Wednesday, July 16, 2014
3 - 2 - 1 - Launch!

I've felt that way for two days now.

Late Monday evening, we had one of those massive rainstorms. Brief but violent, with the rain pouring at a pace that suggested someone was emptying an Olympic-sized swimming pool off the roof.

(Before I get distracted by The Rest of the Story, let me add that during the early part of the rain, I kept hearing an odd thump every few seconds. I was standing on the balcony, trying to figure out if it was baseball-sized hail or what, when some kind of missile flew past my head.

As it turns out, someone upstairs was un-potting houseplants and throwing the matted dirt/plant rootballs off the balcony and into the bushes at the front of the building. Dangerous.

Some people treat the common areas of this complex like a public dumpster.

They are why we can't have nice things.)

Anyhow, to return to our primary topic today, a few minutes after the deluge, came the drip. An uncharacteristic drip that penetrated even my late-evening gaming stupor.

A quick glance was all it took to reveal the damp (and spreading) stain on the ceiling. A leak!

(This is not our first time at this particular rodeo but it continues to annoy. We live on the second floor of a four-story building. When the stupid roof leaks, why does it always leak into our apartment, instead of the top two floors?)

Where was I?

Oh, yes. A leak! In fact, five leaks in the living room ceiling.

I'm running around putting down buckets and spreading out industrial-sized garbage bags to protect the geriatric carpet when the R.C. comes out of her bedroom to inform me that at least three leaks have developed in her ceiling as well.

Maintenance people, carpet cleaning, promises of roof patching before the next round of storms, blah, blah, blah.

After the carpet cleaning, that service guy left Jet Engine Fans blowing over and under the carpet, to make sure it all got really, really dry. I've been listening to them for two days now.

I think I kind of forgot where I was going with this story.

Massive rainstorm. Roof leak and/or roof drains overflow. Our ceiling leaks. I run around at midnight, frantically unplugging electronics and dismantling the computer network that--naturally--lives right under the multiple leaks in our ceiling.

Loud fans.

A reliable source told me it could have been worse. The first-floor apartment had an inch of water on their floor.

Shudder. They have those new faux-wood floors, so it wasn't a matter of damaged/dirty carpet, but any non-metal/non-plastic item touching the floor would have gotten saturated with filthy, drained-off-the-roof-and-down-through-the-walls-and-ceiling water.

Which, at a guess, would include most people's furnishings--couches, chairs, bedding, etc. We were, in retrospect, very lucky that nothing we owned was damaged.

To recap: We're getting a lot of rain during this 'monsoon' season and some of it came indoors.

= = = = = = = = = = =

For those of you playing along at home:

1) The multi-tooth extraction went smoothly and more quickly than the experts warned me it might.

I spent the first twelve hours in a percoset-induced haze of contentment. I ate carefully for the next 4-5 days.

A non-event, drama-wise.

2) All of those "too many new clients" I was complaining about in May? I've already fired all but one of them. I was not making good choices this spring. Sigh.

One of the fired ones still hasn't paid me. They've been blandly polite when I've called about this matter, but I don't seem to get any answer to my inquiries about payment. I'm becoming annoyed.

I think I deserve to be paid for the work I did. The fee I was charging them was very small--but it's the principle of the thing, you know?

3) Another, long-term client went away. No big loss except that the agency I was working through announced that they were not billing the last for the last 30 days of work and thus would not be paying me. At the time, I didn't argue the point very strongly but I'm still holding a grudge over the $600.

This is what I get for working with the wrong people, I know. That agency is black-listed now.

4) The new client that's still on my books is 30+ days behind paying their bills.

I've handled this one carefully, this should be a decent, long-term account. This past week they told me that the check is in the mail (sigh) and so I'm waiting to see if it arrives.

4) Another new client has just come on board. I haven't gotten their 'stuff' active yet, but I've put in enough hours that they understand I'll need to bill them for July.

I'm getting rained on and not getting paid.

That pretty much sums up June and July.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:33 PM | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
I've Been Keeping Myself Amused.

I travel. I took a Familial Visit to Kansas in April, on the occasion of my oldest niece's wedding.

Two weeks later, there was a visit to my Wisconsin friends, to meet the baby goats, help weed the garlic, and plant asparagus.

Then home, where I fired three clients, started the process of getting a new one through the decision process, and celebrated the unusual (for me) occurrence of traveling without picking up any kind of traveling germs and winding up sick.

I watch DVDs. This past weekend, I checked out and watched the first two movies of The Librarian series. Currently have the third one on request. Certainly worth the viewing if you like light-hearted and amusing, which I do. Also, the movies steal from everyone from Indiana Jones to Harry Potter to The Mummy and beyond. I can see spotting the various thefts as a good drinking game. The wiki entry says it's been green-lighted for 10 episodes of a television series. Although it's all-new characters, how can you not love a series that's centered around a library? I plan to give it a try, if it actually airs.

I read books. I just finished Kevin Hearne's Shattered, the latest Iron Druid novel. Excellent, as always.

(I should mention that, reading these on the Kindle, I'd never really seen the covers that the website displays before. They don't really "fit" my image of the books.)

I tried and failed to enjoy Terry Brooks' Magic Kingdom series. Reading the first couple reminded me of why I gave up on the Shannara series so many years ago. When Brooks starts writing a book, he has one story to tell and that's all. He tells it in the most linear fashion possible, then stops. No nuance, no intertwining plots, nothing interesting in the way of character development, no surprises. Boring.

I cook. I tried a Leek and Potato soup a week or so ago. I froze it in serving-size portions and I'm still eating it. Mmm. Nothing could be simpler or more delicious. Next time I may add some chunks of ham or maybe some bacon bits, just to see what it does to the flavor. It's delicious now, but I'd like a bit of protein in it. (Also, adding bacon is always to the good.)

I visit dentists. Blech. About a week ago, I woke up with half my face all swollen. I've been on antibiotics for the last seven days and today I'm scheduled to go in and get four teeth extracted on the top left. And then the lovely expense of a denture-device (since I can't afford the $5k-a-tooth permanent implant route).

I'm currently debating whether or not it's worth the expense to pay for a temporary device to carry me through the six-week healing period before I can get the permanent one. $760 seems like a lot to pay for six weeks of vanity. On the other hand, even though I spend most of my time home alone, the idea that I'd be afraid to open my mouth for fear of looking like hillbilly white trash for six weeks--I dunno. Considering I have another extraction needed (lower right), I might be better off saving the $760 to help pay for it, you know? I just can't decide.

That's what I've done recently.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:09 AM | Comments (2)