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Thus ends another business day where this fucking smoke damage problem in my apartment isn’t resolved. It’s amazing how badly people seem to want to pass the buck here. I appreciate that there’s a process involved with getting these things done, but it’s been almost a week since it happened and I’ve still got no damn definitive answer. Here’s how today went:

Tuesday, June 25, 2002 9:38a - Doug Jones from Crawford and Company, an affiliate of Zurich Insurance, called and left a message on our home phone. He wanted to schedule an appointment to come look at the damage.

9:55a - I called Doug back and explained the situation to him. I explained how we are trying to go through HSC for damages because we’re their tenants and had nothing to do with hiring All-Ways Warm Inc. for fireplace cleaning services. Doug agreed that normally what would happen is exactly that - we, the tenants, would pursue HSC for damages, and HSC would pursue All-Ways Warm and their respective insurance company. He found it odd that we, the tenants, should be caught in the middle of all of this. I provided the contact information for Joe Adrian (of HSC) to Doug and Doug said he’d call Joe and get things moving.

11:42a - I called Horizon Restoration and left a message for Kitty over there to let me know if she’s heard the go-ahead from anyone yet.

12:09p - Doug left a message at our home phone. He requested a time when he could come down from Seattle and view the damages firsthand.

12:43p - Kitty called me back. All-Ways Warm Inc. contacted Horizon Restoration with Zurich’s information. Kitty provided the estimate to everyone involved and now everyone - me, Doug, Kitty, and Joe (or Joe’s representative) have to meet and re-examine the damages. Unbelievable.

1:15p - Jenn called Doug, then called me to let me know: Doug and Kitty and the gang will all be at our apartment tomorrow morning at 9:00a. I called Doug immediately after I found this out to verify he has sign-off authority to get this thing moving. He wasn’t there, so I left a message.

2:00p - Attempted another call to Doug. Still no answer. Didn’t leave a second message.

2:20p - I called Doug again. Doug spoke with Joe. Apparently, Doug will do an inspection and report back to Zurich, but he does not have the sign-off authority to get things moving. That authority resides with Joe. If Joe says “go,” then the cleaning commences and I’d be out of the loop. The fate of my apartment rests with Joe.

2:25p - I called Joe. Joe told he he was working with their insurance to get things resolved. Joe confirmed that Doug will not be holding up Horizon getting going on things and told me that the only thing he (Joe) is waiting on is a final blessing from HSC’s insurance company. Joe said it was basically just a formality, and once that blessing is in, Horizon can start their job. Joe said the blessing should be in “shortly.”

4:30p - I called Joe again, since the end of the business day was looming near and I still hadn’t heard any final confirmation. Joe, of course, was not answering the phone or wasn’t at his desk, so I left a message to have him call me with the confirmation.

That’s it. As of now, I’m waiting, albeit impatiently, to hear back from Joe. I swore to myself that something would get moving today, but as you can see, people are still too concerned with processes and not fucking concerned enough about my apartment. Someone’s gonna pay on this one.

media, music comments edit

I got to thinking this morning in the car on my way to work that I commute probably 30 to 60 minutes each way to work and that’s sort of a waste of time. I’m starting to consider getting some sort of “Learn Language X on Tape (or CD)” package so I can maybe learn something while I’m wasting time getting to work.

I mentioned this to a couple of the guys at work and they claimed that music was enough for them. I thought about that, and I guess I like listening to music on my way to work, but I need a big variety and I always want something new. I love all the CDs I have now (and I have quite a few) but I always crave something new and different.

That led me to think maybe one of those CD clubs like Columbia House or BMG might be an idea. The problem with clubs, though, is twofold: First, I will never remember to return the stupid card every month in the mail that tells them not to send the damn “CD Of The Month” to me; Second, the selection there is lacking. Searching for “Kylie Minogue,” for example, on either of the two aforementioned clubs yields no results. Not so hot, especially considering that my taste in music is usually not as mainstream as they offer. Are there any better clubs out there?

So for now, I’m still pondering what to do. Something has to be done since my commute is the lamest part of my day, hands down. And, no, I’m not moving closer to work. Not if I can help it. I hate it in Hillsboro.

I started playing Medal of Honor: Frontline last night, and let me say, thus far it’s everything I could have hoped for. The stuff I had issues with on the demo disc I played was all dealt with. The menu interface is cool, the missions are cool, the whole thing is just… cool. I need to show my dad; he’s into the WWII period stuff and I think he’d dig it, too.

The more I listen to the Kylie CD I bought, the more I like it. And, again, it doesn’t hurt that she’s a hottie. I played it for Jenn and she likes it, too, but she thinks the Kylie pix inside look trashy. I dunno… a little bit of trashy is always welcome in my book. (Jenn has a Zero-Trashy Policy that is a little disappointing at times, but that’s just the way she is. Maybe I can wear her down…?)

