3-27-15: Almost time for karaoke!
Tonight Kat is down at Jester's, the usual Friday routine. Over the past few weeks I've found it very beneficial to go with her to Jesters to help her set up and then to come over to the bootleg office and gym for a couple hours to get some exercise, wash up, pay a couple bills, throw a bootleg Crap blog online, and then head back down to meet her there and to stay until close. Last week I did stay with her for the entire show, about 5.5 hours including setup and breakdown of gear, but normally I like to leave and come back. I don't hate being at Jester's, but I enjoy it more when I'm not there from start to finish every Friday.
Tommy made it to AZ several days ago. he stopped off in
Chicago to visit his family for a while, and so far I think he's having
fun out there. Now who will body slam me at Jester's when
I have my JH work secedule for next week: 53.75 hours. I worked about 51.5 hours this week. What a bunch of crap! The next paycheck will be pretty fat so I guess I won't complain too much. I worked all 7 days last week (Sat-fri work week at JH), and I work all 7 days next week. It's looking more and more like Easter Sunday April 5th will be my only day off until the tax filing deadline.
I should hit the road now. It's 2230, and I want to get
back to Jester's so I can see my sexy and amazing soon-to-be wife. 22
days until the wedding. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I wish the wedding was tomorrow.
Wednesday, 3-25-15: Three
If you don't hire Kat to be your DJ then I hate you. I probably hate you
anyway, but I'll hate you just a little bit more.
Wednesday, 3-18-15: Winter
remains. We should move.
For the first time in my life I am seriously considering leaving this state. This winter did me in. Plus it really affects Kat. Her lupus and all this cold = epic bodily fail. I don't know how she does it; I would have given up years ago if I were in her shoes. She wins at life, that's for sure.
There have been a few times this winter that I've thought hard about an exit strategy. Maine is a useless piece of shit from about December-Feb (this year Nov-March.) What's the point of living in a place that totally 100% sucks 25% of the time? Summers here are great. I don't mind spring because I have summer to look forward to, and I like the fall because I can go hunting.
I was driving down Broadway earlier on my way to Bangor High to get Katherine, and I thought to myself as I navigated around 100 potholes "This is the worst fucking road I've ever driven on in my life." It's true, too. There have been worse roads in terms of overall condition, but Broadway is a MAJOR TRAVEL ARTERY IN A CITY OF 30,000. There is no excuse for Broadway to be as fucked as it is. It's not just the potholes either. Broadway fucking sucks year-round. The traffic lights are retarded, and it's always jammed right up with simps both inbound and outbound. Plus a school and a church are right in the way near downtown Broadway. What a bunch of crap!
The roads around here are mostly fucked; the northeast needs an overhaul. All the ancient horse-buggy roads became major travel arteries that have needed serious upgrading for decades. There really should be two travel lanes on ever major road around here (Broadway, State, Stillwater, etc.) but there can't be beause of all the houses jammed up in the way. We really need to bulldoze a bunch of places to make things work better, but I don't see that happening. Ever. Broadway does have two inbound and outbound lanes for about 1/2 of a mile. HAHAHAHA. What a joke that is. Wilson St. here in Brewer is okay, but Bangor can kiss my hairy ass. Actually, half of Brewer can kiss my ass, too. Both North and South Main St, Rt. 9, should have two inbound and outbound lanes as well. Gods damn it!
We're not moving out of this state anytme soon, but another winter like this one will break me for good. I was thinking of possible exit strategies as I used the elliptical not long ago. Either I haul on every bootleg apartment building that I own or I hire a management company to oversee them all. If we do move where do we go? That's a hard question that Kat and I haven't considered too seriously yet, but within a couple years I expect we will get more serious about it. Leaving for just the winter would be awesome, but then how can we afford the house up here and a place in a warmer climate? Only time will tell.
Four weeks until the end of tax filing season, and 31 days until Kat and I get married. I should finish up my vows. Vows = the nice things you say before you say "I do." I guess most people already know that, but to a marriage-novice like me then everything regarding weddings represents a learning curve. Sometimes I think to myself "Wow, I can't believe I'm actually getting married." I'm not nervous at all about it. It still 100% feels like a great decision, and thankfully no Giblet-Heads have recently questioned the marriage. In the beginning when Kat and I first got engaged some people (cough:Mom:cough) were shocked, but now we have received support. Even Holly didn't want my own niece, Nadia, to be our flower girl at first. OMG!
