Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Out of the frying pan and into the fire

I'm off to join the Good Scientist and other assorted characters for sweaty-hot-fun in South Beach.

Will be back to my regularly-scheduled ranting on Monday!

Breaking news in my closet!

Underneath some old linoleum which I finally pulled up this AM.

These newspaper pages were from March and April 1932.

I wonder what life was like for these people who papered their floor with the Minneapolis Tribune all those years back, during the Great Depression...

Monday, June 25, 2007

That'll be $4.5k for taxes please, but the humiliation is free!

The other day I received a surprise letter from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. It read something like this:

Dear Ranty,

You owe us a boatload of dough. Wherez it at, yo? Do us a flave and throw another couple buckets of green into that boat when you send it, cuz we're pissed now, and for that u gotta pay.

Love and kisses,

The Gu'mt

Now, I must say, while I totally heart my Dept of Revenue, especially when they try to suck EVEN MORE money out of my increasingly linty pockets for things like penalties and interest and call me nice things like debtor, I was rather curious as to WTF THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT.

You see, I did in fact painfully write out a check for the aforementioned boatload of cash in early April, which I subsequently dropped into the FAT manila envelope which also housed a mind-numbingly circuitous return for my 2006 taxes. AND, I mailed that puppy off before the 15th of the month.

I did notice that the check seemed to be taking rather long to clear, but incorrectly chalked that up to the rusty gears of government turning slowly.

Dumb was I.

They don't have the check.

(I'm going with the notion that somebody pulled my return out of the envelope and then chucked that same envelope without noticing that MY CHECK WAS STILL IN IT. )

Anywhoo, I called the collections dept, explained my theory to some surprisingly nice people, and then wrote a new check for the amount less the penalties and interest which I obviously refuse to pay.

So we're cool right? Mmmhmm...

After dropping the check in the post-box, I proceeded directly to Century 21 Luger Realty in order to apply for my real estate license and have an orientation with my new manager and colleagues-to-be.

The manager gave me the application form and indicated that I should not forget to fill out the questionaire on the backside, after which we could send it off to the Department of Commerce.

Guess what one of the questions was?

Do you owe delinquent taxes?

Well as of that moment, according to the Dee-Oh-Rev, yeah, I guess.

Nice way to start off a new job, dontcha think?

"Whoops, sorry Boss!"

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ummm... oops?

Made a little one of these...

...and the neighbors sent over one of these.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

All I have to say is DUH.

This article in the Star Tribune is a bit late. Who cares if the clampdown on lending is going to shut out homebuyers NOW? Where was the media on this BEFORE the stupid predatory lending bill passed the house and senate and got signed into law by our Governor?

Nice try at looking like you give a shit, Strib writers.

BTW, just in case anyone is wondering, I've had two stated-income loans in the past, and I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't been able to get those. It's a shame that this option will no longer be available to people with non-traditional income sources.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lost Neighborhood?

While hanging out at the Hennepin History Museum last week, I randomly browsed several books about Minneapolis History.

I am now kicking myself for not taking better notes.

I read something, somewhere, in some book or other about a "lost" neighborhood which lay roughly under the Minneapolis Farmer's Market on Lyndale.

I think it was called something like Oak Lake? (Oak Park? Lake Oaks?)

ARGH! Why didn't I write that down??????

Has anybody ever heard of this neighborhood????

Friday Fashion Fotos

Since I'm clearly not getting any work done today anyway... I didn't even get UP until noon.

Yep, life is hard in rantyville.

Anyway, here are some highlights from yesterday's poolside fashion show at the Calhoun Beach Club:

Fancy feet.


DJ somebody-or-other... Attitude City!

Ranty thoughts:

How long until I can pick something like that up at Goodwill on a green-tag sale??

Ranty no-can-do short shorts, but this chick sure can.

Mmm, red.


She looks kinda scared. (But who can blame her when the catwalk is right up against the edge of a second-story terrace?)

Yeow, racy!

Wheeeee, it's Hedy De Vine!!!

Johann is thinking "yes dah-ling, it's all very nice but it's still not Colooooooooooombia..."

