I mentioned over the weekend that the property management company that handles the house tried to spring a surprise inspection on us. I talked my way out of it, and put it off until tomorrow. We have had 6 days to prepare. I have been cleaning and decluttering room by room. And I am pretty much done. I have some small things to take back out to the studio, but for the most part, I am done.
Doc has done almost nothing. In true Doc fashion, he has waited until the last possible minute to take care of things, and is going to be up all night as a result. It isn’t his fault. I didn’t make him a list. I should have made him a list. I had everything organized in my head. He did not. And now he is completely overwhelmed, and I am trying not to be exasperated with him.
The house has never looked better. This was the perfect excuse to clean the clutter out of the corners. The dining room is finally clean and once I take down my photo staging area, we will be able to use the table for the first time in two years.
And the thing is, the house doesn’t have to be clean. The other rental up the street with the same company is trashed. There are 7 or 8 people living in a three bedroom (one of which is a converted garage) house. The front yard is all trashed and toyed up. The gravel from the xerascaping is all over the sidewalk. I’m not worried about losing cleanliness points.
We just needed to stash a few things. Living things. The animals (they are going next door for a couple of hours), and the plant life. I’m not saying where those are going, but there is a chance I will loose all of my seedlings, bloomers, and vegers. I’m willing to take that chance. I will try to keep a couple of young ones in my room, hidden, so that we don’t lose the whole crop and I can grow mothers to clone.
I wasn’t nervous about this. They said they just needed to check out the property for general condition. But Doc’s procrastination and constant paranoia and imagining contentious confrontations during the inspection has got me totally freaking the fuck out. I’m waiting for a Xanax to kick in, then I will go retrieve my sticks for art and help Doc take the lights down and stake the plants in preparation for being packed up. We move the plants last, tomorrow, early afternoon. But everything else will be done by then.
And you know what happens after the people leave? I get to go back into my newly clean and clutter-free home and relax and wait for the lease renewal.
The house next door is going up for sale. We were in it tonight, we went over to visit. It was a one-story, two bedroom affair, and a contractor lived there. So there are many extra bedrooms with large closets, and bathrooms and extra laundry rooms. And the house itself is incredible, A winding staircase up to an open-floorplan upstairs. So many rooms, so many closets. And the kitchen is a DREAM kitchen, no joke. There is a formal living room, a family room, a den, and then the back yard. A wrought iron fenced in dog pen (they have small dogs), a pool, a play area, and some lawn. Simply put, I want to buy this house. Many rooms are unfinished, and we would need to carpet/floor about 1/4 of the downstairs front of the house, the back is all hardwood floors. But I don’t care. I’ll buy the house cheap, unfinished, and do the work myself.
Then we will have a really mellow art collective. We will set up the laundry and spare bathrooms and finish the bedrooms, and invite money-making artists to come and live in a semi-communal environment. Which Doc will despise every minute of. Do I have the guts to call my Nana, or better, write to her, and inquire about help purchasing a house and getting a loan to fix it up? I think I might.
Speaking of money, we may be coming into some in the next two years. I have been dealing with amazon.com and the management of our old apartments, where the packages went, and they are not being cooperative. They have lied to us and blown us off. Right now I am waiting for a call from management. I give them tomorrow to call me, then Friday I call them and let them know that I am calling a lawyer.
Then comes the finding of the lawyer. I need to find one who works on contingency, but it willing to work hard for me. A civil case would primarily be for emotional distress (having to go through this and out my anonymous patrons and deal with Amazon countless times), damage to professional reputation (I rely on patronage to support my work, and people are now reluctant to support me, and I have out and out lost one of my patrons, who’s friendship I miss far more than any stuff – can’t put a price on that), and of course, the actual cash for the stolen items, shipping, etc. to return to my patrons. Then whatever legal fees. Because fuck them. They gave away my shit through their own negligence, over the course of 8 months, over and over again.
Then they lied about it and blew us off. Then I got pissed. The woman I spoke to today was very nice. She admitted we had been lied to, and set the record straight. She will probably lose her job over this. I feel bad for that, but it was refreshing not to get the usual subterfuge that Doc got when he called them. The woman today confirmed that all procedures for picking up packages are the same as they were when Doc and I lived there. Which is to say: shit all. And she told me that the packages they have sent back were not USPS at all, but FedEx and UPS. So, not mine.
And I guess they are going to contact the tenants about this, to see if any of the stuff can be recovered. But the tenants have the nasty letter from me, and my phone number, and haven’t called to try to make it right, so I don’t expect much in the was of package recovery. The utter shame of this being that the things were sent to me were very specialized, equipment, toys, imported food. Things that would be no interest to joe-schmoe and likely just thrown away as soon as they were opened.
So that is that. I have to find a contingency lawyer, because I can’t afford to pay up front to retain them. But I think I have a case. I also have to succeed in getting the attention of the damn post office. So far my inqiries and reports have gone unanswered. I found a number for them to report mail theft. So that is also on tomorrow’s docket.
