I think what shocks us the most is the amount of undeveloped land surrounding the city. 

We can't get over the sizes of the properties that homes sit on, either.  It's been ages since the two of us have seen lots this huge.  Lots big enough to breed horses on!  That still amazes me as we go for our bike rides past some of the housing areas in Las Vegas.

And the mountain ranges surrounding the city are a lovely change after seeing cement and bums for the past few years. 

Ever the "Author"
Second, I have been working up the concept on a new nonfiction book I'm going to write.  I know, I know...everyone has a book they are writing these days.

But, I do think this one is different and it may reflect a reality about America today that isn't generally acknowledged. 

It involves perceptions...mine of course...and it is taking up a bit of time. 

I won't go into details right now, but it suffices to say that a certain person we know who suffers from a severe case of narcissistic personality disorder has inspired the book after we saw several tantrums from this person that reminded me of how narcissism and autism might be confused.

Peace and Quiet

Third, we've been enjoying some peace of mind and quiet appreciation of one another.  

Las Vegas allows a couple to do that, because the lifestyle is a peaceful one.  I have commented before that I no longer hear the sudden sound of sirens breaking my peaceful sleep.  I don't hear drunken bums without any sense of volume control, either.  As a matter of fact, I don't hear any number of negative things that I encountered daily in Los Angeles. 

One of them is the smell of pot wafting through the air.  Where we live now, I don't have pot smoke seeping in under my door and annoying me.  I don't smell it as I walk down city streets.  In fact, I rarely smell pot at all, unless I pass someone still reeking of it. 

And I don't miss it, since it smells like the worst body odor created!

I don't miss the uric scent of alcoholics pissing in the streets, either.  That disgusting smell that imbeds itself in the cracks and crevices of the pavement and can't even wash out, after enough people re-christening the sidewalks and building corners.

It's been like a honeymoon here for Gustavo and I.  

This chart on North Las Vegas may explain why. If the Quality of Life index reflects reality, it seems things are pretty good for Vegas in general; since I've been told that North Las Vegas is not the best part of Vegas to live in.

We've learned how to enjoy Las Vegas for more than gambling and the shows.  There are so many events that go on here that compliment the area as well.  And we've combined them with our love for one another to make this move an excellent choice for us.

All in all, I really don't miss Los Angeles.  Either does Gustavo from what he says.  We both are happy to have made the move here.  We feel as if we have greater opportunity here for many things. 

We feel as if we can enjoy a certain level of civil rights here that no longer exist in Los Angeles...especially, since Los Angeles appears to have become some sort of police state, where every office building has metal detectors, simply to enter.

Old Feelings

I like the old feel of Vegas. 

I love the modern feel as well.  And the political environment here has just enough liberal attitudes and enough conservative views to keep things balanced. 

California's anything goes feel didn't suit me.  I don't need controls from conservatives or liberals and California's potheads and trendy types bored me, equally.

For me, I'd like to retire into a feeling of being respected and
treated as if I matter.  I didn't feel that in Los Angeles.  I feel it caters mostly to youthful types.  Or maybe I didn't care enough to explore it and find the shows set up for mature types, like me; or clubs promoting people over 40. 

To me, California gave me a feeling as if people don't exist if they are over 40.  I  feel respected in Vegas.  I feel as if I'm part of the community.

It's nice to be able to go to an evening event where other people my age attend, without feeling I haven't updated my plastic surgery to fit in. 

I don't want to apologize for putting on a few pounds in my fifties.  I don't want to be a victim of breast enhancements of butt lifts or eyelift surgeries.  I think I look just fine for my age.

I don't want to stomach silly old men who need eye candy dangling from their arms; because they don't have the confidence to deal with people from their own age group.  Frankly, the idea of watching some young gal seek an old fart doesn't appeal to me.  It seems like she's giving up her best years for something disgusting.  And it seems like the old fart is simply addled.

I don't want cougars to tell me that paying some young man's life is acceptable if I have enough money to do so.  I don't like being used by anyone...not for sex, not for company, not for style or trendsetting.  Even when I dated younger men I expected them to  hold their own and fork over money for dates.  I've never been a proponent of being labeled a trendy name for my dating tendencies.  And for the record, when I dated a younger man, I was in it for the long haul, not to prove I was desirable.  I already knew that!

I love that Gustavo and I are around the same age and have so many memories together.  We watch old shows and know them.  We enjoy songs together.  We remember things we did as kids that kids later didn't do.

And maybe that's why we love Las Vegas.  We feel like we know it.  We feel good here, like we did as kids gathered around those old televisions.  We laugh at Alfred Hitchcock and remember Bonanza.  We even wake up sometimes to laugh at an old show that comes on at three a.m. called Highway Patrol.  We try to recognize buildings in the Streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles movies.

In other words, "life ain't so bad here."


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Move...Goodbye L.A.

Happiness is a morning swim and a long bike ride.  And coffee staring at the beautiful mountain range

We have moved and it is soooo nice to be in suburbia again!  I now sleep through the night, once again.  Why?

