vicarz: (Default)
Is it bad that when I post I note I don't post anymore? It's just when I finally do, I'm stunned at how things have changed. I'm still crazy, in the sense that my emotions do not seem reasonably supported by circumstances, but they change my behavior far less than they used to, and I'm usually comfortable or just plan happy. I seem life functional so while I always like to improve, things seem good today.

Except for my perpetual state of first-world homelessness.

House update:
Contractor has gone radio silent, and with some nudging I issued an ultimatum/deadline which expired. I'm now waiting for the lawyer to contact me and start action. I had 6-8 people look at the job, but only 3 provided bids. I may not be able to afford both the bid-prices for the work and legal action.

The house issues are the constant source of relationship tension, that and how I get defensive when she is more driven than I am for action. I took the time to count how much money I lost in lost rent, but the emotional toll is immeasurable. I can't believe how incredibly I fucked this whole thing up.

Gym:
Nothing exciting. I've gone from plain 5-3-1 to the big but boring reps game. I'm likely about to reset as I'm plateauing on squats and DL. Sadly this is only about my old weights, but I've been pushing myself for a long time. I watch form videos and read articles more than I used to.

I also look at old people and read a bit more about aging. I might be able to lift longer, but it's possible I'll lose the ability at some point. Running or other cardio work is an option, and probably healthier in many ways, but right now this is fun and working for me.

Oddly lifting is not social. You do it alone - also like running. But I tried for years to be social with boxing, and it went nowhere. Some people parlay athleticism into friends, but I have not been able to do that. However, I seem to appear muscular, and am still confident, so I have an easier time in casual social engagements from near-altercations on public transportation, to the reaction when I'm nice or smiling at people. I used to wonder how much of my interactions were based on my hair - now my shoulders. Meh.
vicarz: (Default)
I guess I should share this here, but I don't feel like writing about it except in blurbs.

April 21 my contractor texted me and asked me to renew the building permit. I did.
May 12 or so was the last time Jordan texted me.

Friday evening I decided to call to nag over the holiday weekend, as he was allegedly just getting inspections performed. His number was disconnected. I emailed. Then in a coincidence, I was cleaning up my email when I ran into the daily popville where I saw an article, the type you see all the time "LeDroit Park Red Hot Real Estate – Sold in 2 days. No parking. For more than 10% above the list price"
It was Jordan's home.
I rechecked on redfin,
https://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/400-U-St-NW-20001/home/10045967
Bought in 2009 for 440k, sold 1.425 mil on May 23.
That home is also his business address. He hasn't responded to email.

I looked downstairs, and he removed his welder - the last tool he had here. He split town entirely - took the money and ran.
I have a friend who paid him a deposit, big one, and he hasn't been paid back either.

I called the lawyer previously consulted with as this is a change. Possibly this is a good change, as we already checked the property for liens and he had none current but the mortgage (he had previous liens from the water company, since paid). It was after 5 on a holiday weekend, so I left an embarrassingly too long voice mail and noted I would not be expecting a holiday weekend email (though on 2nd thought, lawyers probably work Memorial day). So the guy has demonstrably abandoned the job, and LLC company, so it might be easier to pursue him legally and he's got money to pursue. I might be able to get a freeze put on his accounts. This might make settlement easy, particularly if he has money and wants to avoid legal battles - if not, I face a mountain of legal bills if I pursue the issue with no guarantee of prevailing.

I anticipate talking to the lawyer Mon or Tues.

But I wrote about some of those details in fb. I got my hugs - and frankly advice from friends including possible contractor leads.

I have a mountain of work to do - my not-stress life, where I was just annoyed at waiting for the contractor to do his thing and how much clean-up there would be, whether I'd have to pay him more...now I have to choose what I can do, what i pay for, bid contractors, research them, and learn what a construction contract should be.
(unless I use the less professional guy who my direct neighbor swears by, a valid option but I won't be paying up front you see)

Now I'm left with feelings. How many times did I cook my own beans and rice to save money? He drove a new mini-4-door. His house was gorgeous, though he renovated it himself. I went to college, I worked the same job, I sunk money away and didn't eat out, I drive my old car - the one with the damage on the side that was salvage-valued on the title...all just to lose tens of thousands of dollars.

And it makes no sense. Weeks ago he was working. The top is nearly done, with 800 minor things that need doing and only "major" issues like final inspection, drywalling closets, a laundry closet door...
the wrecked fence and backyard that is a debris-strewn mess of clay and rocks and weeds
MOST of the work was done. The demolition was done, the digout done, plumbing inspected (when it was the whole house), most inspections and work done on the basement...just ...

I got an estimate from a reputable contractor, ROUGH and noncommittal, 50k to finish the basement.
Another 50k to finish the top.
This does not include the fact asshat left railings missing from the top and bottom porch.

I paid for so many materials, never mind work. The basement kitchen cabinets are paid for. But he did tile the floor and bathroom (if the framing will pass inspection - could it all be wasted?)

I have the money...if I pull it from my retirement.

I have to re-bid the work. The permits are in his name and the name of strangers, electricians and plumbers who lend their name out to have others do the work.

This person cleared a fucking million dollars and left me with this. I did nothing wrong. I have been robbed - if he had held a gun in an alley he could go to jail, but like American Greed porn he can likely just walk.

I don't feel like playing my rabidly addicted video games. I can't sleep, but I'm too tired to do anything. I rest and my mind returns to all the things that were supposed to happen, how much I've lost, all I have left to do, the godonlyknows mysteries that inspections will bring, questions like will I need a sprinkler system if they restart code etc.

and that's why I'm writing. I can say it over and over, I could organize it into something coherent but instead it's just spaghetti of nonproductive thoughts keeping me up. My gf wants to do something fun today, I want to stare at the dirt yard. Now my head is full of all the things I paid for, MATERIALS that aren't here, and this guy running around being irresponsible with my money - skipping town.

There are a ton of things he ruined and left half-broken or done that I'm stuck with. He was going to build a deck, so he removed the metal railing from the existing one - and the stairs from the top, so I have unsafe decks. He dug and placed wood posts for the fence he broke but didn't rebuild, and the deck that isn't there - that I paid him a grand for fake-wood upgrades on materials. The front door is hanging there as he removed all the trim to measure for a replacement. I tucked insulation around it as you could see and feel the air where the trim was pulled. I walk on boards to cross the yard of dirt that used to be a lawn and plants but he buried in dirt he never removed.

Then snippets of what a fool I am. I got my law-thing, but didn't have a good contract. I paid too much so he had no incentive and I lost more than the pending work. I could have paid for the lottery or IRS scam for this kind of idiocy. I paid someone else to help me bid the work, and as a control for quality, and here I am anyway. This was all avoidable. I did try to get an architect to bid on the work but the one recommended firm declined to bid on my work, and I thought i could just to go the contractor thinking I knew what i wanted. All the mistakes I made in an area I had no expertise.

I can't stop thinking about it. I could shove it aside and just deal on Monday or Tuesday when I hear from the lawyer. I did sell stocks and have a bunch of cash ready to go on this reboot, and who knows I may be able to have him criminally prosecuted, settle the civil suit...and I can't doa fucking thing now. I have to wait for the lawyer.
(well I did file a complaint, online, at DCRA)
but I can't stop thinking. I feel sick, spinning in circles of thought, unable to sleep.

I don't think writing this out helped.
vicarz: (Default)
Video of the basement Sun
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=gg3VGDY-yGM
About 5 mins. Not particularly exciting.
vicarz: (Pikacutie!)
First house post in dreamywidth. Last night the latino apt building across the way had another party in the backyard complete with sound system and tent. This time they didn't wrap up until after 1am. The kids were playing futbol in the alley at least until midnight. It was adorbs. Also, it happened. Either nobody called the cops, nobody minded, or the cops didn't care? I could be mad but instead this makes me happy. I may not have been invited but I was happy to be nearby or part of the hood that made it possible.

Friday I was nervous because by my early lunch hour of 11, there was no sign of a HVAC guy. I knew he had cashed my check because the bank called me
* I thought the guy was black, and was worried that they called me because he looked stereo-typically suspicious. However, it was odd to cash a check at my bank in this day and age, and I think the bank-caller was black. However the guys (2) who showed up were white.
However he did show up and Jordan texted he'd be there after to install drywall to mount wall units.

I checked it out with V yesterday, and indeed - a full HVAC system was installed in the basement. I'm no expert, but there are wall units near the ceiling of the liv/din/kit room thingy and the bedroom, with visible insulated lines going to a (condensor?) in the back yard perfectly beside the window well under the porch. Each wall unit has drain lines sloped slightly down to new holes in the front and back wall.

So inspections are allegedly scheduled for Mon and Tues. If HVAC passes, I think it's just framing and then wall-in shortly thereafter. Elec passed on the basement (though the guy put it on "whole house") and plumbing was done for whole house (and seems to be ok / standing).

I think I'm getting communications when the contractor feels like it, but with this movement I"m not really worried about it.

Also, V is starting to like the place (downside, she is annoyed by my never finished and rarely touched clutter - I need to work on it but I'm busy leveling my euro-diablo characters in season 10) (!). But me...it's becoming home. The condo - I can reach out when I stand in it and think of all the memories I have there, like I did in the old one.
That's. A lot. Of Sex. (we all measure life in different ways)
But this place is feeling like home. I mean really home, and really really feel like home.
vicarz: (Riddle me this)
Did I mention the russian mafia gave me another 6 months free?

Major house dev'ts:
Contractor showed up unannounced as if nothing had happened. He said an inspection was scheduled for 11-1. I bitched him out for not responding, how it was impacting me / life, etc. He explained the guy who showed up "is an asshole," and explained of course he had a groundwork inspection! The guy wouldn't sign off on the other one / rough-in if he didn't. In fact even if he hadn't, the 2 (mini-manholes) give access for inspection, scopes, snaking, and even turn so you can block the system and do pressure tests.

