I realize I’ve been silent for nearly a month, uncommon for me. It’s been due to a total shut down caused by extreme stress and I can now just start to recover.
Started off great - got home November 12th from awesome trip to Japan, very tired & severely jet lagged but happy. Crash and sleep.
November 13th – took Megabus up to NYC with my friend Jennifer to catch AFI and the Gallows at Roseland, had an awesome time, then we took the 1:30 AM Megabus home & slept on the bus & woke up back in DC in time to wait for the metro to open.
November 14th – too pooped to see the Gallows at DC9 and still kicking myself but catch up on sleep, still very disoriented due to 14 hour time difference in Japan and waking/sleepig weird hours.
November 16-17-18 endured training class for work on new travel system.
November 19th finally made it back to work for first time in 3 weeks and was relieved there was not as much backed up as I was afraid there would be. Hooray!
November 20th – got off work early to head down to Anime USA at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City (stopping for a most awesome bite at Ray’s Hell Burger on the way down), met up with scarydavedc & hung out, then was joined by kisarazumama & got some awesome shots of the Clockwork Dolls who headlined the Steampunk Gearmaster’s Ball - their singer is his lovely wife heleneotroy. Enjoyed the rest of the weekend there & caught attractive technodance karaoke act Kaya and a fun jrock band called Quaff who wanted to be Hanoi Rocks so bad it hurt (even had their own very cute Mike Monroe clone). Splurged & ought myself the ultimate hat I’d been searching many years for which in my case turned out to be a handmade leather top hat adorned with a huge hat pin holding down black ostrich plumes & some peacock feathers.
Then here’s where the shitstorm started….
We returned home from the convention late on the afternoon of the 22nd to find a letter from the apartment management slid under door dated Friday stating that we had failed some undefined property inspection and were in violation of fire codes and had 72 hours from that Friday to rectify said situation or they would start eviction proceedings. What the fuck? (Its hard not to believe they waited until they saw me load my suitcases into the car and drive off to run that upstairs being as our apartment is directly over their office)
We freaked out Sunday night & got no sleep. On Monday kisarazumama called in sick to work to stay home and meet with them & got vague answers. I freaked out more, got to work & got wound up to where I ended up coming home, dragged the property managers upstairs to explain and show me the problems. (I was wound up and angry and may have come off as a tad unstable which I think scared them a bit which is probably to our advantage)
They suddenly had decided that the sofa that had been in our apartment for oh, about 20 years, was in violation of the fire code as it blocked the exit to the balcony and was not three feet from breakfast bar (I measured and it was 37”). Oh and by the way those bookcases behind the sofa have to go, and the DVD rack next to my desk has to go, and there must be at least 3 foot aisles in the bedrooms (including I must move out my King Doublebass) and we will come back to reinspect.
(If you are only allowed to place furniture in certain places and prohibited from putting it in other places then WHY THE FUCK DON’T THEY TELL YOU WHEN YOU MOVE IN or when these rules are instituted and not 22 years after the fact???)
Even though all of the above furniture had been in place for years and every 2 years the city inspects every apartment in Gaithersburg and there had been no issues, suddenly these property managers had a huge problem as history apparently begins and ends on their watch and no precedents count.
They remind me of the absolute worst narrow minded sorts of bureaucrats. I’m sure there are ulterior motives – perhaps as simple as if they can root out the long term tenants they can renovate their spaces and charge higher rents, or it might be a little sneakier – much of the lower cost housing in Gaithersburg has already been taken over via eminent domain seizure and torn down for redevelopment and I know that at least one site the owners had to make major payouts to long term residents to displace them so they may be trying to drive them to save $$$. (We’ve had other incidents with this new management as well but this is long enough as is but just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you) I can see the $400K townhouses going up across the street and read the writing on the walls, its just a matter of time before those folks don’t want the crappy old apartments near them.
kisarazumama and I had already decided we want to move out as the neighborhood has gone to hell and we are sick of living in a gangwar zone ghetto (Crips, Bloods and MS 13, oh my!) with shootings, stabbings, arson, burglary etc & have our eyes set on some sites much closer to our respective work sites and within walking distance of lots of stuff that will give us a far shorter commuting time and higher quality of life even at higher rent.
