Decrepit Building

I just woke up from a horrible dream. Not a zombie, nightmare infested dream but one that could happen.


We were at an older house, one that had fallen into a lot of disrepair. It belonged to an old lady who I never saw the face of, but we could hear in the background freaking out about the fact she might have to leave. We decided to start cleaning in the kitchen, anything to get her place into a liveable condition. The kitchen was pretty darn bad, it looked like one of those “hoarder” type setups, full of garbage and other debris, along with a broken down feeling.

I started cleaning the walls and noticed they were a weird stucco type texture. As I dug into cleaning, I realized they were stucco because of dirt, grime, but especially because of bug eggs everywhere. As I cleaned, the eggs would hatch, mostly cockroaches, but other types of bugs. This isn’t very surprising, I do have a weird phobia with roaches and of course if this was a bad dream it would have that.

It was at this point I noticed the floor had holes in it. It was an old style wooden floored building. However, the hole was pretty big around, I would say almost a foot across. As I cleaned I noticed more and more insects crawling out. Over a couple minutes that I kept killing them, the insects were larger and larger as well. I eventually yelled back at the old lady that she has to come with us as I woke up trying to get her to move.


Now, that may seem like a weird dream. However, at the end I realized it was about my parents. My parents are having their health decline severely lately. They can’t clean as well, which we help with, due to inability to reach places. Their apartment isn’t like the one in the dream. Except two large issues.

The first issue is the floor by the second door into their living room. It is rotten through. You can feel the floor boards give under the carpet that no matter how often you clean, it begins to develop a mold (I assume its because the floor pushes through to under the apartment crawlspace). Supposedly they have talked with the landlords and the landlords are trying to figure out what to do about it. The problem being is my parents don’t want to move. They love the apartment and they are scared to. So it sounds like the landlord is trying to figure out if they can repair the floor while my parents stuff is there (I could repair it, but landlords are always funny, if my parents have even really talked with them).

The second issue is something I can handle, its just a bit of money up front. ALL of my parents furniture is used, ratty and pretty much destroyed (well not pretty much, it is). They haven’t had new furniture in decades, all of these are things that were at goodwill and they have had for 6+ years, or things my dad has been able to find and bring home. They have already agreed to let me buy them a used sofa/couple of padded chairs to replace them, I just haven’t been able to do that lately.

I think I am going to need to do that next weekend. The furniture is incredibly bad due to their health, but especially because of their dog and  just the fact it is old furniture. They were fortunate and got a new bed last year so that part is good, the bed is in good shape. I think I will contact the local “We Care” and see if they have any good used furniture for sale. I saw a few years ago they carried some nice stuff, and its for a nice charity. If not I will have to go to another place. I will also have to rent a U-Haul pickup, theirs is dying, to deliver the old stuff to the dump and the new stuff back to the apartment the same day.

Well, I am starting to calm down. I doubt I will sleep the rest of the day, but maybe I will play some video games or something.

Life Changes

Be still my beating heart, I am actually posting a typed entry along with a video :).

Things are undergoing some major changes, I have mentioned some but not very clearly. Today is my last day on the job as a State Auditor (tomorrow is my last official day, but I took a furlough day to take it off). I accepted a position with the County as a Senior Accounting Analyst. Its a lot of changes, but I think overall it is for the better. I start the County on October 8th (next Monday).

The biggest pros are money and travel. Currently as a State Auditor my pay is lower mid range for my profession, and I am almost capped out. The problem being is the state already has us under a 3% paycut due to the economy and no COLA (Cost of Living Allowance, increase for inflation) for the last four years. Supposedly this year we will get the 3% paycut back (no COLA still) but the state is short by almost a billion dollars again and we all know we wont get it back and in fact it may go up to a 5% paycut. This doesn’t include the fact that in the last four years my benefits out of pocket cost as quadrupled (yes four times) and the coverage has dropped so much its almost a why bother (but not quite).

Local and federal government (at least in Washington) pays more than state. My new job will start me above the max I can make with the office, the benefits are better and and cheaper. Both of these things alone are worth it. In addition I get my own cubicle, dear god how I look forward to that. I like moving around for the fact that if something goes bad I only have to deal with it for a few weeks. However, I am tired of working out of basements, electrical closets, no bathroom within five miles. Having my own space will be great.

