Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

I am exhausted. Yesterday was, in some ways, a hellish day.

The eye appointments went well, for the most part. The doctor is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I was sure he’d find something awful, but, except for needing a very complicated prescription, my eyes are healthy. I am, however, getting invisible-line bifocals. I wear my glasses all the time, and have to transfer from close work to distance instantly, which means two pairs of glasses won’t really work. And I have to limit computer time, to some degree, although the new glasses will make it much easier. I couldn’t have my first choice frames for the type of lenses I need, but I found some pretty ones.

My mom is getting entirely new glasses, too, but she also has developed cataracts. The glasses will stabilize her, for at least a few months, but then we have to consider surgery.

It was a HUGE chunk of change to drop — close to the equivalent of one month’s rent, and we chose inexpensive frames — but it will be worth it. It was the right doctor who did right by us.

Then, it was lawyer consultation. More than one — one lawyer, but more than one conversation. He’s a good guy, but the bottom line is that we still can’t afford him — although he thinks we have a strong case and that I’m good enough to win it if I represent my mother. He thought I was either in law school or a paralegal when we first started talking. While that’s all very flattering, I need someone to represent us who knows how the game is played. We all know that the justice system isn’t about justice — it’s about the game. Just because I’m right doesn’t mean I’ll win. So I’m back to square one and out of time, because the (string of nasty words deleted) landlords will make another move today.

The workshops are going well. I’m cracking the whip on the poor students, but they rise to the challenge. Unfortunately, we had power problems due to bad weather, I couldn’t get online last night, so I’m behind.

My own writing, of course, is suffering terribly during all of this, but I just have to grit my teeth and get through it. I’m hoping that, by the end of the week, a lot of things will be clearer.

Devon

Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 6:12 am  Comments (6)  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Sorry I didn’t post all weekend, but I came back Friday night to find the (string of nasty words deleted) landlords pulled some more (string of nasty words deleted). Of course, they do this on the Friday night of a holiday weekend. Thinking there’s nothing we can do. (Another string of nasty words deleted).

I spent Friday night and all of Saturday filling out paperwork. I will probably spend most of this week in lawyer consultations.

While I’m teaching two workshops at The Muse Online Writers’ Conference and trying to get everything else sorted out.

May the Universe work swiftly to bring justice and balance back between what these landlords do to cause harm all around, and those to whom they cause harm. That’s all I’ve got to say!

The final house we saw on Friday morning was also great, and it gave us a lot to think about. It would have been nice if we could have done more thinking and less fighting with the (string of nasty words deleted) landlords all weekend.

On Thursday, I’d stopped at Laughing Moon, one of my favorite stores in Plymouth, and found a wonderful hunk of amethyst and some other pieces. Then, on Friday, we stopped in Mystic, where I bought a beautiful mirror, a bracelet, and some other odds and ends. Stress treats for myself — and boy, did I need them.

These torturous, lying pigs should be blocked from ever managing or owning residential property.

The cats were happy we were home. Even Violet forgave me after about an hour instead of her usual three days.

This morning, my mom and I both have eye appointments. I’m having trouble with tired eyes, blurry vision, and headaches, and my mother needs her prescription changed, too. It’s a lovely, local place that has always been good to us. First, though, I have to talk to the lawyer.

Today, Muse starts. I have wonderful moderators working with me on the workshops, helping me with technical difficulties, so I’m sure it will smooth out as the week progresses.

I’m kicking ass in the workshops this week, being an even tougher teacher than usual, and Story Building will turn some people inside out, because of the way we’re working.

I’m really looking forward to it!

I posted welcome messages and the first exercise yesterday afternoon. I have more people in Story Building than I anticipated, but I’m sure some of them will drop out because it’s hard.

I decided not to take any of the workshops this year, because, with everything going on, I can’t give it the time it needs.

And, in a five minute email exchange, I booked five more Deconstruction workshops with Savvy Authors, well into next year. I’m doing Juliet Blackwell’s SECONDHAND SPIRITS,which was already booked, this November; then, I’m doing a workshop starting January 3 on Janet Evanovnich’s Stephanie Plum novels (which I’ve written about for a Smart Pop books anthology). Next year, I’ll also be teaching workshops on the film WATCHMAN, the book HOGFATHER, the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series (which I’ve also written about for SmartPop) and the entire Harry Potter series. As dates come closer, I will post more info. Hope to see many of you there.

