Life has decided I can’t do laundry.

Unless I’d like to devote half my small amount of spending money to cab fair, laundromat fairs and replacing half the supplies I don’t get back from the said laundromat, apparently. At the beginning of the year, I discovered this building’s dryers rather suck when it comes to actually, you know, drying. But in order to find that out, it required I first take 25 minutes to convince it that it wanted to take my money. After a long conversation that involved the temporary use of my mail key to complete payment, and actually force the thing to accept my money, I discovered I’d of been better off not bothering. Getting my clothes roughly equivalent to dry would cost just about twice what it cost me to wash the things. Instead, after having a very short conversation with the landlord, I decided my parents wanted to see me more often anyway. Now they had a reason.

And, because technological screw-ups always happen in at least twos, while not hearing back from the landlord on the building’s machines, my parents’ washing machine decided to take a permanent vacation. So now it’s temporarily laundromat or nothing for all of us, at least until their replacements get there–fortunately it shouldn’t be more than 3 days. Or, in corporate speak, whenever they get around to it. They say bad things happen in threes. well, I just ran out of laundry things to go break. Any guesses what’s next?

The return of the pot-smelling basement.

My apartment in Ottawa had its moments of sheer and utter amusement. Not the least of which is the lower floor that, after about midnight or so, took on a decidedly potlike quality. Usually I only happened to notice because I was, as always, up at that hour–only doing laundry instead of my usual routine of, well, doing nothing. Of course there was the lazy and plenty of it, but it wasn’t *all* lazy.

I’d actually gotten used to not being able to giggle amusedly at the fact some poor fool was pretty much baking his brain on a day when most folks would be considering maybe existing just enough to think about going to work. Then I decided to come down to Rochester.

Jess and I were in the midst of getting done with the week’s laundry, and were distracted with talking so much that I didn’t immediately notice, but when we did, I had to keep myself from bursting out laughing in the middle of the hallway. Right there, in my girlfriend’s apartment building’s basement, the potlike quality made its reappearance. My regular source of amusement didn’t abandon me, it just moved in with Jessica. The mocking shall resume.

How’d I get here?

I keep threatening to do that post about what the hell happened to me since the last time I was actively blogging (Um, LJ-ing, perhaps?). Well, consider this my attempt at doing so. I’ll warn you in advance there will probably be things that get missed–it *has* been about 4 months, after all.

For starters, there were more than a few trips across the Canada/US border between myself and Jessica, who’s rarely updated LJ is over here for anyone who doesn’t already read her. Things in that department I don’t think can get much better. Well, beyond the elimination of the border but eh, that’s coming. Beyond that, I’ve been doing a lot more experimentation with Gentoo, my for the moment linux distribution of choice. I’d messed around very briefly with Debian and Ubuntu, but couldn’t get quite what I wanted out of those distributions. That, plus I rather like a challenge and Gentoo definitely provides that. I kept an old HP laptop around for the purposes of experimentation–and, actually, it was the same laptop I did most of my blogging on in the old days–so I can break it 6 ways from Sunday and not really be set back more than a couple hours’ tinkering. Works perfectly fine for me. In addition to that, I’ve been continuing to pound pavement in hopes of landing me a job. Not an easy thing to do when every day the unemployment line gets longer, but we manage. This in between trips to catch up with family, because… well, you know, they don’t tend to like it when you avoid them for long stretches at a time.

Then there was the move. I’d spent the last year and a half or so on employment insurance while I looked for work, thus enabling to keep my rather nice–even if I do say so myself–apartment in Ottawa’s west end. Not having found anything though, it became necessary for me to find somewhere else to call home lest I end up going very broke very quickly. So, on October 23rd, everything I own and a few things I forgot I owned got stuffed into one box or another, and carted an hour and a half away to this, a basement apartment who’s upstairs neighbour has perhaps one of the creakiest floors I’ve heard in my life. Now, I’m still looking for work, still finding time to do a little geeking, and still–at least, as of about 2 weeks from yesterday–making trips across the border when I have the time, money and transportation. Not a whole lot has changed, save for my mailing address–which I’m still finding things that didn’t get the notification of that change–and the fact some things in life just plain aren’t as convenient as they were a month ago. But, win some, lose some. That be life.

