What do 3rd Rock from the Sun and Dirty Dancing have in common?

(hint: it’s not Wayne Knight)

I got caught. I was at the beach and a neighbor saw me on my phone instead of enjoying nature.  I know I think snide thoughts when I see others doing that but in my defense I was trying to remember where I had heard a song and then it came to me.  And now that we have computers in our pockets, I double checked.

I’ve been watching Third Rock from the Sun reruns because, well, it rocks!  And an episode came on with their mission song and it sounded so familiar. Here it is.

I looked it up and it’s really from Cornell and their song. It’s called Far Above Cayuga’s Waters. Wikipedia had some media usage such as in the Office, obviously,   It didn’t answer the thoughts in my head. I knew I had heard it as some sort of school song and then it got interrupted.  I knew it was from some TV show or movie. I looked up the Rydell Song from the Grease play, nope. Then I remembered – Dirty Dancing!

That was such a popular movie that they released a second album with more songs. One of them was the song they sing to end camp and it gets interrupted by the dirty dancers. It’s not exactly the same song but sounds pretty similar to me. Here are the scenes in order.

I got lost in the scene, reminiscing, but then my neighbor appeared and joked how I wasn’t looking out at sea!  I guess I won’t feel so smug next time I see someone else on their phone.

One more dirty dancing thing, I cracked up when I heard that SNL did a spoof – dirty square dancing!  Enjoy:

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Ways to meet your neighbors

Who knew that my home insurance could have such an interesting blog? Here are tips for those of us in the real world on how to meet our neighbors. If we want to!!! Cohousing is not the only solution to all of the countries’ social problems (which ever country that may be for you)

https://www.kin.com/blog/ways-to-meet-your-neighbors/

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The Anarchists on HBO and The Deep End on Hulu

Sometimes shows can capture what life is like living in a forming community.

HBO has a documentary called The Anarchists about a group of, you guessed it, anarchists organizing a conference and living in Acapulco, Mexico.  This show demonstrates exactly how intentional communities form and die!  Of course there are communities that thrive but this 6 year 6 part documentary shows my experience!!  Luckily, my experience was way less intense and didn’t include murder and death by heartache.

One man said “all these people that  I thought would be the greatest people I”d ever get to know, some of them were flat out assholes”

So he went in with the same naivety I did. I thought since we were trying to do something idealistic our human nature would be different. Ha.  Another person interviewed mentioned how we are animals deep down. They learned that in their tragic story.

I would suggest anyone considering cohousing or other intentional communities to watch this documentary.

Another show I just finished is called The Deep End.  It’s a four part docu series about Teal Swan. Someone told me she had a book about healing from trauma so I bought it last year but hadn’t read it. Now I see it as junk science and all made up like the armchair psychology I hear in the Intentional Community unless you are a professional and trained, I don’t want to hear what you think. With that said, feel free to ignore any diagnosis I’ve ever had of others!  

So, Teal Swan says she’s psychic.  SHe has followers. What’s fascinating about this docu series is watching how they feel they are a community and an expert clearly shows that they are more cult-like. Any place that has differences in the inner circle and outside circles, a charismatic leader, and rules to only follow that leader (or group) and stay away from your family and friends is  probably toxic.  I’d watch it around Halloween since it is scary.

Posted in bad behavior and bullies of any age, group think and cults, living in community, movies about neighbors or community, psychopathy, narcissicism, and personality disorders in cohousing, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Summer travels and somethings stuck in the chimney and I don’t know what it is

Summer is almost over. For me, and most kids, summer ends when school starts. So, I thought I’d tell the tale of our travels.  My son on the autism spectrum, age 17, decided he was only happy traveling and I told him he is super lucky, both of his parents are world travelers. So we packed our bags and went all over. He prefers water parks, amusement parks, arcades, and dinner theaters so we went to very touristy areas.

The first stop was  a spur of the moment airbnb rental. It was a lovely large house with great hosts.  We even were able to pack the cat. She ended up being a wonderful traveler though I had to stop her from scratching up the couch.

