Sensor Be, Censor Me

I have become a total egress safety bee, an inadvertent advocate due to necessity, despite [mostly self] efforts to censor me.  Yes, something is wrong with the sensors at the International Towers apartment building in downtown Youngstown. Again. I wrote about it here and there before. Word has it that this time, the blue fobs AND keys failed to unlock the main egress doors from the outside.

Yes, tenants wandering home at odd hours this weekend were locked out, which may be better than being locked in… but, if keys do not work, that means even the frikkin FIRE DEPARTMENT would be locked out as they pull keys from an outdoor lockbox to open the doors.

Thank goodness firemen carry axes and big sledge hammers, eh?

At least management does acknowledge that there is a problem this time.

Main egress doors, controlled by electronic sensors.

Main egress doors, controlled by sensors.

And here is a close up snap of the sign:


Odds are, they will have someone figure out WHY the sensor failed and have it fixed ASAP as they are so concerned about non-tenants entering the building that they LOCK the OTHER exit doors (solid doors, no windows) from the INSIDE at night to stop tenants from sneaking friends into the building.

Or, so I hear… I don’t know for sure as I have not personally tested those doors in the middle of the night.  If it is true, that is a SERIOUS problem as the door at the far end of the building is a FIRE EXIT!

The sensor problem might have something to do with that pesky drip that has been hitting people in the head as they walk through the doors now for over a year. They may need to do some serious waterproofing. Or, they may just need to replace that crappy looking awning over the doorway. That in itself is an eyesore, almost as sad as the tattered American Flag on our pole.


Alas, I can almost hear staff echo words of “no money for that” as if just because most residents are impoverished means that the building owners are, too. That don’t fly with me because rental properties are a profitable business.  Just spend a little time on the owner’s website if you think otherwise.

I don’t know what the problem is… the owners are winning awards for being great landlords, and this place is going downhill. Remember the broken bench in the court yard?  (Oh, sorry… no links. I deleted those posts from last year while censoring myself.)  Here is what it looks like today:wpid-img_20150329_152342.jpg

Part of me says it don’t matter, I can walk away… go live somewhere else.

Not everyone has that option.

Sooner or later, I will move.  In the meanwhile, I find myself as an unwitting unwilling advocate here…  what’s that Nanny McPhee saying? “When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay.”

My advocacy is kind of like that, only different.

In other words, I cannot be silent when things are not right.


June Bug

Well, I have done lost my mind and found it again.  It is hard to believe that it is already June.  Time flies while zoned into a wee bit of obsession.  I let myself dream without limitations and thoroughly researched possibilities.  Then I cranked the math and reeled myself back to reality, but can’t let it go.

Maybe it is a little wacked, but I am thinking “renew, re-use, recycle” all pretty much mean the same thing:  take something old and make something new out of it.    It may never look or work or be the exact same way it used to be.   It might not have the same function anymore.  It has been re-purposed as something else.  I want to re-able me.

That’s my wacked idea.   I was DIS-abled.   I am never going to be the “able” me that I used to be, so I need RE-abled along the lines of renew, re-use, recycle.  I am my own art project.

After an honest assessment of what I can and cannot do, not just what I want to do or dream of doing, I wrote a business plan that includes the following criteria:

  • It must be something I can do, even with my limitations.
  • It must involve art, or go well with my art.
  • It must not require more than $5,000 initial investment.
  • It must have a profit potential of at least $2,000 a month.

I am not going to go into details… for one reason, I would be writing this post well into August.    Another reason is that I do not have five grand to invest, so it still feels too much like a dream.

My mind keeps twirling ways to raise the money without going into debt.  I am doing things like calling up the cable company and saying, “I want to play slash my bill” (eliminating WIFI and cable TV dropped it  from $106 to $22.41 a month)  and looking at other ways to cut my cost of living.

Hey… I could become a “minimalist” and sell off most my stuff.

I keep hoping people will buy my art – it is still on display at the Mocha House in Boardman and I have two pieces going into the YWCA show later this month.  People say they like it and they sure do want it if I am giving it away, but no one wants to pay $35 for a nicely matted and framed 5×7 drawing.  No one has texted or called to even ask if I’d take less.   That’s why my business plan needed something else going on besides art.

By the way (if you happened to notice),  I replaced the drawing used as my gravatar image with a “selfie” photo that I had cropped square and flipped to black and white.   Here is the uncropped color original if you are curious as to what I look like.  I was brave enough to throw it on Facebook, where I rarely post any “people photos” so oh well… why not.


It’s not the best photo – no makeup, ratty old shirt, bad lighting, and hair not done to hide how thin it is getting on top.   Ye gads, it could be scary old lady hair with long wispy stands by the time I am 80 if I grew it long again.   I might do that, just for grins.  Yes, the mental image of myself at 80 makes me laugh.  People take things that don’t really matter way too seriously.