When It Rains, It Pours: April [unpacking-round 1]

2 Jun

-We arrive so our new apartment in Salt Lake City!  We are tired of driving, tired of sitting, tired of being greasy and dirty.  I’m hungry and thirsty.  Cool is bored.  The cats are scared and in need of soothing.

crazy cat

-But that is not in the cards for us.  We have no time for even a short break, because we are in multiple parking spots and the neighbors will be getting home from work soon.  We get there and have to start unpacking right away.

-Our stuff didn’t fill the 16 foot Penske to the top, but don’t think we didn’t have a lot.  We have a LOT of stuff!  And on this leg, it was just up to Cool and me–we had no help for the heavy or awkward items.

-Our apartment is situated a little awkwardly.  It’s like a remodled motel or something and we are on the bottom floor.  Which should be easy.  But the bottom floor is down 5-6 stairs.  And the stairs are 2 units to the right or left of our door.  And the stairs aren’t just a straight drop down, there are 3 north-facing steps, then a landing, then 2-3 south-facing steps.  This 180 degree turn made any large item difficult to manuver.  The other access point was a ledge.  Most of the concrete edge in front of our lower floor has a gate.  But at one point just to the side of our door, is a 4.5-5 foot concrete ledge that meets the level of the parking lot.  I’ll try to post a picture, because this sounds confusing.

SLC-all moved in 031


-Anyway, so I was in charge of climbing into the back of the truck, lifting items to the edge, getting out of the truck, grabbing things (at chest-height) from the truck, walking across an aisle in the parking lot, and setting the item on this concrete ledge.

-Cool, stood down, on our apartment’s level and picked the items (at shoulder height) off the curb, took 3-4 steps into the apartment, and theoretically put them in some logical place to be unpacked later.

-I found out I had the more vigorous part of the job.

-OK, maybe this doesn’t sound super-unrqual to you, but here’s a little snippet of how the afternoon went.  I’m doing the physical labor.  Cool is on her phone.  She decides reception isn’t optimal inside of the apartment, so she goes in the concrete ailse-way.  I’m like, “What are you doing on your phone?!  Help me!!!”  Supremely irritated (at me and the perceived phone reception) she growls and walks up the steps.  Then, she trips over her own feet, fall down on the parking lot, like, rolls (all the neighbors are staring), and lies on the asphalt.  Making a real scene and being a doofus.  THAT’s the kind of “help” I got. . .

-I also found out later, Cool simpy stacked, threw, stuffed items as close to the door, in a mass in the living room, for me to sort later.

-But the unloading had to get done, so I pushed and sweated, and got more dusty and greasy and tired.  We finished by 5:30PM, which was past when people were getting home, but I think they could see us struggling so no one gave us a hard time.

-THEN, we had to find a place to put the Penske.  Because now it was in the middle of going-home traffic in a new city (of bad drivers) adn we weren’t about to return a 16 foot truck just then.  And don’t forget we haven’t had a break (or food) since our arrival.

-So we went to the corner lot next door, some studio, “by appointment” who had ample parking.  I wanted to ask, but no one was there.  So figuring no one would go through the trouble of towing a Penske, we just parked it on that property.  Oh well. . .

-Things had settled down enough after 9PM to think about driving the Penske again.  On the map, the turn-in location looked very close, and really easy.  Go all the way down our street, turn right, then turn left.  Done.  In practice, it was much different:  The right turn was over-crowded with tons of cars speeding onto the interstates.  How could it be so busy this late at night???  Why aren’t people cutting a 16 foot truck any slack???  I had to turn right, but then get over 4 lanes to the left to make my turn.  And of course, no one would let me over–even though I was substantially bigger.  And I couldn’t SEE them.  Unfortunately, also, if you missed the turn there was no place to go but the freeway, then way down to the next exit.  Ugh!  So the 2nd time around I literally stopped in the road prior to my turn–they would just have to wait so I could get into my lane.  I completed the left.  Only to find, the directions were to make a U-Turn backwards and into the dark, Penske lot.  As soon as I pulled into the parking spot, tired, all ramped up from the crazy drive, and stressed–I realized the tank was empty.  We had to do it again after finding a gas station!!!!  Nope.  I would not be driving that again in that horribly, pushy, speeding traffic.  I was lucky to make it in one piece the first time–there would be no next.  So I had to make the tough choice to either buckle-down and drive that again, or take the fees.  As returning the Penske was harrowing, I chose the latter, which would turn out very expensive.

-As all of this was going on, and we were at maximum stress level, some guy approached us in the Penske parking lot.  Attention boys and men:  If you see women (especially one woman, by herself) she NEVER feels comfortable about you engaging her.  Especially after dark or in a sketchy place–we were in both.  This guy comes up and asks if we speak English.  Then he asks for money for gas.  Which I was like–do you see this Penske we just got out of?  There’s where all our money went.  He persisted by saying a police officer had told him this was a bad area and he really needed to get home.  What, now he wants us to take him somewhere?!  Lame.  Walk your a$$ the 5 blocks to Tracks and use the more then ample public transportation.  I was over it and disengaged.

-We got home, and I was ready for shower, jammies, bed.  BUT We had no hot water.  The gas had not been turned on yet.  I had to go to bed that night without a shower.  Morale was low.  Surpringly low.  When I was all tired and greasy (from a long drive and unpakcing and lack of shower for now 16 hours) it was very depressing.  Our first night in Salt Lake City, and there was no excitement–just greasiness.

-The next day, I called at 7AM, right when they opened, to get gas to heat our water.  I was told it would be turned on tomorrow.  Oh no!  That could not occur, we would need it today!  Yes, I fussed.  OK, they would do it by 4PM.  Lesson:  I guess fussing is the way to go and people will bend rules for you.  Which sucks because I usually follow rules and therefore have to wait longer, pay more, and deal with more hassle.  But not this time.

-Except by 2PM, we hadn’t heard anything, and the business day was quickly coming to a close.  I did NOT want to miss my chance at hot water!  Finally after a 2nd phone call (squeaky wheel gets the grease) the gas was turned on.

-Or was it?  We still had no hot water.

Sutro Pool Party 005

-We called the gas company and they said the pilot light probably wasn’t lit.  We called our landlord to try to get someone to take a look.  We called the gas company who were extremely hesitant to talk me through lighting over the phone.  But I persisted, because by this time, I was not only expired, I was curdled.  My hair is always greasy when I wake up, so I need a shower daily.  Add in long drives, sweaty, vigorous unloading of a truck, nervousness of returning said-truck, then dusty unpacking–I was disgusting.  I tried to light the pilot light.  I tried and tried.  It clicked away, but I never saw a flame.

-After the 4-5th call to our landlord, and many hours, maintenance finally lit our pilot light.  It took him 2 tries and I’m sure we looked like helpless girls having to call in a man.  But I’m sure all my pressing, worked most of the air out of the line–it had been off for 3 months.  So it looked easy for him, but only because of my previous efforts.  And whatever–hot water was going to be on.

-Agh–a shower.  Finally!  Now we live here.

Next up:  Oh yes, there’s more!  The moving never ends!

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