So, there are good things happening!

Keep thinking positive house vibes for us — it’s really helping!

Devon

Published in: on October 11, 2010 at 6:17 am  Comments (6)  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Venus went retrograde and I couldn’t get the shower on in the motel room this morning. Typical!

Yesterday, we went flat out, looking at properties, and my mind is officially blown. We met some really great people. And, in a true Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, one potential landlord turns out to be the brother-in-law of an actor I’ve worked with on and off in both theatre and television (and one of my favorites). Another woman used to run the restaurant in the East Village where I ate twice a week when I worked at the Orpheum off-Broadway.

Mostly, we’re dealing with owners. I dealt with only two realtors — one was lovely, the other was not. He kept trying to move the appointment, not paying any attention to the fact that we’d driven up from NY and booked two solid days of appointments, back to back. He didn’t pay any attention to anything I told him. We got to the house and he’d left it unlocked for us, so we wandered through, but couldn’t ask any questions. We locked it up tightly — walked through and checked/locked the variety of entrances left unprotected and secured them. The space was good, but something felt off about it — in addition to the poor feng shui and the fact that the realtor couldn’t be bothered to spend any time with us.

It’s interesting — the older houses and the ones built by individual owners have a naturally positive feng shui, even if they don’t know that’s how they built it. The developments have the WORST possible feng shui one could imagine. Because, let’s face it, developers are all about the money.

We fell in love with a couple of places, and are now wrestling as to which we think would work best. They’re close in price, but vastly different in their positives, and we could see ourselves living in either one.

Of course, they might not want us!

Another house this morning and then heading back to Landlord Hell. I’ve been getting the emails, and it’s been getting exponentially worse. The new head of the Tenants’ Organization already quit after less than a week (and, no, I won’t be talked into taking it on).

I just want to know where we’re going to live, give them a nice, fat check, and start going!

Keep those positive moving vibes going — we still need to be ACCEPTED.

And there’s one more house to see.

I’ve already told the places we’re definitely not going to take that we’re going with something else. I don’t want to string anyone along unnecessarily. Now, we have to wrestle with our top contenders.

We didn’t have time for lunch, but we had time for a quick break at Seven Beans in Yarmouth, for great coffee and apple turnovers. It will so become one of my hangouts if I move to this area! For dinner, we also went back to Yarmouth to Molly’s Pub for dinner. We ate in the pub, excellent food, and there are pool tables set up in the back — the players are serious — they all brought their own equipment!

Collapsed into bed, trying to figure out what next.

I want to know where I’m going to live!

Devon

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 6:16 am  Comments (7)  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010
New Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Hopefully less rain!

Yesterday was a good day, but a long one. We were out the door just after 6 AM, but the weather sucked. It was raining so hard at times I couldn’t see the hood of the car. And why the HELL don’t drivers in MA put their lights on when it’s that dark and foggy? I thought it was a federal law but I guess it’s only in NY.

We saw three great houses, very different from each other, which gave us a lot to think about. There’s definitely a front runner after this batch. We wound up having lunch at Cooke’s in Hyannis (baked scrod) when one appointment cancelled Cooke’s is great. We even had time to go to the bookstore and pick up a few things.

We had dinner at my favorite restaurant in the area, the Beehive Tavern, in Sandwich — another outstanding meal of haddock stuffed with leek and lobster.

Stayed in a S. Yarmouth motel where we stayed in June — they remembered us. Very tired.

Have six houses to look at today, and one tomorrow morning. And then . . .we’ll see where we are.

Keep all those good thoughts coming — they help a lot. We want the best possible place, where we’ll be really happy — and we want them to want us.

And then you all have to come visit!

More anon.

Devon

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 1:30 am  Comments (9)  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Dark Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
It’s supposed to rain, but who the heck knows?

This is scheduled to post, because by the time you guys read this, I’m on the road, cat sitter w/cats and manning the fort in the apartment chaos, and, fingers crossed, I’m on my way to a better life.

Up and down and all over the map yesterday, but, ultimately, it’s all good. I have at least three back up plans in place, and the best possible outcome will happen.

I plan on staying somewhere with wifi, so I’ll catch up with you anon.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 4:09 am  Comments (8)  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Day before Dark Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

And, of course, no heat, so, because of the damp, it feels even colder.