That was such a positive experience but the next one was not so much.  We went through a website that promised luxury cabins.  They wouldn’t let us check in until at least 4pm and I went to pay and the cabins at that office were beautiful with a great view. Unfortunately, our cabin was far off, no mountain views but a flat grass patch that I`ve looked at my whole life. Worse, it was obviously someone’s house and they had let it go quite a bit. A worn out house with half built closets.  Then we heard a funny noise – I”ll post the video here. I think bats. I called for maintenance earlier since there weren’t any smoke alarms. No call, no maintenance guy so we booked a hotel. The next day, no internet and I was actually still working then so back to the hotel. THey booked us a nicer looking cabin but the mountain roads were so windy a nd dangerous I couldn’t find it and gave up.  So, I wasn’t into booking cabins but using airbnb instead where at least they tell you if there are smoke alarms.

Plus, hotels. You can trust them and even are able to cancel. So, next we went to a hotel. I’d been there before so it was fine.  But the next trip we needed more space. I booked airbnb. The first one was fine but they allowed animals. No problem except someone’s cat used the stairwell as a litter box. I called it the cat tunnel of hell – going up the steps you had to hold your breath. I told the owner and they called a carpet cleaner. I was impressed – they can get the smell out? 

No. It smelled like cat pee and carpet cleaner but it was nice that they tried.  The next airbnb was a disaster.

I booked it and you assume you can check in. Oh no. Right away after I booked it they said they wanted to talk to me “live”. I thought it was to go over some rules.  Then two days before they said they had to talk to me and a new problem had come up. A small problem.  I was suspicious since they wanted to talk earlier. They said the people staying there had to stay an extra day because their international flight was delayed.  They asked if I could switch my three day reservation over one day and pay me outside of Airbnb platform for the new day on the end. I said I wasn’t sure. I really had to arrive that day.  

I looked it up and Airbnb says for you to only communicate through them (this was a phone call) and only pay through them. So through their platform I told him to cancel me on his part since he was making it difficult not me. I booked another place since I needed 100% guarantee I could just go into the place without any issues. Through many emails Airbnb did right and told him to cancel me.

Now I’m scared of anything but hotels.  I wasn’t happy to have to deal with an unscrupulous person and airbnb makes you pay if you cancel but he was the one making problems.  I just want to make a reservation and show up. I don’t want bats in the attic or whatever it is.

what is up the chimney?

BTW my son had a grand old time. Loved all the water parks and arcades. We only went to one amusement park since it’s hot.  We are going to take a break and try to pay off the credit cards so no more traveling for awhile.

Here is the video. What do you think it is?

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need for support during grief

This article is interesting – how in this country we need more support for those who are grieving instead of putting it all on the person. I know I grieved a lot the loss of the dream of cohousing. Luckily I did find two people who also were struggling, then left cohousing. And that’s what I”m here for – and anyone who grieves after the dream of community living, intentional communities, or, cults.

It doesn’t seem to let me link it. Look up The Hidden Dangers of Pathological Grief by Undark magazine.

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Real humans

I saw the above quote yesterday on Facebook. I cant’ stop thinking about it.  If 98% of a cohousing community ignores you what does that say about them?  I tried talking to each person about what happened and my choices and I usually got the first conversation and then crickets.  I was crying my eyes out every day and a few people checked up on me, but most seemed to not care at all.  I was in crisis.  One person had to walk away as I was explaining myself. They disagreed that much with the choice I had made with the facts I had had at the time.  They wrote an email saying I shouldn’t leave the community (a month later after the disastrous meeting with the mediator) but when I asked to talk further about it, more crickets.

This is a community that never wanted to listen to Diana Leaf Chrsistians’ writings that accountability and consequences are important. I saw later that they mocked that when I suggested it for another committee to discuss her article. They talked a dungeon and chains.  So, no one ever figured out how to gently remind people to stop letting their dogs poop everywhere but I make a decision that most disagreed with (yet e98% of people on the outside say it was clearly needed) and I get a punishment. Shamed, ignored, banished.  

So, this quote says it all.  The ones that ignore you for punishment or because they just don’t care – that says a lot about them.  Cohousing articles and marketing talk a lot how everyone is there for everyone. To help out, grow old together, etc.  Meals, rides, etc.  

