Friday, September 24, 2004

The Best Laid Plans of Kittens and Boys (Adventures in Real Estate, continued)

When I moved three years ago, I slept for maybe an hour the night before. My clearest memory is of trying to take my metal bed frame apart at 5 am without waking my roommate (in, thankfully, a different room). When the movers arrived – early – I wasn't finished packing. They were truly wonderful, amazingly nice and efficient, actually helping me pack and still getting the job done in record time. But it was a little embarrassing, and a lot exhausting, and I vowed that it would never go down like that again.

I thought I was being so good this time when I started packing and purging early. But then life got in the way and I lost my head start. As diligent as I tried to be, I was still up until 4:30 on Tuesday night. In fairness to myself, I'd been out of the house from 7 am until midnight, but it's not as if that was a surprise to me. If anything, I suppose I should be grateful I'd been as ahead of the game as I had! I feel like packing stemware while barely conscious is not the best idea. I ran out of bubble wrap and started tearing up the curtains that I wasn't taking with me. Radish helped with that, so at least he got to pull his weight.

Making things even more complicated, we got some concrete (if annoying) news about the apartment that at least kind of settles things. As we continued traveling down the Road of Miscommunication, some people freaked out about how much stuff we were moving in. In a weird way, I appreciate the result because it contains a shred of logic; I've wondered all along what the co-op board's definition of "living in the apartment" is, and how they would know if we were sleeping or showering or whatever there. With the realization that everything I own was moving in (a fact I've always been quite clear about, which somehow got overlooked), I guess it dawned on someone that we could very easily be pulling a fast one (although we weren't...much). So the building's lawyer, (who also handled the original sale for our seller), made a deal with the board president that we could move in whatever we want, and our appliances can be delivered next week, but after that we're basically not allowed back in until we close. (Curiously, our lawyer was not involved in this conversation at all, and I don't think he was invited.) Of course I'll pop in if I need something that's stuck in a box, but we are not to do any work, painting or anything, lest this be mistaken for "living."

It's fine, really, but it meant I had to put things aside while packing to have the movers bring to Boy's, and I'd already packed up certain things I would need in the same boxes with others that I wouldn't. My sneaky plan had been to basically treat the new place as an office until we can "live" there, hanging out for hours a day and watching TV and enjoying the high speed Internet. This means I'd foolishly moved the cable to the new apartment, instead of to Boy's, which, apart from messing up my complex TV plans, means we're stuck with dialup and no router. I called Time Warner and lucked out with an incredibly nice and knowledgeable operator who helped me with the very complicated process of moving my account and my service again (it was easy the first time, but doing it twice in one day is apparently trickier). Of course, because nothing can go even a little bit smoothly, the previous tenant in Boy's apartment -- from four years ago -- still owes Time Warner money, so before I can do anything I have to prove that Boy lives there now. I'm mostly annoyed at myself for not just moving it to his place to begin with, but I've just been so averse to doing stuff like that twice if it wasn't necessary...serves me right then that now I have to do it thrice (though I do appreciate having an excuse to use "thrice" in a sentence).

Anyway, the move itself went really well. Despite the lack of sleep (well, because of it), I was ready to go when the movers arrived, and I'd even had time to grab a last bagel from my regular place. Radish didn't come with us until later in the day, so he got locked in the bedroom with his litter, food and toys, and the furniture I wasn't taking with me. This meant everything that was going with me had to be moved out of there, so it was all in the living room. This, plus my fabulous movers, made for very quick work of the apartment. I helped, partly because I felt weird just watching them work, and also because they were getting paid by the hour and I wanted the job done! I didn't do anything very heavy, but it was still the best workout I've had in weeks. The movers made a stop at Boy's, while I went to the new place where we all met up.

It's exciting to have our stuff in the new place, even though we're not. It's starting to look at least a little like home. The office, which seemed so tiny, actually looks bigger with some furniture in it. We put almost everything in the living room. It seemed like the easiest thing to do, and it's useful for keeping up appearances with the board too, since if anyone even glanced through the front door they'd see nothing but boxes. I had a locksmith come by and change the top lock while the movers were still there, so no one would notice we were "doing work on the apartment."

I unpacked and repacked a box with some office stuff I'd need at Boy's, and when the crew was gone we wheeled it over to Boy's on my luggage cart. It's only seven blocks, so as annoying as it was, it could have been much worse.

We went back to the old apartment to get Radish, who seemed pretty content. He got right into his carrier without a fight, and he acclimated to Boy's pretty much immediately.

And here we all are. Not much furniture left here, and the dialup Internet is killing me, but we're in pretty good shape. Boy pointed out that for the first time in weeks we're not waiting for anything. We didn't get the answer we wanted from Them, but at least we got an answer at all! There's not much left to do. A couple of deliveries and appointments here and there, but mostly we wait til November for the closing. We know where we stand and what our schedule is, and we can concentrate on settling in where we are for a while. I won't pretend I'm not irritated about the way it turned out, but it's also a relief to be done. I can actually relax a little bit.

To finish up, here are some more pictures of the beautiful apartment we can't live in...

The chaos in the living room, with a glimpse of our Ikeagasmic shelves. The flash washed out that blue in the front, which is actually much darker than the blue in the background.

Here's a more accurate look at the two blues. I measured badly for the shelves so they're unfinished until we can get back to Ikea for some shorter ones, but the beauty of this "system" is that it'll be very easy to fix. And in better light (there's no overhead in the living room and these were taken at night) they look really great with the blue).

The office. I was scared of the green, but it actually looks better on two walls than it did on one, and oddly enough the room feels bigger with some furniture in it than it did empty. That light fixture has to go though.

Finally, Radish helping me pack.

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