Friday, September 29, 2006

Noticeably absent

I have been slightly absent lately... my sincerest apologies! Life has been a little crazy around here...

First and foremost... Rob is deploying again... to Iraq nonetheless... very not happy news. It is happening soon so Rob and Danielle are making quick plans to relocate her back to MD and thank the heavens above, back into their house. Their tenants graciously agreed to move out so that Danielle could move back in. This does mean that I get Danielle back as a neighbor (I see grueling yoga workouts in my future) and for that I am so happy but it is tainted with the fact that Rob is deploying. I just ask that everyone out there keep them in your prayers... for strength and safety... it's going to be a long few months but if anyone can make it, the Townley's can. I have never met a couple more ready to handle this then them! Ok, enough gushing over the Townley's...

You may notice that I am posting during work hours... 'shouldn't you be working hard... pumping out contracts for the millions of $$'s of revenue that passes by your desk each day...' to which I say 'stop being so judgmental and how do you know what I do?' oh, and then I tell you that I HAVE THE DAY OFF! Normally this isn't such a momentous and noteworthy occasion but it has been so hellascious at work lately that today's day off was definitely needed. My only sadness is that I left KMR and Nancy to deal with it... many apologies ladies... much love ;~)

The husband and I don't have a whole lot planned... shop a little... hang out and enjoy a GORGEOUS day here in MD.

I am excited because my dad's sister is coming into town and we are all going out to eat some yummy MD crabs... then tomorrow we are heading to the H-town to visit Adam's family... we are celebrating his dads birthday (which was in mid Sept and this is the first chance we have had to get up there)... we are also celebrating Nick's 22nd birthday and what would have been Ryan's 30th (their birthday's were a day apart). All in all, it should be a great visit!

Hopefully I will have some fun pictures to post! Love to everyone out in the blogosphere!

Friday, September 22, 2006

About Me

Things you may not have known about me (or maybe you do!)

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1) snowball maker
2) waitress
3) babysitter (shocker, I know!)
4) grocery store cashier

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1) Anne of Green Gables
2) Where the Heart Is
3) 10 Things I Hate About You
4) Any of the TV shows on DVD that I own

Four places I have lived: (somewhat in order)
1) Texas
2) Spain
3) Ohio
4) Maryland

Four TV shows I love to watch
1) Scrubs
2) Grey's Anatomy
3) Gilmore Girls
4) Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Four places I have been on vacation:
1) Bermuda
2) Arizona (twice)
3) Puerto Rico
4) Saratoga Springs NY

Four Websites I visit daily:
1) MySpace

2) Pink is the New Blog
3) Hotmail

Four of my favorite foods:
1) Eggplant Pancakes
2) Italian Wedding Soup
3) Chicken and peppers from the grill
4) Ice Cream

Four places I would rather be right now
1) Home with my beagle
2) Vacationing in Greece with the hubby
3) Driving with Danielle... got to love a road trip! (can't wait to see you girl! Much missing of you going on here!)
4.) Doing something that I thought made a difference in someone's life...

I tag whoever wants to play!

Season Premiere

It was good... ok... I did enjoy it but it wasn't the all consuming storyline that I thought it would be. There was a LOT going on... almost too much where my emotions were pulled in so many different directions that I couldn't get fully invested in one story line.

I liked the Izzy on the floor bit... that was my favorite part... I know the feeling of losing someone and just wanting people to stop hovering because there is too much pressure when you finally do want to move. And everyone has advice... none of which that person on the floor wants to hear.

The rest was interesting but since there aren't a lot of die-hards that read this, I won't go through every story line...

I will say that I still enjoy the show a lot and will most definitely continue watching it... I am still hooked!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's true, I am addicted

Adam and I watched the last 4 episodes of Grey's Anatomy Season 2 last night! What a great show... I am so entralled with this show I can't stand it!

Tonight is the season premiere! So very excited!

PS... You would think I would learn not to watch a show where at least one person dies in a hospital every episode (bad flashbacks) but nooooo, I am apparently a glutton for punishment. Oh well, crying heals the soul, right?

Friday, September 15, 2006

And the Jeep drama continues...

Got out of work on Friday and Jeep was nearly dead. Fantastic.

Since I have no mechanical ability whatsoever, I rely on my husband... who has a surprisingly strong mechanical ability... especially when it comes to our Jeep which has been the greatest learning tool ever. However... this particular weekend... he is away at a conference where cell phone reception is almost nill... there is a particular spot where every congregates to use the phone and then anywhere else... dead. So, I can't get in touch with him... so I have no idea how to handle this situation...