Not to be insensitive, but is anyone else tired of hearing about the two missing Oregon City girls? Really, I’m sorry that they’re gone, and if there was something I could do about it, I would. But since there’s not, can you stop inundating me with it? I suppose the same feeling goes for the whole September 11th thing - I’m really sorry that it happened; it was very tragic. But it’s over now and it’s time to move on. Watching a “feature” story on the news about “how America’s coping since September 11th” every month is not helping. Maybe that’s just me.

I guess some idiot stole like $12,000 worth of Cirque du Soleil costumes a couple of days ago from their tent here in Portland. That’s just wonderful promotion for the arts, right there. I don’t know this person, but I think I hate them. Just irritating. Besides, where do they think they’re going to sell these stolen costumes? It’s not like the corner shop makes them; anyone who sees these things are going to know exactly where they came from. What a dumbass.

Yesterday I went on a mission to find Medal of Honor: Frontline for the PS2. I went to two different Fred Meyer stores and neither had it.

They did, however, have the Kylie Minogue album, Fever.

I bought it, and I dig it thoroughly.

I don’t think there’s really a bad song on there. I definitely have my favorites, but I don’t out-and-out dislike any of them. Never really having listened to her before, I am very pleasantly surprised. I may have to pick up some of her other albums.

Anyway, back to the Medal of Honor discussion.

So I went to two different stores yesterday with no luck. I called another one once I got home, though, and they said they were getting a shipment in overnight and they should be on the shelves by morning.

I stopped in this morning and they weren’t on the damn shelves.

They were, however, in the freight boxes, still unpacked. I got one fresh out of the box and bought it immediately. Hopefully it will prove to be vastly less frustrating than Devil May Cry was.

For the techies out there: The project I’m working on at work has taken a downward turn. It turns out there’s a memory leak in the PKMCDO object library somewhere that causes the program I wrote to just eat up memory like nothing else. So the code is getting a significant overhaul to lower my reliance on the problem library while we look into getting Microsoft to fix the memory leak (or tell us how to work around it).

Jenn and I saw the Cirque du Soleil show, Dralion, on Friday night and it was fantastic. The music was beautiful, the stage effects were great, and the performers were wonderful.

Thinking about it, though, I really don’t know how to describe it. If you’ve never seen a Cirque show, you really won’t understand what it’s like. Sort of like saying something tastes like chicken - if a person’s never had chicken, what does chicken taste like?

For the people who have seen a Cirque show, this will make more sense.

The feel of Dralion is very Asian. While the other Cirque shows I’ve seen have a distinct French feel to them, the art, costumes, and music on this one have a very Oriental spin, and it was a Good Thing. There were also several acts in Dralion that I haven’t seen in the other shows, like the Ballet On Lights and the Aerial Pas de Deux. The clowns in the other shows I’ve seen were not “clowns” so much as “funny creatures;” the clowns in Dralion were actually human, resembling… well, Drunk Italians. I’m not sure how that fit in, exactly, but they were very funny.

Anyway, it was an excellent show, and anyone interested in a wonderful night out should definitely consider this show. Beauty beyond description.

We also saw The Bourne Identity this weekend and it was very cool. I’ll try to fix up a review on it a little later.

I got my copy of Real Genius this weekend - finally - and got to watch it on Sunday afternoon. It was just as good as I remembered it, but I was disappointed by the lack of any special features. The sound was just Dolby Surround, not Dolby Digital or anything like that; there were trailers on the disc but not for the movie; and there was no commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, or any other special features. You get the movie, trailers to Hook and Jumanji, and that’s it. I suppose for what it is, that’s okay, but it would have been nice to see more to it.

I redid our hallway and it now contains all of my Fifth Element posters and merchandise. It looks nice in there. So that’s one more area of the place down. Next stop, the dining room. It’s totally a holding area for our extra stuff, and it needs to be cleaned out and redecorated. We’re going with a Buffy theme in there.

Finally got a chance to listen to the new Dirty Vegas album and I was honestly less than impressed. It was okay, but it didn’t really stick in my head like the song normally does from the Mitsubishi Eclipse commercial. I did, however, find that the Kylie Minogue album, Fever, does stick in my head, so I may pick that up. Doesn’t hurt that she’s a little hottie.

Oh, and I got way too pissed off at the PS2 game Devil May Cry. WAY too pissed off. There’s something that doesn’t click between my brain, my fingers, and the way the camera moves in that game. Try as I might, it was just too damn difficult. So I packed it up, strategy guide and all, and have sold it to a guy here at work for $25. Maybe I got ripped off; maybe I just wanted free of it. It looked brilliant, the idea was great, I just sucked at the game and couldn’t take it anymore. I’m gonna take the $25 and reinvest it in Medal of Honor: Frontline. I played the demo of that this weekend and loved every second of it. Of course, the demo had a time limit on it, so I would get like halfway through the first mission and it would time out on me… so now it’s time to play for real.