Tag Archives: fear

2016 in Review: The Bad–and there was plenty

2 Jan

what a shit-show

Lots of bad stuff happened all year.  Cool’s mom died which caused a cascade of bad reactions and terrible events.  Cool’s bipolar was off the heezy, up and down and up and further up–making life complex and terrible.  My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo surgery and radiation.  My dad was diagnosed with early Parkinson’s Disease.  Those events aren’t in my countdown, because even though they sucked–they aren’t MY events to claim.  But they did negatively affect me.

 

Here’s how 2016 started:  I had to work on New Year’s Eve 2015.  Of course either everyone else either planned ahead and took the day off, or called out sick.  But I was still in my first 90 days, so I wasn’t yet eligible for any time off.  So it was me and my supervisor for half of it.  Till she coerced another co-worker to come in by reminding him that he wouldn’t get paid for the holiday if he didn’t show up to the shift immediately proceeding it.  This was typical stuff for my work history–I was used to Noh’s Ark 20s-something shenanigans.  While I was at work, Cool was getting her drink on.  Mind you, we had been abstinent for 2 whole years.  And we had not discussed adding alcohol back into our lives–she just grabbed it impulsively.  And drank it.  Even though she was home alone.  Long story short, by the time I rushed home from work for the countdown, Cool had already over-done it, was tired, then went to puke.  And she vomited, not down in the toilet, but from above–so it got everywhere!  It was the bad omen that started 2016.

vomit

The year went on like that–one thing after another.  I spent a lot of time writing my music blog.  I spent a ton of time editing pictures, writing descriptions, and putting in order–my good moments of 2016.  These moments sucked.  I’m tired of thinking about them-tired of dwelling on them.  I’ll quick-write these and be done.  I’m worn down from 2016, and hoping for a very tranquil 2017.

 

 

 

 

Bottom Moments:

9-I got a flu.  For the first time I can remember–aside from childhood sicknesses.  My fever lasted 5 days!  I was miserable.  I lost a week of unpacking and errands.

8-I got the impossible raise by negotiating.  This one hurts because it should have been such a GOOD moment.  But then my boss ruined my moment by being an ass.  He doesn’t like me and makes no bones about it.  He wished his favorite employees had earned the big raise instead, and resented the fact my pay is so high now.  He said, “You got lucky.”  Ummm, nice.  What a douche!  Also, Cool ruined my celebration by picking a fight–one of our biggest fights ever.  Not awesome.

7-The moving process, because it is always a headache.  We had to hire movers because the washer/dryer unit weighs 240 pounds.  Nothing is simple when you are moving from a basement to a third floor unit 35 minutes away.  Cool works days and I work nights so we had to work alone.  And then, I hated the stupid, non-functional layout of the new apartment, and not being able to unpack.  What a money-pit.

6-Our cute neighborhood with so much potential suddenly went downhill.  It went from quiet with tons of potential to ghetto and dangerous in about three weeks.  A homeless family made camp in our apartment’s parking lot.  People started walked by, peering into our living room window, casing the joint.  The police started showing up to various units routinely (see blog).  Starting to feel unsafe walking from my car to the apartment when I got home in the early morning hours felt awful.  Knowing the owner didn’t care about our safety and wellbeing, and wasn’t going to do anything to improve the situation was frustrating.  And learning that no one else could help us, because it was private property felt hopeless.

5-Cool got in a 6x roll-over accident and totaled her car.  But she lived.  It’s a miracle.  Except it happened 1 week before we moved!  The timing for it was the worst.  And I had to call out sick twice as a result of the crash, possible head injury, then her anxiety about it.  And now, I have to do all the shopping, all the errands, and take her to the pharmacy and anywhere else she needs to go.

4-working with effing lazy people every day.  Doing way more then my share of the work–every day.  Seeing my lazy co-workers be–lazy.  Resentment.  Getting held hostage by slowness of coworkers despite doing all the work.  Going home late in every scenario.  Being tired all the time.  Starting the next shift tired, and doing all the work (tired) again, in the hopes of leaving earlier and getting more sleep.  Failing at this night after night.  Really got me down.

3-Working with Catty.  I started dreading work every Monday.  I didn’t want to talk at work.  I didn’t want to stand up at any time, lest be judged by her.  I didn’t want to turn my head.  I felt self-conscious.  We had to trade recs and it was horrible.  She was a bitch and made me feel small and edgy.  She was my boss’ friend.  She had been there much longer and knew everyone.  She hated me.

2-Cool ambushed me.  And I found out she had gone “Mean Girls” against me for quite some time.  I broke up with her and kicked her out of the apartment.  Then, I had to work with the bitch (the afore-mentioned Catty) who initiated the whole thing–every Monday.  Sitting immediately sitting next to her, and having to trade requisitions to verify stressed me out!  Cool was ridiculous, and everything was tumultuous.  Suddenly, I felt very alone in Utah–in the world.  I was furious, and knew she was being THE WORST, yet my heart hurt.

1-window harassment (because the fear lasted longer then Cool’s ambush).  When someone started harassing us by knocking on our bedroom window several times, it was time to go.  I lay awake at night listening, anticipating with dread someone coming back, and breaking in.  I heard sounds, saw lights.  I had to plan what to do if someone got in when we weren’t home.  When we were sleeping.  While I was alone.  When Cool was home alone.  We had so much dread.  It was awful.  And in a horrible year of a lot of big, awful events–it was the worst.  By just a little bit.

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Trump Terror

11 Nov

I was actually happy when Trump got the Republican nomination.  I thought Jeb Bush, with his family-backing, and Texas oil money, and far-right support was more of a threat.  I highly doubted anyone would take Donald Trump seriously.  I mean, all he had going for him was money and trash-talk!  I felt voting for him was akin to voting for a Kardashian.  They’re in the same camp–you know their names from the stupid stuff they say and do on television, but you don’look to them for any serious leadership.