Enter Nancy... who offers to take me all the way home (lets just say that it isn't on her way home... think opposite end of the city...) Thanks so much Nancy! You are a lifesaver.

So the car sits in the parking lot overnight. Now, I was supposed to pick up a friend on the way home (who doesn't have a license) and we were supposed to go shopping and she was going to spend the night... yeah, that is out of the question. It's me and the Wonderbeagle on the couch eating ice cream.

Saturday I was all set to get a rental car... I call Victoria to ask her to take me to get it and she gives me her car... Seth will be home soon and she doesn't need it... Holy cow, I have awesome friends! So, I drive the Rav4 (surprisingly... I LOVED IT!)

I pick up my friend and we go to our scheduled appointments for facials... Very nice. Couldn't have picked a better weekend to get a facial! Then we go out to eat. I will spare the details because this blog is about me gossiping about my life, not other peoples lives. Lets just say that lunch did not end well and I ended up back at home... just me and the Wonderbeagle! Truly this weekend has turned out NOTHING like I imagined.

Sunday I do a Gilmore Girls marathon... the Wonderbeagle and I... until Adam gets home. We then go to inspect the Jeep as I have left it in the parking lot all weekend. We get some much needed jumper cables (you would have thought that owned a pair but nope!) and attempt to jump the Jeep. Left it charging for 15 minutes... Jeep started but promptly died when I took my foot off the gas... so we let it go longer... praying and hoping that this won't cost us an arm and a leg. Another 15 minutes and the Jeep holds its charge! We, cautiously, drive it around the parking lot... so far so good... I mean it still feels like a bucket of bolts but it's at its normal. YAY!

We drive it home and hope that it starts tomorrow (Monday) and it did... nevertheless... we are conspiring a plan to get out from underneath it... I have visions of the Jeep just spontaneously exploding and me being trapped inside, or driving on the highway and all the tires shooting off in different directions... my mind is toooo vivid! Anyway, we are hatching a plan... more to come if it works out!

Oh and for all those that will tell me that I left the dome light on or the headlights on... NO I DID NOT! What we believed happened, and is VERY likely, is that the brake lights were on all day... yes, I said brake lights... Seriously, you can't make this stuff up! Infrequently the brake pedal will stay just slightly depressed (thinking of getting some anti-d's for it) which in turn keeps the brake lights lit... thus killing my car at the end of a very hard day...

How am I still smiling? Life is fun!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I got this email from my friend Beth at work today... I am not usually a 'forward' kind of person but this one touched me so I am sharing it here...

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and peddled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike.

Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right? And what has Rick done for his father?

Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs."He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;" Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution." But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room.

When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told."There's nothing going on in his brain."

"Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate.

First words? "Go Bruins!"

And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out,"Dad, I want to do that. "Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles?

Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."

That day changed Rick's life.

"Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could.

He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

"No way," Dick was told by a race official.

The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?"

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon?

Still,Dick tried. Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii.

It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think? Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters.

Their best time'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record,which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century."

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life. Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some back-breaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy."The thing I'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

So my husband is an awesome lawyer...

If you will recall a previous post titled Lord have mercy in which the Evil Empire deducted hard earned money from us for the bogus charge of urine on the carpets... seriously, this adorable pup does NOT pee indoors... we are barked at often enough to be aware that this dog demands to be outside.

Anyway, this wasn't something that we were going to let go down without a fight... our dog's good name was on the line!

So Adam sat down in about 3 hours time crafted the most beautiful letter to the
Evil Empire.

Here is the letter.... (missing vital information of course!)


August 27, 2006


Evil Empire
Evil Empire


Re: Return of Security Deposit for Jessica XXXXXXX nee XXXXXXX

For Rental of

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter on behalf of my wife, Jessica XXXXXXX (hereinafter referred to as Jessica XXXXXXX), in connection with the lease of the above referenced property entered into on May 4, 2005, in which Jessica XXXXXXX agreed to take possession of the property on May 13, 2005, and to vacate the premises on May 31, 2006. I, Adam XXXXXXX, was listed on the lease document as "Occupant -
Husband". On May 13, 2005, Jessica XXXXXXX paid to Evil Empire a security deposit in the amount of $X.X.

On April 11, 2006, Jessica XXXXXXX provided
Evil Empire management with her Notice of Intention to Vacate Apartment, informing Evil Empire that she would be vacating on June 11, 2006. This date was later modified by mutual agreement of the parties to June 9, 2006. On this Notice, Jessica XXXXXXX provided Evil Empire with the forwarding address of XXXXXXX , XXXXXXX , Maryland, XXXXXXX.

