Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The hard way

I'm sure all parents would agree one of the toughest things about raising a child is watching them learn those shitty life lessons the hard way. For those with young ones at home, one warning: Be prepared. It doesn't stop when they leave the nest.

This tale begins in August 2008 when Lovely Daughter finished grad school and moved to NYC with her best bud, Gay Boyfriend. They moved into a sublet in Brooklyn with another girl who had been there for, oh, 5 or 6 years. The place was a dump -- the landlord had never fixed a single thing -- but it was a place to live and LD's share was only $900/month. Yeah, yikes.

A few months shy of the end of their lease, new opportunities arose and the three decide to move on. They get verbal (I know, you can see it coming) approval from the landlord. Several positive emails were exchanged with the landlord in the weeks leading up to the move. It was all good....

...until the summons arrived. The landlord was suing them for $5000 each, claiming they broke the lease AND trashed the place. The reality was the landlord completely gutted and remodeled the place after they left and was billing them for it.

Well, our trio was not going to play that. It took several months and multiple trips to the courthouse, but our trio was determined not to give in. Unfortunately, in the end they were advised to settle since they -- all together now -- did not get it in writing.

End result is they each have to pay the douchebag slumlord $1600 over the next five months. Which means the Ex and I get to pay the douchebag slumlord $1600 for the privilege of scamming our daughter. I'm really pleased to be rewarding his asshat business practices.

What makes it worse is that it became clear very early on that this is what this guy does. He rents a place, ignores all requests for maintenance, and when the tenants leave he claims they trashed the property and either withholds their security deposit or sues them, depending on how much remodeling he decides to do. Many people are intimidated and pay him to get it over with. Nice scam, eh? Someone even started a blog about him a while back. There are also posts in various Brooklyn-related forums about his hijinks.


Life Lesson #73: Get It In Writing.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Feeding the pile

I've got an armful of scraps to toss onto the pile today, OK? Best don your protective gear.
  • This month's award in the category of Songs Currently Receiving Heavy Airplay That Make Me Turn the Volume All The Way Down goes to that new turd by Train. We HATESSSS it. The good news is that Autotuned piece o'crap by Owl City is no longer in regular rotation.

  • Lovely Daughter apparently did NOT appear in As The World Turns last week. I suspect her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. I tell myself it's because her presence outshone everyone else and the other actors wouldn't stand for it. Oh well. She got paid, but I'm still crabby about it.

  • Sweetie still doesn't know what a dog toy is and runs from anything making a squeaky sound, but she is showing signs of becoming a fabric collector. We have found a ball cap, a hoodie, a dishtowel, and her dog sweater lying in the back yard, otherwise unmolested. Good thing we installed that dog door. Makes it so much easier for her to express herself.

  • Sweetie has also reminded me that greyhound farts can clear a room.

  • I think I have reached equilibrium with my Magic:The Gathering card collecting. I have one last order of cards being delivered this week, then I am going on hiatus until the next set is released. Don't smirk! I mean it this time. Unless, of course, there's a card I really need....

  • Taxes were done with online software, filed electronically, and I expect the return to be direct deposited in a week or so. Oh, how I love the interwebs! How did I get anything done without it?

  • In just over two weeks, Mr. B and I will be headed back east to hang with Evil Twin and Co to celebrate a belated Ideas of Meatloaf. Squeee!

  • This weekend, Mr. B and I had social interactions with two different sets of adults not related to us. I think that's a record. What that really means is two separate opportunities for me to realize that I talk too much in social situations. Realizing that always make me feel so happy and confident! Fuck. No wonder I don't go out.

  • You know, if someone produced a relatively affordable, fuel-efficient, old-school analog car with windows that crank, manual locks, no computers, an engine that one could actually work on, etc., I think there might well be a market for it. I'd certainly buy one. After all, when the aliens come and deploy the electromagnetic pulse bomb to paralyze our civilization, computerized cars will be among the first casualties. It's best to be prepared.
My collection bin is empty now and I feel much better. as it good for you?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Look at that!

Over there, in the left sidebar! See it? The picture of the pretty, pretty girl? Yes, the one under the heading FACEBOOK MOMS GONE WRONG. That one.

That's Lovely Daughter! I have humiliated her (again) by setting up a Facebook fan page for her and forcing recruiting all my friends, including ones I haven't seen for thirty years, to be fans.

Why all the mock-publicity? The majority of my twelves of readers are friends so you already know about this because I have been talking about it on Facebook non-stop for weeks, but I'll repeat it anyway: Lovely Daughter is going to be ON THE TEEVEE today and tomorrow, on As The World Turns.

Yes, that show is still on, as it has been since -- get this -- 1956! It's even older than me.

If you don't want to take vacation time from work to stay home and watch (although I recommend it -- her thirty seconds of glory would be well worth it) the episodes are posted to the show's website after airing so I'll have links for you soon.

