Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bathroom Issues

Our bathroom is being helped. By helped I mean there is a man that comes in and hangs out for half an hour multiple times a week and says he is "repairing" things. Turns out that even with the cat door bathroom window open 24/7, apparently our bathroom doesn't have enough ventilation. We have been noticing the plaster peeling off in spots around the room. Then, there is the lower wall on each side of the shower. There was a leak and now the wall is water damaged. Did you know that plaster poofs up like big cotton balls and falls off the wall when it gets wet? It sure does. Then the mold started showing up on the ceiling. The bathroom has really become a problem.

We let our nice landlord know what was happening. He in turn, hired Louis. Louis is a very nice older gentleman. Always shows up with a smile. The first time he showed up was last week. I showed him all the cracking and peeling and water damage and caulking that was needed and the cabinet that needs to be better fastened to the wall. He brought a bunch of stuff in, scraped some things in the bathroom, got putty all over the bathroom...and I mean all over the bathroom,  and then took off. He was here for half an hour. I really thought that he'd be here longer. He didn't really do much. He got about half of the scraping and filling finished...why not do it all though?

So, when he showed up a few days later, I went in with him and went over all the problem areas again. I just want to make sure he will get everything. This time he was here for a whole hour. He did more scraping and filling. He addressed the major water damage under the bathroom sink (this is part of the water damage from the shower...I hope that's the only place the water's coming from at least). After he left I went back in a checked out the work. He still missed some cracks and filling. I was starting to wonder if he was ever gonna finish this part. Had he spent a whole hour or an hour and a half the first time he was here, he could have gotten all the cracks and filling in one swoop. He did recaulk the shower. Yeah...wait, did he scrape out the old caulk? Nope, he just caulked right over the other caulk. Nice. Then I noticed that he still hadn't scraped out the space between the shower and the sink. That's kind of big for me...I've been staring at that eye sore for a long time. He did reassure me he'd get to it though. I decided to check under the sink. Nice. He put some drywall in and spackled it up all pretty. Wait, did he just cover up the damage and not actually scrape out the damaged plaster? Um, looks like it. That is where I became very unimpressed with this seemingly nice man. I can't stand that he's so nice!

So, when he showed up today with paint supplies, I was puzzled. Um, you are really not at that step in the process sir. So, I followed him into the bathroom to go over the list once again. These need to be spackled, that needs to be scraped and filled, that needs to be rehung...should this all be finished before the painting should start? Cause I'm sure it should. But he assured me he'd get it all finished. Half an hour later he came out and said he was finished for now....ugh really?...but he'd be back in an hour when the primer was dry.

There is no way he did all the pre-painting stuff first. I went and took a peek. He had primered the whole bathroom except for the spots he still needed to work on. What's the point of that? Why didn't he just do the work first and paint another day? He showed up an hour later to paint. Of course I followed him back into the bathroom. He was already attacking the paint. What did he tell me? There is too much moisture in the bathroom for the painting...but yet he was still painting and the paint was running down the walls.

So, I left the room. The end result better be finished properly. I know, I only rent, but I still have to live here. I understand there are people who think, who cares it's not my house. I just donn't think that way. I don't like that just because the landlord isn't here overseeing the repairs, he feels like he can cut corners. He even made comments about about if he can finish the wall between the sink and the shower because he might not be able to reach it. Well, he should have taken out the sink and cabinet, repaired the wall and then reinstalled the cabinet and sink.

Of course this was right after he told me that the koreans are taking all the painting jobs and making a mess of  them and he gets hired to come in and make it look good...right. I haven't heard the koreans being blamed for taking painting jobs before. Oh well, I'll be on his ass again tomorrow.

Monday, March 28, 2011

And more of the A.D.D. blogging

Since I've been mostly locked up in the house working, not too much has happened in my life. Therefore, I only have little stories to tell. That's where my A.D.D blogging comes in. From one topic to the next, whatever comes to mind.

1. Man, I feel like I smoked a pack of cigarettes. Last week at Bingo Mario and I both caught a little something. By the time we got into bed, Mario sounded like hell and I had a little post nasal drip. Mario got the worst of it. He's been a snot machine for the last week. Yesterday and today he's finally sounding better. I had hardly much of anything at all. I just had a tiny bit of a sore throat and my lungs hurt. Not bad really...more annoying than anything. Today I woke up and finally the sore throat was gone...woo hoo. Now the little cough and the smokers lung feeling can go.

2. I have a love for crab that I can not explain. Even when I was a strict vegetarian for 14 years, I still made exceptions for crab. That's how much I love it. Screw animal cruelty, give me my crab! Mario has the love for the crab too. But he's never cooked them. He would rather take me to our crab shop and spend the money. Well, I want the crab without spending the dough. With us cutting back on spending he hasn't taken me to my favorite crab house. The only problem is mama knows it's Dungeness crab season and mama wants.

I finally talked Mario into cooking them at home when we were at Costco. They were cheap and I really didn't give him a choice, I just put them in the cart. The next night we cooked them up and devoured...heaven! Now that we know how easy they are to cook, we are doing that from now on. No need to pay an exorbitant amount of money when you can prepare them yourself!

3. With that thought in mind, while looking up cooking instructions for the crab, I found out how easy they are to catch. Hello Ventura pier, net basket, chicken legs, and a bucket. There is a 10 crab limit for the day ...I'm sure I can find friends to help eat the extra two crabs I will be too full to eat.

Why not! I spent my childhood on my uncle's boat fishing. I've been wanting to get back into it. All I need is a fishing license and a good book. Now I need to get Mario on board, cause we only have until June 30 to catch our 10 crab limit per a day!

4. Sunday afternoon Mario turned to me and said "Tonight from 8:30pm to 9:30pm we have to turn off all the lights and electrical stuff to save the earth. I'm going to watch a Hot Tub Time Machine on my iphone"
Me "Doesn't that defeat the purpose?"
Mario "No. Not at all"
Me "We should go for a walk instead"
Mario "Ok that's probably more responsible. A walk sounds good."
Me "Also, that event was yesterday"
Mario "No it wasn't! It's tonight!"
Me "Take a look mister, it was yesterday."
Mario "I don't think so..." Mario looking on the computer...
Mario "ok so it was yesterday"
Me "You've failed the earth. All this technology and you can't keep track on when to turn it off"
Mario "Well, I'm still gonna watch Hot Tub Time Machine on my iphone"
Me "Go for it baby! Way to save the earth!"

5. While visiting a friend, we were checking out her mother's random herb garden. She plants a lot like me. A little of this here, a little of that over there...voila garden!

One of the herbs she grows is rosemary. I love it.  Of course, I promptly stole a few springs. But what you don't know is that she does not eat this rosemary she grows. This rosemary is saved for a special purpose. Douching. Yep. She grows this herb for it's beneficial properties to the vag.

So, when we walked through the kitchen and she saw that I had snagged some of her rosemary. She gave me a little knowing smile and then promptly said in spanish "It will make your pussy tight!"  Rosemary is forever ruined for a good way...but ruined none the less. I haven't stopped laughing or telling everyone about it. I love a raunchy mother. She has now been added to my list of favorite mothers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When Child Proofing is Necessary

When I get ready for bed, I shut the door half way. Not so much for privacy or to keep anyone out, but there are a lot of blinking lights on mario's desk. They happen to flash in my face all night if the door is left wide open. 

Of course, it took me a while to figure out exactly what was bugging me, before realizing it was all the flashy lights. It's like a disco in the living room at night. I'm lucky I'm not having seizures with all the strobing. Door half closed though...problem solved.

Why is it then, when the cat decides to come to bed at night, he has to push the door wide open? Why would he even recognize that the door is in his way? I really only shut it half way. There is plenty of room to fit through. Even in their winter fattiness, both cats could fit through side by side at once and still not touch the door.  

Bob, however, has figured out doors. He does know how to push a door open. You want privacy in the bathroom, latch that door! He has been known to dramatically fling the bathroom door open. Almost looking like a doctor announcing his arrival to help deliver your baby. God forbid you try to wipe without his supervision. 

And if he wants out that front door and you are not accommodating his request of freedom, he will jump up and try to turn the door knob himself.  However, he will try and try and try until he has annoyed the shit out of you. Yes the back door is open, but he knows that the only thing standing between him and the front yard is the little turn of the door knob. Thank god we don't have the doorknobs with the long lever handle, I'm sure I'd wake up every morning with the front door wide open because he decided to go out for an early morning stroll. He is so persistant, I'm afraid one day he will  figure out how to actually turn the knob. 

In the mean time, why is it necessary to fling the bedroom door open when coming to bed? Does it really bother him to have doors partially closed? Do the flashy lights help lull him to sleep? Is this like Marios aversion to empty baskets? 

Until tonight I was unsure...then the door flung open and he strolled into the room like he owned the place. I realized that it's not about the door being closed...that little diva likes to make a dramatic entrance. Picture it...the swoosh of the door flinging open...but there's no one at the door! Then you look down to see a cat with a cool attitude walk in with perfect strobing lights as backlighting! That cat knows lighting and has attitude! He is absolutely my cat!

I'm all for the dramatic entrance, but now learn how to shut the damn door!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

And so it Continues...

I know it's all I seem to talk about these days, but I'm back to the shootings...cause I'll be honest, my life is otherwise pretty boring. 

One of the very very few benefits to hanging out at the restaurant, is getting to know people. One of those people is one of the local news guys. When he came in this week, I cornered him trying to find out what he knew. Of course he's been in Arizona at the hearing for the shooting of Arizona Representative, so he hadn't heard a thing. However, he has connections. He offered to contact his guy in the police department and find out what he could.

Yesterday I finally got an email from him. This is what his police guy told him...

3/10 – This was a report of shots fired in the area of 128 N. Florence.  Officers searched the area and spoke to residents, but no one either heard or saw anything.  There were no victims nor evidence of gun shots.  This area has a few subjects who are either gang members or gang affiliated.  The call was cleared and area checked okay.

3/12 – This was a report of shots fired in the 200 block of N. Florence.  Officers searched the area and contacted witnesses who say they saw shots coming from a vehicle driving down Florence street.  No one in the area was hit.  A few subjects who live in the area were interviewed (they have possible ties to a gang), and all stated they had no idea who the suspects were or could provide a suspect description.  A police report was taken to document the incident.

The PD has stepped up area checks in this area and trying to stay highly visible. 

My absolute favorite part is how no one saw or heard anything. I love that there was an hour of fighting and yelling outside, then there were screeching tires, gun shots, and multiple calls to the police...but no one heard a thing! Just play dumb and they'll go away! 

I really wish I had gone out there. I would have told them about the fighting, car and shots. It just makes me so mad that they could lie and nothing came of it. But I understand no one was hurt, so it doesn't rate too high. We have definitely noticed an increase in police. They are always driving around and I love it! We'll just see what happens this weekend. I feel like this is when they'll come back, if they decide to give it another round.

I did get a hold of the landlord. I told him what had happened and his first questions was..."well, if that happened at my property, why wouldn't they call and tell me?" Um, because they are involved in it! Why would they call and tell you that because of them, your property is being shot at? I'm still not sure he believed me but I told him he just needed to call the Burbank Police and they can answer any questions. By the end of our conversation, he said he would be taking this very seriously. Mario doesn't think it will go any farther. I half agree. However, we'll see. If something doesn't happen this weekend, I will be calling his butt back up and talking to him again.

We are going back and forth between installing cameras on our roof line and just moving out. We don't want to move if we are thinking of buying a place in the next six months, but we sure as hell don't want to stay if this continues.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A.D.D. Blogging

1) After spending much of the weekend listening to and reading different tutorials on how to make a website in Flash, Dreamweaver, this, that and the other, I finally found a tutorial that I can follow and understand! This is very exciting! Except, that it's a tutorial by a high schooler. I like to think he's incredibly articulate and a natural teacher, however I'm not entirely sure that's the case. Not that he's not articulate and a natural teacher...I just happen to think I'm more on a high school level when it comes to this technical bs.

Most of the tutorials are put together by people who know everything about what they are already doing. The only problem is that they use all these technical terms and techniques. I'm a beginner! I have know idea what you are talking about! Plus like most high schoolers, Mr. High Schooler speaks valley girl. Having been born and raised in California, I speak that language! He has taken that technical jargon and translated it into a language I speak! I hope he has many more lessons I can learn from!

2) Speaking of thinking like a high school boy...I posted a video on facebook of some of the waves and damage occurring in Japan from the earthquake and tsunami. It was intense and scary. Then I watched a video about these dumb guys playing a practical joke on their friend  where someone's face ends up right on someone else's bare butt. I was about to post it up on facebook, when it occurred to me it might not be appropriate to post something so immature and tasteless after something so tragic. Yay for my ability to sometimes be an adult!

3) I didn't realize how much the drive-by got to me, until a truck drove by and hit the speed bump a little to hard. There was a loud CRACK as the truck landed hard! I totally ducked. A friend who had come by for a visit, looked at me like I was crazy. He was nice enough not to say anything, but I was thinking I was a little crazy too. However, I am proud that I do have the need to survive and move out of harms way.

4) Then we had drive-by #2 on Saturday night. This time it pissed me off. It pissed off the Burbank police too it seemed. By the time I hung up with 911 and walked outside, the patrol cars were already pulling up out front and the helicopter was already circling overhead. Yeah for Burbank get those jack asses! My life and everyone else who lives on this street is being effected because of the decisions of those a-holes across the street. The decisions that they made are putting my life in danger! 

Today when I went outside there was a little girl playing in the front yard. It pissed me off all over again. What if something happens to her! Those that are involved can go shoot themselves all they want, but don't hurt anyone else! Especially a child that has nothing to do with the horrible decision making that you made that led up to this point! However, I'm sure they think they are the only ones involved. They have no clue they are putting all the people on this block in danger.

5) There just happens to be a for rent sign out in front of the offending 4-plex. Not sure how they're gonna rent that apartment with bullets laying around. I called the number on the sign and tried calling the property owner. It was the number to an odd business, so I'm not sure if it's a legit number or not. However, I did leave a long message telling them there have now been two drive-by shootings at their property...check in with the Burbank Police to verify this and get the whole story...please consider evicting these problem tenants...oh and if this in fact the wrong number, I'm sorry. I'm going to try calling again tomorrow and see if I can talk to a person for sure and find out if it's the correct number. I'm now in get those a-holes out mode!

6) I just really hope that the police find the shooters and take care of the jerks across the street. I have a feeling that if the police haven't gotten them already, that they'll be back in the next week for another drive-by. The last time they shot up a car...what's next? Now they all make sure to park their cars away from the front of their house...but now there's nothing in between them and the shooters. 

What's creepy is how they keep all the lights out. What used to be lit up with christmas lights and porch lights is completely dark. What's creepier is seeing the shadow of their look out sitting out there watching. Creepy! I don't like it. 

Ok this went from ADD blogging to Crime Stop...I'm done for now!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Things That Make Your Blood Pressure Explode!

There have been a few things in the last few days that have made my blood pressure raise a little bit. Some odd interactions with a friend...and oh the drive by shooting that just happened outside my house!

Our cute little Burbank went gangsta tonight people! Burbank isn't free from crime, but when you read the police blotter, it's stolen catalytic converters...not shootings! We apparently don't live in that cute catalytic converter stealing part of Burbank any more though. We live in the ghetto!

Overall, we live in a pretty quiet neighborhood. Most of it is clean and quiet. I enjoy it here. I feel safe. The only thing I can really complain about is how we will never be able to afford a house around here...oh, and those noisy neighbors across the street.

When we moved in, the mail lady told us right away that it was a good neighborhood. However, she wouldn't leave packages out because she didn't trust the group of people that lived across the street. We had already spotted them and had been keeping an eye on them. They seemed more of an annoyance than anything. Loud, rude, messy, disrespectful. They didn't seem like any real trouble, they seem more like posers playing the part.

Lately though, they've been a bit louder. There have been more people hanging around a couple of the houses across the street. I don't even park on our street any more, because I don't like how they hang out and watch things. They have that look like they think they own the street. I'd rather just avoid it all together.

Tonight, Mario and I were both working quietly away on our computers. We heard a bit of the normal yelling out there. At one point I thought I heard someone yell "get her!" but it sounded more like a "grab the baby before she runs into the street" kind of "get her". But the random yelling seemed to kind of keep going. It sounded like machismo guys talking shit. It was more annoying than anything. The thought crossed my mind to call the police, but I didn't know if I was acting more like an old fuddy-duddy. Those rascals across the street are causing a ruckus over there! Who do they think they are!

But when I looked up at Mario and noticed that he was listening too, I realized it obviously wasn't just me. It felt like it was escalating a little. Mario asked if I wanted to call the police. I couldn't really justify calling them though. I would just be calling the non emergency line to complain.

We were quiet for just a minute longer, when we heard a car screech up and then "POP, POP....POP  POP POP POP!" I froze and ducked down a bit. I looked at Mario and said "Those were gunshots! Tell me that was a car backfiring!" Even though I know a car can't back fire like that. Then the car sped off. There was a bit more yelling and then there was complete silence.

You can bet the sound of those gunshots sealed the deal about calling the cops! I looked out the front door and started calling. When I was finally put through, I was told that they had just got a similar call. I gave them all my information and waited.

It was so quiet outside! Everyone had taken off. No one seemed to be hurt. I didn't see any ambulances. We've had regular patrols going by since. It did sound like they might have found the car driving around, we could hear a helicopter and a few sirens. It's weird though, I hate that our little neighborhood feels fucked up now. It definitely doesn't feel as safe here...and that sucks! This is the reason we don't live in Los Angeles! This is why we chose Burbank. It's more family friendly and mellow. Sundays around here the streets feel deserted. After 10pm the whole town shuts down. It just sucks that these assholes have to bring that here!

What's worse is I feel like this neighborhood isn't safe any more and we should move, but what about the poor families that live with this nightly and can't afford to move? It makes me realize how sheltered I really am.

Of course Mario is concerned but nonchalant. He's grown up in and around LA. He had that look of  "well that's what happens around LA" but then said "looks like we'll be moving sooner rather than later". Then he asked me to move the cat scratcher over, so the living room looks nice for the police officers if they come in. Really? There was a shooting not 30 yards away, and you are thinking you don't want the officers to think we are slobs? I really don't think that will be a problem babe.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What Happened to Me!

Ok so get this...I have been exercising! I know, hard to believe! There are multiple things at play here. First, my dieting wasn't going great. I have been good still but not great. I wasn't loosing weight. So, I decided I needed to add in some healthy activities. Walking it is. Second, I am trying to make going back to work for a friend harder if not impossible. So, I took advantage of said athletically enthusiastic friend and told her she had to walk with me. 

I searched the internet looking for nice places to walk. Do you know it's impossible to find any cool places to walk around here?  I cross searched Google maps and to find some place relatively cool places around here. If I'm going to be sweating and using muscles I haven't used in a few years, I might as well be looking at something pretty...cause let's face it, Los Angeles is ugly. It's a cement jungle. I searched and searched for somewhere interesting to walk. We have the Santa Monica mountains. We have Griffith Park just down the street. We have beaches. We have lakes...wait, LA has lakes? 

