marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

The roof was finally fixed. It took four days to get a one-day roofing job out of the way. Leave it to my landlord to get a lais·sez-faire crew with an excellent work ethic during the random times they appeared, but totally bohemian hours. Just whenever it gets done, ain't no biggie. The day something goes down the way it was supposed to I'll be handing out hundred dollar bills and bottles of wine to the lot of you just to help me celebrate. Obviously I can make that offer, knowing nothing will ever occur to force me to pay up.

A new roof being put on was four days of sheer terror for the cats and many sort of sleepless days and nights for yours truly. I mean, I actually went 36 hours without sleep the first day the roofing crew worked because I stayed up so late the night before and they started on the roof so early the next morning there was no point in going to sleep.

The cats spent every day from around 7 or 8 each morning (because it was a small, informal crew that tended to just show up, you know...whenever) under beds and crouching in the long, narrow pots and pans cabinet in our kitchen but even for them there was no escaping that noise. The work started and finished over our apartment (which is nestled in the middle between two others). The cats tend to get up between 4am (to play) and 6am (with Other Person) so they'd only get a few hours in before the ruckus began and then had to go run and hide.

And by "ruckus", I mean people walking on the roof, hammering, disassembling and dropping truckloads of roofing materials on it, re-laying and power-gun-nailing it, and driving us all pretty much fucking insane.

Except Other Person. They did the roofing on a Thursday and Friday, stopped for the weekend (OP's time off) then began again Monday and finished Tuesday. Most of the neighbors were away - unusual in itself, as a few of them are usually around for at least part of the day - so it was mostly me and the cats, or just me, since the cats were all "Nopecan'teven", so I didn't see too much of them.

The only good part was it forced me to flip to a day schedule. Normally (as you can see now) I'm a night owl, but this forced me to flip. My schedule stayed flipped for a few days but I've slowly drifted back to staying awake into the wee hours. What sucked was having to wear earplugs while wide awake just to block out some of the noise, and constantly falling asleep in that condition, sometimes while sitting up, as though my brain resorted to narcolepsy just to deal with it.

Speaking of which, I'm very slightly narcoleptic. I can usually fight it off so I guess from a medical standpoint it doesn't count as the real thing. But I do have sleep apnea so what happens is, when I get what I call a narcoleptic episode coming on, my eyes get heavy and I pretty much instantly stop breathing. Usually while walking down busy streets. No, I'm not a zombie. But I can't explain it. It's been going on for years, and while it freaks me out, there's not much I can do to stop it.

The daily mess in the house from people banging about on the roof was quite intense. There's another neat freak like me in the apartment to the right, a guy who's almost as gung-ho as I am (which means we might have the two cleanest apartments around; most of these places, by the time people move out, get pretty fucking bad without a new roof being put on).

Our ceilings are just wood beams with no insulation, so anything in the beams just came tumbling down onto floors, countertops, sinks, furniture, the bed, windowsills, the full-flight staircase, the closet, the toilet, onto our hanging clothes...everywhere. Mostly leaves and just fucktons of black dirt. The gung-ho-clean guy next door was almost crying he was so put out. Luckily, I clean stuff for a living, so it was no worse, and in fact much better in some ways, then cleaning up someone else's mess. That any of my cleaning jobs could be so easy.

I've waited some weeks, like you might before announcing a pregnancy, before writing about the new roof to make sure it wouldn't leak, blow off in the next wind, collapse in the next rain, or so on, but so far it's held up, which means the only still unfixed damage (besides monster tree stumps laying roots-up all over the place) is huge water stains on our bedroom carpet from the roof leaks. The landlord offered to have it cleaned by his carpet guy before our power was even restored but we're still waiting. Other Person has enough work going on with him right now that I don't want to make waves over something so minor, so I'm sitting on reminding him that he offered to have it done.

But he also offered us a bucket of raw oysters from his friend who owns a restaurant back in August which still hasn't turned up, so you can see what I'm up against here.