And I knew if nobody took Trump seriously (because HOW could they!!!) that whatever democrat was running would be a shoe-in.  I wasn’t sad to see it was Hillary.  I had actually voted for her over Obama in the primary that first time around when she ran.  I knew her face, thought she worked really hard as Secretary of State, and yeah–I wanted a woman in the White House.

But I thought women’s rights were farther ahead than they actually are.  I really think if Hillary were a man, things would have played out differently.  It would have been an EQUAL assessment of two candidates.  Not just a singular attack on one and blind-spot toward the other.  They would have dug into her dirty laundry–sure–that’s part of the political game these days.  And believe me, they ALL have their share of dirty laundry.  The political machine is so caught up in money now, that ALL candidates that make it to a certain lever most certainly made back room deals to get funded.  They all owe somebody.  Every politician has to water down a certain policy they care about, because a special interest group contributed to their campaign.

That makes them all lairs.  They all manipulate.  Every politician is shady.  I expect it.

But they would have used the bad stuff to equal disadvantage, apples-to-apples.  They didn’t.  When people called Hillary a liar, I was like–yeah.  Of course.  But what I didn’t expect was to people to hold that against Hillary in a militant way, when they didn’t hold the male politician to the same standard.  I would challenge that every accusation, every piece of dirty laundry found on Hillary was used against her in a more drastic way then it is used against any man that has run or held office.  People were a LOT harsher on Clinton then they’ve been on most males in politics.

The patriarchal double-standard reared it’s ugly head.

Even so, I didn’t think the country would go for Donald Trump.  How could they?  He is a caricature.  He’s all fluff and propaganda, and realty TV!  He has no political experience, no solid policy ideas, only hateful sound-bites.  His business dealings were murky.  The guy claimed bankruptcy and didn’t pay taxes.  He wavered on issues, and lost all three debates.  His supporters were the trashiest, most backward, belligerents in the country.  He got caught candidly admitting his penchant for sexual abuse.  Americans would not get behind any of that.  We might like to see the train wreck on TV, but we expect more decorum and have higher standards for our president.

The leader of our country–the leader of the world.

I was in absolute shock when we didn’t.

This week was difficult.  I felt suddenly scared and alone.  I knew every person from my small town voted republican.  I felt since Trump is against many of the minority groups I belong to (women-in social standing, impoverished, gays) that my Utah work managers were also.  My hometown was also.  My Facebook friends were also.  My parents were also.  I was suddenly marginalized.  Cowering at the fringes.

And my groups are actually dominant groups OF the marginalized groups.  The illegals, people of color, transsexuals, Muslims–all have it way worse.  If I felt scared and alone, how must THEY feel???

I saw many Trump supporters come across my Facebook feed.  And they shut-down dissent by telling anyone liberal or sorry about the win to “get over it.”  They discounted their opinions, silencing their views.  I try not to make waves on Facebook.  Or at work.  I know I am more progressive then my small-town peers.  I understand I have lived in more states, have more education, watch documentaries and learn about issues.  I’m a moderate, but a progressive one.  That sets me apart from most loud political views.  I get that people that just don’t know, don’t necessarily hate, but they are ignorant.  I can let some things go.  And I am usually quiet.  I scroll past the politics that are opposite to my views, the hate-memes, and ignorance.  Because these people are family.  Or they are my past.  I grew up and went through every year of schooling from kindergarten to senior year with some of these people–it’s just not worth it.

But when people started hassling Cool on her Facebook page, I stopped to think.  She was upset and posted why.  People wrote long diatribes, personally attacking her.  People told her to shut up about it.  People said to “move on.”  And in a society that just accepted what Trump stands for, and voted him in the highest office–I decided we could no longer afford apathy.

A lot of the reason he got voted in was because people didn’t like either candidate so they didn’t vote.  A whole, big section of youth, and moderates, and democrats just didn’t vote.  Which left privileged people to make our decisions.  People whose lives look nothing like mine.  People who don’t have the same problems and worries as me (or other marginalized groups).  It made me think a lot of that Holocaust quote, which I will not directly quote (because I’m too lazy to go search for it, and I already have more tabs open then I like) so I will sum the sentiment up:  They took the criminals, and I was not a criminal so I didn’t say anything.  They took the gypsies, and I was not a gypsy so I didn’t say anything.  They took the Jews and I was not a Jew so I didn’t say anything.  So when they came for me–there was nobody to speak for me.

We always have to remember how the Holocaust started so nothing even remotely similar can repeat itself.  It’s not just about some tyrant stealing power–it’s the apathy and silence from the real majority that allows that to happen.

And Cool and I spent a very large part of the year watching WWII (and everything around the periphery of that) shows, interviews, and documentaries.  I know what apathy can lead to, I know how things got started in Germany back then.  So I felt motivated to stand up where I could in my own life.  I made a new policy that I would not be silenced by the privileged few.  I would not stand down as a woman.  I will not hide as a gay.  I will not let my poverty minimize my power.  And I wouldn’t stand by and say nothing when others were hassled–not anymore.  I will act with integrity and stand for what I believe in.  Even if it causes confrontation.  I will deliberately show my ethics and speak my morals.  I have to counter the negativity and hate that was just sanctioned by a vocal majority by stopping the silence and apathy.  First in my own life, then maybe even on a larger scale.

Here’s what I wrote to Cool (and her frenemies on Facebook):

hypocracy

 

And I wrote to her (and those frenemies of hers):

“Words of wisdom: I will not be shut-down or silenced. I will continue to voice my ethics and let my values guide my actions. Hate has no place here. Don’t let societal pressures make you falter. Speak your mind. Speak your truth.”

Because right now it’s super-important for all those just marginalized by the ignorants and the haters to have a voice.  Remind people we’re here and we’re just as valid.  And we have dreams, hopes, and rights.  We deserve an equal chance.  We deserve respect.  That dissent is not unpatriotic.  To speak out for injustice is as American as you can get.  It’s what this country was built on.

