mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
Most of what's going on is not super interesting to the outside viewer, alas. I applied for the rental house I wanted on Friday, and I'm supposed to hear back by close of business today. It turns out that my medium credit rating is a cause for concern to prospective landlords. I mean, it's an okay rating, but due to a fuck-up over four years ago there's a thing on it that's keeping it "artificially" low (another three years to go before that black mark disappears, alas), so the manager I spoke to said he had some reservations. I tap-danced my way out of it, and the fact that I've been employed by the government for over nine years helped a lot. All that's left is for them to call my references, which, of course, includes my current landlady. YAY. I hope she doesn't fuck things up for me. Close of business (or COB, which always, always makes me snigger) is in six hours or so, maybe seven, depending on when their day ends, so everyone keep your fingers crossed.

More landlady shenanigans ensued while I was chasing all over town trying to get my application approved. I got a text message from her while I was out, saying that the reno guys were going to remove the wall between the downstairs storage space and my part of the house, and was I home so they could show me? Needless to say, my blood pressure rose about a million points, because there's nothing I'd like more than to have an entire wall missing in my house. It would mean that anyone with a key to the side door of the house would have unlimited access to my living space. Reassuring, right?

I took a detour out of my day to come home, and spoke with the reno guy. It turns out he had told my landlady that he didn't want to take out the wall and leave my living space wide open without alerting me first, as a common courtesy. If it hadn't been for him having a conscience, I wouldn't have known until I came home one day to find my wall missing. He also proposed installing a lock on a door at the bottom of my stairs (the storage space is about two feet beyond the door, behind the wall in question), so that I'd have at least something of an illusion of control. I mean, the door is made of glass, so it wouldn't afford me true privacy or safety, but anyone in that space would have to at least expend effort to get into my house. So yay for reno guys with scruples! If all goes according to plan, the lock will go on today, and the wall will come down sometime this week (although I don't know exactly when, maybe Wednesday). So at least that's resolved, for now. I even got my landlady to agree, via text message, to return my post-dated cheques to me, so that's a small victory too.

I played 7 Days to Die with my friend V. on Friday evening, and went to bed WAY too late. I knew I had to get up early the next morning for a 06:00 Skype date with my parents, after which I was meant to drive to Montreal for [livejournal.com profile] le_maistre_e 's birthday Dim Sum party. Still, because V.'s computer has been on the fritz for nearly a month, I rationalized to myself that I'd go to bed early Saturday night and make up for it then. Remember this bit, because it will come back later.

Saturday was my mother's birthday, and the Skype call was fun, if maybe a bit shorter than usual. They were expecting my aunt to come to lunch, so I actually got to see her briefly before we hung up, which was nice. She had cancer last year, and had to undergo chemo for a while. She was looking quite good, as it turns out (my mother was convinced that she'd have lost all her hair and look like a skeleton, in spite of evidence to the contrary), if a little fragile. As far as I know she's in remission now, which is good news all around.

I hopped in the car and drove to Montreal, which as usual went well until I got into the city proper, at which point the construction nightmare resumed, and I found myself threading my way through detour after detour until I got to Chinatown. The restaurant itself was on a one-way street that, unbeknownst to me, had been blocked at the end. Why unbeknownst to me? Because there was no sign saying it had been blocked off! So I had to do a U-turn and go back the wrong way up a one-lane one-way street until I managed to find an alleyway I could use to get out of there. Good times. I do not miss Montreal and its shitty traffic and its shitty street signs, let me tell you. I miss my friends and family, but I've become spoiled in Ottawa, where getting around with your car is not a logistical nightmare on the best of days.

The birthday Dim Sum was a lot of fun, as was the outing afterward for bubble tea and cheese cake. I geeked out with friends, caught up with people I hadn't seen in weeks and months, and it was all over far too soon. I did leave on time, though, and managed to get back to Ottawa without mishap. Since it was still relatively early (18:00 or so), I took a couple of hours to run some errands. I was out of milk, and I needed to pull together supplies for First Day School on Sunday (I was meant to lead again, and the first Sunday of the month is always potluck, as I think I've mentioned before).