Before the roof got fixed, our entire county/region was declared a FEMA disaster area, but FEMA doesn't cover lost food or lost time at work, which were the two areas we got killed in. I think we'd have more food right now if we hadn't had to eventually dump what was a well-stocked freezer and fridge at the time - to the tune of hundreds of lost dollars. Food is extremely hard to budget for and we lost scads of time at work - and lost actual work - because of the storm, and there's been no making up for it, at least not yet.

The last round of flea medicine did not go well for Bowie or Good Calico. For some reason, though it was placed correctly between his shoulder blades, it ran down Bowie's left shoulder, then he kicked it with his back foot. Luckily I saw him do that, so I grabbed him and just scrubbed it off with Dawn. Yes, about $12 worth of medicine got rinsed down the drain. Then OP got all "waste of money" about it, so I was like, "Really? Fine, next time we'll just let this stuff kill him, that way we're not wasting money, right? Can't do that, you're so right."

Eventually a longish discussion ensued. He asked why I have to buy stuff that kills the cats so I explained I was exaggerating, that it doesn't, that Activyl is actually one of the safer brand names you can buy because it works solely through the skin, but the cats can't ingest it because it can cause serious neurological issues (like seizures, tremors and twitching) and that all flea medicines are pesticides - pure poison - so no matter which brand you buy, you'll always run the risk of poisoning or outright killing your animals, which is a sad state of affairs.

Then he worried that because Bowie lost his dose that he'd never stop having fleas. So I explained that because four cats managed not to have it run down their sides so much that it had to be scrubbed off to keep them from ingesting it, that the protection on them would probably keep Bowie from catching any fleas he didn't already have. I added that some of the medicine we applied soaked in before the rest got washed off, so he still had some protection left.

Bowie wasn't the only one to have problems; Good Calico developed a scabbed-up bald spot at the application site that's still visible even now, weeks later. And Tab and Pip...I don't know how it got to them, but Tab began drooling and Pip threw up right after it was put on. Bad Calico was the only cat who acted like nothing happened. She's the only one who always does.

Roof leaks

Sep. 18th, 2016 04:50 pm
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

We’re going 18 days now with the roof leaking; it’s raining in four different spots in the bedroom. I have trash cans under three of the leaks and will try not to put my feet near the foot of the bed where it’s soaking through my comforter and bed linens.

The sad part is the owner of this building had 18 days to fix the leak before any rain serious enough to seep in came through. The owner’s wife claims her husband has more money than God and could’ve paid for the roof repair if he wanted to but allegedly chose to wait on the insurance check, instead. Technically, the landlord’s not even sure if waiting on the check is the problem. The owner has not stayed in touch since returning to North Carolina after coming down here to survey damage after the storm and might've already cashed the insurance check and just doesn’t care to spend the money to get anything done.

This would jibe with the fact that my former neighbor to the left claimed it rained in her apartment for six years before she moved out this summer and with how it’s rained over our bed the entire time we’ve lived here, though those leaks were comparatively small. The owner is basically letting these places rot, spending as little money as possible to keep them just barely rentable, and even then by extremely questionable standards (the roof leak we’ve always had in the bathroom, for instance, runs down the wall next to the sink, shorting out the only outlet in that room almost every time it rains). The electrical problem in the kitchen has not reared its head again but the way electrical shorts from water damage seem to work in this apartment, won’t until at least tomorrow, when the water’s finished seeping in and traveling where it will.

More money than God, and we’re sitting here with trash cans for buckets in front of the bed and I’ll be sleeping under wet linens. Nice.

In other news, at least I won't feel bad holding back the rent until maybe one day the roof does actually get fixed - which I’ll be doing, because Other Person's fixing to get laid off his full-time job soon, so yes, there goes that.

Loose ends

Sep. 16th, 2016 12:35 am
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Can y'all tell I got Comcast back? The truck was here, according to Other Person, just after 8am yesterday. Cable and Internet were back on within a few hours. This re-hooking of our downed-in-the-storm line (has anyone noticed I haven't named this storm? That I will never name it? That it's The Storm That Must Not Be Named? It's marked as "Hurricane Hymen" on my calendar) restored service not just to my apartment but the entire building and the one to our right, which is fully occupied, so it wasn't just us going without, after all.

