Building Inspector Meets Violator Girl – Part II

March 11, 2007 at 11:28 am (Attitude in Overdrive, AZ, The House)

I called Steve in a fury. I dissolved into tears. I ranted, I raved, I yelled, and bitched. I asked him, “Why?”  Steve, who had not slept in my honor the night of the fire, told me he would make a well placed call to the mayor and he would call me back.

 

I went on about my horrible day until Steve called back and said he had spoken to the mayor. So, while out running errands, my phone rang and it was the mayor of my fair city. I told him everything that happened and I got a very political response back but also a promise that he would speak to Asshat about this matter. Whatever.

 

I then found out that Steve had not CALLED the mayor, he had stopped what he was doing, went to the mayor’s office, walked past the mayor’s secretary, shut the door, and told the mayor, “You sit on your man, or I will.”

 

Whatever Mayor Calloway said to Asshat didn’t work, because on my next trip to the house I found he was making unreasonable demands regarding the electric in the house and was basically making my contractor jump through all kinds of hoops and giving them a hard time.

 

Before this, Steve had already informed me that one of the ladies that he does rental managing for had called him about Asshat. Seems he had told her that if she did not contact a particular contractor and have said contractor fix certain items around her rental property that he was going to condemn her property. Bad corrupt move, Mr. Asshat.

 

This precipitated another call to Mayor Callaway on a three-way with Steve. This time, I was less than nice. Basically, I ripped the mayor’s head off and shit down his neck. I told him that I wanted the documentation Asshat was using to force my insurance company and me to do this particular work. I also told him that I felt that when said documentation was given to me that I would find it was open to broad interpretation, which would be reviewed by me, my contactor, insurance adjustor, and my attorney.

 

I have yet to receive any documentation, say, building codes regarding his threat to first condemn my home and then his demands regarding the electric. Asshat still has to do a final walk through of my home and once that is complete, Violator Girl is set to unleash a hailstorm.

 

I have zero tolerance for corruption. It is against the law for a city building inspector to make or enforce particular contactors in their city. They can give them a list of contractors but they cannot refer a particular one.

 

Ron, that’s my contractor, the hawt one, told me that they are not doing anymore work in my city if they can help it because of Asshat. The writing is on the wall. Asshat is referring people to a particular contractor, if they don’t use said contractor then Asshat makes it harder on the contractor to work in the city, basically making it so they won’t work in my city so his contractor will be the only one who does. Since, from his own words, “I’ve done this for years,” my guess is he’s a silent partner or is getting a kickback.

 

Not only that, when I went to get a building permit to enclose my porch, he informed me of just the same thing. He wanted to be oh so helpful, perhaps to disguise the fact that I didn’t need a fucking building permit because the cost was under $1500, but he gladly took my $5 anyway. $5 is $5, did they need it that bad that he couldn’t have informed me of the law in the city?  Or should I have asked for those building specifications that I have yet to receive?

 

That burns my ass and I’m going to burn his. I’m going to burn him folks. I had thought of going to the media and city council. Don’t worry, I am. But, I’m also calling a friend of mine who happens to, not only own rental property in my city, but also is a prosecuting attorney in a neighboring county AND used to be a prosecutor in the county I live in now. I believe government officials would find all of this very interesting.

 

For a city that garnered national headlines because they removed dear sweet baby Jesus from the manger in their Festival of Lights, seems to me they would try to improve their image. I’m a Wiccan and I wouldn’t have taken baby Jesus out of the manger.

 

And they call me a heathen.

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Building Inspector Meets Violator Girl – Part I

March 9, 2007 at 7:18 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, AZ, The House)

I mentioned a while back that I had had a run in with the city building inspector. And since building inspector is too long, I’ll just use his real name, which is Charles. But since that is a stately name and worthy of princes and such, which he isn’t, then I’ll just call him Asshat.

On the afternoon of January 30, 2007, I was at my house with my cousin, Danlel’s mom, the insurance fire investigator, and the insurance adjustor. The day previously, I had spent part of the day gathering my felines in preparation for burial. (Not getting into that right now).

My cousin and Stacey had offered to come back and help. Stacey didn’t show but my cousin did and he set out at digging out the entire section in front of my porch.

Since it had been below freezing since the fire and I had to take a little extra of the house to bury Napoleon, the cats were not going to budge from their lain out positions which would make burial much more difficult.

I had been running around, crying, digging through the house, carrying stuff, meeting with the insurance people, answering questions, and directing burial for a few hours when Asshat and Asshat Jr. (the captain of the fire dept.) showed up.

First thing, Asshat did not shake my hand, he handed me his card first, then shook my hand. I reminded him that we had met before. He asked if he could look around and I said, “Yes.” After all, he is the city building inspector.

