Thursday, July 31, 2008


My Dad


Travis' post about his friends death got me to thinking about my Dad's death January 22 2007. I remember exactly what I was doing when my day stopped being good.


I had a new boyfriend, new clients and it was a good day. I was having a goofily dirty conversation via text wth my boyfriend using chinese takeout dishes in ways they weren't intended. You know he was my General Tso, I was his Sweet and Sour chicken...well there was more but right in the middle of the conversation my mom called. My Dad was dead.


You know how you wonder how you will react in certain situations. Well we had a rather large earthquake and I was cool as a cucumber. Same with some potentially scary medical conditions with Mark, calm and collected. So when this happened I went into my take charge mode. Called clients and cancelled my next day. Cancelled a trip for the day after that and headed to my parents condo. First weird experience....... it's not my parents condo anymore, hmmmm.


I still haven't cried. I'm totally dry. I get up there and so is my mom. And then we work carefully to maintain this emotionless state. Tears threaten to pop out several times but neither of us let them. The warm one in the family was dad. He was the one we all liked. We don't really like each other too much. My sister is in Hawaii so we focus on what to do about her, our plan to go to the lawyer tomorrow and how to let everyone know.


So strangely I don't stay. I don't know why but I call practically everyone I know on the way home and tell them and still don't cry. Here's the deal I don't really like to show my emotions. If I have a boyfrend I will probably never fess up how I feel about him. I think I'm worried if it all falls apart I don't want anyone to know how devastated I am. I am not fond of sympathy. Don't know why.


So I was fine through the lawyer and seeing my sister. The two times I did break down were when my boyfriend bought an entire grocery store trying to find something I'd eat....BAWL for hours!!! And when my Mom, with who I have issues, decided to scatter the ashes alone.


It was months later when little things started to creep into my conscienceness and make me cry at the drop of a hat. I'd have a funny dog story and think "I have to tell dad that" and then realize I couldn't. I'd call their house only to realize he will never answer again. My mother started to get rid of his things and they all had a Dad story. Then I couldn't remember his voice. That one kills me even now. Oh and he never met Mark. I hate that one more than anything. I think they would've been very compatable maybe even hung out a little, so sad to miss that.
Even with all this I think things happen for a reason and in an order that is the right order. He was mostly blind soon to be completely blind. We didn't know what we were going to do with him to keep him occupied and not sleeping in his chair. Plus it now horrifies me that we didn't even discuss what we would do with or for him if for some reason my mom went first.
Now aside from a few freak outs , I talked to his sister the other day and was freaked by her voice...it was him. I'm okay but I still miss my silent benevolent presence...my still small voice telling me everythng is ok

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Okay so I will admit it, when it comes to movies I am horribly behind the times. I do like movies but I don't like theaters. I find the seats uncomfortable and wiggle constantly ticking off those around me. I don't like that I can't pause the movie and go pee. Lastly I can't stand the "community" aspect of the movies. So sometimes I don't see things for years. I just saw "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" last night and loved it!
It's the story of a transgendered East German rock band lounge singer. It wasn't really all that clear to me if I should think of her/him as a gay male, a transsexual or a cross dresser but I thought the performance of the star John Cameron Mitchell was so good.
It is partially based on based on Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium, explains that human beings were once round, two-headed, four-armed, and four-legged beings. Angry gods split these early humans in two, leaving the separated people with a lifelong yearning for their other half. Hedwig believe that another character Johnny Gnosis is her other half and in the movie she is riven to either reunite him or destroy him.
I won't go on about the plot and I'm not even quite sure what happened but I do know that the movie somehow touched me. So tell me if you know... Did Hedwig die?

Friday, July 25, 2008



Hopefully...

Well I filed on the psycho and her do nothing husband today. The court date is 8:45 on August 29th at the Issaquah Courthouse. It cost me 25.00. Now I just have to figure out how to let her know. The certified letter approach did not work very well before and now she may refuse to sign for it. I can have the sheriff's office inform her which I kind of like for shock value but I also hate to take up their valuable time. I can hire a process server to do it which will probably be my choice. I could also have an adult not involved in the case do it...any volunteers?

Oh and I filed for 2000.00 even though the deposit was 1000.00. I figure this won't matter and she still won't pay. I researched collection agencies a bit and it appears they want 40% of my judgement. So filing for more seems to be the only way to maybe recoup my money.

Booyaw! Take that you crazy *&^%!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Diva
Well I blogged about a new client and how weird she was and her turret. Well I still stand by my reaction to the turret but I really like this woman.
I must admit I am conditioned to dislike rich people at this point. My two year long experience with my other main client plus some others have show me that a lot of rich folks are spoiled, affected and rude. But not this newest one. She is smart well traveled and open minded. Her house is a museum of art from all over the world. So fascinating you can't help but linger and stop and stare. There are ornately carved masks from all over the world and not your garden variety "We got a mask in Italy", huge imposing masks that take over walls.
I was in Peru in November and visited Machu Picchu, she stayed overnight and took part in ancient Incan ceremonies. My boyfriend went to Nepal and climbed to Everest Base Camp, she lived there for a time. I have a car, she has had five Ferrari's...wow. But she I like her, she's interesting. Surprisingly we seem to have a lot in common...how is this possible?
Last week she went to visit a photographer friend who hangs out in the Tenderloin District in San Francisco with the Tranny's. He was having a book signing for his new book of photographs of the regulars in a bar named Diva's. He somehow realized my business is named after a drag show (I don't want to name the business here, email me and I will tell you) and personally enscribed a book for me that she brought back for me....very cool.
I had an opinion and she changed it. I like that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Latest

I gave my landlord until today to give me my money and again...nothing. I was looking at the Small Claims Court website and they suggest mediation before court, so I called. I am waiting for a call back from a telephone concilator. Hopefully they can bring this to a close and soon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Landlord Update

Okay so I sent the ltter to my landlord demanding my money back here it is....

Nicole,
This letter is to inform you of my demand that my deposit of 1000.00 be returned by June 27th 2008. It may be mailed to PO Box $@# Preston, Wa 98050. Please limit any and all communication with me to mail or by email 123@yahoo.com and refrain from contacting me by phone.
According to Washington State Landlord Tenant Act
If a deposit or nonrefundable fee is charged, the lease or rental agreement must be in writing, and must include the terms and conditions under which any deposit will be returned. A deposit cannot be withheld for normal wear and tear. If a tenant pays a deposit, the landlord must provide a document describing the condition of the rental unit. The landlord is required to keep deposits in a trust account, and must also provide the tenant with a receipt and the name and address of the depository. Any interest earned on a deposit belongs to the landlord.
The landlord has 14 days after a tenant moves out to return a deposit, or give a written explanation of why it (or any part of it) was not refunded. If a landlord does not comply, the full amount of the deposit must be refunded to the tenant, regardless of any claims by the landlord that the tenant is not entitled to a refund.
If the tenant takes the landlord to court, and it is ruled that the landlord intentionally did not give the statement or return the money, the court can award the tenant up to twice the amount of the deposit.
I did not receive any such explanation nor did I receive my deposit back so I am entitled to the full amount. I moved out on May 31st and did not receive a letter postmarked as of June 15th. Please give this your full and quick attention. Let me be clear, ignoring me will not make this matter go away. I will pursue this matter until I receive my deposit back.

Melissa

To which on July 9th I recieved this response...

I received you letter TODAY. So sorry that you have not received it. I took care of the problem, and wasn't planing on any charges to you. I made a check and posted it to be mailed while I was out of town. I'm guessing that you didn't get it.

I can mail it on Friday or you can pick it up? let me know. But FYI it is for $800. I will provide a copy of the agrement if that would help. there was a nonrefundable $100 cleaning charge and nonrefundable pet deposit of $100 as well.

Thank you,

Nichole

I sent this response...

Please mail it.

Melissa

and she said...

not a problem. I will inclose a copy of the retention, ok. Sorry about this, it is all my fault not paying attention. Mean no harm. I hope no hard feelings...

And as of today...nothing. So I've emailed her a texted her and I called her soon to be ex husband who knows nothing. So my last email is this...

Nicole,
This has taken long enough. If I do not receive the money you owe me by Monday the 21st I will file in small claims court. At that point there will be court costs and you will owe me more. I suggest you give this your immediate attention. I have been very understanding for the past 6 months but my patience is gone. Pay me what you owe me now. Once I file I will not withdraw my complaint only to lose money.

Melissa

So what do you all think?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cats Everywhere
I'm sorry I'm just not a cat person. The thing is my boyfriend really really is. How did I end up in such a predictament? The one before the one now was a dog trainer, that was fabulous! Unfortunately that was not meant to be and this one is fabulous in his own right....tall, good-looking (don't take the hang-gliding picture as proof) and oh so smart.... but he is a
Cat person...
How did this happen? I take issue with all things cat. I don't like the whole litter box thing. Seriously a box of poo in the house? Yeuw!! We discussed it and I said I will do this this and this as long as I don't have to touch that thing and it was agreed...but his nose sucks and he never remembers and I end up nagging. I hate nagging but a full box of poo? Worse than a halfway full one by far. Plus it isn't really contained to the box. There is usually a trail of litter from the box out the laundry door.
Then there are the hair balls, omigod deeegusting. I read somewhere that Persians have up to 240 miles of hair on their bodies. Well I am here to tell you it's true. You can wake in the middle of the night to hear any one of the three coughing up a long roll of hair. At first I though it was an errant poop but was told it's "just hair" as if that makes it better. I've stepped in many a hairball mess and it's cold and wet and you never know where it will be. The noise they make is awful. But hey the hair is everywhere so how can they help it.
I also take issue with the "ninja cat" behavior. I can be peacefully sleeping and since there are no doors on the house " ninja cat" will leap on my face. The other night I was awoken at 2:30 am with a claw in my boob. Apparently the little beast needed some traction and pulled himself up...by my boob. Rather shocking at that hour. The dog we leave downstairs and she stays, the cats seem to be everywhere all at once.
We have three because he is babysitting two for the ex at the moment. Apparently she has some issue in her life at the moment so that caring or her beasts is difficult at the moment. I know he loves the cats but I will be very glad when there is just one not three and doors :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lola and Hank

My dog Lola is a Schnoodle, half mini Schnauzer and half mini Poodle. She is now known as a "Designer" dog and sold for upwards of 1500.00. While I will admit to being a bad example and buying her at a pet store, I did not spend anywhere near that much for her. More like 300.00 I think. She was a mutt when I got her and in my mind remains so but that's a good thing.


However, she is a good example of why not to buy from a pet store. She has had food allergies, chronic gastritis, many retained baby teeth, loose dew claws, fatty tumors and luxating patella's, better known as loose kneecaps.


I knew about the kneecaps from the beginning but was told they wouldn't be a problem, they were. She decided a cat needed to be caught and no baby gate could hold her. Her knee popped out and had to be surgically repaired.

Before the surgery she was good with other dogs but after she decided that she no longer wished to be jumped on or play that way with other dogs. Who could blame her? So I would just warn people off. Ask "is your dog a puppy?" and if they answer was yes, say "she isn't very nice to puppies". If they ignored me she would tell them off in her sternest voice. She has never drawn blood (maybe she would but I don't let it get that far) but she can get a bit fiercesome. It never fails to make me laugh a little because she is a raggedy little cutie but she can make a big lab say "Oops, so sorry ma'm. I didn't mean to make you mad" as he belly crawls away. How can one so small command such respect?

This went on until she met Hank, my roommates long-haired, Blue merle Chihuahua. He somehow penetrated her cold facade and made her play again. Mostly it consisted of wrestling and Hank chewing on her ears but I was glad to see it :)







video


Saturday, July 12, 2008

video

Okay well the video turned out to be really long but if you can stand it watch it. There is no sound. Lola either liked or hated her new toy :)




Our House
Construction has started on another phase of the house. The upper floor will be the master suite and the lower a dining/sitting room. Check out the mess! The room behind Mark in the third picture has floor to ceiling windows with a view of Si. That was phase one and it now operates as a "workroom" it's going to be fabulous but admittedly the mess is driving me a bit nuts


No reason for this except I keep seeing them advertised on Craigslist and I think they are they cutest freakin' things!
I think a Dumbo Rat might be in my animal future!


Seven!!
This morning I was walking Miss Lola down the dirt road in front of the houseand I saw two Bald Eagles flying around above the road. Wow!! I thought that's cool. I came around the corner and Mark was waiting for me in the middle of the street. Hurry up he said there are SEVEN eagles flying around between the house and the river. SEVEN!! I missed the Eagles club completely but I did see five. Wow wow wow!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Seven Plagues of the Apartment Apocalypse

Okay this may be a long one :)

In January I moved from Bellevue to Fall City. I mostly live out here in North Bend but with the remodel going on I feel the need to have my own space for a bit longer, September is the official date when I will move all my stuff in. So my roommate moved in with her boyfriend at the end of the year and I needed a place that wasn't 1500.00 a month (lovely, lovely Bellevue) hence the move to Fall City.

I thought it was a perfect solution. Halfway between Bellevue and North Bend it was an adorable three bedroom one bath on acres and acres of horse property. A view to die for, nice landlords, plenty of space and half the price of my two bedroom town home in Bellevue. I could have it all..my space, cheap rent, working plumbing and a roof....or so I thought.

So I found it on Craigslist "Three bedroom, one bath on Horse property-$850.00 a month including utilities". I emailed thinking it was a typo and surely they meant $1850.00. Nope, a nice lady emailed back saying it was right, with a picture. Cute little Mother-in-Law and she was nice too. We had a long dog conversation and seemed to get along great. Sure her answers were a little too familiar but she did say she'd had a bit of wine, no biggie. That should have been my red flag and it was the last time I felt good about this place.

So I looked and it seemed great. She was a bit strange...about thirty with three kids and ginormous stripper boobs but again who am I to judge. So she wants first months rent and a thousand to move in because it's furnished partially, okay no problem but then I could never reach her to sign a lease and give her the money. It bugged me. Over and over again I would try and get a hold of her and I couldn't . I needed to know so that I could give notice, start packing, etc. Okay I thought one more try and then I'm not doing this and wouldn't you know it, that last time she came through....bad mistake.

I went back and forth a couple times, one time the toilet was filled with poo. Another there were corn chips everywhere. Well the kids are playing in there but it will be cleaned no worries, okay. Take another load over no water. Finally it was all in. Then came the smell...cat pee. It permeated one entire bedroom. "Wow" she said "I had no idea the previous tenants had cats". Hmmm, she had told me the tenant before me was her sister she didn't know she had cats? Then she told me "By the way I wouldn't drink the water", what? She said "Well I probably isn't dangerous, but I wouldn't drink it" Hmm hmmm. I tried to take a shower that first day and it smelled like rotten eggs and was only a trickle.

Then came the bugs. Flies and yellowjackets littered the window sils. Which by the way wouldn't open. I went out onto my cute porch to find a "chewer" had spat all over the deck and left cans everywhere. My water (which I can't drink) randomly turned off. The washer and dryer I bought from Costco in exchange for rent reducton sat in the rain in the driveway waiting for her husband to bring them in. He told me one night when drunk he "loved me" and that he loved us "older" women because our drama is over.

They started divorce proceedings, the furnace stopped working...in February, the horses were neglected. I can't even remember all that happened but needless to say it turned out to be a very expensive storage unit that I never slept in. I bided my time until my lease was up and just got out as soon as I could.

Now she is saying I ruined her apartment and won't give me my 1000.00 bucks back. I'm filing a small claims court case on Friday and never ignoring what my mom calls my "still small voice" again.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I got a new client today. She is a heiress of some sort. Again Uber moola, yay me! I must say rich people are weird!

I Imapped it before I went over just to take a little looksie on how much I should charge the (yes, I do that! It's my "platinum" package damnit) and knew it was going to a be wingdinger and for sure it was. Owned by her "Trust" deeded to her in a settlement.

As we walked the property I looked over to the side a saw a turret. I said rather stupidly "oh you have a turret" She said "Yes, we saw them all over Europe and thought they looked so great we decided we had to have one that used to be the carport"

Ohhhhhhh....weird.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Torn....

So I've been self-employed for about 4 years now. Being self-employed is hard! I don't know what I was thinking, that I'd just hang out a shingle and, Whammo!! I'd make money but it hasn't been that easy.

One of my first clients was a deaf dog. It was the dog of my friends sister in law. When she called up she said "When you get here, he will bite you" and I said "Well can you put him on a leash?" She did but I took one step too close and got bit on the kneecap, twice. I still took him on as a client and in retrospect I probably shouldn't have.

I've lived and learned, and now am more selective about what I take on. I no longer take on things that are beyond my capabilities. I have a fabulous circle of experienced people and if a dog is too aggressive for me I refer he or she on.

That being said I still struggle with taking on clients I know from experience are destined to fail merely to pay my bills. Case in point, I got a call tonight from a woman who wanted her ten year old to go through a private training program by himself. She wanted nothing to do with the training and wanted the dog to only obey her son. What? Why? Huh? So if the kid is in school you may not want to.....call the dog?! So you won't be present during the lessons? No she said coughing a nasty smokers hack.

I KNOW this won't work. I've done it before with a twelve year old girl. She lived in a freaking mansion in Medina and I couldn't resist. The dog didn't get trained and I felt bad. So she had to call me back and I agonized for about ten minutes. What to do? What to do?

Sorry all my nice people I refer to, but she is your problem now.


Okay last one. Then I'm off the art thing :0 This is "Flowing Dress" by Fletcher Sibthorp. I love it and I don't know why. All of these are in my storage and I miss them terribly. Plus I dabble a bit in dog photography for my clients.

My other favorite Issac Maimon. Told you I like a lot of color :)

Sunday, July 06, 2008



Okay all you've been talking about art so here is mine. His name is Ron Burns and he does animal art. I don't know if it makes me slightly retarded and juvenile but I LOVE him (plus if you google him he's ultra hot) I have four of his works and my ulitmate would comission him to do Miss Lola.



Well I suck at adding pictures to this blog but let's just say fun was had by Mark, check out the look of bliss in his aerial self portrait, and I will post more later

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Whee!!

My birthday gift to Mark this year was a tandem paragliding ride. He is flying tomorrow at 12:15 off of Tiger Mountain. Any and all are invited to view with me but I will post pictures as soon as I can :)

Friday, July 04, 2008


I was perusing Mr. E's newsvine and I came across an interesting discussion. Remember all the talk a week or two ago about what was on Barack Obama's Ipod? Well this discussion was if you were running for president what song would disqualify you from being president and what track is it?


I thought well I have nothing that bad....


Then I looked and four tracks in is "F*&k the Pain Away" by Teaches of Peaches. Oops. What about you guys?
I Be Old!!



Well I turned 41 yesterday and went out with a small group of friends (smaller than I thought, ahem, what no Happy Birthday even?) and I'm not what I used to be.



I had a roommate from about 22 to 27 and we used to party! About 6 days a week we would spend about an hour playing tequila Yahtzee. The rules left with a good portion of my brain cells but it involved drinking about a pint of tequila every night in our prefunction portion of the evening. Then we would spend about two hours showering and primping, all the while finishing off that bottle, only to go out and spending another three or four hours drinking much more. Then the hangover cure the next day which was lots of crappy McDonald's food.



We had several bars we would go to; Papagayo's, Black Angus, Charlie's and some Irish name I can't remember now. I drank a lot....a whole lot and did stupid stupid things. I can honestly say I wasn't sober every time I drove and I wasn't as discerning in my..ummm..ahhhhh..."relationship choices" as I should have been. I'm honestly quite horrified at the way I behaved when I think back.



I guess I don't have the alcoholic issues buried in my genetic makeup, fortunately. As it happened this roommate and I parted company when I was 27 and for a time I continued the heavy drinking. Well a very short time. All of a sudden I realized that drinking tequila by myself just wasn't fun, so I stopped. I still drank with friends, sometimes a lot but eventually after realizing I felt like poop for days after, I stopped that too. Now I stop at two glasses of wine. One while making dinner, one while eating.