I called today to get the rest of the credit I was promised for the outage, which lasted 14 days - nine of those because our neighborhood's utility and communication lines were destroyed, another five because whoopsies!, Comcast forgot to hook our particular line back up. The lady who took my call was polite but mystified, because according to her, Comcast had already processed the credit in question and it was for $75, not $25, which was an earlier credit that had previously been applied, so she wondered aloud why I would keep asking for a $25 credit that had already been processed?

Convinced she was confusing this month's outstanding credits with last month's for $94 (which included a $75 credit along with many others) I asked if she'd mind if I log into my online account while she stayed on the line so I could take a look at what she was saying. She pointed out the credits would be applied to next month's bill, not this one. I checked and sure enough, in the column of credits waiting to be applied near the end of the page was one for $75, and another for $25.


Folks. They've taken $200 off my bill in the last few months, essentially extinguishing my July and August balances altogether. I'm...simply astonished. After I got done processing this she informed me that while the website will say I owe however much, my total amount due is just $87, and that won't even come due for another month. I haven't paid Comcast more than $10 to keep current since sometime in July, so this is just amazing.

We had people - a husband and wife - over for dinner this weekend and the obvious lack of service at the time came up. The guy was like, "*eyeroll* OMG, Comcast, I hate those motherfuckers, they're the worst." I was like - completely serious: "Uh, yeah - I know, but they're getting better?" only to watch his face hit the floor. But I'll give credit where it's due, even if I was about to start a blog about them after they nearly drove me insane doing the exact opposite of what they're doing now - *not* giving me credits I was promised for all the snarl-ups they were pulling on us back then.

Today I called the city to find out about the credit and extension on bill payment the neighbors claimed was being offered to extended storm outage households, only to be told no such number existed and if I thought I'd reached it in error to hang up and try again. Seriously, there are no such animals. This is why you never listen to your neighbors.

It's like playing Telephone - whatever the truth might be when the first person hears it, by the time it gets to you it's a different story altogether. The truth is my household qualifies for an extension based on good payment history, length of time at this residence, and so on - but those are the only households getting them. That's just business as usual, not in honor of going any length of time without power. Even if it's - innocuous enough in nature, I guess - I hate storytelling.

As to the Great Mystery Of the Simultaneously Malfunctioning Keyboards right after the storm, I think it's been solved. Other Person now tentatively blames the makeshift battery and charger he hooked our laptops to early that morning for shorting our collective keyboard circuitry out. Which...considering I'm not a trained computer tech nor an electrician - is a plausible enough theory, I guess. He does have a volt meter and I'm wondering how it could be used to test said posited theory for correctness.

He also has a now-malfunctioning charging cable and the laptop battery must be pulled and the laptop restarted once every hour or so because it freezes up - which are all issues that did not exist before the storm. It ran like a damn top and I know it because I was the one who fixed it before I gave it to him, and I used it quite often after that - mostly as a file server so I could auto-play music on Youtube while using my laptop for other things.

As to my laptop, two nights ago I removed the keyboard, cleaned under it, pulled off the (many) affected keys, cleaned under those, re-assembled everything, re-sat all the connectors, and had the same non-working keys, so Other Person took it apart a third time to cut a sliver off the top of the keyboard cable to form a new connection to the motherboard, then reassembled everything, re-sat all connectors, and I still had the same non-working keys, so I ordered a replacement off eBay. The damn keyboard cost more than what I sold my entire HP laptop with the bad graphics chip in it for last month - which of course had a perfectly compatible working keyboard, although the left Ctrl key was dead and there was some other non-working key, I think.

In the realm of You Break It, You Own It, I had a whoopsie! of my own a few months back when I smashed Other Person's tablet on the floor while vacuuming (the vacuum hit an end table, the tablet bounced off it and hit the floor with a loud thud!, and with that I was the owner of a fairly new tablet with a badly cracked screen. Go me.). As I like to say: "I don't make many mistakes, but when I do, they're complete fuckups!" I've been so unwilling to own this tablet, in fact, it's been hiding in my file upstairs for months, but with my replacement HP malfunctioning, I've been using it to bang out a few posts.