I stayed on the porch for a moment and then on second thought told my cousin that I had better get in the house to hear what was going on.

I walked in to hear Asshat ask Mike, my claims adjustor, “So *sniff* What are you going to do with this place.” My back arched. His tone was very derogatory.

Mike said, “Well, we’re going to gut it and rebuild it.”

“Why would you do that? Why put a million dollars in a ten thousand dollar house?”

I said, “Excuse me! You’re talking about my home!”

Mike said, “I’ve seen much worse and we’ve rebuilt.”

“It just needs to be torn down,” says Asshat.

Mike said, “We’re going to gut it and rebuild. The outside structure is fine.”

I said, “But wait a minute…,” (speaking directly to Asshat who refuses to face me), “If they tear it down, then we couldn’t rebuild here could we? Haven’t the ordinances changed since these homes were built? I didn’t think we could rebuild so close to another structure. I mean, you’re the building inspector, would you issue a building permit to rebuild here?”

Asshat still doesn’t look at me, but shrugs and mumbles, “Yeah, mmmmummmbbblleeeee.”

Then Asshat looks at Mike and says, “I want the estimate done, the contracts signed, and a building permit within two weeks or I’m condemning this place.”

“WHAT?” That was me.

Mike says, (very calmly), “Our timeframe was 3-4 weeks for the estimate and beginning work. I’d like to have 4 weeks.”

Asshat says something again about two weeks or something which I can’t hear because the fire chief is trying to talk to me, or maybe I was so pissed off at this point I didn’t care what he said.

I said, “MY HOME BURNED TWO DAYS AGO! THE FIRE INSPECTOR IS HERE, THE INSURANCE ADJUSTOR IS HERE, AND A CONTRACTOR WILL BE HERE THIS AFTERNOON! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME BECAUSE IF YOU WANT IT CLEANED OUT (picking up a shovel and moving around the room) I’LL START SHOVELING SHIT OUT THE DOOR NOW!”

Still not looking at me, Asshat says to Mike, “You have three weeks or I’m condemning it.”

I said, “YOU NEED TO LEAVE.”

The fire chief looked at me and said, “Well, I’m on the building committee and …”

I said, “Your brass doesn’t impress me. Get. Out.”

People have told me that I can be intimidating when I’m angry. I speak through my eyes and Mr. Fire Chief must have seen something there he didn’t like because they beat a hasty retreat out the door and to their vehicles.

Then, I went off. I told Mike and Bill that while I wasn’t the best housekeeper in the world, my trash wasn’t always taken out on time, my grass wasn’t always mowed when it should be, but I definitely didn’t have a fucking meth lab in the bathtub, I don’t sit on my porch and smoke dope, my kid doesn’t run the neighborhood causing trouble, and the police have never been called to my residence up through January the 28th for any reason.

Furthermore, that is MY HOUSE. I bought that house. I didn’t get it in a divorce settlement, my mommy and daddy didn’t buy it for me, no one gives me a rent cent for that house. I work three jobs to support me and my son. I worked my ass off for that house and continue to do so and no sonabitch is going to walk in MY HOME and make derogatory comments and act like a prick without me saying something.

When I finished, Mike and Bill had eyes as wide as saucers. My cousin and Danlel’s mom were peering in through the open door. I apologized to Mike and Bill saying, “I know that I’m very emotional right now but goddamn!” They both said not to apologize, that I had every right to feel the way I did.

Mike said, “I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I’ve never, ever had this happen before.”

So, what does a Violator Girl do after she throws an Asshat out of her house? She calls Steve.

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It Can Always Be Worse

March 8, 2007 at 8:33 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, Crazy Shit, Nate)

Like today…

The Hawt contractor? Married.

Total of gas and whatever else I bought at Go-Mart this morning? $13.13.

Steve’s attitude? Shitty.

My attitude? Worse.

Result? Things went from shitty to worse.

Result of my aunt’s breast biopsy two days after the fire? Malignant. (Good news though, Stage 1)

Good news: Found the beaded flowers I made my host family forever ago that I thought were lost forever.

Bad/Good news: Forever is not always forever.

Good news: Also found lots and lots of pictures unharmed. Okay, they smell, but they look good.

Bad news: Contractor is still hawt and I still want him.

Worse news: I think he wants me too.

Bad to Worse news: I’d let him.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell ya’ll… ya’ll know that Jeff was the bigger man and opened his home to me so that I could have a place to stay and also stay with Nate and he also let me bring Hermione in. Well, his, now ex-girlfriend, got pissed off because after they delivered my furniture, he still let me stay there for two more days while I went grocery shopping and got the shipment from my housing company with my dishes and linens, towels etc.

