The landlord who stole Christmas

The result is than Don was living in a hotel room, at his own expense, for several days.

donlevy-doorDon’t you hate it when you go away for the holidays, and you come back to a disaster? That’s what happened to Don Levy of Albany. I don’t know Don personally, though I did see him once in a Rite Aid downtown, but we are friends on Facebook.

Returning on the Greyhound from his mom’s house the Tuesday after Christmas, he found a note from his landlord, NGB Management, that they had changed the lock to his apartment. He had to wait well over an hour to receive new keys. He realized SOMETHING was when he saw a board nailed onto the wall, as shown in this photo he took.

Don, who works for the NYC Comptroller’s office, was told there had been a fire in the apartment next door on Christmas morning, and the fire department had to shut off the electricity to both apartments. He was informed that the fire department deemed his place uninhabitable, though he had no smoke damage.

The place was admittedly messy; Don had suffered a cold the week before, but it was subsequently cleaned up by him and his friends.
donlevy
The problem now is that the landlord claims that the fire department has to inspect the apartment before they can turn on the power. Conversely, the fire department tells him, logically, that it’s the landlord’s responsibility to get the power turned on. National Grid says the same way thing. He waits, increasingly impatiently, for the landlord to do his job.

The result is that Don was living in a hotel room, at his own expense, for several days, before finding friends to crash with. He is currently weighing his legal options as well as looking for another apartment.

Don is appreciative of folks such as Sean McLaughlin and Richard LaJoy, who have helped him out. But he is anxious to be in his own place again.

I hope he at least gets some fodder for his writings. Don Levy is a local poet who also writes a book blog for Albany Poets.

Agent Orange versus my optimism/pessimism

The Trump adult male scions – THEM I need a name for; any ideas?

Arthur could hardly find any questions at all to ask me for Ask Roger Anything:

What the hell should we call the Orange Guy? I personally don’t want to use his surname, title, or anything else that would indicate respect for him that I don’t have. What’s the alternative(s) without being too childish?

I think this is a personal decision. I’ve seen Drumpf (based on the family name) which carries over to the proto-Nazi activities such as vilifying the press, and I briefly used that, but it’s a pain to spell. Others drop the T from the surname and refer to him as Rump because he’s such an ass.

I was quite taken by Hair Furor, but it works better in writing than in spoken word, because it sounds exactly as it’s SUPPOSED to sound.

Currently, I’ve settled on Agent Orange, a defoliant used during the Vietnam war to destroy the enemy’s plant life but which managed to harm or kill innocent civilians and American troops, because I find him toxic. A guy named Michael who I knew for only a short time died from it in the early 1980s. I’m not married to that term, but it’ll do for now.

All things considered—interpret that as you want—are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? If pessimistic, what are a couple things that if they changed might make you more optimistic? And if you’re optimistic, what’s your secret?!

Yes. I mean I’m optimistic because my faith requires it. I don’t mean this in a doctrinaire way, but rather how I take being a Christian. I believe, honestly, that people can change, that we all have a shot at redemption. I’m pessimistic because, despite my faith, that’s what I tend to default to, from painful experience.

Melancholy gets in the way too, and it’s not just me: Americans who voted against AO are feeling unprecedented dread and despair.

I’d be more optimistic if I thought we were all dealing with the same facts. There was this story about the Trump adult male scions – THEM I need a name for; any ideas? – involved in some unsavory pay-for-play scheme, for the second time since the election.

Someone, who I know personally, chimed in and said it was “Fake news. Fake news. Fake news.” And she said, “Research it.” I said, I did. And she said, “Please, check with Trump sources,” by which time the boys were backpedaling, not knowing HOW their names showed up on the invitation.

I wrote, “They realize they’ve been caught doing something egregiously wrong and try to change the narrative, to be kind. You do not seem to understand the definition of ‘fake news,’ which [contains] articles that are false, written to deceive. These are mainstream news sources [TIME, the Wall Street Journal] playing the appropriate role as the fourth estate, ignoring a politician’s spin…”

I also cited Mark Evanier, who noted: “You get the feeling we’re facing four years where the response to every single criticism of the Trump presidency will be that it’s a lie, the evidence is phony and even it were true, we don’t care what anyone says.”

And it went on from there.

John Ziegler, conservative radio host: “Over the years, we’ve effectively brainwashed the core of our audience to distrust anything that they disagree with.” The quote was in a New York Times story about how conservatives are now using the term “fake news” for anything they disagree with. And even educated people are buying into it.

We can’t fight climate changeGLOBAL WARMING if we can’t agree it’s happening. Plus the nominees for Cabinet positions under Agent Orange are anti-environment, anti-labor, anti-education, et al. How optimistic do you want me to be? Still, we try.

Only slightly off topic: NO one should ever use the phrase “Do your research” on social media without a link to the research THEY are referring to. As a librarian, I need to know WHAT sources someone is quoting that I need to investigate. I’m sure I’ve written that before, but after the aforementioned incident, I feel the need to reiterate it.

Jaquandor asks a similar question:

Is it just wishful thinking that I increasingly see Trump as the somewhat accidental victory of a dying worldview?

I find in AO’s victory, and some right-wingers in Europe, including the Brexit vote, a return to tribalism. When the world is scary, with bombings and shootings and stabbings and trucks being used as weapons, I suspect that there will be a certain desire for a “good old days” that doesn’t exist, that closing the borders ultimately won’t fix.

I would like to think of it as a dying worldview, but I’m not convinced I’m right.

I think things are likely to get pretty cruddy short-term

Now THAT I agree with!

The family saw a production of Camelot at the Capitol Rep in downtown Albany on Christmas Eve afternoon. It was EXTRAORDINARILY good, with knights and ladies and even the leading lady doubling as instrumentalists. But in the end, I was incredibly sad.

That ideal of working things out under the rules of law, and brainpower, lost! War won out. And this was a day or two after Agent Orange called for a nuclear arms race.

…but I remain optimistic long-term. Am I dumb to think that?

Well, no, you’re not dumb. Without hope, what is there?

At our most recent Christmas Eve service, I read aloud Isaiah 11: 4a, 5-9, which contains the familiar, albeit misremembered, passage about the wolf and the lamb. Either it is a prophecy, or it is an entreating that we help make it happen. Either way, I am not without hope.