Thursday, March 29, 2007

Moving, Part 2

It really is amazing that I am able to type with no head.

Anyway, when I left you last, we were moving toward the actual moving day. Now, your fearless leader (that's me, numbnuts) has some organizational issues. When I say "issues", that doesn't mean, "hey, it would be nice if everything worked out nice and smooth". When I say "issues", I mean that, if I think there will be even the slightest bump in the road, I need to take a bottle of Tums with a bottle of Pepto Bismol chaser.

Let's back up to the week before we were actually moving. The house was ours and we were shuttling boxes between our apartment (let's call this place Safeville) and the town where our house is. Considering where we will be in a few short months, for clarification purposes, let's call this place Povertytown).

The Saturday before our move, we decided to have both sets of parents over to see the house for the first time in person. Granted, there wasn't a lot of stuff in it, but they had only seen pictures, so they were pretty psyched. My folks live about an hour and fifteen minutes away from Povertytown and Xteen's live on Long Island, so they made the trip up.

While we were in the house, we decided to coordinate the delivery of our new washer and dryer (since the owners of the house took their total kick-ass duo with them...bastards!!). Seemed easy enough. The day before, the delivery company called and because there was .08 millimeters of snow on the ground that morning, they wanted to let me know that they might be backed up for the next day. Of course.

Well, Saturday arrives, as do we and our folks. We're hanging in the house and we get a call from the washer/dryer delivery people. For clarification, let's call these people "Dumb-asses". They're on their way. Excellent.

A delivery truck shows up and I see them back into the driveway. Then I hear it.


I say, "Did those dumb-asses just hit the fucking house?!?!"

I run out to the driveway and, lo, I see Tweedle Dum standing in the middle of it. He has on a navy blue jumpsuit, not unlike someone out on work release. He's probably about 50 years old, but he looks twice that. His face has more mileage on it than a '75 Dodge Dart. On top of that, he has so many wrinkles and gin blossoms, he looks like a cross between Ted Kennedy and a Shar Pei. The rest of his features are such that I have seen artists' renderings of The Missing Link and they have appeared less simian than this dude. He smokes more than Andrew "Dice" Clay and has a nicotine-ravaged voice that makes Bea Arthur's sound like Beaker from the Muppet Show.

He rasps, "I thought he had it".

I look in the driveway and see two cables, snapped from the frame of the house, and lying in the driveway, limp and lifeless like a garter snake that had the misfourtune of running into a youth named Jeffrey Dahmer.

I look incredulously and Tweedle Dum, while surveying the situation and seeing that the cables were coming from a nearby post in front of the next door neighbor's yard. Luckily, this was not the electricity. This was merely the phone, cable, and internet. Sweet.

Tweedle Dumber hops out of the truck, Marlboro Light dangling from his lips (natch), and mumbles to me:

"I didn't think I had it, but my guy kept telling me I was OK. So..."

I guess Masters of Science degrees in Geometric Spacial Relations from Wossamotta U. just aren't what they used to be.

They install the washer and dryer, miraculously, without burning the house down and go on their way.

Fast forward a few days. Xteen and I take the Friday before the big move off to do some runs between Safeville and Povertytown. Also, we managed to schedule the locksmith, delivery of our bedroom set (sans bed), and the installation of our phone, cable, and internet (along with a new fucking cable thanks to the dumb-asses). This is too good to be true.

Thursday, we call for confirmation on a ton of stuff. OK. First step. Confirming our reservation with the truck rental place. For clarification, let's call this place U-Suck. We set up a reservation weeks ahead of time. For those unfamiliar with this process, you make a "reservation" with U-Suck, in which you tell them your name, address, billing information, as well as the date you want to pick the jalopy up, from where you want to pick it up and where you want to drop it off. All that stuff.

They enter all of that information into a computer. The "reservation" basically means that they, in no way, shape, or form, guarantee ANYTHING you told them and, you're lucky if they even entered in the correct YEAR you need the shitbox.

So, we check U-Suck's website on Thursday and find that we are picking up our truck in a town that is roughly 30 miles away from Safeville, the place we requested. We call them and they assure us that this is the popular "computer error" problem that so many places experience. We are assured of our pickup in Safeville and a return to the town next to Povertytown (since Povertytown is so podunk, we don't even have a U-Suck depot). But hey, we have town sewer!