He also explained the previous inspections were for the whole house, but then at the electrical stage they made him split them. So as of now there are 2 inspection cards - 1 for the house, the other just for the basement. The DC inspector showed up, and I listened in - the story panned out, and the DC inspector said he would elevate the matter to someone who coordinates all inspection so they can address the multiple inspection statuses and cards etc.

Today he called and texted me at work - electrical inspection passed! However they said he needs permits for the hvac. He asked if I could pay the hvac guy directly (something I had offered previously) and said yes - but didn't I already pay for this? He said yes but he didn't have the money (hey, he said it) but he'd take it off the final bill. I'm not sure there is a final bill, but things are moving.

HVAC is scheduled for 4/21, and inspections again 4/24 (hvac?) and 4/25 (framing?).

This is inches away from the finish line, he said famouslastwords.
vicarz: (Year of me)
I've mostly avoided talking legal real stuff here (anywhere).

I was working from home Friday when an inspector showed up, again, with no warning from the contractor. I had just emailed him that due to his lack of communication and the fact this new finish date of Nov 2016 wasn't met here in Apr 2017 I wanted my other guy at every inspection. I texted him and he first said to turn him away, then claimed he was stuck in traffic.

I let the inspector in and he was shaking his head about this guy, openly wondering why he would schedule inspections and waste everyone's time. But my time wasn't wasted - he gave me info.

First, I should mention I talked to a lawyer, and based on that conversation I went downtown and pulled all the permits and inspection-info of record. Sadly the helpful DC employee giving me the inspection info, rather than printing reports, took my permits and hand wrote the info on each. Still, at least I have it.

I also have a pending bid on the work by another contractor, who rather than just glancing it over and giving me a ballpark pre-formal bid figure, came over after doing a permit/drawing check with 3 tradesmen.

Between the tradesmen comments, my guy listening, and the dc inspector, the following are potential issues right now, not-exhaustive nor in a particular order:
1. No proof of inspection of "groundwork" before putting in slab. The slab was approved, but they might have put it in without inspecting the (sewage pipes out of the house and related vents). The inspector said he'd call me back on that, didn't.
2. No fire studs every 10' (something about reaching to wall, makes no sense to me)
3. Can't inspect with can lights and insulation in.
4. Plumbing rough in not even done. In fact, the fact he's scheduling inspections is insane - to do plumbing inspections, they first cap the ends and turn the water on, duh, as a pressure test. NONE of the pipes are capped.
5. The plumbing isn't remotely done. We have a sink drain - but where the hell are the hot and cold feeds? Where does the hot water go?
6. The hot water in my house may be mixed with radiator water. I was told this specfiically was not the case, that my "combo unit" kept everything separate AND covered 2 heating zones (for radiators and radiant heat). The plumber thought it looked like it was a 1-use-only unit, and we sent him the spec sheet I was provided - he reconfirmed. This would match the fact my hot water tastes AWFUL after 6 mos.
Said another way, my water is mixed potable and nonpotable water (cough, maybe).
7. No final inspection was done on the top floor. Granted there are known items pending (no railing, wires hanging from the master bath as no vanity light is installed) but...why didn't he do that first before I moved in?
In short, there are substantial documented indications of serious not-to-code stuffs.

Keep in mind I moved in. What if they won't do a final inspection with my stuff "in the way?" What if they condemn the place - say because they can't verify sewage isn't going into the yard to their satisfaction - and condemn my place as inhabitable?

His contractor license - expires the end of this month. I'm considering lodging a formal complaint before that happens (not expecting miracles).
Placeholder - other info about his business, rumor.

I plan to talk to the lawyer again soon (missed her Friday, calling after the failed "inspection" visit). I texted and emailed contractor guy to yet another no response. The real question for legal, now, is "Can I potentially/likely recover from a DC LLC, when a) the llc likely has no assets, b) the insurance in place in 2014 may have lapsed but a breach might be from 2014 when 120 days was not met, c) he likely mixed funds (i.e. materials I paid for were not purchased the money likely spent personally and/or on other jobs), d) his only likely personal asset - if the veil were pierced - can it be recovery for me, or can he just fold his company and/or declare bankruptcy and I just pay for a lawyer to win an empty declaration that I won with more financial loss?

Still pending is how much it will cost to have someone else finish this job.

How am I a lawyer and ignorant enough to have fuddled up my life savings?

Meh

Mar. 31st, 2017 05:51 am
vicarz: (Year of me)
House:
have started preparing for litigation. For a brief period it looked like this guy was ripping me off, for undisclosed reasons and because the elec permit (with the date/year cut off) didn't appear to match our current permit number. Now, the known building permit expires 4/4. He claims he has to get re-issued original drawings from DCRA...but why? Nobody would lose the originals - he has all the inspection records and permits. He also barely responded to email/calls/texts since January (1) and hasn't done a lick of work.

Then we found the electrical permit and he said there were inspections scheduled. Then the inspections were cancelled, though an inspector did show up and hint strongly there were real problems and nobody would pass the inspection. That sadly would fit the contractor's story that an inspector had said they had to tear everything out (all the framing, plumbing rough-in, elec rough-in).

