Friday, September 11, 2015

Where the hell have you been Dave?

This is going to be lengthy and not really hobby related.... so skip this post if you just want to see pictures or something hobby related, because it's not going to happen, but at least you'll get hopefully an interesting story out of the deal.

If your a fan of my work, your probably asking yourself "Where the hell has this guy been?  He promised updates and the like last post... WTF man?".  Well, I wouldn't say my work would inspire anyone to be a fan, but I have a pretty good excuse. 

So as I was painting my Sigmar dudes in early August (August 2nd to be exact), it was storming pretty bad.  I figured it was your typical bad August storms with nothing out of the usual.  Well, I was certainly in for a surprise.  A tornado decided it wanted to stop by and go for a stroll in my neighborhood.  I had no idea what the hell it was at the time.  Mid paint stroke, the lights cut out as I hear a huge bang a few buildings down, followed by emergency tone howling on my phone with the message with big bold red letters saying "Imminent extreme alert", followed by "Tornado spotted, seek shelter immediately" -NWS (National Weather Service).  I barely had any time to react.  Note, there were no sirens or any other warnings besides this message.  Later, the village said "The tornado just came out of nowhere and we had no time to react".  But getting back to my story, so the lights cut out, I get this crazy message on my phone, I hear the wind roaring outside, so I grab my wife whos in the other room and as I'm grabbing the door to the stairwell and she's crying about the cats, I hear a ripping sound from above.  It sounded like something big hit the roof and was tearing something.  At this point, I'm thinking "Oh fuck.....", so I push her in the stairwell, and follow behind.

We live on the 2nd floor on top of a strip-mall.  We're the only tenants, and it's Sunday night, so everything is closed.  As an adult, I always think "What would I do if _______ happened", and in case of tornado or shitty weather that will bust windows and down trees, the stairwell is the only viable option because it's an enclosed area with no windows.  So we sit down there for about a half an hour, looking at the national weather site trying to figure out what the hell was going on.  Like I said, I still didn't know what the hell just happened. 

The wind seemed to calm down, so we went back up.  I grabbed my flashlight, and walked around the apartment looking for any visible damage.  I didn't see anything and everything seemed to be in order.  So I open the shades and watch the lightning storm (which was pretty cool).  Then, the rainstorm hits (que the dooming music).  At first, I'm watching a rather heavy rainstorm thinking "Well, tomorrow at work is going to be quite muddy", then I see water trickling in through the corner section of where the window is.  Well, it's an older building so I set up a garbage can to collect the water and figuring I'll call the landlord tomorrow and let her know.  Then I get up to go grab a soda from the fridge as I'm walking back to my seat, I hear a gurgling sound in the walls.  "This can't be good" I mutter to myself.  Next thing I know, my ceiling starts to darken with condensation, then it begins to drip water in multiple areas.  I watch it in amazement then realize all my furniture and stuff is out here in the front room and it's now raining inside thru the ceiling.  My wife calls the landlord as I start moving everything to the backrooms.  The water was only coming thru the front section of the front room.  It stopped raining, and it was still pouring in my front room.  The landlord on the phone is saying "I don't know what to do?!!", not something you want to hear from the person you pay to take care of building that's now massively leaking.  So after the landlords shock wore off, she called her maintenance guys who oddly enough arrived within the hour.  I managed to poke holes in the ceiling and funnel the water where I wanted it to go as I moved all the furniture to the back rooms.  I managed to minamize the damage to just the building itself (carpet and walls), and my futon (which I had no place to move, and was old and in need of being replaced anyways).

So when the crew comes out, they tell me about the tornado that just hit and all the damage it did to the town over.  We see emergency vehicles flying down the street to the houses behind my apartment.  They go up on the roof and inform me that "the bad windstorm" ripped the top layer of my roof off.  As I'm standing outside, I see the intersection on the corner is missing a stop light and the awning for the gas station looks like its partially destroyed.  I had my own issues to worry about, and couldn't really go venture around.  So they tarp up my roof and tell me they'll be back tomorrow to assess the damage.  I spend the rest of the night tarping anything in the front room I can't move by myself while watching to make sure that if the damage spreads I can protect the rest of my stuff.

To speak more about the tornado, they classified it as a level 1 or 2 tornado.  It fucked up the subdivision behind us.  I mean we drove thru it later on the next day and there was 50 year old trees literally ripped out of the ground sitting on houses and trampolines hanging from power lines.  It looked like a war-zone and something you've probably only seen on tv.  The one business 4 buildings down from us had the entire second floor ripped off and the bar next to it was completely demolished.  To my knowledge no one got hurt, so that's the only good thing that came out of it.  A lot of damage and a lot of tv crews and workers running around.  They had a command center set up in the parking lot across the street from us.  It was crazy to say the least.

So the next day comes, the drywall on the ceiling is caving in, the walls are bulging out, and my carpeting is completely soaked and starting to grow mold.  The kitchen cabinets are starting to buckle and the free floating cabinet fell out of the ceiling because whoever put it up there didn't drill it into the studs.  The landlord, contractor, and insurance guy comes by and goes thru the place.  The landlord informs us she's going out of town for the next two weeks, but she's sooooo sorry about what happened.  She doesn't offer to put us up in a hotel or get a moving company to help us move our stuff to the downstairs vacant office.  Nope, just a "I'm sorry" and "You'll have an even better kitchen, just be patient" and "I'll be back in 2 weeks to check on you guys".  So I play along, and start moving my stuff to the vacant office.  Not just the stuff that was in the front room and the kitchen, but the entire apartment.  I'm not under lease and haven't been for over 2 years because she's a piss poor landlord.  I never signed any papers from the insurance guy claiming anything.  I threw away my futon and a book shelf, and managed to save everything else.  I have a severely asthmatic wife who can't live there without risking serious health repercussions with mold sinking into the cross beams the very frame work.  Even the light fixtures were filled with water.  When I was moving stuff, they were ripping out the ceiling and one of the guys told me that roofing trusses weren't even attached to the frame of the building, but just sitting on top of it.  Judging by all the damage, this was at least a month long renovation with strange people going in and out and me and my wife were expected to just live there while all this is happening.  If my landlord was soo sorry and so concerned, she would've canceled her little trip and personally seen to things.  Since I wasn't under a lease (even though I've asked her numerous times to sign one), she wasn't legally obligated to do anything for us.  Fuck that and fuck her.... sorry for my language, but she fucked us on this one.  If I didn't have any money saved up for something like this, I would've been stuck there without any recourse.  Luckily, I usually plan for the worst, which was this entire situation.

So, to put a bow-tie on this thing, once I got everything we want to keep downstairs, we rented a U-Haul truck the following weekend, and we got the hell out of there.  The past few weeks I've been setting everything up at the new place and getting life back to normal.  So as I sit here in my new hobby room, I can say with confidence that things will get back on track here... well, for the most part.... you'll see next post which I'm probably going to do right after this one. 

If you managed to make it this far, I thank you.  I figured I'd rather just lay it all out there then not say anything and act like nothing has happened when for the past few weeks my entire life got flipped upside-down.

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