Saturday, September 5, 2009

Finally in Our New Place

I know it's been a while since I posted. It's been a trying few days because of the move, it's been busy and stressful. So I decided blogging could wait until things settled down a bit. Get comfy, it's going to be a long entry!

We were supposed to start the move on Monday afternoon, but we couldn't get the elevator so we were stuck just moving the little stuff. We started the real move at 6:30pm on Tuesday. We had been supposed to move in on Monday as the previous tenants had moved out on the 27th. The landlord was supposed to come and replace the floors which had sustained all kinds of damage under the last tenants, reglaze the bathtub, replace the vanity in the bathroom, replace the screens on the doors and just do general repairs, and then everything was supposed to be ready for us to move out on the 31st and new tenants could move into our old place on the first. Just like clockwork, right?

Well apparently the old tenants had decided not to turn in their keys on the 27th (presumably so they wouldn't have to face the landlord given how much damage there was to the apartment) even though they had vacated. So the landlord didn't do any of the repairs. When I first walked in to the apartment I was disgusted by the condition of the floors, many areas were black with water damage and many tiles were missing.

But they needed us out of our old place, so we had to move in. The landlord said our floors would still be done, but it would require that we move all of our stuff out of the living area and vacate the apartment for 24 hours because the varnish would need time to dry. What a pain. I had been so looking forward to finally unpacking all of our stuff after a month of living out of boxes, but it was apparently not to be. At least not yet.

Luckily the bedroom floor is in good condition so it doesn't need to be refinished. We arranged with the landlord that we would do the floors next Friday (after we've had a chance to unpack and stow as much as we can into cupboards and closets). We will move as much stuff as we can into the bedroom, bathroom and part of the kitchen, and anything that's left we'll stow in the storage rooms downstairs. Not looking forward to this but if it's that or have disgusting floors, I feel like we have to go along with it.

We had expected to have three people helping us move, but Brandon was the only one who showed up. We were grateful to have his help. Elevator full after elevator full, we trudged along moving our stuff to our new floor. Brandon could only stay until 9:30 so we started with all of the furniture that took both of them to carry. After he left, John and I kept plugging away and didn't finish until about midnight. I was so exhausted both physically and mentally because I had been packing all day and moving all night. I had blisters all over my hands and feet and scratches all over my arms from the boxes, and I was pretty much in a daze, asleep on my feet.

But we weren't done yet. There was still cleaning to be done. And the landlord would be stopping by in the morning to show our floors to the contractor, so we needed to move our stuff around within the apartment to show the areas of worst damage and to clear walkways.

So John offered to do the cleaning and headed back to the old place while I stayed in the new place and set up the bed, the coffee maker (because John had to work the next day), and the bathroom. I rearranged boxes to take up less space and then headed back to the old apartment where John was just finishing up. Exhausted, we walked back to our new place together and fell into a very sound sleep.

The dean's assistant had called me earlier that day and left me a message, upset that someone had told me I would need to wait at the school to get a spot. Of course I had already quit my job at that point. I was really annoyed by her message because she seemed really concerned about hunting down the person who told me that, so that they wouldn't tell anyone else on the waiting list the same thing, but not at all concerned with what I should be doing instead to try to get in. What I mean is that the waiting list is still gone, so if an opening comes up (which I'm told can happen during the first two weeks of class) there has to be some way that they're deciding who gets in, but she didn't mention anything about that, basically indicating that I should just let it go because the odds are stacked against me. I felt as though I was being dismissed as she attempted to resolved her internal issues. This compounded with the fact that I still haven't received any resolution from the letter I wrote to the dean's office, nor received any updates to the investigation they said they were doing (from her message it sounded like they were no longer working on it) made me feel reluctant to turn in anyone in the admissions department since I feel like they have at least been willing to work with me on this. So I haven't called her back.

I instead called back my contact in admissions. We worked out that rather than actually going in and sitting around all day, I would call in every morning to check for openings and provide my phone number so that I could be called back if anything came up in the afternoon. She said that if an opening comes up, she will call me right away. I'm not sure what happens after that, but I feel like it's my best option at this point. I called in every day this week and so far there have been no openings. They said that classes start next week so it's more likely that if anyone is going to drop out, they will do it then. My hope level is at about 4% right now.

