Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mucocele with T-minus One Day

As if the 18 million zits (I exaggerate, but I have no less than three painful, under-the-skin buggers which must be a new record) on my face don't add a level of complication to my life the day before I start my new job (which means I will have to wear the dreaded makeup), I woke up this morning with a mucocele. Yes, I self-diagnosed. Basically, I woke up with a fat lip. Nice. Smashing! Girly Stuff is probably knows exactly what's doing here - seems like most of the sites I am reading about it are dental in nature. Mucoceles are mostly harmless. I'm sort of hoping it'll just be gone by tomorrow morning but they really don't follow a defined course. Some stick around for a long time and get hard. Others just spontaneously disappear. I'm hoping that my mouth will be spontaneous. With the mucocele - get your heads out of the gutter.

Anyway, I'm sure I brought this on myself. I think I have been stressed lately (rather, I know I have been stressed) and I've noticed I'm clenching my jaw entirely too much and sometimes even chewing the inside of my lip. So, likely, the lip chewing has resulted in this swelling. Even though I didn't chew it the last two days. If it can just not grow any larger and slowly disappear, I'll be ok with it. It's no so big that it's immediately noticeable. But if it gets any larger, then I'm going to start looking weird (as opposed to already being weird, I'll have the face to match). I have been trying warm compresses but I don't think that'll do anything based on my research. I've taken an Emergen-C vitamin thing, echinacea, and zinc (anti-inflammatory) already this morning. The next route may be applying milk with turmeric powder. And warm saline rinses. And mayge going out and buying silicea. Stupid mucocele.

In other news, we bought the tile yesterday. We finally started receiving the Husband's unemployment checks. Finally. Plus, my mother *insisted* on paying me for painting her place. I honestly didn't want any money, except maybe for gas since it's a 60 mile haul out there (120 miles round trip), but she said she would feel sick if she didn't pay me. So I obliged. With my the painting money and 5 weeks of unemployment checks, I felt we could manage to buy the tile. It worked out to around $950 with delivery and taxes for 710 square feet of saltillo. The Husband will begin the tile hosing down process and then sealing - we have to wash them down and seal them before I can install. Saltillo is a whole lot of pain-in-the-ass to install but I love the look and they're only $1.12 per square foot. They arrive sometime tomorrow afternoon so perhaps I can start laying tile next week.

Please pray for my mucocele. Ha! Of course, I am kidding. Sort of.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Getting Screwed Over, Let Me Count the Ways

I decided to stop trying to ignore that bullshit HOA collections fiasco and use my free time to get on with the dispute. I had hopes that maybe the woman from the management company had actually done what she said she would and get it off my credit report. But, of course, she did not. I am now ponying up $9.95 per month to Equifax for alerts and unlimited credit reports. I never thought I'd "waste" money on that type of service but since incompetence is so pervasive with other people dealing with your money, and their accountability is practically non-existent, I feel it is necessary. This way I will know almost immediately when someone has screwed me over.

After I confirmed that the crap collections item was still on my report (bastards), I called my bank to get copies of all my old checks (29 copies from 2004-2007), now that I was armed with (a) check number, (b) check amount, and (c) check cleared date (after ordering 29 monthly statements). The first guy I spoke to was like "Why do you need all these copies? Are you being audited by the IRS?" I thought that was funny. I suppose at least I don't have to deal with that. That would suck so royally I would not be able to turn off the bitch-vomit that would be projected onto this here blog. You would want to strangle me with your laptop charger. Once I get these copies (hopefully while I am still on involuntary vacation) I get to write up my well-versed letter to Equifax along with a terse letter to the management company with the same information. Let me tell you, I can write a letter like nobody's business.

