An Open Letter to the Moron Living on My Floor…

One of my most hated things about living in an apartment is dealing with the other people living in their own little boxes around me.  For the most part, I have found that my neighbours are great but something that really grinds my gears about living on a floor with 13 other apartments full of people is the other peoples’ use of the garbage chute.

Granted, our garbage chute is smaller than in other buildings I’ve lived in, but it’s not that hard to realized that once the garbage bag is a certain amount of the way full, you then must replace it because anything else won’t fit down the damn chute.

I don’t know how many times I’ve taken our trash to the little room where the garbage chute is and found it jammed with someone else’s garbage.  Most of the time it’s a bag with diapers in it so shame on the lazy ass parent who is teaching their child to be a useless tool in life as well.  Like we need more of those running around.

It’s not even just jamming the chute…I could deal with that with limited rage if it was only that.  However, most of the time some idiot has broken the whole door right out of the wall and it’s hanging there by chains.  Worse, the other day it was just lying on the ground and completely destroyed.  I don’t even know how something like that happens but we only live on the 4th floor.  It’s not that hard to take the elevator down to the basement and throw it in the dumpster if it’s obviously not going to fit down the hole in the wall.

The absolute worst this mystery jerk did was break a glass jar (obviously putting recycling down the garbage instead of into the bins).  There was glass all over the floor in the chute room as well as spread all out into the hallway in front of the elevator.  So at this point it’s just a safety hazard.

I really have no point to this post rather than I’m sure The Boyfriend is sick of hearing about the horrid person on our floor that keeps doing this every time I take the garbage out.  I thought about leaving a scathing note but as of yet I haven’t been quite that angry yet.

Elevator Music is So Freaking Bad

I don’t mean bad where some folks mean good and have a tenuous grasp on the English language.  I mean bad as in I would rather hear nothing than the simulated, watered-down version of music that is elevator music.  My firm recently moved to a high-rise down towm and the halls outside the elevators are filled with jazzy versions of already bad songs.  Today’s atrocity?  All I Have to Give by *Nsync.  Yes…instumental *Nsync to say goodbye to me at the end of a long workday.  FML.

Making the Best of a Bad Situation

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Bankers hours suck.  I have a day off of work for the first time in forever and I have some banking to do.  So I dropped The Boyfriend off at work and headed to the bank.  I got there at 8:55 am and the notice on the door said it doesn’t open until 9:30.  So they close before anyone else gets off work and they open way after everyone starts and then they wonder why everyone prefers to bank online.  So to kill time, I got yummy breakfast at McDonalds.  Mmmmmm….hashbrowns

I Had Forgotten How Much Moving Sucks!

Moving is not on the list of my most favoured activities.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s on my list of things to do that suck the most.  I have no problem with the concept of moving.  The idea of leaving one place behind and dwelling in a new one is perfectly fine with me.  I have moved 6 times now in the last 8 1/2 years so I obviously don’t have any problem with switching locales.

Everything that goes along with moving is what irritates me the most.  You have to change your address with a million different places.  You have to switch your internet/phone/cable services to a new place and then wait around to have them hooked up.  You have to pack up everything you own and move it to a new place only to take it all out of the boxes and put it back where it was anyway.  I hate the amount of garbage moving produces and how much stuff I end up hauling to Goodwill and Salvation Army, asking myself why I ever bought it in the first place.

This time was especially difficult because I had to go through all of that with the boyfriend and he had never moved before.  Ever.  So that meant there was 25+ years worth of unmoved stuff in our place to go through on top of all the stuff I brought with me when I moved into his house and everything we had acquired since then.

It also doesn’t help that the boyfriend is incredibly particular and paranoid about his stuff and whether it will get broken, stolen or mangled inside the boxes we packed them in and this created more than one argument about what should be packed with what.  It also doesn’t help that I’m one of those people that will just fill a box up with whatever is around me until it is full and then move on to the next box and do the same thing.

The boyfriend is of the mind that all like objects should go into the same box and be carefully labelled so we know where everything is for moving/unpacking purposes.  Now, this may sound sane and logical to you, and it is, but eventually, after you put the easy stuff all into the same boxes (ie. books, movies, games/game systems, etc…) then you’re left with a myriad of miscellaneous objects that have no real category.  Eventually, we just packed all the remainder items into the final boxes to be surprises later during the unpacking process.