The second last thing to go wrong on moving day was when we tried to get the phone and internet switched to our new apartment. John had called in at the start of the month to arrange it and was told that because we were moving within the same building, it would just be a matter of flipping a switch in their computer system, no technician would need to come out. So on moving day we called in so they could flip the switch. We were told that they had to send out a technician and because it's back to school month, no one could come out until Monday. The call centre agent blamed us for the delay "You should have called in last week!". After waiting on hold for half an hour for a supervisor (since we were misinformed), we were told one would call us back that night. Of course no one called. And so our phone and internet are disconnected for six days.

The last thing to go wrong is that a little wicker basket went missing during the move. Inside the basket were all of this month's bills, our two Nintendo DS's, John's camera, the remote control to the TV, our wireless router and John's cell phone. None of us remember removing it from the apartment and it wasn't there when John did the cleaning and I did the out inspection. But it wasn't in the new apartment either. My head started swimming as I worked out the cost to replace its contents.

Wednesday morning started at the crack of dawn as John left for work. I got dressed and headed to the rental office for the out inspection. Everything was fine. Then I tried to make my morning call to the school admissions office only to discover that the automated phone system ("press 1 to enter an extension") didn't recognize when I pushed the buttons on my cell phone. And of course my land line was disconnected. You would have laughed to see me, I tried everything to make it work. I even plugged in my home phone, held it up to my cell phone and dialed the extension on my home phone hoping the system would recognize it. No luck. I ended up hunting down a payphone. Did you know they cost 50 cents now?

I started plugging away at unpacking. I put together some of the Ikea furniture. At about 2pm, Erin and Alan showed up! They were on their way home from New York and had been in Niagara Falls that morning. They came to spend a night with us before returning to Halifax. I was so happy to see them!

We had lots of fun. We went for lunch, and then came home and lounged around, getting caught up. I showed them around the neighbourhood and we did some shopping. Erin got some really cute earrings.

When we got home, John was already here. We headed to the Pickle Barrel for supper. John and I shared some fajitas and for dessert we ordered a sampler of six different desserts that we all shared. It was really fun!

From there we headed across the street to Absolute Comedy and watched I think six comedians perform. They were okay but not as funny as the last time we went, which was a bit disappointing. It was more of the really crude, shocking humour and less of the clever, truly funny humour, if that makes sense. We came home and went to bed early because Erin and Alan had to be back on the road early the next morning.

In the morning (Thursday), we said our goodbyes, Erin and Alan headed home and John headed for work, so I was alone in the apartment. I tore the place apart looking for the basket. I looked everywhere! I was starting to think it wasn't here.

I got lots of unpacking done, most of the bedroom. I couldn't finish it because we're waiting to put the shelving unit up until after floors are done because we don't want to unpack anything that takes up floor space. I managed to move all of the furniture into the places where it belongs instead of scattered around randomly. I got the basics in the kitchen unpacked as well. The superintendent came over and did some repairs and a contractor came in to reglaze the bathtub (meaning we couldn't use it for 24 hours). I felt good about my day's work.

When John came home I asked him to see if he could find the basket, thinking maybe I'd missed something. He searched the place and came up empty handed. We went to a little 50's restaurant for supper(called Mars Diner) since the kitchen wasn't fit to use yet. I ordered a milkshake and it came with two straws but John was unwilling to have a sharing-a-milkshake-with-two-straws moment with me, lol. Our verdict was that the prices were too high for what you get (I had a grilled cheese sandwich and what tasted like McCain Superfries), so we probably won't go back there. We just laid low for the rest of the evening.

Friday was a crappy day because as anyone who knows me can attest, I'm neurotic about needing to shower every day.

I started the day by making signs advertising our lost basket. I put one next to the elevators on this floor and one next to the elevators on our old floor. Then I got to work unpacking the kitchen. I worked on it until about 3:00pm and still wasn't finished. It definitely feels like there is more room in there than in our old kitchen though. The shelves and cart we bought at Ikea fit perfectly and look kickass. I'll take a picture when it's finished. I think I'll be able to fit almost all of our stuff in this kitchen, and considering how much kitchen stuff we have, that's really saying something.

Contractors showed up around 2:00pm to put in the new bathroom vanity. They were done in about and hour but after they left I realized they didn't install a toilet paper holder! They just set the toilet paper on top of the vanity so I know they noticed that there was nowhere to put it. John's going to put in a request with the rental office to get one installed. I'm tired of dealing with them.

