Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Annoying

Betsey Johnson Shoes
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Some progress has been made since I last posted, namely in the form of wifi and gas. The exhaust vent for the dryer is still not installed and I noticed the disposal and dishwasher are not in proper working order. Go team!

In the interest of documenting the entire horror, I am sorry to report that a letter from my electric company arrived on Thursday. Elated at the prospect of receiving notice of a service credit, I was crestfallen to see they saw fit to serve me with a disconnection notice if I did not pay a $400 deposit! Odd because I am an existing customer and my account is in good standing. Odd because my credit score would not warrant such a high deposit. Odd because random charges are apparently an acceptable way to do business. I am switching as soon as this billing cycle is over. Mark my furious words, this will be done.

Tired of grousing about the move, a decision was made to talk about my hot new shoes. After losing a lot of weight, buying clothing has become a necessity. Hours of searching in discount clothing stores turned up a cheap pair of Betsey Johnson heels. They typically range from $100 - $250. Total. Score.

After all, let's face it. Any bright spot of cheer is more than welcome at this point.

The chevron scarf for Leah is moving along quite nicely. She absolutely loves the colors and thinks the piece is beautiful. As far as mindless knitting projects are concerned, I can't believe I never made the connection before. This is a memorable four-row repeating pattern that is infinitely portable. When I was a beginning sock-knitter, I bought a lot of 100% wool yarn that wasn't superwash treated. This is a perfect project to pretend my ignorant mistake was done on purpose. The best part? The pattern breaks up the colors in such a way that excessive pooling and flashing doesn't occur. How cool is that?

Friday, June 19, 2009

And Then Some

Five days after my move-in date and I still do not have gas, a dryer or a wireless internet connection! According to my landlord, the water heater is located in another tenant's apartment and she has to unlock the door for the service technician. This would have been valuable information to have before I moved in. The earliest they can arrive is on Monday and I sincerely hope she will respond to the call. If not, then I have more cold showers looming ahead in the near future.

The internet issue is an interesting one. The cable company showed up and did not install everything the way I planned. For one, I was promised a special on the premium channel tier. Apparently, the person I spoke to over the phone lied because no such special exists. This is not a dire situation, but the lack of wireless connectivity poses an issue. The technician was unable to install wifi (despite evidence pointing to the contrary) and the modem doesn't even work. I am calling in my personal tech support (i.e. drinking buddies) to help me solve the problem.

On a happier note, I sold some stash yarn to someone on Craigslist. When perusing my bins to see what I could add to sweeten the pot, I found a colorway that a non-knitting friend of mine adores. Since I have moved closer to her, I believe a gift is in order.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This is the Move that Never Ends

Foliage Hat
Originally uploaded by craftytails
This week has been the roughest I have experienced in quite a long time. Plagued with incompetent utility providers, bad luck and more bad luck, I feel the need to chronicle the debacle for review at a later point in time. The picture of the last knitting project completed before the move is the only craft-related portion of this post (and the only cheerful part).

Friday, June 12th - Water and electricity were due to be turned on at the new home.

Sunday, June 14th - Showed up to sign my lease as scheduled and the landlord completely forgot my current roommate and I were moving in. She eventually showed up without my gate opener and told me I should have reminded her that I still want the washer and dryer from my roommate's apartment. This prompted me to reiterate that I not only need them, but she also needs to pick up the refrigerator because I have my own to move in.

When I entered my apartment, neither the electricity nor the water was working. This prompted several calls to both companies. The water department said, "Oh, oops. We'll take care of it." And they did so before the close of business. Electricity was a different matter. At 11:00AM, I called my carrier to ask why my power was still off. The customer service representative stated that the provider (Oncor) was still dealing with outages from the storm last week and would get to the request as soon as possible. Shortly after, he recanted and said Oncor never received the service order. He assured me he would reissue the order and and stated he would call me back. He did not. I called again and reached someone else who also said the issue was with Oncor service outages and that my electricity would be turned on "whenever". It was 97 degrees outside, so one could imagine how miserable I became when I moved in my fragile items.

To compound matters, the previous tenant left the place filthy! I rented it over a month ago and was promised it would be clean when I moved in.

A bittersweet moment occurred when I met a friendly neighbor who helped me when the biggest spider I have ever seen leaped out from a crack under the front door and ran toward me. I killed him with a phone directory and my neighbor removed the remains. The image of the creature continues to haunt me.

Monday, June 15th - Still no power, so I called again. The rep told me my power would be activated by 2:00PM. If it was not, I should call them back. It indeed was not. When I tried to contact them again, two people hung up on me before I finished politely explaining the situation. Another attempt yielded a person saying they never sent the order to Oncor and that the rep I spoke to in the morning just made something up. After spending an hour on the phone, she said a technician would be onsite the next day. I notified her I was scheduled to work from home and they cost me time and money. Will I get a service credit for their shoddy treatment? Probably not.

