The Apartment Transfer

Well, Kathleen and I are moving. We’ve been in our apartment for two years; we love it, and we love its layout, and its views, and its memories. So the fact that we’re moving is not so much because we want to, as we’re being asked to.

And NO, before you ask, it’s not because of our raucous dinner parties or wine stains on the carpet or the time I put a frozen bagel in the microwave and accidentally filled the entire hallway with smoke.

It actually isn’t our fault at all. Calm down. I’ll start from the beginning.

THE GREAT FLOOD

One evening, I was sitting in my apartment, doing apartment things, when I heard a stream of water. “Weird,” I thought, because I didn’t leave any water running. I followed the noise to my laundry room, and saw a PUDDLE of soapy water pooling out from beneath the door and into the attached kitchen.

“Oh my GOSH,” I thought, because boy, it was a lot of water.

I knew I had to call maintenance immediately to prevent any further flooding. I ran over to my living room window (because I don’t get service anywhere else in my apartment), waited a few minutes for my phone to pick up a bar or two (la dee da, hurry up), and frantically dialed emergency maintenance.

Someone arrived a few minutes later, turned off the water, did some maintenance-y stuff, and resolved the issue.

“Well that was an ordeal that I hope never happens again,” I thought, because it was an ordeal that I hoped would never happen again.

Fast forward one week. I’m again sitting in my apartment doing apartment things, when I heard a stream of water. “Weird,” I thought, because I didn’t leave any water running. I followed the noise to my laundry room, and saw a puddle of soapy water pooling out from beneath the door and into the attached kitchen.

You probably know the rest of the story, ending with me thinking “Well that was an ordeal that I hope never happens again.”

FAST FORWARD TO ONE YEAR LATER

That ordeal that I hoped to never happen again happened again almost every week for a year.

They sent in specialists. They tore apart our laundry room. They flushed the pipes. They moved the washing machine to the dining room and cut open a hole in the wall.

A couple of weeks would go by, we would think that the issue had been resolved, and then suddenly it would happen again. The floor tiles started cracking, the wall behind the washing machine started crumbling, and our entire apartment started smelling like mold.

“When will the madness end!” I thought. “I’m tired of wading through my kitchen!” I also thought.

THE COCKROACHES

So, considering we live in an apartment building with hundreds of other tenants, right above a restaurant, in the middle of downtown Richmond, the fact that we hadn’t had a single cockroach sighting in two years was a minor miracle.

Until this summer…

It was a dark and stormy night. I was just coming back from a long day at work, and couldn’t wait to get home and go to sleep. I walked through the hallway of my building. Unlocked my front door. Let out a huge sigh. Set my keys on the hook. Turned on the lights. Looked at the kitchen floor.

And laid eyes upon

The largest

Cockroach

I’ve ever seen

In my entire life.

It wasn’t so much a scream that I let out, as much as a…well, what’s that noise that mother elephants make when their baby is being taken away from them?

Tenants were emerging from their apartments. Dogs were howling. The police arrived. The governor declared a state of emergency.

By the way, I don’t like cockroaches.

This was the first of our cockroach sightings. In the months that followed, both Kathleen and I started finding them in various places around our apartment, including the bathroom, the laundry room, the linen closet, and Kathleen’s bedroom. Then one morning, I was innocently making my bed when one emerged from the covers.

You’re thinking that’s gross and horrifying, and thinking that I must have really panicked when I saw a cockroach crawling around in my bed that I just got out of.

Well joke’s on you if you thought that, because I, in fact, handled the situation very well.

What better way to deal with that kind of thing than hyperventilating through tears in a ball on top of your kitchen counter? And refusing to move until your roommate gets home? And silencing all frantic phone calls from your friends in fear that the cockroach will hear your voice and then know where you are? I know, I can’t think of a more appropriate way to handle it either.

Here’s a picture of it in fact, on the corner of my bed, taken by my much braver roommate before she ended its stupid and meaningless life.

ew

“WE MEAN BUSINESS”

After the multiple cockroach incidents (in particular, that time I just mentioned about the one crawling in my bed. I lied earlier, I didn’t actually handle it very well), Kathleen and I decided that something needed to be done. So we put on our most “we mean business” expressions and went down to the management office together one afternoon.