Which reminds me of the time I had to write a letter to a deadbeat landlord I had when I was living in Manhattan Beach. I had moved to this triplex where the first level was a studio, second level (mine) was a 1 bedroom, and the third level was a 2 bedroom with crazy ocean views (I had a wee ocean view). Now, this building was in need of an overhaul - my oven was like from 1965 or something. Still worked, but OLD. First thing that should have set me off was when I had the cable hooked up. The cable guy goes outside to do wiring stuff and comes back to ask if I have a bucket. Huh? Um, yeah. Apparently, there was RAW SEWAGE overflowing onto the wiring. Yeah. Of course, I called the office to let them know. I find out a few weeks later from neighbors that this problem has existing for a long time(!) and has not yet been fixed. Yeah. Actual human feces flowing out the back of the house. Bad sign.

The first few months I'm there, I notice my electric bill is oddly high. Like $40+ a month when I was paying less than $20 in my last apartment. Of course, So Cal Edison doesn't help me - they keep telling me it's normal. My parents keep telling me to check the meter. I finally go check the meter. Wouldn't you know there are only TWO METERS. Two. For three apartments. Yeah. I go to my breaker box, and shut off one breaker - my porch light goes off along with the downstairs apartment porch light. I talk to the guy downstairs and guess what? His utilities are INCLUDED in rent. And by included, this means I get to pay for it. Oh, was I fit to be tied. I found the California Civil Code that specified that you must have a meter per unit, or else utilities must be covered by the landlord, and then wrote a letter with all that information. The management company owner was a lawyer so he knew he didn't have a leg to stand on. That didn't stop him from being an asshole - he agreed to pay the utilities through the end of my lease, but got all huffy about how "I should ask for things nicely" instead of threatening legal action in my letter. Whatever, dude. He knew he was doing something shady the whole time. When it came time to NOT renew my lease (no way I was staying there) we had the walk-through and I refused to sign the condition report because I never had an initial walk-through citing the original defects. I didn't trust this guy as far as I could throw him, and I told his employee that. In the end he only charged me for carpet cleaning and I got back my deposit.

As much as these situations suck, I rather enjoy writing letters proving I am right. There is some strange satisfaction I get from it. Maybe I should have been a lawyer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Temporary Wrinkle

I say temporary because we just have to get through these two weeks. I gave my notice on Friday which sucked as giving notice usually does. Now, my contract position was actually paid by a another company (a large news company), since they have a stake in tech company I was working for. It was sort of an interesting arrangement because the start-up didn't have the money to hire anymore full-time people but needed to get work done so this investor company footed the bill. Well, found out on Sunday, to the surprise of everyone, really, that this big new company has a policy that when contractors give notice, they are done that day. Booo! I was pissed - the team has considerable work to do in this next 2 week development phase but, apparently, the investing company doesn't give a shit. I swear, you try to do the right thing and give two week notice but it doesn't matter. This is yet another reason I have little loyalty to a company. And by loyalty, I mean that I'll do what it takes to get my job done well (I do take pride in my work), but you won't see me working on weekends just to get ahead or impress people. Perhaps sometimes it buys you something, perhaps if you bust your ass continuously a company may finally notice upi and promote you or give you more money. But, the vast majority of the time, when the shit hits the fan, you're going to get laid off, or your salary gets cut, or whatever. As long as I get a good salary, am comfortable, I have my health and my family, that's enough. I've been done breaking my ass ever since I spent 4 years unofficially leading an important software project for a director that only promoted his incompetent buddies and a company merit increase where you were to be downright ecstatic with 5% (because everyone else was getting 3%).

So yeah, involutary vacation for me. Involuntary vacations suck. We'll have to use some savings to get through this month unless California EDD decides to finally come through with the missing 5 weeks of unemployment checks.

My mother mentioned on Sunday that she wanted to paint her condo so now she is stuck with me. I told her yesterday I would come do it for her and then she started whining about how she doesn't want to do it right now and it'll make a mess, blah blah blah. Seriously? She was going to pay someone. That is like $500-800 for all the rooms and I am telling her I'll come do it and she is whining about the mess? What mess, it's not like we're re-drywalling or sanding. I had to downright beg her to let me do it so I can feel like I'm doing something useful. I don't have to look for a job, I can't spend any money, so I'm left with pulling weeds in my yard or painting my mother's condo. I don't know about your but I'd much rather paint than pull weeds any day of the week.