Ties That Bind

It’s been a while, I know.  Been busy but not working a day-job, which happens from time to time as a consultant.  It was a weird run of job seeking, wherein I finally made a big shift in order to get work going again.  I’ll get to that in a minute.

Perhaps it’s my age, experience, or self-acceptance – or all three and a few I haven’t thought of – but my ability to shrug off dipshittery is really robust at the moment.  From a comedy show wherein an audience member had issues with a joke I did, to a former colleague’s opinions garnering an emotionless but true response, I have found a level of “OK’ness” that I’m both enjoying and trying to maintain in a mature way.

First off, the colleague.  As a consultant, my work is usually contracted with companies for a specific rate over a stated period of time.  I was looking for a new assignment, which my firm usually had access to moreso than the average job-seeker.  Managers at companies usually need a specific skill set, wherein they’ll reach out to a consulting firm, which plays matchmaker.  But for whatever reason, I was being set-up on some dates that just weren’t clicking.  The account manager for a few of the spots had made a few weird edits to my resumé that I was unaware of, which led to some odd questions.

Skipping ahead past a bunch of dead-end interviews (2 of which were with different people who weren’t sure what position I was interviewing for), I was able to find a position with a former manager for whom I loved working.  She needed people with my skills on her team, pronto.  My colleague tried to negotiate for me, but had a barrier to entry over a few dollars difference in my rate.  My colleague told me “Well if they do things this way, you don’t want to be there.”  I responded with “I want to work, and I found this role which you just about let get away over a few dollars without us talking about it, which is unfair considering all the other lost opportunities this year.  I’m going to cement that job by tomorrow, ok?”

Don’t tell somebody what they do or don’t want.  Facts, Pros & Cons, maybe.  After a few months of wanting a paycheck and not wanting no paycheck, I wanted to work, and it was juuuuuust over this barrier of a few dollars.  Those few dollars, btw, were part of the firm’s profit margin, not mine.  And that’s where I had to say good bye to that firm.  No hard feelings there, but also a great lesson; Other people’s plans can’t prevent your progress.

So I negotiated the gig and am back to work and will be paid and miserable in no time.  WOO HOO!

Oh, and the audience member.  I did a joke about how I don’t spank my kids, because it teaches them that physical violence is an OK way to express anger, makes them feel weak, and shows them that anybody bigger than them should be allowed to treat them with disrespect, not to mention how it can cause trauma and resentment.  I was spanked as a kid, back in the 1970’s.  I did a few things to deserve some punishment, but a couple of those were brutal.  I don’t put anything negative on my parents about this; grounding me wasn’t working because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and had a pretty good talent for talking-back.  Eventually I stopped getting spanked when, one day, knowing I was about to get it, I quit being scared.  I saw the belt and that look and just started laughing.  I think I was 5 or 6.  And that was that.  After that, not having a bike to ride, or being forced to sit in front of a window and watch my friends playing was all I needed to check myself.  After that, I rarely wrecked myself.

So anyway, this thunderbitch in the audience took issue with the material.  The joke goes like this:
“My wife and I don’t spank our kids.  We don’t think physical violence is how you teach kids they were wrong and should be punished.  We’ve had a pretty aggressive pillow fight break out, but no hitting.  Plus, I found out that, in public, people FREAK OUT when you spank a kid.  Especially theirs, WOW.
Get in MY face? He was peeing down a slide, sorry you had to look up from your phone.”

The woman came up to me after my set, during the headliner’s set, and asked if I “have something against parents who spank their kids?” I said “I don’t know who does what, but I have read enough to know it doesn’t really work the way the spanker thinks it should.  And if a kid acts out violently towards other kids, then yeah, I’m gonna take issue with the parents.”
She replied with “Well, I spank my kids and they’re FINE. And I look at my phone when they’re at a play area so that I can get a little personal time.”
I asked, “How old are your kids?”

She says, “4 and 2.”

