Sunday, May 20, 2012

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - May 20, 2012

It's Sunday morning, time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. Well, man ... this has been one busy and rather sucky week for me. Yeah, you heard me. Sucky.

Work has been busy with unexpected auditors popping in. Not through my doing at all, we didn't do all that well. It's one of those "I told you" so kind of scenarios, but of course it's not really politically acceptable to say that. (But I told them so before this went down. I did.) The sad part with some of the latest auditors is that I actually know more than they do about company practices.  That's what happens when you spend half your life in one workplace.

The home front has been a bit hectic, too. First, on Wednesday I received a notice under my door that I have a new landlord. Okay. That wasn't unexpected. The last real landlord went bankrupt (and more, as you'll see) a few years back and the building has been being run by a receivership appointed by the bank. I read last summer that there was a winning bid of 9 million on the building at auction.

No, I didn't buy it.

We recently had our five year state inspection. Then there was another inspection by the city (for the sale?). On Thursday, which was my day off this week due to a switch, there was a knock on my door while I was still in my pajamas. HEY! Day OFF! It was a new superintendent of another building owned by my new landlord. He had a list of repairs including removing the old caulking around my tub and replacing it with new, new bathroom ceiling tiles, fix the low cold water pressure in the kitchen and a few other things. Um. Okay. I told him, as I've told others, that they need to fix whatever is leaking upstairs in regard to the bathroom ceiling.

When will these repairs be done? Today.


I made him give me ten minutes to put real clothes on. Then I let unexpected repairmen in to my apartment which had some housecleaning chores scheduled for my day off. Remember, it's my DAY OFF.

I watched a few episodes of the Falling Skies screener TNT sent me while a huge man was closed in my tiny bathroom choking on caulking fumes. Vincent peeked under the door at him either worried for his welfare or concerned that the man would use his litterbox.

That DAY OFF ordeal ended, fast forward to Friday after work. A notice under the door that the new landlord will be doing inspections on Tuesday between 4pm and 6:30pm. Argh! How many inspections can one tenant go through? I feel like Arlo Guthrie at Whitehall Street -- inspected, neglected, dejected, rejected!

Along with that notice, there was a questionnaire to send back to the new landlord. It asked the basics -- name, contact numbers, car info for the parking lot, who else lives there, etc. Along with the questions, it asked how much rent is being paid. Huh? I'm sure the receivership gave them that info. Heck, if David Connolly gave the info to the bank when he went bankrupt, you know the bank's appointed folks told the new landlord. As tempting as it was to try to lower my own rent, I told the truth. Maybe it's a test of my integrity.

But the story doesn't stop there. Saturday in the mail I received what looked like trouble -- a letter from a lawyer's office and a notice of certified mail being held at the post office. Huh? Is someone suing me? Nope. A neighbor in the elevator told me everyone got the same thing. Of course, he was telling me in Spanish, so I wasn't sure if I was understanding him right. I was. It was from the bank saying that the receivership was released of its duties, my security deposit transferred to the new landlord, and much legalese. Um. Okay. Apparently the certified letter is another copy of the same thing. If I get there while the post office is open, fine. If not, fine. The notice from the new landlord on the first day told me that they had my security deposit, what bank it's in and the account number.

Then there's my original landlord (not the original original one, but the last one). What comes around, goes around. He's facing two counts that could each net him twenty years in prison and five million dollars plus in fines. His real estate Ponzi scheme caught up with him. The FBI and Securities Commission went after him for wire fraud, laundering money and a host of other charges. That's what he gets for jacking up my rent each year he had the building and letting the elevator remain broken for months when my knees were bad!

Now that I've bored everyone to death, onto this week's photos. Clicking on an image will open it in a new window, clicking again will make it larger and closing that window will lead you right back here.  

Monarch Building in the puddles
Monarch Building reflected

A testament to all the rain we had (again) this week. The Monarch Building (condos) on East Front Street is reflected in puddles in their neighbor's driveway.

Plainfield Train Station irises
Plainfield Train Station irises

If I'm not mistaken, I think local blogger Bernice had a hand in planting these. East Fourth Street, Plainfield.

In Red-ish
Westfield planter flowers

I don't know what they are, but they're big and pretty. Elm Street, Westfield. (I had to make a Trader Joe's foray on Friday due to stress!)



