Ísland (by Sebastián Conrad)
Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed. - Mahatma Gandhi
The Worst Month of the Year
I think that in the last 30 days or so, I have been seriously frustrated by some things that have gone on. I’m not really sure why this month seems to have sucked more than usual. Oh, wait. I know exactly why it sucked, but I don’t really get why it all had to happen in one month.
First, there was the whole iTunes account hacked issue, leading to me getting charged for an app that I didn’t purchase. I did get that taken care of, but I ended up having to delete my PayPal account (since it was the funding source and I felt like it might have also been compromised) and put a fraud alert on my credit report. I had to change all of my passwords everywhere, but apparently missed a few, as I would find out a few weeks later.
After the iTunes issue, my laptop decided to take a break. My external hard drive’s enclosure was also on a break. The new enclosure came first, but I couldn’t see if it still worked until the laptop came back. When it did come, I had to format the external hard drive’s drive again. Now I’m working on getting everything back on the drive.
Meanwhile, I go to log-in on likesototally.me’s WordPress and find that it has been hacked. I figured out what was hacked—the .htaccess. I decided to download files from it that I knew were safe and not located elsewhere before trashing everything else. The deletion finally got done last night. I changed the domain’s username’s password before I decided that I needed to change the username as well. So, that was fun.
In terms of non-tech related bad things, I had thought the disintegration of my extended family on my mom’s side was the worst possible thing in the world that was going on, until we got a nice little letter from ALFA (our insurance agency) letting us know that we would be dropped from our homeowner’s policy in February. Apparently, insuring us was "too risky" and wasn’t worth continuing the (at least) 26 years of business with my family. Well, technically, they’ll still be doing business with us because the life insurance policies for my dad and for me are under them, but my parents are planning on moving the car insurance when they find a new insurer.
I felt like it was my fault that the insurance got dropped. First of all, ALFA is the employer of certain members of my family that I am not really on speaking terms with and their position in the company is fairly high, so my first thought went to that ongoing crap. Even though they don’t want to be around us, I figured out that they wouldn’t do something that petty in order to punish me for talking about them on here.
After realizing that they were probably not behind the dropping of coverage, I thought that maybe my dad had decided not to pay the (staunchly conservative) PAC ”contribution” when he paid the membership dues for the farm bureau. (You have to belong to the bureau in order to get insurance and it is requested that your membership payment include a “voluntary” contribution to the PAC.) But they say that you don’t have to pay into the PAC, and I don’t know if the company would really drop people because you choose not to contribute to it. Somehow, I’m not sure if that decision might keep us from being insured.
The other possibility is that because of the continuing issue with the grass, this house might be considered too unsightly for them to insure. Their standards are pretty high, and my mom suggested (at one point) that they may have been doing some of the reporting to the city about the grass and the stuff on the porch. Of course, that makes me even more paranoid. The idea that you can lose your insurance and get threatened with jail time because of grass and because of other random crap is just something that causes me intense anxiety.
And, as per the norm for me, I have felt worse lately. I’ve had bouts with dizziness, pain, fever, sinus crap, and (of course) the heavy period that came around for a week and a half, and is currently on hiatus again. And I got a call from my family doctor about wanting to do blood work, which is always torture for me, so that has me kind of apprehensive. Then, of course, there was the depression, mood swings, and generally nuttiness that I usually deal with and that usually gets worse this time of year. It’s just been the rotten cherry on top of a melted sundae.
So, yeah, this past month has really, really sucked. I’m hoping that December will be better. I’m guessing that it won’t, though. That’s not me being pessimistic or anything. I’m being completely realistic. And realizing that the most joyous time of the year is probably going to be suck-filled is awful.
I Knew It!
Remember how two weeks ago I said that I knew that the idea that neighbors were turning us in to the Community Development people was completely nuts? I was right. One of our neighbors had to go to court today over their yard, too. Why would a neighbor who wants our yard cut end up having to go to court over their own yard? It really doesn’t make sense.
I guess with that being the city’s case that I could have gone to trial over my yard, but I was really sick of all the crap. I took a plea. The city attorney had the fine and court costs at minimum ($100 fine plus $224 in court costs) in the deal. I now have two weeks to get it done or I’ll get a new citation. I can’t appeal the plea because I said I was guilty and waived that right.
The fine probably would have been higher if the guy who came by yesterday had been our normal inspector. This other inspector actually talked to my dad, which they are supposed to do every time that they inspect a property. My dad told him that we didn’t know what part of the yard was even in the complaint until two weeks ago. He also told him that we’re on a fixed income, and that the guy who is supposed to cut it still hasn’t gotten around to it. (He also told him that the person who cuts it is our next-door neighbor.)
My dad also talked to the inspector about previous citations, including one that we got back during the summer about indoor furniture being on the front porch. (The indoor furniture in question was an old kitchen chair and, according to this inspector, wasn’t a violation of the city code.) The inspector asked why we hadn’t called the Community Development office (we had) or written (we had) or why we hadn’t tried to get everything taken care of before now (we had). I think by talking to my dad, the other inspector got a pretty good idea about the crap that has been going on. That inspector was in court today and helped make the sentence recommendation.
There was another thing that worked in our favor. My dad was using a cane today, because he’s been having some back problems lately. Apparently, that helped illustrate the whole disabled factor.
Oh, and this time I didn’t say anything rude or obscene to the city attorney. Actually, this time, I tried to be very quiet and only say very, very nice and respectful things. That seemed to give him the impression that I am a nice, together, respect-worthy fellow citizen, as opposed to the ignorant shrew that he seemed to think I was last time. So, yay.
Actually, everyone was nicer today. Maybe they’re nicer during the autumn months? Maybe it was me. Maybe it was the weather. Who knows?