I don't blame any nay-sayers in the beginning because Kat and I had only been dating for three months before I asked her to marry me. That's not very long, but fuck it Mom can't talk since she eloped at age 18 with Pop and tied the knot back in Nov. 1974. They just passed their 40th anniversary a few months ago. 40! Amazing. Kat and I will be pusing 80 by the time we hit our 40th anniversary...
I should do other things now. In conclusion, I'm getting
sick of Maine. I'm not ready to haul on this state, my state of legal
residence for over 33 years, just yet. However, I have been giving the
notion more serious consideration lately.
Friday, 3-13-15: Friday
night in the office.
On Wednesday we got all the way up to 51 degrees outside. I went for a 2.33-mile slow jog (20:17) for the first time since December 27th last year, and I shovelled some snow around the house. We had some great melting, but there are still mountains of snow everywhere and more is coming this weekend. Winter Storm Watch posted for tomorrow night through most of Sunday, 6-10" possible. What a bunch of crap!
Coming over to the office for a couple hours, give or take, after I help Kat set up at Jester's lets me get some things done. If I get it done now then I spend less time at the bar spending our precious... precious money on beer. That also gives me more time to spend with my Sweet Pea during the day since I'm not over here doing my work. I like Jester's, but I like it a lot more when I'm not there for five hours. A couple or three hours there a week is more than enough for me.
We wree awoken from a slumber last night at 2345 when one of the Giblet-Head tenants called in a dither. She was bawling like a little sissy-mary baby. "Waaaaaaa the cops are here and I think we're getting arrested and the neighbors are watching out their window and we weren't even being that loud waaaaaaaaaa sob sob waaaaaaaaaaa now they're searching my friend's car because they said it smells like pot and they found drug paraphanelia. Waaaaaaa."
AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG WTF, OVER? HEY NINCOMPOOP, DON'T YOU THINK YOU SHOULD MAYBE STFU AT NIGHT SO THE NEIGHBORS CAN SLEEP AND MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE YOUR BURNOUT FRIENDS SMOKING DOOBS IN THE CAR WHEN THE COPS SURROUND THE PLACE?! EPIC FAIL AND WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP ALL ROLLED UP INTO ONE.
The situation at that building is totally ridiculous. The downstairs neighbors have called the cops on the upstairs neighbors about half a dozen times THIS YEAR. OMG. Sometimes there is no doubt that the upstairs neighbors are too loud, but the downstairs tenants are totally ridiculous about it. I called them out on thier bullshit earlier, too. I told them I understand they want the upstairs neighbors to be quiet at night, but they have two dogs and the dogs bark a lot. Shit, when I go to collect the rent one of the dogs acts like I'm about to rob the apartment and kick the shit out of the down-syndrone kid of theirs. That's pretty fucked up considering most dogs think I'm cool like a boss.
So all of the tenants in that building are Giblets, but thankfully the college Giblets are leaving after this semester ends. I just gotta limp along with them for another two months, if that is possible. I should purge that entire building and get tenants who do not suck. Gods damn it!
The JH job has been fairly boring over the past couple days. I've had one customer in the past 13 hours of work. Fail! Sometimes I have a lot, sometimes not so much. I did call the IRS practitioner hotline last night and stay on hold for two hours before I gave up and went home. TWO HOURS! The IRS is pathetic, really. They totally suck, and they make me lose a little faith in the USA. Sometimes if you try to call the IRS it just says "We're too busy call back later." Even the practitioner hotline, the phone number that us tax preparers are allowed to use, sucks money balls. I feel badly because one of my clients is owed a $9200 refund that she can't get because the IRS sucks. We need to call them to give them her identity PIN number, but we can't get through to them at all. What a bunch of crap!
I guess I should get out of here. I wanna go hang out at
Jester's with my sexy future wife for a while and maybe have a couple
beers. 36 days until the wedding. Goonies never say die!
Wednesday, 3-11-15: Heater
is off, apartments on Craigslist.
Today is my only day off from the JH tax job all week. I do only work 3.25 hours tomorrow, though. However, my week total will still be around 44-45 hours worked. That's a few hours of overtime pay so I'm not gonna complain. The extra money will definitely come in handy so I can pay heat, plowing, property taxes, etc.
Kat is at the eye doctor for an appointment, and I just finished paying a stack of bills. Bye bye $1260 for February plowing, bye bye $3263 for February heat from the business checking account. (plus another $265 gas bill for the house that I paid from the personal account.) It's the most I've ever had to pay for one month of plowing or gas bills, ever. What a bunch of crap! I should raise rents. In fact, I've spent some of my free time at work checking out what the competition has to offer on Craigslist. It's important to know what the market will bear for prices before I just go arbitrarily hiking rents.
