Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm SO THANKFUL... subtitle It Does Pay to be Nice

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An attorney client of my company has agreed to write the opening letter to my HOA's mangement co. He feels that their insurance would have the best shot of fixing our condo soon.

This was the first guy I learned of, when I started to work. He and my boss had been friends for a long time and I believe this guy gave my boss his start. Apparently, the attorney had been disgruntled at the "help" so I was given instructions to make him happy.

I took extra care over the next three years because I knew how my boss felt. And I must say, this attorney has been pleased with the special care I take, of his clients. And he's willing to meet with me, and write a letter on my behalf for free. If it requires a next step, then we're going to be talking fees.

I am absolutely grateful that my boss pointed this attorney out to me from the very beginning, I am absolutely thankful that some progress is going to happen.

And to thank this attorney, I'm hoping to send tons more business his way. So if you have a problem with a construction defect or home repairs and you are in the Bay Area, California, look up Robert Bruce Bybee at 925.977.9600. He WILL fight for you. And be REALLY nice to his assistant. She's the one who made sure to pass my calls to him.

 
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Warning! Don't Get First American Specialty Insurance!

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So you know that leak from the upstairs unit? The one that started right after my neighbor started her dishwasher, stopped when her dishwasher stopped, and that left a trail of water from the dishwasher out? Well, according to First American Specialty Insurance, there is no proof that the water leaked out of the dishwasher.

What does this mean?

If you are insured by First American Specialty, and if there is an accident like the one that occured, YOU ARE LIABLE.

That's what First American Specialty just told me. They are most likely going to decline liability because of the lack of proof.

Therefore, most likely my poor upstairs neighbor will have to dish out $ for my repairs. Doesn't that suck?

So ALL OF YOU CONDO OWNERS, their liability policy basically SUCKS!

Get First American Specialty at your own peril. What good is this condominium policy? This means though they will repair my upstairs neighbor, they won't repair my unit, which has the extensive damage. Which means my upstairs neighbor has to pay out of pocket the repairs.

So now, I have to get a lawyer to get what is rightfully mine, and her insurance rate will go up. Sure sucks to be a little person here in America, doesn't it?

Don't say I didn't warn you.

 
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

2 Great New Stoner Games for Mac & PC

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It's actually the same game but two different versions. The first one, released about 3 months ago, is called Huntsville. That link will take you to MacGameStore where I'm currently buying most of my games. However, you can also download the games from any game site include Pogo.

The second one, Prime Suspects, you cannot get through MacGamestore yet. You have to go to the publisher BigFishGames and get it directly from them.

Both games are $20 each, and work on the same premise: the first part of the puzzle, you are given different collaged scenes. Within the scenes, you have find any number of items, like 3 bats. The 3 bats could consist of 2 critters that are bats, and a baseball bat. After you find the missing "clues", you get to the second stage which is a little puzzle.

I'm preferring Prime Suspects because they have this neat part where you have to find a battery in one of the other scenes, then use the flashlight to find out the other "clues" in the darkened room.

Two great stoner games.

 
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Friday, May 19, 2006

Gay Men and Misogyny

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I love gay men. Ask any of my friends, they'd tell you I'm a fag hag in drag.

But a lot of gay men are misogynists. They don't think they are, but there's a hatred there that stems from being lumped in with girls - as in being called sissy boys.

I've had to deal with them constantly because frankly, I have sensibilities more like a gay man's than a typical dyke. I love Opera, musicals, Judy, Babs, Patsy, etc. and therefore enjoy conversations with gay men more.

But there are times when during a conversation, I feel like I've been punched in the gut.

John Aravosis' post about Pat Roberts - comparing him with Patrick Henry, is a good post. Except he likened Pat Roberts to "a big girl." Which was a put down.

Then his response to his readers who said, waitaminit John, don't do like they (the Repubs who call men they consider weak as girly men) do, his response was to pooh pooh them all.

This was the final straw. I used to recommend Americablog to everyone I knew, but no more.

What makes me a liberal is, when I see my actions as being similar to others I condemn, I apologize and try not to repeat my mistake. This is how we learn tolerance.

How can John Aravosis dig in his feet like this? He says we're ignoring the big issue, that Roberts and what he said was the issue. No, John. We are not ignoring the big issue. We're agreeing with you on that. We're just not agreeing with you on your choice of words.

You say that it's part of the gay vernacular and get over yourself. I can just picture John Aravosis snapping his fingers thrice, each time higher above his head. I know this action well. This is a gay man's reaction to being caught wrong, and refusing to admit the mistake. "Get over yourself, Maryjane."

