We voted today.
- Poll workers didn’t know what they were doing. One lady was on the phone with the Board of Elections the entire time, asking a new question for virtually every single voter. They could not locate the provisional ballots initially.
- Holly, who registered and until today showed up on the local Board of Elections web site, had to vote via provisional ballot. I did not. She and i both independently witnessed two other couples having the same problem. The poll worker said that it had been happening. But also insisted that Holly wasn’t registered, and that the web site had provided incorrect information. How the web site would even have her name is beyond me.
- We had zero privacy. There were no boundaries, and i filled out my ballot within inches of people standing in line who could all see every choice i made very clearly. Thankfully, did not get lynched afterward for voting strongly anti-American.
- Also, there were only two tables set up for filling out ballots, and two chairs for each. Holy fuck that is not going to get people in and out, or entice people to wait when it takes hours and hours to get to that miserable but glorious point.
However, do not let these things stand in your way! If you have problems:
- Contact your local Board of Elections,
- Contact your local and/or national party HQ,
- Contact 1.866.OUR.VOTE, and
- Make your local media aware of the situation
The house next door to us is abandoned and boarded up. It didn’t used to be. There used to be some middle-aged lady living there. She was an addict of some sort. There was often craziness over there, including one priceless Trailer Park Boys moment which i will leave for another time.
Then she moved out.
Squatters moved in. And out.
The place was boarded up, the brush and foliage have overgrown, and the place is a headache for all of us over here.
Today, there is a dead thing in the back yard. It looks like a dog from where i can see it.
First, i called Dead Animal Removal. They directed me to Animal Control, as it’s not public property and they don’t have jurisdiction to just wander onto the property and remove random dead things. Animal Control directed me to the police department - i guess the call was transferred to the county Sherriff’s office, because they advised me to contact city police, who advised that i should definitely contact Housing… who suggested that maybe someone (as in one of us neighbors) could just get a bag and a shovel and get it over with. I persuaded her to connect me with the inspector for that address, and left a rather terse message on his voicemail that someone needs to do something about this problem property and that either he needs to contact the owner or let me know how i can do so myself.
So i contacted the Mayor’s office. I can’t remember the lady’s name, but she was wonderful and took the information down to pass along to whoever it is that needs to know these sorts of things.
Then i got antsy. I looked up the property info on the county’s web site (see here and here). A simple search on the name and address gave some interesting info, including the fact that the address is the same as that of a previous owner. Oddly enough, that same address in Dublin, Ohio also was the address of a defunct UFO organization called MORA.
So to you, mister Timothy Freidenberger TR (or mister Kurt Novak, whoever owns the goddamn place), i say this:
Come and get your fucking house under control, sir! I would burn the god damned thing down myself but your overgrown branches would no doubt catch our own place of residence, with ourselves inside, aflame to boot, not to mention the nasty legal ramifications of such an terrible but no doubt really goddamn enjoyable act.
UPDATE1: Mister Novak returned my call. I advised him that the property is a nuisance. He shifted blame to the city, which certainly bears some of the burden of responsibility. I advised that the owner is also a source of the problem, as there is brush and trees so overgrown that the bums who appropriated our television panel had no problem hiding in them. He seemed to be under the impression that someone he pays actually comes out to take care of the place. I further advised that it would probably be best to just raze the goddamn thing down and sell the land. He didn’t see that as an option, and the call ended on a note of pretend cordiality not long afterward.
UPDATE2: Someone actually came out, i know not from whence, and removed the dead thing.
This is the only decent picture of me as Satan.
And here’s Holly as a sexy-ass she-devil:
A surprising number of people actually got the joke. Only one didn’t - a McCain supporter, of course, who had to have her drunken Palin-obsessed girlfriend explain it to her.
I made a big deal out of shaking hands with a John McCain lookalike; judging by his nervous chuckle, he was actually a real live McCain supporter. Said i, “i’m a huge fan - let’s end the world together!”
Had photo taken twice by very nice Democrats, including one couple who had just voted earlier in the day.
(By the way, John[ny] Sidney McCain = 666 - not that that means anything.)
Best costume i saw, besides Lara Croft, awesome Batman, and Catwoman… i mean really creative and original… Linda Blair as Regan in the Exorcist, in bed and everything, with a guy in a priest outfit walking beside her. Wish i woulda thought to snap any pics!! *facepalm* Will try and remember to search the local sites for a photo.
Well, it finally happened. We have been robbed. Our nice Samsung flat-panel LCD television set is now sitting in the parlour of one who never deserved it. Along with the remote. I wanna murder a mothafucka.
Somewhere out there is a scruffy hillbilly prick basking in the warm blue glow of my bad-ass Samsung. I can’t drive around to find them, because without the car here, they’ll just waltz right back in. I know it’s somewhere in this very neighborhood, but i daren’t take my eyes off of those items which they curiously left behind, for they will surely be back for them.