Because there is peace in my existence, once again.

What is Heaven

At night I hear crickets, not winos.  In the morning,  I hear the soft sound thunder rumbling in the hills, not obnoxious bus voices announcing stops.

I have finally entered the best part of retirement.  Heaven!

To all of our kids that wished me a happy birthday....thank you.

Just moving away from L. A.has been the best present, ever!  I haven't been this content in years.

We can't wait for our family to visit us!   We have one of the kids with us and he's having ball.

I'll be posting photos soon 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Advertising or Litter...Damned Flyers on my Car

I was watching a court show about a man who walked up to his car and found one of those annoying flyers on his windshield.  He ripped the flyer off his window, balled it up and tossed it on the ground.  As he was driving away, he was stopped by a police officer and fined for littering.  He fought the case in court, suggesting that the company that placed this flyer on his car had littered.  I agree.  So what do you think? 

 Littering or advertising?

We all know that litter looks offensive.  

We also know that we spend a small fortune, annually, to keep our cities clean.  So, why are advertising companies allowed to add more to the problem by placing unwanted flyers all over the American landscape?

And what gives them the right to place their garbage on MY car?  Why should ANYONE have the right to place a thing on my car?

In my opinion, you don't have the right to touch my car, ever!

Costs of Littering

Before I get started on this, I'd like to demonstrate some facts on the cost of littering:

Over 51 billion pieces of litter land on U.S. roadways each year. Most of it, 46.6 billion pieces, is less than four inches, according to KAB’s 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study. That’s 6,729 items per mile.

While visible roadside litter has decreased by about 61% since 1969, litter is still a persistent problem. Consider these facts:

Litter cleanup costs the U.S. almost $11.5 billion each year, with businesses paying $9.1 billion. Governments, schools, and other organizations pick up the remainder.
Community economy and quality of life suffer. The presence of litter in a community takes a toll on quality of life, property values, and housing prices. KAB’s 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study found that litter in a community decreases property values 7%Litter has environmental consequences. 
Wind and weather, traffic, and animals move litter into gutters, lawns and landscaped areas, alleyways, and parking structures. Debris may be carried by storm drains into local waterways, with potential for serious environmental contamination.
(Source:  Keep America Beautiful - Litter on the Ground)

Alternatives to Flyers:

Many companies hand out promotional flyers (leaflets), in the hope of getting more business. 

But this is probably one of the least effective ways of advertising. 


 Because it doesn't target a specific audience that may be interested in their products or services. 

There are better ways to target potential buyers. 

Some of them include:
  • Purchasing Email lists
  • Social networking
  • Cell phone messages
But, if you must use flyers, then at least consider the fact that their are eco friendly ways to create these paper products.

Eco friendly flyer printing allows companies to get the products that they need without having to worry about the impact on the environment. 

This concept uses bio friendly paper products and a bio friendly printing process as well. With eco friendly marketing flyers, the change is the impact that printed materials have on the environment.
  • One practice s using recycled paper products to print business materials. 
  • When one thinks about how many business cards, brochures, flyers, or even posters businesses use in a typical year. 
  • The number is substantial. 
  • By using recycled paper products, businesses make a huge difference in disposables.

  • By using different print methods, companies can also reduce ink wastage. 
  • Press chemicals can be eradicated or replaced with eco friendly alternatives. 

The Legalities

Here's a question that many of us have asked:

If a private citizen cannot legally put something in my mailbox, what right does he have to come onto my property and shove it under my door.  Or for that matter, put it on the windshield of my car?  

The car flyer problem has annoyed me for years - why do I have to dispose of some wad of paper that some jerk has stuck under my wipers? Why can't he keep his hands off my car? 

Is there a way to make him pay for his transgressions? 
(Source: Can I legally prevent people from putting flyers under my door or on my windshield?)

The answer to this question is tied up in the First Amendment. 

However, if you don't want someone to touch your property, you can keep them off. You have to make it clear that they can't touch your vehicle.  Nobody has a legal right to touch your car, unless they are city workers, tow truck drivers, or emergency personnel.

Traditionally the American law punishes persons who enter onto the property of another after having been warned by the owner to keep off.

But...and this is the clincher...reasonable force laws don't necessarily apply in this situation. Because,your personal safety isn't in jeopardy. Also, you must catch the person in the act of putting the flyer on the car.  Since there is no damage to the car, courts rarely entertain complaints over this.
Some jurisdictions actually have criminal provisions to deal with people who leave flyers on cars. For example, in 2001 the Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed a conviction under a ordinance in the city of Mount Vernon that barred the placement of printed materials (including handbills) on any privately owned "structure or thing" (including vehicles) without the owner's permission; the defendant had printed up flyers about his ex wife and stuck them on windshields in various parking lots.
(Source: Can I legally prevent people from putting flyers under my door or on my windshield?)

It's more of an annoyance than anything.  Maybe if we created criminal provisions everywhere, we could save America a great deal of money on litter removal.  Until then, we have to deal with it.