Blog of a Million Dreams

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Homeowner's Meetings

We had our Homeowner's Meeting last week and I was appalled.

The morning of the meeting, the President (I'll call him Larry) went around and duct taped the agenda to everyone's door. When we removed the tape and the agenda, the paint peeled off of our doors. Two of us complained at the meeting later about the paint and Larry essentially said, "tough shit".

When I looked at the agenda, the major item to be discussed was painting the exterior of the units. Our building doesn't need painting. It looks good. But Larry's wife, Jojo, has been complaining for a year that she wants the complex repainted. She doesn't like the color.

Jojo has painted the inside of her unit yellow and purple. Downstairs is pea-green. Jojo has a bunch of ideas about paint colors, none of which are the existing paint color of our complex which is a nice, pleasant, unobtrusive blue...

When I first moved into my complex, I couldn't remember how much Homeowner dues were. Jojo was bouncing around outside her unit, talking with a neighbor. As I walked by I asked her how much dues were.

She looked up at me with an empty look in her eye and airly said, "Oh, I don't know...I don't do any of that money stuff, my husband pays the dues for us..."

Jojo is not the brightest cookie in the jar. So it surprised me when she was able to get a job at Cisco but I figure, since it's a contract job, and she works from home part-time most of the time, it's probably some assistant to the assistant of the assistant secretary position...proof reading letters or something.

Anyway I digress. But having this airhead setting the agenda for our Homeowner's meeting put my teeth on edge.

And there's more.

The huge, sprawling complex across the street is set to be demolished. This year. Painting our complex during their demolishing process is pretty stupid. We'd just have to repaint right afterwards.

So I pointed this out to Tim and Nancy, my other neighbors. Nancy is pregnant. But this does NOT excuse her reaction.

"Oh I kinda want to paint the complex," she cooed.

"And I think we should paint it maroon."

Maroon. Have you ever seen a maroon house? I have not. I think there is a good reason for that. Namely, that a maroon house looks pretty bad. I asked Nancy if she was serious. She was. So I ended that conversation and geared up for a pretty unpleasant homeowner's meeting for that evening.

It started off pretty badly. Nancy thought that since there were two of them (her and her husband), they should get two votes and they were voting for repainting the complex. And repainting it maroon.

Larry pointed out to her that since Nancy and Tim only owned one unit, they only had one vote. She was shocked and said that wasn't fair. He had to explain the voting process to her and I think she still didn't get it.

The repainting was voted down. Larry, Jojo, Nancy and Tim were pissed. Mainly at me since I was the most vocal about NOT repainting our complex.

So then they decided to raise everyone's homeowner dues in some misplaced vendetta to get me back. I explained that would impact the resale value of our units. This was Tim's response:

Tim: "Since the cost of living goes up every 3 to 4% every year, we need to raise our homeowner's dues 3 to 4% every year also. You know, inflation is really rising..."

Me: "Tim, what does the price of bread have to do with real estate and, specifically, Homeowner dues?"

Tim (ignoring me): "And even though we don't like our gardeners, we do have to give them raises to keep up with the cost of living and so we need to raise our dues to probably $60 more a month."

They voted to raise our Homeowner Dues. When I explained that they would have to notify people that dues were going up, that they couldn't just raise the dues and not let people know, Larry said he would just duct-tape a note to everyone's door telling them to pay more. I tried to explain that there probably is some sort of process or way of letting people know in the CC&R's but everyone talked right over me. So, I'll probably be the only one paying more for dues because these morons haven't notified everyone else properly.

I live with the stupidest people on the planet. I used to feel sorry for Tim and Larry, thinking that they had married some pretty dumb women but now I think they are well-suited.

And I'm looking for a house.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Kelly Ripa

Well, I've been on vacation for the past week but I'll spare you the boring details of my exciting casino/spa/visiting friends trip and describe what I did the rest of my time while on break.

I watched television.

Oh yeah. Exciting. Thrilling. Whoo-hooo and all that.