Once I have the space in this apartment, and everything I’ll immediately need to do so out of boxes and set up, I plan to get back into tweeking the laptop and making things work just that much better. And, with a little luck and a small miracle, it might result in me accidentally coming up on a skill or three I can put in a resume. Never hurts to say you can do something, particularly when that something didn’t require you shell out money you don’t have for a college/university education. Of course, if I don’t get that out of it, then maybe I’ll just have a computer I can use should I ever decide to wipe windows off this one. Either way, I can’t find a down side here.

Well, that’s the summer and part of spring in a nutshell. Not very exciting, just… chaotic, really. Semi-organized chaos, but still. And if this is any indication, the next couple months don’t plan to be any different. Which, surprisingly, is how I like it. Can’t very well go researching new and somewhat impressive things to buy if you don’t have time to, after all.

Random thing about this here apartment building.

This just started earlier tonight, but every so often, I’ll hear what sounds like someone/thing hitting the cieling below me. Except, it/they only bang once, and then that’s it. It happens by the sounds of it every couple hours or so. Apparently completely at random. I are having none of the idea what the hell’s going on, since I don’t really hear anything else going on down there. If it happens again, I’m half tempted to throw my day clothes back on and go knock on a door. They’re lucky I’m not sleeping right now, whatever that is. Or my half awake ass would be getting all up in someone’s face. And just for effect and to see what kind of reaction I’d get from whoever’s doing it, I’d be bringing the stick. Yeah, *that* stick. Blindies know the benefits of *that* stick around other people. Fortunately for them, though, I live mostly at night. So all it gets out of me is a mighty large wtf. Well, okay, and a random semi-rant on LJ. But it’s my LJ, goddammit, I’ll semi-rant if I damn well wanna. There’s plenty of other shtuff to read if you’d rather not read mine.

Hey, landlord? RBC? Have a clue.

Dear landlord: why in the name of everything did you wait until *now* to tell me the bank decided I’m too poor to pay my rent? I understand the banks are generally run by morons with approximately half the IQ of my biggest pimple, but I honestly expected something resembling inteligence from you folks. It’s friday. You’re barely open past lunch tomorrow. The bank is probably barely open past lunch tomorrow. You want me to pay you ZOMG naow plz. Oh, yeah, and you send me a letter stating so, dated today, telling me to call superintendant lady like right bloody now or else. Except she’s not working until tomorrow. And barely past lunch time. Again I say, what. the. fuck? Words cannot describe the level of stupid this just blew right on past. They can’t. You fail.

No love,
Me.

Dear RBC: Die. Die die die. I am not broke. I was not broke on the second of the month, when they tried to cash my rent check. I am even more not broke now, because my rent check, for reasons beyond my comprehension, decided to bounce. So why, pray tell, did you tell my landlord upon trying to cash my rent check that I’m broke? I fail to understand the mentality here. Or maybe you fail at making sense. I mean, I love that you’ve escentially given me more money with which to play, but next time, can it please please pretty please not come from that which you should be giving to people with the power to kick me out of my apartment? Urg. I’d say you should be shot, but that would be a waste of a perfectly good bullet.

Die in a goddamn grease fire,
Me.

Siiiigh. My headache, let me share it.

ETA: Going to collect money order tonight. Still want to drop kick somebody.

I are deaf now. Thanks.

Every 3-4 months or so, my land lord or maybe the super intendant, one of the two, comes around and does their quarterly inspections of the fire alarm system. Which, roughly speaking, translates to setting it off several dozen times on some random afternoon. And, with the exception of maybe one, I’ve been home every. single. bloody. time. Sadly, half the time sleeping (I did used to work nights, y’know). On the bright side, I know it’ll wake me up in case of an actual emergency. On the not so bright side, can westop playing with ’em now? They work already…

The day that was, and who ate my heat?

Jessica’s birthday went off without so much as a hickup. We spent the majority of the day just hanging out and talking, and I gave her her next and last birthday gift. It was a foot warmer from mom, which turned out to be appropriate thanks largely to the fact we had a slightly colder than usual night and it only served to confirm that yet, in fact, the heat in here isn’t working quite as well as I’d of liked. So there will be phone calls made about that momentarily. I took Jess out for dinner last night, dropping in for a couple hours at Montana’s Cookhouse. For the record, I’m ever so slightly reminded of a restaurant we went to during my initial trip down there. Except, of course, it’s in Canada. So it’s better. By default. Now we’re both sort of awake and hanging out in my living room; she’s checking her email, and we’re both just doing that thing where we be like 6 different kinds of lazy. Eventually, the plan is to take off for the parentals’ place and the coming Christmas cellebrations (translation: eat ’til you puke, drink ’til you puke, and get up early-ish). As for immediately right now, though? This apartment needs some serious heatage. Like wo.

