The Aftermath

Ok, so I just added several blog entries about my dad and stepmom’s visit to see me in San Diego. But they are listed in reverse order, so you have to scroll down a few entries and read up. If you haven’t read them already, do so now.

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Are you done? Good. So the results were: 1) I had a great time while the folks were here, and really enjoyed seeing them and most of San Diego county; and 2) I got dreadfully sick with an evil virus the day after they left. I wasn’t feeling too good before they arrived, but Thursday night I had a fever, and I left work early on Friday. I spent all of Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday on the couch watching daytime TV. I didn’t think I could get sick of that, but did I ever. The quality of daytime programming has really gone downhill – too much Tyra, not enough CHiPs. But to be fair, can there ever be enough 1970’s Eric Estrada in highway patrol uniform garb? Maybe so. But I digress. I’m feeling better today, but decided to stay home to recoup a little more and get some real rest (and blog). Pictured below are my new best friends from the past few days:

Oh, and if you’re sick and haven’t tried them – Puffs Plus with Vicks is the best. Kleenex with lotion and menthol scent? Woo hoo!!!

Three and a half days of sick leave: 14 weeks of work to make up for it (for real, since I earn four hours of sick leave for every two weeks worked).
Getting reimbursed for my doctor’s visit copay and all the medicine I bought with my Flexible Spending Account: Priceless (actually, it sums to $50.50, but who’s counting?).

Another Apartment Nightmare – NOT a Halloween Story!

I wish this was a Halloween tale; alas, this is just the horrific story of my life on Morning View Drive. Last week we were informed that all of the pipes in each building are going to be replaced. So, we were to secure our valuables, have our pets contained, and move everything out of the bathroom and under the kitchen cabinets so that the plumbers could access the necessary areas. Luckily, Mark was here this past week – I got a call on Monday from the landlady that they wanted to enter my apartment and start work that day. So, Mark moved all my stuff into the living room. When I got home, I saw that this was going to be a lot more disruptive than originally anticipated – check it out:

My dining area; workers were supposed to be done by 4:30 each day, but were there until about 6:00. They moved all their crap out of the way, but all my furniture had to be shoved into the living room for about a week.

My bathroom – everything was moved into the living room. They took down the only mirror I have in the apartment!

My living room. Where’s the couch??? How do I get to the litter boxes??? What the hell is going on here???

Anyway, I think the plumbing is done now. I think this week they will be patching the holes that were cut in the bathroom, dining room, and kitchen, then painting the whole thing. At some point they’ll be coming in to clean the carpets, replace faucets and sinks, and the ceiling fan. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. I told the landlady – gee, all these renovations are great, but I’m living here. What a pain! And, my rent will be going up. Surprise, surprise.

Yeah, I’ve been busy (and tired)

I know, it has been a long time since I’ve updated my blog. But really, it was pretty much just pictures from Jes’ wedding and my trip to San Francisco that I wanted to post. Work has been very busy the last couple of months now that David is back as my supervisor, and when I get home I pretty much just want to chill. But there’s still a couple things going on – the first thing would be my cat, Zoe. She’s 13, and people tell me that’s old for a cat, but I disagree that it’s old for Zoe. But, over the past year I’ve been noticing that she’s been losing some weight – getting very bony and skinny. So last weekend I brought her to the vet – she lost 2 lbs over the past year (which is a lot, considering how tiny she is), so they took some blood to run a full panel, and also took some urine for a urinalysis. Zoe was not happy about it, and enjoyed even less the vet force-feeding her a deworming pill (it took 2 vets about 10 minutes of fighting to get a 6.9 lb cat to eat one pill). The urinalysis showed some blood in her urine, so I have to give her antibiotics twice a day for about two weeks (ask me how much Zoe likes that). The blood could just be an infection, but it could also indicate other problems with the kidneys or bladder. But, her blood panel turned out good, except for her thyroid, which looked borderline high. So, they sent for another test – negative for hyperthyroid. So, last weekend cost me about $350. I went back yesterday with Zoe – they took x-rays and didn’t see anything wrong, except that she has no body fat, which makes her organs difficult to see. But no kidney or bladder stones, or major tumors were evident. The vet suggested another specialized blood test to check for pancreatic function and malabsorption – I’ll get the results back on that this week. It was still too soon to see if she still has blood in her urine because she’s only been on the antibiotics for a week. The bottom line is that I’ve spent almost $600 and I still don’t know what’s wrong with my kitty. She’s acting normal and everything – she may just be getting old. I don’t know, but she’s my buddy and I’m not quite ready to accept that she’s at the age where stuff starts to go wrong.

Speaking of going wrong, oh, Teddy Bear. He really is getting old. A couple of times in the past month, as we’ve been out walking, he’s pulled himself so hard on his leash that he starts choking, falls over, and then has a hard time using his back legs. I don’t know if it’s a seizure or what, but he’s still his normal annoying self, so it’s hard to say. Today I noticed that one of his yucky back teeth is loose – I hope it falls out so that I don’t have to take *him* to the vet again! Last time we went it was also very expensive.