I also got brave and wrote from my heart on my own Facebook page.  Knowing I was outnumbered by right-wingers.  Knowing there was hate for my groups just under the surface.

“I try to keep politics off my page. Nobody really wants to hear it–you’re not changing anyone’s mind. And I don’t identify with either party. I think with all the money, and lobbyists, and Super-PACS all candidates that make it that far have to be corrupt just to be in the game. But I am in shock and dismay.

For me, this 2016 election result is not about red or blue, winning or losing, it’s about standing for my values, and modeling my ethics. I will not be shut-down and I will not falter in defending my morals for fear of antagonism. It’s not about, “move on, get over it.” Trump’s values do not align with mine. And friends/family I hope I know you well enough that Trump’s quotes/feelings are not in your heart either.
This is a country of immigrants, mentally ill, minorities, women, gays, impoverished, of “other.” Big-Money shouldn’t have the largest and last say in all matters. As a proud American I recognize how fortunate I am to be born here and at the status that I hold. But that’s all it was–luck, completely out of my control. I will raise my voice to defend the little people– outsiders like myself–because that’s the kind of person I am.
If you can’t respect that, if you are ignorant to the sentiment of this message–mostly I feel sorry for you. And a little afraid. For myself, for the others like me, for this great country, and for you. God bless, and may the universe be kind to you and yours.”
I was disappointed I only got 3 likes and one comment–none of those from family.  So the fears and isolation are real.  Those people on my Facebook WOULD turn against me.  I have to watch my mouth and watch my back.
But I will not be silenced.  I will not go down without a fight.
I took my new personal-policy of not being silenced to my job yesterday.  Crissy bought us ice cream.  She got 4 different flavors of candy bars.  Derick the Douche loves Reese’s PB cups best, so she specifically got ice cream in that flavor for him.  He claimed it before he saw it.  The rest of us decided which flavors we wanted.  Derick then saw the ice cream, and saw his flavor was smaller then the rest.  He said he wanted oreo instead (it was the biggest).  But an Indian gal had already picked that one out.  White, male, privileged, dominant Derick the Douche wanted it, and pushed for it.  She conceded.  I spoke up–“No Siama already chose that one.”  And I like PB, and didn’t particularly care which ice cream flavor I ate (I love ALL ice cream!) so I told him to take the Twix one I had picked.  He pouted and tried to take hers anyway.  I put my foot down.  Which, I never would have done before.  He’s always that way.  It was none of my business.  But under my new policy, I was not going to stand by and let him bully a minority and take the (perceived) better ice cream away from her.
I used my policy a second time in the same night.  A chronically slow, co-worker, who is always late, always lagging on his buckets, and actually disallowed to do basic tasks because he messes up, ruffled my feathers.  I always do the document imaging at work.  My co-workers don’t like to.  Everyone is supposed to do it.  We even have it assigned to a certain color.  But I do the lions share-no matter what color I am assigned.  Night after night.  Because I am a hard worker.  I’m motivated.  And it needs to be done.  I’ll do the scanning–ALL of the scanning.  Night after night, month after month, year after year-I do the majority of the scanning.  To the point, they don’t even know HOW, some of them, including the boy in this story.
For once, Crissy (who is just a sub and usually doesn’t work) was helping with the scanning.  She got stuck and didn’t know what had gone wrong, and this kid (Josh) was near so went over to help her.  But since he never scans, didn’t know how.  And they all just KNOW that I’m the scanning bitch at work.  In an accusatory tone, he called my name–like ‘YOU fucked this up, now come over and fix your mistake so Crissy can finish our work.’  That’s what his tone and body language said.  And he’s used that tone on me before.  Usually I let it go to keep the peace.  Even though it’s a totally inappropriate tone for work, and completely condescending.  I usually let it go.  Even though it makes me mad and makes me feel ‘less than’ I let it go.
But last night I called him out on it.  I said, “Are you asking for my help or accusing me of something?”  And he still looked agitated and a little hostile toward me so I continued, “You don’t need to use that accusatory tone on anyone at work–especially when you’re asking for their help.”  Turns out, I had not messed anything up.  But even if I had–so what?  And um–scanning is not MY job.  They are supposed to be doing their share and they never do–so don’t come accusing me of anything regarding scanning!  Anyway, Crissy had pressed something wrong, and it was no big deal, I simply showed her how to fix it, and we went on with work.  But my defense had made the kid mad.  He was storming around, slamming his stuff, and had a shitty demeanor for the rest of our shift.
But I wasn’t silenced.
And that felt good.  In a week where shock and horror ruled.  So I will continue on, living ethically, not hiding behind fear or apathy.  I will act with morality, defend those without a voice, and stand up for my beliefs–because they’re just as valid as Trumps, and those who voted for him.

The Security Breach

24 Oct

We had to move to our apartment (in a new state) sight-unseen.  We have 2 cats.  And a strict budget–especially at that time, b/c moving is expensive!  No one called us back in Salt Lake City.  Everyone who responded at all, never even read our out-of-state situation, and invited us to a showing.  When we couldn’t make a showing “tomorrow” they just didn’t correspond with us.  It was everyone.  How nice for realtor’s in SLC that it’s a seller’s market.

Bottom line:  We pretty much had to take what we could get.

It was OK.  The apartment was a little larger and better then what we had in Spokompton.  The neighborhood was quiet, but had tons of potential.  The park across the street was not like the ghetto-homeless situation of Mission Park near our apt in WA-state, but largely empty.  And quiet.  And they did lawn maint like 4 times a week.

But recently things have slowly started to change.

Every once and again there will be a homeless person sleeping it off under a tree in the park.  Someone parked their shopping cart 5 blocks up on the sidewalk next to the main street.  Nothing big.

The change from quiet to icky came with this homeless family.  A man, woman, toddler, and dog lived in their car.  And parked the car in our complex’s parking lot.  Like, every night.  Nobody seemed to notice, and they stayed under the radar for 5-6 weeks.  Everything started sliding downhill after that:

8/17/2016:  Wrote in the apartment portal that homeless people were living in the car in our parking lot.

