Monday, April 28, 2008

Good and Bad

Good: Service Master spent much of the day cleaning our apartment today. Bob said they cleaned our marbles one by one!
Bad: We have to stay in the hotel until at least Thursday.
Good: I had an interview today. The man interviewing me told me that he received 295 applications for this one position and thatI was one of only 9 people chosen to actually interview for the position.
Bad: My cell phone was stolen when I ran into Walgreens for 1 minute.
Good: Our apartment management is having the rest of the apartment building cleaned.
Bad: We still don't know if/when our walls, ceiling, floor will be cleaned.
Good: Bob is sleeping at the hospital tonight due to a previously scheduled sleep study.
Bad: Bob has to endure a sleep study tonight.
Good: Bob sent me flowers at work to cheer me up after having a really bad week.
Bad: They arrived Thursday afternoon when I wasn't at work. I got them this morning and the tulips had already lost their petals.
Good: I got a lot done at work today.
Bad: My boss still thinks I'm a chump.
Good: I was one of 9 people interviewed for a position 295 people applied for.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Can I just say that I am sick of living in a hotel? It's not all bad. We can go back and forth from our apartment and get stuff or drop stuff off, but it's not the same.

Today I realized that all our towels, washclothes, and hotpads are with the restoration cleaners and won't be back for nearly 3 weeks. That means if we are back in our apartment before then we won't have those items. So I went to Big Lots and got 2 sets of 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 sets of 12 washclothes, 2 hotpads, and 2 sets of kitchen towels. Hopefully insurance will reimburse us. I got everything for cheap. I also got 4 new pillows because I refuse to sleep on the pillows that have smoky carcinogens all over them.

Bob and I went home today to get some stuff and we noticed that it still smelled very bad. I can't believe the apartment management/ownership won't clean the whole building, but all the evidence points to only having the 2nd floor cleaned. We are going to call our insurance company, tell them about Bob's pulmonary and breathing problems, and hope they will work on our behalf to get the rest of the building cleaned. In the meantime, I posted more photos to my Facebook and Flickr accounts. Check them out.

Tomorrow is work. The cleaners are coming at 8:30. Bob is going to meet them at the apartment. I have an interview after work and Bob has a sleep study at 7. I am glad that they are working on figuring out his breathing issues but going back to the apartment scares me until the whole building is clean because of his bathing issues.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Day After Fire

Me, Bob, and all 4 cats moved into a hotel last night. It wasn't great but it was better than staying in our smokified apartment. Who knows what horrible things we were breathing in after the fire had been put out?

I have to say that State Farm Insurance really rocks my world. I called my agent and got the name and number of the company they work with to clean up after such things. I called that number and a guy was at our place within a half an hour. He spit some numbers out at us that frankly shocked us. We told him we would confer with our insurance company and get back to him. There were many calls back and forth and finally our insurance company said we were covered and OK to go. Nearly right away a woman brought a giant Heppa filter thing to our apartment to clean the air. Soon after that, a woman from a relocation company said she was calling because State Farm had called her and she had a cat friendly, handicapped accessible hotel room available for us. It would be direct billed and all we had to do was sign a form and check in. I packed us all up and we checked in. The hotel was all ready for us. Turns out many of our neighbors are also here.

We didn't have a great night. We weren't breathing blackened, smoke filled air, but the cats were freaked out and kept crying. One of them in particular would just howl and howl which would get the other cats all worked up. Eventually, I locked the howler monkey in the bathroom and everyone else settled down. Bob slept badly due to not being in his own bed and having many aches and pains. I slept badly because he slept badly.

This morning we got up and headed over to the apartment. We were met there by the clothing restoration guys and the cleaner guy. The clothing restoration guys took 2 piles of emergency clothes and bedding which will be returned to us tomorrow. Then they bagged every item considered clothing, shoes, belts, purses, bags, linens, etc and took it for cleaning. All that stuff will be returned to us in three weeks. It will be freshly cleaned and pressed and ready to put away or use.

The cleaner guy took measurements and notes and wrote up an estimate for our insurance company. They will be back on Monday to professionally clean every item in our apartment. They will clean the cabinets, walls, floors, windows, blinds, and ceilings as well. It's a sad way to get a thorough spring cleaning.

We will probably be in the hotel through Tuesday at least but maybe as long as next Friday.

