Saturday, February 24, 2007

I started back to work last week - Wednesday the 21st was my first day. God it was exhausting. I'm not meant to get up before 7:00 am - I'm meant to have slow, leisurely mornings - sleeping in until nearly 10:00 and then watching Cityline with Marilyn Dennis while yelling at the television set.

Thursday, my second day at work, at 9:20 a.m. the school calls me to tell me that Satchel had an accident during gym and needs to be treated. The vice principal calls me 10 minutes after the first call to tell me that he thinks it's serious, that Satchel may have broken his ankle and should go to the hospital. In fact he'll take him there if I can meet up with him.

The ambulance finally arrives and Satchel gets wheeled to admissions. 3 hours, 2 x-rays, 2 examinations, 1 small room shared with a woman who's 20-month-old daughter hasn't pooped in a few days, but makes up for it in our room, Satchel's diagnosed with a sprain and we're discharged with a brand new pair of crutches ($28 but I can donate them to a third world country when we're finished with them - probably by Monday).

Friday, Paul stays home with Satchel and I actually make it through my third day at work without incident, receiving the most beautiful arrangement of flowers from a woman I work with.

Sadly I wanted Satchel to walk to a store to buy a lottery ticket with me. I was going to press the money into his hand and have him ask for it because it's the only way I figured I'd have a shot at winning. I'm not a very lucky person and he usually is, but I guess not any more now that he's my little Mr. Hop Along.

Today I went to Royal Lighting to pick up my second sputnik light fixture for over the island. As is my way I choose the worst possible route to get there but finally make it to the shop. I pick up my light fixture and also a dimmer switch because when the sputnik light is turned on, with 24 bulbs lit, you can probably make out my kitchen from space. Because the combined wattage for both lights is insane, I had to buy a 1000 watt dimmer switch which ended up costing $125 - instead of $40 like the little 600 watt capacity dimmers. I brought our new sputnik home to find out the manufacturer changed the mounting plate so it doesn't look anything like our original one and it's kind of decorative which is kind way of saying "ugly." After 2 hours of repeated calls to the store they're now trying to track down an original plate and I have taken a liking to beer.

John is leaving daily messages on our machine asking for payment, no longer in a nice tone, more of a "I WANT TO GET PAID. NOW!!!!!!" tone. I keep ignoring the messages telling Paul to deal with him. I'd only end up in another fight.

I'll write more tomorrow - time for bed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

We are finished with ___. I can't believe I'm finally writing these words after 9 months. T__ came last week to install the hardware on the barn door and L____ came Friday to do the final paint touch ups. And yesterday, well yesterday we received his final bill.

I didn't sleep last night thinking about the bill and how he completely screwed us financially...yet again. How I border on hating him because I feel I'm a pretty nice person, was incredibly easy to work with even though I did get diagnosed with breast cancer 4 months into the process, made decisions quickly, paid him promptly...even offered him a drink when he came over to collect his funds.

And he sends us this final bill, over charging us on the last bits of the job and yet crazily low balling the amounts we were to be credited to the point of me wanting to shake him and ask does he truly think we're that stupid or naive to accept these numbers? I kind of want to contact Mike Holmes, not to complain about the quality of work but to complain about unethical and fraudulent billing practices.

But how do I go about it when ____ refuses to surrender any receipts to me? He can make up any cost he wants and ship them my way - as he bragged to Kim about a year ago at a separate party on how he handles his life as a contractor. A conversation I wish I'd been privy too.

He's going to wait a while before he sees the last cheque from us - I have many phone calls to make and prices to verify.

I think what also makes me angry is that this was supposed to be finished before Christmas, not the week before I return to work. Did I really have any time to recover from my 15-hour mastectomy and reconstruction? No. I was to busy having to deal with his guys in the house before 8:00 am or him forcing me out, hunting down lights while holding my insides together - only to find he didn't really need them as urgently as he led me to believe.

But the saga of ___ will continue in this blog until I do hand him that last amount. There will be a lot more pins in that voodoo doll and no recommendation.

Unfortunately my camera is still in the shop so no reveal pictures...yet.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Now that I have finished picking all the stickers off Sputnik (and screaming at Cityline because it was a fantastic show with incredible giveaways and reaffirms how much I love Marily and Jann), can anyone recommend a product to get all the sticky stuff off the 20+ bars?
Good god - will this reno never end?

Tim was here before 8:00 am to work on the barn door forcing me to get out of bed. How do I make them understand that I want NO ONE IN THE HOUSE BEFORE 10:00 (my getting up time of choice). The barn door is now finished, hardware installed and track cut down, but the painters now need to come back to touch up dings, cracks and spots they missed before.

This reno will never be over.

Tim is now gone and I'm currently sitting cross legged on my island peeling stickers off Sputnik 1 while watching a fabulous episode of Cityline with great give away prizes and Jann Arden who I adore and is so freaking funny.