Friday, we get a call from U-Suck, who tells us that our mobile rust shack will now have to be picked up in a town directly between Safeville and Povertytown. Whatever.

We call the bedroom (sans bed) delivery folk and they confirm their time. Between 10:30 and 12:30. OK. Sounds good. The phone, cable and intenet people are coming between 2 and 5 and the locksmith at 2:30. Things are shaping up nicely.

Thursday night, we get a phone call from the phone, cable, internet folks confirming that they will be there between 9 and 12. Huh? "But you told us '2 and 5'".

"That's not what we have in the computer."

"Well, I certainly wouldn't have made it up myself! If I had, I would have requested you show up at 12:18 on the nose and bring a naked Poppy Montgomery for the love of Christ. And some beer!"

"Well, we can change it to 2-5."

"Fine. Thanks."

So, everything is back to normal.

At this point, U-Suck calls us back (after we pack up all of our clothes and decide to spend Friday night in Povertytown so we are in line to pick up the truck) and tells us that the truck actually is in Safeville after all.

At this point, I really don't give a shit where the truck is. I'm more worried about surviving Friday.

Xteen and I leave Safeville at like 9:20 AM Friday morning, which would get us to Povertytown in about 25 plenty of time to beat the bedless bedroom set deliverers, who are due anytime between 10:30 and 12:30. I need to stop for gas at a place right outside our apartment. Xteen goes on ahead.

I finish filling up and notice that my cell phone is making a strange noise. I have a message! It was sent at 9:15! Who's calling me, I wonder with excitement!

It's the bedless bedroom place. For clarification, let's call this place Boob's. (I'm desperately trying to get more hits on this blog, if you couldn't tell.)

"Uh, Mr. Dim, this is Dumbette from Boob's. Our delivery truck is at your home and no one is there. Please call us."




Must have been my fault for not knowing they were talking about 10:30 - 12:30 Greenwich Mean Time.

We iron it out, but they have another delivery they need to take care of and then they will come back. So, Xteen and I arrive at the house and we literally have no idea who or when anyone is coming by. The cable guy might decide, "fuck it, I'm going at midnight!" A Jehovah's Witness could swing by at 11:30. Hell, a naked Poppy Montgomery could come over at lunchtime, for all I know. But, of course, I would be on one of my many runs between the two residences, picking up and dropping off boxes.

I do about two of these runs and no has arrived. Finally, I am coming back to the house around 1:00 and see about 17 cars in front of the house. Everyone showed up at the same time, except for the locksmith, who could be in Wyoming, or thought we wanted him to come at 2:20 back in 1996. Who knows.

The furniture delivery guys are actually pretty cool. They do a good job and are very careful not to mess anything up. In fact, they are so careful, that here I am, three weeks later, and I'm still finding little bits of environmentally hostile styrofoam in every corner of the house.

To my surprise, the cable guy doesn't need to fix the cable to get things working. After awhile, we finally have cable, internet, and phone (but we forgot to charge the new phones...nice!) Cable dude says someone will have to come out in a few weeks to fix the cable. Meanwhile, he haphazardly and partially hung it back up, like a droopy limbo stick, begging to be knocked down again by the next moron who stops by.

Probably the locksmith.

Speaking of which. Where the hell is that guy??

Coming up soon...part three. Moving Day.

- Dim.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Moving, Part 1 - The Pre-Move

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, but as some of you might know, Xteen and I bought a house.

Exciting, huh?


For those of you who have never made such a purchase, let me just say this: There is a lot of stress that goes along with buying a house. And when I say "a lot of stress", I don't mean nibbling your fingernails stress. I mean You Have to Go to the Doctor and Drink Liquified Radioactive Lead so They Can Make Sure Your Stomach Isn't Eating Itself, Which Renders it Impossible for You to Make it Through an Airport Security Check and, By the Way, Your Crap Glows in the Dark for Three Days After kind of stress.

Factor into that, Xteen aren't really seeing eye to eye on the fact that she wants to attend a wedding in Hawaii later on this year and I don't necessarily think it is the best possible way to spend a couple of thousand dollars given the utter enormity of our impending purchase...oh, and Uncle Sam is giving me the Andy Dufresne in the shower treatment with a barbed Captain Caveman club and not even an ear nibble to make it bearable. Then again, it could be my own fault that I can't do math.