I’ve seen it put to the test in my life. We know how the cohousing was – they wouldn’t help me once they deemed me filled with cooties.  But this summer has been the summer of hospital visits.  Two family members have had serious health issues The latest is this week.  A loved one had a heart attack and is now recovering after a bypass surgery.  Many prayers and well wishers and we are here for you on Facebook and texts from friends.

Yesterday I put it to the test. I needed help. They had driven themself to the emergency room (Not a good idea) and now can’t drive for weeks. So I wanted to get the car. I tried to turn it over. Nothing. Tried the next day, nothing. Some jogger going by tried, nothing. He even tried shutting the door and putting on the seatbelt. Nada. He did suggest calling the dealer so I did. They told me I had to try three times (check), and then wiggle it. That did the trick. So, once it was on I wasn’t going to let Christine alone (the car is like Stephen King’s possessed car that only likes the owner). I drove to the house.  But now I needed a ride and I had done all this in between talking to the doctor and waiting to get the call I could visit again.

I texted a few pals and put it on Facebook. Al the texts said they were no longer in town but would gladly come back. Then one pal could do it right after work, an another offer came in through facebook. So I got the ride, checked on the patient (healing well), and drove my car back.

There have been other times this summer and since leaving cohousing that people come out of the woodwork, going above and beyond to help me. I hope I do the same too.

So, watch what they do not what they say. Realize that cohousing is full of humans and some are nicer than others.

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My money pit or ours?

I’m starting to regret selling my house in cohousing. It was a nice, new construction so my life as a landlord was easy. No repairs, nothing. Now I don’t’ even have renters in yet and the AC broke and I went over the other day and a huge moving puddle was by the front door. I called the plumber and he asked if I took a pic. No, I would the next day when I’d return. He thought it was the new AC dripping out moisture. I took that as the answer. I shouldn’t have.

I came back the other day and some animal ran off. They were enjoying their own private swimming pool. I took pics. The drip drip from the AC was small. This is a raging river. I called the local authorities and had the water shurt off. The next day, no flood but lots of mud and a huge hole under the door!

So, I’m waiting for the plumber and also an estimate from something called slab which deals with big pipe bursts. I don’t even know how much repair will be and I”m running out of time – renters arriving July 20th.  

So, maybe I should have just turned off my emotions and bad memories and kept that house in cohousing. But then I remember, there are repairs there also. Maybe not right away, but houses do age. And there are some problems in common areas.  Some are new – most claim that drainage wasn’t done correctly.  Others worry about a trash pile left from over a hundred years of former farmers. Once we had a meeting where everyone put stickers on areas they wanted fix. I literally said I felt suicidal afterwards. Seeing all those complaints and places to fix was overwhelming.  I thought I bought into a new place and we were fine with things as is, now most of the neighbors wanted to spend lots of money to fix things. 

Then there was the urgent issue of the Common House floor. An inspector said it was rotting right under the huge fridge.  That was in 2020. Last I heard they are still doing surveys and figuring out where to start repairs in the whole common house. I’m surprised the fridge has not sunk in yet. I thought it was urgent, but I guess like everything in cohousing, I was wrong.

So, I may not be happy wondering how much I have to drain out of my bank account to pay for a drain breaking but at least I get to make all the decisions myself. I don’t have to make consensus on what is a priority to fix or not and wait for it to burst until maybe something will be done.  

So, I’ll take my private money pit compared to a shared one!

Posted in control and decision making in cohousing, selling house, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I Don’t Speak IKEA

I went into an IKEA for the first time ever yesterday.  It is a completely new world and experience. My brother loves it and says he and his young kids spend the whole day there.  I see there is a restaurant and Swedish food (just like in Minnesota and Wisconsin!).  I was just looking for one thing – a chair, which I found right away but had to continue down the yellow brick road, down the elevator, and through another trail until there was a buying area staffed by no one where I would have had to gone to two numbers to pick up the chair at one and a small side table I found at another. I kept going and found a normal looking checkout and was able to buy a bath mat I picked up and put in the cart. Even the bags they let you use they demand back and suggest you buy one at checkout instead.  A complete trap to make you buy, buy, buy. It reminded me of Universal Studios and going through all of Hogwarts castle before you finally reach the Harry Potter ride.  

I will try again but I see I have a huge learning curve. I’ll go again some time and linger.  For now, I’ll try to buy the chair online and just show up for pick up. Plus, I’ll have a friend as back up in ase we need his pick-up truck.