Raccoon in  sewer grate
Eek! A raccoon! Eek! A human!

So there I was innocently walking to the train after work last night. I was originally on the sidewalk, but noticed an animal! Could it be a BEAR? Nope. It was a raccoon, rather small, probably young and definitely very healthy-looking. When I first spotted him, he was mostly out of the sewer grate. But when he saw me, he ducked back in. It took me a moment to get my camera ready and go into the street to catch him. Bridgewater, NJ

She can't see me now
She'll never see me hidden here!

Where's the raccoon? Where did he go? It's like he vanished into thin air!

Is she gone yet?
Is she gone yet?

Well, I have a train to catch, Mr. Raccoon. I'll leave you alone now. I didn't get 50 feet when I saw him scoot up into the bushes.

Flying squirrel
Darned paparazzi!

I also spooked a squirrel at the Plainfield Train Station this week. Oops.

Digging for buried treasure
Digging for buried treasure

Same squirrel. He got over his fear of the camera.

Bee at work
Busy bee

He wouldn't pose for a good shot. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Fly on the leaf
Sunning fly

Now, he posed. Bridgewater Train Station.

Odd insect
Weird insect

This is the bug that's not an ant in Bridgewater. It's from a different angle. It's like it has an ant's body and size, but with an elongated snout and odd striped wings coming out of its abdomen.

Fence and Mockingbird
I know why the fenced bird sings

A mocking bird sits on the fence in Bridgewater.

One bird band
A one bird band

I believe this is a starling. Or maybe it's a grackle. I don't know. It's full of a ton of varying bird noises, though!

In Orange-ish
More Westfield flowers

Westfield Wall of Red
Westfield wall of red

These are in front of the North Street side of the Westfield Train Station.

Brilliant beauty

Berckman Street, Plainfield.

Wet iris
An iris in the rain

Also Berckman Street, but the other side of the street!

Many drops

A single drop


Plenty of puddles this week!

Mushrooms are in now

They were waiting for the rainfall.

Where do the children play?
Where do the children play?

Gee, perhaps a few of the never-ending inspections I've been going though could be used on the rowhouses at Church and East Second in Plainfield. This is their "courtyard." Notice the broken stairs on the left. I edited the shot to leave only the children's toys in color. I could only think of the old Cat Stevens song, "Where Do the Children Play" as I viewed this scene.

Road Maven
Road maven

Bridgewater, NJ

Vincent's mug shot
Vincent's mug shot

Vincent was a hit with the new superintendent dude. But he keeps getting into mischief as I try to finish this. So he's in the dog house. Um. The cat house. Well, that's not quite right either. I told him he has to sit quietly in his chair.

How was your week? Who do you think will win American Idol?


Bernice said...

We now have raccoons in the walls of my building. Mau the cat is very interested in their scrabbling noises and squeaks of baby raccoons. I hope he will defend the premises if they ever get inside.

Jackie said...

Yikes! I think we had a brief return of the mice in the walls here. For a couple of days Vincent sat staring at the kitchen wall. He hears things I don't hear.

I hope your landlord gets them out somehow. Mau, big as he is, wouldn't fare well against a mama raccoon.

Rochelle said...

I can't believe you found a raccoon there. Amazing shots all round this week Jackie. You keep getting better and better. Did you mention what cam and lens you use and I missed it?

I'm in the market for one. Do tell.

Jackie said...

I did answer you, Rochelle. Alas, I'm not a great one to ask. I just bought my first DSLR this past winter -- an older Nikon D40. I do have the zoom lens kit and have bought a few other cheap lenses for it. However, the weather and my lack of free time (it's not something I want to lug with me every day while my point and shoots fit in my pocket) have kept me from becoming any sort of expert. I guess I might have more of an eye for a shot than any kind of technical camera expertise.

Sally said...

Ever since the format for posting your blog photos changed, I haven't been able to see most of them. Some photos load partially, most not at all. The problem is likely my old, slow computer and dial-up connection. I still usually stop by to read your weekly post, but I miss my weekly shot of Vincent.

The photo of the large red flowers in Westfield loaded partially, and it looks like an hybiscus: big, beautiful flowers, whish only last a day.

~~Silk said...

Yes. Hibiscus. The sepals and petals are tasty in salads, and the red ones are used to make a tea that has been known to lower blood pressure.