That's when things went south. I was a little surprised when I got home that Sergent didn't immediately get up to greet me, but when I looked over he was lying quietly on his bed, so I assumed he was just continuing his nap. That was quickly put to the lie less than an hour later when I heard the unmistakable sound of nails scrabbling against the floor. When I went over to check what was happening, I found him unable to get up under his own power. Even with me helping him, he couldn't stand for long, poor puppy. I ran for my coat and boots, and then spent nearly 20 minutes maneuvering the poor dog to the car. He weighs 90 pounds these days (he always gains a bit of weight in the winter), and that's about 10 pounds more than I can deadlift, unfortunately. I just can't pick him up and carry him (I'll have to start going to the gym again or something). Luckily with some coaxing and support from me, he was able to limp to the car. I could see then that it was his front left leg that was giving him trouble, and not just weakness in his hindquarters. I was able to lift him into the backseat, and drove him to the nearest emergency vet (which, luckily, is about five minutes from my house), where the vet tech and the assistant got a stretcher for him and carried him inside.

Once there he was sort of able to stand for a little bit, long enough for them to weigh him (which is why I know exactly how much he weighs right now) and for him to then poop all over their floor (oops). An examination revealed him to have a fever on top of the mystery leg injury. So $900 later we had bloodworm and an x-ray done, all of which led the vet to the inevitable conclusion of "We're not really sure." Nice to know that Sergent's streak of mystery ailments continues unbroken. :P They pumped him full of hydropmorphone in order to perform the x-rays, and he spent the rest of the night stoned out of his gourd. It was actually pretty funny, amidst the rest of the shit show that was that whole night. We spent nearly an hour in a nice quiet room with a leather sofa while he recovered a bit (he lay on the sofa, lucky dog, but also had diarrhea all over it, which was maybe less ideal), and after two and a half hours total spent at the vet's they loaded him back into the car, and I drove him home.

The story doesn't end there, alas. I couldn't get him out of the car at all once we were home. He refused to stand up under his own power, and I couldn't get the proper leverage to lift him out on my own. I wasn't sure if this was the result of the hydromorphone (he was still pretty loopy) or a combination of that and his leg injury. Either way, I could not get him to budge. So, I decided to wait and see if, when the narcotics wore off, he'd be more willing to come with me. Long story short, we slept in the car. Let me tell you, sleeping in your car is overrated. For one, Sergent picked the coldest day of the week to need to spend the night in the car, so I had to run the engine quite a bit to keep us (mostly me, probably) both warm, and I was really worried that someone would come across the still-running car and report me (for what, I don't know, but I was overtired). 

Anyway, morning broke, and Sergent still wouldn't get up, so back we went to the emergency vet. I wrote an email to the First Day School volunteers, and thank goodness they agreed to pinch hit for me, because I was a bit of a wreck by then. The same assistant and a new tech carried Sergent back inside, and we got seen by the day vet. It took all three of them to get him up and moving, but by then he managed to start walking around mostly on his own. I took him out a few feet away for a pee, and the vet gave him some makeshift physiotherapy, after which we went home again. It took me another ten minutes to get him inside, but after I lifted him out of the car he was able to mostly manage the stairs on his own, which I took as an encouraging sign. I gave him his pain meds (Tramadol), and he actually asked to go back outside on his own (poor puppy still had the runs) and managed it on his own reasonably well. Then we both got a much-needed nap.

He's doing okay today. He's obviously not 100%, but he's putting a lot more weight on his leg than before, and I was able to get him to eat a little bit, at least. I think the Tramadol makes him feel nauseated, so his appetite has obviously been affected.

Once my nap was over I ended up spending the rest of the evening bookending my weekend with 7 Days to Die with V. and later my friend M., before passing out in bed at a more reasonable hour than on Friday. So, yes, the moral of that story is: don't go to bed late thinking you'll be able to make up for it the next night, because that guarantees you'll have to spend the night in the car with your sick dog. ;)

I'm scheduled for a Skype call with my parents at noon today. My father sent me a slightly panicky email about my living situation, which tells me he's even more stressed about it than I am. He said he would help me out, but I'm disappointed that the content of his message implied that all of this was actually my fault, that if only I kept the house cleaner or whatever, that I wouldn't be having trouble with my landlady. Why didn't I accept her offer? he wanted to know. Why didn't I get a house cleaner before? Why not agree to pay more money so I could stay on here? His offer to support me boiled down to "I will help you fix your fuck-up," which is not exactly the ringing endorsement I would have liked. It's disheartening to feel that, after all this time, my parents still default to the notion that if something bad has happened, it must be because I made a mess of things, and not because the other party is at fault. I constantly hear about parents these days who refused to believe that their precious darlings could ever do anything wrong, and I confess I'd like it if my parents took that stance more often. :P

In conclusion, I had an interesting weekend. Lots of ups and downs, so it's difficult to say whether it was "bad" or "good." I guess it just was.
mousme: An RCMP officer in ceremonial uniform swinging around a horizontal bar. (Maintain the Right)
I'm back to work tonight, after two days of gastro. I started feeling myself again yesterday afternoon, which was a relief, and today I'm pretty much back to normal. So that means heading back to work for my last two night shifts. I am not really looking forward to it, but I suspect that's the perma-anxiety that set in on Monday (after I spoke with my landlady) talking, and not much else. Maybe. I mean, if I won the lottery and never had to go back to work, that'd make me pretty happy too, but still, the malaise is not actually work-related.

