Say Dong Again

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

pressforchampagneThere’s a mysterious “ding-dong” doorbell sound in our neighborhood that happens multiple times each instance and multiple times a day, with no real specific times or intervals. It doesn’t bother me or anything — it’s actually kind of a pleasant sound — but it rings out quite clearly every day at varying times. My curiosity is at eleven.

Usually, it rings 3-4 times in a row. “Ding dong! (Pause) Ding dong! (Pause) Ding dong!”  I thought it might be some kind of clock chime, but that’s not it.  Our units don’t have doorbells, so I know it’s not another apartment and it’s loud and echo-y enough to not be one of the apartments. I called the leasing office and asked if they know, but they acted like I was sniffing glue.

So I called the sleep study corporate building that is across the street and the receptionist there had no idea what I was talking about. She said I should try the Frito-Lay offices/distribution center, which is on the next block.

What I find weird is that these other people don’t hear it. Not the leasing office employees, not the receptionist next door, yet they’re all within earshot of this sound. Mike’s heard it, so I know I’m not insane.

Wait! There it goes again! Mysterious…

An Attitude of Gratitude

Friday, April 19th, 2013

I’m sitting in my new office, listening to the quiet. Well, the semi-quiet — there are some birds chirping and a lady playing with her basset hound in the dog park across from our building. Those are happy sounds, which fill my heart with warm fuzzies and rainbow-pooping unicorns. I’ve got a full, hot cup of delicious coffee and a bunny napping in the other room. I’m enjoying the breeze as it blows through the apartment and the warmth of the 70 degrees on my shoulders as my east-facing office gets the morning sun as it moves across the sky.

This doesn’t suck.

“In times like these…” is one of those phrases that grates on my nerves a bit.  It goes hand in hand with “now more than ever”, another of my least favorite cliches. Cliches? Colloquialism? Idioms? Whatever. I’m not a fan. But, given all that’s happened this week, I have to concede that in times like these I am grateful.

This week has been grievous for so many. Much like 9/11, I’m not directly affected by the tragedies in Boston or in Texas. I don’t know anyone directly involved, it wasn’t near me and I am safe in my southern California cocoon, for now. But I’m human, compassionate and saddened for those who lost their lives, their limbs, who risked and gave their lives trying to catch those who did these awful things in Boston; for those who died and those who are now grieving those lost in the explosions in West, Texas.

It’s been a rough week.

So today, this otherwise average Friday, I am uncharacteristically “soft-focus”, filled with gratitude for what I have, what I do and those I love.

I am grateful. That is all.

Categories: Life, thoughts

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Have I mentioned that I love our new place? I really do.

I’m so happy that we decided to return to the same complex I lived in before we moved to Las Vegas. It felt like home as soon as we moved in. I’d forgotten how peaceful this area is. It’s so nice to wake up in the morning and, despite all the boxes that have yet to be unpacked, feel relaxed and comfortable. I was depressed every day in that old place. It made me sad to be in that apartment — all dark and dreary, musty, dank and cold. And it shows — I look frumptastic and could use a day of self-maintenance and beauty.

I physically am still recovering from that place — I’m still coughing and wheezing and my skin is kind of a mess, but it’s only a matter of time before I work that out of my system. The air quality there was so bad, I can only hope it didn’t cause any permanent damage from breathing in all that crap (potentially asbestos, in addition to the mold).

Here, the sun streams in and when we open the windows, the breeze blows through… I hear birds chirping and watch the dogs playing in the park across from us. Once I get my office situated, it’ll be close to perfect.

It’s got a couple quirks — like any apartment. We’ve got a view into the dumpster area from the front porch/balcony, which I didn’t notice before, but it’s well-covered, well-maintained and doesn’t smell, so it doesn’t bother me. We do have a hobo that likes to rummage in there every morning, which is kind of noisy and creepy watching him tear open our trash bags, but this isn’t really a hobo-laden area, so I called  the management and they alerted the grounds staff to look out for him.  But that is a small price to pay compared to the dozen hobos at our old place walking around with their shirts off, smoking cigarettes. And the flies around the dumpsters. And the broken elevators. And the smelly hallways. And… and… and… screw that place. I can’t believe people pay that much to live there. I am not sure what I was smoking when I chose that place. It was a total Monet.

Overall, I’m really, really happy with our new place. Rent in San Diego is obscene, but it’s the best extra $300/mo we’ve ever spent. Absolutely worth it.

Categories: domestica, Life, yay!

Anti-Hassenpfeffer

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Recently, the House Rabbit Society started a campaign urging Sprouts Farmers Markets chain to stop carrying rabbit meat in their butcher case. I’m not really an animal zealot or even, truly, one of “those rabbit people”.  I tend to be more conservative (compared to many I’ve met in the rabbit community) in my views when it comes to house rabbit “rearing”, if you will. So this is not a case of hippie dippie animal soft focus kumbaya.

I’m not a member of PETA.  In fact, I generally think PETA sucks (it’s a pitbull thing, but that’s another post).  I’m not a vegan or even a vegetarian. I eat meat — all of ‘em, mostly, except rabbit because… well, I just can’t. I appreciate that some people in America do (and I know some of my friends do) and that it’s a trendy foodie protein, but I just… can’t. I wouldn’t judge if you chose to — I’d just appreciate it if you didn’t invite me to that particular dinner party. I also don’t own cows or pigs or raise chickens. If I did, I might not want to see those under plastic in my grocer’s meat case, either. But, I understand that majority of Americans enjoy pork or beef or chicken, so I’d just have to get over it, even if I did have an Elsie or a Wilbur of my own.

To quote a woman who is pro-rabbit meat: 

Is it true that Spouts have knuckled under to pressure from the House Rabbit Society about selling healthy nutritious rabbit meat in your stores? I can assure you there are many people that are turning to rabbit meat in their diets as it is healthier then Chicken with higher protein and less fat. If you don’t get it from China it is some of the best meat that many urban farmers and foodie are starting to eat. Just because one group declares that rabbits are pets doesn’t make it so for many people who consume meat.

To turn it around, just because this woman eats rabbit meat doesn’t mean the majority of Americans do.  Sure, there are farmer-types with rabbits raised for meat (which freaks me out when I squeeze Lulu’s little chunky thighs and think how that could be someone’s dinner) and rabbit is a trendy farm-to-table foodie protein. But rabbits are the 3rd most popular furry pet after dogs and cats. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable that rabbit-owning customers requested Sprouts Farmer’s Market NOT carry rabbit meat in their stores. It’s reasonable to want a store where rabbit owners can shop without having to see Freckles next to the burgers and pork chops. If eating dogs and cats were socially acceptable, these same people would probably freak out if stores put their beloved Fido’s family alongside the bacon.

So eat your rabbit. Go to town. Go to your butcher or some grocery chain or some trendy new hipster restaurant, but there’s no reason one store chain can’t opt to not sell rabbit in their meat case based on the requests of their customers.

Quit your bitchin’ and eat some chicken.

(I realize it’s a fine line — people DO own chickens and pigs and all that. But they aren’t the 3rd most popular pet after dogs and cats. I’m just sayin’.)

Categories: Life, thoughts

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.