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Landlord by accident and Loving it

Some say that cohousing was a transformative experience for them. For me it was a personal workshop that I would’ve preferred to have done without. However, like everything, I did develop some new skills.  

Since I ran away rather quickly and selling a house in cohousing can be tricky to find the perfect match (ie that the house and community is perfect enough for picky buyers), I ended up becoming a landlord.  I found my renters on Craig’s List and they were awesome. I was appalled to find out most in the community never really tried to get to know them which is what I feared – my taint as a social pariah even though I never told them a thing of what happened.

It was so smooth being a landlord, especially since the house is shiny and new.  The only issue we ever had was a rogue fire alarm.  

Yet, since I didn’t live in the house for two years, selling the house would come with a penalty tax. I don’t think Uncle Sam would accept my excuse (but my neighbors were evil and I had to go).  Renting it out also made it an investment house so selling it and avoiding the taxes, I had to buy another investment house.  Fine by me. I accidentally found out I enjoy being a landlord, I enjoy remodeling, and I love that others pay my mortgage and someday my children will inherit these properties (and cash out on them)

So, we closed early and three days ago  I bought a new property. This one will be rented out to a friend I’ve know from my previous work. Plus, it has an in law suite. I can rent that out as airbnb and my friend will help run it. One of the frustrating things about renting out my house was that every time I needed to come back to that town (I do have family in the area), I had to pay for a hotel. That problem is now solved – I”ll stay at the airbnb wing!

Since I was a landlord in  cohousing, I thought it’d be different. I thought I’d help the renters out with navigating cohousing and we’d have a more friendly relationship. Nah, it became pretty traditional and I know they deserve the distance (I made a file for all my leases years ago and labeled it “Landlord Assholes” so I get it).  Now, I will have that. This is my friend so we are already friendly.  And, in perfect intentional community style, her husband’s cousins nd his wife will live in the place too. So we will be 3 families at the times I”ll be there. Again, I”m not going in thinking we will all get along lovey dovey, but this time, I”m sure it won’t be a shit show of conflict.  And, unlie cohousing, if it does go south, I can just sell the house – no extreme buyers with a million demands and expectations for what they thought cohousing would look like.  (luckily the market has changed and all the people who were part of the big conflict in our cohousing and even others since then are now easily selling their houses and getting the heck out)

Now I”m a real landlord and with real issues.  At cohousing it was smooth with a new house. This house, not so new. Older than my friend moving in.  So, what is the worst thing that can happen in the summer? Yep, the air conditioner broke. The first night we slept in the house, both units broke (the window one in the airbnb suite too!)  

So, here I go, another adventure but this one looks much sunnier!

Don Knotts (middle) as the Landlord on Three’s Company sitcom
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The C word

I’ve been traveling a lot the past few months.  I’ve seen old friends and made new ones.  I met up with a friend, Claire, who visited me a few years ago. She had remembered, but I had forgotten, that we had talked about cohousing. I was excited to move there in the future and she knew all about it. Her mother had helped form one. Now I”m kicking myself – I should have asked to speak to her and get more details of what it is really like.  Her mother left because of divorce, selling the assets, etc. She lives nearby and stays in touch and still has friends there.

Then yesterday I made a new pal. I was over at an old friend (actually Rob who is in the Italy book in this blog).  He had a friend named Jesse over for drinks.. They asked me to tell them my story of woe.  I didn’t really want to, trying to leave it behind but I did a quick summary.

Both times, when I told the story yesterday and when I told Claire why I left, they both immediately said, “That sounds like a cult,”

Basically, the groupthink is one reason I left. The group went one way, a pretty dark direction which these pals agreed with me – not a reasonable way to think. I stood up to it and the focus was on me instead of the underlying issues.  So, it did feel like a cult.  

Any group can become toxic. Any group can become cult like. That’s why I will try to shift from my experience which is now officially over as a homeowner of cohousing, and share what I have learned in my research about cults (which verify what did happen, that the atmosphere was toxic and you were not allowed to question).

Posted in bad behavior and bullies of any age, group think and cults, psychopathy, narcissicism, and personality disorders in cohousing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment