Friday, July 24, 2009

Going Once, Twice, SOLD!

Who knew cat trees were such hot sellers. The new tree we made last night is already sold to Ken from Penfield for $65. That's two cat trees in a week, faster than we can make them! Our cat trees got good quality and value (and I'm not just saying this for a shameless self promotion). The trees sold at Petco can go anywhere between $129 to $349! The next one just might have to be $75!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cat Tree #2

The first cat tree was sold in two days on Craigslist to a woman with 8 cats! So here's the replacement for Teddy. He can't seem to figure out how to get down yet so he gets on the top level and meows for the fireman!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rochester Pride Walk

Seeing the Gay Pride Walk is only half of the fun; being part of it really completes the experience! When there was a gap in the line up I joined the parade with my Beetle just past Jine's on Park Ave.! Couple blocks down the road I picked up Vanessa and her friends to wave from the back of the car. It was pretty fun especially going pass the Jesus people.

The Cat Tree is now complete!

And the first production of the whirligigs are ready to take flight!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jumble Grumble

After a year of volunteering at Myland it's back to job hunting. I've been applying for jobs here and there all along. Yesterday I applied for 15 jobs ranging from Study Abroad Advisor to admin, marketing, internet advertising assistant. It's likely that I won't hear back from any of them. I'm not being negative, it's just how things have been since college. The crappy job at Sutherland was the first and only "real job" I've never had. And I hated it so much I barely made through three and half months just to get a dental cleaning. Often times I feel frustrated and hopeless. I don't know what went so wrong that I'm now the good-for-nothing type with no job or career future. I have to admit that things get pretty depressing especially when I get off those hour long phone calls with my parents. They are still rallying for Med school. I wish they had a second child who could live out their wishes.

Joel Seligman had the balls to say on a D&C interview that a four year degree at U of R now costs $178,000 and it was worth every penny. REALLY??? It makes me want to vomit. I should feel good about my $15,000 student loan. That's a bargain for TWO degrees! Only if they could be more useful than toilet paper! Seligman, take the stupid degrees and shove it up your A**! I want my money back.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The World of Whirligiggles

The annual Corn Hill Festival here in Rochester is one of the top arts and craft shows in the region. I marched against the rain on Saturday determined to do some market research to find the hot item of the year. It didn’t take long to notice garden decoration is by far the most popular seller. You’ve got the silly wooden signs, bird houses, bird bath and the typical stick-and-forget-it items. The one that really jumped out this year is from a New Jersey vendor with a 2-foot wire made animal garden decoration with tangling bells as feet. This really got me thinking…what can we make and sell at the next year’s festival? I got to the downtown library first thing on Monday and searched high and low in the craft section. Two ideas: children pull toys and whirligigs. 15 books later, whirligig wins the final selection!

In case you’re not familiar with Whirligigs here is a little interesting background article from Whirligig Pleasure.

These things range from very basic duo-propeller design to more elaborate figures and movable parts. It didn't take long for us to get our feet wet with the first homemade whirligig just to see how the parts work.

Our neighbor Charles really enjoys seeing it out his porch. On passing, Charles mentioned that his father used to make some more decorative ones. Since Charles graduated from U of R in '54, his father must have been making these over a hundred years ago!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cat Tree

Like all first born and only child, Teddy is getting quite spoiled with all sort of cat toys. Everywhere I go I’m always looking for potential cat toys. He’s got the catnip super scratcher, tangle toy and few high quality homemade ones:.

The super cat tree here is still under construction:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back Online!

Yes, I’m back online. After two and half months of absence I’m ready to catch up. Although it has been a pretty slow summer nevertheless, life happens.

I moved out of my loft apartment on N. Water St. It was a bit sad since I’ve always enjoyed the view of the Genesee River and downtown from my oversize windows. The location was convenient and cover parking was a luxury in downtown living. I never took those things for granted and always reserved time to enjoy the warm lighting as the sun went down behind the Red Wing Stadium.

On May 22nd, I move into the newest urban development, the Mills at High Falls on 312 State St. Constructed by the same company, the building looks very similar to Corn Hill Landing, only ½ mile upstream. I toured the building 4 times and finally decided on apt. #303, a one-bedroom plus loft with approximately 1000 sq.ft. living space facing the High Falls pedestrian bridge.