I couldn’t get my hair cut on Saturday, and, if I can’t find a place to get it cut before Friday, I can’t get it cut until November 18. Venus is retrograde from Friday until November 18 (when Jupiter also goes direct), and, trust me, you do NOT want to do any beauty procedures, including getting your hair cut, while Venus is retrograde! Also, if you’re in a relationship, make sure you really listen to each other and to what’s under what’s being said.

I unloaded on a local Senior Advocate about all the crap going on here, and he is looking into it. There is no reason my 86 year old mother, who has never missed or been late on a rent payment and has been an ideal tenant for 38 years in the same apartment, should be put through this torture.

Thanks Lara and Brenda, for the lovely book!

I put up a dozen books on BookMooch and 8 of them were mooched within an hour, so I’m making a big trip to the post office.

Almost all of yesterday was spent on listings and setting up appointments. One seemed too good to be true, and, of course, was. It was in an area that’s my fallback, but the house looked and sounded so good, I made an inquiry. Then I get an email about how it’s listed as a sale, but isn’t really, and this guy’s a volunteer in Africa and “can’t find” an agent to handle it — blah, blah, blah. Yeah, right, does he think I just fell off the turnip truck? “Scam” written all over it.

Another sounded perfect — a three year lease while the family is transferred overseas, but I actually know the company that they work for and it’s all legit — but the place is furnished. So THAT won’t work.

There were the possibilities that fell off the map pretty fast: “You have to get rid of one cat” (no, I don’t have to even look at your place), and another who expected me to get up at 3 AM and drive there in order to see the house before 7 AM instead of booking an appointment at that time the following day, when we’d actually be in the area. Then, there was the ad where they tell you how to speak over the phone to leave a message. All of these things are very telling, and they tell me that none of those places is the right match. A couple of agents offered to negotiate the multiple cat thing, but I said, look, either a landlord is pet friendly or not, and if something like that has to be negotiated from the get-go, neither of us will trust the other and the relationship is already strained from the start. It’s better to pass.

I don’t need fancy finishes — I’ve never been a finish whore. I need storage space, a room to write, a bit of a yard, and pet-friendly. In addition to the whole bedrooms and kitchen thing.

But almost all my slots are full for tomorrow, and most of Thursday’s slots are full, too. So, we’ll see what we come up with.

The stress is starting to manifest physically, along with the cold and the damp, so I’m trying really, really hard not to get sick.

Devon

Published in: on October 5, 2010 at 6:56 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: ,

Blue Monday (October 4, 2010)

Monday, October 4, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I’ve just been up, down, and all over the place this weekend. Looked at dozens of listings, emailed for information on a handful. Not happy with most of the realtors I dealt with — they don’t pay any attention. They have no actual interest in finding the best possible match for a property — they only want the highest price. Two actually seem to be interested in working positively, so we’ll see what we come up with. I am going to be such a diva bitch when I’m forced to deal with realtors to buy. The individuals, on the other hand, are much nicer and more human.

Did some packing; visited my friend to do laundry and couldn’t concentrate on anything. Came home and obsessed on listings. I’m up one minute, down the next. The worst would be to find the perfect home and then be rejected because I’m a freelancer. I hope my references are strong enough to hold up. A pristine, 38 year rental record should count for something.

Violet gave me a terrible scare on Sunday morning when I couldn’t find her. When she finally came out, I burst into tears. She was like, “What? I was right there!”

It was in the 40’s, and of course, the scumbag landlords didn’t give us heat Saturday into Sunday or Sunday into today.

Last night was a Tenants’ Organization meeting. Some of it was good, some of it was a waste of time. The former head of the organization absolutely refuses to take responsibility for the fact that he dropped the ball, didn’t do the research, didn’t keep people informed, and didn’t ask for help when necessary. We now have a new Acting President and people are trying to figure out what to do next. I said I’d advise, but I won’t be around in the next few months (I have not told people of my plans until they are finalized), and can’t do what I’ve done for the past several years, which is give up work for hours every day to put research and work into this which is not followed up. They want me to hold a position and keep being daily active, but I just can’t.

The landlords have upped both the physical and psychological torture. They are now serving anyone who disagrees with them an eviction notice — I expect ours any day now, which will have a negative impact on trying to find a new home. More unnecessary stress. They simply ignore the fact that they don’t have the language in the lease to support what they want, batter people, drag them into court, and the judge tells them to stop wasting everyone’s time, and they go back and do the same thing again. They’re putting people through as much unnecessary hell as possible.