I hate it as much as I ever did, and OMG, how I hate it, let me count the ways. But I did buy Other Person a replacement with mostly better specs and much more storage, so yeah, at least I have something, however half-cocked it might be, to use now that our laptops are all screwed up.

The city hasn't picked up all the trees. Some, but not all. So it's gone from looking like a war zone to looking like a place that had a war. It's a subtle difference, at best. Our backyard, once a thing of wildly serene beauty, is still a disaster. The front and the bit of land by the road is actual blight. I'm beginning to get a sense of what it must've been like for Hurricane Andrew and Katrina survivors in some of the worst-hit areas. Even what we went through (this was one of maybe the top 20 worst-hit areas in the county, if not the entire state) had to be nothing compared to the damage from more serious storms.

It's changed me, somehow. I think the main change is I was never afraid before, but because the storm left more trees than it took, now I'm fearful of what never bothered me, like the wind. I can't be myself. I can't forget what happened nor what could - not just how bad it was but how much worse it could be. I'm no fool, either, which is why I probably would've been gone already if I just had the funds to go play somewhere else.

The third kitten we brought in about a month ago has been scooting its bottom across the floor to wipe itself every time it takes a dump. Don't ask me how much mopping I do because I can't stand to see his skid marks on the floor. I'd been silent on the topic because I didn't want him to have to go live back outside, but then maybe three nights ago Other Person commented that all the skidding must mean Tab-Tab has worms. I'm like, "Noooooooo, nooooooo, nooooooooo, I've never seen worms in their poops, it isn't possible." All the kittens are enthusiastic coverers so I have to get to the litter boxes pretty quickly, but as long as I'm a) awake and b) home, I do catch and check almost every poop, and I hadn't seen a single worm, so I felt justified in objecting.

But, intrigued by his theory, I immediately looked online for why kittens scoot their butts and yes, worms seem to be the main reason. The cat or kitten could also just be a clean freak (it's like the feline version of OCD, and can occur even when the cat's tested negative for every worm known to humanity). (ETA: even after deworming, Tab-Tab continues to scoot his butt around, so the OCD theory might hold some water.)

Running the clean freak theory by Other Person did not result in a feeling of relief for either of us, so I started catching every kitten I could in the act, lifting them out of the litter box with one hand before they could cover while training a flashlight on their poops with the other, and still I came up dry. Yesterday looked like a rinse and repeat with Tab-Tab, this time in the upstairs litter, which meant he'd be wiping his butt on the already-rain-soaked carpet. I lifted him out, trained the flashlight in, and for once he didn't wipe his butt because I scared him so much screaming "OH MY GOD!!!" that he ran like his butt was, yes, on fire. I thought it was a piece of kitty litter, at first. Then it began wriggling and finally stuck its head out of the poop toward me. My stomach, even thinking about it now...

I'd been suspecting worms based on the looseness of some stools I've seen - but lacking evidence did not want to act. This completely re-arranged yesterday's plans, since we had to go about 20 miles out of our way to a feed store that sells an OTC that a person at the local animal control who I know recommends and says is as good as what the vets prescribe. Which was important, because one thing we don't have right now is the money to drag five cats to the vet for stool samples, weigh-ins, and prescriptions (the vet charges double for each tablet I got at the store, not to mention charges for an office visit and god knows what else).