I've asked another contractor to bid and started looking at the statute of limitations on the contract (with the question, when does the alleged breach claim take place in a 3 year project that was supposed to take 120 days in May of 2014?) I still hope to avoid litigation but there are many indications this guy and/or company may not ... finish. At least I know switching contractors mid-stream is possible and not all that unheard of - it does not seem to mean there is a chance I would be banned from my house or have the drywall ripped out to re-inspect behind them.

DCRA is a morass. You try getting information from them. The contractor complaint that they give different results for the same inspections seems legitimate.

Besides all the rent I lost on 2 places, the ongoing stress of this mess has worn me down.

Gym:
I felt good about a 345 squat a short while ago, until I uploaded a video to check my form and noticed it was next to a 2-year-old video of me doing 315 for 3. Sure I had setbacks and the nerve nonsense never was sourced, fixed, or remedied...but over time I'm finally struggling back. I think I need to form check all my lifts.

I post politics in fb. Should I be more scared or ashamed of this country?

Haven't moved out of fb yet but my pay-deadline is up soon and I don't want to support this anymore. Obviously I don't write like I used to and the reports of jailed russian dissidents with the email releases and state hacking? Plus...
Well I still miss this place. I miss the community of my friends and the rare meeting someone outside my immediate circle. But this place posted listservs for me and myspace for others. Nostalgia is fine but what is lingering?
vicarz: (Year of me)
Deadline to move to dreamwidth?

I'm less depressed over politics. Good news, the right is so insane it's in the public eye now. The left might be pulling it's head out of it's collective ass - memes mock Stein's latest stupidity similar to dumpsterfire. My favorite quote was from the gym "They're coming out during the day now."

Gotta buy the girl a ring; been shopping. Ethics matter in shopping for crap fwiw

Gym:
My shoulder still bothers me but my weights have all recovered or are leaping up (bench is still off, but may be only 10%). I have been rolling and stretching, but still my ankles are too prone to move and my shoulder too unlikely to. I did start running but have not kept up...my gym location is a real issue, as is coordinating my schedule with the girl. I've started in on full relationship nag with the girl, as her need to take classes is a scheduling and logistical nightmare that impacts us both. Also, she literally has no gains. So I'm pimping strength and trying to stretch myself to more therapeutic workouts (i.e. face pulls), and trying to drag her with me. I think she'd be better at, and happier with, strength training than her "weights cardio." However she's a grown damn woman, smart, and better at her things than I am, so she might destroy me at some point. No mansplaining.

I'm revisiting form. With my side-pull injury crap, and after watching that yes, even with shoes on my ankles move, it's a good idea to reground myself. This weekend the gf is out of town so I can do crazy long workouts instead of cram it into an hour workout. Less huge lifts, more cardio/conditioning, and more support work would be good for me. I'm trying to drag the gf with me into "have a plan, one that doesn't require fees or scheduled appointments" type workouts. I can generally take my gear and go to any decent gym on the day in question and do my workout.

House:
The contractor has not shown up once since xmas, other than one time to tweak the heat. His stories and plan made sense, but I fear the reality is he hasn't paid the/an electrician which is holding up the permit. Girl went online into his finances and found his property has equity, but the water company has put liens on his property. Twice. I don't want to sue a guy to suck the value out of his house when he has a young child, but at some point if I don't - if he loses it, I don't want to be last in line.

I got Scott to paint and fix up the Arlington place, to be rented soon. With the condo paying a bunch of it, and trusting his schedule and work product, it made sense - having interacted with him as he found quirks along the way? Very happy and worth the premium price (plus Joe cheapo never bid/showed).

I just got a bill from DC as they called my work likely 60% or more complete, with increases the value of my home by about $90,000, pumping my taxes and mortgage to cover.

I love my house. I love my hood. Neither is perfect.
vicarz: (Misfit doll)
I was watching that new to me but old fashion freak / naked ape video with the zombie stripper carwash...and thinking about objectification. Wendy dayglo hates the video as the music is base while the band are static boring men. Taking the music out of it, we inexplicably have a bunch of nondescript plain men being pursued and provoked by stunningly attractive (albeit dead) females. Men wear suits and sit in safety, while the borderline naked women spray themselves with water and soap, writhe, and otherwise make themselves terribly available, though these are unsafe women in an unsafe world.

I'm considered more progressive because while I was all about female objectification, I didn't just pursue attractive naked females - I sort of became one too.

I liked the image, the sexy person. I wanted to be the image, the sexy person. Perhaps that the easiest solution - just swap person for female, and heck for stripper while we're at it. It's just creepy that this diad is always sexygirl on display and the boy...is shopping for sexygirl. I mean we're supposed to recognize the power of the attractive female, but then the fact it's always one baiting and the other catching...that makes it creepy.

Objectification could work, be more consensual - or even fun - if it wasn't dictated by gender.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
I'm mad at Psyche because I loved her post that was no-commented. Grr girl.