In general I've found the current market has to offer average two-bedroom apartments in the $800 price range and three-bedroom apartments in the $900 price range. I rank different listings based upon location, appearance (using photos available), and amenities. I look for units that appear to be most comparable to my own; a 5-year old 3br condo for $1200 isn't going to compare to a basic apartment in an older building. A 1br loft for $600 can't compare to my offerings since I don't even own any 1br apartments. I do look at almost all the listings just to see what is out there, but my main focus is on the 2-3br apartment rentals right now.
Some of the apartments out there are totally ghetto, and I would never want to live in them. Just the photos alone give away the epic fails, and the ones that post their location can also indicate an epic fail. Apartment on 5th street in Bangor, nope. In addition, some of the photos just make me shake my head and wonder wtf. Look at this photo of a supposed 2br:
All I wanna know is why? Of all the different angles you could possible choose why would you pick that one to use in your advertisement? What the hell am I looking at?! Is that supposed to be the "dining room" next to the fridge? What can you possibly use that space for? Thee is no room for a table there. It's great they have a fridge and at least one cupboard, but that photo makes the entire apartment look like a broom closet and not a 2br. What a bunch of crap!
I don't understand that photo above. What room is this? Is it a dining room, a living room, or a bedroom? Nice to see a window and a tiny closet. I guess? The floor would be awesome if not for the GIANT BLACK MARKS right in the forefront. They stick out like a sore thumb. What a bunch of crap! Plus everything is painted white, even the trim. The photographer definitely should have tried a few different angles. I guess from the photo this room is dinky, and that's not the perception you want to leave with a prospective tenant, at least not with anyone who might be decent. Epic fail!
I haven't decided what apartments, if any, will see a rent hike this spring. I tentatively have a few in mind, but I won't make a final decision just yet. My 3br apts here rent for $1000 (with cable TV and high speed Internet included!), $870, $870, and $800. I'm definitely below market average for all four of them, but not too badly. The $1000 apt has only one occupant plus I use the Internet here in my bootleg office. One of the $870 apts was $890, but I dropped it $20 since there are only two people living in it. I do save money on the water/sewer bill with fewer occupants per apartment. Not to mention wear and tear and other intangibles. The other $870 apt is guys who have been with me for years, and the $800 is a single tenant who has been living here since BEFORE I BOUGHT THE BUILDING OVER 10 YEARS AGO. OMG! I'm $100 below market for her apartment, but she always pays rent on time, she keeps to herself, she never causes problems, and most importantly, her apartment needs some upgrades and work. Her carpet is probably 30 years old! Hahahaha! I did replace her kitchen a couple years ago, and then I raised her rent from $760 to $800.
Oh wow, I just looked back at my 2005 Bootleg Properties spreadsheet. When I first bought this place the rents were $675, $650, and $645 (I lived in one of the four 3br apts here.) The lady who pays $800 a month now paid $645 ten years ago. The address was totally different, and the entire property needed work. Since then I've done a lot of repairs and improvements to the place, but it's impossible to do a total overhaul of one apartment when people still live in it so hers will get done when she eventually moves. Hopefully she stays until she has to go to a nursing home! I think $800 a month is a little too low so I probably will raise her rent up to $830, maybe $840. I want to be fair with rent prices, but at the same time I can't be Santa Claus.
Five weeks left of tax season. It's gotten a little busier for me this week as compared to the last couple weeks at JH. I really wish I could just haul on the next month, push the FF button and skip it. I don't hate working at JH, but I just want it to be spring and I want to get to the wedding and the honeymoon. I want to take off to the tropics with my sweet pea, and I don't want to look at snow and ice anymore. I don't even know if I ever wrote about our honeymoon yet? I should do that next time, but for now I gotta spread out because I have a few other things to do before Kat calls me. We're gonna move a few more things into the house today. Tommy left last Friday, and since then we (mostly Kat) have been working at making the house our actual home. When Tommy lived with us it didn't feel like home all the way because he hogged up the downstairs, but now we can finally make it our own.
I'm out of here. Drop and give me 25! Oh wait, I haven't
done a pushup in a couple months. What a bunch of crap!
Friday, 3-06-15: Tommy
is heading west.
Hopefully we get little to no more snow this winter. I took some pictures last week at the house of the epic snows that we received in late January and Feb:
Our driveway sucks right now because of all the snow. No snowblower and no plowing = lots of shovelling. What a bunch of crap!