I said “OK, well, good luck with that. I wouldn’t hit a toddler for spilling something or writing on the walls or whatever, but that’s me.  I don’t hit children.”

After telling me I don’t know her life (duh) and to F off (duh), she wobbled to the restroom, then returned to tell the club owner that I was rude to her.  The club owner said “Well, tell me when you want to come back and I’ll make sure to book him that weekend.”  She was confused, I chuckled.  Life went on.

Sometimes other people’s issues are also a sore spot for them.  This woman was probably nice and a few of her neighbors weren’t totally disgusted with her, but my joke and principles still stand.  My last firm’s business model works most of the time, but for most of this year, it hadn’t.  So I cut and run. Some of Something is always better than All of Nothing.  Unless it’s getting spanked and you aren’t “into that.”

Not judging, if you are.  Some of us could use a good reddening from time to time…

 

 

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Hot Links

I know, super-inventive title!

Blog-Links

HOT LINKS FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT

I rarely get political here because there are so many factors to politics that lead a discussion from “The policies of Party X are against my own morals about societal bettering,” which isn’t a term, and lead to “YOU’RE A COMMUNIST SYMPATHIZER AND NO LONGER ALLOWED AT THIS DINNER TABLE, SON.”  So, as to avoid another scene at BackSteak OutHouse, I’ll just include a few things I saw that I like. Going forward, I hope to do this at least once a week.  I’ve been slacking for no good reason.  I guess if you have a good reason, it’s not slacking, is it?

  1. 25 Excellent Pieces of Advice That Most People Ignore by Lolly Daskal – We hear these quite often, but acting on them is tough sometimes.  
  2. A Peace Activist In Brussels Shares 5 Things To Know about the Attacks there, and moving against Daesh – Yes, there’s a way to defuse these attacks, maybe.
  3. The Man In The Tree in Seattle – No, not a brother to the Man in the Box, but I’m thinking he’s probably in need of a nap and some counseling. (who isn’t?) Plus he stripped a city-living Sequoia, lost a lot of Instagram followers, I’m sure.
  4. Fish oil and why you’re screwing it up – Take care of your brain with the right food and you’ll have a sharp mind long after your friends are space-flighted to Mars.

That’s it this week.  Thanks for reading, or at least looking at the letters!

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A Taste of Stardom

Last weekend I performed with Jim Breuer at the Parlor Live Comedy Club in Bellevue, WA.  I’ve been lucky to get to open for comics I’ve loved and were inspired by, such as Jim Gaffigan, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Paul Reiser and yes, Jim Breuer. Jim’s energy is like a rock band, coming out to get the warm crowd notched-up for some hard riffs and big drums.  It was inspiring.

It was also the chance to work in front of full rooms.  Sold-out rooms, about 300 people in a space to share energy and laugh themselves damp.  Incredible.  And to be able to go up in front of a room like that and do really well (I can’t say that I “killed” because I have a certain standard for that and it’s not in an 18-minute set), and have zero nerves about it, and really enjoy the moment shows that I’m still in the right path here.  I still have moments of silence on stage, mentally working through a bit or have a planned pause, and I like that.  But this was “get in and go go go.”  Also, I was asked to work “clean,” which means, to me, nothing beyond “asshole.”

Some comedians hate that. They don’t like the constraints of language.  And I’m honestly on the side of free expression and speech.  But also, having done a lot of clean sets, and a lot of sets with more than a couple S & F-bombs, I see how vulgarity can be a crutch.  Being conscious of what you’re expressing is vital to any form of communication, which is why I try to keep my kids from saying “like” and “guess what” in the middle of sentences.  Stay engaged!

Anywho, after knocking it out for about 1,000 people last weekend, I’ll be trying to get the laughs out of 150-ish folks at an Eagles Lodge in a town better known for crystal meth than comedy fame.  Seems like the perfect place to record a demo tape for HBO, or maybe Dateline.