I saw the mortgage broker today, and while the news wasn't bad per se, it also wasn't quite what I had hoped for. Basically, no matter which way I slice it, I am not quite ready to buy a house. The broker estimates I could probably swing it in six months, which is encouraging news, but given that most landlords want to sign a 12-month lease, it means I won't be in a position to buy until next summer. So it's back to renting for now, and socking money away until I'm in a position to move permanently into a house of my own.

I finally found a cleaning service (to honour the verbal agreement I have with my landlady), and the girl who came today is excellent, which is a relief. The service that my landlady hired charged almost twice as much as she does and didn't even bother vacuuming under the furniture. So, anyway, it will be nice to have some help around the house. I have mentioned that I am an indifferent housekeeper, so this ought to keep some of the pet hair under control, at the very least. The house is super clean, although I'd been keeping it quite clean myself (albeit not this clean). If I move close enough, I'm hoping I can take her with me. I'll figure out the budget part somehow. Back in Montreal when I was paying half of what I do now in rent (so before I got my own house), I had a cleaning service as well, and I'd forgotten how much easier it makes things overall.

My next steps over the following weeks will be to hopefully get into the shed, now that there's less snow, pull out my boxes, and start packing. I also need to sort out my "office" and the very large bedroom closet that's sort of become a catch-all for stuff. If people are going to be coming by to look at the place, then the hidden spots need to be just as tidy as the not-hidden spots. I know that when I look at places I poke into all the cupboards and closets, so I can expect other people to do that too.

I'm waiting to hear back from my paralegal. She's been in touch with my landlady's lawyer, who appears to be entirely out of the loop concerning her intentions. So once she hears back from the lawyer, she will get in touch with me and update me on things. I'm trying to hope for the best, but given how passive-aggressive and bitchy she was with me on Monday, I am bracing for the worst.
mousme: The silhouettes from MST3K with the written caption Oscar Wilde only wished he was this gay (Oscar Wilde)
 Today was Cooking Day with [livejournal.com profile] ai731 , who was feeling under the weather but soldiered on gamely, and it was a resounding success. We started on time, made a ton of food, and I was able to leave shortly before 16:00, which was my cut-off time because I had a house viewing this evening. The dogs had a fun day, too, in spite of the snow having melted considerably due to the unseasonably warm weather we've been having. They romped outside, they came inside and got underfoot, they romped outside some more, came in and tried to eat the baked goods, and were generally dogs. As usual, we had a fun time discussing fandom things, commiserating over various life things (she's heading a local committee that's sponsoring a family of refugees, which is awesome but a shit ton of work), and pretty much anything and everything under the sun. We never seem to run out of things to talk about. :)

The only thing that put a damper on my day was further landlady shenanigans. She texted me several times while we were cooking, insisting that she had to speak to me "in person" today, absolutely. So after multiple texts back and forth I agreed to meet her at 18:30 (an hour after my house viewing), despite the fact that I would rather bathe in a carbolic acid solution. In the meantime, the mortgage broker I'd contacted yesterday also started emailing me, and so in-between texts with my landlady I made an appointment with the broker for next Wednesday to discuss my options. [livejournal.com profile] ai731 was very patient with me while I fiddled endlessly with my phone between recipes. I don't like being glued to my phone when I'm with other people, but this whole situation with the house/landlady has me stressed enough that not dealing with it right away would have been worse than the alternative.

I zoomed back to Ottawa, dropped off the dog, did a very quick tidy of the kitchen (I hadn't completely cleaned up after last night's food preparation) in anticipation of my landlady coming by, then hopped back in the car to get to the house viewing. It turned out that the tenant in the property I'm interested in had called to cancel, but by then it was too late for the agent to contact me. Luckily she had another similar unit that was empty, so she showed me that instead, with an agreement that we'd make another appointment for me to see the actual unit for rent.

