Another early AM meeting, “NEXT STOP PLEASE,” our annual HOA meeting, and a trip to Lowe’s…

My work day started off, once again, with a 9:00 meeting. That’s two for two this week.

I attended a 1:00-2:00 meeting about the creation of web design guidelines for our organization. I was sitting in for my officemate (and teammate), who would’ve been there instead if she hadn’t have been out sick.

I spent way more time than I’d anticipated on summarizing our assessment of a website from a meeting last week to send to the project manager.

Just before leaving, I got a response e-mail from a colleague that just made me shake my head. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Today’s buscapade was on the way home and it involved a broken stop indicator—the cord you yank that is kinda helpful in letting the bus driver know you’d like to get off at the next stop.

I was sitting in the middle of the bus, and just to my right sat a guy in fatigues. I think he was a real soldier, not just someone who shopped for his clothing at Military Joe’s. But I could be wrong.

Evidently, he wasn’t real sure of where he should get off the bus, and at one point, he said, “Hey!” and I didn’t look at him, since he was very close to me and if he was talking to me he wouldn’t have had to talk that loud.

“Hey!” he barked again. This time, I did turn and look at him, but found out that he was yelling to a lady who was sitting up front—in the seat just behind the bus driver—and he said, “This one, right?”

“Yes,” she responded and then to the bus driver, “Next stop, please?”

“Huh?” the driver asked, because he couldn’t hear her.

“Next stop,” she repeated.

A minute or so later, the fatigue guy yelled to the woman again, “Actually, I’m going to go over to the K-Mart on Western.”

She in turn to the bus driver, “Never mind the next stop.”

“Yes, next stop,” he replied.

“No forget the next stop; he’s changed his mind. He’s going to get off at Western Blvd.”

Bus approaches the next stop, and bus driver says, “This stop, right?”

“NO!” everyone shouted.

Drama. Can we have some equipment that works on the bus, please?

We had our annual homeowners association meeting tonight over at the Method Road Community Center. The landscaping committee showed before and after photos (in a PowerPoint slide show!) of the recent landscaping we had done. When one of the board members, an older guy, pointed out that there’s a “new energy” on the board with last year’s election of three young people, but Mrs. Buck quickly pointed out that she ran to three banks in an hour yesterday; the implication, of course, being that old people have energy, too. I guess she has a standard transmission in her car. All that shifting.

There’s always something at that annual meeting that makes me at least chuckle, if not laugh out loud. This sort-of hot guy sat next to me, and at an inappropriate time in the meeting, he gave a three-to-five minute rant about all the things wrong with the association, and then the president pointed out that the agenda item called, “Owner Forum” wasn’t until the end of the meeting. To his credit, he did thank the guy for bringing his concerns to light, and told him he’d like to talk to him personally after the meeting.

When we got to the agenda item, “Election of new board members,” this same guy ran for one of the seats, along with four other people (which is great), and each of them had to stand up and say why they were interested in being on the board, and what they’d bring to the board if they were elected. When this gentleman spoke, his platform consisted of the following: “I actually like to complain. I like to get things done. I’ll just keep on something until some action gets taken.” I believe most people probably stopped listening after they heard, “I like to complain,” even though his point, I think, was that he’s not afraid to speak up and that he’s persistent about making sure something happens to address problems.

We had three seats to fill, two three-year terms and one one-year term. There was all kind of confusion about who could be voted for which slot, as one of the three-year seats had the incumbent re-running for it, and it wasn’t clear if she had to be voted into one of the three-year seats or if she could alternately be voted into the one-year seat. There was also a problem remembering the five peoples’ names who were running.

Personally, I voted for that incumbent lady and a guy named Barry (with whom I’ve met riding the bus to work) for the three-year seats. I voted for Usama (whom after three people asking him how to spell and say his name, said, “Just call me Sam!”). I voted for him for three reasons: 1) If he meant what I thought he meant about speaking up and being persistent, that would be good, 2) He would add some ethnic diversity to the board, and 3) He would challenge the other board members in terms of having someone who probably doesn’t think like them (intellectual diversity, if you will).

I also think he has a lot to learn about homeowners associations. (He’s fairly new to the neighborhood.) He pointed to our balance of over $200,000 on the financial report, and asked me, “Why do we have that money in there?”

“Why?” I asked, thinking I’m comforted that we have that much money in there, making and keeping us solvent, especially for these huge projects we’ve got coming down the pike, particularly the replacement of roofs on all of the units.

“Yes,” he said. “We should be spending it.”

Unfortunately, but to no surprise to me, he did not get elected.

After the meeting, I drover over to Crossroads Plaza, to the Lowe’s there, and bought the hose extension I needed to make my washing machine work. There are few places that are more uncomfortable to me than home improvement stores. I feel like a stranger in a strange land there, and I can’t get what I need and get out of there fast enough.

At home, I devised yesterday’s blog entry, and put together an e-mail for Katja on the Manbites Dog Theater board about an idea she’s considering for a Drama Summer Camp, and I did my first load of laundry in my new washer and dryer. Yay!

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