Other Person, being a little more handy with pilling animals than I think I might be, handled the pill-popping while I stayed on hand to catch any flying bodies or pills. All the cats and kittens seem fine today.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
  • Still no Comcast. 14 days without service. We stopped being considered an outage area on Monday but that meant we were no longer important so we had to get an appointment. Appointment window is from 8am-8pm tomorrow.
  • I don't trust them to show up tomorrow. I don't trust them. I hate Comcast.
  • I'd be mad, y'all, I'd be mad, OK? Anyone who reads me on the regular knows how damn mad Comcast makes me. But they've been paying me off so well I can't complain. Like, Other Person went missing two channels last month after a serious mishap on Comcast's end where we were going to switch the account from my name into his to get a cheaper package but then they pulled a bait-and-switch on the price - after they disconnected my service entirely. Well, for that inconvenience alone, my account was instantly credited $94 - and my bill's only $99 to begin with. This month they've thrown me $25 for the storm, to be applied to next month's bill (already got an email confirmation) and they'll surely pay me at least another $25 because I'm going at least half a month without their line connected to my house, a truly absurd situation to be in. They simply forgot to hook us back up. The longer they forget, the more they owe me!
  • The day after my last post everything in the kitchen began working normally. I'm waiting on the next rain/rains to see how this plays out, because...
  • The roof's still not fixed. It's been maybe eight days since the last rain...two or three storms that were slated to hit us blew right by in the last few days, and while I've been glad for the reprieves, I'm not sure how much longer they will last.
  • The city hasn't come by yet for all the chopped-up trees.
  • Me and Other Person swept and used a blower on the parking lot, then raked our yard and the next door neighbor's on Saturday because no one else is going to and the amount of debris we were dragging inside on our feet was unreal. I used a small push broom, then picked up limbs, branches, and pine cones by hand, then used the same broom as a rake because our rake got broken by one of the neighbors (now fixed) then I bagged the leaves and smaller debris in with our household trash to save on trash bags and tossed it all in the can outside. I have no idea if the city wants storm debris in with the household trash, but after what they pulled on us after the storm, I don't care.
  • I only did the above to get some sun. It seems it's been 50 years since I've felt more than a minute of sunlight touch my skin, and I haven't even lived that long.
  • The city's supposedly offering a credit on our electric bills this month for the extended outage (if you call and ask for it) and an extension on bill-paying (again, if you ask for it). I have to try to remember to call and ask for both. The kitchen whiteboard is full or I'd jot it down on that.
  • There's some stuff I can erase from the whiteboard.
  • The landlord still owes us a hair less than 50% of our combined bills. I don't understand getting paid a hundred every few days. I mean, it works, I guess, but I can never pull the light bill together.
  • All the kittens (including the two I never brought in which sort of just wander around outside - but someone feeds them because they're bigger and heavier than the ones I've got, and act pretty chill, like their lives must be good) survived the big storm. I had all five in here the night the lights came back on. I was like, "Hey, we're having a The Lights Are Back On! party, come on in." Bowie was so thrilled. He loves his siblings.
  • All his siblings - the entire litter - are boys. How does that happen? Two are black, one's a black tuxedo, one's a grey tuxedo, one's a tabby tuxedo and all but the solid black one are tabbies (or, at least, have noticeable stripes). The black tabby's striped from head to toe, light black on dark black. Bowie has really intricate markings on his face but you can only see them in bright light - dark brown on black - with more noticeable striping on the back of his head, and on his neck and tail.
  • I want another apartment. And I hope we get one. I'm scared to live in this building because more trees could fall and I've got to get away from the trees. There are buildings even one row up that look safer.
  • I'm pissed that I want another apartment. Until the storm hit I really enjoyed this one, and I turn apartments over around here so I get to spend extended amounts of time in many of them, so I know we had the best one I've seen yet. I even loved the trees until they started trying to kill us. I don't like feeling like Mother Nature's got it out for me, but after this storm, I'm beginning to wonder.
  • In my head I wasn't staying, even before the storm. I love this apartment but it's so small. It's like every time I bring in one piece of furniture or any other big item I have to rearrange the entire place from upstairs to down to make room for it.
  • I'm getting tired of re-arranging it. Any apartment we switch out for will be exactly the same size.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

It was finally restored a week after we lost it, Thursday night. Have any of y'all ever gotten PTSD from extended loss of power? I did. For two days - all of Friday, most of Saturday - I walked around in a daze because a gigantic generator was not blowing my ears apart. Not only was the place quiet, it was also breezy (from overhead and table fans) and cool (from real, honest-to-God HVAC A/C).

Lights were on and I could see what I was doing in dark rooms (and oh my God, this place is a cave; I never knew how dark it was until the storm hit) without carrying a flashlight to find my way around - in fact, all I had to do was flick on the nearest wall switch or table lamp. Also, I had a hot shower the same night, so I woke up smelling good and not covered in sweat, like I'd been 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. My clothes also smelled clean thanks to running an entire week's worth of laundry.

Amazing shit, I tell you, this modern life. I was no longer used to it.

