Friday, June 12, 2009


Some people are just relentless.

Take, for instance, Ornery Retired Guy.

Ornery Retired Guy, or ORG, as I'll continue to refer to him, has a seemingly wonderful life. He lives in the cutest little association on the lake. One of the originals, with houses close together, a tree lined old fashioned street, gorgeous lake views. They have their own private beach, regular cook-outs and get-togethers... a little bubbling creek winding its way through the property complete with wooden bridge... Life must be so good here. I assume it is because the majority of the families that live here (albeit, part-time) are happy and smiley and warm and friendly. Except for ORG.

ORG's house backs up to British Lady's house. They're new. They own the estate that borders the entire length of this cute & cozy association. British Lady is also always happy and smiley and warm and friendly. And she married a doctor. That doesn't have much to do with the story, but it's always cool to say you're married to a doctor. Especially if you're British.

Since British Lady moved in two years ago, ORG has been flooding our office with complaints. He doesn't like their carport. He doesn't like how they did their patio. He doesn't like that they removed some plantings that ORG had planted clearly on their property line, which, when pointed out to him he replied with: "There wasn't anyone living here - I can plant anything I want through eminant domain."

ORG waits on his back porch until British Lady comes home and then pounces. Has no problem stomping over to her property to complain about this or that... their lights (inside their house) were on too late making it difficult for him to sleep. He doesn't think their pier is legal and wants them to provide proof to him that the DNR has approved it. The list goes on and on.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I would handle ORG a tad bit differently than British Lady. She tries to humor him, placate him, listens to him, produces whatever documentation he requests because she doesn't like conflict. I would've filed harassment charges a year ago. But the annoyances have been stepping up and British Lady finally decided the only answer was to put up a fence.

But now the fence isn't good enough. ORG has called and/or stopped in every day since it went up. It's all been legally applied for, built, approved... to us it's "End of Story." Not so much for ORG.

His current list of complaints are as follows:

He does not like the material. Although the code specifies that electric and barbed wire fences are NOT allowed, it doesn't go through and specify the multitude of acceptable materials. Therefore, ORG feels that these "cheap plastic" fences are illegal.

He does not agree with the height. The fence can be no taller than six feet as measured from grade. See, on the British Lady's side it's 6'... but on ORG's side it's almost 6'-3" (and I guess we're supposed to ignore the areas he "dug out"... at least throw some grass clippings on it to make it look like it wasn't intentionally done out of spite.)

Our little village recommends a 40% open / 60% opaque fence for those fences over 4' tall. Like we're going to calculate this on every single fence that comes in. Make it close. ORG seems to think it's more like 35%/65% which is - again - illegal.

Although fences can be constructed right on the lot line... ORG wants them to abide by a one foot offset. We're really not sure why. (British Lady actually built the fence 6" from the property line because she knew ORG would raise a stink.)

And, rounding out the complaints, ORG feels that the construction of this fence has damaged his lilac tree. And that's illegal to damage someone's tree. And if it isn't damaged quite yet, he's sure it will be soon. He definately knows it's been affected - and not in a positive way.

I really, really, really want to yell at Ornery Retired Guy. I want to ask him what he actually expects when he treats his neighbors like crap. I want to tell him he's lucky a restraining order hasn't been filed against him. Instead, in the spirit of job security, I will lift myself out of this chair and head on down to view the offending fence, practicing good pictorial documentation skills and data gathering skills, and produce a legal findings of fact... that, yes, the fence the Building Inspector already inspected and says is legal is actually legal. Then I will advice ORG this is purely a civil dispute, to which he could feel free to contact his attorney.

Really, this is what you choose to do when you retire?


*** Thought I'd share a pic of the fence from my site visit, that way you can judge for yourself how horrible it truly is.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Waist Band Blues

Is it a bad sign when the maternity pants dig into your gut to a point it's impossible to sit comfortably? These would be the hipper "under belly" model khakis. Good Lord. To compensate I've unsnapped and unzipped the pants, and pulled on my big, fluffy winter sweater I keep at the office to wear when the inside temp drops to a cool 67 degrees. It's big - and long - and sufficiently covers my now open pants. How professional am I?

My stomach sticks straight out. I swear it's a close second to Kate Gosselin's bulging belly (which was 52"... I'll have to measure mine, but it sure feels close!). I have difficulty bending forward, shaving, putting on socks & shoes, and, well, I guess sitting in one spot.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It takes all kinds...

Big V took me out for lunch. We went to this shabby Mexican restaurant where no one speaks English. It has the most delicious food ever.

We walk in and some guy is sitting at a table by himself and recognizes V. This happens a lot so I'm not surprised. The guy stands and says 'hey' and they do their macho man-shake thing while I hover at the side.... "Oh, so you're expecting!" (genius observation) I smile, "yep..." "So did you cheat?" "I'm sorry... what?" "DID YOU CHEAT?" he yells louder and starts laughing while everyone turns and stares.

Ok, look, Mister Pissing-your-pants-you're-such-a-funny-guy, I don't know if you've ever heard of anything call Social Maturity, but you obviously don't excel at the skill. You don't need to cheat in order to get pregnant. And you certainly don't ask that type of rediculous question in the middle of a restaurant in the middle of a busy lunch shift, regardless of what language the majority of the people in here speak.

Low Rider

The running joke in our house right now is this: Big V glances over at me flirtatiously and asks in his oh-so-sultry voice, "So, how's your placenta?" And I smile and respond with, "Low lying."

The doctor told us that my placenta happens to be, well, lying low and covering my cervix. Not too big of a deal... The doctor further informed us that I should not be lifting heavy objects, exercising too much, or having rough sex. I assured her I rarely do any of these particular activities normally, much less while knocked up. I swear I caught V muttering under his breath something like, "I wish she would..." and I am most certain he just was commenting on the fact that I wouldn't be able to help him move the piano that was coming in a few days.

Speaking of the piano! I am SO EXCITED!!
We are now the proud owners of a small awesome sounding Starck upright. Originally I wanted a really old, really tall upright - but the truth is it would not have looked right in our home. This is the perfect piano for us. It was FREE for the taking - we were responsible for moving it (and since it was small no professional movers were required).

This is why I love small towns, one minute you're racing into WalMart, the next you've got the name and number of someone wanting to get rid of their piano.

It sounds so beautiful. The finish is starting to come off, so it needs a little TLC, but it's going to be wonderful! (Let's hope the dog doesn't chew it.)

Things That Annoy Me Regularly... (or, Things That Really Really Tick Me Off When I Feel Like Crap)

Seriously. I hear you. This office is small. It's not hard. Trust me, you need to learn volume control.

Answering your cell phone, and continuing the conversation, without ever moving an inch from standing in front of my desk, making ME feel like somehow I've inconvenienced YOU.

Pet Names.
Look, Lady, you seem like a grand person - but that doesn't mean I know you, nor does it make it okay for you to refer to me as "Honey," "Sweetie," "Sugar," or "Dear." Just don't.

Repeating everything I say.
For example: "It says here that I can build an accessory structure 15' tall... is that true?"
"Yes, the maximum height is fifteen feet."
"So, I can build it to be fifteen feet."
(Do you see how this could continue ad nauseum?)

People who walk in commenting about how I look like hell. Yes, I am aware of this. I also feel like hell, in case you're wondering, and really you should do your part in making this as painless for me as possible.