And if you want to witness first hand how a young actor with over $50K in grad school debt struggles to get a freakin' break in the big city, head on over to Facebook and fan the Following Caitlin Clouthier page. I'll be posting info about her upcoming shows and events, and even about recent auditions, if I can get her to call me and tell me about them. I have a stash of high school photos set aside to post for that express purpose.

It's the next best thing to moving to NYC to play stage mom.

(I bet Lovely Daughter just crapped her pants, reading that.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fetch me Will Wheaton!

We got to re-watch our favorite (so far) episode of The Big Bang Theory this week.

Now that we're getting into Magic: The Gathering, it's even more hilarious.

Ah, it's a full life, isn't it?

Monday, March 15, 2010

What's it all about?

It's been over two years and 500+ posts (I know!) since I launched this blog. I do believe it's time to spread it all out on the floor and take a good look at what I've got here.

I like to blog. Qualifier: I like to blog... when I have something to write. Otherwise, it's like the homework assignment from hell: the report was assigned three months ago, it's due next week, and I haven't started yet. Not that I have decades of experience with procrastination or anything, mind you.

I know this assignment is self-imposed and no one really cares if I post, but that doesn't seem to matter. I actually have four blogs, but this is the only one that gives me the guilts. Why don't my other blogs cause me as much grief?

My theory: The other blogs are about 'something'; a cooking/eating blog, a family blog, and a meta-blog/directory kind of thing. There's a topic and a focus that usually makes it pretty easy to figure out what I need to say next, even though I don't do it nearly often enough.

But this blog? Well, I wanted it to be a humor blog, where my heretofore-undiscovered gift for turning the wackiness of my life into compelling, quirky stories would be magically revealed. People would fall in love with my tales and tell their friends. Word would spread and I would become one of Those Bloggers, the ones that everyone knows. I would be asked to write for other blogs, and maybe even find myself cranking out a magazine article or two....

OK, so the whole Gift thing didn't quite work out, but I did find some stuff to write about and even learned a little about my limits and abilities in the process. No big. I could just keep doing what I'm doing. It's fun. S'all good. No big. Yadda yadda yadda.

But somewhere along the way, something happened. Life settled down. And what happens when the well of dysfunction runs dry? It sounds pretty much like this: Pheeeewwwwwwww.... < -- (insert stereotypical loss-of-turgidity sound here.)

Rest assured, it's not that I'm no longer dysfunctional, it's just that my life seems to have finally fallen somewhat into place. There's no longer a ginormous angst-fueled engine of turmoil and discontent fueling my fuck-it-all-to-hell attitude.

Apparently that doesn't leave me a lot to write about. As you've probably noticed.

Lack of inspiration aside, the biggest eye-opener is the stats. Out of my dozen or two daily visits, do you want to know what my most-read post is, the one that brings the most traffic to my site through Google searches? Check it out.

Is that really the best I've got to offer? More than anyone wanted to know about fucking plarn? Really? It's a lot like putting on your new dark-wash stretch bootcut jeans and cute new top and thinking yeah, the jeans may be plus-size, but you still look pretty hip for an old broad... only to catch sight of your reflection somewhere and realize that in fact, you look like every other nondescript, graying, fifty-something mom out there with too much junk in the trunk. And even worse, you used the word 'hip' to describe yourself. And do the kids even say 'junk in the trunk' anymore? Not that that's ever happened to me... I'm just guessing what that oddly specific scenario might feel like, is all.

Anyhooze, my attempts at brilliant wacky weirdness apparently pale in comparison to the mysteries of crocheting things out of cut up grocery bags. Although this week someone did find me by searching for the phrase 'cooter game' -- that's encouraging, isn't it?

Long story not short enough, I'm fumbling around for a focus here. It may take awhile, but you're welcome to hang and see what happens.

In the words of an inordinately large number of ER visitors, "Hold my beer and watch this!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blinding me with science

Hey niblets, I know I've been lax in the posting department, but it's better that I'm writing nothing that trying to come up with something when there's nothing there, ya know? But that's a topic for another day.

While I reach deep into the barrel of my imagination and feel around the sludge in the bottom to see if there's anything of value left, please enjoy proof that Bounty is the baddest p.t. in the county.


Hoot hoot!

Note: I received no compensation for posting this. I wish I did -- I heart me some Select-a-size Bounty.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today's Daily Photo of the Day

"Well, it's a little small, but it's clean and the price is right. I'll take it!"


Monday, March 1, 2010

You want me to WHAT?

Meet Sweetie, a 3.5 year old retired racing greyhound. You can't see in this pic, but she's a lovely brindle with white on her chest and her back feet.

She lived in a foster home for about two weeks and her foster mom said she did fine on the stairs, no problem! Welll... methinks someone was pumping serious sunshine up my skirt. That's 60 pounds of drooling, quivering dogmeat up there.

She's trying, though. Mr. B has only had to carry her down once so far.

BTW, she adores Mr. B. I totally get that.