I was at first excited about living in a brand new apartment but the joy was short lived. The Wednesday after I moved in my car was broken into while I was visiting my parents in Indianapolis. This rather minor event launched a month long struggle with the management at the Mills until I finally moved out on June 28th. Despite numerous calls and written complaints on the lack of security in the back parking lot, nothing was done to compensate my lost or to prevent future occurrences. The “gated” parking lot remains open 24/7 and underground parking is not yet available to the tenants. Instead I was given the option to move out. And even moving out wasn’t that easy…According to the moving out guideline in the lease agreement I must have my carpet professionally cleaned before the final inspection in order to receive my original deposit. That would have been a reasonable expectation had I lived out the full duration of the lease but it was absurd to have to pay to have it cleaned after only one month, especially given the circumstances. I was flabbergasted by just how unaccommodating the property managers were. At one point I was ready to take them to small claim court. They want to take my money and my principle!
Luckily, to my advantage, the Friday before I moved out was the grand ribbon cutting ceremony with local and state officials and the media, a perfect opportunity to stage a protest. Prior to the event, the management sent out flyers to advise people to park away from the building to save room for outdoor stage and seating area. A big moving out sign was made for my car to be parked in front of the building during the event. In the morning I give one last attempt to settle the carpet cleaning business but ended up with an emotional breakdown at the office. These people are nothing but bullies. Instead of treating the tenants like respectable human beings, they manage people like children.
Frustrated with the situation I backed my car right next to the entrance while all the other cars cleared out the spaces. Before I even got the sign inside the car, the management marched out of the building telling me to move my car (even though the lease specifically spelled out that there is no assigned parking in the lot). I stood my ground and said if you want to move it you’ll have to tow it, otherwise, drop the carpet cleaning and refund me my deposit. The management was frantic. I could almost see steam coming out of their ears! It took no time for Caroline to say, “You’ll get your money back, all you have to do is to move the car!”

At the end, the squeaky wheel gets the oil and I got a written notification in the mail saying that I will receive all of my original deposit back plus 86 cents interest before end of July. I’m still waiting on the check but at least I now have something on paper.

So now I’m in my 3rd apartment in two month in Pittsford! Moving was stressful and dealing with the Mills was a nightmare, I’m really glad to be able to finally settle down and put always all the boxes. Having grown up here as a teenager, I’m back in my hood!
People couldn’t believe I was moving out of downtown but I’m happy to announce that I love my new apartment in the burb!

And in between all the craziness Robert moved back from Vegas. We decided to give another try after what seemed to be an unsalvageable breakup. Sure, we could be a good couple, he’s persistent and persuasive and I’m ideal and gullible. We took short trips to Toronto, 1000 Islands and Ottawa. I went kayaking at Irondequoit Bay and watched a Rhinos game in the pouring rain. My friend Liz got married to her high school boyfriend Chris and I played at their wedding on July 3rd.

The biggest announcement of all is that I got a kitten! His name is Teddy! Now for the first time I can begin to grasp what it would be like for moms to watch their newborn with such awe. I can watch my Teddy for a long time, playing, eating, sleeping, doing just about anything! I love my Teddy!

And in case you didn’t get to the Highland Park BBQ and Blues Festival over the weekend here’s what you missed:

This guy came and took all his cloth off right in front of us, quite a shameless act. We got a good laugh out of it. I thought it’d be funny if I did the same so I took my shirt off too to work on my tan.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hell at the Mills

• Lack of Security – My car was vandalized in the “Gated” parking lot less than a week after I moved into the Mills.
• Non-responsive Management – I reported the incident to the property manager but received no responses.
• Negligence – The “gated” parking lot is left open 24/7 even after the incident. I repeatedly suggested more actions to be taken to avoid re-occurrence but they were ignored by the Mills. No one was ever issued a key FAB to access the parking lot gates as noted on the lease agreement.

• False Advertising – The Mills had been advertising the secured underground parking since I first visited in March. However, when I inquired about it this June I was told that the underground garage is not available to the tenants. This left me with no option for safer parking.

• The property managers showed total disregard towards tenant’s property and safety. Nothing has been done by the Mills to help securing the parking lot. Instead of finding a solution to help the tenants, the Mills chose to release me from my lease.

• Infringement of Privacy – I have become aware that the security cameras installed in the parking lot look directly into the residents’ windows. This allows anyone with access to the videos to see into the private lives of the tenants. This information was never disclosed to the tenants prior to signing the lease.

• Unaccommodating Management - After living at the Mills for only one month I was required to have the brand new carpet professionally cleaned. The lease mentioned that carpet need to be cleaned on an annual bases. I requested the management to come for a pre-inspection to determine if such professional cleaning was necessary but my request was turned down. Instead I was advised that regardless the condition of the carpet I will not get my full security deposit back without a cleaning receipt.

• Noisy tenants – frequent loud music and disputes from neighbors in the hallway and parking lot.

The Mills treat their tenants as children that need to be supervised instead of real people that need privacy, security and respect.