It's the day after thanksgiving, and for not-T-day I took my mom to Dukem on U Street for Ethiopian. She's never had it, and loved it, so that was fun and a win. Sadly she has a strong hand tremor and it may have been a bit messy. I've seen someone with bad tremors recently who has trouble eating - he's seeking medical intervention and mad it isn't working, but my mom just seems to accept it. That said, with the counters made of stone, and the floor still perpetually dirty from work boots, and my absence of opiod abuse, the visit is going far better than when she came down to take care of me post-surgery. Said another way, I'm focusing on spending time with her and not being an anal-retentive git.

House. I say house and it sounds like that movie...but I love house. I got heat just the week before she arrived, and we got the thermostat to turn off / regulate temperature rather than just stay on the day before she arrived. However, with all utilities now working properly - even fios? This place is amazeballs.

Some of the new happy comes from catching up with work and having time to spend here, and I got some major furniture shuffling and box unpacking done while mom's been here. I still may lose a shelving system and bookcase here or there, but more memory boxes are in the attic, the floor can be walked on and across instead of around in box-mazes. Sadly my office has gone from the most organized to the least, and somehow with the time to do un-boxing I haven't taken clothes off the drying racks.

I've even cleaned the bathrooms. You can sit on toilet seats with confidence - even in the powder room. All the switches are fixed so...fans in every room if you so choose.

I'm organizing the kitchen because...I'm using it enough for the locations to start to make sense.

Oh, I can BARELY hear that my mom is getting up, as I put insulation everywhere, so it's time to visit and chat with her while I provide her with press-coffee.

I'm happy. Veronica comes back today and we'll be able to spend time here and in her place with little inconvenience and NO PLANNING. I don't have to go to Arlington - and while it needs prepping and renting, it doesn't require daily work now. I don't have to figure out where I'm going to have my work stuff, food, and clothes between multiple locations. It's no longer an hour through rush hour stop and go, it's 10 minutes including parking.

hogawd and I've taken mom out to eat every day, just highlighting how everything is here. Thip Khao, Chuchos, Meridian, and then Dukem...and I live here. Whew. So the house is comparatively a castle (with less moving boxes but some to go) and it's in a fun part of town. Unreal, that this is my life, and it's just starting. Granted, this'll be normal to me in 3 weeks perhaps - but right now it's amazeballs.
vicarz: (DL)
Counted and my trip home can be 4 hours: get there can take an hour (usually 30 mins), I spend around 2 hours there staring confused, not sure what to bring, wishing I had gotten rid of things I don't need (my lawsuit records from 1987!?), packing things in boxes, and loading my car to drive home again. The things i'm moving now are more of a challenge as I don't need them, so planning and motivating is far more challenging than getting kitchen items I need to make coffee or cookies. However, as Veronica pointed out, not doing so is depriving me of potential revenue. It sucks that my place might be ready for rent by...thanksgiving and xmas - not the best time to market. But that's 2k to 2500 in rent I'm not collecting.

Add in 2 hours in the gym and 8 hours at work, plus my commute, and that feeling I'm exhausted starts to make sense.

I'm not so much unpacking as getting things here. I'm worried about all this stuff here when I fear more work getting done here. The contractor hasn't been back since failing inspection Tues, so today I'll follow up. No heat. 2 closets not done hurts unpacking.

I'm oddly freaking out about unpacking. I don't know what goes where. When I moved 7ish years ago, it was easy - I moved from one place to the other and everything just went in the same room, the same place, just across the courtyard and upstairs. I lived here/there since 1995.

I also don't know where to put things, and what to do about decorations. I think I'm going to go with far less decorations - the disembodied legs with black tights and purple fishnets were great, but unless I string them with lights and make them a chandelier I'm not sure I really need them now. I don't want to cover the brick walls with bookcases, but it seems like every part of the house is a cabinet, brick wall, or radiator.

Coming home from a great club night to a the 1-a-minute smoke alarm dead battery beep SUCKED
vicarz: (Riddle me this)
I'm so stupidly happy right now. Like 3some with no post-coital drama happy. Only, much much domestic-er.

It's a slightly breezy 72 and I'm only partially naked in front of the towel-curtained window computering. Last night Janna and Lisa, my neighbors, watched the debate with me in my home where with the windows and doors open, it's like watching tv on the porch. My neighbors were on the porch, so the sounds other than the (not blasting) tv were dogs yapping in the back, spanish in the front, and just life and warmth all around. Right before they arrived an ANC member stopped by talking about a permit application...I think someone complained about a lack of transparency, and now they're flyer-bombing us and ... and coming in person to canvas!? Good political god.

I can't wait to wander down the street to go to a boring ANC meeting.

I'm so fucking happy over nothing. I've hoarded my leave because some day I would be needing it to move and then just to enjoy my house. Understand in law school I hoarded my leave in case I ever needed it ... and I really never took that leave, not even for finals. That was a mistake, but I mention this to remind myself / my theoretical audience how much of a treat it is to take time off work. I made things hard on myself by not really taking leave to move, but instead still hoarding it and doing the packing after work and the gym for many commuter-hell days. Now the things I'm enjoying immensely are just silly - granted, I'm on leave today in the middle of the week with a light workload, several good decisions/orders received this week, and the discovery that was due Friday received by opposing counsel and issued early as well. My slate is all but clear...