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Blog Fatigue in Bloom

A friend of mine on Facebook and in life who is also a mom raising a 3 year-old kiddo by herself (explained below) posted this on Facebook on Jan. 31. 2016.  I think it’s absolutely brilliant and necessary.  If you’ve ever been into a niche of blogs you likely picked up on common threads, thoughts, and trends.  The niche here is “Mommy Blogs,” written by moms (presumably) about their child rearing, parenting, advisory efforts and often make it appear to be simply easy.  And some of whom are very authentic.  Regardless, this post was timely in that we’re easily inundated with information we seek… My inbox is about 40% Unreads from blogs, sites, or apps I tried a few times and *might* revisit, shrug.

So… here ya go.

Why I’m Unsubscribing From All the Goddamned Mommy Blogs

For fucks sake.

After a day of taking my kid to the skating rink and bowling alley and celebrating the birthday of my best friend, I finally get my threenager to bed (at like 12AM, I shit you not) and I scroll through my Facebook bullshit only to find out that I’m…

…a douche bag…

Yep.

Those moms at home, those moms at work, the moms with 3, the preggers ones…it’s such a fucking kill joy. I’m doing it all wrong. Somehow, some way.

Being a parent.

Blows.

It blows sometimes. More than sometimes…

I’m a single mom of a 3 year old. There is no dad to take her every weekend. (Not a bad thing, he’s batshit crazy)…I’m the Saint and I’m the Asshole. 24 hours a day.

But for fucks sake…

It seems like there’s a constant reminder. A spotlight on the shit stew of parenthood.

So what?

Maybe you haven’t found the right wine. Or right friends. Or family.

Ok.

Get yer blog on.

But why am I fucking subscribing to this shit?!

I realize it’s written with the intent to let you know that you’re not alone, but…

For fucks sake.

This little asshole sleeping on the couch. The love of my life. Is really awesome. And in the little bit of free stupid browsing time I have, I don’t want to read about the negative shit.

I want to be reminded of the good shit (and there is enough of it to go viral)

So….

….You don’t wanna have a 3rd kid (I don’t care why, just don’t),
you don’t know if your kid is gonna be ok because he ate formula (he will), you’re afraid your kid will be weak because you co-sleep (my head strong a-hole 3 yr old proves NOPE. Hell nope.)….

I have a feeling we shared some pretty helpful and relevant shit back in the day. MORESO! I think we supported each other much more personally.

You want to relate?

Make a meal. Offer to babysit. Clean the house. Sit around and talk the shit out of parenting…there’s a lot to be shared.

But don’t post your negative bullshit online. Women don’t need that. Men don’t need that. And kids don’t need their parents fed that.

So I’m Unsubscribing.

I don’t want to hear about why you aren’t doing this or that. Or why you’re judging someone for doing this or that.

My little asshole is 3 and she can’t help it. Scientifically, her brain just can’t control the ups and downs. And she is bright, and funny, and gorgeous, and way more outgoing than I’ll ever want to be…she’s got a charisma that I can’t begin to describe.

Write more stories about that. Meet me in person to focus on that stuff.

We’re all doing the best we can. Did they wake up alive? Were you parenting out of love?

Good on ya.

That’s the manual we’re all searching for…

 

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It’s For The Children, and other BS

I have two sons who are the reason I get up every morning, and leave the house as fast as I can.  To go to work, usually.  They really are the best thing t’ever happen to me.  And I’m hoping my wife/their mom and I are the best things to happen to them.  It’s still early.  A lot can happen, but we’re really involved in Parenting as a responsibility and passion, and not a hobby.  They’re still little, 6 & 4, but already have big ideas about the world, friendship, the passage of time, the afterlife, and Star Wars.  Life works in phases, everything that progresses works in phases, and to pretend we always have to do everything at the same pace is counter-productive to Life.

Our kids are involved in just enough to keep them, and us, nearly over-active. It’s all for the kids.  I totally get that.  I hear that all the time.  And sometimes it’s complete bullshit.

