My Pacific Northwest "Vacation"

So last week I used 40 of my hard-earned annual leave hours to fly up to Portland. I had originally planned on simply visiting my mom and brother (it was his birthday on the 19th – happy birthday, Paul!), his wife, and new daughter Adelaide. However, additional vacation duties also included helping my mom pack up her house, clean it, and drive back down to Escondido for her move back down to SoCal. I still had a good time though, even though Mom’s cat, Leo, had to be put down the morning I arrived in Oregon. Leo will definitely be missed, although I don’t think we could have fit him into the car for the long trip south considering that the parrot and dog took up the majority of the available space.Other activities involved visiting two (!) REI stores, walking around Lacamas Park in Camas, initiating a corruptive influence on my beautiful and awesome niece (I bought that ABCD onsie for her when she was only a fetus!), celebrating Paul’s 33rd birthday at Deschutes Brewery in downtown Portland, and spending the better portion of a day walking around the Pearl district.

Lacamas Park in Camas

Corruption Phase 1 Initiated

Packing for the trip home…

The drive back down to Escondido was fairly uneventful, and let me tell you that the landscape only gets MORE BEAUTIFUL as you travel south, leaving the lush green fresh scenery of Washington and Oregon for the shriveled brown smog-laiden traffic-scape of our urban coastal community. Sigh. And, to make things even better, Michael (Mom’s parrot, severe macaw, actually) took the opportunity to fly away the evening of our arrival home. She went missing for two days, but Mom miraculously recovered her after plying her with wheat thins, peanuts, and a squeaky ball. I’m thinking that with this experience, Mom now has the know-how for earning supplemental income recovering rogue feathered pets.

Then it was back to work on Monday…it will only take another five months of work to gain those 40 hours of annual leave back, so I’d better get on that I guess.

The Roof – The Roof – The Roof is on Fire…

Actually, it’s not on fire yet. I stayed home from work today – still not over my cold – but it turns out that my office closed anyway due to the fires, so it’s a good thing that I didn’t go in. It’s pretty chaotic out there from what I understand – lots of nearby areas are being evacuated, and my downstairs neighbor has already packed up and left. My doctor cancelled my appointment that I had tomorrow morning because her house burned down, and Zoe’s checkup was rescheduled for Wednesday. Anyway, here are some pictures I took this morning, around 7:30 am, then again at 10:30 am. I didn’t alter the color in these photos in any way – crazy, huh???

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…

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.


It’s Like Christmas in June!!!

Ok, so I’m still trying to catch up on my blogging. Some of you may know that I’ve recently moved – I’m finally out of my mom’s place (leaving 50% of the animals behind, thank goodness), and into my own little apartment. Unfortunately, I had to move the day before I had to travel to Denver, which I will write about in the next blog. Not having very much time, I hired movers to get my stuff out of my storage unit and into my new place – it was a little pricey, but they sure didn’t just sit on their asses, complain about how heavy all my boxes of books were, and demand pizza and beer. They were actually very quick, and got all my stuff up to my 2nd floor apartment in under four hours! And so far, I don’t think anything is broken or missing. So it was a good deal for me. I still had a bunch of stuff left at Mom’s house to take over, but I dealt with that when I got back from my trip the following weekend.

Here are some pictures – the first one is the outside of my apartment – 2nd floor, big balcony. It’s a small apartment, and I’m appalled that for the same money, I could rent TWO apartments of this size in Colorado. But I’m paying a lot less living in Escondido compared to Carlsbad (where I work), which is really outrageous. Even though it’s just a regular place, it’s all my own, and my things are out of storage! Woo hoo!!! And, there are some nice features – vaulted ceilings, a huge walk-in closet, a good sized storage closet on my balcony, a pool/hot tub, and I even get a free gym membership (anyone want to take bets on whether or not I’ll actually ever use that membership?). It’s a nice neighborhood too – lots of greenery, with a creek running through the back, and it doesn’t feel too ghetto. So I guess I made a good find. The second picture features just a small fraction of the boxes that were waiting for me when I returned from Denver. I think Santa left them there for me!

Nothing to report, really.

Yeah, yeah – I know I haven’t written anything in a while. Well, that’s just because I don’t have anything particularly exciting to write about. I’m still here though – still working, trying to catch up on sleep, trying to survive the mayhem of all the animals in one tiny, tiny space…

Actually, work is going a little better – I’m starting to get a better feel for how things work, and can at least “act” competent around everyone except for my supervisor. Isn’t that the luck? And, more good news – I move into my own place in the beginning of June (the 10th). It’s no place special, still in Escondido, and rather small. But it’s cute, and it will save me several hundred dollars a month as opposed to renting in Carlsbad near work. So hopefully, I’ll be able to pay off some debt in the next year or two, then maybe I’ll move to a better place. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not bad, not in the ghetto or anything, it’s just your typical apartment in your typical apartment complex. But there’s a pool, hot tub, vaulted ceilings, and a huge walk-in closet. And best of all, it will be my own space, with only three (officially two, so don’t tell anyone) pets.

But that’s all for now. I just didn’t want you all to worry. I’m still alive and twitching.