Things I'm enjoying or enjoyed? Dumbdebate with neighbors! Neighbornoise through open windows! So many doors and windows open bugs fly through the house without really stopping. Drinking just a little too much! Moving the dishwasher top tray down to fit a cold-coffee bottle! Laundry next to my bedroom! Clothes in drawers! Knowing where both my toothbrush and razor are! Stopping in one of 2 bathrooms, both of which have fans! Knowing that although bathroom #3 has no light, it's been ordered, shipped, and arrived at my contractor!

I'm happy I stayed up late last night. I'm happy I was up late at 7:30 this AM. I'm happy I slept with the windows open from 6-7:30 and it was pretty quiet. I'm happy I'm starting to learn the schedules of my neighbors in their backyards driving and piddling around in the AM! I'm happy I can see things front and back, but I'm not 4 stories in the air - I can just hop down and be on the street or in the yard in a flash.

Millions of little things that I'll take for granted soon. Things I'll look at and not see. Every little detail I paid for with my saved up money over years of eating beans and rice at home. Every didn't eat out, all those years of staying at work, all that is finally having some payoff. I've been criticized for my years of sacrifice with no indulgence (other than my clublife). Well, I think this counts.

The fact it's also an investment and when it's done I may be living on a cost-neutral basis between rents and expenses, where my work income is 100% discretionary spending? The fact that soon I'll find laundry next to my bedroom to be a chore I want to put off or the dishwasher noise no longer a whisper compared to what i'm used to? I'm not there yet - right now I'm enjoying this immensely.

I like this wall color. I like that brick wall. I like the other brick wall and wondering if I can put the open-back bookcase in front of it. I'm happy I have files tucked into those file drawers I bought off an office auction for a song and moved in my car. I'm happy walking back and forth looking out the back and the front. I'm downright giddy! Over nothing, and that's half the fun right now.
vicarz: (Pikacutie!)
Despite being exhausted, and after having the sense to not prioritize any unpacking, getting home tonight I couldn't resist but to assemble the 2 dressers and bed. So tonight I'm going to sleep in my for-real bed again.

I do kind of wish I had paid for movers, except when I look at what I paid. I've helped a lot of people move, but feel like I imposed because so few people showed up. I skipped a lot of details to make it as easy as possible on those who did show up. So I could have saved time and friend-credit, but how many times have I chipped in? How long did it take me to learn the need to have issues people can help with, and accept help?

Plus...why work out all the time just for sport? Moving is something I know how to do, so why not do it? I did it for a couple weeks before the move, and I'll be doing it for a while yet. Not having taken care of myself would be like hiking every weekend but driving to work.

I'm looking forward to regular downtime again, ever.

The inspection is Tuesday, which will either result in further delays or theoretically a hurricane of floor and wall construction.
vicarz: (Riddle me this)
Tired and happy. Today I suffered the pain of my own not planning, even after not going out last night.

I didn't plan a move, get a truck, or ask friends for help. Now that looks like a failure - why do I not ask? People have offered and I just want to be independent. Plus, the whole move was tentative.

The plus side is having no pressure, schedule, or expectations. I had a lot of cleaning I had to do - for instance, the frig was must dirtier than I realized, and the freezer is scary.

But...I had fun. I took on stupid ideas and made them work. Sure, I'm living out of clothes from a suitcase balanced on a wire shelf. But I got the futon over there solo, along with half the kitchen.

I showered there for the first time, and am glad I did (my god the multi-shower jets are SILLY) (did I mention the enema wand) because the idea of a wall that stays partially open doesn't seem like a good idea for this setup as some water got outside (The wall isn't up, so I made a tension-rod-shower-curtain setup that was about the same result.

I also ran laundry for the first time. omg that's a winner having laundry right outside the bathroom door!

Granted I spent a lot of time cleaning the frig...it was a lot dirtier than I realized. It looks gross - though it's mostly just 100 year old plaster dust, as it's brown it looks scary. I took full advantage of the giant sink.

What does it say that the first electronic I set up was a phone?

I suppose I'll have to set up an actual move and/or truck. I didn't now if this move would work. Heck - the heat still isn't done and it's late Sep. Who knows. But it looks good enough that I need to start planning.

Also while I'm there, I'll know what is happening and when.
Of course, this also means noise, dirt, and mayhem every day.
But...tonight I sleep there for the first time in AGES.
vicarz: (Mech love)
Met with the contractor and his wife, in his home, last night. Short of it is I'm moving in this weekend.

The real mystery is how things will progress, or not, in the basement.

I've drafted a response to the bar complaint.

So tired.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
Ugh, I wrote a post at work about work, but can't post it from that location so... It'll get pasted later.

I have not been using the phone app. The iphone 5s is tiny and my eyemeats are too old to see the thing.