But no, the trouble didn't stop there.

The gas company showed up to turn on the water heater and it was nowhere to be found.

The bathroom tower I purchased is too large and I can't find the receipt. Hopefully, the store will take it back and issue a credit.

My roommate moved into her apartment on this day to find that she didn't have electricity or water either. When the movers brought the washer and dryer from her apartment to mine, they noticed that an exhaust vent was never installed. Washer connections yes, dryer connections, not so much.

To make matters even worse, I locked myself out of the apartment and had to wait for my friend to come home in order to unlock the back gate. I proceeded to hoist myself up and enter through a window. Thankfully, the lack of electricity forced me to leave windows open!

Tuesday, June 16th - The movers showed up and started to load boxes and furniture. They estimated about 2-3 hours total for the move, but it took two hours alone to get my stuff out of the house. Although they complimented my packing skills, there were simply too many items to move quickly.

When driving to the new apartment to prepare for the movers, a car ran a stop sign and nearly T-boned me at an intersection. He came within one foot of slamming into the driver's side door and caused me to hit the brakes with full force. I heard them crunch and give, so this will be another expense to worry about in the near future.

Still no electricity, so the move went much slower than anticipated. Not only did they have to reassemble my bed in the dark, but they had to disassemble my refrigerator to get it into the kitchen. Thankfully, my huge fridge actually fit into the cubbyhole. Just barely.

All total, the move took twice as long as we originally thought it would and I paid double the amount. The lack of air-conditioning and light had a huge role in this.

In the middle of the afternoon, my power came on. Blessed air-conditioned relief! I scrubbed out the filthy tub only to discover that I left my shampoo and soap at the old house. Filthy, overheated and thirsty, I was rescued by my man. He brought water and went out to buy bathroom items so I could take a shower.

I then called my landlord to speak to her about the whereabouts of the water heater, gate key and exhaust vent for the dryer. I only got a chance to ask about the exhaust vent when she rushed me off the phone and hung up. She said the vent was never installed, but she didn't tell me this before I moved in the dryer. Generally a nice person, but a little forgetful, I think.

When the cable company called, I had to reschedule my appointment for the next day since the place was still a mess. Again, thanks to the lack of electricity putting me behind schedule.

Wednesday, June 17th - After much deliberation, I am getting rid of the dresser I have always stored in my craft room. There isn't enough space and I wish I never moved it over. Since the local Goodwill donation centers do not pick up items, I think the Salvation Army will get it. We will see what they say tomorrow.

I picked up the key to my post office box (finally), so that ordeal is over. Apparently, there is only one person in that location who can issue boxes and he only works from 8-11 in the mornings. This was not made clear when I paid for the box online and has never been the case with my past post office experiences.

Making a trip back to the old house, I grabbed my bathroom items and decided to move some boxes to the curb. To my dismay, the sanitation department failed to take the garbage bags sitting next to the bin. The first bag went in nicely, but the second one burst, spewing ant-infested trash everywhere. I finally cleaned everything up and decided to go to my boyfriend's home to do laundry, shower and complete all of my change-of-address forms. When I attempted to update the address on my driver's license, the online form kicked back an error message stating I could not do this because I have updated my information online once before. I guess it is out of the realm of possibility that someone may move two years in a row! I called their customer service line six times, only to reach a busy signal. When I finally got through, their office was closed.

Tomorrow, I may actually get a chance to work remotely. I am sure my inbox is full and the schedules are in dire need of attention. There is a nice coffee shop with free wifi and despite my personal woes, the world of anime still needs me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Counting Down

Diagonal Blanket
Originally uploaded by craftytails
It is now one week before the lease is signed for the new apartment and I have so much to get straightened out. Several items have been posted to Craigslist for sale and more items have been donated. The yard sale last night was quite a success! I managed to get rid of a large number of items and got good deals on bamboo wallpaper and an antique punchbowl set with twenty four glasses. A donation was made to a friend's hospital bill and in exchange, I was given a bunny and cabbage teapot and some assorted sewing patterns. The items I did not sell will be donated to various charities or put up for consignment. It's high time I began eliminating clutter from my life.

Knitting has been progressing steadily and the lazy blanket is now complete. I haven't taken measurements, but it is a nice size for a throw. Somewhere in the midst of my weighing, I miscalculated the amount of yarn before starting the decreases. This caused me to run out of yarn before finishing the last corner. The decision was ultimately made to call this "character" or 'charm", rather than a "screw-up". Despite my usual elitism against acrylic fiber, the blanket is quite soft and comfortable. Do I regret the impulse purchase? No. Will I do something this silly again? Probably not.

Since the UFOs are packed in boxes, I am working on the Foliage Hat in a burnt orange cashmerino aran weight yarn. Typically, I enjoy following charts but found myself knitting according to the written directions instead. It's a nice change of pace and the hat (so far) is looking quite lovely.