Friday, July 21, 2006

slow friday

not too much is happening in the office right now, other than rubber band wars with melanie. there was a storm earlier today that knocked the power out - i thought maybe for good, but it came back up within a minute. i don't know what's up with these storms lately, they just seem to drop down from the north, wreak havoc and then continue on their merry ways...

i did manage to get all of my dear roommate's emails up on on new blog: The Neoteric Sage. If you were a fan of her musings in person, you'll love them when you need a pick me up at work. Link to the right under Personification. Feel free to send this link to anyone, names have been generalized to protect identities....

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Slow day today in the office. The storm last night knocked out the power in nearly 600 thousand homes and wreaked havoc with the transit system. Also, it is still very very hot outside and thus no one wants to come in and chat. ergo slow day.

more about that storm:

I woke up from a very pleasant nap to find that it had gotten dark (at quarter to seven) and the wind was blowing quiet fiercely. I though to myself, "hey, maybe you should go check on your mom." so i wandered to the back of the house to discover that w my mom was scurrying around in the backyard picking up flower pots that had been blown about and all over the yard. So i said to myself "you should prolly check and see if she needs any help." so i walked to the back door and opened it just in time to see a girl with long hair blowing behind her in the wind, on a bicycle, riding very quickly into the wind... and all I could think was wizard of oz. and my mom thought so too. It turns out she did need help - so we brought everything that looked like it might be able to move into the garage, and the wind was really kicking up by then. siding was coming off of the house across the street from us. we stood and watched the wind, the waves of rain and the lights flickering, listening to the radio until the tornado sirens started blaring. "mom," i said "we had best go in." and we did. gathered up the cat, a flashlight and headed on downstairs.

we weren't downstairs 15 minutes when the lights went out, for good this time. The lights remained out until about 1am when all of the lights in the house came back on, waking me from my slumber. And then, and then, the drive to work took me 1.5 hours because traffic was JAMMED. I heard that a tornado touched down a couple of miles from our house, if stories are to be believed. I heard that all of the bridges into IL were closed due to tractor trailers being tipped over, buildings fallen on top of them, and construction. I heard that trees 3 ft in diameter were knocked over. i heard that some people will be out of power for days. I heard that north of I-70, the want your to boil your water. serious serious storm.

and the heat has not gone away. It did get down to 77 degrees, but that was last night. right now it is 95 fucking degrees and feels like 109. All this with many many people without power. Slay wants a state of emergency declared. Fortunately, we have power at my house, unless the fuck it up trying to fix everyone else's power. I do not relish the thought of another night in the black and stuff of the basement...

In other unrelated stuff, I never did get to relate the story of our moving out of our old apartment and the drama and the DRAMA that we had to go through with our land lord. Here it is:

Landlord Bob (hereafter, Bob), told us that we had to be out by May 26th. "surely not" we said, "what a silly day for a lease to end on" but we checked the lease and sure enough, we had to be out by may 25th. "ok," we said, "no problem." and out we were, by may 26th. fast forward to June 19th. "hey," we said to ourselves, "bob sure hasn't given us our security deposit back.." so lauren called. bob said that he would have it back to us in a few weeks. "no good enough" we said. we think that he is required to have it back to us sooner than "a few weeks." so we checked, lo and behold MO law requires him to have it back to us 30 days from the end of the lease. "hmm," we said, "what does the lease say?" we wondered. and so we checked the lease, lo and behold, the lease also required him to have it back in 30 days, in accordance with relevant law...additionally, if it was not back in 30 days, he would owe us two months rent. $2850 is not something to be trifled with.

and so a dilemma presented itself. try and negotiate something with bob before time ran out, or just let time run out and try to get the money out of him afterwards. the tricky part would be getting money out of bob - we were thinking that we would probably have to take him to court to get the money...the small claims courts like to see that you have tried to resolve the issue outside of court, thus the need to mention to bob that he should get the security deposit to us before time ran out. on the other hand by contract, he would owe us $2850 if we just let the deadline pass... we talked to him, but the deadline passed...

Lauren was totally the point person on this one and definitely kicked some major ass. She basically told bob that if we didn't have the money, in hand, by june 26 we were going to sue his sorry ass. he huffed and he puffed. he said that clause couldn't possibly be in his lease, and that we didn't have to be out by may 26th, that the lease really ran until the end of the month, that we sure would have gotten into trouble for having four people in the apt (though he knew full well, and it would have been his responsibility too - oh, and we actually had 5 people and 2 pets, so there BOB), that he didnt know MO law (even though he had been a landlord for 17 years), that there was $400 in damages to the apt, that he had given us all good recommendations to new apts (not true, only Lauren had gotten a new apt) and that we were very mean for threatening to take him to court. But Lauren was very firm, and you know what? we got our full security deposit back two days later. and we would have been happy to pay the maintainance fees, but the thing is, he violated his contract, and there are consequences.