Literally folks, I had nothing other than furniture. Not a crumb for a mouse in the cupboard, not a pillow to rest my weary head on, nada. So, when she found out I was staying another night she copped an attitude. Jeff told her he wasn’t discussing it, I didn’t have anything and he wasn’t putting me out because he knew that Nate would want to be with me and he wasn’t doing it.

So, in response to this good deed, she dumped him. Now, I had made it PERFECTLY CLEAR to her that I had no designs on Jeff and I wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Nate and not only that, it was one of the strangest things when he walked up to me at the fire and hugged me since it had been… over 10 years since we touched in any way like that.

Then, she accused us of sleeping together the night she left. Ya’ll I threw up in my mouth a little. Literally could not stop myself from making a face and giving an involuntary shudder of disgust.

And, she hasn’t fucking shut up about it. Jeff just got all of her stuff together and had it delivered to her… 10 boxes worth and washed his hands of it. But, she won’t shut up and go away. Jeff hasn’t been drinking, although normally this is the time he would be, but he’s trying really hard.

I think he knows deep down, I’ll kill him. The point I’m at now, the alcohol won’t have to do the job because I will. Bitch says it again and I’ll beat her ass myself.

Hells fuckin’ bells, if she thought I WANTED to be there, she needs to get a fuckin’ clue.

The whole thing just pisses me off. The man finally does something selflessly for me and his son, understanding that his son’s needs come before anyone else’s, no matter how uncomfortable and weird it was, and then he gets shit for it.

He’s better off without her and I told him so. Well, I feel that kidney stone starting to rattle around in there. Let’s see if I can brighten anyone else’s day!

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Okay, Now I Have A Computer

March 8, 2007 at 12:56 am (Attitude in Overdrive, The House)

And what a sweet setup this jobby is. 22” inch flat monitor that I can read from across the room. It’s moveable, hell, I can sit it on the bed if I want, which I might just do. I almost threw a fit today when I thought it was someone else’s. Yeah, real close to that hissy fit line.

I’m walking that hissy fit line a lot these days.

I talked to my mom this evening and I was telling her about being at the house yesterday and I was just overwhelmed with everything. I looked at the spot by the door where I had found Ozzy and then over to the place where the curio used to sit and remembered I had found Cali there. The more the house starts to look like my house, instead of a burned out piece of shit, the more it reminds me of what I lost.

My mom said, “That’s called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

DUH!

She also said, “I don’t know how you’ve done all the things you’ve done. You must have been running on adrenaline this entire time and now that you have more time to stop and think, it’s really starting to sink in and hit you now.”

Who knew? My mother had an accurate, insightful comment to make. Maybe I’ve underestimated her all these years. And she even did it without sounding condescending or authoritative.

I appreciate how everyone is continuing to remind me of what a basket case I really am on the inside. Trust me, lots of things are Tommyknocking around in there, and a lot of it ain’t pretty.

I just want to enjoy my new Dell and thank the computer gods that it came today and I didn’t throw a hissy and no one died. I’ll try not to think of how I would be just as happy with my 8 year old Gateway with illegal upgrades and really, flat screens are pretty useless because kitties can’t lay on top of them. Not like 8 year old Gateway behemoth monitors.

I’m not in a very grateful mood right now. I’m in a pretty nasty, cranky, crappy mood. Nope, not feeling very grateful to have a roof over my head that has other people walking around on it. Nanner lives in Poverty Virginia, we don’t live in apartments, we live in mo-bile homes! I never even lived in a dorm in college ya’ll! This bullshit of not being able to sit and listen to music in my computer room is enough to drive me insane.

Today, is an angry day.

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*Tapping Fingers*

March 6, 2007 at 5:36 pm (General, The House)

I have been informed that my computer arrived at the UPS outlet in the town near me at 1:52 p.m. today. Unfortunately, the guys saw the UPS driver hauling an 18 pack back to the big brown truck, so, guess she’s done for the day.

 Stopped by the house and took some pictures and video of the work in progress.  IF I ever get said computer I’ll download the vids and pics of the house and my kitties. It looks a lot different than it did a few weeks ago. My contractor, who is HAWT by the way, said I should be able to move in in three weeks or so. Or rather, the house will be ready. I’l be more than ready but I’m sure the furniture people will see about that.

 Did I mention how much I hate shopping?  And you have to do A LOT of shopping when you replace every piece of furniture, BUT ONE, that you’ve ever owned.  I kept the trunk that my host father made me, although she looks a little rough. Okay, a lot rough, but, I don’t give a shit.

 Nate isn’t doing so well and I’m up and down. I had a great dream the other night, Saturday morning I think. It made me feel so good… but the euphoria is short-lived indeed. I just keep holding on to it, knowing the significance behind it. Okay, did I tell you my contractor was HAWT?  Nice too.  I told him when I have my housewarming he would have to come by and if he got too far gone he could just stumble home, since he just lives across the tracks from me.