To my great surprise, I really liked the place! After over a week of seeing places that ranged from "Uh, okay, I guess" to "Wow, no, not on your life," it was really nice to find a house I could see myself living in! The one thing I'm not thrilled about is that it's carpeted on two floors, and I don't have a carpet attachment on my vacuum. Can we say "pet fur," ladies and gentlemen? Yeah. We'll see, on that front. Carpets are not a deal breaker for me, I'll just have to figure out if I can find a carpet attachment for my antiquity of a vacuum (it's an Electrolux, and I love it to death and will not part with it for love or money). Otherwise, though, it's in a really nice set of town houses: the grounds are well-kept, the houses are in good condition, and the whole place was a very decent size and layout. As an added bonus there was a wood-burning fireplace and an indoor garage, which I have long dreamed of (ever since I've owned my own car, tbh). I am very optimistic about this place, especially if the meeting with the broker leads me to believe that owning a house isn't in my immediate future.

Upon leaving, I received more good news in the form of my landlady cancelling her oh-so-urgent appointment with me and rescheduling for Monday. *hands* I got nothing. I'll take it, though, because it's been a long, if good and productive, day, and all I wanted to do was kick back and watch Critical Role, possibly with an alcoholic beverage of some kind. Tomorrow is D&D, and I have prep to do, too.
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
 My landlady is pulling some serious Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde shit with me (that's where the quote is from). She insisted yesterday on bringing in another flooring company to assess the "damage" again, and I accepted in the interests of not antagonizing the fucking Balrog. It was... interesting, to put it mildly.

I spent today running around in a tizzy before that. I did some tidying/vacuuming in the morning, as well as some overdue laundry (my laundry is always overdue, I hate using the shitty washer/dryer unit in this place), then headed out for my first house viewing. This was the inexpensive co-op that my friend L. had suggested I look into (not that one specifically, but co-ops in general). When I got there, the lady I've been speaking with for nearly ten days greeted me in order to show me the house. Now, she and I had what I thought was a pretty good rapport over the phone, but in person her attitude was completely different. She was cold, brusque, and borderline rude with me. At the end of the viewing she told me she had spoken with my landlady, and I figured that explained the about-face in attitude (more on that later in this post).

The house itself was... well. I suppose technically there was nothing wrong with it. It's part of a much larger housing complex than I was expecting (at least 40 houses, if not more), and rain water was pouring off of it, signalling that the eaves troughs hadn't been cleared in quite some time. Inside the house was dirty, but they were planning on cleaning it, at least. It was another of those places that has the kitchen and dining/living room on the second floor. The entrance was tiny, with a "utility room" on the left (grey concrete floor, wood panelled walls, nothing very exciting) and a smallish bedroom on the right. On the second floor was the aforementioned kitchen, also rather small, and the living room/dining room, equally small. Did I mention small? Small. On the third floor were the remaining two bedrooms, identical in size. Not tiny, but not really that large, either. The kitchen was older, and was missing bits and pieces in the form of drawers. The whole place lacked storage space, except of course for the utility room, but overall it felt impractical, especially with the kitchen on the second floor. I mean, who does that? Also, I must confess, I found the place pretty hideous to look at, both outside and in. There was also no yard, which, while not a deal breaker, is not ideal for a dog owner.

In short, even if the lady hadn't been rude to me and insisted that my landlady must be telling the truth if she'd gotten lawyers involved (what even), this wasn't the place for me. It's really too bad, because it was a lot less expensive than anywhere else I'd looked, and that would have put me on the path of saving quite a bit of money. It's clearly not meant to be, and so I am moving on.

The second house was okay. It was a row house accessible via a shared hallway, which I will confess I find weird. You kind of have to pray for quiet neighbours in a case like this, I'd imagine. The house was in the process of being renovated, and the previous occupants had left ALL their stuff behind. Like, really, all of it. It was a mess like I've rarely seen before, on top of the renovations. There were clothes strewn about some of the rooms, various bits of junk were stacked on furniture, and the kitchen appliances were filthy. It was honestly pretty hard to look past the vast piles of crap, but the space was nice, if unimaginative. Again no yard, but a little outdoor patio with a great view of about a million neighbours. The place isn't top of my list, but it's a possibility, I guess.

I had about an hour and a half before my last viewing of the day, and tomorrow is Cooking Day with [livejournal.com profile] ai731 , so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and go grocery shopping in the area. I ended up at a Metro, where the prices were horribly inflated and I couldn't find about a third of the stuff I needed to buy. I got what I could, and then zipped off to my last viewing of the day.