I have to say that the air in our apartment was 100 times better today than it was when we left yesterday. That Heppa filter thing is the bomb. The air in the apartment complex is still acrid with smoke. It stings my eyes, nose, and throat. There were work crews everywhere cleaning, painting, hauling, etc. If any neighbors were around, they were just there to get stuff and clear out or, like us, meet with people to help get things cleaned up. Maybe not so surprisingly, we've met more of our neighbors in the past 2 days than in the nearly 6 years we've lived there.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

We're Fine

I don’t have a lot of time to get this down but I wanted to post something here before I forgot the details. 

At approximately 9:30 this morning, Bob called me at work and asked if I could get home right away.  I said I could but wondered why.  He said the apartment building was on fire and he couldn’t find the cats.  I said goodbye, hung up, yelled at my co-workers that I was leaving, and took off.   I could smell the smoke before I even saw our building.  When I got there, the police had already blocked off the street and the firemen were there en mass.  I was allowed to enter the street but not our parking lot.  I got out and found Bob right away.  He still didn’t have the cats but he did have my camera.  Good man.  I took lots of pictures.  I will post them when I get a chance.

Thankfully, our apartment was not near the one on fire.  Also thankfully, everyone got out safe and sound with no injuries or loss of life.  However, the smoke and fire damage is significant.  We don’t yet know if they will let us stay there tonight or not.  The Red Cross will be showing up soon to hand out some information.  I called our insurance agent to give them a heads up.  I smell like a campfire.  I’m just so glad everyone is safe and that Bob is OK.  There were news crews filming the firemen at work and the building damage.  No one knows yet what started the fire.

I am at work right now but will be leaving soon to go back to the apartment for the Red Cross briefing.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hoax Still Upsetting

Apparently it was a hoax. Wow. Just, wow.

Statement by Helaine S. Klasky — Yale University, Spokesperson

New Haven, Conn. — April 17, 2008

Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages. The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body.

She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art.

Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Bad Day

Today was by far the hardest day at work. Even though the number of our deposits fell dramatically, the headaches were amped way up. Today there were 5 accounts of having paperwork but no money. There were 3 accounts of customers changing their mind and asking for money back. There were 3 accounts of having money but no accompanying paperwork. There was a stack of paperwork on my desk that approached 2 feet high. It was not a fun day.

Bob called the daughter of the man he helped the other day. Turns out the hospital is discharging Mike tomorrow. Bob said his daughter is not sure what to do now but he thinks she may have been saying that because she has a plan but doesn't want Gal to get wind of it. Speaking of Gal, she's back. Turns out they can't legally kick her out of Mike's apartment because even though the lease isn't in her name, she does get her mail there. The apartment management is aware of all the went down and if they don't get rent at the first of the month, then they have legal recourse to evict. That kind of sucks. Bob told Mike's daughter to at least cut off the cable, electric, and phone which she is going to do. Bob is NOT happy about the possibility that Mike might end up right back at the place where all the trouble started. However, you can be sure we will both be more vigilant about keeping an eye on Mike if that happens.

I heard a story today that has stayed with me and it breaks my heart. Perhaps you've heard of it? This has just broken my heart. Not only is it crazy and indulgent and the height of selfishness, it is evil and disgusting. Also, this young woman is just flaunting her fertility. It is tantamount to heaping a plate full of food, sitting at a table of starving children, eating 3 bites and throwing it in the trash. I hate thinking this, but I can't help it. I hope that when this young woman finds that certain, special someone that she wants to settle down with and when they decide it's the right time to start a family, I hope she's infertile. Not because she chose abortion but because she purposely got pregnant in order to abort and rub all of America's faces in her decision. She sacrificed viable pregnancies for "art". Worse, she created viable pregnancies specifically for sacrifice. How does one live with that?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Post Tax Day

So today ended up being worse than yesterday work-wise.  Issues, interruptions, problems, etc pushed me passed my lunch hour and into insanity.  Craziness.

Bob called today and added to my craziness.  He had received a call from a doctor.  This is a doctor he hasn’t met or heard from yet but apparently this doctor is the one interpreting his sleep study results.  The doctor said he is very concerned/worried and usually doesn’t call patients himself but in Bob’s case he wanted to talk to him personally.  Turns out that Bob doesn’t have sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is characterized by short bursts of non-breathing.  What Bob has is called recessed breathing episodes.  He will stop breathing during sleep for long periods of time.  Then he will wake up and begin breathing again.  The doctor said he had so many episodes during the night that it made him fearful for Bob.  The doctor said that near as he can figure, his muscular dystrophy is affecting Bob’s pulmonary muscles.  During the day Bob can and is conscious of his breathing and can regulate it through concentrating on his breathing. However, at night, he can’t regulate it on his own and his muscles are not working involuntarily.  The doctor said he wants to schedule another sleep study right away and this time use a Bi-pap machine to regulate Bob’s breathing.  He said this would also explain the low blood gases and fluid retention that has plagued Bob for some time.  He said that the Bi-pap should help.  We sure hope so.