Unfortunately there were also consequences for me. The first landlord that contacted Bob to find out about me got an earful. Bob told him that I was a very good tenant and always paid my rent on time, but then when it came time to withhold standard cleaning/damages from the security deposit - that we threatened to take him to court because we wanted our full deposit back without damages taken out. BLATANTLY NOT TRUE BOB. so I had to go through the whole process of explaining to this new landlord the situation, he was very understanding after i told him that bob had not given us our security deposit back (any part of it) or our list of deduction within the 30 days as required by law. THANKS A LOT BOB. fortunately, i have a new landlord, who is a family friend, that i can now list as my most recent landlord when i apply for new apartments in a few months.


"The Neoteric Sage" a blog by a former roommate who shalt not be named.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

ah another day, another dollar, another 8 hours in the office

sadly for me I had to sit through a staff meeting this morning, so I didn't get to half the things I needed to get to before 10:30am. It's not like I really want to do the things, but the sooner I get them done, the sooner I get to play online, or fantasize about our new apartment.

We took a look at it yesterday, so what that it's on the second floor of my dad's office building. it has it's own door to the outside world. so what that the ceilings are a little low. it's not my parents house. so what that the neighborhood is a little sketch. it has privacy (and the door is metal-clad).

whatever, it's pretty big, it definitely has an interesting design - pictures will be forthcoming as soon as we make it presentable - what it needs is COLOR. lots and lots of color. it has all the right parts, kitchen (small, shrug), bathroom, master bedroom (giant), dining room (small) living room (oddly shaped), and a second oddly shaped, but large-ish bedroom that we can make a party room or something, office maybe. and throughout is has high ceilings to sloped ceilings, because the ceiling is the roof. all in all, it's a pretty unique space. and we get the pets. internet is free. $400 a month for 1100sf. I'm happy. It just needs plants, paint and pets. oh and there's no fridge, or laundry - but these are minor details. the point is we get out of my parents house! hooray!

why do people think that if they give me a phone number, i'm going to be able to tell them what it is? i am not the operator. if you were to call gosh-shoe help line, they would probably be able to tell you...
::end interlude::

racquetball - i miss it.
so anyone with a washu ID or anyone who can get their hands on a washu ID and who plays racquetball should play with me Mid-september
courts are open 6:45am-9:30pm M-F and til 8:30pm on the weekends. right.

surefire flashlight - blinding light in a tiny package. i want.

the new jessica alba movie is filming on campus today and tomorrow, mucking up parking. and no, jessica alba is not going to be on campus. apparently the only scene being filmed is where the lead boy looks in the mirror and then swims in the pool. for these two shots, the filming crew is here two days. i know. why washu's pool? why the galleria? yep, they were at the galleria filming a couple of weeks ago and i actually saw, not jessica alba, but aaron eckhart of "Thank you for smoking" fame. anyway, the new movie is called "Bill" and it looks...well...lame.
On the not lame side, I recently saw another preview for "Happy Feet" - it still looks good, and you can see it Nov. 17th. Reminder: it stars robin williams, hugh jackman, elija wood, nicole kidman, brittany murphy etc.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Return to Cubeland

After working for four punishing weeks at an agricultural company which i will not name, but rhymes with fun-gee (though, it was in no way fun), after working there for four weeks with no internet access, I am well pleased to be working somewhere that does have my computer hooked up. Additionally, I have enough to do to keep busy, but also little enough to do that I can sit and type some times. An update:

At fungee I had the pleasure of filing and entering data for four solid weeks. I could not access the all. My computer was not even hooked up to the internet. So, for 8 hours a day, I filed and entered data with virtually no breaks other than my lunch. To ease the passing of time, I listened to audiobooks - and that helped a little. I listened to all three of Al Franken's books, Dune, at least 3-4 books in the Ender Series, the DaVinci Code, A Brief History of Nearly Everything and Fast Food Nation. A very informative and entertaining mix.

I probably would have been at Fungee for less than the four weeks, had my project that I was working on not hit a snag. I was entering the yearly payroll totals for each employee at each of their different centers (about 8) over the course of 10 years. This would have been an easy matter if the payroll registers had had yearly totals, but no. The registers, printed on old-fashioned computer paper (the kind with the green and white stripes), only had bi-weekly totals. So instead of entering one number for each employee at each center, I had to enter 26 numbers for each employee at each center. Twenty-six times more entries. Fun for me. Then I had to remove the registers from their 4-5 inch bindings and individual copy each sheet - because they were not torn apart and could not be run through the copier any other way. When I got bored with all of that fun, I had the option to file until my fingers bled. Thrilling, I know. And all of this in a very small cube with poor lighting - on the other hand, I did have my own cube - not that I could take advantage of it. Also Fungee is way out on Page, which meant that I had to get my little self out of bed, leave me girlfriend and make the trek out there very early in the morning. While the office had a nice lake to look at and ducks that frequently crossed the highway, these did not make up for having to get up at 6:45am. I know lots of people get up before then, but this is me, and I'll complain if I want to.

