Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Tale of My Bathroom

So this is the Tale of My Bathroom.

 Let me first say that I am not the pickiest person, when it comes to housing. Is it in a decent neighborhood? Is the ceiling going to cave in? My apartment building was built in the 1920s, so we are going on 90+ years here. I don't expect perfect, and I like quirky most of the time. My floors squeak when my 12 lb dog walks on them. My kitchen cabinets don't close because of all the paint. My one drawer is painted a different color from the rest. Does it have significant space for my gnomes? :) I need a shower curtain on both sides of the shower...I actually repaired WHERE the shower curtain should be.

I will begin with last November. For months I had been telling my landlord that the bathroom was moldy on the ceiling and not functioning properly.

One day I came home and it was raining in my I called the landlord.

LL: Did the upstairs neighbor just take a shower? Did you ask him?
Me: Um, I don't know.
LL: Does he maybe have the window open in the bathroom?
Me: It's not raining...

He doesn't send anyone out to see to it. Just like every time I make a call to him, he ignores it. Like it is going to magically disappear. So by November I am tired of this BS that I write him a letter and include pictures of the mold and disgusting and ended it with a note about sending a copy to the city. This finally got his attention. Suddenly he was calling and saying "oh I was waiting on the plumber to come over there tomorrow." Right...

This began the "Two to three day" repairs...12 days later I was back in my apartment. Supposedly it would take two or three days, so I packed up and went to my parents. Well after 2 days, I called in to check up on the progress. "Oh tomorrow it'll be ready."  He didn't even know. I went back after work on the third day; yeah there was nothing done. My bathroom had been ripped to shreds, but nothing was ready.

By day ten, I was homicidal. Each day I checked in after work. Never seeing much progress. Finally we got to the point where we were waiting for the plaster guy, so I was home one evening...too old to be at my parents all the time...

I introduce to the plaster and paint guy. I am on the couch watching television, while he is supposed to be working in the bathroom. Truck has Gothic font and the world "alchemy" involved, if that tells you anything.

PG: Are you into Norse mythology?
Me: Um, not really.
PG: Ah, cuz if you were I'd show you my Thor's hammer tattoo.

I must have looked like a deer in headlights as he wandered back into my bathroom. WTF do you say to that?!

After all that, LL did not repair the floor or ceiling...and did not replace the faucet.  And he had the wall open, but did not just put the shower into the wall. Still the same diverter (or however you spell that), which always had shot water down into the tub.

Fast forward to this week. A couple of months ago, the kitchen sink stopped having water come out. "Something must have broke out in the pipe." Oh that is specialSo when the same thing happened on Sunday in the shower, I called the LL. On Monday morning, my landlord sent his brother over to take care of it. When I got home, the showerhead that I bought was gone. Got a new spout/diverter out of the deal. So I called the LL.

Me: So any reason you took my showerhead.
LL: It was too corroded.
Me: I bought it and put it on in August, since the old one was shooting into the ceiling and over the curtain.
LL: Oh it must of had something to stuck in it from the pipe. Do you want me to have him bring it back?
Me: (very obviously) Well, if you say it is no good. No!

I head off to Target after work the next day. New GOOD showerhead. Sweet! Time to clean the shower on yesterday. Better clean up the bathroom. Scrub tub and shower...what's that?! Faucet is broken and water won't shut off. Call in the reinforcements. Papa. "You've got a screwdriver and a pliers?" I turn off the water as best I can. Call LL at answer and leave message. Call LL at 5:25 no answer and leave message. All the time water is poured out. At 6:10 call LL's brother. Oh it is Poker night. He goes over there at 5:30. A-hole didn't bother to call me back

Brother comes over while I am on my BIRTHDAY dinner to turn off water. (Yes, I am that old that I would clean my bathroom on my birthday.) He cannot call me back?! Take care of his property! Brother can only turn off hot water to our half of the building.

So this morning I get a bucket of hot water out of the laundry tub and "showered" in this tub.

Today I come back to new faucet...but now the diverter shoot water out to the ceiling like a geyser! WTF! It worked yesterday.

I give up! Three calls for fixes in one week is too many for me. I duct taped the shit out of that diverter! What?! I cannot see without my glasses, so eff it!

Moral of the story. Do NOT rent from Dan Debe! I cannot wait for next August when lease is up.

On the wishlist for the new bathroom in new apt.

1. Fan in bathroom-no mold
2. A MAXIMUM of 1 curtain needed
3. Matching paint...everywhere
4. Cabinets that close
5. Electric outlets that the plugs don't fall out
6. Trustworthy lighting

But anyway I am out going to bide my time and get a perfect place either here in MPLS or someplace warm, since it is snowing tonight. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thank god for for nice teenage girls!

Boisterous teenage girls announced their presence at Panera as I read and ate alone the other day.

Originally there were 4 who sat down at one table for four, chatting loudly, when a fifth showed up. She looked at them awkwardly. Like she was uncomfortable and new as she sat at the table next to them. I felt for her. Being the odd man out and looking visibly uncomfortable.

I smiled at her and looked away. I know/knew how she felt.

Thank god for nice teenage girls!

The girl closest to her reached out to touch her shoulder and turned to everyone to introduce her. I could hear “from class.” And then another girl said “pull the tables together and eat with us” and you could see relief in the girls face.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Food, Waste & World Population

Every once in awhile, I find an article that strikes me and draws my attention into a topic or two that I really start thinking about.

 I stumbled on this article the other day, and I thought "Wow! What the hell are we doing?!"
Really? We are wasting how much food?!?!

