The Idol stuff first:
We had results for Last Chance Idol: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/787170.html
and they also received their second topic/deadline to sign up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/787501.html
and of course the main competition just launched into a new poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/787328.html with enough great reading to keep you occupied for awhile. Go read them! Now!
Now that people are occupied doing something else, I know it's only the people who actually want to know what was going on and I'm not just bugging folks.
I typed up a couple paragraphs and then deleted them. Not because they weren't accurate, and funny, but more because I didn't want to get into the specific details here in Idol.
The upshoot is that I was sued by my ex-landlord in small claims court. I hired a lawyer who assured me that she didn't have a case at all, and that it was an easy win.
What wasn't factored in was that small claims court pretty much will bend over backward to amend/fix things for you, even if they wouldn't be allowed elsewhere. Because it's "the people's court" and people are (apparently) morons.
Things I learned from this process: Even if it's a year and half later, don't throw away those old pieces of paper you have in a box. Because those are receipts showing that you paid the crazy people - and if they crazy people come back at you, they can make up numbers (including for months when you weren't even living there)
If your landlord says it's OK to do something - like paint - get it in writing. Even if they see it many, many, many times in person. Even if you talk about it. Even if there are emails between the two of you talking about it - they will still try to get you for "damages" because they had to repaint.
Check to make sure your attorneys have actually gone to mediation before you hire them. Even if they are friends of friends giving you a deep discount rate for their services.
When in mediation - the person who is the most inflexible is going to win. Come in willing to work something out, even if you didn't think you did... and the inflexible one is going to make things extremely difficult and potentially expensive for you, to the point where a settlement seems like the best option.
And so the thing that I feared was going to fall on my head ended up falling. About $2,200 worth of hard. Fortunately, we did negotiate for an installment plan. But this pretty much puts the wedding off until it's done.
So, if you are someone sitting out there who has benefited from your time in Idol and has been saying "Damn it, I wish I could give back to Gary, for all he has done, in a financial way", this would be a fantastic time to do so!
If you are someone who enjoys burning effigies of people to make them suffer - I have a name or two to add to your list. Just ask. :)
Ultimately though, this means that I'm going to be in a weird mood for a bit until I figure this out. So be cool. OK? ;)
Being cool is always an appreciated donation/way of giving back!