Adventures in Adulting

Last weekend I was in Minneapolis visiting a friend from high school – sorry for no post! This week I have fewer excuses, other than helping someone move far away. By far away I mean we’ll now be a half-hour vs. fifteen minute drive apart – no kittens either, boo! But as he points out, he’ll be saving loads of money this way, and, even kittenless, his new roommate is awesome.

Meanwhile, while some people are saving gobs of money by changing their living situation, I seem to be stumbling across new ways of spending it now that I’m a homeowner. For example, my AC unit needs to be replaced. Please don’t ask me how much it will cost, but rest assured that it is way more than anyone wants to spend on something so unfun – the only thing equally dreary would be some sort of egregious car repair. You know, something crazy expensive but still cheaper than buying a new car.

Already my AC unit has caused quite the saga. I realized something was wrong because there was water dripping from my ceiling. (Astute readers of this blog will note that this is now the second time I’ve had water dripping from my ceiling, and I hope will agree with me that twice in one year for this sort of thing is really quite enough.) When the plumber came and discovered that the issue was with the AC unit, he advised me to call the AC repair people, for which there was a several day wait. Naturally when the repair person came, he discovered that it was beyond repair, and so on and so forth. It’s now been two weeks that I haven’t had AC, two precious weeks during which if I’d contacted the replacement AC guys to begin with a new unit would already be on its way to me. Instead, since I only agreed to a bid on Friday I am still five weeks out from tomorrow.

Thankfully it hasn’t been too hot yet, and I still have my old window AC unit tucked away in my closet. Now I need to figure out how to install it properly – last time I could fake it by propping it up on an outside brick, and this time I don’t have that option. Also, it’s fine that I never got around to repainting my walls. The removal of the old AC unit will mean that a portion of my ceiling will be going with it, and I’ll need to hire someone else to come and put up drywall afterward.

Adulthood is fun!

(For real, though, I’m doing very well by and large, and if these are the types of lemons that life is handing me, I’ll take ’em.)

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Squeezing In

Last weekend after spending half a day trekking out the ‘burbs to pick up the bar stools, I declared myself done with all remotely labor-intensive home-related projects for the time being. After all, I have a bed, a couch, chairs, and a rug. I figured the rest would fall into place eventually.

It turns out that the future is now.

On Thursday night my mother arrived in town, a physically small yet spiritually vast bundle of energy. After dinner at a good BBQ place across the street, we stopped into the hardware store and emerged with a glorious potted palm taller than me. Once we arrived home with the palm, all of the furniture in my main room had to be dramatically rearranged to accommodate the tree. Before I left for work the next morning, my mother waved one of two shopping lists in front of my face that she had drafted after I went to bed the night before.

When I came home yesterday, more furniture had been moved and the lists were lengthened. Last night I woke up at 1 am (to be fair, that’s only 10 pm PST,) to find all the contents of my kitchen cabinets out on the counter, and my mother scrubbing out the insides of my cabinets.

My mom is having a blast.  I am in awe and need coffee.

All this considered, I figure that this may be the only chance I have to squeeze in writing a blog post.

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Done with Moving?

On Sunday I came home from California, on Monday I went to work and finished packing and cleaning, and on Tuesday a man with a pickup truck helped me move all my worldly belongings from my sad dark studio to my cheery light-filled one bedroom co-op. We were done by noon.

Standing in that room, surrounded by boxes and plastic trash bags, (er, I ran out of boxes,) I was ready to keel over from hunger and felt quite overwhelmed. Since the place hadn’t been inhabited in ages, a think layer of dust was on everything except the new gleaming wooden floors. Thank goodness for my friend, who in my hour of need, came over during lunchtime to provide emotional support and make me a sandwich, as well as wipe out all my kitchen cupboards. My other first step was cleaning out the bathroom. I sort of wish I had taken a picture of the toilet so that I could convey just how nasty it was, but some things are best left to the imagination.

To be honest, I still feel overwhelmed when I think about how much needs to happen with my new place. I still have no internet, (the connection was covered over with drywall!) no bed, no chairs, and no curtains. My fridge is practically empty. Only yesterday did I put up a shower curtain. At some point I should reorganize my closets in a manner which makes sense.

And yet, I am very happy. I love my new home. I still think the apartment’s layout, with a tiny bathroom and bedroom but a large central space with lots of closets, is great. Yes, only from certain vantage points in the bedroom can I see trees, but my rooms are so bright that houseplants will thrive. I can’t wait to fill my new place with friends and memories. You are all invited.

Drippy

Right now I am hiding from my problems in a coffee shop. Unlike usual life travails which have the ability to follow you around no matter your change of place, this problem is very stuck in one geographical location: my kitchen.

Last night I was midway through my Single Women Empowerment Movie Binge Watching Session (I had finished ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ and was halfway through ‘Eat Pray Love,’) when I heard a bizarre sound coming from my kitchen. At first I thought I had left something on the stove, but when I rushed over I saw a small crack in the ceiling with a little water dripping through it to land on top of my cabinets.

“[Expletive],” I thought. I contacted my landlord via email to let them know what was happening, and went back to my movie.

About half an hour later, I heard a new, louder dripping sound. I went back into the kitchen to investigate, and saw that a new crack had appeared, spanning the kitchen ceiling, with a lot more water coming through, this time landing on my floor. I put bowls under the leaks, and called the emergency contact number for my landlord.

I was told to go upstairs and let my neighbors know about the issue, and that someone would be by tomorrow morning to check it out. “Er, it’s really a lot of water,” I said, watching the water plonk into the waiting bowls. “Ok, I’ll come by this evening,” replied the guy on the line. “It’ll be a while, though – I’m in Baltimore dealing with another urgent problem.”

I went upstairs to knock on my neighbors’ door. No answer. I tried again and again, without luck. I can’t say I was overly surprised, since the only times I’ve knocked on their door before has been to politely ask them to turn down their thumping base at 11:30 pm on weeknights. I am not sure they like me.

Of course, when I came downstairs, yet another crack had appeared, in a totally different part of my kitchen, dripping water on top of my fridge. I got out another bowl.

I finished the movie.

At this point, the water had mostly stopped dripping, and the only real sign of problems were the long lines spanning my kitchen ceiling. So I called the handyman back, and let him know that we could both wait until the morning.

Morning came. By the time I returned from my jog, the water had returned with a vengeance, a steadily dripping into all three bowls scattered around my kitchen. I gave one last call to the handyman to let him know that things were getting even worse, and I fled.

Now I am happily ensconced in a nearby coffee shop, very glad that A) this is not my problem, B) the leaks are in the kitchen, and not over my bed, and C) this did not happen while I was in Argentina.

Of course this occurs right when I’m considering home ownership. Hmm.