I still have my cold.  Today it turned from sniffles, itchy nose to full blown stuffy head/ears, cough, and runny nose.  Blah.  I am supposed to attend a class at the community center called “Introduction to Voice Over Work”.  I called to see if I could get a refund or attend the next class.  The gal I spoke with said they could not refund me because their policy is 5 working days notice for cancellation.  I told her I didn’t have the cold 5 working days ago and didn’t want to go and get everyone sick.  She said it was either that or I miss class and eat the $60. Plus, she said that most people have been exposed to colds already and it’s not that big of a deal.  Great.  Does she want to go and explain to the class why I’m there coughing, hacking, and sneezing?  I hope they have individual microphone covers otherwise I’m in big trouble.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day

Well I survived tax day. I was getting more and more transactions to process up to today however, yesterday's 60+ transactions gave way to todays 112! I will still have quite a few tomorrow but today was the big day. As a reward, we finally hit 70 degrees outside! I know that's not my personal reward, but it sure felt like it. Since I worked through lunch yesterday and today, my boss is letting me go at 2 on Friday! THAT'S my reward, I guess. Still, I was able to sit outside on our patio for an hour, enjoying the warmth of the sun and it sure felt rewarding to me.
Of course the cold I've been fighting for about a week picks last night and today to become full blown. I hate spring/summer colds.
We did have a bit of excitement here yesterday. I'm not sure how much I can tell but here's some back story: We live in an apartment building. Down the hall from us lived a man named Mike who suffered from MS. He could not do anything for himself so he had a live in couple taking care of him. I will just call them Guy and Gal.

Bob knew Guy from the old days in "the hood" and befriended Mike. Bob would go watch football games at Mike's apartment during the winter. Once football season was over, Bob would go watch game shows with him. He felt so bad for Mike because his disability robbed him of his freedom and abilities. Bob spent as much time with Mike as he could because he liked his company and he felt sometimes that Guy and Gal weren't taking as good of care of Mike as they could.

Last week Guy broke up with Gal and left her alone at Mike's. So began her downward spiral. She kept coming to our apartment asking to use our phone. Then she began to ask us to drive her around to see if she could find Guy. (He took their only car.) We said no and told her we didn't want to get in the middle of their thing.

Well Guy came back last night to pick up his stuff. Gal went crazy and began yanking parts off their car in order to try and keep him here. She hid the parts around the landscaping of the apartment grounds. She kept following him and we could hear him screaming at her outside. This went on for hours and while they were fighting, no one was taking care of Mike. Bob went down to see how Mike was doing and he asked him to call his daughter. Bob did. The daughter called the police (as did some people in our building). The police came and it turns out Gal had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear. The police hauled her off to jail, Guy finally got his car put back together and started, and Bob stayed with Mike, doing what he could for him.

I went to bed around 10 but at 2am our phone rang. I thought it was Bob calling from Mike's for help. When I answered I heard a recorded message saying someone from our county jail was placing a collect call and if I accepted the charges I should press 1. I hung up. The phone rang 3 more times until finally, at 2:30, it stopped ringing. Bob was hella mad. He couldn't believe Gal was calling US to come bail her out. Turns out she hadn't really been caring for Mike at all once Guy left her. She did the bare minimum to keep him somewhat healthy but not nearly what he needed to be comfortable.

Today Mike's daughter came to get him and some of his stuff. Bob helped her load Mike into our van and he followed her to a local hospital where Mike will stay until a space opens up at a local nursing home. Bob is sad it's come to this for Mike, but I think it's the best thing for him. He will get the best kind of care and will have more opportunities for socialization and mobility. We also learned that Gal got bailed out and may be coming back here. She thinks she still has a job and a place to live but she is wrong on both counts.

I am just glad that I am married to a man with the level of compassion, wisdom, bravery, and loyalty Bob carries with him every day. He sees a complete human being in everyone no matter their physical abilities. He's amazing and my life would not be complete without him.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Coke Addict

I made it 2 ½ days without a soda of any kind.  I caved today at 1:45 and bought a fountain coke from our cafeteria.  The second I sipped, I stopped being tired, crabby, and annoyed.  Ah Coca-Cola how I hate the love I have for your brown bubbly goodness.  I am starting over tomorrow though.  Bob and I had a deal.  He would give up smoking and I would give up soda and we would help each other.  He caved early Monday morning and I didn’t cave until this afternoon.  Addiction is so fricking hard to break off.