As Americans I know we fall into this wastefulness partially actively by purchasing more food than we could possibly eat. We've all seen the newspaper ad/coupons where you buy one-get one free or $1 off when you buy three. Do I really need three boxes of noodles as a single person, who often eats less than one meal a day at home? I have purchased more food than I need and spent three times more than I intended/needed to just to use the coupon/advertised price. And I will probably not eat this food while the food is at its best.

It really isn't a bargain in the end.

Also we passively waste with the amount of food in our portions while eating out. On Sunday, I purposely turned down adding a side salad to my meal for the discounted price, because I knew I already had more on my plate than I could possibly eat. But turning down the "bargain" isn't always that easy, so we take the extra food, which we will not eat. The portion sizes in general are completely out of control.

Now for me, I think that the number of those suffering from hunger is what strikes me as the most amazing...makes me the most angry. It has been many years (probably since college) that I have had to actually put thought into where my next meal would be coming from and how I would pay for it. I cannot imagine that being part of my life as an adult let alone a child.

We turn a blind eye to those around us that are going hungry. We don't recognize that there are people in our own towns, on our blocks who do not have enough food. Even those who see it staring them in the face ignore it. Now this isn't just a mid-American problem, but if we focus on those around us, eventually that it will ripple out across the nation and world.

In 2000 I worked in a school program with kids from a wide range of economic backgrounds; there were two sisters in first and second grade that made me want to cry every day. Just at a glance, you could see they were hungry and poor. They were the oldest of the five children in their family. During our all day programs, I learned that at 7 and 8 years old, they were so concerned with food that they kept half their packed lunch (a cheese sandwich) "for supper tonight." Can you imagine that?! But what made me angry during this time was the arrogance and mean spirited-ness that came about in regards to them from adults. Each day the program provided a snack to the kids, and during Christmas break they over estimated how much food we needed. Well, I decided to slip these two little girls a little extra. When my boss found out, she came into my school and chewed me out about it. There was no reasoning with her about how the food would go bad and they needed to eat. Her response only made me more angry; she even mentioned that the program was on a sliding payscale and they didn't pay anything to be there. I was fuming by the time she left as was one of my employees who witnessed this. She not only ignored their hunger, but punished them because it. Treated them like they were worth less because of their economic status and hunger.

Now if we are wasting a third of the food produced now, what are we going to do when the Earth's population is 9 billion? Why are we allowing this much food to be wasted? Why are we allowing people, families, kids to go hungry while this happens?

I truly believe that when people do not have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from, they are happier, more productive and can focus on living a better life. Hunger drives many of the world's problems. Violence grows out of this basic need. It might not seem connected, but if you are starving, you will fight to get food. Whether it is full on war or rebellion or domestic stress and violence. If you need to put your all energy and thoughts on food, you are unable to learn, work, interact happily.

As for the environment impact, I believe if we put the focus on feeding those who need it and not wasting this will help with this part of a growing issue. Perhaps even create minimum waste. But at the same time, the methods used to produce this wasted food needs to be changed. Deforestation and water use are not doing us any favors.

So I guess some options for me to work on this will be:
*Actively reduce waste through shopping critically
*Donating extra food, if/when I over purchase food
*Actively reduce waste through better choices while eating out, asking for smaller portions & actually eating my leftovers
*Continue to compost my scraps
*Eat foods that are grown and produced closer to home

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So far, so good

I've been doing fairly well with the treadmill. Lost some weight, lost some inches, and feeling better! I've moved up to being able to it for longer and faster. Hooray! Hoping that I will be ready for vacation in June. Feel good while I wander the streets of New Orleans. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013


It's been one week, and I have been very good with using my new treadmill. I took measurements to start and remeasured this afternoon. I've been doing pretty well and have made progress. Hooray! Now to keep up the good work. I've also been being really good about packing my lunch for work. Baby steps to healthier living.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


It's that time of year again!

Time for some ideas of what I am going to work on this year.

I might keep them to start working on them a little at a time. I am thinking, if I focus on making one thing a habit at a time, I will be more likely to follow through.

So I won't be beginning all at once, but these are the themes of what I am hoping to work on for this year and upcoming years.

Live Healthy
 -I have gone ahead and ordered a treadmill. The new rule will be that I cannot watch tv unless I am walking on the treadmill.
-Pack a healthy lunch.
-Eat more real food.
-Eat less processed food.

Live With Less

Live With More
-Travel & Entertainment

Monday, January 30, 2012

Why oh why?

Why oh why do people expect me to go above and beyond for them? Do they just expect it of me, cuz I give of myself easily? Do they expect this of everyone else? Do they assume I will do it for them? Do they appreciate what I do for them? Most of the time, I don't even think of it, but just do some things cuz they need to be done and they asked for my help. It is something that someone needs done, help with or would just plain be a good thing to do for them. Nice, helpful, loving. The problem is that although I give without thinking, when I do ask for a simple helpful hand/favor, my thoughtfullness is rewarded with lame excuses and outright lies. I give without questioning. I assume, if you ask, it is because you need me. I truly think that it is expected of me, but not of themselves. More and more I see people do this to me. I am not a person who asks often or even really expects anything in return for being good to my friends, but the responses recently are more than annoying. It has become downright insulting. The simplest things are met with insulting responses. The medium things are rewarded with an outright ridiculous answer. Good thing I haven't needed anything remotely large. Someone might fake their own effing death to get out of it. That's my annoyance of the week. Month. Year.