January 29, 2009

An Open Letter to the Carpentras at the Villages at Avignon HOA

Dear Homeowner's Association:

I don't care how you feel about the fact that I purchased the property without you having received an application first. I purchased a foreclosure, meaning I purchased my home from the bank, not the builder. Also, since I haven't received the Declarations, Articles of Incorporation, or any of the other pertinent paperwork, I will **not** pay your ridiculous HOA fees. All I needed was the HOA articles. I don't have them. My realtor did not provide them. The selling agent did not provide them.

When I called today I get a copy of the legal documentation, your representative was very rude. That's not a good look for a quasi-governmental organization trying to recover money from me. Furthermore, I don't appreciate your representative threatening me with late charges because I didn't pay by the 15th. You didn't send anything, including an invoice, until the 22nd.

So, at this time, I don't consider myself a member of the HOA and if you continue to press the issue, I will take legal advice. If you want me to join your HOA, get me the Articles, get me the Declaration, show me where the HOA is mandatory in my title, and fix my Mailbox!

Otherwise, Leave me alone.



January 28, 2009

Morning Thoughts get me in trouble

    1. Why is it that you only meet men when you aren't interested in dating anymore? Is there a cosmic signal that goes out and says, "She's not interested in dating, time to hook her up?"
    2. Why do good girls end up with bad boys?
    3. Why am I letting someone get close to me when I'm not sure he's the one for me?
    4. Then again, finding out if he's the one is the point of dating right?
    5. Why am I stressing this?

This is the kind of stuff that was going through my head this morning when I stepped out to my car to place my breakfast and water in the passenger seat. You see, when I went to bed last night, I closed the door, but I didn't check to make sure it was secure. Brilliant woman that I am, I replaced all the deadbolts and door locks in the house over to one key. However, the lock in the door to the garage keeps turning within the handle, a problem I kept saying "I'll fix it later."

It fixed me this morning. I pulled the door, realized I had not engaged the lock last night and the door was open, and was overthinking my current relationship dilemma when I stepped out to my car.

The door closed behind me. And locked.

Yeah, locked. So when I go back to the door, I'm now locked out of my house. I don't have on shoes. I don't have my cell phone. I don't have my keys. I'm locked out of my house. So, I open the garage door and step over to my neighbors' house. I think I woke him up, but he was gracious enough to let me call the locksmith and my job. I went back to my house and sat in the garage.

On a completely random thought, I started sifting through the junk in my car. At one point, I had changed all the locks in the house except the front door and I could never remember which keys went to the front door and which ones went to the other doors, so I kept them all in my car. Lo and behold, the extra keys to the house were still in my car! $65 locksmith charge averted!

I rush back into the house and call the locksmith.

  • Me: Hi, this is Vic at {address}. I just wanted to let you know that I found an extra set of keys to my house, so I don't need the locksmith.
  • Locksmith: Well you know what lady? The next time, why dont' you check everything you can think of before you call us cuz now we have a guy rushing out to your home to help you and that's a waste we dont' need.
  • Me (slightly stunned): OK, first, I called you b/c at the time I did need you and I had checked everything I could think of. Second, I called you about 5 minutes ago, so regardless of how you feel about the situation I'm certain your guy hasn't gotten that far. Third, I'm still a customer and you're extremely rude, so I'll make sure I tell everyone about this particular incident and let them know to take their business elsewhere. (hang up).

I'll tolerate a lot of things, but poor customer service is not one of them.

January 27, 2009

Twitter Nation

I have joined the Twitter Nation. I have no idea why, except that writing blog entries takes so much time. If this twitter thing works out the way everyone says it does, I might end up twittering a lot more than blogging....

Uh Oh.

January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Today, Barack Hussein Obama II became our 44th President of the United States. Seated in the conference room of our office, surrounded by my (mostly) white co-workers, I watched an event I never thought I would live long enough to see (and I'm under 30).

I watched a brilliantly educated, fiercely intellectual, inspiring man of the people become the leader of the free world. He reaffirmed the ideal that intelligence is not embarrassing, competence is not threatening, bipartisanship is more than a word, and ignorance of the world beyond your borders is dangerous.

I watched a father take an oath to protect and defend our Constitution, the same Constitution another man vowed to protect and defend before sending thousands of young men and women into a danger zone.

I watched a husband stand with his wife and two little girls and promise to try to make life better for all of us.

I watched press coverage that kept highlighting the fact that for persons of African descent everywhere in the world, today is a banner day for us all, the culmination of what so many have struggled, fought, prayed, and died for.

I watched the orderly transition of power from one freely elected leader to another, knowing that there are many countries in the world where that has not and maybe never will happen.

Our country has its problems and its graces, its successes and its failures.
Our country struggles with the basic question of rights for all, individual liberties, and governmental influence.
Our country is an evolving experiment.
Our country is not perfect.

But most of all, today, January 20, 2009, the United States of America took another step closer to becoming a more perfect union.

I was certain I would see a Hispanic President first.
I was certain I would see an Asian President first.
I was certain I would see a female President first.

Hell, I was certain I would see a foreigner as President first.

This country has historically had a low opinion of the strengths and abilities of its non-White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant citizens. It took 100 years and a bloody Civil War for blacks to become citizens. It took another 100 years for us to receive basic civil rights.

But we are still fighting.
Women still make 76 cents of every dollar that men make. Add race and the numbers drop further.

Residents of rural areas and the inner cities can't find work.
The elderly can afford to retire and no one can afford to be sick.
The rich have gotten richer while the poor have gotten the shaft.

I can't empathize with someone who has had to drop the price of their house from $15 million to $9.5 million when there are millions of homeowners who have been evicted from their houses or are being foreclosed on.

There is plenty of blame to go around.
There is also plenty of hope to go around.

"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

--President Barack H. Obama
Presidential Inaugural Address
January 20, 2009