Entries in douchebag developer (5)


the fires of autumn are beacons homeward

our front Japanese maple is called "Firestorm", which has burgundy leaves that turn bright red in fall, then dark purple before falling off; it was a housewarming gift for Sal from my momWe planted this tree almost 10 years ago and every year, I forget just how gorgeous it turns in fall, and have to take seventy gazillion pictures of it, vainly trying to capture the degree of the red, a bright fire on an otherwise very gray day.

I always underestimate how long fall lasts here, and that the leaves stay on well into November, and how positively gargantuan some of the leaves are. I sent a collection of leaves to my grandmother one year, to share my Pacific Northwest autumn with her, and I collected two dozen different leaves without walking more than a block. The largest, from an old maple in the neighbor's yard, wouldn't even fit in a manila envelope without trimming the ends.

We had a day of errands Saturday, amidst wind and downpour, ending with a stop at New Seasons and bags of groceries to be hauled out of the car and up the stairs. (Douchebag developer, miraculously, finished up early and we've been able to park in front of the house again.*) In the midst of helping with the bags and being pelted with rain, I had to stop to take this picture of a rose petal amongst the yellow and brown. I know Sal must've wondered what the hell, and probably cursed me under his breath, but sometimes you've just got to stop and observe those little moments when they present themselves.

breakfast/snack, cute animals sidecar:

lunch, Ms. Bento:

  • Another delicious soup that makes autumn kind of the best season ever. Broccoli cheese soup, to be exact, and holy deliciousness, Batman, it is simply divine.
  • more broccoli
  • not-at-all-hard boiled egg
  • carrot sticks
  • kiwi

*After all my pissing and moaning, you'd think I'd feel bad for complaining so much when they finished up a week early. Not really, but I do feel bad about complaining when I found out that the cross street that borders the property on the other side, which also has to undergo street improvements for the development, is going to be out of commission until February.


the continuing douchebaggery of douchebag developer

So Douchebag Developer is back and making me hate him.

Two weeks ago (while my dad was here, actually), we returned from an afternoon outing to find "No Parking" signs blocking both sides of the street on our block. The signs were placed there on behalf of Douchebag Developer's project, which requires sewer improvements before work can begin. In 12 pt. font that's oh-so-easy to read when you're IN A CAR AND AT LEAST FIVE FEET AWAY FROM THE SIGN, the signs further informed us that the street would be blocked from October 12th to October 27th, Monday through Saturday, 7 AM to 6 PM to allow work on the pipes under the street.

You'll remember that we have no off-street parking at Hall House.

The first night, we parked the cars just past the end of the block. Someone broke into the Camry and stole the ashtray (which we use for change). We don't leave anything in the car so there wasn't much to steal -- they sifted through the few CDs in the console but didn't take any and rifled through the papers in the glovebox, but that was about it. They didn't even take the car kit we keep in the trunk. I could swear that I locked the car -- I'm obsessive about such things -- but since none of the windows were broken and there was no sign of tampering, I can only surmise that I left it unlocked.

Now, I realize that I'm partly to blame, and that Douchebag Developer isn't responsible for the criminal acts of other people. Our neighborhood is actually very safe and close knit, but transients sometimes migrate through on their way from the railroad tracks at the bottom of the hill up to St. Johns. They're harmless, and you know, whatever few dollars of change was in that ashtray is worth far more to them than it is to me, whether it was used for a fix or for food. In the scheme of things, it's hardly worth mentioning.

But I know that it happened because our cars were parked out of sight of our house and the streetlight that they normally sit under. And for that, I do blame Douchebag Developer. (We've been parking our cars down the corner since then, since that street gets more frequent traffic and is more exposed, as well as being right in line with the neighbor's security light.) And I wonder what we're in for when this cursed development is finally finished and suddenly there are a bunch of cars parking on the street -- cars that will each have their own garages, but thanks to Douchebag Developer's douchebaggily planned development, are almost impossible to actually park in.

And there's the usual inconvenience you'd expect with such work: jackhammering and big chunks of asphalt dropping into gigantic metal tractor buckets at SEVEN O'FUCKING CLOCK IN THE A.M.; dust everywhere, and the smell of diesel, and pipes stacked on our nicely landscaped sidewalk strips; loud equipment and pounding that makes the whole house vibrate all damn day. Hauling groceries is a challenge already when you have to haul them up the seventy gajillion stairs from the street to the front door, but add having to park down the block to the whole expedition and suddenly the prospect of saltines and some grapes for dinner seems much more appetizing than having to get groceries.

But, you know, this stuff happens, and streets and sewers need work, and a couple of weeks of inconvenience aren't that big of a deal, my self-indulgent pissing and moaning aside.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday -- the day before all of this was supposed to end -- there was a flyer on our doorstep that new sewer work (sanitary sewer work, as opposed to to the storm sewer work that was apparently being done this last two weeks) commences today with the same restrictions, but will continue until "approximately" November 18th.