Takeaways from the storm and spending 7 days without power (CW: if you have a fear of trees falling on your house, you might want to skip this entire post):

  • There is no terror like huge, 50+ foot long trees falling on your house. I mean, First World problems, of course. Bombs falling on your house could be scarier. Landmines and cluster bombs also might have this beat. But other than detritus from acts of warfare and/or the place burning down I can't think of anything worse. Luckily we could've been on either floor when it started but were downstairs when the first tree hit, and stayed there for the rest.
  • What made it scarier: their size, their proximity (the land behind the patio is nothing but trees and brush, the side of the building closest to the intersection was also thickly treed*, the other side of the house had an even denser thicket of well-established trees*, and the parking lot across from our building also had tall trees dotting it*) and the fact that they kept hitting our roof. They couldn't just fall on the ground, oh no; they were so big our house was in the way.
  • Also, that our apartment is not made of brick, stone, or anything even semi-durable. Just wood. And it's not on a foundation, just stilts, in mostly sandy, somewhat unstable soil. Every time we or any of the neighbors run the wash and it hits the spin cycle? Our building does the hula - you can feel the floors spinning underfoot in the same direction as the washer.
  • That I can't describe the sound of trees hitting a house. The first two fell while the lights were on, so it wasn't too bad, because at least I could see what was going on. The second tree knocked the power out and before another hour went by trees were falling again and this time I had no idea if the inside of the place was coming apart. All I can recall is closing my eyes, covering my ears, huddling against the cabinets on the kitchen floor under the counter (probably the safest spot due to the way this place is built), listening to smaller branches brush the roof endlessly, then heavier branches falling, then tree trunks thudding as they hit, and finally the sound of the roof cracking and the floor shifting beneath my feet as the third tree fell.
  • That the fourth tree sounded far away as it hit, though it wasn't. It was the only tree to hit the apartment on the right (the other three hit on the left before inevitably landing across our roof). The fourth tree was also the biggest, an at least 70-foot monster that fell from the outside right corner of our parking lot (each building has its own parking lot) across the top and along the side of that apartment. It was occupied until right before the storm but stayed unoccupied until tonight - the guy couldn't get back in until about three days ago after the tree blocked his front door, the side of his apartment and his entire backyard. The root ball had to be at least 12 feet by six feet. I mean, easily. This tree was so big that I was/still am amazed that it didn't completely destroy this place.

The generator stopped working when Other Person tried to turn it on early Thursday morning. It'd been off since 11 the night before so I had to throw away another $30-50 worth of food - almost everything we'd bought before the storm that we'd managed to save. I'd been to Publix the night before and bought fish but managed to keep it cold in the freezer; almost everything else had to go.

The generator's owner, who works in town though he lives in another county, came by about noon after I called him, but most of the food was gone by then because Other Person hadn't thought to buy ice to hold it until we could get the generator back up, and I slept in so I wasn't even aware of the problem until too late.

He checked the gas, checked the choke, then popped the cap off to check the oil. Guess what the problem was? Luckily we live down the street from an auto store so I sent him out for oil, he came back and added it, and that was that.

This storm was pretty costly. Other Person lost five days pay from his day job over it. I sort of freelance on apartment turnovers, splitting the load between myself and another person, and I was working on an apartment right before the storm hit. I was done with it, actually, but then the storm knocked out part of the stairwell window and the wall around it which sent dirt and debris all over the living room and the bottom half of the stairs. Plaster also got knocked out of the stairwell banister and the wall along the top of the stairwell leading into the bedroom.

One of the workers who came in after me apparently left a bedroom window open before the storm, and other workers trashed the sinks and toilet, and all the floors were just filthy, so I had to clean the place up again. The cleanup was actually easier this time than the last so I'm only adding two/thirds of the original cost to my bill - I'd double my price, especially since re-cleaning it ruined the first normal weekend I could've had since the storm, but the people I cleaned up after were so dirty that even what I just had to go through to clean it up again was sort of a breeze in comparison.

