Monday, June 17, 2013

Back in the saddle

Its 8:42 pm

     Happy Father's Day everyone.

While I am not a dad in the true sense,I am still a dad to my cat,Derek. He greeted me at the door today,tail high and a couple of happy "meows" to welcome me home.

Been a busy week here since I last had a chance to write anything. Started my trial run at my new job,I like it  but am concerned at how I am being trained and at how high the turnover rate is for my job. I already have heard at least 4 people haven't lasted a month and all of them had quit. Doesn't sound too promising but I am going to give it a serious go....
  While that was happening,I took advantage of a slow week at my main job and slowly started to clean the house. I cleaned both bathrooms and emptied out most of Lori's old make-up. It was stuff that went old when she couldn't really wear it anymore. Old vitamins,outdated meds from the first round...I discovered that one can clean despite having tears roll down your face. But I didn't stop this time,buckled down and finished it.
   I resumed writing my "thank you" cards that I received and then wrote my managers and my coworkers cards as well,thanking them for their support. I know this will appear to be incredibly late and there really no excuse for it...but I simply didn't have the will to write those cards until this week. I also finished up and hand delivered the rest of the cards to Lori's team at Lane Bryant. It was good to see Jomana again,she is the world class baker I have written about before. She had baked several hundreds of cakes and other goodies for her own business until she came down with carpel tunnel syndrome and had to semi-retire. She now just makes these awesome chocolate turtles during Christmas time.
   She mentioned that they still haven't found anyone to try and fill Lori's spot. I can't really blame one is going to be able to run that business and team build like Lori and I actually feel very sorry for the next person to manage that store. I chatted a little longer then walked over to Target...they have some pretty good deals on DVD sets this week and I picked up two from the bargain bin,the one and only season of SyFy's "Flash Gordon" and a spin off of "Law and Order" called "Conviction"which last on 13 episodes before getting the hook at NBC. But at 7 and 5 bucks,how can you go wrong with that?? I also picked Derek up a can of catfood,we have agreed that Sunday will be treat day as far as his having wet catfood.
 Friday afternoon saw me lose all cable,internet and phone service. I called Comcast from Al's house and I got ahold of a service tech....based in Mexico! He said a service call would take place on Saturday...which of course never happened. So I decided to wait til Monday before calling because I didn't think they would actually send anyone out on the weekend,at least not for a single house...Al's cable was working with no problem,he was pretty amused at the fact I was directed to Mexico for a Michigan problem. I told him that twice I had ended up in the Philippines while trying to solve a computer/internet issue.
 Saturday night while I was watching a "Murder She Wrote" marathon,my doorbell rang. My neighbor came over and said her cable was down as well...she called as well and said they were supposed to send a guy over earlier that day which turned into a "no show". She called them back up and complained again about having no service for the past two days. When they told her it was an isolated incident,she mentioned that it affected me as well. They said they would send someone out Sunday....and at 11:30 am,they did.
  Seems like another neighbor was either cutting his grass or digging...either way,it resulted in a cut cable. Comcast rolled a crew out to replace the cut cable and I was back online. Funny,I actually didn't mind the little time off....I finished a book about D-Day and started reading Larry King's executive producer,Wendy Walker's book "Producer" which I plucked off my huge backlog of books of which I still have about 100 to read. (Heidi,I'm sending your book out tomorrow). The book is a little too self egoist for my taste but I'm only on page 62 of a 280 page book,plenty of time to turn it around...
 As I mentioned,I watched the first season of "Murder She Wrote" on my DVD player,I also watched "The Lake House" as well....we had been sitting on that one for a while and never got to see it together. It was sort of hokey and cheesy but well intended and harmless.
  But I do have to share one thing before I found this all out. After I left my new job,I stopped by the Westland Humane Society to look at the cats. I am trying to decide if I want to get Derek another cat to chill with. Now he is 13.5 years old and while that may seem old to introduce him to a new kitty,just remember,he has ALWAYS been around other cats.
  I took a good long look at all the cats,there were several beautiful cats just waiting for a forever home. Some were very talkative,some had some very impressive motors ( i.e. loud purrs). I was looking for a 2-4 year old male kitty that gets along with others. I saw two...a black and white 2 year old named Charlie. I liked Charlie quite a bit but he seemed too nervous and unsure of himself. I think he deserves another look and the other cat was a 4 year old snowshoe mix named "Mark". Mark was only nine pounds but when I read his chart,I saw that he was a bit mouthy. This means he plays a little too rough for my comfort. I loved his motor however,he was a very friendly cat....
  I decided to look at the dogs....and I was pretty surprised to see that the Westland branch is now adopting pit bulls. They used to hold them or any pitbull mixes for three days before killing them. The policy has changed and now they are up...and up...and up. I saw at least 5 pit bulls that were up for grabs. They were very playful and excited but not for me. I am strictly a cat guy....
  I am going back to take a peek at Charlie again on Tuesday and see how he handles being in a private room with me,if he is calm and mellow,I might have to take a chance and see if he and DJ can hit it off.
A small musical break,brought to you by the October Project.

