Cable and the Cray Patio

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Marjorie, The Trash HeapI realize hoarding is not something to joke about, that it’s a real condition, etc. etc. That said, I think the woman currently living in our new apartment is a bona fide, crazypants, orange-peels-from-1987, jars-full-of-moldy-pork chops hoarder — at least based on her patio of overgrown houseplants and garden tchotchkes.

When I was touring our new property (which I’ve lived in before, if you recall), I passed by a second-floor unit that had a balcony so overloaded with succulents, hanging fuchsias, lawn jockeys, geraniums, garden gnomes and basically every weathered, foil-covered, potted plant you see when you enter a grocery store. Every one on the planet, stuffed into her 78 sq foot balcony. I couldn’t even see the front door. I thought to myself, “Damn, someone’s got issues.”

Cut to a week later when I bring Mike up there to look at floorplans and guess what? The next one coming up in our budget with the floorplan we want is that one… naturally. On my way out, it occurred to me that if this woman’s patio looks like that, I can’t fathom what must be going on inside. So I called the property manager to ask if the carpet was scheduled to be replaced because if her patio looks that insane, I’m picturing like, free-range chickens and a furry swingers club inside.

Maybe I’ve just been watching too much World’s Worst Tenants. (Oh my god, I love that show unabashedly.)

Anyway, the manager says, “Yes, that’s uh, how shall I put this?  That’s the only cray patio we have on the property.”  The fact that she said “cray” made me laugh, because she clearly relaxed enough with me to drop some of her “leasing office facade”), but she confirmed that yes, even though we’re renting a “Classic” unit and not a “Renovated” unit, we’d get new carpet.  And new sink fixtures because I casually mentioned that was the one thing I didn’t like about living there before were their wonky kitchen faucets.

The balcony lady gnawed at me, though. Something wasn’t sitting right. Sure enough, the tenant asked for an extension on her notice. Initially, she was supposed to move out on March 13th, but extended it to the 31st. If she’s got as much shit inside as she does on the patio, it doesn’t surprise me that she needs more time. I just hope that 5 days is enough time for the crew to flip our unit, especially if it does turn out to be a very special episode of Hoarders inside.  I guess all I can do is have faith they’ll make the apartment good as new or will fix whatever isn’t.  I’ve always loved living there before and their maintenance staff is awesome, so I’m trying to not sweat it.

So anyway, I called this past week to schedule the on/off of our utilities — gas & electric, mail, etc. But when I tried to schedule my cable transfer, I was told the current tenant hadn’t scheduled her shut-off yet, so they couldn’t schedule mine. Fine, fine.  So I called back at the end of the week, thinking “Ok, she’s moving out in a week, surely she’ll have done it by now.”  But nay, she had not. So I called the complex, asking if they could give her a courtesy call and they redirected me to their direct contact at the cable company.

The cable rep called the tenant, left a voicemail and sent an email asking her to please contact their office so they can schedule her shut off in order to accommodate the incoming tenant. Instead, the tenant emailed back and snidely (according to the rep) said, “I will be moving out on March 31 and I will call and schedule transfer of my service to my new address.”  That doesn’t really tell us anything, like when does she plan to schedule her transfer?  No one is asking her to turn it off today, just call to schedule it to be turned off.

The cable representative suggested, “If her patio is as cluttered as you say it is, maybe she’s just attached to her home and has problems letting go of things. So she wants to wait until the last minute.”

Because I am she of little faith, I think she’s just being a spiteful dick, waiting until the last minute because she knows someone wants to move in. Or perhaps she wanted to stay longer and they told her no, that her place had been re-rented, so now she’s blocking my cable appointment, stripping the copper pipes and taking a dump in the tub.

Now I definitely have been watching too much World’s Worst Tenants.

Meat is Murder, Etc.

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Chinese Raccoon DogsLook, animal activists: I understand how enraging it is to witness and/or hear about cruelty to animals and I appreciate your enthusiasm and desire to spread the word against such atrocities. I really, really do. I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.

But honestly, when you post horrible photos on Facebook of maniac fur skinners, injured and suffering lab animals and dog fight victims, YOU ARE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR. I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan (which I realize some may view as hypocritical, but I’m not judging your choice to eat tofurkey). Yet, I am a huge animal lover and proponent of animal rights (for the record, I think PETA is full of shit, but that’s another post).

However, I recognize these as manipulative tactics; the images you post evoke guttural, emotional responses aimed at encouraging activism in others. To that end, I also recognize that you want us to share those images, but I won’t do that to my friends because MY FRIENDS AREN’T ASSHOLES who need to be told that skinning defenseless raccoon dogs alive for Marc Jacobs “faux fur” is bad. I don’t let those kinds of people on my friends list.

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Categories: bummer, Life, peeves

Ernest Goes Door-to-Door

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Ernest Goes Door to DoorLast night, around 8pm, we were sitting on the couch playing Mario Kart while Lulu cavorted around the living room.  Suddenly, we hear the assertive rapping of a key on our front door. *Rap rap rap*

I rarely answer my door unless I’m expecting a package. I don’t know if it’s years of living alone or what, but I just don’t answer my door unless I am expecting someone. I especially hate when I look through the peephole and whomever is out there waves, as if I know them — or they can see my shadow blocking the peephole.