Speaking of my bill, me and Other Person work around here and are still waiting to get paid. Which is fine, but we've wiped out what meager savings we had on crap like $8 a day to keep us in ice the first three and a half days after the storm, $10-12 a day plus $5 for oil to keep the generator going for the next three and a half days, about $60 to keep us in coffee and snacks so we didn't have to depend entirely on outdoor grilling, $15 for a hibachi, at the only store with the only grill that wasn't sold out by then, $20 for a propane grill we got off the landlord's son maybe two days later, $20 for hotplates so I could cook indoors a few days after that, and replacing about $100 worth of food (lost maybe $300 worth - there's so much to replace I'm not even making lists because it's just too overwhelming).

I'm not too worried yet - we're broke and the utility bill's overdue but the lights will be on for a while even given that, we've paid the rent, we got our phones renewed for the month, so we just have more food to replace, next month's rent to save up for in about two weeks flat, and we're two utility bills behind after one of us was out of work for so long and my work got thrown behind, and the landlord still owes us money he probably can't give us too soon because of storm damage costs.

Speaking of the landlord, later on the same day the generator quit working I had two insurance guys in the bedroom with him staring at the ceiling. They'd already had a guy walking around on it so now they were checking inside damage - a stained carpet from one wall almost clear across to the other and stained wood ceiling beams (they turn white from water damage, did you know that?).

By then even the smell of mushrooms and cat shit (and I can't explain either, as I keep a clean house - maybe the the last tenants had the same carpet but didn't take good care of it) had mostly left but up until a day before it was just pure stench rising from the carpet that hit you about halfway up the stairs leading into the room. I'm not sure if the roof's being replaced but an electrician is somehow involved and I kept hearing the owner and landlord throw around the figure "$20,000". The owner looked like he'd die each time it was said.

So the tarp stays on until insurance checks start coming in, I hasn't rained in maybe five days but I know what happens when it does - the room will get wet and stinky again, and there's nothing I can do except buy plastic sheeting, which I can't afford, cover the entire room in it, sleep downstairs and hope for the best (since it's raining on the bed, too, in like five different places). It's pissing me off because I've told them the tarp isn't working so you'd think they'd get a stronger tarp - the one on there now is the cheapest of the cheap - but nope, they won't.

The kitchen also seems to have electrical damage. Two ballasts in the overhead lighting work only intermittently (like for a few minutes once or twice a day) and my coffee pot and microwave are turning on but then off again real quick when I try to use them. I'm thinking it's a short in the wall from water damage seeping in from upstairs but as it just started yesterday I haven't told the landlord about it yet.

Oh, and Comcast has been out for 12 days now. They've been sending me texts for two days saying, "Service is restored!", exclamation point and all, but of course it hasn't been. I tried earlier (before the last excited! and completely false! text) to get tech support to set an appointment so we can have service by tomorrow night but they have a rule saying if an outage is reported, appointments can't be set until it's resolved, and he said we're still an outage even though everyone else around here has service.

Comcast's line is disconnected from our house and we told them that, but they wouldn't listen. So now we have an ETA of "by tomorrow" but I don't trust them since they keep sending texts saying "service is restored", exclamation point and all. We're blowing through data - I'm $10 over already and Other Person uses so much I can't even imagine.