They took nothing else - which actually kind of sucks, because we just know their swift but short-sighted Possession Relocation Services are going to be rendered again. Everything was in plain sight! Guitars, keyboards and recording equipment, media devices, laptops, desktops, a camera, mp3 player, tons of DVDs and CDs and games - all right there. No more. I am putting them all away, since i apparently don’t deserve to have them any more.
Incidentally, this is the second time my life-space has been robbed. Several years ago I had all my CDs and my TV set taken from me. You work your life away - blood, sweat & tears and all that - and then some rotten, moronic asshat thinks they deserve it and you don’t so they just come in and take it. I partly blame this stupid gimme-gimme society we have so proudly built for ourselves.
- a fucking big man-eating dog with built-in violent aggression towards intruders,
- a shotgun (god damn i hate that i need a gun),
- someplace to stash our remaining valuables,
- moving-away cash - fast!, and
- a different, less crappy goddamned city. FUCK YOU, Dayton, Ohio.
I have a real bad feeling about my short-term future.
(Wherein the author expounds upon his deep disgust and hatred for the city he once loved so dearly.)
I know we used to be kinda tight - but never really all that close somehow, even though you were always in my heart when i was away. You’ve got to admit, i’ve been trying like hell to get reacquainted with you these last few years. Really, the love has never diminished.
Until now. You have shown me your true colors; the ones i always secretly knew existed in the back of my mind, but never wanted to actually admit to myself were there. I loved you, and you have used me. You were using me all along, weren’t you? Well, my love: fuck you right back. I hate you. I seriously wish that i didn’t, but there it is: i do.
When i first moved into your diseased little middle-American labor-driven bosom, i knew that something didn’t feel quite right. That warm glow just wasn’t there.
Your only value is in history. You’re only good for one-night stands, a casual drive-by down the Oregon District during happy hour. Nothing more. I’m sorry, but it’s true.
I should have known better. Your gay neighborhoods are too straight, your gay business district too laughably tiny. You’d think i didn’t care, but i do. Diversity is the spice of life, Dayton. For a saucy little dish such as yourself, you need to mix it up a little better. You are still segregated, no matter what you say. You don’t even provide bus service to the malls from the West side. Come on! Why is that, Dayton? Seriously now - give me a straight answer, and don’t think too hard for something pretty to say. We know, we all do. Such a pathetic, racist little weasel.
And speaking of people who aren’t where they should be, where is your middle class, anyway? My only choice with you is to live by rich white Beamer-driving dickheads, or in the ghetto. I’d love to live somewhere in between, but you neither have that, nor do you have any means for me to get there. My advice to you in this regard: get jobs. And pay people what they’re worth. And when the UD kids graduate - kick ‘em out. Back to wherever their filthy rich little behinds came from. Give the rest of us some space to get ahead, instead of whoring yourself out to the foreign-born Easterners, who bring their decadent and depraved “me-first” ways from across the Appalachian range to our once-proud mud-whipped riverbanks!
This brings me to my last point. Since the vast majority of your residents are poor and undereducated (do you even know what a school levy is??), it’s no wonder at all why everybody in the heart of the city is a criminal. You can’t go anywhere around you anymore without risking life and/or limb! Is it much of a stretch to imagine why even the police are fearful of your slums? What you need is industry. Enterprise. Something people can believe in, that gives ‘em a real, honest goal to work towards. But all you care about is bling and fireworks, and taking what you can from those who cannot afford to give any more. Ah, but you are at least good at that: crushing the tender souls of those who could have provided you with peace, and with comfort in your premature old-age.
I call bullshit on you, Dayton Ohio. The Wrights and the Ketterings and poor sweet old Mister Dunbar are all choking on their worms because you have forgotten what made them and yourself so great, back in the foggy mists of your bygone golden age! You are a rotten, stinking pusbag of a city, and you need some serious bitch-slapping to force you to get your shit together. Look at you! You smell of piss and hobo vomit, and your wrinkles are like vast crevasses, eager to swallow men whole. When is the last time you actually felt good about yourself? Honestly? Your glory days long gone, you are relegated to retelling the same old tired stories of your wonder years, the twinkle in your eye having vanished many years back.
It’s high time for me to leave you once again for greener pastures. No, don’t say that! I never, ever wanted to just give up on you. Not once! But sadly, you have left me finally with no choice.
From now on, and until you change your ways, and i mean really seriously take a good long hard look at yourself and actually change your ways… you are dead to me. You will one day soon be that thankfully nearly-forgotten ex-, about whom i tell horror stories to my new friends, in a far-off place, away from you and your putrid, decaying streets filled with haunted, meth-hollowed eyes and rivers of discarded waste and gutter-bile.
I honestly do wish you the best, really. But good riddance, when i leave you forever. This time i really truly mean it.
I have never been so busy in all my life - I’m currently writing code for (in no particular order) 1) myself, 2) a client, and 3) a prospective employer, and 4) may be starting with a new client soon. Of course, i’ve put everything else off this past week for projects i was doing for the prospective employer. So why am i completely, utterly broke? At least i know i’ll get a week’s pay for the two projects i did for the P.E. That won’t go far, since i have so much debt right now.
