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Of A WeekendJuly 31, 2006

How eternally tired I am of dealing with the HOA crap that you have all come to know and love. Did I mention that the non-owner-asshat ripped out the back deck? That his unit and mine SHARE? And then did nothing, leaving it a dirt hole, claiming that he thought he had verbal approval (after we had discussed everyone getting independent bids, and no, he was NOT welcome to submit one), and when he found out he didn't, he just stopped working.

The good news: We found the real owner, Sarah. And she appears to be a sensible sort, thank all the gods that live in small houses. She's in a difficult situation, a he-said-she-said kind of thing, but she's paying all back dues, the check is mailed, and I believe her. She's Jose's ex, so she must know something about him, I suppose.

We'll get this place fixed up if it kills us. However, it's been a bitch to rent out, partly because of the dirt hole at the back door, and partly because I hate going over there, knowing he might be home. I'd hate to run into him right now, especially with the last few days of flying emails. So I'm showing it to four or five people in the next couple of days -- think good thoughts! We're broke! Need the rent! Sometimes it's just so hard, putting myself in a situation where I'm not comfortable, where there might be personal verbal conflict, which I HATE. It stresses me out. All day today, I've been mildly anxious and worried, knowing I have to go over there at 1pm, which is crap, because, really, I love that little place. Ack.

Also: Anyone know a good, honest, cheap contractor that I should contact in the East Bay Area to rebuild a wooden stairway, and a back lower and upper deck? Give me some refs, baby. I know you got 'em. (Also need a CHEAP handyman -- got some doors that need work in helping to close easily, and some windows that are painted shut, that type of thing. Bless you, in advance.)

On a happy, fibery note, I had a lovely weekend. Bookended by knitting happenings, it was just one of those nice times. I had time off of work due to a friend being VERY nice and working for me two nights in a row. So my weekend started with a night at Nancy's house, all lesbians, mostly knitters. I finished a pair of Baudelaire socks while there, and those bossy knitters MADE me take a picture so that I'd actually post knitting content.

So, under only faint duress, I give you some very pretty socks:


Very nice pattern, highly recommended. And for a person who, when it comes right down to it, HATES to knit lace socks, these are pretty painless. And PRETTY.

So I had a wonderful evening at Nancy and Adriana's house. It was really something I needed, great food, great conversation, great women. I was glowing when I came home.

The next day was supposed to be Lambtown. I was going to watch border collies work sheep and buy fiber. Then I realized I HAVE a border collie (I can pretend the sheep, just watch me), and I have enough fiber. Really, I do. And as stated, we need a renter. Until renter, no fiber. That's the deal. So I stayed home with Lala, which was a much better thing to do, anyway.

Then Bolinas -- the regular fun, good show, good people (lotsa knitters! Props to my knitters!), and, unfortunately, a guy named Dustin and a bottle of Crown Royale. Stupid Dustin from Vegas with his stories of bacon martinis. I had the mother of a hangover the next day, the likes of which I haven't seen in years. I started out kinda okay, able to eat and drive and pack and unpack the car which was full of instruments and dogs.

Once home and out with my girl Mandy (see, didn't I tell you? All knitting fun this weekend, all the time), the hangover really kicked in. I was miserable. So happy, so overjoyed to see her, so happy to meet her awesome friend Susie, but, oh, the spins I was in. And the embarrassment was almost as bad as the headache. They were sweet to me, though, and only laughed a little when, in front of me at the cafe I had: iced coffee, V-8, water, and 7-Up. I just couldn't decide what would help. Lala was a SAINT, I tell you.

    Susie, Saintly Lala, me, and Mandy

After that, I went down for the count for a nap and got up feeling more human, and then we got to go to Janine's, who was in town! I tell you, it doesn't get better than this. We heart Janine, in a big way. More hanging out with excellent people, and more knitting.

Look! I'm so proud! Actual knitting content! Yay!

*Added later - I rented it! I did! What an awesome day -- things with Sarah the Real Owner are working out, and I had an amazing hour of showing the place to four people, all of whom loved it. I debated -- should I rent it to the hot sporty lesbian (represent) or to the lovely Peace Corps gal named Hope who teaches elementary school? I wanted to help the community and rent it to our sporty jock (her g/f and dog were cute, too), but I bonded more with Hope. She'd be someone I'd pick as a friend, and her references were awesome. Also, her lease is up in seven days, so I'm giving her the keys in six. Couldn't be more perfect. Now I really need those handyman/contractor suggestions......

Oh, frabjous day!


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Keeping fingers crossed... Have any lawyer friends? Stupid Jose seems impervious to, well, anything, but if his removing the deck is costing you tenants, he should compensate you. Or Sarah should. She may be in a tough position, but it's like having a really, really bad dog who bites people and kills chickens--she's responsible for him. Call the sherriff & put his crap on the front sidewalk!! (I know, easy to talk tough from miles away.)

I hate it when these kinds of issues can't get resolved without a lot of heartache. But that seems to be the way it goes. Seems like I never get any results with my landlord until I have a complete MELTDOWN, then I get painted as the pain in the ass complainy tenant, and I get the dirty looks, etc.

Like, if he had fixed the leaky roof the first SEVEN YEARS that it happened, maybe I would not have had to call the city building inspector and get his sorry ass in trouble. So frustrating.

Duress or not, those are some sexy socks, girl! It was great to see you again on Friday...it's been ages. We'll do it again when things slow down, right? Ha!

I went to Lambtown and can tell you that it was hot, hot, hot sitting out on the open bleachers watching the sheepdog trials. We didn't stay as long as we wanted. If you go next year, bring an umbrella to shade you from the sun. At least we did remember sunscreen and hats.

The fiber vendors were ok - but as long as there are sheep, there will be fiber. You were smart to recognize that you don't need more right now. I bought fiber I didn't need and also left wanting to buy a loom (I can't even spin worth a darn yet and now I want to weave?)

I was disappointed that there weren't more sheep out on display. It was better last year - lots more sheep and they had labels on their pens so I could tell them apart and learn something too. This year it was just half a dozen sheep in pens. And where were the alpacas this year?

Best of luck with your condo. I hope it gets rented real soon.

I hope you get everything figured out with this asshat. Who the fuck rips out a deck then stops? Oy.

Ahh, what a weekend! Sounds lovely and invigorating/relaxing all at once. I could use a weekend like that soon...

BACON martini you say? That's a new one....do tell.

So sorry we didn't make it to Bolinas! The universe interfered with my plans!

Glad to hear that you rented the condo! Sorry I have no ideas for a contractor. I'm married to a building inspector, but dude HATES to actually build stuff, go figure!

You're even cute hung-over, dude.

Bacon martinis? I don't know if I want to know ...

Mmm, bacon martinis. Sounds pretty good to me. I'm sad I missed out on Janine's shindig but I was still too wiped out from the 1/2 marathon... I think you made the right choice on missing Lambfest, didnt you go last year and not like the vibe?

Hooray Sarah! Hooray for knitters! Hooray for renters!

What a great weekend (ignoring the hangover)!

Oh! Um...bacon martinis? I really need to know more about this. No really. I do.

We bought a house in El Cerrito in March and needed a handyman to do a couple of odd jobs around the house. We found Ted Posselt through the Berkeley Parents site (parents.berkeley.edu). We're not parents (unless you count our cats), but we've found that to be a great resource for home stuff. We found our floor refinishers on there too. Anyway, Ted's a SUPER nice guy, plus he's reliable, his work is impeccable, and he's really meticulous about cleaning up after he's done. His number is 510-658-8026. Good luck!

Cute Baudelaire socks! I hope mine turn out as well - I'm loving the pattern!

BACON martinis?

Hola - I love your site - read it all the time - fellow knitter, dog owner, homowner with various angst etc. Anyway - you might want to sign up for Angie's List www.angieslist.com to help you with this stuff. My condo association joined as a group for a discounted rate since we're self managed and we often need contractors of some sort. If you haven't heard of it it's a database of services and evaluations / referrals that are entered by people who belong to the list - they give an honest assessment on the contractor - rip off? good work? Price? etc. Also they often have coupons. Good luck with that!

Oh! I'm so excited that you found a renter!

Now I'm thinking good thoughts on the contractor because I don't know any one but if I lived down there I'd recruit the Dad and we'd be building! Instead, I'm sending good vibes for you.

Hi Rach, I'm so glad you rented the condo. :) Just make sure you get a permit (if you need one) for the stair & deck - don't get busted and end up paying fines to the city. Good luck with the contractor search, a good & honest contractor will do the permiting for you.

Be really careful about money and contractors. Don't give them any money before they do the actual work and don't give them cash. And don't trust them at all whatsoever, even if they're recommended. Recently, I had a problem with one when I changed my mind about a project. Though,after several stress inducing phone calls, he finally did cough up the check for the necessary amount.

My husband is a contracter/landscaper,When he gets a job,there are contracts involed.You may need to put money/deposit down ,you may to sign a contract.These are small companies they also need to protect themsleves,if somone changes their mind ,even at the beginning of a project,there are still staff to be paid,and other clients waiting.I'm sorry that Lisa had a bad go of it with her contracter.But Lisa their not all like that.My hubby gives discounts if a portion/or all of the fee is paid in cash.Mind you it is all acommpaned with recipts and paper work. Not to mention lets thank all those people who laber hard outside with no a/c.My hubby gets most clients thru word of mouth,and I know your going to find your contracter,with the help of knit bloggers.

Oh sorry , we live in toronto. Good luck. dennyxoxo

Yay for having a renter!!!!!

Oh, and if you ever need someone to call that guy up an give him a verbal bitch-slapping the likes of which he has never had before, I am a Bitchy Jersey Chick Who Don't Take No Sh*t From No Body. :-) Years of working retail and having to be NICE all the time have left me with vast reserves of cutting invective
(no charge either, it's good practice for riding MUNI)....

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