Pursuant to the Residential Lease Agreement (
"Lease Agreement"), the Application Agreement and Security Deposit Agreement ("Security Deposit Agreement"), as well as Maryland landlord-tenant law, Evil Empire Corporation - the "Landlord" named in the least - was required to return the security deposit paid by Jessica XXXXXXX within 45 days - or by July 24, 2006. The amount returned to Jessica XXXXXXX must, under the terms of the Lease Agreement and the Security Deposit Agreement, include "interest computed at 4% per annum accrued at 6 month intervals".

On Saturday, July 21, 2006, Jessica XXXXXXX received in the mail an envelope bearing the return address of
"The Evil Empire, XXXXXXX , Suite XXXXXXX , XXXXXXX , Maryland XXXXXXX". The sole enclosure in this envelope was a check from "Evil Empire Apartments, Owner-Evil Empire Corporation, XXXXXXX , Suite XXXXXXX , XXXXXXX , MD XXXXXXX" paid to the order of Jessica XXXXXXX (XXXXXXX). This check was in the amount of $X.X. According to my calculations, the full amount of the security deposit plus interest is $X.X. These numbers reflect a withholding of $X.X.

On July 24, 2006, I telephoned
Evil Empire to discuss the $X.X withheld from Jessica XXXXXXX's security deposit. I spoke with a woman who claimed to be the manager, and who told me her name was "Cruella DeVil". I was told over the telephone that the money was withheld because the carpet had to be replaced because of urine stains caused by our beagle. I informed the manager that our beagle was over 9 years old and, in the last 8 years, he has never once urinated or defecated indoors, anywhere. I demanded over the telephone that she provide me with written reports demonstrating the presence of urine stains on our carpet. Moreover, I demanded written documentation evidencing a lack of urine stains prior to the date we took possession of the property. Cruella DeVil assured me that she would get the records to me.

I informed
Cruella DeVil that I had to be in XXXXXXX County that afternoon and that I would stop by and pick up the records then. That afternoon, shortly before 5:00pm, I arrived at the Evil Empire leasing office, where I spoke with Cruella DeVil in person. Cruella DeVil quickly became uncooperative and refused to provide any documentation to me in person. I informed Cruella DeVil that if I had to, I would sue to recover the money which I believe was improperly withheld. Cruella DeVil assured me, this time in person, that she would mail to me an itemization of damages withheld and the documentation which supports their claim of damages.

I write this letter on August 27, 2006, greater than one month after that conversation. As of yet,
Evil Empire has failed to provide my wife and I with an itemized list of deductions or the documentation that supports Evil Empire's claim for damages.

Maryland Real Property Article, § 8-203(g) provides as follows:

(1) If any portion of the security deposit is withheld, the landlord shall present by first-class mail directed to the last known address of the tenant, within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy, a written list of the damages claimed under subsection (f)(1) of this section together with a statement of the cost actually incurred.

If the landlord fails to comply with this requirement, the landlord forfeits the right to withhold any part of the security deposit for damages.
(emphasis added).

Because greater than 45 days have elapsed since the termination of the tenancy, and no written list of damages were mailed to Jessica XXXXXXX,
Evil Empire is absolutely precluded by Maryland Law from withholding any part of Jessica XXXXXXX's security deposit.

As such, Jessica XXXXXXX and I demand that
Evil Empire return to Jessica the amount of $X.X (the difference between $X.X (security deposit plus 4% interest) and $X.X (the amount previously remitted to Jessica XXXXXXX). If a check is not received by Jessica XXXXXXX at her home address of XXXXXXX, XXXXXXX, Maryland, XXXXXXX, by Wednesday, September 6, 2006, she will be filing a lawsuit in the District Court for XXXXXXX County.

In this lawsuit, Jessica will be seeking three times the amount wrongfully withheld plus reasonable attorney's fees. That means that she will be seeking $X.X - three times the $X.X wrongfully withheld - plus $X.X for attorney's fees.
Evil Empire should be well aware that Maryland law provides for these damages:

(1) Within 45 days after the end of the tenancy, the landlord shall return the security deposit to the tenant together with simple interest which has accrued in the amount of 3 percent per annum, less any damages
rightfully withheld.
* * *
(4) If the landlord, without a reasonable basis, fails to return any part of the security deposit, plus accrued interest, within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy, the tenant has an action of up to threefold of the withheld amount, plus reasonable attorney's fees.