Oh cool, Don Henley Dirty Laundry. Don Henley is awesome and if you disagree then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more.
Tommy left today. We said our goodbyes this morning just before Kat and I had to go to an appointment, and when we got back he had put this town in his rear-view. He took what he could fit into his Chevy sedan, he mailed some of his stuff out to Doug's place in AZ, and the rest is boxed up here in the gym area. He said he'll send me money at some point and I can send some or all of the boxes out to him. He's heading to Chicago to visit his family and from there he heads down to AZ.
It won't be the same here without Tommy around. There's a damn good chance he never returns to this snow-covered state. Ever. If I were him I wouldn't come back, at least not to live here. He has no family here and only bad memories from a Giblet-Head ex girlfriend. In a perfect scenario he would have gotten an apartment locally and lived happily ever after, but the world doesn't offer perfect scenarios that often. He did stay about 10 weeks longer than we expected, but he had nowhere else to go so Kat and I had to help.
So now that Tommy is officially moved out of the house we have the downstairs for Katherine to use as her bedroom and hangout space. There are two mostly finished-off rooms down there including a bedroom with good closet space and a weird office-hybrid-room that she can use for misc. purposes. The ceiling is low down there, perhaps under 7 feet, but it's not horrible because it is finished off. A tall person surely would hate it, but we can make it work with. I do wish Tommy had cleaned it a little better before he left, but I'm just glad he is heading out for a new life.
I helped Kat and Katherine clean some down in Tommy's old room before Mom and Pop came over to the house to visit and to have me work on their taxes. We had a nice lunch thanks to Kat and Katherine, and it was surreal having my parents over for lunch. I'm 39 years old and I've seriously never had my parents over to my place for a meal. Ever. What a bunch of crap! In the past when they've come up to visit we've gone out to eat at the casino reataurant or to some other local place. I've gone down to their place too many times to count for a nice lunch or supper.
Mom and Pop are fucked on their taxes. They owe the IRS and the state just like I owe. What a bunch of crap! I still don't know how much I owe because I need one final number or two from the settlement statement on my house. It's probably in this bootleg office somewhere. Maybe? I need to spend some time cleaning this shithole, but I probably won't get to it until May at the soonest. I took a picture of some of the crap that I have piled up in various corners in here:
The deer was made by hand with love from Katherine as my Christmas gift, and I cherish it. Eventually I will hang it up on the wall, but I like where it is right now because I can look at it and think of my family. Those two water bottles on the window sill have started to freeze a few times this winter. What a bunch of crap! When my office is subfreezing that is an epic fail. I have a thermometer in here that has read as low as 33, but on the windowsill it gets even colder. Fuck this state in the winter.
Simple Minds, Sanctify Yourself. Simple Minds are awesome and if you disagree then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more.
I will owe $3500-$4000 on my taxes state and federal combined. Put my arse on a payment plan please! If I were more responsible I would have made quarterly payments last year, but instead I bought my house, got engaged, and went on a vacation. I'd be a selfish asshole if I never paid my bills, but every cent of every bill that I possess will get paid. I'm not a gods damned society-drain. I give more than I take.
Tommy is in NY at a Holiday Inn express tonight. I think he will make it to Chicago tomorrow. He was joking through text messages that their gym only has 25-lb dumbbells. What a pathetic bunch of crap! I can curl 25lbs with my dick.*
Now that Tommy is gone I need a new best man for the wedding. Tommy was going to be the perfect best man because he was there the night Kat came over to the house for late-night fire on June 27, 2014. Kat and I had casually known each other before then, but that was the night we really hit it off. Our first date was an impromptu hike on Sunday, June 29th followed by a bootleg meal at CitySide and an ice cream at Jimmy's. Ever since then we've been inseparable.
I thought I would have Gavin be the best man at the wedding, or even Phil or Walter, but then I decided to have Doug do it. I didn't expect Doug to come all the way back from Tuscon, AZ for the wedding, but Mom bought him a plane ticket back. Doug and I have had a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs over our years, but having him be the best man feels right. Gavin, Phil, and Walt are all great friends, the best friends a guy could ever hope to have, but I know Doug is family, I was his best man once, and Doug would be happy to fill the role for me. Doug joked he'd only do it if he could wear a Hulkamania shirt and rip if off after the officiant pronounces Kat and I husband and wife. Classic!
Wednesday, 3-04-15: Bored
Monday, 3-02-15: Records
fall, frustrations mount.