And speaking of expensive, let’s talk about my car. Last Friday I was on my way to work and I decided to stop and grab a sandwich for later. I was gone two minutes, came back to my car, and it wouldn’t start! I called AAA, who came out to tow me to my mechanic, and the car started right up. What’s up with that??? So, I drove it to my mechanic – turns out some dumb sensor in the starter was broken. That set me back about $150, but I guess it could’ve been worse.

Man, at the rate things are going, I’ll never have enough cash for a vacation!

Good things though – I finished the wrap top that I started sewing a few months ago, and made good progress on a skirt. So far, it’s awesome. I’ll probably finish it next year some time. Also, I’m getting back into my digital scrapbooking – I’m a little overwhelmed with Photoshop Elements, but I purchased an instructional CD that focuses on scrapbooking with Elements. It should be very helpful.

That’s it for now – I hope that’s enough. I’ll be in touch!

Fight! Fight!

Today I received complete confirmation that I do, in fact, live in the Ghetto with a capital G. At around 6:00 this evening I was sitting in front of the TV chowing down on my KFC, as that’s what people in the ghetto eat, when I heard all this yelling coming from the apartment right next to mine. I turned off the volume to the TV and started paying attention – the yelling increased, and then a woman started screaming her head off. It sounded violent enough (my apartment even shook a couple of times with all the throwing-of-various-heavy-objects that was happening next door) so I called the cops. I took the opportunity to act like real white trash and go out to my balcony and watch the scene. The screaming and yelling continued until six cop cars showed up (what else are the cops going to do on a Tuesday evening?). In about a minute they had four guys in handcuffs and had taser guns pointed at them and everything. The girl that had been screaming kept telling the police “it’s ok – they’re friends and they’re not fighting anymore. They’re just drunk…”, like the cops would go “oh, alright, I guess we can move on then, right boys?”. Anyway, they arrested one guy and he was totally messed up – I think he had been tossed down the concrete stairs because his back was covered in a bloody bruise, and his head had taken a beating too. I don’t know why the other guys weren’t taken in as well – they were bloody messes too, and they were all drunk and gangsta-y. Here’s some photo journalism for you, taken of the parking lot from my apartment. It’s just a few of the cop cars, but you get the idea.

On the plus side, I finally bought a REAL couch! It will be delivered on Saturday. Suede micro-fiber, full sized, overstuffed, with lots of comfy pillows. I hope no one shoots a gun through the wall and hits my new livingroom showpiece with a stray bullet. Good thing I got the 5-year fabric warranty…

Back to Work Blues

Can my vacation truly be almost over? I was supposed to have like ten days of nothing to do! Now, on day nine, I find myself thinking about work, starting to go over in my mind all the things that will need to be done when I return. That overdue Biological Opinion for the park, the conservation easement review for the development, the amendment request for those grading phases, yada yada yada.It really helped me to have something to work towards – you know, having this cruise – saving vacation time, planning what I would do, looking forward to this vacation. And now that it’s over, I’ve got nothing to look forward to.So Tuesday I’ll be back at work, vacation gone in a flash, another few hundred dollars deeper in debt, all the stress of my job still there. What can I do? Sigh…I guess there’s nothing left I can do but…

…start planning my next vacation (although it seems so far away…)!!!

Fun Fun Update!

I love my life soooo much sometimes. In the past month or so, I’ve shelled out $700 for Teddy’s medical bills, $550 for a new alternator for my car, and now this. Here’s what I came home to on Friday:


Supposedly, the drywall guys will be in Monday to repair the ceiling and wall and paint. Hopefully they can get it done in one day and I’ll be through with this mess!

P.S. – On Saturday, my apartment complex informed me that they’ll be raising my rent $60-$100 per month in February. Can you believe that they have the nerve to raise my rent when my ceiling isn’t even fixed??? They clearly have not seen my needlepoint skills (see several blogs previous). I don’t need to be paying nearly $1000 per month for this ghetto. I think I’ll be outta here in February…

Seriously, like I really need this too.

I totally live in the ghetto, where your ceiling leaks, collapses, and the “emergency maintenance” person never returns your pages that you’ve been sending him for the past 48 hours. Take a look at the fun fun fun progression of events!

Wednesday morning – after a small rain, my ceiling started looking ugly and began dripping. I tried paging maintenance two times the evening prior, and once in the morning.

Wednesday evening – supposedly, the plumber fixed a leaky pipe in the attic. The ceiling was still leaking when I got home, but later stopped. A nice crack developed. The office attendant said it would “take a while” to get the ceiling repaired and painted.


Thursday evening – the cracks are getting bigger! I’ve heard nothing about the status of the ceiling repair.