I'm spending a surprising amount of time walking around pokemon-ing. It's cutting into my diablo time. It's fun that I get to do it with the gf. I'm not embarrassed that I'm playing a child's game - I watched the cartoon in my late 20s or early 30s. But it's weird that I'm walking outside so much for...a game, when for health and the environment I've generally chosen to drive. It makes me question my priorities, competitiveness, and general silliness. Why do I play games so much? Why don't I read, stretch, socialize, or do important things more?

It's labor day weekend, my gf comes back today after a long trip and I'm looking forward to hibernating with her, the windows are open for the first time since HEAT and I'm sipping coffee before the rest of the world thinks about waking up. I feel good.

But old. ohmifuck I'm getting old. It happens in odd steps rather than a slow curve. Today's issue is with the gf out of town, I've let my goat face come in and my chin has obvious white hairs. I have white PUBIC hairs - many (as I shave, I rarely see them - so when I'm lazy and gross it's a shock to see what changed). I'm 48 and many of my friends have lost hair or had gray since 30 or even younger - but this is my experience. I have more hair on my neck - again I'm hairless compared to normal people, but this is me. Oddly the hair is disappearing from my legs, but ... it's growing on my ears. You can't see it/them yet, but it's becoming more obvious, common, and actual hair like than downy invisible fuzz. Hair grows in my nose - I had to force myself to admit that. It's beyond gross.

I. Can't. See. I've had good enough to 20/20 vision my whole life, and now it is literally a daily struggle to see. I see fine with reading glasses on, but to lug them around is a pain and it's a pain and embarrassing to unfold them to view something for 5 seconds. The meat of my eye has stopped growing, is getting stiff, and is drying up. I'm dying a little at a time, with each organ I never think about going through various degrees of depreciation at varying rates. I have some random spots of pigment on my face - age spots I think. I have freckles throughout my sleeve tan. My feet have some patches of dry, hard, skin. My gray hairs in front are spreading. The signs of death can be fought but are growing in degree and number.

Gym - I just saw the doctor and yes, I have the beginning of real age problems. I have literally shrunk because my spine is compressing - and traction won't do a thing about it. Some discs are better than others, and surgery is an option plus far easier than thought - but I'm nowhere near needing it. Still, my discs are showing degeneration normal due to age, and they do things like compress nerves. If I didn't work out I may not know, so it's good to get this lesson now. The doctor specifically said even if I wanted surgery, it's out-patient and low-risk, but he'd refuse because it's not worth it. It's odd to have to step out of my workout emphasis and admit whether I bench 155 or 235 is not important. But I walk away with no answer to my "How did I get injured, and how do I prevent it" question other than "time and death." He said I am able to work out with good form as much as I like.

The doc also said I was his easiest patient that day. The wall was covered with ads for pain-med-to-spine pumps, nerve blockers, and warnings about opioid abuse. I remember the pain from both times I popped a nerve, and it seems this is something that happens with age. I didn't notice a lot of the aging process due to the gym - not a bad thing. I feel pain all the time, but it's from or overridden by my soreness for strength training.

Socially my gym workout is a disaster. I feel part of a "team" when I work out alone, happy to help others but not making friends. In fact I'm far more happy alone than ever in my life, but I'm also far happier and comfortable with friends than I used to be too. Confidence has been a huge issue in my life, both as an unknown disabling condition and a great benefit. I'm better than the morons who bench press and hip-thrust-bicep-fake-curl and think women will fuck them for their arm meat, but still...why do I enjoy being strong for a little person?

I don't intend to change - I know I need to do more cardio, but I don't enjoy it and I always fall off the bandwagon. My gf is too good to really run with her, or that's my excuse. Feels real. But while my workout may be silly, it has me a) going to the gym 4 days a week, b) doing yoga-like stretching, c) discovering health issues, d) correcting my posture in my daily life, e) saving a fortune on antidepressants or therapy because I'm always hopped up on endorphins, f) learning more and practicing social skills with brief stranger encounters (which matters, but that's another post), and of course e) getting some cardio exercise, even if it's intermittent and moderate rather than the long painful burn of running.

House, briefly: I'm not moving in this labor day weekend. Although Jordan was "mostly done" last week...well I stopped by the place yesterday evening and he was there, and explained he only has ONE EMPLOYEE right now, but he just got paid on another job so he's more flush. He said he'll be there - he "hopes" Monday (he's flexible with his folks) but definitely Tuesday. They have to thread electric and do detail work. He noted one of his employees also has his own crew (a subcontractor with subcontractors). The remaining bill has dropped more, by around 10fuckingthousand.

It sounds silly but it's been near-ready to move in for ages. I'm looking forward to moving in. I am looking forward to not being spread between 3 places and driving all the time, worried about jams and rush hour. At least the house is...liveable now, almost. There is electricity, lights, floors you can walk on, water and toilets...it's not a shell. It's just not done. The a/c condensation pump is running off a switch in the front hallway...