Another reason I took the County job specifically is I have audited them three years in a row. I am familiar with the operation and the position I will be in. I will be directly across the table in conferences from where I hae been currently (meaning I am one of the people being directly audited). The people there are pretty damn cool as well. The Controller and the lead Analyst are both ex-State Auditors. The person I am replacing was also a State Auditor so they will understand that while I know how to audit fund balances and controls, I don’t have the other side experience. They are already prepping to get me training.

Oh, and  a side note, I have the same retirement. All local/state employees in Washington (except for three cities that have their own reitrement) use the same retirement, so I maintain my same retirement with no drop in contributions.

Another huge reason for the jump is travel. Right now I put 20+ thousand miles a year on my car for my job, depending on the audit. I spend up to 1.5-2 hours each way in travel (also depending on audit, probably at the moment closer to 1.5 or slightly less). I don’t get reimbursed fully due to state cuts and my work days end up being 11-12 hours for only an 8 hour job (that is the worst side, it can go down to a 9-10 hours normally). The County building is directly on the “Swift” route of buses. The Swift is a bus line that has something like 12 stops along its entire route (which spands from Everett down past my house in Lynnwood, approximately 15 miles). I live four blocks form a Swift stop, and the County is a Swift stop. It means that I can get on a bus, and 35 minutes later I will be at the County, not driving. 35-45 minutes is the absolute minimum drive for me with my new apartment so it matches up. Plus the County reimburses for the bus pass.

Another thing I hadn’t realized I wouldn’t  miss was lugging all my equipment. A overstuffed backpack with a laptop, and then a roller suitecase with printer, router, paper, manuals, and office supplies that i lug everday to whatever audit site I am on. Now I will just get my coat on, maybe bring a lunchbox and if I want to bring something I can use my own backpack, but I can mostly just walk on the bus with no luggage.

I have a lot of spite at the moment with the Auditor’s Office. I will probably post some on it later after I start my new job. Even with the spite though, I will miss some of my coworkers, and the ability to walk away after a few weeks. However, I have had problems in the office with supervisors so its not like I can walk away from that. So I guess I am wrong, its not so easy to get away from drama.

TL;DR: I am leaving the Auditor’s Office this week, this is my last actual working day. I start at the County as a Senior Accounting Analyst (basically a Fund analyst) on Monday for better pay, better benefits and my own actual cubicle :).

edit: I uploaded a quick video for those of you who don’t want to read. I am trying to do both video and post at same time. Oh and I didn’t prep for the video so my appearance not the best 🙂

Relocation

I realize it has been a few since I last posted. I have submitted multiple Let’s Plays, but those aren’t my blogs :). I have had a lot of things pop up.

The job for the accounting manager at the city of Mukilteo didn’t work out. I don’t feel too badly about that though. There was two CFO’s, an interim accounting manager already working there and two CPA’s that were applying as well. I was pretty happy that I even got called for an interview.

I don’t feel bad because I have a steady job. If the interview doesn’t work out, I am still making the money I was before, I still have the healthcare and most importantly I have an awesome wife. Also, I found on Friday that the City of Seattle now wants to interview me as well as a senior accountant in their Department of Retirement Services. It actually pays about the same as the accounting manager for Mukilteo and Seattle’s benefits are very good (way better than state benefits). I have the interview next Friday, and I have two other entity members who have agreed to give me a professional reference (so its not just other auditors).

The next two weeks are going to be a whirlwind. This week I work Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday is a staff meeting, and Thursday and Friday I am out of action due to having my little boys snipped :). Then the week after I have to take the 24th off to take the wife to CWU’s orientation, and the 27th I am off in order to go to the interview in Seattle.