Another interesting issue during the entire situation was our kitty, Mr. Pip.  He did not enjoy the constant movement of heavy items, the change happening all around him or anything else of the sort.  He would go into hiding for hours, spaz out and run around the house like a crazy nutcase or scratch at the furniture to show his protest.  On the day of the actual move, we shut him in the basement which had already been cleaned out, while we loaded the U-Haul up with stuff and drove it to the new place.  On the second round, we decided to take him with us in my car and when we went into the basement to find him, he had somehow disappeared.

After some frantic searching by the boyfriend and confused searching by me, we discovered that he had hidden himself inside the wall, far beyond our reach behind the hot water heater.  After some discussion, the choice was made to leave him there for the time being, get the rest of the stuff to the new place, eat some dinner and then go back to get him later when he’d had time to chill out and there wasn’t so much noise.  As evidenced by the following photograph, after some initial few days of hiding under beds and skulking around the apartment, he’s settled in quite nicely:

A very lazy and comfortable Mr. Pip

The boyfriend is a little less settled as of yet.  He’s constantly putting things away and trying to decide what the best placement for everything is.  I come home from work every night and something is a little different, another box is unpacked or there is some other piece of decor placed on a shelf.  We have a roommate as well and being as we’re all nerds, I keep coming home to things like the terror dog from Ghostbusters on top of the DVD shelf, or a statue of Robocop on the other side of it.  Mario and Yoshi grace the top of our entertainment stand, but since I like them and Yoshi is mine, I don’t mind.  All the big stuff is mostly where it’s supposed to go except that I may switch my books shelves and desk because I have back problems for some reason, where it’s sitting now hurts my lower back.

It’s taking a while to settle in.  It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in an apartment and the boyfriend never has.  We had to get used to doing the laundry downstairs and paying for it, hauling groceries up the stairs in multiple trips without being able to leave the car open or the door open, and hearing neighbours walk around sometimes.  I will say that it’s starting to feel like home and I’m back into a routine, which is nice.  We’ve got a year lease and then, who knows?  We may end up moving again or sticking around for a while.  All I know is, when we do move, I’m tempted to hire someone to do all the work for me.

The Ugliest Desk in the World

Shockingly to some of the people who’ve known me for years, I like to scrapbook.  It’s probably about the girliest thing that I do (actually probably the only girly thing that I do).  Up until now, all of my supplies have been contained in large Rubbermaid bins in the basement and I had to drag them up and haul them to my friend’s house every time she had a scrapbooking night.

Just after Christmas, the boyfriend made the mistake of telling me that I could keep it all on the main floor of the house so it would be easier for me and I wouldn’t have to drag it up and down the scary basement stairs.

He regretted his statement, however, when I started hauling all the scrapbooking supplied up the stairs, him having been unaware of how much I actually had.  I piled it all in the corner behind the chair in the living room and he stared at it for a while before he told me to take it back downstairs.  I refused and told him he’d already told me I could have it upstairs and I wasn’t taking it back down.

My scrapbooking supplies, piled (somewhat) neatly in the corner

A compromise was reached, however, when I phoned my mother and asked if she still had one of the old desks my sister and I used in high school and if I could have it.  She did and said I could have it.  The problem was, however, that my sister’s desk was the only one left at the house, mine having been sold in a yard sale.  Hers couldn’t be sold because she’d written all over it with a Sharpie years ago and it was looking a little worse for the wear:

An old sticker and some Sharpie decoration

When my parents dropped the desk off, one of the wheels was broken and the boyfriend simply stared at it and said, “That is the ugliest desk in the world.”  He then sighed and went upstairs, certain it would sit on the front porch until I decided to put it on the curb and it all would have been a waste of time.  Little did he know, I had a secret weapon.