I am a water person. I love to be at the beach. So, I zoomed in on the Google maps looking for water. I found reservoirs, ponds, creeks, and any blue spot on the map I could find, I looked at. I found a local "lake" that I hadn't been to in a while...ok it's a largish pond. I also found a couple of reservoirs. I found a nice looking hike in the Griffith park. I also found a nice little walk to the Hollywood sign. Turns out if you look, there are a couple of decent places to walk around here.

We started by walking around the Rose Bowl on day one. No water, but awesome setting. Tons of people walking and running. The weather was beautiful. I went from couch to 5k. Can I tell you my hips were sore, my thighs were sore, my calves were sore, the tops of my feet were sore...really? Even the tops of my feet are out of shape? Guess so. It was fun though. 

To recuperate, we drove around and checked out some of the other spots that looked interesting on the map. We checked out a reservoir that turned out not to be a reservoir at all...cross that spot off the list. Then we checked the spot in Griffith park...that spot looks like it should be nice. I'm excited to walk it when I'm in a little better shape.

Day two, we headed to Lake Balboa. Lake is used loosely. It does sound better than "Kinda Big Pond Balboa" though. It's a little over one mile around the pond. Lots of ducks, people, and cherry blossom trees. It was really nice. However, my body was reminding me that I had only worked out one day and my muscles weren't quite ready for all this shocking movement called walking. I figured I'd loosen up as we body said not quite yet. Add in the swarms of gnats strategically placed around the lake and also the fact that Colleen was still fighting a cold. We only made it around once before we decided that it would be a light day of walking. 

So, we decided to use the next couple of hours to check out a few more spots to walk. On the list today was Encino Reservoir and Hollywood Reservoir. Encino was fun to look for. We knew we were close. Google maps told us we were close. Actually catch a glimpse of the water? Not a chance. We couldn't find any way into the area. We made a few passes at it before we gave up. I decided some more internet research was in order. I would figure this out! It looked like such a nice spot to walk!

The Hollywood Reservoir was kind of on the way home. Meaning that it wasn't on the way home at all but being only a couple mile from my house, we couldn't not go look for it. From what I had read online about it, my expectations were low. We were very very pleasantly surprised! 

It was beautiful! It took a bit trying to get to the correct entrance, but we made it and it was great. The lake is beautiful...and yes this is definitely more like a lake. There is a great view of the Hollywood sign. The weather was awesome. We ended up walking a little bit around it to check it out. It's only a few miles around the lake. However, part of the trail is closed off due to land slides. So, to walk from one end to the other and back is 4 miles or so. We went a little while before my bladder decided we had walked far enough. We turned around and headed back. I was so excited about this spot! 

I have lived in Burbank for 4 years, I had no idea this lake was minutes from my house! I can't wait to bring my bike out and ride around. It is most definitely on the list of places for us to walk. Now, if you have seen "It Happen One Night" with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, you have seen around Lake Hollywood. The famous hitchhiking scene was filmed there. 

When I got home later that night I was exhausted. When I mapped out our walk around Lake Hollywood, it turned out that added another 2 miles to our distance for that day...nice! What we thought was going to be a lazy day, turned out to be a nice workout! 

View from the damn

You can almost tell how sore my muscles are by the look on my face...but I was excited about the Hollywood sign far off in the know, the blurry blob above Colleen's head.

This is a better shot.

I have walked a few more times and am enjoying it for sure. We invited my sister in law to walk with us at a local park on Sunday...not doing that again! That shorty walks way to fast! Her legs are shorter than mine...but so much faster!! It was torture! Now that my muscles have recuperated I can say that I probably needed that push. I even went back and walked by myself yesterday. Although, I did find that it's easier to walk when you have people talking and distracting you from the muscles screaming in your head. I know quit whining...I'm already noticing the difference in my clothes...can't complain about that!