Friday, July 1, 2011

Uff Da

So did y'all like that little teaser in which I told you I was back to blogging but then disappeared for ages again? Good one, huh?

Yeah. I went on that week-long trip to visit the fam and I totally meant to blog while I was gone, but know how it goes. The trip was fun and I got to spend time with my brothers and sisters and friends so I'm glad I went.

But then I got home and had a day to pack before we moved apartments last Monday.

And let me tell you, this week has nearly killed me, mostly because I have no patience for other peoples' bullsh*ttery, and there has been a lot of it this week. I'm apologizing in advance if this post is super cranky or complainy. It's just been one of those weeks and I really have to vent about it. I actually typed it all out and then almost didn't post it. It's long. Feel free to skip it, if you want. There are no pictures and no knitting content because I can't find my camera cable yet and I haven't knitted a stitch since before the move. It is what it is.

Problem #1: Way back on June 16, The Brain and I met our new landlord at the new place to pay our security deposit and first month's rent. The previous tenant was finishing up his move-out, so there were still a few small things hanging in the closets, etc. Everything still needed to be cleaned. No big deal. Except that there was no power. This detail will be important later on.

Problem #2: On Saturday, June 25, The Brain and I met with the landlord at the new place to pick up our keys for move-in on Monday. Still no power. The landlord guesses that the previous tenant had the power completely shut off instead of reverting it back to the owner. Now he tells us that we'd better call the power company ASAP because they can sometimes take a couple days to turn on the power. Umm...I'm sorry, but shouldn't that have been the landlord's responsibility at any point during the last 10 days? The answer is yes, yes it should have been.

Problem #3: On this same visit I notice that the floors are still dirty. Landlord tells us the carpets have been "cleaned". Kinda hard to do when there is no power, isn't it?

Problem #4: We go home on Saturday and The Brain fills out the online form with the power company to get the power turned back on, hopefully in time for our move-in on Monday. He gets an automated reply telling him to expect a response within 48 hours. So far, so good...maybe.

Problem #5: Knowing that the floors were probably still filthy, I want to bring a vacuum on our first run to the new place and give them a once-over before moving all our belongings in on top of dirty floors. But the lack of power thwarts that plan.

Problem #6: We spend all day Monday moving into the new place and have to put our (new-ish) mattress on the bedroom floor. I refuse to put the furniture together until I can clean the carpet. We keep the mattress in its plastic bag and sleep on the floor Monday night...and Tuesday night...and Wednesday night.

Problem #7: The Brain makes a special trip out to pick up a shower curtain. Gets it home to discover that both the packaging and the curtain have been sliced through. Makes a second trip to the store to replace it.

Problem #8: No power until late Thursday afternoon. This means no vacuuming the floors, which are clearly filthy and full of cat hair. It also means running to Target for some cheap camping lanterns so we can pick our way through piles of boxes and furniture when the sun goes down.

Problem #9: All the cat hair from the previous tenants are aggravating The Brain's allergies. We still can't vacuum all the floors because they are under our stuff. We can only move and clean patches at a time.

Problem #10: There is a VERY STRONG musty or cat smell in the two bedrooms. Our mattress smells from being on the floor. Our bedding smells and has to be dry cleaned. As soon as we got power we cleared everything out of the room and used up two large boxes of baking soda doing two rounds of odor-eating treatment. It's a bit better but still hits you when you walk into the room. I'm sitting on the couch in the living room right now, a good 5 or 6 feet away from the bedroom door, and I still get wafts of mustiness from in there. Not sure if it's a cat smell or if there's something else going on in there.

Problem #11: Still no washing machine. We were told one came with the unit. There is a dryer, but the washer mysteriously disappeared between the time we viewed the unit and when we moved in. Owner/landlord says he is "working on getting one", whatever that means.

Problem #12: This place is crawling with spiders and other bugs. Literally. I have emptied two cans of Raid already just on the doors and windows alone. I have taken to carrying a spray bottle of Hot Shot around with me and I am constantly checking the corners of the rooms. For someone like me, who emptied and re-packed all the boxes we had in storage at our old place just to be sure I wasn't bringing any bugs into the new place, this is a special kind of hell. At least when we had no power we couldn't see them. The Brain counted 5 spiders hanging out near the ceiling of the bedroom closet alone. I just want to dunk this whole building in a vat of toxin. It would help if the owner/landlord had actually sealed things like doors and windows. Instead, this retired-community-college-professor-turned-property-owner has installed his own doors (badly) and windows (badly) using mostly recycled items that don't quite fit. There is a good half-inch gap underneath and between the french doors that lead directly from the living room to the front porch. There are numerous openings between the floor and the outer wall in the self-built sun room. Gee, I wonder how all the bugs are getting in?