In regards to the Hawaii thing, this is an argument that, if I am not losing it, I have already lost it and just don't know it. I'm like a chicken that gets its head cut off, but it happened so swiftly, the body hasn't quite registered that the head is gone. So, it still runs around for awhile until it says to itself, "Hey, I think my head got chopped off." And the second the chicken realizes this, it dies. That's me. Decapitated poultry.

So, this is just a dandy time for me and the wife to not be on the same page. You'll find out why later.

We ran into a situation that worked in our favor for the pre-move. We were closing on February 28, but we had paid for our apartment through the end of March. So, we could pretty much move things over a little at a time, which was good. What wasn't good is packing.

Now, I'll save you the nasty details, but I will say this. Sometime between when we decided that we needed to move because our apartment was too small and when I settled in with a gaggle of cardboard boxes and packing tape, everything we owned decided to procreate. We easily had 5 times as much crap as I ever remembered and some of the stuff I ended up packing, I have never seen before in my life.

Oh, and the boxes. That's always fun. The phone calls. The e-mails. "Hey, man, you have any empty boxes?"

"Nah, check the supermarket."

"No way. Last time I went there, they just gave me a bunch of maxi pad boxes. I'm not doing that again."

I work for a medical software company. At any one given time on any one given floor at any one of our 6 given buildings, there are approximately 840 million reams of copy paper. To this end, there were exactly 4 printer paper boxes that I could scrounge up and they were so dilapidated, Fred Sanford wouldn't have been able to salvage them.

So, I asked my buddy Tony, who had just moved if he had any boxes. He did! And was more than happy to get rid of them. So, he brought them into work.

He got a large majority of his boxes from a relative that works in a nursing home. Which means a large majority of my boxes were emblazoned with the product that was once inside them:

Adult Diapers

I literally took a Sharpie to all of these boxes and wrote "Not Ours" on all sides with an arrow pointing to the product. Hey, my crap might be more radioactive than Chernobyl, but at least I can hold it in if I have to.

So, we packed a little at a time. That helped.

Then, we went shopping for furniture, because we didn't have much to furnish the house with. This was another fantabulous experience.

First place we went was here. This word is Swedish for "We're going to make your shopping experience as difficult as possible." Friggin' Sweden. No wonder they are neutral in every war. Their government probably gives their army tanks in flat boxes, provides them an allen wrench and tells them to get cracking. What? That's Switzerland? Whatever.

So, Xteen and I made a scouting run at this joint and write down some of the stuff we are interested in...sofa, loveseat, dining room set, coffee table. Easy, right? Well, this place is like a maze. It snakes you all the way through the showroom, guiding your way not with breadcrumbs, but with strategically placed arrows on the floor which tell you which way you should be walking. If you want to see something that you just passed, theoretically, you are supposed to go all through the store again, lest you go against the arrows and suffer the looks of disdain of people who brought three screaming kids to look at cheap Swedish bookcases, but they are annoyed with YOU for going against the arrows.

Anyway, we decide on a sofa, loveseat, dining room set, and coffee table. But we want to shop around some and also get my folks' opinion on the stuff we picked out since we never buy shit like this.

We go back to Ikea a week later with my parents. First stop...the sofa and loveseat. We still like the ones we picked out originally. Excellent! Now, we procede to spend the next hour and a half debating the difference between getting chocolate brown and black. But wait! What about this sectional instead? In a cream color? Do we need an ottoman? What the fuck IS an ottoman?

After an eternity, we settle on just the sofa and loveseat. Chocolate brown.


The coffee table. The one we liked is black and only comes in black. The black doesn't go well with the chocolate brown sofa and loveseat. We contemplate changing the color of the sofa and loveseat to match the coffee table. This goes back and forth for another eternity, before we decide to ditch that coffee table, stay with the chocolate brown sofa and loveseat, and look for a different coffee table that matches.

Danger, Will Robinson.

Xteen and I have differing preferences for coffee tables. She wants Hawaii and I want to save the money in case things get tight. Oh wait, that's something else. She wants a solid top and I want a glass top. This discussion rivals the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 not only in length, but in utter coma-inducing boredom.