Since moving back into an apartment, we’ve gotten a lot of solicitors… to the point that I’m considering hanging a sign on the door: “If you’re selling anything, do not ring this doorbell if you like your balls.”

Anyway, so we didn’t answer it. About 30 seconds later, he raps again — harder this time, but still with the keys.  We ignored him. Within 30 seconds, he rapped again, even harder and then rang the doorbell a few times and knocked again. I mean, what the hell?!  When I was a kid, I was taught it’s impolite to 1) pop over to someone’s house unannounced and 2) show up at someone’s after 8pm unless you were invited.

(Which reminds me, about a week ago, a few people ran up the stairs to our place and rang the doorbell like they were visiting a frat house. They rang 3-4 times, giggling and chatting. When we didn’t answer, they disappeared. Still curious what that was about…)

So, now Lulu was all freaked out and I was getting pissed off.  I peeked through the keyhole and naturally, the guy waves and says, “It’s your neighbor, Ernie!”

I don’t know any of my neighbors, so I thought perhaps it was my neighbor, Ernie, so after throwing a few looks back and forth with mikey, we decided to open the door. Perhaps he had some of my mail or maybe my car had something wrong with it… I don’t know! So, I opened the door.

Ernie was selling newspapers. He assures me that he is my neighbor (yeah, sure) and that he “handles the newspaper on the property for everyone” and could he interest us in the paper?  I said no, thank you, we’re Internet people. And despite me trying 6 (seriously, SIX) times to get him to go away, he kept interrupting me at every turn, “But what about just Sunday? What if you want coupons? It’s only $3 a week!”  Dude, I don’t want the effing paper. Please go away. He even said, “What about for the rabbit?” who he saw while craning his neck to get a look inside our place through the 4 inches of open doorway I was standing in.

CREEPER.

I practically had to slam the door in his face and after he left us, we heard him key-tapping doors up and down the hallway, louder and louder with every try.

But really, is this how it is now? They’re worse than telemarketers, showing up at your home way after business hours and then cop-knocking on the door until you answer it?  Jesus Christ!  Aren’t you just supposed to knock and when no one answers you go the fuck away?

I called the apartment office after he left, leaving a message on their voicemail. I rambled and trailed off a few places, so I probably sounded like a moron, but it’s because I kept getting distracted by his incessant knocking on people’s doors. I could hear him calling out to people, “I’m your neighbor… Ernie!” 

I thought the office should know that someone is going around using them as leverage, claiming to be working for them, selling papers on the property. Let’s hope he’s not just casing apartments.

No one wants your archaic news media, ERNIE. Fold it into a kite and go fly that sucker.

Suck On This

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

I need to rant. One of my new year’s “efforts” is to not complain so much and be grateful more often, but it’s still 2012 and I have a blog — that’s what they’re for, no? With that said…

WTF?

I am the worst at being sick. I can’t sit still, and I always seem to get sick at the most inopportune times — like Christmas. The ENTIRE 4-day Christmas break, I was laid up on the sofa watching endless repeats of The Help. I love that movie, but if I have to hear about Minnie’s shit pie one more time this week, I may riot.

So, Christmas Day, we go to Mikey‘s family’s house, like we usually do. I am feeling much better, so I rally, grab my Ricola and off we go. We have some dry turkey and a lovely time (albeit short — only like 90 minutes) and then head home, back to the couch, where “Minnie don’t burn chicken”.

Yesterday, since I was well enough to go to the family’s, I figured I should go to work. I have a project that is in its end stages and I really, really need to move on to the other projects in my queue before they riot.  So I did — for 13 hours.  Probably not the smartest move ever, but things need to get done.

Photo courtesy of Google & redditor specialxk

Photo courtesy of Google
& redditor specialxk

Cut to last night, between midnight and 4am when I am throwing a naked tantrum in the bedroom because I can’t stop coughing. CAN’T. STOP. COUGHING. That hacking, dry, tickling, annoying cough that feels like you might split the back of your throat open like old wood.  Every single time I’d lie may head against the pillow… cough. Cough cough cough. Cough enough to sit up. Cough enough to get in a coughing fit and pull a muscle in your back. Suck on a cough drop… suck on another one… wonder if you’ll get a tumor from all the cough drops… cough cough cough. Spill the water fumbling for a tissue. CURSE REALLY LOUDLY. Get your bearings, calm the eff down enough to lie back down again… only to start anew.  I violently punched a pillow last night at least 4 times, enraged at my inability to stop coughing God, I just wanted to sleep, that’s all I wanted.

Again I say, WTF?

So finally, after Nyquil and cough syrup and enough Ricola to fill a very large man’s lederhosen, I finally, mercifully, fall asleep…. until the smoke alarm battery alert starts to beep around 4am.