Md. Real Property Art., § 8-302(e) (emphasis added).

In sum, Maryland law is crystal clear that
Evil Empire, by reason of its failure to provide by mail a written itemization of damages withheld from Jessica XXXXXXX's security deposit, is absolutely forbidden from withholding "any part of the security deposit for damages." Md. Real Property Art., § 8-302(g)(2). On this basis alone, Evil Empire must return to Jessica XXXXXXX the $X.X which has been wrongfully withheld. We are giving Evil Empire until Wednesday, September 6, 2006, to return this money to Jessica XXXXXXX. If this money is not received by Jessica by that day, Jessica will file a lawsuit seeking $X.X.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact me at the telephone number or email address listed above.


_______________________ _________

Adam X. XXXXXXX Date

_______________________ _________

Jessica X. XXXXXXX Date

So, needless to say, we were wondering what the
Evil Empire would do and how they would react. We were sitting around the house on Saturday when there was a knock at the door... which funnily enough annoyed Adam and I because we weren't expecting anyone so we figured it was a solicitor... so wrong... it was DHL with an envelope... addressed to me... I open in and there is a smaller envelope addressed to me... with a check inside. Nothing else, no explanation, no note... just a check.... for the full amount!

Sweet justice!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Big Update

I will try to make this brief but anyone that knows me, knows that I tend to ramble... even on a keyboard.

So, I clued everyone in that Adam was miserable at work... not normal 'man, I hate having to work, I wish I could be on my couch' miserable but the 'too many cases to handle, motions and briefs on top of the cases, boss treats me like I am an idiot and curses at me on a regular basis (meaning everytime he is around) even calling on Saturdays to yell at him for a deadline that has yet to pass'... like I said miserable.

So... after the aforementioned Sat call Adam and I thought about all the possible scenarios for what needed to happen. We discussed Adam talking to his boss (hereafter referred to as 'No Heart') and how that might go, whether Adam would give his 2 weeks and if No Heart would even allow that, whether No Heart would actually listen and try to make an effort with him... all the possibilities...

So after a weekend of prayer, reflection and discussion we decided that Adam would go in and talk to No Heart, calmly and rationally, and explain exactly what the problems were and where Adam was (moments away from tendering his resigation) and whatever path No Heart took, Adam would act on his best judgment. We trusted that God would give Adam the courage and words to have this conversation.

Monday came and Adam and No Heart had a tension filled debate (re: argument) about the supposed 'missed deadline' as soon as the day started... the end result being that No Heart overreacted (and way toooo early) but ended it, not by saying sorry but by telling Adam that he 'dodged a bullet'... what a .... ugh... I digress.

And No Heart brought in another person to assist Adam which when they started working together it became apparent that both of them would be scrambling to get everything done still... it was a lot of work.

So the day never really lent itself to this discussion that Adam wanted to have with No Heart so Adam took it as not God's will for that day and let it go. He would try again on Tuesday.

In the meantime Adam called the placing agency that got him this job in the first place, explained the situation to the woman and she felt badly and supported Adam's decisions and future steps... and would start looking for work for him, just in case ;~) This woman loves Adam a lot... everywhere she placed Adam reflected well on her because he did so well.

So Tuesday comes and No Hearts admin comes in visibly distraught... I won't go into the details of why because it is not my place to gossip about anyone else's life (other than my own) but she lets Adam know that No Heart was too hard on him and that he has been doing a great job and she tells No Heart not to be so hard on him... she likes Adam.

So No Heart finally comes into the office, about midday and Adam asks to speak to him. They close the door just the 2 of them and Adam begins speaking. He lets him know the problems and how frustrated he is working there. No Heart stops him and says before this gets personal he wants to say something... No Heart then proceeds to tell Adam how well he has done since he got there... how Adam is writing like someone with 5-6 years of experience and that none of this is his fault. He said he compromised by hiring someone with such little actual experience and that he really needed someone with more experience but that isn't Adams fault and for that he is sorry. He said, this relationship will end on a high note... Adam will stay on until they phase in a new lawyer (with much more experience) and that way Adam isn't out without a job and then when he leaves, he gets great references.

All in all, it is the best possible situation... Adam didn't want to stay and commit to working there for any substantial length of time and he doesn't have to... and he has time to look for more work... and he gets good references... So, all I have to say is Praise Jesus!

Continued prayers are welcomed as we are entering back into the world of uncertainty but we are ok because just as we went into this situation with faith in God, we will enter this next situation with faith in God.