In other news, yesterday we decided to move. The wife has health issues as I have probably posted on several occaisions. This has made her have difficulty traveling 45 minutes or more in each direction for school. She gets sick and I never want her to undergo that kind of pain to go to school. So we decided to find a place near her school. I don’t mind driving an extra 15 minutes each way for her. Its easier with me and the car, and I don’t get sick. Also, it helps because in the future I will probably end up working in Seattle with some future employer. That means I would be 30 minutes closer to my jobs down there then I would be here (its only a total of 45 minutes to catch a bus from the college which is one block away to the city of Seattle and King County’s main offices (and most federal offices in Seattle as well). Especially since parking in Seattle is so horrible.

The apartment we found is smaller, and cheaper as well. Its in a poorer neighborhood, but less meth heads then we see here. Its within six blocks of multiple grocery stores, Trader Joes, Hobby Lobby, Joann’s Fabrics and a ton of other places. There is a transit center one block away and a host of other things within a short bus ride from there. Plus, if I get my masters in evening courses I would only be one block away from school.

So there is a bit of insomnia and anxiety I am experiencing. We will be moving in a couple of weeks if nothing pops up. I may have a new job within a month if the interview goes well, and even if it doesn’t I can start taking evening classes within 3 months or so. Although strangely enough I am always nervous about new apartments. I worry there will be problems that pop up, cockroaches, crime, and the wors thing ever… that the wife wont like it.

 

 

Work

Well it has been a week off from work and I am feeling much better. I am still off on Monday and Tuesday so there is no complaints. However I have determined some sad facts about my job.

1. Our office is becoming more political, we are told to play nice far more often now with other entities then when I first started. I had one audit finding opinion changed on me in Olympia to something not quite so bad. However, the error was so bad that I had to do a write up in my audit workpapers saying that I didn’t agree with Olympia and why. I think I covered that a little.

2. I have always worked a lot of overtime, I work extra on the weekends, evenings, whatever it takes to get my job done. I don’t get paid overtime (whereas if I worked somewhere non-governmental I would either get OT, bonuses, or a raise).Hands down I am the hardest worker out of all the auditors on my team (and the other team members will say it).

However, I needed to take the wife to several doctors appointments and I asked for the hour off for each appointment (however, I would make it up same day, I was actually working more than 8 hours a day, I was just asking to take an hour off in the middle to take her). They had a cow because of the deadlines. They didn’t force me to do anything but there were intimations that I wasn’t working hard enough.

Funny enough, the temporary manager (our normal manager is out on maternity leave for the next 5 months) kept going on how my supervisor was implying I was slacking off. I asked him if he had looked at my schedule and noticed I was working triple the amount of overtime as any two other auditors. He said no, he hadn’t the time to look at that and he had to just trust my supervisor. Yet the very next words out of his mouth were “But don’t have a knee jerk reaction and maliciously work only 40 hours a week”. WTF!!!???!?!?!

I kept my words to myself, and moved on.

3. We just got informed that for the fourth year in a row we won’t get a Cost of Living increase, plus we will maintain the 5% paycut. In addition we just found out that the state is raising my rates for medical this month (not at the end of the year when we can select a different plan). I am now making what I was making in 2008 when I got hired…. A bit of frustration.

I do like the variety of my job though, although that is starting to fade with the politics.

4. Two of my coworkers are getting hired away for a lot more money, and the last two audits I have done the people who receipt payments for water bills make 15% more than I do (and they only receipt a few customers a day).

I just thought I would bitch and moan, but I do have some possibilities.

I just got a call from the City of Mukilteo, I applied for the Accounting Manager position and they just called asking if I wanted an interview on Wednesday. I am stoked. The payrange at the very minimum is 15% more than I get now, plus better benefits and will max out at 50% more than I get. I could focus on getting my CPA and CFE as well. The other cool thing is they have the same retirement system as the state so my retirement won’t be effected.

Honestly the biggest deal would be better pay for no travel. Right now I average about 45 minutes to an hour and a half travel each way (unless I luck out and get an Everett audit). Its not a big deal, but it eats up my time and four years later I make the same now that I did before.

I am not expecting the job, I know several people who currently do that job at other cities are also applying, but I am crossing my fingers. If this doesn’t pan out I will probably settle down for the rest of the year and at the beginning of the year I will start applying for federal auditing jobs (maybe even IRS Revenue Agent if I can swing it). It would still take six months to a year to get hired (if I got hired) and that would let me vest my 10% of retirement from the state.