Yesterday I came to work to find an email from my boss saying that a woman would be coming around later in the day to take our photos for ID badges. Um, some kind of warning would have been nice.  I don’t usually wear makeup to work and I was wearing brown.  I don’t want my ID badge to forever show me in brown.  Gah.  Plus my hair was wonky and I have zits on my chin.  It’s going to be the best ID badge EVAH!  Oh, and then the gal taking the pictures says she told our boss a week ago that she was coming.  Nice.

I managed to get nearly half the photos I took over the weekend cleaned up and posted to Flickr and Facebook.  I will work on the rest tonight…if I don’t keel over first.  I don’t know why I’m so tired.  I went to bed early last night and when my alarm went off this morning I couldn’t believe it.  It didn’t feel like I’d slept at all.  Then, when I got to work, one of the first people to see me said, “Oh, you look so tired today.”  Good thing I’m not getting my photo taken for the ID badge today I guess.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Still Kinda Sucking

Yeeps it’s been a while since I wrote anything.  Mostly it’s because it is tax season and things at work are crazy busy.  When I get home I’m exhausted and mostly just eat and go to bed an hour later if I can which is usually still before 8pm.  I love the nightlife.  I love to boogie.

Anywhoodle.  Since writing last week’s scintillating entry about the suckitude of life, life has…sucked less but continued to suck nonetheless.  The one bright shining moment when life was pretty much suck free was this past weekend when I drove to Hometownland to visit family and attend the wedding of some good friends.  There were some moments of suck but nothing like Hoovering going on during the week.

The drive home is never one to really look forward to.  However, this drive was beautiful.  I saw eagles soaring in the bright, warm, pre-Spring sky.  I listened to a fascinating mystery book on CD.  I stopped whenever the mood struck me instead of my usual method of driving which seems to consist of trying to beat everyone “there”.  Still, I made such good time that I entered Hometownland earlier than expected. I decided to treat myself to a manicure at Hometownland’s cheap manicure place.  This would have been a great idea if I’d just learn to keep my hands to myself.  While walking from the manicurist’s table to the hand dryer, I managed to mess a tiny ridge on one nail.  The technician took one look at it and announced, “You messed it!  It was perfect and you messed it.  Now I fix.”  I spent a good 20 minutes extra there due to my clumsiness.

The time with my family was short but sweet.  My mom joked that she was going to kidnap me and hold me hostage because she misses me.  I laughed but at the time (and still today) that actually sounded like Heaven.  I am struggling with feeling so overwhelmed with all that’s on my shoulders that I wish I could go back and be her little girl again and let her take care of me.  Although to be honest, I’m sure that would last about 8.2 seconds before I would buck the system and leave again to do things on my own.  I’ve got a bad case of the “I do its”.

The wedding was wonderful.  It was the perfect reflection of both the bride and groom, both of whom I know.  I still struggle when I see young people in love recite their vows.  I want so much for them to only experience the “For better” and “For richer” portions and yet I know from experience that the “For worse” and “For poorer” are there for a reason.  I want them never to have to struggle with the temptation to leave.  I want them never to struggle with the thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”  I want them never to have to look down the marital road and see pain and suffering.  Still, I guess that’s why we use those traditional vows; so much said with such earnest innocence.

On Sunday, I couldn’t sleep past 7…again.  So I got myself up and checked myself out of the hotel.  I drove to the capital building of the city I was visiting and took a bunch of photos.  Then I drove to the University in the same city and took more pictures.  Then I drove to Target to get coffee and some stuff.  (Only in WI will you see a guy hefting a case of Miller Genuine Draft out of a Target store at 9am on a Sunday morning.)  After Target I visited another store and then it was time to meet my family for lunch and a little birthday celebration for my youngest nephew.  Then, all too soon, it was time for me to drive home and back to reality. 

When I got home, I stopped for take out for dinner.  I got home, unloaded and dished up the food.  Once we ate, I cleaned up and began cutting up the cheese I bought while visiting our nation’s Dairyland.  While cutting the cheese (Ha!) a friend of mine called.  While talking with her, I managed to finish cutting the cheese (Ha again!) and bag it up, unpack, and upload the photos from my camera to m y computer. When we were done talking, I was done, done, done and it was off to bed.  Bob was glad to have me back and truthfully, I was glad to be home even it means living in the land of suckitude right now.