9/2/16:  Texted the manager that the homeless people were still parking/living in our apartment’s parking lot.  Was informed the manager was out of town and instructed to call police about it.

9/13/16:  We came back from an out-of-state week-long trip and suddenly the homeless family in the car weren’t around anymore.

Wed Sept 28:  A knock on the bedroom window at 11 PM.  Cool had turned on the bedroom light to change for bed, and the knock came.  Then there was the sound of some tool trying to pry open the window frame.  She didn’t want to call 911 only to find it was a squirrel not an emergency (and she was still a little manic) so she she ran out of the apartment, to the entrance of the back alley.  She held up the flashlight app on her phone, but our window is toward the 300W street-side more, so the person she saw was not detailed.  She DID see a person in black clothing, holding something red (a cigarette or a pen light?) and at our window!  She called 911 and they sent 6 police officers and a dog.  They did an official sweep of the apartment, holding up guns, and calling for intruders.

I wasn’t too, too concerned though.  Because I thought it was probably a crime of opportunity.  There is an apartment on 300 W, and its parking lot is behind their building.  It ajuts to the end of our (dark, abandoned) fire alley.  They must have had problems with prowlers because they no longer park cars behind the building, favoring the side of the building, which is visible to the street.  They also installed a bright light in back.  The light illuminates a portion of our fire alley, but the first window in the dark is ours.  So I figured someone just went to the first dark window they saw.  And the person must have been dumb or not sober.  Because Cool had just turned on the light when she heard a knock–and who breaks into an apartment when the light is on, meaning someone is home?!  And a bunch of cops came in about 5 minutes, so I figured whoever it was went along their way.  And would never be back.

Fri/Sat, Sept 30:  The next door neighbor fixed the hole in the fence between the dark parking lot behind the next apartment and our fire alley.

Sat Oct 1:  I closed the black-out curtains, tucking them between the dresser and the wall.  We are watching a movie in the living room, and there are a lot of people outside their apartments talking, smoking, and drinking.  I hear what I think is Goose fussing with the curtains, trying to get in the window sill to look outside (it’s his fave thing to do).  Thinking he might pull the whole suspension bar holding the curtains down (and holding my dinner at the time) I ask Cool to go in the bedroom and check on him.  She reports someone is knocking on the back window.  I’m scared–who comes back a second time?!  I was too scared to open the curtains and see who it was.  I would be face-to-face with them, and that’s too much!  My adrenaline was pumping from the fear and I banged (3+ times) on the inside of the window with my fist, hoping to scare the would-be intruder away.  I banged a 2nd time (3 loud knocking sounds), while Cool was on the phone with 911.  Whoever was on the other side of the window. . .  Didn’t startle away–they knocked again.  This told me about their frame of mind and made me even more afraid.  I knocked on the thin wall of our bedroom, hoping to get help from the neighbor.

Bronco ran out to the fire alley, but all was quiet.  A police officer arrived about 20 min after our call, and stayed a long time, hearing our story, the neighbor’s opinions, and offering suggestions:  Lights in the alley.  Remove the abandoned/broke-down cars b/c they are a thief/vagrant attractant (and a fire hazard).  Put razor wire along the top of the fence surrounding the alley.  The police officer did not seem impatient or eager to leave.  I could hear calls on his radio on a busy Saturday night, but he made sure to get the whole story and he made sure he answered all of our questions.

We were afraid all the time at this point.  It felt like we were waiting with dreaded anticipation for someone to come back and try to get in.  I was afraid to open the windows.  I didn’t want to shower when I was home.  I was afraid to sleep and let my guard down, in case someone tried to break in.  I checked every noise to make sure it wasn’t someone trying to get in the apartment.  Every time the cats jumped in or out of the window, I was alarmed.  I listened for footsteps in the alley.  I felt stressed and unsafe.  Cool became crazy.  She started hearing things.  She wouldn’t go to sleep when I wasn’t home.  When I finally coerced her to sleep so that she could make it to work in the day, she wouldn’t sleep in the bedroom.  She had all the lights in the apartment turned on all the time–even while she was sleeping.  She started bothering the neighbors, asking them to check the alley.  We were scared in our apartment.

Sun Oct 2:  We were also scared about being away from the apartment for 11 hours, because someone could get inside.  So I took 1.5 hours of vacation and left early (forfeiting some of my weekend double-time) to go guard the house.  We bought a bat, a strong flashlight, and strong, locking bars to block the window and the door closed.  After work at 6:30 PM we inspected the fire alley (carrying the bat) and saw a broken bench was propped up on the chain link fence.  It looked like maybe someone had attempted to throw it away at the dumpster across the parking lot–just my theory.  And someone else came along and dragged it over to use as a step-stool over our fence.  We pushed it away from the fence and it folded in half, making a crunching/squeaking sound.  It ended up about 2 feet away from our fence and folded sort of in half (because it had already been broken).

Mon Oct 3, 1 AM:  I awoke to hear that same bench being moved.  It happened only briefly.  No one came to our window.  In the daylight I checked, and the bench was still away from the chain link fence.  I wasn’t going to mention it to Cool, because she was already freaked, and I wasn’t 100% certain (just 98%), but Cool mentioned she had heard it, so I know it happened, b/c we had both heard it.

Wed Oct 5 a pack of stray cats were eating from our bird feeder and making a tapping sound on the window.  Cool thought it sounded like the knocking of before so she knocked on our neighbor’s wall.  We absolutely know the first 2 incidents were a person though b/c the first time Cool had run outside and actually seen a person.  And the 2nd time, I had banged HARD on the window.  Hard enough that my knuckles were bruised the next day-and I never bruise.  No animal would have sat there for that banging.  And I had done it multiple times, twice.  It would have startled away any animal.  And after I had banged, someone knocked back at me.