We also found out that the Building Dept. is lying to us. Each time one of us calls up to complain, following protocol, we are told we are “the only one” complaining — even if five or six of us call within a matter of minutes. I seriously doubt they’re even tracking any of the complaints.

The past few days have been hell, and it won’t get better. I am at the end of my rope. I talked to a cop I know who said, “Just call us when you feel unsafe,” to which I replied, “Honey, you’d have to set up a cot in the front hall.”

I can’t sleep, I’ve been crying on and off all weekend. It has to stop. How can I possibly make a good impression while house hunting when I’m such a mess?

The positive? I polished the exercises for the Dialogue Workshop and the Story Building Workshop next week at Muse. The latter is going to blow people’s minds — it’s a completely different way of working and looking at one’s structure and it will be a HUGE challenge for the participants. Buckle up, bunnies, it will be a hell of a ride, and you’ll get some good stuff out of it.

Devon

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 7:56 am  Comments (4)  

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Woke up this morning with Iris stuck to one side and Violet stuck to the other. Nice and warm on a cold fall morning! Very cute!

The storm hit yesterday rather than Thursday. The brook held, no flooding, thank goodness, and I certainly appreciate the local police department, who did not give me any tickets! I have a sign I put on the dashboard stating I’m a resident of my building and not willing to lose another car to flood — they’re pretty good about not giving tickets when we’re on flood watch.

Packed 30 damn boxes yesterday, almost all books, and it didn’t even make a dent! I was ready to commit hara-kiri with the corkscrew! I wound up packing some stuff I hadn’t originally planned to pack yet but: A) I don’t need it, so into the box it goes and B) I can get at it right now, and now I can stack boxes in front of it!

Very disappointed with my original choice of realtor. They’re very nice and all, but after all that talk of how they own over 400 properties, they have NOTHING that suits my needs? I find that hard to believe. I’m dealing with individuals and setting up appointments for midweek. The other two major realtors who deal with the area — well, one is just not very nice so I refuse to deal with them, and the other talks a lot but there’s no substance, and most of the properties aren’t pet friendly. When I say my number one priority is pet friendly, don’t say, “This is perfect for you, but no pets and no negotiation.” Um, if either of those two points are true, then IT’S NOT PERFECT. There’s another company who’s swooped in and seems to have a lot of inventory, but there’s something I don’t quite trust about them, and a major national chain who has the same contact listed for a bunch of properties, only he can’t be bothered to answer an email, so forget anything by that company.

The positive in all this is that, when I’m ready to buy, I know who NOT to use. 😉

Finally got back to my yoga routine this morning (my back is killing me) and even got in a few pages of writing. I’m going to pack some more this morning, then pick up some take out and spend the afternoon at a friend’s doing laundry. I may hit Target tomorrow for more bins.

And I HAVE to finish pulling stuff off the old PC, so I can dump it when they do the electronics recycling here in a couple of weeks.

Send me positive house vibes, please! I need some!

Devon

Published in: on October 2, 2010 at 7:39 am  Comments (4)  
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Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and icky

So the storm’s 18 hours late, but it’s hammering us now. I moved the car early yesterday morning, moved it back when things dried out, moved it again last night. I’m sure I have a ticket, but it’s better than losing the car.

The day was flood prep and purging and sorting papers that had accumulated in various corners of the kitchen. Rather than unpacking file boxes, I sorted the stuff I need to keep and file by year, put them in big envelopes, will box them, and sort them into the relevant files once those are unpacked.

I’m setting up appointments for next week — fingers crossed that we find the right home and the people with the rental control don’t perform acts of economic discrimination.

I have to go to CT today for a bit (if the streets aren’t so flooded I can’t get there), and then pick up some more boxes from Staples. I’m starting to pack the books. I have about 2-3,000 books in this tiny apartment, and it will take awhile to box them and stack them. I wanted to hit Target for more bins, too, but that’s not going to happen today. I’d have to cross the bridge over the brook that floods so badly, and there’s no guarantee I’d get back, so I’ll just stay on this side and go tomorrow! 😉

So there it is. Nothing exciting to say. Just kind of in a holding pattern for the next few days, and trying to get things in boxes.

The landlords are being asshats, as usual, but at least the weather’s been too awful for the “workmen” to be around.

Devon

Published in: on October 1, 2010 at 6:02 am  Comments (6)