Monday, February 17, 2014

Raising the Bar

The Minimum Wage argument is being voted on soon here in Maryland again.  It sounds like it is probably going to be passed to raise the minimum, if not to the $10.10 that the main guy wants, then at least to $9.00/hr, up from the federal minimum, $7.25.

I want to slap these people that are in politics.  They are stupid.  Okay maybe they're not.  Maybe they just want to make people happy who don't understand cause and effect as well, so that they can be voted in to office again by those same people.

If the minimum wage is raised, will my employer increase my hourly pay by the same percentage?  I doubt it. Not because they are meanies, but because life doesn't work that way.  My pay won't go as far once all the stores raise their prices to compensate.

Grrr.

Liberation from the Stinky House

Hello there.

Does anyone remember the Stinky House of my teenage years?

It was almost 10 years ago that my parents had a brain lapse and decided it would be a great idea to buy a house that no one wanted and turn it into a house that everyone wanted. (Sorry, Mom and Dad, but I know you'll agree with me here).

The Stinky House, as we called it, had been the real life version of a cat lady's dream.  All the carpets had to be removed, and the floors that couldn't be replaced had to be treated.  And treated.  And treated some more.  At one point I think I just automatically started smelling cat urine whenever I saw that house, no matter if the smell was actually there.

Thankfully, it all worked out with that house and they had buyers within hours of putting the house up for sale.  It was a really nice house after all that work, too.  I think we should have moved in there.  But then I probably wouldn't have ever met Caleb, no Utah State, etc.

Now I'm living in my own Stinky House.  It has been quite the experience these last 8 months.  At first we had no idea we had a Stinky House.  The carpet had just been replaced when we viewed the apartment upstairs, so the smells had not wafted up yet.  We were running out of money while we were in our hotel, so we signed the papers and moved in the next day.

Within about three weeks we started smelling something unpleasant.  It wasn't like cigarette smoke I had smelled before, so I wasn't sure what it was.  Plus, the tenants downstairs have a sign on their front door that reads "Caution: Oxygen in Use.  No Smoking on the Premises".  I assumed nothing was going on.

It got worse and worse, and it became clear that it was cigarette smoke, no mistake.  The only place that was semi-tolerable to breathe in was right in front of our window-A/C unit, with the outside air blowing right on my face.

Then one day it disappeared.  I thought I was crazy.  I had made the whole thing up in my head.

Then it returned with a vengeance.  And I learned that the woman living downstairs had been in the hospital for 8 weeks, and had just been released.  I am also an awesome neighbor, if you couldn't tell.

It keeps getting worse and worse.  It doesn't help that the couple downstairs are homebound and do not leave.  It is too cold to smoke outside, so she doesn't.  Sometimes the bathroom is the most safe place from the smoke; other times it smells like an ash tray, worse than any other part of the house.  There are pockets where it is as if you are actually sitting right next to the woman smoking, 6 inches away.  I have to fall asleep with the covers over my head to avoid gagging.

No place is safe.

I decided I was fed up with it in December and didn't care that we would have to break our lease to move.  We started looking for apartments; the goal was to move during Caleb's school break.

That didn't happen, but we kept searching and I am happy to announce that we are moving on Saturday!!  Yeah!  I am grateful Caleb was nice enough to agree to move, as I know it has never bothered him as much as it has myself.  I hate being at home, and hate knowing that my clothes and mattress and couch may possibly be permanently stained with smoke.

As a bonus, I gave notice to our landlord yesterday, and he was more than understanding.  He even has offered to give us back our security deposit, which I am pleasantly surprised about.

Yay for freedom!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bad Attitude Lady

It's me.

Sometimes I have a bad attitude.

Okay a lot of the time.

I'm a quiet person at church.  But I really want friends.  Then I get hurt when someone I thought was my friend is not very nice to me.

Take my visiting teacher.  She never visited me, but I know who she is, so I try to smile and say hi when I see her.  I'm usually met with no recognition.  It makes me sad, and makes me upset when she finds me 5 months later and introduces herself to me, again, as my visiting teacher and as though we've never met.  She does this again at the New Year's party we both went to, and then ignored me the rest of the night.  There were only 6 other people at the party.

Yeah. I have a bad attitude.

Or the time that we were really new in the ward and were helping out with service projects most weekends.  Like helping immobile people (or people who were just tired) move their stuff to a new apartment while they watched us or made themselves breakfast or got ready for the day. Those kind of service projects.  They're fun, but a part of you is always slightly frustrated.  Or at least I am, because sometimes I have a bad attitude.  Then you find out that these people are donating all their furniture to a couple that is moving into the ward in three weeks.

We had an air mattress at the time and nothing else.

I realize this is my own fault for not telling anybody, but I don't like to ask for help.  Or I guess I just never thought that was a possibility, to get help.  I kind of figured I was on my own there, until I earned more money or got a student loan.

Or the guy who is learning sign language at the same time as my husband and feels the need to put him down every week and make fun of him to the other deaf members in some form or other to make himself look to be a better interpreter.

Don't get me wrong.  I really like my church family.  They are really great people.  But I guess they are such a good family that sometimes you get frustrated with people just like you get frustrated with your own family members.  Doesn't mean you don't still love them.

Sometimes I just have bad attitude days.  Most days are pretty good though.  I think I just needed to get this off my chest.  I feel better already.

I'd ask you to share your bad attitudes, but I don't think that would be very productive.

Meh, go ahead and share if you want.

Or don't.

Your choice.