 His response. “Hell, I’ll just stay here.”  Hmmmmm… in my bed? He wouldn’t know what hit him.

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OMG! I Have a Computer and Internet

March 1, 2007 at 11:31 pm (Memories, Nate, The House)

Okay, don’t get too excited… its my boss’s computer and its only on loan but its all mine, MINE, MINE TONIGHT!!!

 

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments.  Geewits, yes, I know, I’ve been through this, or rather, PTSD before. I know I need meds but alas, I have no health insurance. I’m going to check with Nate’s doctor tomorrow and see if I can get something to “take the edge off.”  I prefer a big ass margarita but something is better than nothing.

 

Actually, I felt better today after I went to see Kevin. I was out on assignment for my writing job and it was just another ½ mile to the cemetery. His marker looks very nice. I told him how much I missed him, how much we all miss him, and I wish he was still here. I cried quite a bit and remembered my dear friend and the way he used to make me laugh. Even when you were mad at him, you couldn’t stay that way because he always made you laugh at something.

 

I told Steve about it later in the day and he said, “Well, you can’t say that 2006 was boring.”  I said, “Fuck, 2007 is off to a roaring start as well.”  And because I didn’t want to cry in front of him, I just walked away. The guys are making a lot of mistakes, costly mistakes, and it’s those times that we miss Kevin but we miss him most when we just need a friend.

 

Jeff and I talked about putting Nate in counseling today. He wants him to go to the same counselor that Danlel went to, which is fine. We drove by a church the other day and while at the stop sign I noticed they have a grief group starting. Nate looked at me and said, “Momma, I think we need something like that.”  He is so wise.

 

So, we go about slapping cement in the broken pieces of life and watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Nate never can decide if he wants to be Aragorn or Legolas and I can’t decide between Arwen and Eowyn, both highly noble strong ladies. I can’t say much for the noble part but strength is my forte.

 

Macy likes us better now. She’s almost a year and a half old. We got her from a local humane society. She’s really adorable, when she’s not ignoring us. She has big beautiful green eyes and has a tabby look about her face and legs but then she looks like a tortie across her back, but then has a cream colored throat and belly, and a fairly insignificant tail, other than the fact it has a light red tip.  I guess she’s been in a cage a lot because any movement by our feet sends her fleeing for her life. Also, she didn’t seem to know that Hermione was another cat until Hermione hissed. I’m glad we decided to get her instead of getting a kitten. Nate said we should get a kitten and a grumpy kitty that no one else wants. I guess we got a little of both in Macy.

 

Hermione, well, she’s laying on the comforter on the bed, living the life of a reigning queen.  It used to be I couldn’t sit at my computer without a cat or two on my lap and
Ireland had taken to lying on the back of the ancient monitor I had. Guess it was warm up there.  I can see a bit of my other cats in Macy. Tabby like Marco, calico like
Cali, flighty like Midnight, purrs like Ozzy… but also just Macy. It soothes a bit but also another reminder that things will never be the same. It will always be different than it used to be.

 

Nate finds that hard, as he was reading over my shoulder and started crying, which means I also started crying and we talked about not having any answers as to why this happened to us and why our precious felines, other than one, did not survive, and how, although he didn’t say it, I know now his heart was as hopeful as mine that when I opened that door, not smoke, but cats, would come pouring out.

 

T-Bird and Jeff both told me they did not recognize my voice when I called them. Jeff thought I was a friend of Danlel’s but then thought it could be me, so he came to my house, not knowing what to expect.  T-Bird thought I was her sister until I said, “All of my babies are gone,” then she said she knew it was me, because all her sister’s babies live with her now. And all that time, I thought I was being totally coherent and clear.

 

The horror was unimaginable. The realization after finding Ozzy at the door, who I originally thought was Smokey, that all of my pets, save one, were dead, was … enough to go temporarily insane. Minutes seem like hours and all you can do is scream. And then, oh God, where is Nate?  I thought for some horrible moments that somehow he had managed to slip past me into the house. I couldn’t find him and I ran around the house looking for him and screaming for him, my poor neighbor trying to calm me down, a woman I had never met before. Then he’s there, having run down the street toward the fire department, which is just a few blocks away. And all I can do is hug him and tell him the awful truth.

 

Then I was so numb and disconnected, I didn’t even hear the sirens of the same fire trucks I was screaming for minutes earlier.  And I wander, ankle deep in water, snow blowing in my face, being gently set aside by firemen, staring at the burn on my hand, the non-feeling feeling of frostbite, my chin burning, T-Bird giving me her gloves and calling Steve for me. Sitting in my new neighbor’s house, where the Nabes used to live, and socks and my feet wrapped in a towel and again, the realization, there is nothing I can do to stop this horror.

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