But last night I had two glasses of wine before we left and three Pomegranate Martini's with dinner and today I'm so tired I can barely function. I used to drink all that six days a week and go to work! I guess the eventual inability to tolerate all that partying is nature's way of telling all of us it's time to stop and be an adult. Most of us listen I think but some don't and get themselves into trouble, that's sad. I'm glad I did......most of the time :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Familiar


I am a self confessed dog person. It's not that I don't like cats, I just don't get them. You pet them and they seem to be enjoying it when all of a sudden WHACK! They bite or claw you. Huh? You were purring, seemed to be enjoying it and now I'm bleeding. With dogs I can see all the warning signs and steer clear of danger but with cats it isn't so clear to me. Oh and the whole throwing up daily long rolls of hair and pooping in the house? Not so fond of that either. Plus they can be anywhere at a moments notice. Every single night Newton (not the cat in the picture) jumps on my face or back and wakes me up. At least with the dog I hear her coming but everything with cats is a sneak attack.


So the kitty in the picture is named Bismarck. He is a Persian cat of undetermined age rescued by my boyfriend and his ex. He was apparently left in one of those metal boxes outside of a shelter. He normally doesn't stay with us but something is going on with the ex and so we have three cats and a dog now.

The thing is that he loves me. I don't say that lightly either. This cat looks at me with constant unabashed adoration. I go upstairs he comes with me, I sit down he's there, I go the bathroom he follows, I sleep.....he watches......closely. I guess I should feel flattered but frankly I'm a bit unnerved. See I don't completely trust him. He has twice inflicted pretty good gashes on me. So I proceed with caution. It is quite silly because he's tiny. The most impossibly bitty paws. Eyes so goopy you have to give him a wipe every couple of hours.
But still...
When he jumps on my lap I pet him. I think I'm afraid not to


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Is everyone as weird as we are?

I made Chicken Romanoff tonight and we got into this whole story about the Stroganoffs and Romanoffs being Russian warring families. We made up a whole back story to this meal. Kind of like the Hatfields and McCoys. Just wondering.
All Dogs Should Be Trained!!

I had new clients today. Really really nice people. They have a Golden Retriever who is one and a Labrador Retriever who is two. Here's the rub the man is just recovering from a broken leg and the woman has had four strokes and back surgery...and they chose those two particular breeds of dogs, hmmmm. Okay, maybe a smaller dog would have been a better choice for those in not such robust health but understand, most of us have our particular "breeds". That dog you have always wanted or had and just have to have another.

So I go over there to find out why they have called me. I find the reason is because the dogs have a couple of behavioral issues. The first happens shortly after I get there. I am molested when I get in the door. Not just sort of, I am violated in such a way that only a dog can do :) Of course the pet parents try to stop them but I like to see it as it really is, so I tell them to stop. I am nearly knocked down (I am a big girl , that's not easy to do), the Golden has my entire arm in his mouth, the Lab is all up in my stuff and they both are jumping all over me. Ahhh, I see.

"So what would you like to accomplish" I say. Well they want that to stop. "Okay. Do they have any commands?" No. Okay. They are one and two, Why not? Well we don't really need them to do all that stuff, we just don't want them to do this. "Okay, well that isn't going to work" Why not?

Let me explain...

We invite dogs into our houses and expect them to know what to do. We expect them to know the rules and follow them without telling them what they are in a language they understand. If they pee on the rug, we shriek at them. If they chew on a chair, we spank them. If you don't explain the rules and give a dog something to do he will revert back to being a dog. He will chew, he will pee, he will bark, he will hump, he will jump and yes he might even bite. No other animal that I can think of is expected to act in a way other than the way nature intended except for dogs. Have you ever heard of animal control being called on a biting cat?

So if you invite a dog into your home, train it. I don't care if it's all tricks, if he walks around on his back legs like a circus dog or rolls across the room. Give him something acceptable to you to do. If you don't give him something to do, trust me he will still entertain himself and you may not like what he chooses to do.



In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibilty of becoming part dog. - Edward Hoagland