On the first weekend of February I moved into my new place. I looked for condos throughout the fall and January. In mid December I put in offers on two places â€“ one here and another in Encino. The sellers of the Encino condo wanted to go into a bidding war, so I dropped out. They would later come back and offer to take my original offer after the other buyer dropped out â€“ but it was too late. I submitted an offer for a condo in Winnetka and the seller accepted almost the same day. I was informed that he wanted to move â€œreally quickâ€ and wanted to make escrow â€œa few weeks.â€ Six weeks later, a lot of hefty â€œsurpriseâ€ bills, and lost of signatures on legal size paper the calendar flipped to February â€“ and escrow still hadnâ€™t closed. I had to pay for another month at Avalon after my lease on the studio there ran out. The next day escrow closed and I had the keys to my condo.
That weekend I set out to make my move. Kent offered to let me use one of his delivery trucks. It was the largest moving object Iâ€™ve ever piloted, a terrifying experience even for this old library van driver. Aaron had to get to his job at Myspace (yes, you heard right) in the early afternoon â€“ so it became quickly obvious that we would have one shot to get the large items in the truck since the condo is roughly twenty miles away. So, we hightailed it to the studio, chucked my desks, dresser, and bed into the truck and made the long journey across the valley on Victory Boulevard (we both knew that the 101 would be impossible on a Saturday afternoon).
After unloading and dropping off the truck back in Van Nuys we went to Robeks and Baja Fresh for dinner (I swear Iâ€™m getting hooked on those â€œEnchilada Styleâ€ burritos).
Afterwards I started loading up the Mazda and traversing the valley back and forth. It took three trips but I finally had all my belongings inside the condo by midnight.
Putting everything away would take weeks though (Iâ€™m still not done).
On Sunday I spent the first half of the day cleaning up the studio â€“ on my hands and knees scrubbing the black scratch marks left by Avalon maintenance months ago when they fixed my sink. I then went back to the condo and washed up before heading to Valencia to watch the second half of the superbowl with Alfonso and his crew. The superbowl was ho-hum, but Alfonso had bought a side of beef and he cooked up just about the best steak Iâ€™ve ever had. His son also convinced me to try playing Halo for the first time in my life. Based on my pathetic gameplay it will probably be the last.
When I came home from work on Monday I walked into darkness. It was time to call the electric company and get my electricity switched to my name. I had been asking for the Home Owners Association information and utilities for weeks â€“ but nothing every came of it. It was do or die time apparently so I called a friend and had them google â€œWinnetka Electric Companyâ€ for the phone number. They assured me theyâ€™d turn it on the next day. I had them transfer me to the gas company. The gas company unfortunately wouldnâ€™t be able to come until a week later.
Tuesday I came home â€“ to a still dark house. I called the electric company to find out that it had been turned on â€“ and then set to â€œoffâ€ in the main breaker room for â€œsafety.â€ Did I mention Iâ€™d already set up my cable broadband to be installed on Tuesday? So, as the cable guy started setting up his stuff I set about trying to find this â€œmain breaker roomâ€ in the building. It is a large buildingâ€¦ I eventually found a room that had electric symbols on the door thoughâ€¦ and a hefty lock on the door. So, more calls to more people later I found out that only the building management can unlock the door. I already knew that the management was not on-site, so at this point I was pissed . . . and my cable guy was leaving without being able to test the modem.
Later that night my appliances buzzed on and I got a knock on my door from another person living in the building who apparently is qualified to act as a management representative â€“ he had gone and turned on my electric after getting a message on his answering machine from management.
Of course the modem didnâ€™t work and I had to reschedule a later visit with Time Warner Cable.
Lets skip ahead one week â€“ SoCal gass was supposed to show up some time between 5pm and 8pm. At 8:30 I decided to call them and ask why they hadnâ€™t shown up. Their answer was that they tried to page me on the callbox and got nothing â€“so they left â€“ and they arenâ€™t allowed to call my phone number. Which makes sense until you think about it for a minuteâ€¦ lets say I donâ€™t have a call boxâ€¦ and Iâ€™m a cold old womanâ€¦ Am I dead? So now I try to get ahold of the management for the building again to set up the callbox (after rescheduling another gas visit for a week and a half later). The buildingâ€™s manager (Gloria) doesnâ€™t respond to email and never seems to be in her office. After days of frustration I left a message and got a call back eight hours later (while I was at the gym of course) from someone else. A long message on my cell phone informed me that I had to go through a long drawn out process to get the callbox working. Iâ€™m assuming I wonâ€™t have it done by this Wednesday â€“ so I guess Iâ€™ll look forward to standing outside the building for three hours waiting for the gas menâ€¦
Okay, two pages â€“ enough bitching.