It really dawned on me last Summer, and hit home in October, when somebody took it upon themselves to act as Authority! in a situation that needed Guidance, not a Crossing Guard, and caused bigger problems than they solved.  At each of these scenes we were in “holding patterns” for “the kids” to get in line, or arranged or whatever, before starting things up.  It’s always For The Kids, if it’s at a little league baseball game, or a Junior Hoops 7U Basketball Camp, or a Tiny Tae Kwon Do seminar.  I GET IT. THE ROOM IS FULL OF KIDS, NOT DRUNK ADULTS. SO THIS, YES, THIS IS FOR THE KIDS.  What’s the actual reason for this horse-shit, time-wasting, misguided, poorly-planned event backsliding to the slop-trough of “Reasons To Disengage From This Organization”?

In both situations the “authority” figure disallowed any progress until all the kids were paying attention and in line and smiling and holding 2 fingers over their hearts and mouthing the words to “Bringing In The Sheaves.”  Pretty much.  Getting 100+ kids to do any combination of that (and to be honest, 4 year-olds are 100x better behaved than 9-12 year-olds with their yelping and backslapping and gas-masking*) is like herding birds.  But when I asked “Can we start with this section since they’re ready?” I was told “We have to wait so the kids near the back don’t feel left out.” 

Dwell in that space for a moment.  The kids in the front, ready to go.  The kids in the back who are farting around, not ready to go.  Kids in the front, attentiveness being tested and punished for the misbehavior in the back.  But this is for the kids, again, so there is no “starting” until the kids in the back are ready.  So do we reward the kids in the front for being ready to go (these are the youngest of the entire gang), or do we shame and push and loom over the kids in the back for holding everybody else up?  Because the latter is what was going on.

In the moment the Keeper of the Potluck stepped away to find out who had napkins, I started handing plates to hungry parents and kids at the front of the line and said “Here ya go, enjoy!”  And I have to be honest about what happened next, which I wasn’t expecting… Total normalcy.  Nothing weird or sloppy or violent.  No fights, line-cuts, or RNCs**.  Nobody threw-up from confusion (salmonella, yes), nor blacked-out from excitement. Captain Potluck wanted to know who said they could start. I said “That was me, I figured these little kids were close to a meltdown so we got started.”  Zero reply.

So when somebody says “it’s for the kids,” whatever it is, it’s often more about making themselves feel better about doing something involving kids, but not actually helping.  Coaching is helping.  Teaching is nurturing.  Parenting is cultivating.  Mentoring is empowering.  Telling people to hold their horses until we get feedback on who brought Sunny D is bureaucratic bullshit and should be met with a gas masking and RNC, even if they’re just figurative.

IMG_5829

* Gas Masking: Placing one’s hand over the mouth and nose of a bystander, friend, cousin after breaking wind into said hand moments before.
** RNC, Rear Naked Choke:  A potentially deadly choke-hold placed from behind on an opponent, assclown, or suspect by wrapping the forearm around the neck, under the chin, and locking the hand into the elbow of the other arm. 

 

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Amazon AnswerMan

I really enjoy shining people on and being a bit of an ass sometimes.  I reeeeally do.  If I think somebody’s not in on the joke and I have even 1 other person as an audience, sometimes just me, I’ll start turning their knobs to see which one is most sensitive.  I never do it from a mean place, but I surely will twist the knob of anybody who is doing something kinda dumb or annoying.  For example…

So, you order something off Amazon.com and sometimes, a ways down the road a bit, somebody has a question about the product you bought.  Amazon notifies you after somebody posts the question on the product’s Amazon page, instead of the person taking the question out to a search engine, or to the product’s actual homepage, which is likely online to the tune of a couple thousand dollars a month.