Aww look, we found some friends.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A typical day, really.

Killed half of the day by hoofing out to Prior Lake to reclaim the Good Scientist's car, which has been in the shop for a month due to his smash-bangin' desire for dim sum...

...killed another couple of hours stalking my least-favorite door-guy at Home Depot, then angrily snatching a random can of (what seemed to be) white, flat Behr paint, then rolling it onto my closet wall for an eternity (2 min) before I realized that it was deep base... and that I was therefore screwed.

Oh and I used my last roller on that gluey crap, so no more painting until somebody goes BACK to HD...

'effed it all and spent the afternoon shopping for dresses, handbags and shoes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

"The Church"

I cannot believe that I have been driving past this church for a decade and only just yesterday learned that it was used as a venue for bands and afterparties. WTF? Where have I been?

I definitely noticed the place before, and even wondered what was going on behind its dingy, boarded-looking doors.

Ironically, while last night was the first time I got to enter this place, it seems that it will also be the last, since rumor has it that it's going to be razed in favor of the Children's Hospital expansion.


I wish I could find out some history about this place. I'd love to know what denomination church it was, what its name was, when it ceased to be used as a church, and how it was sold.

I'm also curious about whether or not anyone is/was buried behind it, since we're talking about a 98-year-old church... it's even got a metes and bounds legal description.

I'm pretty sure the existence of buried people would cause problems for the hospital's expansion plan.

Anywhoo, the inside looks like hell. It was actually offensively dirty and smelly and chock-full of dangerous code violations (as opposed to your average whateverish code violations) which made me wonder how in the world this place was allowed to operate.

I also felt pretty bad that somebody let this super-cool church get all crapped-up.

At least I got to climb up to the tower and sit on the ledge, smoking a cigarrette and taking in the 3AM Midtown views. That was bittersweet.

*Note: More info, links and anecdotes in this thread on MNSpeak*

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Green Stuff

Stuff is a-growin'!

Tiled at last

Hallelujah, it's finally done.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Yes, I know, it's another picture-less post

I've barely had time to shower in the past month, much less photograph anything, okay???

Image updates on the house are coming soon, I swear.

In the meantime, let me just ramble for a moment about how today was the LAST DAY of pre-licensure education, so it's happily back to rantyworld - sleeping late and slacking off - yehawww!

Um, that is to say, unless you would like to hire me as your Realtor... in which case I would [of course!] adopt a 5AM-11PM daily schedule in order to most expeditiously sell your house or locate the future home of your dreams.



On to the next tidbit of the day:

Remember the door? The stupid-effing-storm door that cost over $400 and took 4 weeks to be delivered???

Well, the Home Depot dude told me of an alternate door, made by Anderson, which 1) looked like it belonged in a gold-toothed grandma's trailer house or perhaps a stylish new modular home in Coon Rapids, 2) did NOT come in black but rather 4 other vomitous color options, BUT 3) could arrive in 10 days.

Obviously, I bought it.

Time is of the essence, right?

But the funny thing is this: if buying a stupid, sub-par storm door isn't enough to show you all what an idiot I am, here's something more: I called about the door yesterday (13 days past ordering) and was informed that ghetto-door has "a 28-day lead time."


Some little Home Depot wank door-salesguy is most definitely getting his ass kicked tomorrow.

I think it will be a fitting re-introduction in to construction-worker-life after three+ long weeks of nicey-nice real estate environment. :-)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Holy Crap.

I don't even know what to say about this.

I mean really, where to begin???

Saturday, June 9, 2007

So. Tired. Saturday.

This week has been absolutely nonstop.

It began last Saturday, when I had a scheduled walk-through for an apartment rehab consulting job. Basically I looked at the place and told him what to change in order to rent/sell for more money.

The apartment was supposed to be empty so that I could spend some real time in each room taking notes and photographs. Think it was? Of course not. The tenants were still there, surrounded by boxes and four screaming kids. One bedroom door was closed and I dared not even go in there, lest I find someone changing or napping. It was ridiculous.

After snapping as many pictures as I could get away with, I headed out to Home Depot and Target for paint color specs, light fixture model names and the like. Then I spent the rest of the day composing a draft report, product list and sample advertisement for the apartment.