Unfortunately, one of the projects i did for the P.E. didn’t get finished on time, so i (more or less) owe them my time for free. It’s a Drupal theme. It’s terribly difficult to make a Drupal theme in one week, especially when that’s only one of two projects they assigned to me! So now i have to finish that - even though i will probably not be hired now because i wasn’t able to complete it on time.
The upshot of this is that i learned a lot about Drupal in a short time, and reacquainted myself with Flash (actually Swish) and actionscripting.
I have decided that, even though i am impressed by Drupal’s extreme versatility, extensibility, and scalability, and really like the Zen theme base, i do not like the theming system much (at least not in 5.x, which is what i had to use for this project - though maybe the problem is a Zen-theme thing). The problem is that the theme code does not appear to be separated by admin and frontend, at least not obviously. So when i change a page, i also change the admin section, too. Obviously, that’s not great, and has been my stumbling block, keeping me from delivering on time. Thankfully, you can easily separate the homepage from the inner pages, but it seems like you have to code for every single inner page if you want to separate it from the admin section. Maybe i’ll figure out a better way around this, as it just doesn’t seem right. Not by a longshot.
Oh, how i wish i could be working with WordPress instead! WordPress has such a better theming system, though perhaps not as robust as Drupal. (Holly actually found me a two-week-old job listing on Craigslist for a job working with WordPress and Joomla!, but i fear i am much too late for that omg perfect gig. I need to keep up with Craigslist more!)
One thing’s for sure: i am pushing myself way beyond my physical limits. I’m apparently sick now, my throat feeling like phlegmy gravel and a nasty cough wracking my body every so often. In my over-the-counter coma induced earlier this evening i think i overheard Holly talking to someone about the bags under my eyes. I can almost feel my hair turning gray right now.
So, to sum up: i am putting myself through hell. I need less projects and more pay.
(It seems like right now in Dayton, nobody’s hiring, and everyone wants a massive discount on services, if not an outright free pass. What businesses remain here have that leverage, too, since damn near 8% of the city is now unemployed. An unemployed web designer has gotta do what an unemployed web designer’s gotta do.)
- Our mice have become entirely intolerable. Sometime during the night last night, one (or more) of them have somehow managed to Indiana Jones its way onto the kitchen counter, and ate a big chunk of our bread. Seriously, wtf? This, likely, because we are now even hiding our dog’s food lately, which i’m sure is not a popular decision with our dear little Speck. I have renewed my war with the rodents with vigor and prejudice. Our landlord must rectify this. Conditions are approaching unlivable. Failure: landlord.
- Oops, somehow missed a credit card bill. I’m not perfect, but i don’t know how i forgot that one. Failure: mine.
- Vectren, our fuel provider, informed us that our incredible $700+ bill was, in fact, incorrect. Due to - ahem - underestimations, it should actually have been more than twice that. Yes - read that again. We owe $1500+ for gas used over the past year, because of underestimations. I should have been suspicious that our water was, in fact, hotter than the surface temperature on Venus, and yet our bill was never unbelievably high. In fact, they had sent out notices a few times over the past several months, requesting an inside read off of the meter, but i, being an online bill-payer, assumed they were paper bills and simply ignored them. Thankfully, we have a year to pay it off in full. Failure: mine, with a little help from Vectren (hey, they had my voice number & e-mail).
- Holly’s friend from work called us “idiots.” Holly, apparently for putting up with me; and me for not going out and getting a gas station job months ago (believe me, i’ve been searching, but maybe i set my sites a little too high for this crummy town). Failure: my own. Though her friend’s callousness was a little over-the-top.
- Holly’s student loans have come due six months earlier than expected. Failure: apparently the lender, as she was quite clear that they would be due six months after graduation. It’s of course possible there was some nefarious fine print hidden away somewhere in obscure legalese.
- Holly is so very exhausted and just completely strung out from all these awful stresses, which of course now also include her newly-diagnosed diabetic neuropathy (her latest round of medical testing is costing around $1200). Failure: again, mine.
Final tally? Don’t even tell me, i already know.
So you can see how i might be feeling a little crappy about myself, and about life in general lately. Things have hit critical mass, so to speak.
Oh, i didn’t mention a few ongoing issues, like the killer mold that is growing in our bedroom, from water leaking in through the windowsill. Those things weren’t specific to today.
On the positive side, i did have [what i think was] a good phone interview for a corporation i’d actually love to work for. I’m really hoping for the best, but you never know in this town. Just in case, though, i’ve also applied for a couple of menial positions. We shall see how things unfold soon enough.
This is not my work, but you can get a taste of awesome Dayton underground rocka-roll here. I've never even heard of these bands, and there are a shitload of other really great bands, too, and that's not even mentioning our two biggest and best ones.