I get a lot of questions for this product, the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle.

lsgwb1

It’s part of our EPK, or Emergency Preparedness Kit. You have one, I’m sure. Anyway, according to the website, and the Amazon page, the capabilities of this bottle are as such…

  • Filters up to 264 gallons (1,000 liters) of water down to 0.2 microns
  • Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (> LOG 6 reduction)
  • Removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction)
  • Zero aftertaste; no chemicals or iodine
  • 23 ounce leak-proof bottle made of durable BPA-free Tritan

And from TheLifeStraw.com, which is slightly different:

  • Award-winning LifeStraw has been used by millions around the globe since 2005
  • Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters
  • Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns
  • Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water WITHOUT iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals
  • Comes in a sealed bag, perfect for storing for emergencies

The question I had come at me was: in case of emergency can you use pool water?”

And the link there takes you to my answer. But here it is if you don’t wanna click over… But if you DO click over, please note this was helpful?

My Answer:

You can use pool water, Yes. Absolutely. In an emergency, you can use pool water for swimming, bathing, washing dishes, and hiding from enemies who are afraid of water or allergic to the chemicals in it.
But for drinking, no way. Ugh, gross. You’ll get super sick. It’s got chlorine in it, sure. But it’s also got a lot of other chemicals in it to keep the water safe enough to swim in. Unless you’re a bee or a hornet, then, sorry dude, you’re a GONER! LOL You can’t drink pool water, it’ll really mess you up. Even if it’s an emergency. Even if you’ve scooped a bunch of it up in a LifeStraw Go Water Bottle as advertised here. And on the http://www.thelifestraw.com website, front page there which I looked up (on the internet) just to be totally sure:
Award-winning LifeStraw has been used by millions around the globe since 2005
Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters
Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns
Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water WITHOUT iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals
Comes in a sealed bag, perfect for storing for emergencies
===
So yes, you can use pool water in an emergency for a lot of stuff except drinking and/or food prep, to answer your question. If you’re near an in-ground pool then I imagine there are safer water sources nearby, such as the ice maker in the outdoor bar, or the rest of the Busch Light in the cooler.
If you have an above-ground pool that has just basic hose water in it, you could probably get a LifeStraw Go Water Bottle-full of that if it’s not treated with the aforementioned chemicals, let the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle do its thing of removing the bugs that’ll do bad things to your guts, and you’d be fine. I hope whatever emergency comes around it’s nothing too crazy. Hope you guys are okay.

 

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Thankstaking

So I’m battling the early-Winter illness that comes with having 2 kids in school, as their classmates all contribute to the weekly SnotLuck pool.  I rarely get sick, so when I do I just turn into a grump from 9pm to 5:30am, especially if I can’t sleep.  I usually try to sleep in that timebox, but if I have a hack and the meds aren’t doing their JOB LIKE I PAY THEM TO DO, well I’m as pleasant as an boily-ass-rash on a sweaty August roadtrip.

Last Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I was that kind of sick. Head full of stuff, throat on fire, and my body was grinding out a cagefight against whatever was trying to get me. Battery at about 10%.  I was miserable and probably contagious.  So I didn’t go to Thanksgiving dinner with my wife and kids.  Also, it was an event that didn’t interest me in the least.

In reality, there was nothing about the day, the food, or the holiday that excited me.  I’m thankful, daily and deeply, for the things closest and most-real to my life.  I have many blessings seen and unseen.  The food being served didn’t make me think “I can’t miss that.” I can get that type of meal any time.  I dreaded the thought of feeling over-fed.  The invitee list grew from 6 to 10 to 15, which is exponential growth when you have a low-grade Social Anxiety like I do; 15 people might as well be 2 people standing 1 foot from my face and asking me about my political affiliations.  The gravy on that potato pile is, of course, being sick and not wanting to do anything  other than not feel like a pile of gravy-coated potatoes.  And it also gave me time to think… always dangerous…

The past 3 months have put my mind into a very defined space of “Is this worth the time?” Or as Adam Carolla says, when deciding on a project, “Does it make me money or does it make me happy?” If neither, then move on.  When it comes to my kids, 95% of the time I am all-in as we have new experiences, or they grow into an activity, and we build our bonds as a family.  5% of the time – like a parent not doing jack shit and no-braining a party to Chuck E Cheese on a Sunday – I’m vocal about not wanting to be part of the event.