Well, John. You lost yourself a reader today. Not because of your poor word choice. It's okay to make mistakes. You lost a reader because you told me to get over myself and on this, I can't. All my life, I've fought the image of girls = weak. All my life I was told, but you're one of the guys, Resigned Idealist. No, I am NOT one of the guys. I am a girl. I am a woman. And I will not stand for the equation women/girls = weak anymore. Use another goddamn metaphor.


 
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Hopefully

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With any luck, my late afternoon is going to look like this:

 
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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Drawing a Line

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I spoke to my nephew for the first time today since Christmas. It was nice and polite and civil despite the past.

A line was drawn and he had crossed it. Honestly speaking, I had actually allowed him to cross the line numerous times in the past and had redrawn it. But when he brought the problem into my house, but when he tried to convince me that it was okay to make his mother worry because the worst could never happen to him - a delusion I threw back into his face, but when he dared to compare his addiction with my life with Bratworse, I let the line remain broken.

The reparation to the line is available to him, but it will not be immediate. Years has to pass before repairs can even begin, but it has to start somewhere. I was honest with him on the phone. I wish him well and strength. I hope that we will have our friendship again.

I actually have no doubt that one day, my nephew and I will have warmth towards each other. I just hope that the path there will be smoother than not.

 
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"I Don't Read Comics"

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I shouldn't be insulted but I am. This was just said to me, by the same guy who said there's no such thing as global warming. This is also the same guy who thought Da Vinci Code was great and original. Should I have told him that the concept contained within the Da Vinci Code, I first came across in Preacher by Garth Ennis, which was many years prior to the Da Vinci Code, so when people all around me were all agog with the blasphemous concept, all I could manage was Ho-hum?

[Added] I just remembered that this guy keeps quoting from his favorite movie: The Crow, starring Brandon Lee. Do I have the heart to tell him that it was based on a comic book, that had a small cult following (the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a much larger following and actually TMNT started off being a satire before becoming what it mocked)? Half the stuff popular culture thinks is cool, had its dang origin in comic books.

 
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No Global Warming...

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... that is, according to my well-read neighbors.

When I asked, oh, why do we put on 60 SPF sunblock now when back in the 70's 15 SPF was considered excessive? Apparently, it's because science has advanced so much that we can call skin cancer what it is. Back then, we didn't know what skin cancer was.

Another said, even if there was global warming, it wouldn't impact our daily lives. I said, okay, tell that to the people in New Orleans. Oh, and btw, don't bother to put on sunscreen when you go out. And don't bother bringing tissues, cause hay fever isn't more potent due to global warming.

Yet another said, we will never see Antartica thawed out during our lifetime, as if only the ENTIRE thawing of Antartica would have human impact.

I guess I'm just plain wrong. I mean, these neighbors of mine won't believe in global warming so how can I? These hundreds of scientists all over the world just must be making things up.

 
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Ossie the Octopus doing the Dance Dance Revolution

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She put on quite a show for us tonight. And the kewl thing? We got some of it on video.


She kept doing this weird dance along the glass perimeter of the tank. She wasn't going after the shrimp I had put in; she was just dancing.

Oh earlier, I had put in shrimp for her and as I dipped the net into her tank to release the shrimp, her tentacles flew out to explore the net. For a second, it almost looked as if she was going to climb into the net. But she lost her curiousity quickly and released the net from her grip, slinking away to her den.

She is way too cool!

 
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Friday, May 12, 2006

Long Distance Spies

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I picked up my phone and was about to call AT & T, to cancel my long distance with them when I did a "D'OH!"

We had switched from Pacific Bell Long Distance to Working Assets about 2 years ago. After we switched, Pacific Bell became SBC which is now AT & T. I am SO sorry I won't have the chance to collect my $1000 from AT & T unless they gave out records stemming back to 2002. Which, of course is very possible knowing this bunch of spies in the White House.

By the way, Working Assets is a fantastic liberal company. Part of their profits goes to charity; in addition, you can choose to overpay your monthly bill and have that go to charity. At the end of the year, they will tell you how much you're contributing, then ask you which organizations you want to contribute to. They have everything from Nature Conservation to Breast Cancer to AIDS to well, a ton of organizations.

So, here - click on the following link. And know that Working Assets would fight the government tooth and nail rather than roll over for the government.