Sunday was supposed to be bathroom tile day at the house. My tile guy was 1.5 hours late in calling me, and then I had to pick him up since he doesn't have a car. We worked until after 8PM and he only got the subfloor down. (This was supposed to be a two-day project - subfloor and tile the first day, grout the second.)

Afterwards I worked a bit more on the consulting report and went to bed.

On Monday I started Kaplan/Prosource Real Estate License Course II. (M-T, 8:30AM-5PM in BLOOMINGTON. Ugh.) I spent my lunch break racing to the nearest (far) Kinko's to slap my report into a portfolio with decent paper. That kind of sucked.

After class I went and found the tile guy at the house (the Good Scientist had brought him over in the morning) and he had about 1/2 of the tile laid, and was surrounded by LOTS and LOTS of waste from botched cuts. Yeah.

So I waited to meet with the consulting guy who inexplicably requested to meet me at my house to get the report. WTF? I guess he wanted to see my work again, but why wait until after he had agreed to pay me? I wondered if he'd change his mind about hiring me when he saw the chaotic state of the house, complete with KQ-blasting, chain-smoking, coke-bottle-littering tile guy in the house.

Consulting guy was two hours late, wanted a tour and some chatsy-chat, but eventually paid me and left. Tile guy and I were out of the house around 9PM, tile still unfinished.

On Tuesday, tile guy had to work his day job, so I met him after my class, around 5:30. He immediately requested that we stop at: a) USbank, b) a store for smokes and cokes, and c) Home Depot for some supplies. I told him to GO SCREW HIMSELF!

Okay I'm lying. I didn't tell him that but I wish I had. I took him to the bank and store, but insisted that there was NO EFFING WAY we were going across town to the Quarry Home Depot during rush hour. We wouldn't have gotten to the house until 7pm if we did that!!!

Argh. I took him to North End Hardware near the house, and then the idiot realized that the drill bit he wanted to get wouldn't work on porcelain anyway, so he didn't buy it and the whole thing was a waste of effing time.

He worked (and I studied) until 10:30pm and then we called it quits. All the tile was laid except for two tiny slivers along one wall. (I have no clue why he didn't place those, since he ostensibly had made all the cuts the day before, but whatever.)

We took Wednesday and Thursday evenings off from the tile saga, since he was busy and I was tired of his face anyway. We agreed to resume (finish???) on Friday.

Friday I had no class in Bloomington, thankfully. As a result, I scheduled a carpenter to come out and take care of some trim work that I don't like to do. Guess what time he said he could come???? 7:30AM. WTF?

I wanted it done though, so I agreed.

Carpenter guy was actually VERY professional, I'm happy to report. He showed up on time, worked diligently and quietly with an Ipod in his ears and he didn't even litter my house with cigarettes and empty coke bottles. Whee! He finished almost everything he said he would finish, and will return next Friday to do the remainder. I'm quite encouraged.

Tile guy, on the other hand, cancelled Friday night and said he'd have to come Sunday morning to grout. I feel like grouting my fucking self, since it's not hard and I'm sick of him and I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO GET UP EARLY ON SUNDAY TOO, DAMMIT.

Whatever. And then he has the nerve to complain that he's not making any money on this job because it's taking so much longer than he thought.

Um, well? We DID go through the space beforehand and he DID look at everything and give me the price and time quote based upon his so-called professional opinion. Personally I feel like paying him LESS because he's eaten up so much of my time....


So today I had planned on visiting two open houses near my place as well as checking out the Spring Art Party at North Commons Park. However, it's now 12:30 and I'm still in my underwear, laying on the couch blogging. I'm considering the benefits of not moving from this position for the rest of the day. I am fried.

Hopefully next week will be easier.

Friday, June 8, 2007

RantyMom is a Superstar!

For those of you who are lawyers, check my mama out! She argued before the state supreme court this past week, and I'm SO PROUD.

For those of you who are NOT lawyers, feel free to watch too, and you can make fun of the bald-yet-ponytailed respondent attorney. (I couldn't help it.)