Attending everything without question and showing up with a smile on your face is akin to having no boundaries, no respect for your own time and energy, and also subconsciously telling the invitee that having a mistimed, mismanaged, run-of-the-mill party poses no problem at all.  If I attend your party with a gourmet buffet, swag bags from Michael Kors, and live music from Brandi Carlile, I would be endlessly thankful and impressed.  But in turn, if I have a no-host bar & food event at Karl’s Kraut Schack with my polka band, and get pissed that you don’t show up, it’s because I’m a bit of an asshole.  We don’t have to reciprocate, dollar for dollar, in planning events.  But I shouldn’t have the expectation that every evite sent will get an enthusiastic OH HELL YES reply.

From the report of my oldest son, the day went like this:
“There wasn’t a lot of good food there.”
“It was really loud. They put on a movie for us but we couldn’t hear it because the adults were so loud.”
“We got to watch some Minecraft stuff that was cool.”

Sounds like the kind of day I’ve had a hundred times, and don’t need another one of.  Laying on the couch, sipping bone broth vs. Loud people missing the meaning of the day?  I give thanks I missed it.

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Tricked For Treats

We got through Halloween without much damage. Nobody came by to stomp our pumpkins. Also, we lost power about an hour before some friends came over, so we made an executive decision and headed over to their house. They live in a much more populous neighborhood than we, and also quite a bit more affluent. It’s adjacent (i.e. a few blocks from) the homes of Seattle’s uber-wealthy, software creating, neurologically pioneering, online shopping jungle running people. It was cold. It was a bit rainy. It was, frankly, Seattle in October.

It sucked. For a lot of reasons, it suuuuuucked. Not in a good way. Wasted Costume Efforts. Weather. Other Kids. Costume unawareness. Unfriendly candy-handers. And for what? Candy. That’s it. Some candy. I know it’s “for the kids,” but that’s what people say when they lack the creativity about how to manage an event. (I’ll post something about the “For The Kids” cult another time.)

After watching my wife spending a LOT of time to procure the materials for, and creating costumes for the kids (they were characters from the Build-Grow-Kill-FreakOut video game Minecraft), I was sure this wouldn’t work. Not because of her effort, but due to the format of the main part of the costume. Here’s the first issue: Costume Operational Viability. The kids had huge cardboard boxes on their kid heads, with 2, 2”x2.5” slots cut out for eye holes. Zero peripheral vision. Almost no fake costume-head stability, heads were waggling all over the place. The heads were great for pictures, and totally useless once the kids started moving. So they didn’t wear them for trick-or-treating.

Not that the costume would have mattered. I saw a lot of kids just wearing a Seahawks jersey and boom, here comes candy. Why even try? Plus, the candy-handers get so inundated with the various costumes that a quality costume has to be immediately eye-grabbing to be really noticed. And the reward? Maybe an “Oh, wow!” or hey, here’s an extra 3-bag of Whoppers. All that work for zip-point-Whoppers. Costume Unawareness. They just want to say “Hey, hi” and get back to letting that Tylenol PM kick in (not a sponsored ad, yet).

The waves of other kids, wow. The neighborhood we were in was awash in pre-teens to toddlers. The only thing they had in common was that they wanted candy. Not all of them were in costume, and the 10-12 year olds (judging by height, though with today’s kids not eating peanut butter or drinking milk, there could have been a few community-college freshmen in there), were screeching, loud, annoying, and should all be in a church parking lot for candy and counseling.

Mix up all the hours of effort to create a costume the kids love but can’t wear, getting candy regardless of the costume quality, hormonal pre-teens, and 40 degree weather, and I was totally ready to set things on fire. More than usual, I mean.