  I went to get my mail on Thursday morning. Inside was a note from Lori's insurance company,The Hartford. The envelope was addressed to her...which was perplexing to me.
See,the day after Lori passed away,I had to start calling places to let them know that she had died. One of them was the Hartford because they were paying Lori's short term disability pay. I called and talked to an agent who was sorry about Lori and said she would handle things on her end as far as stopping payments to me.
   I got a call a week later,it seems that the Hartford had over paid us 430.37 cents after Lori had died. I called them back and they explained what happened,no problem...I would be happy to return the money and so I did. I wrote a check and sent it,then called to let them know I did. Pretty simple and straight forward,right?
  I walked inside the house and opened the letter. Inside was a letter addressed to Lori stating that the Hartford had received the check and this was a receipt for said check. I stared at this letter in complete amazement...then I got royally pissed off.
  I called the Hartford claims office,found the person who sent the letter and left a very "loving,calm and serene" message about how fucking clueless and insensitive she was for doing such a asshole thing.
But I wasn't happy with that so I called back and got a supervisor on the phone and repeated the same thing.
I just couldn't believe it,I had talked to three different people about what was going on...the supervisor tried to say that maybe the file wasn't updated...well it sure as shit was when you needed your 430.37 cents back,wasn't it? But not updated to reflect Lori's passing? Horseshit and that is what I said to her.
   I posted this little adventure on my Facebook wall and was taken aback when Don Neilson,Amy's husband and all around nice guy,said he was getting mail addressed to Amy NINE MONTHS after the fact.
I understand some stuff is unavoidable,Lori's magazines subscriptions and junk mail. But to places like the Hartford and now Lane Bryant (!!!) and Comcast,yeah,I am going to be very nasty about this. Its offensive as hell to keep sending things in her name when I have called and told you what has happened and switched everything over in my name.

I know,I can I hear Michelle up in North Dakota saying "Holy crow,you are so scattered tonight"!!

 Last item. There is a very nice young lady at my day job named Anna. She has been there for 6 years but recently decided to leave and focus on her other job as well. She is studying to be a psychologist and I think she'll make a fine one. For the past two weeks,she has been insisting that she wanted to donate a little money to me as I try and make my way through the financial mess that cancer brings. I tried several times to say she didn't need to do that,that her kindness was enough for me.
  Well she caught me in the break room today and passed a little something to me. I just wanted to say "thank you,Anna" for thinking of me and my situation. I am very grateful.

Another musical highlight....the mighty Dave Alvin in action.

  He posted on Facebook tonight that he was playing at a place in San Antonio,Texas called Sam's Burgers. Not only was he playing on a Sunday which was bad enough but also was going against the Spurs-Heat game as well. That said,Dave said that tonight he might play a set based solely on what the fans wanted. All I know is this....I sure wish like hell I could have been there for this show!!!

Last,last item.  I like to say congratulations to Amy Lange and her husband Michael Shore for winning a Emmy Award Saturday night for their story about Josh Arnold who plays goalie for a local team...with only one hand. His special courage and Amy's great reporting of it won the three of them an Emmy. After Josh got his award,he wrote Amy a letter and personally delivered it to her house. What mighty hearts...

(Photo by Dewayne Croff)

(Photo by Michael Shore)

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