And that was the moment when my loathing for Douchebag Developer sharpened to a surgical precision.

lunch, Paris slimline:

  • smoked sausages
  • peas and carrots, corn
  • molded egg
  • dark chocolate-covered raisins
  • Starkcrimson pear slices
  • yogurt-covered raisins

little pink houses for you and me

The Little Green House (Now Yellow) Across The Street, taken November 2003So the douchebag developer across the street has finally begun work. It's been nine years since we first started battling it out with him, and a year since the incident last year following testimony about the final plan that was approved. He's still going to build some craptastic development, but at least it'll be limited to three stories and eight units of craptasticness instead of his original plan of six and sixty-seven, respectively. Small miracles and alla that.

Yesterday's work appeared to be some sort of underground pipe installation. There'll be equipment out all the the time soon, ripping out plants and tearing up ancient concrete sidewalks and generally making life noisy and inconvenient for awhile. The day when they tear down the little old house is nearing quickly, I suppose. I hope I'm not here when they do it.

lunch, deli club:

  • molded eggs
  • corn and peas
  • red grapes
  • cashews, dried cherries, with dried mango as baran

get me off this crazy train of crazy craziness

Otherwise titled: "Welcome to My Life". Long, busy days, more work to be done than hours in the day to do it, and somehow I am still expected to be a responsible adult in the midst of it all -- vet appointment, tires replaced (F U DOUCHEBAG DEVELOPER I KNOW IT WAS YOU), website clients updated, grocery delivery to schedule, calls/emails to return (PLEASE DON'T STOP BEING MY FRIEND IF YOU'RE ONE OF THE PEOPLE I OWE THESE TO, K?), and a to do list to complete for top secret reasons (all shall be revealed next week...how's that for building suspense?). Oh and also? Our phones have simultaneously decided to go to shit, because we are cursed. (Epic post coming about the phone situation and all the ways in which we are Technology's bitch. But I digress.)

Wow, I sure am a fan of the parenthetical, aren't I?

Ahem. Anyway, could've saved you all of that by linking to this incredibly brilliant comic at Hyperbole and a Half, since it is basically the inside of my brain in electronic ink and pretty much everyone in my online circle has decided that lo, it is our manifesto. So from now on when I say, "YOU GUYS GUESS WHAT IT IS A DAY WHERE I HAVE TO CLEAN ALL THE THINGS I NEED PITY AND CHOCOLATE", you will understand my meaning.

Nonetheless, I soldier on. Including lunch, because I have reached a point with bento now where I am no longer able to function without it. Which is probably a good thing, even if it sounds like a bad thing, because it is a sign that I am actually eating on a regular basis and my body is no longer "what is this foreign concept of meals of which you speak?" every time I have lunch at the office. So...yay?


  • shrimp sauteed in butter, garlic, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper
  • bok choy sauteed in a bit of sesame oil and sea salt
  • molded egg, woot woot!
  • Rainier cherries
  • green grapes
  • Oregon! strawberries
  • blueberries
  • dark chocolate (I was scrounging in my bento cupboard and came across a few pieces of Valrhona 70% dark chocolate that'd somehow been overlooked -- I KNOW RIGHT -- and I may have possibly done the Snoopy Happy Dance in my kitchen)

I think I've mentioned our CSA share includes a half dozen fresh eggs every week, so I have been gobbling up yummy hard-boiled eggs that have pretty mottled shells. Some of them even a have pretty pale blue shelss! But they've been too small for the egg molds, so I haven't bothered shaping them. But then this week's had a ginormous one in there, bigger even than the jumbos at New Seasons. (It was seriously so big that I could hardly clip the mold shut. I even had difficulty getting it out later.) So obviously I had to mold it!


fruity goodness and developer badness

Making up for yesterday's wee bit o' decadence with fruit, fruit, and more fruit. Froooooooot! (Actually, the fruit bin arrived last night and holy crap! We have a lot of fruit to eat up! I see smoothies in our future for a late night treat.)


  • Oregon! strawberries
  • blueberries
  • Rainier cherries
  • grapes


  • stir fry -- red kale, Italian lacinato kale, French sorrell, Swiss chard, turnips, onion, garlic, lemongrass, bamboo shoots, peanuts, carrots, beef, special sauce
  • jasmine rice
  • Oregon! strawberries and Rainier cherries with blueberries and grapes as gap fillers

In house-related news...we lost the fight against Douchebag Developer. It didn't come as a surprise -- this time around was even more of a long-shot than last time, which is really saying something, and the fight was less organized this time around. Which isn't anyone's fault -- there just wasn't much of anything to get a toehold on to dispute. Still a disappointment, though. I would've loved to have someone buy that little house and fix it up. What a shame.

So instead, it's going to get razed to the ground and in its place will be 8 townhomes with one of those shitty central driveways that craptastic developers put in and everyone swears will allow even the biggest gas-guzzling behemoth to navigate into and out of, but which will do nothing but ensure that said behemoths will be parking on the street. To say nothing of the view the building will be blocking, nor this developer's horrible record of half-assed construction that takes so long to sell that units sit empty forever, and then when they do sell eventually (or become rentals), end up in defect litigation.

I'm still boggled that he's pushing a development in the current market. And one of his typically crappy developments, at that. What a douchebag. But I guess once they're built and sold, we'll finally be rid of him and his douchebaggery and won't have to sit in the same room with his stupid smirk ever again.