The third house was very much along the same lines as the second: a townhouse accessible via a shared hallway. What is up with that, anyway? Is this an Ottawa thing? Or am I just super sheltered? Anyway. This place was much nicer, although it was also undergoing a thorough renovation. This place is being renovated with higher-end materials, though, and the appliances were all brand-new (stainless steel, which is not my cup of tea, but still really nice). The space was much nicer, too, though there was still no yard, only a small patio. There were a number of large trees outside, though, which seemed to afford a little bit more privacy than the previous place. Lots of storage space, a semi-finished basement, and a place I could see myself living in for a while, at least. Not spectacular, but certainly doable. There are some perks to this place, though: it has a gym, an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, and two social and gaming rooms which aren't bad at all. Parking space is extra, which is a bit of a concern, but nothing too terrible in terms of price. It would certainly be within my budget.

After that it was a race to get home, because my landlady was coming at 16:00 with the floor guy. Naturally I got caught in the beginnings of rush hour traffic, and spent a good fifteen minutes being very stressed out because I was going to be late for the appointment. I got lucky and managed to make it back by about 15:58. The floor guy was already waiting for me when I got home, but he opted to stay in his truck until my landlady arrived. I slipped inside and checked to make sure the cats hadn't kicked litter all over the floor (the last thing I need is to give my landlady ammunition of any kind against me).

She arrived a few minutes later, and informed me that she had given me a good recommendation to the co-op, so I am perplexed about that. I can't imagine why the co-op lady would have turned so hostile toward me if it hadn't been as a result of their conversation. I mean, we spoke yesterday and she was warm and friendly, and today (after she spoke to the landlady), she was outright rude and dismissive. So, I don't know? Maybe she thinks my landlady is trying to foist off a problem tenant with a good review? Or else my landlady is lying.

Anyway, she and the flooring guy (who was ALSO super rude to me, I have no idea what was with people today) went around the house, and that's when she changed her tune. Suddenly it was all oh-isn't-the-house-clean! and gosh-it-doesn't-smell-bad-at-all! She insisted that one spot on the floor HAD to be pet urine, and even lay down on the floor (!!) in order to sniff it herself, to no avail. I explained that the discolouration had been there when I moved in, and she looked me in the face and lied to me: "No, I inspected the house myself before that, and I was the one living here before you," she said. That is a lie. I met the people who lived here before me, and it wasn't her. I also know that she did no inspection of the place at all, because the previous tenants didn't move out until a few hours before I moved in, and it was being run by a property management company at the time, which means she wasn't involved with the maintenance of the place. Still, she did an almost complete 180, and started back-pedalling on the eviction, in spite of the lawyers' letter. She wants to talk with my downstairs neighbour, because she says he's the one complaining about the smell (although I spoke to him last week and he said there hadn't been a problem), and maybe she'll reconsider the whole thing. I just... I don't know what to do with her anymore. I'm so, SO done with this psychodrama. I don't care if she changes her mind, I still want to go. God only knows what sort of bullshit she'll pull in another couple of months when she goes on another rampage.

I'm a little discouraged by the state of the rentals in Ottawa, at this point. Only one house has come close to suiting my needs (crazy landlady aside, where I am is a great little house, practically perfect in every way as rental units go), and it's a bit too big and on a very busy thoroughfare. I'm not overly optimistic about finding a good place, although of course I haven't stopped looking. It's making me want to reconsider my options, though. I went to the bank several months ago to inquire about a mortgage, and I'm pretty much guaranteed a pre-approval. The problem, of course, is that I don't have enough money for a down payment as well as closing costs and money to move. I'm maybe about halfway there in terms of my savings, and that would clean me out. Someone mentioned that I might be able to get my downpayment as a separate loan, and another friend referred me to her mortgage broker for more information, so after the landlady shenanigans I called the broker, and have gotten the ball rolling on seeing what my options are there, at least. It would be nice to go back to owning my own home, and being the only person to whom I have to answer about my living decisions.

That's it for now. I need to pack up the last of my prepped food for Cooking Day, and then go to bed like a responsible adult. Critical Role is airing tonight, but I have to be up early, so I will likely watch it tomorrow evening. I have one last house viewing tomorrow, after which I have to start the whole query process over again. Lather, rinse, repeat, as the shampoo bottles say.

See you on the flip side, LJ!
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
The trouble with having a memory that doesn't work well is that after two days I don't remember anything I did at all. :P

 The U.S. continues to travel down the path of political madness. Now Trump has invented a terror attack in Sweden, which made the entire world scratch its head and go "Buh?" There was also yet another rumour of riots in Paris spreading all throughout France (not perpetrated by the President, at least) which as far as I can tell were fabricated by a single website for reasons which escape me. Surely there are enough terrible things happening in the world without inventing more? Of course, the invented ones were all fabricated in order to spread more islamophobia, so I guess that answers my question.