3:30 came and went and I was freaking out. It had been 29 hours since my last shower. I couldn't wait anymore so I went down to the rental office and asked the woman working there to send someone up to replace the bathtub fixtures so it could be used again. She was like "We'll have someone come up sometime next week." It took all of my self control not to flip out, giving her the benefit of the doubt that she didn't know what she was talking about. Eventually I convinced her to call the superintendent who said he would be up right away. He fixed the tub and replaced one of the screen doors while he was here. By 5:00pm I was finally clean, dressed and ready to start my day.

John got home and the kitchen still wasn't ready to cook in, so we headed down to Bloor & Young. We hit up the Canadian tire there for picture hangers, hooks, linseed oil (because John wants to finish the Ikea cart in the kitchen in case something spills on it. It's untreated right now), and drop sheets to block the doorways when they refinish the floor and keep dust from getting in the kitchen. Then we went to a small Thai restaurant called Indochine that was nearby.

I wanted to like this place, I really did. It was beautifully set up, the prices were good, the food was beautiful and the ingredients were fresh. But the food tasted off. It was like the chef had different tastes from us. The pad Thai was too tart, the hot and sour soup was too tomato-ey, the beef dish John ordered had a flavour in it that I swear was shrimp and the rice was over cooked. So my quest for a good pad Thai in Toronto continues. I know I will find it eventually.

We came home and vegged for the rest of the night. John had to be up for diving in the morning (His first Ontario dive!!!) so he went to bed early.

I woke up to John shaking me. "Put your robe on!", he urged, putting my arms through the sleeves. He picked me up, still half asleep, and carried me to our front door. "Look!", he said.

I looked down and there was our basket with my sign taped to the top! It was taped to a jigsaw puzzle box that as soon as I saw it, realized had also been missing. And there was another box next to those. John had to go diving, so I brought everything in. Everything was still in the basket, nothing was missing!

I sat and stared at everything, puzzling. Someone had seen our sign and returned it. They had come in the very middle of the night because I had been up past midnight and John had been up at 7am. They had clearly opened the basket and gone through it because the items were not arranged as I had packed them. The pieces of paper I had laid on the bottom were on the sides now. And they had taped it to the puzzle box, I hadn't done that. When I looked in the cardboard box, it was full of our stuff, but I'm sure I didn't put that stuff in a box, I think it had been out loose. And the box was unfamiliar and not filled to the top and I always fill boxes to the top. So they had done that too. But they had cared enough about doing the right thing to return it. And had somehow figured out which apartment is ours even though I didn't put it on the sign.

I've mulled it over and it seems there are a few plausible explanations. I believe the most likely is that a couple saw our stuff next to the elevator and thought it was just left there by people moving out so they took some things. I think it was a couple because they took a big pink puzzle so there was probably a girl, and given the amount of stuff it seems like two people could carry it without feeling like it was a lot of stuff, one person would have been loaded down. I also think that when there are two people involved, it's easier to decide to do the right thing. I think they may have seen the sign, realized that these things were missed and returned them in the night wanting to be anonymous. Although that doesn't answer the question as to how they knew which apartment was ours.

I can think of other explanations that work, but I would love to hear anyone else's theories!

I'm just so happy to have our stuff back!

So because of all that, I was up early this morning when there was a knock at the door. It was the flooring guy coming to do our floors. He looked at the big mess in the apartment behind me and then looked at my incredulous face. I was like "We said next Friday, remember?". He said "I know! But the landlord called me last night and said I was to come today."

Another miscommunication by the rental office. I've lost count of them by now. The contractor and I were on the same page though, so that was a good thing. He'll be back next Friday.

So now it's time to start my day! John's at Niagara all day, diving the Niagara river. I made him promise me not to go near the falls. I plan to finish the kitchen, do some laundry, bake some banana bread (my first baking in over a month!) and go for a walk if I have time. I took the return of our stuff as a sign that our bad luck is turning around, so hopefully this will be a good day!


  1. Oh my gosh Jacki....what a WILD week!
    I'm so glad it's all coming together and that your things were returned. Whew!

  2. It was seriously nuts! We've just had a really bad string of bad luck, I didn't even write about all of it. But it feels like we're getting back on track now :)