Next year I will be making a strong case to keep the festivities to our carport, inviting over a few families and their kids, have a shame of a Costume Contest (everybody wins a bootleg copy of “Evil Dead 2”), and we can drink hot booze drinks outdoors, undercover, in the semi-dark while wearing weird masks, the way Benjamin Franklin would want it.

 

 

 

 

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Simply The Best At Getting Votes – Help Hoped-for

Hi! Thanks for reading!
The odds are that you haven’t ever seen me perform stand-up comedy. I can’t hold that against you, I know life gets busy and crazy.  They still haven’t finished the work on my water-damaged condo, btw!  So awesome!  Never buy a condo.  I’m probably gonna get a lawyer and have to sue a few people to make it all work out properly.  Yay!

ANYway, I’m in the middle of a “Contest” being held by a Seattle-area TV station for “Best Comedian of Western Washington.”  To give you a sense of who I’m up against, see this link below.  Of the people ahead of me, Ralph Porter is the only one I’d call a comedian. I have never seen the other 2 guys perform comedy in the 13 years I’ve been at it. This is mere fact, not a dirty campaign, so save your angry emails!  Unless you want to take a dump on the other guys, then send those my way.

Technically, this entire contest is about who can get the most votes, not who is the best performer in Western WA.  Joel McHale, originally from Mercer Island, WA is on the list and doesn’t even live here. He’s a “star.” He has “made it.” And I’m ahead of him, so there ya go.

So Here’s the link to my page if you’d like to vote for me, which I think would be awesome.  If I win I plan to create major havoc in the system that allows this kind of contest to happen.  I’ll have them recount votes until their fingers bleed!

Clearly I am supposed to be in this power position.  Plus my headshot is the best on the whole site.  OK, thanks!

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The Water And The Damage Done

The Seattle area got blitzed by a wind and rain storm this past weekend, and it caught a lot of people off-guard.  I know… Seattle, synonymous with rain, was surprised by the high winds (+60mph gusts) and much-needed rain after an unseasonably haaaawwwt Summer.  Lotta days over 90 degrees F, we’re just not used to it here in the NorthWest.  We want 68F-75F, light breeze, and a few clouds.  Not a lot of us getting Vitamin D, which probably rolls into our penchant for reading, binge-watching TV shows, and Lumbersexual Culture.

Devon is ready for serious discourse on the resurgence of vinyl.

Don’t I look rugged holding this rugged outdoor thing? I think it’s a tent or something.

In the meantime, a condo I own was in the middle of a re-roof when the company’s project manager was visited by a structural engineer and reminded that, hey, you didn’t pull a permit for this addition!  Ha, silly little oversight by the Project Manager, I’m sure they are a professional who never slips up but it was a bad day at the track and he was probably an idiot anyway and this was part of a long line of missteps.

And in needing said permit, PM called his crew off the job with work only half-done.  And then A Circus of Dipshittery followed, leading to a number of condos getting water damage.  Because they didn’t finish the job. Nor check-back on it. Nor do anything to keep it from getting properly sealed.  Too busy to come by and do the work.  Kinda like your neighbor borrowing your lawn mower and then acting like you gave it to them, but with sober adults.

So I wrote this letter to the property management company to make sure we all got  level-set and were in-step as we moved ahead, to assure a cool-headed approach to remediating the damage caused by a tiny oversight.  Golly, gang, let’s do it right!

Let me know in the comments f I hit the right tone.

==–==–==–==–==

From: gblott@
To: dave.k; jasonm; taylor
CC: thomas & peggy
Subject: Bad roofing vs. Rain & Weather at Cambridge Place
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:11:16 -0700

Hello Taylor, Dave, and Jason;

 I can’t really do any “business speak,” so please accept the candor in this communication as my utmost honesty.

My condo was one of too many that sustained water damage from this weekend’s rain.  The damage was the result of short-sighted and poorly managed work done by the roofing company that cut & run a couple weeks ago.