On the house front, I've finally started getting some answers to my queries. Padmapper queries don't get many responses, unfortunately, but I've looked on other sites, and they are quicker to get back to me. I had an appointment to see a house yesterday morning, so with the kind permission of my coworkers I skipped an hour of work (basically I took my lunch super early in the morning) and went to see it. It was in way better shape than the house I saw on Thursday, I will give it that, but the layout was... kind of weird. For one, it had a bathroom practically in the kitchen: a toilet, sink, and shower stall. Now, I've seen powder rooms off of kitchens before, but the weird part is that the master bedroom was on the other side of that wall, with NO door leading to the bathroom. Like, why not have it as an ensuite instead of forcing whoever is in the master bedroom to parade through the living room and then the kitchen in order to go pee or shower? It was just so odd. The basement was unfinished but had lots of room and a decent washer and dryer, and the previous tenants had left behind a ton of stuff: a large black leather sofa, a complete dining room set (one of those tall round tables and four high chairs), a full drum kit in the basement (!!!) and various pots and pans and other stuff. The guy showing me the house was almost as useless as the previous guy from Thursday (what is it with these guys?), but he told me they'd left for a job in a different country. The sticking points for me were: 1) that the staircase to the second floor was incredibly narrow, and I couldn't for the life of me work out how you were meant to get any furniture up there, 2) the house was very cold and I could feel cold air seeping through the walls in the basement, which meant that heating the place would be an expensive nightmare, and 3) the house was also for sale. If the owner managed to sell the house, the new owners could easily tell me to vacate because they wanted to move in, and then I'd have to go through the hassle of finding a new house and paying for another move all over again. No, thank you. There was another family who came to look at the house while I was there, and they noted out a lot faster than I did, so I think my decision not to pursue it was the right one. It was interesting to see what was on the market, but it wasn't for me.

As I was leaving this property, I got a call from a private landlord about another house. I got a weird vibe off her almost right away, because she emailed, texted AND called, all within the space of about an hour. Which, um, is a bit intense. I picked up the call while I was in a Tim Horton's getting coffee for me and my coworkers, and she immediately asked me to tell her about myself. Slightly nonplussed, I replied that I was single, worked rotating shifts, and liked long walks on the beach, which luckily made her laugh. I really need to curb my tendency toward sarcasm, but it's tough to teach an old dog new tricks, I guess. Anyway, I got lucky that she didn't decide I was too much of a smartass, and we made an appointment for 7:30 yesterday evening.

It turned out that that house was WAY nicer than I was expecting. It's huge, though, which might prove to be a bit too much house for me by myself. If I ever end up having kids that will be a different story, of course. Still, for now, it's a lot of house. The layout was more conventional, although the kitchen was kind of close to the front entrance for my liking. That's a detail, though, and not a deal breaker. Each part of the house was in different conditions: some rooms had been recently renovated, some less recently, and a few of the bedrooms were in a state that suggested no one had done anything to them since the house was built. They were all in good condition, however, so it was just a question of how new the floors were and what colour paint was on the walls. There was some very gnarly wallpaper in the master bedroom, which, if I moved in, I'd want to have removed. Again, details. There was a finished basement, and a good-sized washer and dryer, not to mention an actual sink for laundry, which I've never had and have always wanted. That's a big plus. The yard was quite large, but it was covered in snow, and by then it was mostly too dark to see anyway, but the landlady told me that it was all paving stones underneath (that's both a plus and a negative, since it means I wouldn't have to mow the lawn, but it would also mean no grass for the dog at all).

In short, I'm not wild about the place, but it will make for a good backup plan. I have another showing tonight, which I don't think will amount to anything. I replied to an ad showing the picture of a house, but when the management company emailed me the guy said it was the top floor of a triplex. I'm honestly more curious than anything. How is this ordinary looking house actually a triplex? How does it work? So what I want to do is go see for myself, and if the building is a different one from the one pictured, I'll know that this property management company engages in false advertising, and I'll avoid them in the future.

Work has been quiet overall, so there's not much to report there. On our down time my coworker and I have been watching The Walking Dead, which has been growing ever more horrifying. We just started Season 7 yesterday (so no spoilers, those of you who are all caught up!), and it's been both fun and awful to see the arrival of Spoilers for The Walking Dead ) 
On my own time, I kind of got bored with The Clone Wars (sorry), and tried Z Nation (moar zombies!) for the second time. The first time I watched the pilot I noped out because there was a terrible, but terrible CGI zombie baby. Anyway, I decided to give it another chance, and I have been enormously entertained now that I've stuck it out. It's a zombie show  that takes itself seriously, but not too seriously, which makes it a lot of fun. Watching it in parallel with TWD has been pretty wild. TWD is all dark and gritty and holy shit grim, while Z Nation has its dark and sad moments but has fully embraced being an utterly, utterly ridiculous show. It's got genetically modified zombies, plant zombies, a guy who can mind-control zombies, a half-zombie talking head, and a whole Mexican biker gang whose entire aesthetic is based in a cringeworthy way off of the Day of the Dead. Anyway, the show has committed wholeheartedly to being totally over-the-top, and while that makes it kind of schlocky, it also makes for some pretty high-value entertainment. I'm just starting the last season that aired now, and I'm interested to see what new ridiculousness they're going to come up with. :)