Thurs Oct 6, 12:30 PM:  A man was sitting in Bronco and Cough’s parking spot, which is directly across from my living room window.  My curtains had been open.  I took a pic, but his head was down.  He stood and looked into my apartment so I called the non-emergency police line, but before I could complete the call, the man meandered to 300 W.  I asked for police patrol.

11PM:  heard walking in the fire alley and a quiet jangling (like keys in a pocket).

10-6-16:  Texted the apartment manager asking when any safety measures will be taken–never got a response.

10-6-16:  Wrote in official apartment portal-

Someone tried to break into the bedroom window this last Wednesday (9/28) at 10 PM. On that occasion, a person knocked on the window, then used some sort of tool to try to pry the window frame apart. Luckily one of us was home and called 911. We also reported the incident to management the next day, but so far no additional security has been completed. Saturday (10/1) at 8 PM, someone came back to the bedroom window and knocked. I pounded the window to scare them off–and they tapped again. We called 911 a second time, and the officer gave us some tips: 1) The cars on the side of the building are an attractant to burglars and homeless people. Some are also in violation of fire code. 2) Get a motion sensor light. 3) Put razor wire along the top of the entire fence, because someone is probably climbing over. 4) Consider a gate on the back side of the fire alley. I need to feel safe in my apt–please make some changes soon so we don t have to move.

Sat Oct 8, 5 AM:  Saw flashlight through blackout curtains (through sleep mask while sleeping).  But for certain.

Sat Oct 8, 5:10 AM:  Thud on bedroom window.  Goose ran behind curtains and stayed, so it may have been a cat.

Sun 11 PM:  tromping in fire alley (may have been police patrol).

Mon 1:40 PM-police drove by front of apt.

Tues 10/11, 3 PM:  marked police car was sitting on the street next to the park.

Wed, 1 AM-ish:  I got home from work, and the homeless car was parked street-side at our apartments.

Wed 3:15 PM:  the same man that had been sitting in front of the window last Thursday slowly walked past our window toward 300W.  He was with another guy, and they walked slowly, looking in the apartment.  The neighbor also came outside and commented how the two guys had been leering into his apartment–so it wasn’t just me that noticed.  I called the police just to make a report.

Wed 4 PM:  The apartment manager (Royal) was leaving and we caught him.  He has been on the job 4 days Bryson left in Sept?, a woman took over for a week, Dusty was with us for a week or 2, now this guy.  We asked for locks or lighting or safety measures and he said the management company couldn’t do anything–it was all up to the owner.  He was defensive and scoffed in our faces as if we were being hysterical and unreasonable.  He kept saying they are not the police and cannot have 24/7 security.  I tried to tell him there were things that could be done–such as the police suggestions.  Lights for starters.  I also said we were coming from a place of frustration, b/c we were living in fear, and no one from the apartments had even acknowledged our requests/complaints.  And no action had been taken.  He told us he/the management company couldn’t do anything because everything was up to the owner.  We don’t have contact info for the owner.   Royal said the owner wouldn’t do anything–and didn’t have to.  He also told us the housing association doesn’t regulate apartment owners.  The conversation escalated to a confrontation for sure.

Wed 4:30 PM:  The police called back to get a full report of all the incidents.  I recounted the 4 incidents we called about and offered the other 2 that I thought/hoped were the police.

10-13-16, 12:45 AM:  Noticed homeless car parked street-side at our apt as I got home from work.

Oct 15-16:  Started looking for a new apt.  Contacted several options located around work.

10-16-16, 1 AM:  Someone moved the bench.  We then heard footsteps in the back alley.  After an hour, finally called the non-emergency police line to report it.  While on the phone with the dispatcher, flashlight shined in the bedroom.

10/16, 2 AM:  2nd flashlight swept across bedroom–assumed/hoped it was the police.

10/17/16:  Went and looked at a unit in a different apartment complex.  Turned in our application for it.

10/17/16, 2:30 PM:  A homeless man and woman with a bike and a sleeping bag were on the walkway directly above our apartment waiting for the neighbor to get home.

10/17, 12AM:  Possibly homeless car parked street-side by our complex.  Looks slightly different than the homeless car that I remember before, but still the same size and color.  A woman was outside of the car, and stuff was on the complex lawn outside the passenger side.

10/17, 12:35 AM:  Flashlight through bedroom window and footsteps, assumed/hoped it was the police.

10/18/16:  Application for new apartment approved.  The new landlord just needs a reference from our current apartment.  She calls and calls, but cannot get through.  Cool makes a dozen phone calls to random places because our management company has no evident contact information, and we never had contact info for the apartment owner.  Finally, a different complex managed by the same company gets in contact with the regional office who gets in contact with Royal, our apartment manager.  He is annoyed anyone is contacting him.  When Cool asks him to contact this new apartment landlord, Royal off-handedly mentions how our current owner contacted him and said they didn’t want to renew our lease.  We are out at the end of December.  Also, his demeanor on the phone was annoyed/rude.

So I’m not sure,

  1. why, out-of-the-blue the owner (with whom we’ve had ZERO contact) would terminate our “lease.”
  2. I’m suspicious our confrontation with the new manager, Royal, where we asked for ANY security such as lights or removal of concrete blocks and broke-down cars from the fire-alley had everything to do with this given the timing.
  3. We don’t have a lease until December.  The only lease we ever signed for this current complex was the first one when we moved here.  It was for 6 months, and ended October 2015.  That lease specifies that if no other lease is signed, it defaults to a month-to-month arrangement.  And month-to-month is an additional $100/month.  I’m sure we just slipped through the cracks, because it’s been a full year since our original lease expired and no one asked us to sign another lease–or raised our rent price.
  4. I am concerned about an eviction.  I don’t want it on my rental history.  And WHY?  We just passed on info from the police about amping up security.  We’ve paid all our rent, have been quiet, and clean.  We’re actually great tenants.  We just demand things like hot water, flushing toilets, and ask for ANY security measures.
  5. I’m SUPER concerned once they find out we don’t actually have a lease through December, they will put us out in 15 days, without cause, per our original lease conditions.  That’s October 30.  Our new apartment isn’t vacated and available to us until Nov 15. . .  And that’s before any carpet replacement or painting that they will surely do, driving the date back.
  6. We had to band over backwards to contact the manager–and he had already known about our non-lease renewal–when was he going to mention this to us??!
  7. I’m so, so, so glad we were all but in a new apartment at that point, because this news would have REALLY flipped me out if we had to start from scratch.  It’s not always easy to get into a new apartment.  Especially with cats–and he have a price range that can’t budge b/c we had absolutely no notice or time to plan/save.