Guess what we got?

The glass top!

Who's the headless chicken now, beeee-atches!!??

I still am.

So, then we go to the dining table we want and rapidly decide we don't like that one anymore. So much for the scouting run. We do find one that we like better, but it doesn't seem to have any chairs that go with it. After searching forever, we finally find an employee to help us. He looks like this:

And don't let the irony of him about to chop off the head of a chicken get lost on you.

So I ask Jurggen Nordstrom (sorry, I don't know how to do umlauts) about the chairs. The chairs for this particular table don't exist, but there are others that we can get that should work well. They don't have a model on the floor, so I am flying blind on this one.

At this point, my parents decide they want to buy us a sideboard (which, I guess, is a thing that you put dishes in). The one that goes with our table is currently oversold (?) and out of stock. Beautiful.

The other good thing about this place, is 99% of the stuff is self-serve. Which means, they tell you where in their warehouse it all exists. You have to find it, transport it home, and put it together.

So, we decide to see if we can get everything delivered, since there is no way we can possibly be expected to transport a sofa and loveseat ourselves.

We go to buy the sofa and loveseat. Good news! The loveseat is in stock! Yippee! The bad news...the sofa needs to be ordered and will be delivered by mush dog who is leaving from the Arctic Circle sometime before the next equinox.

No biggie...can I just pay for both and have you deliver them both at the same time?

Oh no.

Since the loveseat is in stock now, if we bought it that day, we have to take it home that day, or arrange delivery for it within 3 days. Without the sofa.

Ummm...I have a Taurus. I can't even fit my car manual in my glove compartment, how the fuck am I going to get a loveseat home??

Our other option is wait until the sofa comes in and get the loveseat at the same time, allowing us to have them both delivered in the same delivery. The downside: the loveseat might be out of stock at that time.

Oh, and other great thing...the chairs for the table are out of stock too. So, now, we have a dining table and no chairs and a loveseat and no sofa. beauty! Let's go look for a bedroom set!

Luckily for us, we did a scouting run for this too, so I think we know what we want for a set and mattress.

We get there and for another eternity we, apparently, are still not seeing eye to eye on what to get. Finally, we decide on a bedroom set that we pray will fit in our room. The price is decent, but I'm so burned out and pretty unhappy about getting my head chopped off, so I start asking the overzealous salesman, "Hey, what the frig is the difference between an armoire, a chest, and a bureau? Just tell me which one I can put my boxer briefs in." And, "Instead of the mirror, can I substitute a naked Poppy Montgomery instead?" (Can't wait to see how many hits I get because of people searching on "naked Poppy Montgomery")

So, deciding on the set, we move onto the mattresses. This will be easy, since we already decided on the one we want, right?

Of course not.

Xteen starts second guessing and thinks she wants to forego the spring mattress that we initially picked in favor of the one that contours to your body shape when you lie on it. Me, I like the springy one, so I can jump up and down on it on Christmas Day when I wake up to find that Santa came.

So, we test the mattresses again. And again. And again. And really can't come to a decision, until I finally say, "Get the non-springy one. I'll just jump up and down on our non-existent sofa on Christmas Day." Done, right?

Well, do we want firm, or plush?

Firm feels like I am sleeping on my driveway.

Plush feels like I am being enveloped in a quicksand pit.

At this point, I really don't care. We get the firm. The salesperson is stoked because we just dropped around $2,000. I tell him, "Too bad you're not a travel agent too. I'd be giving you even more money later."

I'm starting to realize I have no head.

Anyway, the sales guy goes to his computer and comes back.

"Good news! Everything is in stock!...except the bed."

Fucking wonderful.

They'll provide a frame in which to put our concrete slab, but we'll have to wait a month to get the actual bed.

The hits keep on coming...turns out the naked Poppy Montgomery is also out of stock.

Coming soon...Moving, Part 2 - The Day Before (aka "Can ANYONE Get Anything Right Around Here?", with a flashback to "Did That Delivery Truck Just Hit the House?"...Moving, Part 3 - The Moving Day (aka, "The Day You Love Your Friends and the Day Your Friends Hate You")...and Moving, Part 4 - Post-Move (aka, "Honey, Is It Normal for Water to be Coming Down the Chimney?").

Still looking for my head,

- Dim.
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