Next up on my to-watch list is Elementary, which I haven't watched since last season. I actually don't remember a lot of what happened, so I may have to find the older episodes and refresh my memory. I remember the conspiracy with Sherlock's father, but I don't remember the end result. Stupid faulty memory.

Okay. Time to get on with my day. Talk to you later, LJ!
mousme: A text icon in pale blue that reads Winter is Coming (Winter is Coming)
Anxiety seems to come in waves these days. I'll be floating along, no problem, until a swell catches me off-guard, and I just have to ride it until it crests and breaks again, like the ocean against a beach. It's nothing that's preventing me from existing, but last weekend was spent sleeping a maximum of four hours at a stretch before I'd wake with my heart racing too fast for me to be able to get back to sleep. It's not as bad now, but I've had a few oh-God-I'm-going-to-be-homeless! waves of anxiety today. I'm worried that no one will want to take me as a tenant because of the number of pets I have combined with my landlady's accusations (because taking the two together, her accusations sound all too plausible to a prospective landlord). Rationally, I know that I still have two and a half months to find a place, and that I will more than likely find someone willing to rent to me. My anxiety, on the other hand, is busy berating me for being an irresponsible fuckwit who is going to make her pets homeless (I can sleep in my car, but my pets won't all fit in there).

I did get an appointment for a viewing of the co-op housing I found the other day. I'll be going next Thursday, and so far the lady I've spoken to by phone and email seems really nice and we seem to have a good vibe together. I'm cautiously optimistic for now, and I really, really hope that A) I like the place and B) they accept my application. Honestly, this would be the best possible outcome right now. I will readily admit that a lot of this is the anxiety talking, but that's because I really, but really hate uncertainty. Yes, I am super privileged in that I have come to expect a certain amount of reliability from my day-to-day existence, but still! I would like to know that I will have somewhere to go in ten weeks' time and that I won't have to shell out hundreds of dollars to both store my furniture and board my pets. Boarding them would cost me in the neighbourhood of $100 a day, by the most conservative of calculations, so I'd be completely broke within a couple of weeks, tops, unless I actually lived in my car. Which, I don't know, I suppose I could manage that for a little while, but I drive a Yaris, and I feel like it would be cramped in there. :P

Anyway, anxiety-induced nightmare scenarios of living out of my car aside, I'm trying to not be horribly melodramatic about the whole affair and, uh, kind of failing at it. I'm sure I'll eventually find a ladder and get over myself, have no fear.

I haven't heard back from any of the other places I've queried, and many of them don't have phone numbers, just web forms. As much as I hate using the telephone, I'd love to feel as if my queries aren't just falling into the void. 
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
I went to see the first (and only) place that sent me a response, and it was... not exactly ideal. For one, the placement wasn't great: it was a row townhouse with what seemed like fairly thin walls, so to live there you'd have to pray for considerate neighbours. More ominously, there was a HUGE apartment complex right on the other side of the back yard. The kind of apartment complex that screams "constant visits by the police at 3am for noise complaints and domestic disputes." So I knew pretty much going in that I probably wasn't going to take it. The access to the place was rather restricted: very narrow walkway lined with a couple of trees, which was an additional mark against it. I am not a huge fan of getting a place that's hard to move into.

The house itself was in need of a lot of repair: all the floors were damaged to varying degrees (with parts of it pried up and missing in almost every room, not to mention serious wear and tear otherwise), all the stair railings were coming out of their moorings, all the light switches were broken, and the bottom of the stove was missing. Oh, and the living room ceiling fixture was dangling near the floor by its wiring (it was super ugly, too). On top of that the front walk (and tiny driveway) hadn't been cleared of snow, so I had to wade through up to my knees when the guy finally came to open the door. He spent about half the time apologizing for the state of the place (the garage was filled with junk), and the other half reassuring me that the rent was "negotiable."

In general, he was absolutely useless.