Life after Fungee
My work at Fungee concluded at the end of June. In the interium, I planned to pack, lay by the pool, find an apartment in Philly and generally have a good time. Unfortunately, finding an apartment turned out to be generally very stressful and precluded a lot of relaxing. Also, Jen was working 7.5 hours a day and everyone else was a work or school, which made finding someone to play with difficult. Note: at this time I had moved in with Jen. Fast forward to mid-June. Through a fuck up with Jen's old roommate and the landlord - we were forced to move out by the end of June, instead of staying on until the end of July when were going to move to Philadelphia. After the weighing of options, we decided to take my parents up on their offer and move into the basement of my parents house, yes, both of us...into the basement...of my parents house. So we rented a 17' truck to move Jen's apartment to a storage unit. That move sucked, the weather was hot and it took us about 8 hours. Fortunately the storage unit came free with the truck, so at least Jen didn't have to pay any extra to store her stuff.

During that move we discovered (much to our chagrin), that we would probably need a 22' truck for our move to Philadelphia (her stuff + my stuff), at an additional cost of $300 for the truck $? in gas, and $1million in pain and suffering. As for our pets, we had to send Cinque off with Aunt Lauren to the farm and Tasty off to Aunt Bscoot. That's another $1 million in pain and suffering. So we headed off to my parent's house with nothing but our clothes, our computers, and some records.

My parent's basement does not have a door at the bottom of the basement, it only has a door at the top of the basement that must remain open so that the cat can go up and down the stairs to the litter box. My parents had seen fit to put the bed that Jen and I would be using at the foot of the stairs without the door. So much for privacy....

Then Jen interviewed for a stock broker position at a financial institution and nailed it. Pending her passing her licensing exams, she becomes a very-well paid stock broker. Though the job she interviewed for was in St. Louis, it would have transferred to Philadelphia. We talked and talked. In the end, I decided to give up my job in Philadelphia and stay in the big STL. Better contacts for her to get started in her new job, lower cost of living, more family, more friends, softball, all the attractions of St. Louis, etc.

Through some prior planning, I had already sold my car. So here we are, Jen and I living in my parents house, with no car for me -- I feel like a teenager. But we're working on getting out, and getting our pets back, and getting full-time jobs.

Currently, I'm working at a place that rhymes with Gosh-shoe in a department that we all hate. You can probably guess which one it is, if you've ever received a small yellow envelope from you might be asking what do I do here?

Pushing Paper for Gosh-shoe
I stuff envelopes. I read mail. I answer phone calls. I route items. I void. I appeal. I send out messages. I push paper. But, I do have a full time job. I do get paid well. I do carpool with Jen every day. I do eat lunch with Jen everyday. So it's not so bad, and the people are all nice.

Break: Here's a new recipe for Rachel Ray, takes about two minutes:
brown ground turkey
add to hamburger helper
End Break:

And I get an office of my own. With a door. (that I never close, but it's there nonetheless) and a computer screen that is turned away from everyone else-praise jesus.

Oh yeah, I tried to interview at my original cubeland job because they had a position that was very similar to the job that I had. I saw the job listed on their website, immediately contacted my temp agency and my old boss to express my interest. Four hours later I got a phone call to set up an interview. I went to the interview and it turned out that the job was more sales oriented than I originally thought. Apparently I was not exactly what they were looking for because they REJECTED me. ouch. while waiting for the outcome of that interview, i took the paper pushing position here at gosh-shoe. golly.

So now that you're all caught up, let's get back to the things that makes Adventures so great - a log of my daily activities and national and international events.

I went to the cards game last night in the new stadium. new stadium = good. cards losing 15-3 = bad. getting drunk with my dad buying the beer = good. cards losing 15-3 = bad. cards losing 15-3 = bad, temperature only dropping to 95 degrees by 9:30pm = worse. getting ice cream and reese's big cups after the game = good, coming home to your girlfriend = great.

yesterday i saw a guy driving a hummer and i thought, you schmuck. what do you need a hummer for? all they do is eat up a whole lot of gas making us more dependent on foreign oil and sending lord only knows how many green house gases into the atmosphere. my last thought was fuck republicans. then i saw a decal on his window. "had enough? vote democrat." good sticker. bad democrat. i can only hope that the person was an ex-republican, looking to sell his gas-guzzler and vote democrat.

creepy world events:

from RawStory: Bush gives bizarre massage to German chancellor
I don't even have anything to say about this except that it is so strange...

Bush stopped the investigation into his own wrongdoing.
he basically said, hmm, yeah, i don't really want you doing that, so i'm going to deny you the clearance that you would need to look into that. ha.

Constitutional Ban Fails
the fuckers in congress brought a vote on the federal marriage amendment to the floor of the house today, and the good guys said no. and by no, i mean that they needed 47 more votes to get the thing passed. the final vote was 236-187. that's 236 shitheads and 187 good guys.

DOW falls 400
yeah, last week the dow fell like 400 points, nearly wiping out all of the gains that had been made this year. gee thanks bushie. thanks for this great economy. thanks for this great deficits, if i ran deficits like you run them, my legs would be broken now and i'd be in jail.

Crisis in the Mideast
Oh yeah, and there's that little crisis in the mideast. you know the one where israel is defending itself but it might draw in some pretty unstable countries that may or may not have nuclear weapons...yeah that's not scary at all. but i'm sure glad that our president is giving massages and our congress is taking votes on shit like the constitutional ban on marriage. yep, i sure am glad to live in america.