 
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dread No More

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Bratworse almost made it a full year. It was July last year when she traded in straight hair for dreads but she couldn't take it anymore. Even after buying some new hair products, it was taking too long to maintain a decent look.

Honestly, though I loved her looks with the dreads, I didn't like the dreads myself. Smells got trapped too easily in it; and running your fingers through hair just isn't an option.

Not that her current condition leaves that as an option. Bratworse has returned to being my Dopey! *beams brightly*

She has shorn her locks. Well, actually, WE shorned (is that a word?) it together. She cut off each dread and when I realized she was nicking herself with the razor, I took over and first clipped her hair, then shaved it down to skin.

She has such a pretty face and the bald look just brings out the beauty, I think. But if she puts on a beanie, then pushes up the beanie to expose her ears making them stick out, she looks just like Dopey!

I'm thinking of shaving mine too. I miss running my hand over my shaved head. But I think I've gained too much weight and am starting to look my age too much to get away with a bald look.

 
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Out of My Mind

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I have now walked three times into the kitchen to get myself a pepsi... and returned empty-handed each time. Not only that, but it has taken me at least 5 minutes to realize that I never did get a soda.

My mind is gone.

I am walking around dazed because the enormity of the situation we're in keeps banging against my noggin and knocking my mind silly.

We have to replace the living room floor.

We have to get someone to look between the walls to make sure the wiring is okay and that its been dried out properly.

We have to get someone to examine the kitchen cabinet and see if the wood is rotting from the damage.

We have to get someone to replace the linoleum on our kitchen floor, which is bubbling up from the moisture.

We have to wait.

According to First American Specialty, they have legally 40 days to come inspect the property. On their website, they say they will pay liability if the owner is sued and then found liable. The adjuster further told me that only if the owner was "legally negligent" would they pay liability.

So I've contacted a lawyer and am waiting to hear back from them.

Waiting...

I hate waiting. Bratworse can attest to that.

Apparently, the insurance claim is for liability only, which is why they're taking their sweet time about it. I hope mildew and mold grows upstairs. I'm sure it will because she didn't take the time out to dry out her padding. According to her, the carpet didn't get that wet. Then maybe, my upstairs neighbor will be a little more enthusiastic about getting this taken care of.

I keep wanting to reassure Bratworse that we're not going to get fucked. But I myself am panicking that we're going to get fucked on this.

All we wanted was a living room we enjoy being in. You want to know what the damn thing about all this is?

Only ONE week ago, did Bratworse take a Monday out to make the living room very nice and livable. We got to enjoy the living room for about a week before the weather turned a tad cold and we went back to the bedroom. And then this happens. And of course, every day since then, has been a wonderfully warm day (except yesterday). And we're back to being confined.

ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!

People keep saying Karma, cause of our flooding our neighbors two weeks ago.

But we took care of our neighbors IMMEDIATELY. We ran over to find out what needed to be done. We REASSURED them that we'd take care of EVERYTHING.

What did my upstairs neighbor do? So far, all of our conversations I had to initiate. And she wonders why all this shit keeps happening to her. I think we just got caught up in HER karma, unfortunately. Because no matter what, in the long run, she was liable. And the longer it takes for us to replace our stuff, the more it'll cost cause mold spreads.

Bratworse and my attitude is the same: if we caused harm/damage to someone else, we take care of that FIRST. Our neighbor's seems to be, well, if I leave it alone enough maybe no one will notice I caused it.

I want my living room! I want my new 75 gallon tank cycling! I want action started on this.

Argh

 
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Systems That Don't Work

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There's got to be better systems than these:

You pay x amount of dollars each month to insure that if anything goes wrong, it'll get taken care of. Yet the company you pay the monthly fee to, their whole objective is to make money. And if they pay out less, they make more money. Therefore, they aren't there to help you, just to collect your money.

You pay a therapist money each session to get better. Yet, they make money if you don't get better, cause if you do get better, you stop going. See the catch?

Pharmaceutical companies make money if you are on a long-term solution. If they can get you to spend regularly on something that makes you "feel" temporarily better, yet have to continue to take it to feel better (drug addiction anyone?), what is the incentive for them to come up with medicine that actually cures your ailment?

We elect officials to be our ears and voices in governments. Yet the people with the most access to them are "lobbyists" who work for organizations. So what are our ears and voices in government seeing and listening to? Not us.

I'm so sick of systems that don't work.

 
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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

DNC and $100

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So last night, I get a call from the folks over at the DNC. "Resigned Idealist," he tells me, "we need YOUR help to make those people over in the White House accountable. For just $100, we can put that to good use in making sure we get a majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives."