My friend, Martha Stacey, offered to help me with refinishing the desk, as she has a blog that is all about home projects and scrapbooking (and various other things as well).  She went with me to Home Depot and helped me pick out the necessary primer, asked about what paint we could use after priming and also looked up how to do the project.  If I had been left to my own devices, I concede that the desk would have sat on the porch until I decided to get rid of it and never would have been finished.  However, because Martha Stacey was relying on me for another blog post project, I dutifully purchased all new wheels, got the paint in a nice neutral grey colour, got the primer and all the painting supplies and we managed to get the desk into a it’s new and beautiful state in two weeks.  We used one evening to prime the whole thing and I did a couple more coats over the Sharpie over the next week, and then she came over again and we painted it.  When it was finished, I put the new wheels on, put the door handles and little arms back on and it was finished.  I then spent an evening organizing all my scrapbooking supplies from the pile in the corner into the desk so it was nice and neat.  As Martha Stacey can attest, this was no small feat, as I HATE organizing anything.

Mr. Pip decided he fit perfectly between the 12x12 paper and the cardstock

The desk is now in the far living room near the DVD shelves and holds everything perfectly.  I did, however, manage to convince Mr. Pip that he was not supposed to be there.

The Woeful Tale of Bob the Car

I purchased a new car in September 2010 because the one I was driving really old, had lots of problems, and I figured it would be better  to start off new with a fresh 5 year warranty, a fully functional gas tank, and lower mileage.

I named my new car Bob the Car and it was great to have new wheels.  My old one was the bare minimum and Bob has all the features.  Power windows, heated seats, a USB drive for listening to music, and heated side mirrors for those cold winter mornings.

Lately, however, I’ve mostly just been wishing that the earth would open up and swallow Bob the Car, leaving my insurance company to replace him with something else.

First of all, for some mystery reason, half of the fuses blew around the beginning of December.  So into the dealership we went to put that nice new warranty to work.  The fuse panel and busted fuses were replaced and all was covered.  At this time, I mentioned to the mechanic that the USB function of my radio had been malfunctioning and frying my flash drives.  So they ordered a new one of those as well and off I went, confident in my new fuse panel and ordered radio.

Then, 2 days after Christmas, I went to move my car for the boyfriend’s father so he could get out of the driveway and I was shocked and dismayed to discover that all the same fuses were blown again.

I had no panel lights, no automatic windows, no rear defrost, and no dinging sound to tell me my seat belt was not fastened.

I was livid.  I called the dealership and left a message (it being the holidays and all) and they called me back the next day and told me because the mechanic who had worked on my car the first time was on holidays until after New Years, they wanted to know if I could wait to bring it in.  So I agreed and waited a week to take Bob the Car in again.  This time, apparently, it was the modulator, which of course, was on back order.  So they did the same temporary fix as last time and on my not so merry way I went.

The fuses did eventually blow again a few days before the part came in, so I got to spend another few days avoiding night driving as I couldn’t see how fast I was going and not being able to do drive through Timmie’s in the morning because the window wouldn’t go down.

The good new was that the radio was in when they did the temporary fix (the second one) and they installed it for me.  The bad news was that they didn’t hook it up to the antenna and all it did was scroll through the radio stations, searching for some kind of a signal.  And so, back I went again to wait 20 minutes before work while they hooked the radio up to the antenna and Voila!  The radio picked the invisible signals from the air once more.

I will say, after all the problems with the radio and the eventually replaced modulator, Bob the Car has been working perfectly…until the other night.

Let me set the scene for you.  We had just returned home from an all you can eat wing night with The Games Day Podcast and friends, dropped off by IT Mike and his awesome girlfriend.  The boyfriend went upstairs to do some homework and I told him I would be back, as I had to return the movies we had rented for Valentine’s Day.  I grabbed them and headed out to Bob the Car.  I sat in the driver’s seat and went to insert the key into the ignition, frowning when it was a little difficult to do so.  I figured it was just a little frosty and shoved a little harder, the key finally going all the way in.

But this was not the end of my tale.  The key would not turn.  No matter what I did; wiggling the steering wheel, the gear shift, pressing the brake or swearing like a drunken sailor on leave…that key wasn’t going anywhere.  So I sat and cried in my little car, so angry and upset that I couldn’t do anything else.