Problem #13: The fridge stinks from sitting around in the summer heat for two weeks with no power. Another run to Target for more baking soda.

Problem #14: Most of the food we had in the fridge and freezer at the old place had to be thrown out because we had no place to put it.

Problem #15: Having no power and no place to store food also means having to eat out for all our meals. This means having to eat cheap meals. I don't even want to think about all the crap I have put into my body this past week.

At this point you're probably wondering why we moved to such a horrible-sounding place. Well, it's like this: our old apartment was in a great location and we really liked it...except for the things that we didn't like. For instance, we didn't like that it was on a very busy street with deafening bus and truck traffic. We didn't like having to battle it out with our neighbors for parking every day, let alone having to park more than half a mile from our own home when there were events at nearby Balboa Park. We didn't like that the hardwood floors were so old that they sometimes gave us splinters. We didn't like smelling what our downstairs neighbors had for dinner every night. We didn't like that the windows leaked cold air in the winter, and we didn't like that there was no way to cool the place down in the summer. And finally, we didn't like that our already-expensive rent increased every year while the landlord made no improvements to the building.

So we found an upstairs/downstairs duplex that sits in a canyon at the end of a dead end street. It is surrounded by palm trees and other plants (hence the bugs), but it has TONS of windows, a veranda, a back deck, a sun room, and just enough space for two people with no kids or pets. It is SO QUIET and I love that I can open the two sets of french doors and get a nice breeze. It has air conditioning if we need it, but I doubt we will. It came with all the appliances (except, apparently, a washing machine?) and it has so many wall sockets it's kind of crazy. So we loved it at once, but now we're discovering a lot of problems that we couldn't have known were here. I'm just hoping that things will settle down and once we spray the heck out of this place and get the floors cleaned, things will start to look up. Either way, we're stuck here for the next year so we might as well make the best of it.

Thanks for letting me vent. I'm off to call the landlord (again) to let him know that the garbage disposal does not work, and to inquire about the washing machine (again).


Kristen said...

There is nothing I hate more than renting. We're in a condo now that the boy owns, but still at the mercy of the condo association and manager. Grrrr. Always so many problems that it's apparently no one's job to fix. Good luck to you!!

Yarndude said...

Oh no! No no no! Damn, that place seemed so promising and perfect... Sorry to hear about all the trouble.

joyceetta said...

Hmmmm....let's hope it gets better. However, my experience with landlords is similar to problems I experience with my knitting: if you aren't pleased might as well frog (bail) now cuz it won't get better.

Let's hope I'm wrong in this case....hope so.

Cookie said...

Oh you poor babies!

CostCo sells ten pound boxes of baking soda. I wonder if you could get some weather stripping stuff for under the doors.


Oh, and you're not complaining or being cranky. You're telling us what's been going on in your life. If you don't tell us, how will we know?


ccr in MA said...

Painful to read about all this, let alone live it! I hope that things only get better from here. Moving is hard enough when it goes right.

Free Range Chick said...

Stinky landlord. I feel you on the spiders. It might be worth it to just pay for the carpets to be professionally cleaned, especially with pet odors. Otherwise it sounds promising and I'm sure once you are settled you'll find you enjoy the things that you liked when you first saw it.

Kristyn said...

Sorry things aren't going so well. Here's to hoping they get better soon.

Yarn Envy said...

Vinegar can get rid of a lot of odors. Its one of the fix all like baking soda. If you have a rent place by the apartment you might be able to rent a wet vacuum for a day or two, and that could fix the problem of the cat smell.

Your landlord sounds like a real pain, hopefully things get better for you two.

Rainy Daisy said...

Dude...this is awful. You should check out your rental agreement and confront your landlord (you know...assertively and maturely, with minimal cussing and flailing) about this stuff, because this sounds like he is not fulfilling his end of the rental agreement, and frankly is going against some property rental laws. If your rental agreement says that you should have a washing machine, YOU SHOULD HAVE ONE. And if it was supposed to be cleaned, if the landlord is supposed to deal with power (in Oregon, I think it's tenant responsibility, but maybe Cali is different) then you should get it. Otherwise, the landlord could be sued, or you should be allowed to break your lease without penalty. Because frankly, this sounds like bullshit. I would look up the laws in California to be sure and double check your rental agreement, but this just isn't right, and your landlord should be held accountable for some of this junk, whether he's a nice old man or not. At some point, having that many bugs just isn't healthy.

Again, really not a timely comment, but I'm a little worried about your rights and safety, even over the internets :(