The show is back on so back to my perch, back to picking labels.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Home day on Cityline must have been the most boring show ever aired in their entire on-air history. It really was all about how to make a bed, how to make those perfect hospital corners, how to iron the sheets while on the bed, how to measure the height of your boxspring, how to fold a fitted sheet...absolutely painful.

Fortunately I had Brenda to give me a good jab in the ribs when ever I looked like I was about to nod off - and she was very enthusiastic about it. And because of the absurdity of the content, I laughed so hard - to the point where I had tears welling up in my eyes and I had to hold my nose to try to prevent them from spilling over and down my cheeks.

Brenda was the best person to go with. We started laughing hysterically, again with tears threatening to roll, when we found out that our take home gift was tea. Bad tea. A painful show only to be rewarded by bad tea - it just couldn't get better. Actually it did get better; it happened when I looked in to my gift bag and discovered stationary with teddy bears and a coupon for a day's shopping at Sam's Club but at a cost which equaled 10% of their regular annual membership fee.

And also when I went to shake Marilyn Dennis's hand, hoping to win her over as my new best friend with some witty comment, only to spit out a few words that made me seem like I had serious mental issues.

When she gave me a crazy look and said "oh yeah, I hear you" and started backing away, I knew our friendship was doomed.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

This is my luck of late: for fun I booked tickets to Cityline with Marilyn Dennis for myself and a friend (I love Marilyn Dennis and would quite happily stalk her...and Margaret Atwood, love Margaret Atwood) - the tickets are for tomorrow. What are they doing tomorrow? Showing us how to make a bed. Great, I never make my bed and I definitely don't need to know how to do hospital corners. Reading over the day's profile it has to be the most boring show ever. And then Tuesday, well Tuesday is pajama/girlfriend day with Jann Arden. Jann Arden makes me laugh harder than anyone and coupled with Marilyn Dennis, well let's just say I would have had to borrow a pair of Mom's depends.

But instead I will making beds with Lynn Spence.

Anyway, if you're home tomorrow from 10-11, tune in and see me passed out unconscious in the audience...hopefully I won't be drooling.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I've just returned from taking Jakob to swim class.

Really, is it so wrong to have a drink at 12:23 on a chilly Saturday afternoon because he was really, REALLY horrible in the class. This time he didn't even pretend to have a passing interest in the swim instructor - and she's adorable.

Jakey spent his time acting like someone with an IQ below 40: gargling pool water, sucking on floating devices, splashing and making guttural noises. Lot of fun. I'm sure I was as much entertainment to the other parents as I yelled at Jakob, making hand gestures, continually hopping off the wall to remind him to listen - and he payed as much attention to me as his instructor. Of course when I told him no treat afterwards there was remorse - but it was fleeting.

My frustration was exasperated because our car broke down this morning leaving us stranded. I called CAA and they came an hour later. We were hoping that worst case scenario was that it needed a new battery, now it's at the shop while they perform a diagnostic. Seems the car is draining the battery even when completely shut down. Thankfully it worked fine at 11pm last night when we drove home from Norm's birthday party - all I can say is please don't let it be expensive. So to get Jakob to swim class, I dug out our dusty old sled and pulled him all the way to the pool while Paul dealt with the CAA guy and took the car to the garage.

Sleds are not meant to be pulled on concrete.

Sadly it will be a while before I post more pictures. I took my camera to Henry's and it turns out the there was a recall on my camera and also that Minolta is no longer in the digital camera business and has been bought out by Sony. Off my camera went to Sony with a promise to have it returned either fixed or replaced in 6 weeks. Hopefully before we head off to New York, and seeing as Minolta is no longer in business, and a new camera rather than a repaired model that's probably obsolete.

But there is news on the house front - and I really wish I had photos to post - our light fixtures are all up, we're missing only one Sputnik which will hopefully come in soon and the barn door has been installed, and everything looks fabulous! The painter was in doing his final touch ups so we're nearly at the end of this whole crazy process.

All we're missing now is the hardware for the barn door, which was to be installed last Thursday. But after a no-show by Tim (the carpenter) and still no word from John - I'm not holding my breath that it will come in any time soon. It's a bit disconcerting that John can't even be bothered to phone me to let me know the reasoning behind the no show when a date had been committed to. And it also makes me wonder how accountable he will be when it's time to do the touch ups next spring after the house has settled. If he can't be bothered to show up or call when we still owe him money, how am I going to get him here to do final repairs when we no longer owe him money and I no longer have a carrot to dangle?

Good news regarding my skimmed funds, the money is back in my account! - well was, it's now in the hand of the daycare. I am still sending out evil thoughts to the people who did this but thankfully I have a fantastic bank manager who put all the paperwork in place and had the money returned to me on Thursday. While I was out with a couple of girlfriends the other night, Beth told me the same thing had happened to her and it was the No Frills on St. Clair where her card had been compromised - and that was also one of the places I had used the week before with my debit card. My bank is not passing on the information on where my situation happened which is unfortunate. Going forward in life, I will be much more cautious when and where I use my debit and credit card - other than that I really don't know what more I can do.