Then I grabbed the information from the glove box, went inside and called the free roadside assistance that I got when I purchased my car (another bonus with buying the new car).  I called and the lady on the other end heard what I had to say and immediately said, “Oh, just wiggle the steering wheel, press the brake and turn the key at the same time.”  I sighed but humoured her, performing this task to no avail.  She then told me I would have to have a tow truck come and get it (thankfully covered by the roadside assistance).  So I waited for almost two hours for the tow truck to show up, try the same thing I already had, tell me that his flatbed tow wouldn’t work as I had front wheel drive, a long and narrow laneway, and a wrong way facing vehicle.  He then told me he’d cancel the order and that I should call again in the morning, request a tow truck with a dolly and have it towed to the dealership.  He was very nice and polite and I thanked him, went inside and called my boss to tell him I’d likely be late in the morning and working from home, and then I went to bed, cursing Bob the Car.

So in the morning, I did all the rigamaroll with calling roadside service again, getting the right tow truck and watching him come and take Bob the Car away.  I caught a cab to work and got down to business, ignoring the boiling anger inside me that my car wasn’t working yet again.  I received a call later that morning to tell me that the ignition column was shot and was on back order (shocking) and that they were setting me up with a rental car.

So now I’m driving a giant vehicle (as compared to my little hatch back) around with no idea when this new part will come in and reunite me with Bob the Car.  I kind of feel like I’ve gone from riding a tricycle to powering around in a monster truck.

 

From tiny to GIANT

 

 

Never Accidentally Feed Your Cat the Expensive Kind of Food

I love my cat.  Let’s establish that fact first off.  He’s like our son and he’s incredibly spoiled.  He gets cuddles and treats and we talk to him all the time and the boyfriend even sets aside time every day to play with him because he doesn’t want him to get bored and torment him.

However, I feed Mr. Pip the department store brand cat food because, let’s face it, it’s $3.75 a bag compared to the Whiskas which is about $7.50 for the same sized bag.  This has never been a problem for Mr. Pip in his entire two years of life until just before this past Christmas when I made an awful and horrible mistake.

I reached for the normal food on the shelf and instead, grabbed a bag of Whiskas.  I didn’t notice until I pulled it out of the trunk of the car upon arriving home and this is where the trouble began.

Mr. Pip LOVES Whiskas.  He powered through that freaking bag in half the time it usually took him to go through a normal bag and whenever the dish was empty, he’d walk around and squeak at us until we put more in the dish.  Even in the morning, when he got his usual scoop of canned food, something he used to get all worked up about, he would now just sit and stare at the wet food and then move over to sit in front of the dry food side and squeak.

This went on for about three or so weeks until the Whiskas finally ran out.  We went to Walmart and stood in the cat food aisle and the boyfriend and I had a discussion.  We compared prices of different foods.  We looked at the amounts in the bags and compared it to the cost and everything else imaginable and in the end, I came to the same conclusion as the mindset I had before this fiasco.  I refuse to pay more than twice as much for Whiskas when Mr. Pip was just fine with the food from before.

So we purchased our usual brand of food and headed on home.  We arrived to a very grumpy cat who was sitting beside his dish and glaring at us because there was no Whiskas.  I started thinking that perhaps my cat was addicted and it was good that I was cutting him off before he had to go to rehab.

We put new food in Mr. Pip’s dish and stood there watching as he stared at it for a while.  Then he sniffed it a bit and we thought he might eat it but alas, he sat back and started squeaking at us in protest.

I explained to him about the money thing, but Mr. Pip does not care about finances.  He wanted Whiskas.  I said no and after that, it was a battle of wits.  Every single day since then (it’s been about two and a half weeks), we go through the same routine.  Pip rolls around on the floor looking adorable and squeaking near his food dish.  We feed him and then he sits there, staring at his food before he looks back at us and squeaks again.

The boyfriend has turned it into a fun game for himself and every time Pip does this, he makes a sad face and endorses the begging behaviour.  He looks at me and says, “Peep wants Whiskas.”  I disapprove because this makes me the bad guy.  You try telling this face no every time it squeaks at you:

The face that pleads with me every day

I have to look at that every day and say, “No, you can’t have Whiskas.”  It’s starting to make me feel mean.  I will say, however, that Mr. Pip is eating his regular food again, though he still makes it known that he’s not happy about it.  He’s also excited for his wet food every morning again, so that’s nice.  He’s getting a lot of guilt earned treats though and I’m thinking he’s going to end up being a little bit on the chubby side before to long.