I am feeling better though, this week off has been incredible (and I still have 3 days of furlough time and 6 weeks of vacation still available). So this summer I am going to take another week off in August.

First time in a long time

I was awoken this morning at 1:28am. It sort of caught me off guard really, I haven’t been woken up like this in a few months. Even now almost a half an hour later I am still disorientated. I even considered doing a video post, mainly because I never do, but I saw what I looked like and gave up on that.

The dream that woke me up is gone now. I am sure it was caused by a pile of different things, including work, parental items, meeting new people, and maybe just being old. Overall I am sure it is just another anxiety dream. Nothing new, but frustrating nonetheless.

The strange part to it really wasn’t the dream though. When I woke up I laid in bed for a little bit. I couldn’t move, but I swear I could hear things. Now, its fairly warm right now so our windows are on and we have fans all over the house going. But it sounded like someone was in our apartment and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Unfortunately I couldn’t get up either, the sleep paralysis hadn’t worn off all the way. So  I laid there wondering if someone was inside the apartment, or if the fan was carrying voices up from the under-apartment parking area (which happens all the time anyways).

It is funny though, for a brief moment I wondered if there were people in the apartment, if I would be able to move to stop them from taking stuff. Yet I still couldn’t work out of the sleep paralysis (I know it has a name, but I can’t remember it and evidently I can’t be bothered to google it). I also considered I could still be asleep enough that my mind was in a dream state while I was in a waking state (which is probably another way to say the sleep paralysis thing I guess). The one other thought that bothered me was maybe I was having a psychotic break and that what I was hearing wasn’t real at all…. that was a weird thought to have.

Well now that I have been up for 30 minutes things have mellowed out. I am in the living room listening to the rain fall, oh and the hamster running in his wheel thing. My anxiety or whatever it was has pretty much passed. So I will try and go back to bed for a few more hours of sleep, after having posted a useless entry 🙂

PS: its Hypnopomic or postormtal form sleep paralysis (I had to look it up here: http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/paralysis.html)

Horrific baby killing dreams.

I am not sure why, but last night my sleep sucked I ended up waking up at 4am.

I had a brief dream that consisted of me being in a group of people. My little brother came running up to me (he was 2 or 3 at the time, wearing his light blue footie pajamas). Someone threatened us that if he moved again they would kill him. I realized I was with those people.

He then ran around again, after all he was only two. To prevent the person from harming him I picked him up and set him on his belly and pretended to stomp on him. I didn’t actually impact him, I was just trying to fake hurting him so the other person wouldn’t. I then picked him up and set him on his back. He wasn’t moving, his lips were swollen from being pushed into the floor and I thought he was dead. The thing was I didn’t even touch him with my foot anymore than I would have when I played with him, I nudge my cat with my foot harder than I touched my brother in the dream. I woke up terrified I had just killed my two year old brother.

It sucked as a dream and it sucked I woke up so early. Today is going to doubly suck.

Another night of dreams…

That was annoying, I just wrote this post and dreamwidth lost it.

I had two dreams last night I do remember. They both came in the form of previews.

The first dream dealt with a shack that had wood shingle siding. It was out in the middle of nowhere and seemed to have a full set of windows and doors. I watched as several ladies ran up to the shack, specifically to the power reader (the device on the side of the building that tracks electricity) and then ran inside. I walked up closer and noticed one of the ladies come running up and put quarters into the reader. There was a quarter slot in the center of the reader, evidently, you needed to put quarters in there to turn on the electricity inside.

The dream then switched to inside. It was about the size of a large living room with several washers and dryers. There was also a tv and a couple of couches and chairs, much like an apartment complex’s small laundry room. I noticed the laundry machines were being used, but there seemed to be a lot of sex on top of them with the girls different guys. It was sort of time lapsed and several people coupled (but didn’t see anything too in-depth). It ended with an older blond woman (forties I believe) playing with herself and watching the “screen”.