Total meltdown/shutdown/major depression ensues. I break out the credit card, buy dozens of big plastic packing tubs at Home Depot and start shoving everything I own into tubs and rent a large indoor climate controlled storage room (on first floor at higher cost to save even more hauling up/down elevators like in our other storage unit at a different site, arrange insurance coverage on storage yada yada…. We spend most of Thanksgiving hauling stuff to storage and eventually collapse into a booth at Bugaboo Creek and order the turkey special, gee good thing neither of us had plans to go visit relatives or have company, right? Stir up lots of dust moving stuff and end up in Kaiser's Urgent Care/Emergency Room late at night with an asthma attack & respiratory infection that lands me back on antibiotics and prednisone.
Mention my problems to scarydavedc and am rescued by the Steampunk cavalry as he recruits the Clockwork Dolls to help move stuff if I can rent a truck and that Sunday in several hours about a third of our apartment is emptied out and the cavalry will only accept Jerry’s pizza as payment and a raincheck for a movie as all are too pooped to hit Ninja Assassin. kisarazumama and I are eternally grateful!
So the apartment Nazis have been back and we are assured we will not be evicted now – they seemed a bit shocked that we’d moved the furniture out after they told us it violated the code WTF? So now we need to try and see if we can renegotiate the lease we signed under a bit of duress (management couldn’t get off their butts in time to draw up renewal due before we left for Japan so we technically were not covered – we gave them a letter stating exactly when we were out of the country and while gone they slid it under door wanting it signed and returned back while we are gone, they claim they can't keep track of when people are not there or not but it didn't help my paranoia). This was before the “violations” so gawd only knows why they renewed it only to immediately start harassing us with crazy shit, now I hope we can somehow redo this so we are not trapped in a half empty apartment sitting on the floor for a year. Ideally I would like several months to find a place we like and get together the $$ to hire some movers so we have a safe, comfortable landing but at least we don’t have to worry about being homeless in the middle of the winter.
At least after they left last night we were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief (and back to Bugaboo Creek to celebrate!) and I finally feel like I can move on with my life a bit as pretty much everything has been on hold until I knew if I had to move immediately or what!
Meanwhile I feel overwhelmed by stuff. I have too much, I must pare down. I am working on selling off a ton of my horse figurine collection so I won’t have to move them – sadly they have badly devalued the last few years since I got out of that hobby with the rest of the economy so I’ll try sell the ones that have held better value or I don’t really care about rather than choice pieces at fire sale prices. Have at least sold off a batch in the last week. Doing so will help me pay down/off existing bills/credit cards so I can better handle higher housing cost elsewhere & save up for moving costs (and gee, maybe a few extras like getting my sofa reupholstered, a new TV and possibly more shelves?) I think I have like 20 storage tubs of black band T shirts. Almost all of my CDs and DVDs are now in storage, at least most of my music also resides on a one TB hard drive that takes up only a few inches of room. I need to downsize. I hate that I can’t find anything, it started snowing the other day & I realize my snow boots are packed SOMEWHERE. It was just easier to order more from zappos.com than try and begin searching, I had to stuff things in boxes so fast I have no clue where most stuff is. I can't even find my eyeliner.
I almost feel bad complaining about my problems since almost everybody I know is going through something worse – just in the last week I’ve heard of one friend loosing their job, another’s husband has cancer, another’s car got totaled, its making me think the whole universe is in retrograde or something)
(scarydavedc inherited the giant Alienware Area 51 Tower paperweight and hopefully can get some use out of it as no way will I return to Microsoft windows now – it is Mac or nothing!!)
(strangemuses- I still have a perfectly good small bl/wh laser printer for you if you want it! I think I can make the color laser wireless to connect to all the computers now with Apple Airport Express)
Now, breathe deep and repeat after me, 2010 will be better than 2009…..