Sunday morning I was brought up to speed on why the roofers left over 10 days ago, but I don’t care.  The “why” is NMFP, or Not My F’ing Problem.

Somebody needs to be fired, and I hope more than a couple of people feel embarrassed by the “effort” on the roofing. I am not directing this blame at Rise, but since I don’t have the address of the guy running the show for the roofing company, feel free to help build our case to boot the roofers and make sure shit gets done properly.

Somebody got paid to not do this, then to not do it again.

Somebody got paid to not do this, then to not do it again.

IMG_5426

I suggest, seriously, sending these pictures to the owner of ROOFING and asking them if they’re happy with the result, and if they’d like us to post these pictures on Yelp and Facebook.  Happy to do so. 

The amount of money wasted on such a small area of work, which is probably 1/50th the amount of money that will likely be spent if this gets to legal finger pointing, was minuscule.  Maybe $10 of roofing paper?

 Look at the pictures I have sent along, the first one being the corner of the roof above my unit’s master bedroom BEFORE MaintCo and the roofers were called on Sunday, 8/30.

The second picture is AFTER “work” was done on the corner by somebody from the roofing company.  No, seriously.  Somebody was paid to come out and do that, and they shouldn’t have been, and better not charge a penny for it unless they want to get kicked in the crotch.  I can’t imagine this shit was checked by anybody at ROOFING before they walked off the job. This is a huge “eh, screw these guys” as their own poor planning kicked them off the clock.  Not our fault, but we get to pay for it. Get pissed off, you deserve it. 

 Then please discuss amongst yourselves – PROP MGMT & ROOFING, who should take the blame, be fired, and pay for the remediation of the water damage to the units. I am working with MaintCo on that.  The MaintCo team was very helpful but shouldn’t do anything before the roof is fixed.  I also suggest calling R Freeman Roofing at (425) 825-7220.  The owner, Roy, is a 2nd Generation owner there and is local to Kirkland.

It seems like a severe lack of foresight to see the work as-is, and untouched for 2 weeks, and feel safe in assuming it would be fine in our area.  Obviously they don’t care about the work they do, or else somebody would have come by last week to check on corners like this. .

Here are the issues all the way around…

–        My friend and tenant alerted me on Saturday night of the leak, in the middle of the storm.  That’s a shitty thing to have to deal with on a Saturday night, or any night, but that’s how she got to wind down the evening, with water dripping into the master bedroom closet all over her clothing.

–        Whomever has damage now gets to deal with the shifting of their schedules to accommodate remediation. 

–        It’s a shitty thing to have to burn an entire Sunday morning on, when I could have been spending time with my family. 

–        The problem was so avoidable, and the solution is so simple that any of us with a ladder and a roll of roofing paper and a staple gun could have handled it: Cover the edge with paper, staple it, get off the ladder, have a beer.

–        It’s more of our time talking to an insurance company about the aftermath of some dipshit’s inability to properly finish their job, instead of spending my time getting work done to earn money to pay for projects like this.  Or maybe we don’t have to make a claim and MaintCo can handle this remediation, and we bill ROOFING for it and still throw down a painful Yelp review.  I’m at the point where I’ll fight them in the parking lot, but they’d forget where their corner is and leave early. 

–         Pardon the language, or don’t, but what the actual fuck? What else would you rather do with your time and energy today? This week?  We shouldn’t have to babysit this stuff.  And this may be a small issue in the bigger world of property management, but again, Life is Time, and the roofing company screwed themselves, and in turn, screwed us.

I can’t think of any other way to say it, gang.  Lazy and inexcusable work, low-level professionalism, poor/no communication.

As of this morning there was still no remediation on the roof.  Dan from MaintCo and I talked on the phone and he said he’s going over there to repaper it.  I hope he does.
Again, please forward these pictures to the owner of ROOFING.

Thanks all, have a good Monday,
Geoff Lott

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