Honestly, this dream wasn’t bad, its the next one that made me forget my earlier dreams and bothered me enough to post it
Warning, second dream may bother some people:

My second dream I remember was far more horrific. It was a shorter “preview” and when it started I got the feeling I had watched the preview before, but that it didn’t have the horrible parts. I was caught off guard with the more disturbing parts and couldn’t seem to turn away during the preview. The film had that grainy feel of an old home video camera.

It was a path in a forest in the fall. Tree leaves were everywhere, the branches were mostly bare and there was a young boy and girl (8-10 years old). The “preview” zoomed in on the two standing in the middle of the path. They looked scared and the boy had a shovel. Both appeared to be siblings, blond hair, clothing bundled up around them and they huddled close by each other.

That is when both started screaming and running down the path. The dream focused on a large man (probably about my size in comparison to the children). The male ran up to the little girl and pushed her down. She was screaming as he hit her a couple times with a weird farm tool like implement. The hits didn’t kill her, but they dug into her neck. He then started pushing the tool up while it was dug into her neck to slowly pull her head off. She made a gurgling scared sound and then there was a strange sucking sound as she twitched. A this point the dream switched to the little boy running and you could hear the death rattle from the little girl in the distance.

I didn’t know what to do, I wanted so badly to help and the film looked so real that I was now thinking it was a snuff film.

The male caught up with the boy and he got pushed down. The man smashed him in the face several times, but it wasn’t enough to kill the boy. He then took the tool and cut away the flesh around the boy’s mouth and across his cheeks. The boy was just crying and screaming as the skin was pulled off and blood started to pool around the boy’s face as he bled.

That is when I woke up shaking, tears and so angry I couldn’t stop it. It bothered me enough that I had to come out here, sit down and write it out instead of doing my workout.

That sucked.

Anxiety Dream

I just woke up from a dream that I had when I was 17. It was the same exact dream I think, although some of the details could be different (as I never wrote dreams down that far back). I was working with most of my family in a warehouse of some sort. All of my family was there. Not just my parents, siblings, and wives/husbands married into the family but my dad’s grandparents, my dad’s uncles, etc. It was a full Bradley job fair sort of thing. In the middle of the warehouse was a huge display of alcohol, 6 packs, cases, single bottles of all types of alcohol (but mostly beer). My family was drinking it, all of us including myself. I wasn’t hugely drunk and we were all waiting around. Everyone knew someone was supposed to lose their shit, start knocking over the bottles and start a fight. You could see everyone glance around at each other (meanwhile we were working and drinking in the warehouse). 

It was an uncomfortable time and at one point I yelled “Fuck It” and started smashing the bottles and trying to start a fight with family members. One of the several I tried to start a fight with was my father, but in reality he is not even close to capable of fighting with me, unless it was going to be one he musters his last reserves and uses a knife and something else to end it (he still has one good fight). Also present was my elder family (that I met as a young young child and who are now mostly dead). It felt weird, like I was fulfilling some position that was sort of passed down (yes I can see a whole lot of meaning there).

I awoke upset (which is what I am doing here now), frustrated at myself that I would even imagine doing it. I can blame part of this on a rough day (maybe week), holidays, winter, and not exercising or eating right lately. Most of that is changing as the holidays are basically over, we have stopped eating holiday foods so my normal eating habits are coming back (and may do I feel chunky right now) and I am back exercising today. 

I think the other part is just pure anxiety. My mom went in for minor surgery on her heart. She was going to have a medicated stent put in. Lately she has been suffering minor heart issues, they have her on nitro to relieve the symptoms. Unfortunately they got in there today and found they couldn’t do anything due to some small bleed that they couldn’t find and due to the fact that the narrowing is at the bivalve on the bottom forward part of her heart, meaning a normal (non-medicated) stent has a greater than 50% of having to be fixed again with even harder conditions to fix, this is complicated by her diabetes). 

She isn’t in any danger, the anemia/bleed has been going on for awhile and she isn’t going to die soon. However, they don’t want to put in the effective stent until they find the bleed because she will have to take Plavix for at least a year (and that would make her bleed even more). The other option they have is a bypass surgery. The surgeon is very very confident about my mom being ok, he said either the medicated stent if they find the bleed in the next 6 weeks, or a bypass surgery will work just as good and it should make everything fine. He also reassured us that she will not die anytime soon and its ok to take some time to look for the bleed. Also worst case scenario they put the stent in and later can still do the bypass.