"I don't know what repairs they're going to do, I just show the place," he told me, which did nothing to reassure me. I mean, why show a place if you can't answer even the most basic questions about it? He had no information: no idea how much heat/hydro cost, nothing.

Once the visit was over, the property manager (not the guy showing the place) spammed me with text messages for half the afternoon trying to get me to agree to rent the place until I finally shut him down. I guess they're really desperate to get the place rented out: I've never been pursued so aggressively by any landlord in my life, or by any landlord, for that matter.

I spent the morning in a meeting at work, and the rest of the afternoon after the house visit making various calls, none of which panned out. I'm trying to get hold of the cleaning service my paralegal recommended, but the number she gave me was the lady's residence. I spoke to a guy there who was either being very passive-aggressive with me, or else was maybe on the spectrum and took me a little too literally.

Guy: "Hello?"
Me: "Hello, may I speak with Linda?"
Guy: "She's at work."
Me: *realising I have her residential number instead of her work number* "I see. Is there a better number at which I can reach her?"
Guy: "Yeah."
Me: ...
Guy: ...
Me: ...
Guy: ...
Me: "Can you provide me with the number, please?"
Guy: "Yeah, it's [number]."
Me: *jots down number* "Thank you."

So, yeah, I'm not sure what that was about, but at least I got the other number, and ended up having to leave a message.

I then cast about a little blindly trying to find someone who can come in and do an independent evaluation of the condition of the house. I tried the Landlord Tenant Board on the off-chance they'd be able to give me a starting point. I spoke to a very nice lady named Daphne, and we bonded over having the same name, which was fun. Unfortunately she wasn't able to help me (it's not really within their purview). My paralegal said she'd be able to get me the name of a flooring company, at least, but in an email today she told me she couldn't find the information and would have to get back to me about it.

I also sent in an application to the housing co-op that I mentioned yesterday. I had to fill in ten pages' worth of information, and since I was using my dinky little home scanner it took forever to do, but at least I got it sent. I rather hope it works out, that they accept my application *and* that I like the place. I'd really like for that to happen. Fingers crossed, I guess!

Critical Role is tonight, but I will have to watch it tomorrow or maybe even Saturday, since it's a work night and I need to go to bed early.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Ahem)
I have accepted an offer on the house. :)

Well, I accepted Tuesday, but I was still on my self-imposed hiatus from LJ and Facebook. Facebook especially. I wish there were a way to get only the good aspects of FB and none of the rage-inducing drawbacks. And no, I'm not signing up for Ello. The last thing I need is another social media site. God. If it weren't my main means of staying in touch with my friends and people in general, I might give up social media cold turkey. If I did that, though, I'd basically become a hermit.

Anyway, yes, house! The negotiation was a bit of a clusterfuck. My agent was dealing with the buyers directly until suddenly another agent insinuated herself into the process at the last minute (my theory is that she's a cousin of the buyers: they're all Romanian, and I know from Romanians. You always bring in family when you can.) and fucked the dog. She started by insulting my house, then insulted me by implying that I might somehow damage the house when I moved out, and capped it all off by presenting me with an offer of less than what I paid for the house. Or, I should say, she didn't even present it to me, just shoved the paperwork at me and forced my own agent to present the offer to me. Not exactly auspicious. She obviously didn't do her homework on the property, and then tried to blame my agent for her own ignorance and laziness. It was all I could do to keep a civil tongue in my head as I politely showed her the door.

The negotiations after that went back and forth for a while, until we hit a number that, while not great, is acceptable enough. I wish I were more excited about this, but her behaviour really soured me on the whole process.

I have until November 5th to move out, which gives me juuuust over a month to pack up my whole house and find a new place to live. That being said, the buyers have 10 business days to have an inspection done, and 12 business days to get approved by a bank. So, basically, anywhere between now and roughly October 15th this whole business could fall through and I'll be screwed yet again. So I can't sign a lease until I know for sure the house is going to sell, which means that any place I have my eye on could conceivably be taken away from me at the last minute.

So I'm in limbo. Again. I'm really looking forward to a time when my life will not be entirely dependent upon other people's whims and schedules. I am, you will not be surprised to learn, a giant ball of stress about all of this.

I was originally planning to spend the next few days recovering, but that's not on the books anymore. Instead I have two potential houses to visit (rentals, in case you were wondering), and my parents are coming for a visit, which, while delightful, is never a restful proposition for me. ;)

I think I'm going to leave this entry as is. I was going to go into other things that happened in the last couple of months, mostly health-related, but I'm A) tired and B) running out of time before I need to start doing my end-of-shift routine. So I'll get to that in a later post, I guess. I know you're all waiting with bated breath.

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