So I said, "Is the DNC going to come out in favor of gay marriage?"

I was greeted with a "huh?"

So I said slowly, "Why should I get the DNC's back, when the DNC won't get my back?"

"Well," came the reply hesitatingly. "you see..."

I cut them off. "When you guys are willing to go to the mat for me, I'll be willing to go to the mat for you. Thank you. Have a nice day."

I will vote for Democrats cause I believe the time came a LONG time ago for some accountability in Washington. But $100? HAH! I'm willing to put $100 into Mark Warner's (hear that Hillary?) pocket when the time comes, because he had the balls and tits to come out in favor of gay marriage, to say that anything less has to do with making gays and lesbians sub-humans. Those words are worth dollars.

And you know something? My money is worth a lot more to the DNC than my vote cause I live in a democratic state, in a democratic town. My vote means very little in that sense.

 
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Monday, May 08, 2006

Bad Luck comes in Threes? Hopefully?

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So hopefully, this will be the third in our bad luck series.

The first was when our rental car broke down en route to L.A. for my best friend's Mom’s funeral.

The second was when we returned a few days later to an empty 40-gallon aquarium (the replacement of our neighbor’s padding, and drying out of the carpet cost us a minimal amount *whew*)

This past Friday, disaster struck a third time.

Bratworse and I had planned this day to be the day we set up our 75-gallon aquarium. Around 6:30 pm, we were on the phone coordinating the delivery of the tank and its stand, the pick-up of the water, etc. when I noticed that our house line was getting very very staticky (is that a word?). In the meantime, I was starting to lose internet connectivity as well. My first thought, as any good paranoid would, was, “is the government spying on us again?” Please note the repetivity of that thought.

After 15 min. of struggling with trying to connect to the internet, of picking up the phone to see if there was a connection, I finally got up to see if any outside forces could be interfering. Lo and behold, what did I see when I went into the living room? Buckets of water pouring out of the light socket in the dining room, as well as water seeping through the light fixture in the kitchen.

Needless to say, all of Bratworse's hard work on the living room floor is pretty much gone. We’re going to have to replace half the floor in there, perhaps the cabinets in the kitchen as well. As for our new aquarium, well, since the designated space for it was on top of the ruined floor, we can’t set it up until after the floor is replaced.

So, how was YOUR weekend?

 
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Captive Audiences

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Looking at some of the feedback Editor & Publisher has gotten on Stephen Colbert's vitriolic & virtuosic perfomance at the White House Correspondence Dinner, it seems that some people found it distasteful that Stephen Colbert would take aim at his captive audience.

How many funerals and weddings have I attended, where the priest/preacher overtook the ceremony to launch into a sermon about how we should accept Jesus? How's that for a captive audience? This is the BIGGEST thing about weddings and funerals that I hate. I am there to honor the couple, or the deceased. Why the hell should I have to sit through a friggin' sermon? But because the priest/preacher COUNTS on us having good manners, enough not to diss the one honored (unlike the priest/preacher who are dissing the ceremony) we're a captive audience. (yes, I am STILL furious at that damn priest last week who spoke at Mom Wilson's funeral).

What was TRULY bad taste (and I thought so at the time) was Bush doing a slide show of him looking around the WH for WMDs. Now that was truly tasteless. Bush's lies = 2200+ deaths and 10,000+ wounded. Stephen Colbert's truthiness = burned Bush and singed reporters (metaphorically).

 
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Borne of Refugee Parents

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I can't imagine what it's like to be so despondent over your country's futures that you are willing to risk life and limb to enter into another country illegally. However, my parents can, and did.

They did not enter the United States illegally, but they did enter both Macao and Hong Kong illegally. In fact, until my mother became a citizen of the United States in 1973 and until my father became a Singapore citizen sometime in the 1980's, neither of them had citizenship anywhere. They both carried a H.K. permanent residence card and a Singapore permanent residence card and my mother had a green card (an American permanent residence card) as well.

What did this mean? This meant that though they paid taxes to all THREE states, neither of them had any representation in government, though all three belonged to democracies.

As for all of you who think that aliens, illegal or legal are taking away your jobs and should go home, why don't you get pissed off at the real culprits? You know, like that Exxon guy who just retired with 4 Billion? Think of how many people that could hire just off $10/hour. Think of Enron. Think of Bush giving billions of dollars back to THOSE assholes who could've housed all of the New Orleans refugees with one wave of their checkbooks.

 
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