So yesterday (Monday) was a 12 hour day of driving to Bellingham and back and waiting in the hospital room for her. It left me exhausted, not counting the last two weeks of no real sleep. So, I should be sleeping like a baby now, but instead going to have weird dreams that I am replaying my family’s issues in my life.

Another Dream

I had a strange dream this morning, woke up from it at 4:30am. I dreamed that it was the first day of class and the teacher handed us a test. It was hard to read the test, for some reason I didn’t understand the questions, or even what subject it was for. After an hour of dinking around with it I thought I had finished it. Just as I turned it in, I realized that it wasn’t the actual test, it was the test booklet and I needed to fill out the scan tron (but there were no multiple choice or anything). The class was letting out and I had to refill it out hurriedly still not able to read the questions. To top it off when I did it on the scan tron, the lights in the room were shut off and I had to use a tiny flashlight that didn’t work well.

It was a strange dream. Still not sure why I dreamt that, but it kind of sucked.

Other than that, life is going fairly well. I have finished an outstanding audit that should have been done by beginning of last September (they finally got their info to me) and I am close to being done with the audit after that, that should have been done in October. Of course I had to pull off Skykomish due to problems there, and I probably wont get to finish that until July or August (or later). I have 7 more workdays at the City of Snohomish, then its time to start the 3 month County audit.

Today I am going up to my parents. We are going to pay for and register for a time for my dad to take his driving test. Don’t get me wrong, he has been driving steadily, but hasn’t had a valid license for over 20 years due to warrants (a side effect of me growing up with bikers, warrants were fairly common). He is completely legal now and has to take the test to get it back. He will drive my car around (our car is the only completely legal car in the family, everyone else has car problems or no insurance so they are unable to pass the State Trooper’s inspection).

Once we have a date settled, I will go back later this week for him to get a little more familiar with the car and to take the test. When he passes, we are going to give him our truck and if need be I will help him get insurance. Unfortunately their health is not good enough to allow them to ride buses. My dad’s back is so messed up, as is his breathing, that he can’t walk the three blocks to get to the bus stop, let alone ride one.

When I get home today I will finish up my notes for the game tomorrow. Perhaps hubby will feel like running the solo game for me as well. If not, no worries I will just hang out with her. That is my favorite thing to do is just be around her.

Anxiety Dream

I woke up about 20 minutes ago. I am not sure what causes me to wake up at 2:45 am, especially first night after DST. It was not a horribly bad dream, it had me and hubby wandering some back roads up in Granite Falls. We met some younger people and she started talking to them about old punk bands. Nothing too horrible but I woke up feeling anxiety. It wasn’t anything that she said, I wasn’t worried about anything she might do, nor worried about anything happening to us (I may be getting a little long in the tooth, but still not intimidated by teens-mid twenties). The only thing I specifically remember being said was one of the people commented we must have liked punk in the ’90’s and hubby corrected them and said 80’s.

Fortunately I think I am starting to get tired again, I just don’t understand why I woke up feeling super stressed. I had a great day with my friends gaming, things went well there. I spent the last couple hours before bed hanging with the wife and watching “human sized sperm” special on National Geographic and I went to sleep next to my beautiful wife while she watched Wild Wild West on her laptop. I realize I get anxiety sometimes, I think its a family trait (and probably explains why many in my family do drugs or drink to go to sleep). I am just not sure what to do about it. Its not near the “holidays” when I get the crazy anxiety due to worries. I don’t think I am specifically worried about my family, so not sure why I am experiencing anxiety.

I wonder if its partially due to how early my current audit is making me get up. Maybe I am hitting a critical mass of not enough sleep and too much “have to be up extremely early” that my body and mind is freaking out. Or maybe its just my body and mind freaking out because there is something chemically wrong. I am considering options to help sleep, including working out more, maybe a drink, maybe trying to get up later (well after this audit maybe). I will have to work on that for awhile, now that I am feeling a bit more tired, maybe I can go back to sleep now.