Whomever invented those whores must have it set on a timer to go off in the middle of the night. It never fails.  Every single time I’ve had to replace a smoke alarm battery, it’s told me in the middle of the night. What is that about? WHY DO YOU HATE ME, SMOKE ALARM PEOPLE?

Anyway, I tried to not get upset. I didn’t want to open my mouth or change my position lest I wake the undead in my throat, waiting for any opportunity to start the coughing again. I tried to be zen about it.

*Beep*  Breathe… 2… 3… 4… maybe it’s not so ba- *Beep* Breathe… 2… 3…4… just try to fall back to sleep, I think maybe it sto- *Beep*  Fuck.

Mike, of course, was sawing logs next to me, completely oblivious. That man can sleep through Armageddon. Actually, everyone can sleep through Armageddon. That movie sucked.

Miraculously, I managed to tune it out enough to sleep until 7:30, when I calmly walked nude through the apartment to find a 9-volt battery and the stepstool so I could change that motherbitch before I threw the smoke alarm off the balcony.

I’m supposed to work today and then go to a party tonight.  I actually feel ok, other than being righteously tired. My throat feels like I’ve been sucking cough drops made of glass, and I’m still coughing, but nothing like at night when I lie down.  Fortunately, the party is early and mellow, so I can probably  still make it (I missed most of Christmas and I have no New Year’s Eve plans, so I’m taking this one).

Assuming zombies don’t fly out of my throat and try to kill everyone.

Categories: bummer, Life, peeves

“This is Peggy.”

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

I ran across a listing on Zillow last night for a way-too-good-to-be-true house for rent in Bay Ho, a neighborhood of San Diego with mostly mid-60’s ranch-style homes in a quiet area. This house was everything we wanted: not too big, not too small, a big backyard, mid-century, relatively new kitchen and all for only $1500/mo, all utilities included (water, electric, trash, cable, internet).

The utilities alone were enough to make me call “bollocks!”, but the price was the kicker. It’s hard to find sizable rentals under $1700 and those are usually well under 900 sq ft., so I had a feeling it was falderal, but I’d hate to pass up an opportunity if one presents itself, so dubiously, I emailed for more information.

This morning I received this email from a woman named “Peggy Phillips”:

Thanks for your interest.My home is available for rent and ready for you to move in,once you agree to my terms.Though,we wanted to sell but for the advice of my family about the property market we did decide to rent it out and we are looking for a God fearing family that could take good care of our home.

The property is located in a 1,556 sqft.A 3 bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms.Pets are allowed and the rent is all inclusive.The rent is $1,500 while the security deposit is $1000.

Ah, the ol’ “God Fearing Family” routine. I’ve hear this song before.

I replied back that I am not a god-fearer, but am a responsible, successful entrepreneur with excellent credit and stable income. Their month-to-month set-up is not for me, but how much are they selling for?  I said I’m in the market to buy (which is true) and I’d like to see the property right away. Oh, but I’m also a science-loving atheist with two same-sex live-in lovers, 4 pot-bellied pigs and a miniature pony.  *waits*  I knew by now that this was 99.9% a scam, but now I just wanted to see how far they’d go.

Within a few hours, I received a long reply full of repetition and typos, assuring me that I would be perfect for their property. But, it was also a God-fearing bonanza. They must’ve said the phrase “God-fearing” like 30 times. Naturally, they were leasing the property themselves due to their “former realtor being unreliable”, but oh! By the way, they’re in Washington, so could I please send them the application and deposit right away since there is so much interest? Then they’ll mail me the keys so I can see the house! Joy of joys!

Um… no. But I’d be happy to send you this cordial reply:

“Peggy”,
Thank you for your reply, but you shan’t see a red cent or an application from me.

1) I Googled your phone number and found you have several listings on Zillow scattered throughout the country (Chicago, Bridgeport, Los Angeles, Miami, and Seattle, to name a few) using the phone number you’ve provided (which is a land line based out of Pikesville, Maryland, by the way, not Washington) for the exact same price and security deposit in every city. Because that’s not suspect at all.

2) You keep pushing this “God fearing” thing — something you’ve mentioned too many times for it to smell fresh. Your religious affiliations have no bearing on a business transaction and your continued insistence that you are “God-fearing” and you want a “God-fearing tenant” conflict with your comments that I’m perfect for the property, as I’ve declared myself an extra gay science-loving atheist with a small zoo. This only tells me that you think I’m not smart enough to figure out that this is a scam and that I will blindly mail my money to someone I’ve never met in person simply because you “love Jesus”.

4) Your email is so full of typos and redundancies, it was very likely copied and pasted from numerous other email scams and/or you have a poor grasp of the English language. I’m going with both.

5) Someone lives there, Mensa. Next time pick a property that isn’t occupied already.

If you are a legitimate landlord and property owner, my application would probably be declined after this email. But since you are likely a scammer and emailing me from Nigeria and not Washington, you may kindly go fuck yourself.

Fearing Only Clowns,
Joelle

I boggles the mind that people actually send these miscreants money.