After tomorrow’s inspection, it is back to business as usual. I have to update the shop, finish photographing products, edit the listings, and announce the trivia question for the month. I did, last night, update/complete for now, the cafepress.com PRH shop. I have “Chemically Asexual” on light and dark shirts; Period Power shirts and other items; a t-shirt of me, for shits and giggles; and “Clotty”: your menstrual mascot.
I’ve decided to get the shop its own domain. I’m going to set up a gallery of pictures of items purchased being used/worn/displayed by buyers; a proper shop to be augmented by my Etsy shop; and a showcase of Cafe Press items. And, I think a blog, to become a more detailed version of what I am doing with the FB page, explaining the process with pictures and details of what and why I am making what I am making. I wasn’t going to buy the domain just for the shop part, but once I thought of the blog and gallery, I figured, why not? I can also do a schedule thing if I do any local craft shows.
I think I am also going to streamline my fabulousdisaster.com page. I have a little too much stuff. And I can remove the bulletin board altogether. I have enough active social media accounts where people can comment, the bbs is redundant, and doesn’t get used, not even by me. And, of course I have to add my new credits to the announcement section of my front page. Many good links are going to waste by not being up there.
Also after the inspection, I will update my Fabulous Disaster FB page and the PRH page. I will also need to do promotion at thebingbing.com. Circus Catimus can wait another day or two. I can do that this weekend with another recap of this week’s photos.
Oh! And my resume. Need to update that and get it on linkedin.com. Add all of my new writing credits and the shop. I’m not at all looking for a job. But if some telecommuting thing, or some freelance thing comes through, I will absolutely take advantage of that. So I’ll get LinkedIn updated tomorrow night while recruiters are sleeping.
This weekend I must read. I have two books to review, and a play to read and take pleasure in. Then I can get the reviews done next week and quiz the author with any questions I might have (my compensation for doing the reviews is getting to pick her brain about the characters and stories). I’m really excited about that opportunity, and of course, reading the play will be fascinating. I’m really curious if any of my “things” made it in. We had quite an extensive discussion about quirks and ticks and fears. So I’m hoping maybe an element I mentioned will be incorporated into the character’s development. That would just be the coolest thing, I think.
All of this makes what I’m doing worth it. Is that all right? I mean, no cash is changing hands, just favors. So, while I’m not a professional whatever-I-am, I am getting a lot of experience doing it. I commented today that I am becoming known at the Schizophrenia Person, instead of the Person with Schizophrenia. What has kept me a prisoner for almost 20 years, is now facilitating my liberation. With this new medication, the real me, the genius at 12, is finally able to come out. I don’t quite know what to do with myself.
The photos shown are from the last week. Before I got the case for my phone (I can’t seem to get it back off), I took out the CD card and downloaded all of my photos. There were a lot more than I thought. Until I get a bigger micro SD (I have a 2gig, the phone laughs at me, I have a 32 gig on my wishlist; I need that much space for video), I have to keep stripping my phone down. And I have been very judicial with taking photos. I only take one or two at a time, and usually delete the poorer one altogether.
We finally spent some quality time with our neighbor last night. We went over and hung out next door. So many things came of it. We’re having a joint yard sale next month, R is going to do all the signage and advertising, all we have to do is put our stuff out. He also grew up with a mechanic up the road with a home-shop. And this mechanic loves working on old trucks like ours, has room to store it while he works on it as-we-get-the-money, and he is honest.
R also offered to take Doc over to B’s to get the scooter and be a silent enforcer. AND give rides to and from the grocery store. So many great things!
They have a little room built off of the back of the upstairs, half of it is open to the roof. They sit up there and hang out and we hung out and talked. I went out on the roof with one of their little dogs and took pictures. We were there for a couple of hours.
So, let’s talk about their house. What started as a very open, multi-level, two storey home with a winding staircase and floor to ceiling windows, was added on to by a contractor who lived there, 20 years ago. It is a labyrinth of hidden rooms, staircases, and closets. I want to live there.
So, I’m formulating a plan . . . I’m going to write to my Nana. I’m going to just write a letter to her, as I have wanted to do for a while. Telling her of my triumphs and asking about hers since she had the strokes. A letter of fond memories and love. And I will, in some part of the letter, mention the house. Mention it a lot, and specifically to my needs and wants for the future of my “family” (including Kelli, there is plenty of room for Kelli to live there and have her own private space). I will send her my phone number and address as a good faith gesture, no one in my family has been allowed to know where I live for 15 years. Hopefully I can open up a dialogue with my Nana finally, and maybe, something can be worked out that will enable me to get the house. This is really just a big, elaborate excuse to justify to myself talking to my Nana again, before it is too late.
Holy shit, we’re approaching 2,500 words here. I don’t even write stories this long. I’ll let you go, I’ve given you a lot of information here. But then, it’s been a few days.
With the light of day, the house is almost done. And almost in show-a-buyer condition, cleanly wise. It’s amazing. After years of nagging and procrastination, it’s finally done. When the stress of the inspection is over, I will be left with a clean, manicured home. I don’t know that I could be happier today. I’m not even worried about the inspection. Not one little bit.