Our “we mean business” expressions must have worked because they pulled us into the conference room, shut the door, and apologized profusely for all of our troubles. Oh, and gave us $300 off our rent which I thought was kind.

And then they suggested that perhaps we’d like to transfer apartments, and offered to show us some other ones in our building.

So they did. And we picked one without a flooding laundry room or an insect problem.

THE NEW APARTMENT

Is bigger, so that’s cool.

FREE BEER AND WINE AND PIZZA AND HUGS AND GRATITUDE

Although this will likely be the easiest move both myself and Kathleen ever deal with, it’s still a move, and therefore a hassle. So we’d like to invite anyone that wants to participate to help move all of our stuff from our apartment on the second floor of the building to another apartment on the second floor of the same building.

All participants will receive free beer and wine and pizza and at least one hug and unlimited gratitude (unlimited until we forget that you helped us).

Can’t wait to see you all on Saturday!

Spoiler Alert: There’s Not Much to See Out the Window

Well, I just spent the past five days tearing up New York City like it was nobody’s business.

I did some disco yoga in Prospect Park (neon and yoga mats!). I ate tofu while watching the sun set over the city (sunset recommended, tofu optional). I went roller skating in Brooklyn Park (and maybe knocked one or two kids over in the process). I tried Polish food for the first time (holy pickles). I ate the best bagel of my entire life (three times). I figured out how to use the subway system (thank you, Google Maps). I got a tattoo (Mom, I’m joking!).

That was the first half of my week in the state of New York. I called it the “Big Apple” half. Now I have reached the second half of my trip, the half I’m calling the “Big Wedding” half.

It’s not really a big wedding, it just went along with the “Big Apple,” and sounded better than “Moderately Sized, Actually More on the Small Side, Wedding.”

The moderately sized, actually more on the small side, wedding is in Olcott, New York (yeah, I had to Google it too). And since Olcott is in such a remote part of the state (seriously, look it up), the train was the most feasible (and really the only) option for getting there from New York City.

Which was fine, because the train is an inexpensive and spacious and safe method of traveling.

But holy crap is it boring.

I planned to do a play-by-play write up of the train activity during the eight hours of my trip. Maybe delve into the interesting people I meet, the weird conversations I overhear, the quirky things the conductors do, maybe even describe the succulent train cuisine. But not long after I boarded, I realized this is actually what it would look like:

1:16 PM: get on the train. Find a seat. Put suitcase up in the top rack. Sit down.

1:21 PM: look out the window

1:30 PM: look out the window

2:00 PM: look out the window

2:15 PM: look out the window

2:35 PM: look out the window

2:41 PM: look out the window

2:45 PM: fall asleep

2:50 PM: wake up. Hope hours have gone by. Check the time. Look out the window.

3:03 PM: look out the window

3:13 PM: look out the window

3:21 PM: look out the window

3:37 PM: look out the window

3:45 PM: look out the window

3:54 PM: look out the window

4:01 PM: look out the window

4:17 PM: look out the window

4:23 PM: look out the window

4:29 PM: look out the window

4:41 PM: look out the window

4:50 PM: look out the window

5:09 PM: look out the window

5:25 PM: look out the window

5:40 PM: look out the window

5:47 PM: Get a sandwich from the café car. Go back to my seat. Scrape off the excess mayonnaise. Pull off the turkey. Eat half.

5:59 PM: look out the window

6:10 PM: look out the window

6:22 PM: look out the window

6:35 PM: look out the window

6:47 PM: look out the window

6:54 PM: look out the window

7:03 PM: look out the window

7:15 PM: look out the window

7:23 PM: look out the window

7:46 PM: look out the window

7:57 PM: look out the window

8:11 PM: look out the window

8:13 PM: look out the window

8:25 PM: look out the window

8:37 PM: look out the window

8:52 PM: look out the window

8:59 PM: look out the window

9:03 PM: Arrive.

So, anyway, yeah. I hope the “Big Wedding” half of my trip is more exciting than the “Big Look Out the Window” part of it.