later that day (10/18/16) I typed up a formal notice of termination for the current apartment.  It asked that we get a walk-though in order to redeem our deposit, and that we leave last day of December (or mid-Dec if they are willing to pro-rate rent).  And I typed it into the apartment portal online.  There is no formal address to mail it to, and that makes me nervous.

10/19/16:  Dropped formal leaving letter off where we drop rent, since we have no contact info for the management or owner, and there is no formal office for anything, and we can’t even send it certified mail.

10/20/16:  Paid $400 deposit at new apartment.

10/21/16:  Our letter with prospective move-out date still hasn’t been acknowledged.

10/24/16, 12:30 PM:  A group of 3-6 people dressed in rags had a bike and shopping cart and bags on the sidewalk between our complex and the studio property next door.  They seemed to be hanging around, and I wondered if that was a new bus stop or if the park was doing some kind of maint and asked them to step off that property for a time.

2:35 PM:  When Cool got home from work the group was still loitering around on the sidewalk.  We closed all of our curtains b/c where they were standing had a direct view in our apartment.  After we did our afternoon workout, about 3-ish PM, I looked out and they had moved along.

10/25/16:  Our letter with prospective move-out date still hasn’t been acknowledged.  Cool called a lot of numbers trying to see what recourse we have if they just never respond.  Because I don’t want to go and get slapped with abandonment fees.  No one knows–everyone just gave her more phone numbers to try.  We texted the number for the apartment managers and heard nothing.  So Cool called the number.  Royal is no longer our person.  Now we have Brian.  This is the 5th manager we’ve had since August (2 months).

10/28/16:  Still haven’t heard anything about our lease (they think we have), and acknowledgement of our end date, or a walk through.

10/29/16, 5-ish PM:  Saw the police go to apt #2, two doors down.  Eddie, who lives there, said someone in a red hoodie had banged on his front window (blinds closed) and shouted his name.  The police and Eddie came to our door, because we were peering out our (blinds open) window, and since we had had trouble with banging on our window.

10/30/16, 3PM:  The homeless car parked inside the laundry area.  Looked they’d been in our apt complex for awhile and were very comfortable here.

11/1/16, 10:38:  Noticed the homeless car in the complex parking-lot by the laundry area.

When It Rains, It Pours: April [drive, err 2nd drive]

17 Jun

Yes, yes–another hiatus.  And there will be another (for a week) because my parents are visiting and I won’t have time to do the important things either.

PS-this is my WordPress anniversary, which is cool, but not my blogging one.  I started on Myspace–and yes, I liked it better.

anti-facebook

Anyway, let’s wrap up the moving story already.  I think the posting may be actually taking longer then the move itself. . .

So I had to drive Rusty (unknown vehicle status) a SECOND time from Spokane to Salt Lake City.  And I started out all tired.  Also, my house-sitting job wrapped up on a Saturday night, so it was awkward timing.  Because 2 days prior the lease on my apartment was up.  So I technically had no place to stay in Washington.

My boss (the owner of the house-sitting house) offered my an extra night at their place.  But I thought it would be awkward when her and her husband were home.  So I declined.  And my aunt offered me her house, but then I would be obligated to chat Saturday night, use her dirty bathroom/shower, and they would probably make me late (and CRAZY) in the morning with more obligatory chatting.

I would have to start the drive Saturday evening.  But I’ve learned trying to press on at all hours of the night, not only sucks, but is dangerous.  So I just broke down and shelled out money for a hotel.  But in Missoula–because I love that town!

pow wow and Missoula 031

So I’m driving up this steep, steep hill, pushing Rusty to do 65-70 MPH (normally 50 is my absolute max) not being sure how much Rusty could handle.  Everything is going ok–I’m in between that Idaho and Montana part that’s up, up, up, but fast speeds.  And suddenly, the hood of the car just catches my eye.  I saw it move!  While I was going 70mph!  I abruptly put on my flashers and pulled over in the “emergency stopping only” to check the scene.  Sure enough–the hood was OPEN!  I was so scared.  How long had it been open?  What if I hadn’t noticed?  What if it flew up while I was driving up hill with a lot of speedy traffic?  I could have been killed.  I imagine at that speed the hood would have broken the front window.  Not to mention obscured my vision.

So I closed that and resumed my trip, drama-free, but shaken.

I stayed at the hotel and it was lovely and uneventful as well.  Then the next morning I got an early (I am now a night person, remember) start at 5:38AM.

That drive between Montana-Idaho-Utah is boring.  Sure, the speeds are high, but there is really nothing out there.  And of course my phone doesn’t get reception.  Also making me nervous about potential car trouble.

Rusty is a 1992.  And back then, they apparently did not try to make it a quiet ride.  I could hear all the traffic loudly and the awful wind.  A random storm blackened the sky over me and caused severe wind that made it effortful to stay in my lane.  But it was so, so loud I kept thinking my doors must not be closed all the way.  So I was nervous one might open while I was driving and stuff (maybe me) would fall out in the highway.

The other thing that happened was while climbing a hill.  I was using cruise-control–that did make it a better ride then when I took the Penske.  Anyway, I’m going up hill at 75-80 MPH in a group of cars and suddenly Rusty just came out of cruise control.  Just decelerated at an alarming rate.  And because I was mid-hill I couldn’t get any speed manually either.  I had to quickly pull off.  And I didn’t know how alarmed to be.  Was Rusty done for?  Was this a sign of a bigger problem?  Would I be stuck in Idaho without a car or phone reception?  uh oh. . .