Thursday evening, five minutes later – holy ghetto, batman! My ceiling collapsed, and there’s crap everywhere. I tried paging the maintenance person again (nothing), then called the security company, who said they would contact the apartment manager. That was at least an hour ago and I’ve heard nothing.


Just a fraction of the rubble I get to clean up – soggy drywall, paint, cardboard, insulation, solder shards from the pipe, a valve handle, and a wet rag, all of which fell out of the ceiling. Teddy Bear is having a blast sniffing various bits and pieces and dragging them around the apartment.

Sigh…

As an alternate, you can’t just yell out "GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!!!"

Previous to last week, the only experience I’ve had with jury duty revolved around how to get out of it. However, seeing as how I’m kind of in-between jobs I decided what they hell, I might as well see what the whole jury duty hype is all about. I was summoned, so I went.

On Monday, I sat around in the jury lounge for a while until it was revealed I had been randomly selected as one of 35 potential jurors for a short trial. So I continue to sit around until 1:30, when we were all finally called up to the court room for jury selection. It was kind of interesting – out of the 35 of us, 18 were called for questioning about what their jobs were and what their past experience with police was. The judge reminded me of Jerry Springer. Finally, 12 jurors were finally decided upon by both attorneys…and then…and then…and then…

Yup, they needed and alternate. Which was when my name was called. So picture this – I get all the responsibilities of being an actual juror (taking notes, paying attention, not falling asleep), but none of the glory of actually deciding upon the verdict. It’s ok though – I’m not working, and it will still be kind of interesting seeing the process. Which it was, I guess.

The case was not complicated – we had a day of witnesses; the defendent was pretty much charged with trying to prevent a police officer from doing his job. Basically, the guy was stopped for not wearing a seatbelt and the cop found out that he had a suspended license and an arrest warrant, so in the process of being arrested, the defendent started fighting the cop then ran off. He was finally found in a trailor park and it took four cops to restrain him. His defense was that the cops were using “excessive and unreasonable force” during the process, which was total crap. As soon as deliberations began (around 11:30 on Thursday), they kicked me out and I had to wait in the jury lounge (because, as the alternate, I couldn’t participate in the deliberating). At 2:30 they called me back up to the courtroom and I was all excited because I was sure the case was over – it seemed pretty straight-forward so I wasn’t expecting it to take a long time.

However, my hopes were quickly dashed because the jury apparently wanted three hours of the court reporter’s notes read back to them, which I did have to be present for. Anyway, that carried over through Friday morning, and THEN the jury finally decided on a verdict. Guilty as charged! Woo hoo!

It was kind of interesting, but man, if you ever find yourself up for jury duty for a case that is going to be long and complicated, don’t ever allow yourself to be the alternate. I suggest that you start twitching uncontrollably and mumbling about how you hate cops (talking to yourself, in general, will keep you out of trouble) near the beginning of the jury selection process to avoid the pitfalls involved with becoming an alternate juror.

Justice man, she’s a saucy manx!

Enough with the recorded phone calls…

Woohoo! They’ve finally decided to expand my duties at work, letting me climb out of the pit known as “listening to recorded phone calls for eight hours per day”. Someone in the department was let go, and they’ve decided to keep me on for a while so that I can pick up the slack. I’ll be trained on monitoring consolidation phone calls (yes, recorded ones…), but I do have a fun project that involves creating an intranet website. Because I’m working in the Quality Assurance/Compliance department, I’ve decided to call the site “QuAC Net” – on the home page there’s a rubber duck, and the whole site has a subtle (or not-so-subtle, as the case may be) duck theme. It’s pretty funny, and the boss likes it a lot!

In the meantime, I’ve applied for a few more jobs – I’m really excited about an application I put in for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as a communications coordinator. Lots of fun educational, writing, and media projects – I think it will be a good fit, if they decide to consider me. So keep your fingers crossed for me –

Yours truly,
Milto–I mean–Marci 🙂

Alright Already!!!

I know, it has been a long time since I posted on my blog. But, seeing as how I’m a regular Joe Blow now with my regular Joe Blow job, I don’t have time for all this fancy high-tech frivolity. Work, tv, sleep. Work, tv, sleep. Work, tv, sleep. Oh yeah, and my internet connection has been on the fritz, too. And it’s still not completely fixed – for one, right now I’m connected with a rather short cable to my DSL modem, which is pretty darn inconvenient when you’re used to being wireless. Plus, my neck gave out this past week – I was essentially immobilized on Tuesday and missed work because I was having sharp unbearable stabbing pains in my neck and shoulders with every fraction of a movement I made. I went to the chiropractor for the first time ever on Tuesday and man, those were some scary sounds my neck made. Cracky, cracky!

Ok, so there’s the short update. I’ll write more when I get some time – I have some pictures to post, but in the meantime, here’s a good one for you, a little something called “I guess I could do worse and have this guy’s job” (compliments of Brenda):