So for at least 2 of my free days I watched the Regis and Kelly Show. Which used to be the Regis and Kathy Lee Show (but when it was R and KL, it might as well have been just the Regis Show because she just sat there like a blow up doll with an occasional blast of giggles).

Now, however, it's the Kelly Ripa Show. See, Regis had some sort of surgery and so has been AWOL. So Kelly has these male guest hosts helping her out...sort of...

After the Clay Aiken gaffe, it's been really funny to watch these guys on their best behavior. Because for at least the first 30 minutes of the Show, it's All About Kelly. And, in light of what happened with poor Clay, these male stand-ins just sit there with a deer in the headlights look.

She goes on and on and on about her vacation to some fancy island with indigenous monkeys, her kids, her tan, her belly button (it's an outey, as if anyone cares), her hair, her weight, her propensity to eat strange food, her lack of singing ability and on and on and on...

Even Kathy Lee with her 100 year old philandering husband and dopey kids wasn't quite as self centered as The Kelly Show. All I could think of as I watched this program was how grateful I was that 1) I wasn't married to Kelly, 2) I wasn't one of her kids (can you imagine? "Mom I hurt my knee!" "SHUT UP and Get your bloody parts away from my beautiful wait, I can use this on the show tomorrow...oh come here boobsy..nanny quick get the kid a band aid and bring me a Bloody Mary" and 3) I don't work with/for/around the Kelly.

Ugh. The Kelly Show indeed.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Celebrated Easter with a huge dinner/lunch (okay, it was at 1 p.m. so I guess that qualifies as lunch) but will still be feeling it fact now!

Big M was still on the road, so she didn't show up. Mom and Dad came though, and we had a huge meal with chicken kiev, risotto, a great salad that Big G made, hominy and more. I could barely move afterwards.

Then Mom decided it was time to call all the relatives. That was fun. Because she insisted on putting everyone on the room on the line.

Mom: "Hello, Jay? What are you doing? Working in your yard? Oh! Well let me put your father on the phone...Frank, Frank, here' s the phone, say hello...

Dad: "Hi Jay, Happy Easter. Well here's your's the phone..."

Mom: "Jay, well we just ate a huge dinner. Cece, Cece, your brother's on the phone, say helloo..."

And it went on from there. I have a zillion relatives. And Mom insisted that I speak to all of them. And don't think that she was deterred when an answering picked up. Oh No! In that case, she insisted on leaving six messages, and crammed the phone in all of our ears so that we could leave personalized messages as well. Fun.

At least she didn't try to call Chuckie and Mags down in LA. But I think she spoke to them yesterday, so didn't feel like she needed to call them.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

FCC Sanity

I just read on msnbc that the FCC is going to ban cell phones on airplanes.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have been reading about people trying to overturn that ban with dread for the last few years or so.

I had to take the Caltrains up to the city when I worked for a major financial services company last year. I took the bullet train and it took an hour and the worst of all parts of it was the fact that I had to sit next to all the Chatty Kathy's on the train.

Chatty Kathy is the name my Mom gives to people who can't shut up.

Imagine this; you are racing to catch your train, at 6 a.m. in the morning, preparing for a 2o minute walk after the train to your office in the city, dreading another day in the office and you end up sitting next to Chatty Kathy on the ride up. I had this happen to me all the time.

At one point, on one train ride, I actually said, "THANK GOD", when the blabbermouth disembarked and at least 10 people laughed and echoed my sentiments.

Now. Imagine you are going on a business trip. On a plane. A 6 hour plane ride while you are held captive in your airplane seat next to a blabbermouth. I have had this happen to me as well. At least if the blabbermouth tries to talk to me I can turn my head and pretend to try and sleep. But with cell phones, there is no volume control. Have you ever listened to those people talk?

They go on and on and on and on and on AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS.

I've actually thought about recording what they say on the train and posting it to a website.

Thank you FCC. I love you. You are awesome. Keep banning those cell phones. The last thing I want to listen to on an hours-long flight is some jerk blabbing into his phone.