610

There was tons of wind and tons of bugs on the interstates of Montana and Idaho.  I was having to clean the windshield every time I filled the tank, then it would quickly become buggy again.  One time, about 5 hours into my journey, when I was tired, thirsty, had expired from car-slurr, I cleaned the windshield.  It wasn’t 5 minutes and this huge group of bugs crashed into my windshield, covering it with their rust-colored bodies.  It made me disproportionately upset and made the trip feel so loooooonnnnnnnggggg.

But I just used the bathroom, and cleaned off my windshield with vinegar–which boosted my morale substantially.  Vinegar worked better then the gas station cleaners and it was the first time I could see well!  And my car had no further issues.

The end of that trip sucks, because just when you’re the most greasy, tired, thirsty, and ready to arrive at the destination, the traffic becomes thick and the driving moronic.  You have to pay super-close attention and constantly defensively-drive!  So I’m worn out and crowded in speeding cars, having to pay acute attention.

Needless to say, when I pulled up at the apartment, I was DONE!  I was ready for a hug from Cool and a nap in a clean apartment.

But that’s not what happened.  Cool, still being manic, had bought a used futon while I was away.  Which was bigger then our living room.  I was thinking it didn’t fit.  That bed-bugs had probably been introduced.  And how did she pay for it.  Instead of the relaxation, nap, shower, and meal, I would have to fight with Cool, pack up a futon, clean the apartment (which of course she left a mess) and I might as well unpack Rusty while I was at it.

Not the best.

In the end, the futon got re-sold for a $5 profit, I cleaned the house, and Cool got a meds adjustment, and *knock on wood* has been a lot more stable.

captial-sky

And that’s the end of the moving story!!!  Finally.

Independent Woman

16 Dec

I told Cool that if I ever lose the use of my legs or need diapers to euthanize me. That is how important my independence is to me.

So I’m very skeptical I would like to be in the military. I know full-well that the affordable housing, job opportunities, and paid tuition–come at a cost.  Once you sign on that dotted line the government owns you.  You are no longer a free agent.  Sure, they’ll say that they try to accommodate you, but when it comes down to it–you are going to do what the military tells you to do, and that’s it.

I feel guilty about being stubborn against this idea.  But I’m reminding myself that yes, it’s absolutely ok to be stubborn about your own life–I am the one who has to live it.  I don’t have to justify my choices to anyone.

Enter my well-meaning parents.  They are worried about how I’m going to pay for graduate school.  I am also super-worried.  They feel like the solution to ALL my problems is going into the Navy.  Which, I could do.  And I’d like to follow in my father’s footsteps, and I’d be honored to serve my country.  BUT the logistics just do not work out for what I want in my life.  But they won’t listen to me.  They don’t hear my concerns, they just think I’m making an uninformed stubborn choice.  And I can tell saying no about this is stepping into a landmine.  It’s going to hurt the good place my relationship with my parents has finally gotten to.  Which sucks!  It was hard work getting to this better place with them.  School funding/Navy is a point of contention, for sure.  Except–you should not join the military for someone else, and you should never do it out of guilt–which is what I would be doing.  I did look into it and here is why it just isn’t going to work for me at this point in my life:

-It’s an 8 year commitment!

That’s a long time.  That’s all 4 years of school AND 4 more.  There is a lot of opportunity for being moved around.  A lot of dealing with less then optimal conditions.  And 8 years to worry about my little family and my own survival.

-I would have to be separated from my family.  

That’s what I have.  It’s my whole support system.  Cool wouldn’t be traveled around with me (more on this later), and I’m sorry if that makes me weak and a whiner–I want to be with her.  Maybe other people can live apart from their mate, but I never want to.  Also, Kitties cannot go to bootcamp, nor to officer training, or to different countries–and moving them around to different states would be difficult at best.  After being separated from them in Seattle–I want my pets to live with me.  I love them and they are my responsibility.

-I am gay.  And this poses many problems:

–Cool and I aren’t married because I think it’s an antiquated tradition, she would ruin my good credit, and I figure why bother when the benefits depend what state you’re in at the time.  In the military, they try to ensure married couples remain together–they could care less about what the law considers a roommate.

–So She and I would have to be apart.  When and how would I see her?  And where would she live?  How would she afford it?  What if her bipolar flared up as it does and things went terribly wrong?  I wouldn’t be there.  That doesn’t work for me.

–Also, being gay may be legal in the military, but that isn’t the same thing as being accepted.  It’s a lot to ask of me to hide a fundamental aspect of who I am.  But if I didn’t I could be teased, hazed, harassed, or even raped.  I want no part of that–and who could blame me?

-I do not want to involve a recruiter

to get specific answers to my questions I have to call a recruiter.  Which I don’t want to do.  They give you the hard-sell.  They gloss over the bad parts and emphasize the good, so you really have to read the fine print anyway.  They spam you!  I don’t want constant phone calls or mailers pressuring me.

-I’m fearful about the training and expectations.  

I’m not sure I’d like getting screamed at.  With work, I could do the physical stuff, but I in no way want to take my gas mask off for such and such amount of time like you have to in the Navy.  I might be capable of doing it, but I think I would be very unhappy and stressed about it.

-I don’t like travel.  

Basic is 2 weeks in some cold, Great Lake state.  Officer training is in RI–for a month.  You have to spend such and such time per year training who knows where.  They promise you during your service they try to put you where you want to be, but let’s be real, if the government needs you somewhere they’re going to put you there, whether it works for you or not.  And on relatively short notice.  Plus, I have bathroom privacy and hygiene standards that cannot be accommodated in a military lifestyle.  I need a (warm) shower EVERY day!  And a private bathroom stall (with American plumbing) and a door and a fan.