Enough coffee-infused writing: back to playing diablo before I do squats at the gym, which is about 7 pokestops from here (because yellow has taken over all 5 gyms I can see from here, no gold for me today)
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
This was also a lucky weekend of my girlfriend spending days with me at a brewery playing pokemon, shopping for fans and lights, and going through the off-again on-again theoretical move. She's super good to me.

I feel sorry for Jordan AND AM NOT MAD. My friends are mad, but I saw the guy working and hiding his frustration all weekend. He really tried (but tried, didn't bring people in - he is mostly working alone). It seems there are a ton of electrical problems in the newly wired house. It passed inspection, but not final, and he's found problems. I went there Sunday night with 2 new fans for the master, light fixtures for the outside lights, and he had pulled several (more) outlets and switches. He had to re-thread lights. I was going to forgive this weekend / penalty if he had pulled it off, as I could tell that's what he was hoping for - but last night he wasn't closer to being done.

Well I take that back - he was closer to being done, because he knew about and had been diagnosing the problems. Far closer, but the guy didn't know there were problems in the first place. I'm afraid this means his guys really let him down, or he is let down by assumptions he made. He knows he has to pass final inspection. He also knows he needs the circuit breaker not to throw when you run laundry or the a/c and hall lights :)

I've been looking at moving. My friends mock the "I'll do it myself" college friend move picture I have in my head "We're old bitch - hire movers. No really, hire people," but if I had rented a truck this weekend it would have been a waste. My plan doesn't sound stupid to me - move enough to live there, including the futon, 1 set of crappy sheets, minor blanket, bathroom stuff (I have enough to split between 3 locations), kitchen stuff - enough to live on (many glasses, half my plates, etc.), clothes enough for a week of work in the office and many casual clothes, an old computer, some kind of setup for a desk...and that's it. I can do that for free, only losing time, and there is no cost or planning involved.

I might also rent a truck, do what I can do that's easy, and hire movers for the harder things - the pinball machine, victrolla, antique radio, glass display cabinets, etc. My only worry is it'll cost about the same to do a small move of just-big-items as to do the full keebob. Meh.

The fact the price is way down, and my stocks did well plus me being flush overall now? Has calmed my sensibilities somewhat.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
Not moving today, but I did show up in the place with cleaning supplies and a suitcase. As of 6pm Jordan is still working on unexpected electrical issues. FLoors are mostly ok with only minor work to do in my office. The granite counters are fine.

Shopped all day for fans and lights; coming back all but empty handed. I might not have gotten the pendants we did get but I think Veronica had to feel we had accomplished something. I feel satisfied with the idea she understands the difficulty of fans and lights much better, and has more confidence in my fanning and lighting skills.

As me if I'm drinking tonight...
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
Just as I was getting very, very happy with my job - I've run into the rumor that it may go away. My unnamed government agency may be centralizing our function. This is haunting me as I love my job.

I haven't written in over a week as the above sentence sat ready for me to finish. I'll finish later.

I had the bizarre revelation as I played back a memory that I quit a job as a teenager because I was sexually harassed by an adult man. Funny how I had these memories I just never recontextualized with how fucked up that was. I wasn't traumatized or anything, which is part of why I never thought about it.

Met with Jordan and Scott today. The only explanation Jordan had for the holdups and pace was that some other unnamed parties (2) had screwed him out of $3-4k. I pointed out I've paid tons on a big job...and he didn't really follow up except to say he wasn't asking me for any more money.

On the plus side the main floor looks good, he's going to fix it up as there are some flecks in the polyurethane (from the vents running!), and we went over floor problems upstairs. He expects to finish the main floor tomorrow because the granite counters are going in Friday.

Hot water works now, he assures me, though it wasn't on while we were there. The A/C has been an ongoing problem, and he hasn't been able to a) figure out why a part keeps blowing, and b) his hvac guy has been too busy.

He projects a new move-in date of next weekend, which would be Aug 5-7.

Floors are done, closets are set up but missing doors, the kitchen is mostly up and running, most fixtures are where they should be (he noted the wrong hand towel holder is in the guest bath and he doesn't know where they put the ones he got for the guest bath), most trim is up, the railings on the stairs are not up, lights are set up including under cabinet lights in the kitchen,
but right now I"m just tired.
vicarz: (Wild Buttercup)
I'm slow to schedule doctor appointments. Really busy with the gf, but my gym workouts are set back by continuing nerve damage and continuing tightness in the shoulders / armpits or whatever these joints are. PT and chiro didn't fix it so far as I can tell.

2 months and 2 weeks later and my house still isn't done - and progress is slowed to a crawl. I can tell he's been there, but only just barely. My girlfriend and I borderline argue about small possible tiny changes. After showing up this weekend and seeing the a/c still blasting while hotwired with the upstairs at 64 deg, and seeing no real progress, with some gf prodding, I said it's time to set up a meeting with all hands on deck. It's over 10k in penalties now - what the holy hell is his problem?

Thinking about firing him again, suing him too. It's an ugly prospect but it's almost August and I'm not in my house. The penalty should inspire performance but is not, and it's less money than I'm losing. Also, gf is about to kill me - it matters.
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