*The back of the house behind the patio still has most of the trees it started off with. The apartment on the right no longer has any; the landlord took them out, and cleared the huge one that had fallen. The apartment on the left lost most of its bigger trees but still has a few smaller ones. The parking lot still has some trees, including a pretty huge tree on the back left corner. Trees fell in front of my house, behind it, in back of the next row of apartments in front of our place, in back of the next row over from that one, and in front of the buildings directly on either side of us. To take a quick guess, the neighborhood lost at least 20-30 trees, with maybe five of them among the biggest, oldest monsters we had, but many of those are still standing. Most of the fallen trees are huge oaks, including the one that hit my right-hand neighbor's apartment. The trees that hit our roof? One was an oak and one was a huge, longleaf pine.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
  • Each person in this house has their own laptop. Both laptops were working before the storm. Once the storm hit, both laptop's keyboard's stopped working, at once. Two different laptops - an older Dell, an older HP, two kinds of breakdowns - my HP has every other row of keys out diagonally from the left halfway across, and all four corner keys. On the Dell, which I fixed up from the side of the road after someone threw it there a month ago, the keyboard's completely MIA, though on power-up it sometimes makes a fast, repeated system beep to indicate a key could be stuck. Both keyboards have been removed from the laptops, cleaned, blown off, inspected, reattached, retried, and remain unusable.
  • Cell phones that won't stay charged for more than an hour. There is actually not a good battery on any phone or computer in the house except Other Person's tablet, which I'm on now but hate, and my dumb phone.
  • No apartment in this complex having a gas stove. After this storm I'd almost give my right arm for one. I'll admit I'm way too much of a priss to go outside and kneel or bend - oftentimes in the dark - over the hibachi or tiny propane grill to heat water up or cook. Not that I can't do it - I just don't want to.
  • Not having the 240 volt connector for the dryer or electric stove.
  • Walmart's prices. Sent Other Person out tonight after admitting I'm way too much of a priss to go off cooking outside, on a special mission to buy a hotplate. How many burners, he asked. I'd prefer four, I replied, but they won't have that, so just get whatever they've got. OP soon calls me: "They have a two-burner for $29.95, or a one-burner for $9.95. Which one do you want?" Um, neither? "Get the two burner", I said, my eyes almost snapping from how hard they rolled. "How about I get two of the one-burners?" he said. I said, "Well..that would be $10 cheaper, so yeah."
  • My utility company. From hell. Also, note to self, it's not helpful to tell people going ridiculous lengths of time without power that your utility is everything theirs is not. As an aside, I desperately wanted to break things even before the storm hit after [personal profile] andrewducker mentioned he lost power in his flat - after going almost 20 years without an outage. I'm lucky if I get 20 days in any part of FL I've been in over the last 16 years. I've had five different utility companies but they're more or less the same: you will lose power at least two or three times a month, sometimes up to a day or more at a time, sometimes for three to four days at a time, and always for at least a few hours, and usually over very minor stuff...a squirrel on the line, the guy who hit a pole, the tiny storm that barely breezed your area with no rain or wind, the gal who farted in the wrong direction last Wednesday...that sort of thing.
  • That my cope was only going to last a week. That I was surprised it lasted that long. That I have an absence of grace under pressure. That I keep wanting to cry but I can't. That the Jewish part of my DNA convinced me from the first unavailable cell phone signal and two essentially keyboardless laptops I was presented with the morning after the storm that I'm just fucked. That I completely and utterly suck at everything. I know this is my depression, which was with me right up until the storm hit, which I knew I could only fend off for so long afterwards, and which I think I did fend off mostly over the sheer novelty of so much happening at once. I was shocked out of it, I tell's baaaaaaack...
  • Speaking of depression, having what it feels like described to me - in case I don't know, though I told this person I had it before they launched into their description - while I'm going though the very part of it being described is not cool. Which happened to me in the days before the storm. People can be so fucking condescending. Say you told me you have an active and quite severe case of chickenpox going on for maybe one week now so I start describing the sores, the stink of it and how much it hurts and oozes and the all-over crusty scabs you've no doubt got. Hell, let's pretend it's totally re-catchable and this is the second hundred time you've had it in 30 years, yet here I am, breaking out every gory detail to show you how much of an authority I am on it, and to explain it to others, because right, let's not forget that part. Jesus.
  • Working/not working. I've been told to go back to one job I finished and do it again because other people trashed the place once I wrapped it up. But I'm not being told I'll be paid for the additional work, and I have at least one witness besides Other Person to prove I left things right to begin with. Outside of the waste of time this will involve, there's nothing. There's one app I have in elsewhere that the potential employer wants me to completely redo because they recently changed to a new computer system. I'm kind of bug-eying over that and trying to figure when I can keep the generator on long enough to get it done, as their app process, the last time around, took over three hours to complete. Incidentally, I long ago decided not to sue the background check company over one of the last jobs I applied to after a lawyer told me I'd lose. I didn't take the job, either, because after the background was finally done correctly - and came back clean - the boss called me in and demanded to know why he should hire me after he already had, and sort of made it clear I'd have to work twice as hard to be half as good, over something a background company screwed up that was no reflection on reality nor my character. He was a jerk, in other words.