-I don’t want stress, trauma, or long term effects like my dad (and many, many others) have

I’m sensitive,  I don’t want to undergo emotional trauma, physical abuse, and I would be suicidal if I went through the sexxual abuse common in the military and in the Middle East.  I also don’t want PTSD which is a very real side-effect of service.

-I don’t want to risk my LIFE

I also have NO interest of traveling abroad–especially the Middle East.  And I read they are starting to put Audiologists on the forefront of actions because of portable equipment.  Before they mostly did noise-prevention and VA stuff, but with accessible equipment, the government can stop sending soldiers to the closest sound booth (in Germany) after explosions and check them right on the front lines.  That means audiologists are on the front lines.

-And bottom line, the money/perks just aren’t that great.

I can get better stipends from my school, or at the very least loans that don’t involve travel and put my life on the line.  I will find a job once I’m out of school, and I could still do noise-prevention or VA work as a civilian.

I’m going to have to put my foot down to my parents, and I hope it doesn’t cause a big, ugly scene.  But better that then ruining what I want for my life.  I’ll just have to find another way to finance my education.  This is about me and what I want, and nobody–even my parents–gets to demand what path I take.  I just hope they can understand that I’m not just being rebellious, I actually researched and see many reasons why that’s not what I want. . .

Scary Carl + Grades

15 Jun

We huddled together in my dark closet, apprehensive to make noise, and worried he would return and do something worse. My roommate dialed 9-1-1 on her cellular phone and told the operator in a wavering tone of voice that our landlord had assailed us by kicking in the front door during a fit of rage. The operator got the address to our secluded my missouribasement apartment and assured us she would send help.

This was just the latest in a series of escalating acts of harassment since 2004 had begun. Preceding this, I heard a sound in the living room and walked out of the bedroom to see my erratic landlord had used his keys to let himself inside without prior notice, or even a knock. I still have no idea what he was planning to do that day, and I began to use my chain lock regularly because I did not want to find out.

A few long moments after our frantic emergency call, the police arrived. They were so Sarah, me, Eileen 2005astounded by the profound damage to the door and the frame that they took pictures. Though the landlord owned the property he had destroyed, he severed the chain lock, which had violated our reasonable expectation of privacy. While the police were collecting the evidence and writing their reports, the landlord came back to the house to “fix the door.” The police arrested him, but a few hours after his release from jail that same day, our implacable landlord antagonized us by shouting through the living room window. It was at that point my roommate went to stay with her boyfriend.

I had nowhere else to go with more than a month left on my lease, and fall finals were commencing in one week. I was fretful the arrest had inflamed our fractious landlord even more and he would come in while I was showering or sleeping and do terrible things. I locked the screen door and the front door; not that it mattered, as he had keys to both. Then I took further precaution by barricading myself inside using the futon. After one sleepless night, I went to get a restraining order against my landlord. I was granted an ex parte that kept him from setting foot on the property but still, I was overwrought. I figured a piece of paper would do little to stop my volatile landlord from terrorizing me.

MizzouThis atmosphere of paranoia and chaos was not conducive to studying. At the time, aside from being enervated from fear, I did not realize I had any recourse. I assumed since the University of Missouri was closing for winter break, there was no possibility of taking my finals later. I felt I had no choice but to muddle through my exams and hope for the best. In my restive state, I bombed every test I attempted, probably dropping my grade about a full letter in each class.

If something extraordinarily aberrant like that happened these days I would inform my professors in The Quad 2an attempt to get accommodation on my final exams. Alerting the university of my predicament would be my next step, as I vowed never again to be reticent with my school when I am in crises. I regret that my grades suffered during that trying time, but this disturbing incident taught me the life lesson of not taking my safety for granted and how to utilize the police, the courts, and the university system in place to help people with such dilemmas. In combination with my more formal lessons imparted from academia, this upsetting episode helped shape me into the strong, resilient person that I am today.

Gray Street

11 Jun

August 2011 116Well, gray part line. I’m totally preoccupied lately with these few gray strands of hair that are suddenly all too visible. I mean, for 5-6 years hairdressers have made little comments about my grays, but they were largely invisible to me. So I’m pretty sure, unless you got close in great light, the normal passerby couldn’t see them either.

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve become alarmed.  I honestly don’t think it’s attributed to a perception of aging of fading beauty or something like that either.  I consider myself a feminist, and I don’t think I’m especially superficial–as my monthly goal check in can attest.  I’m low-maintenance.  I guess that’s what disturbs me most about the gray–it requires upkeep.  I’m panicking because obviously, at 30 I’m not ready to go natural and sport gray streaks or worse–the patches I think I have.

Every time I stand in front of the mirror, I can see gray hairs sticking up from the back of my side part.  And I can sort of tell they are in fact gray, because they are much coarser then my fine regularly-hued hair.  And naturally, they stick straight up–what else would they do?  I started by trying to pull the little mo-fos out.  Despite seeing them very clearly at a glance in the mirror, I can hardly crane around to actually remove them.  They are situated just far enough back that I can’t see the whole situation very well or in much detail.  And have you ever noticed that ANY single strand of hair looks remarkably gray?  So I sit there ripping chunks of my hair out, and I’m pretty sure I’m mostly ripping out ones with color.  But as I stand there scrutinizing them one by one after they’ve been pulled it’s hard to tell.  Goose thinks I’m crazy.  Even a maine coon has no idea why you would stand there pulling out pieces of hair. . .  So add baldness to my hair problems.

BUT, I absolutely have no funds to pay salon prices right now–and I find 3 hours in a chair tedious.

But I’ve heard really bad things about box dye, and don’t want to ruin my hair either.  And I’m not confident I would be JAEDAable to pull off a nice-looking dye job.  It would be just my luck to do some whacked-out color job, then get a job interview.  Not only that I wouldn’t know where to start.  How does the procedure work?  What color would I even go with?  Most of those don’t look very natural, and I am just starting to embrace my hair’s natural color (when it has pigment).

So I’m really bummed out and confused about what to do.