Up, but not necessarily awake.

As generally hinted at by other entries posted here, Jessica (samari76) made it here with absolutely no difficulty whatsoever. Well, once she found herself a bus that was actually leaving when it was supposed to. She managed to get herself aboard the bus leaving at 8:15, since her usual bus was cancelled thanks to the queen bitch that is mother nature. She didn’t end up getting in until about 9:00 on saturday, much thanks to one delay or another; be it trafic, scheduling, or people taking too damn long. She was tired as all get out, so we crashed relatively early (well, early for us on a saturday, anyway). We slept in extra late yesterday, then were significantly more lazy than is usual for us while she recovered a bit more from her trip. Spent the rest of that day just talking, and catching up on things. I gave her one of her birthday presents yesterday, the 9th season of Everybody Loves Raymond. There’s another one here for her, but being as she’s both in this very room righrt now and reading over her friends list, I won’t be saying what it is on here, but thanks for coming out. There are plans in the works for later on today, assuming I can get a hold of specific individuals. But first, I’ll need to nail someone to the wall regarding our apparent lack of heating in the place. See, this is what happens when you’re not actually sleeping in your own bed for a couple weeks at a timie; the major cold sets in, and you don’t notice it until you get to being here with, um, company. So that’s the basic plan for the day. And, though I’ve already said it in person, I’ll say it here anyway because, well, it’s me. Happy birthday, Jessica! Hopefully this year’s as good for you or better than the last one.

People suck. Landlords in particular.

Or maybe it’s just a this morning thing. I’d of posted about this yesterday when I first found out about it, but that would require reasonably functional internets. I went to do laundry yesterday morning, at like 4:00 or so (I have no idea why, other than the fact I’m back on my lack of work schedule, officially and for reals), and discovered that the usual $1.5 it costs me to actually clean my clothes wasn’t working for that particular trip. Justifiably irritated, I packed up my shit, went back upstairs, and made a note to call the landlord about it when someone was actually in the office to check the phone. In other words, today. So this morning, hoping against hope I wasn’t the only one who needed to do laundry yesterday and that someone else had called the emergency number about it (I could have lasted another day or two if need be), I went back to check. And sure enough, what’d probably been there yesterday but, you know, we can’t all see when someone’s trying to pull one over on us, was a signal the price had gone up. I found it completely by accident when I decided to try that one again. So now it’s $1.75 to actually get things sorted out that way. Which, roughly translated, means it now costs me a dollar more to do the usual amount of laundry I’ve had to do for the past year and a half or so. On top of the fact my rent’s gone up about $25 in that time. Can we say wtf, boys and girls?

It did prompt a little tiny bit of creativity during the bored that is my waiting for laundry to get done. So as of 5:30 this morning, note2landlord was created. I always figured the logic behind it can’t be too complicated. That, of course, being I’m surely not the only one who’s renting from the clueless. Join if you wanna, or don’t. I’m just tossing it out there. Because occasionally, I do that kinda thing.

I just remembered what I love about this neighbourhood.

From about mid-October or early November to mid to late March, the neighbourhood where I live is pretty much a dead zone. I mean, understandably; no one in their right mind would willingly risk prolonged exposure to -20 degree temperatures. But it’s just such a huge freaking difference between that and, for instance, what I walked past coming home today. I almost wished for maybe 3 seconds I could see well enough to take a picture or two. Which, would require that I first be able to see at all, but that’s only a minor technicality. I must have walked past at least 3 different baseball games on the way home. All pretty well on the same street, too. Kinda gave the city a little of the small town feel in a way. Which is kinda nice, considering that’s sort of the environment I spent most of my life in (millitary bases were pretty much just small towns with actual purpose for the most part). And that particular street’s usually quiet enough if you’re lucky, you could walk down it towards my place and maybe count on one hand the cars that pass by you. If it wasn’t for the fact I’m fucking starving and didn’t really feel much like standing around, I’d of just kinda hung around and listened for a few minutes. Because really, it’s the often not noticed crap like that that only confirms moving here when I did for the reasons I did turned out to be a damn good thing. Not that I need the confirmation, but it’s always nice just the same.

Death of an air conditioner.

Okay, so it wasn’t really doing all that much before it uncerimoniously decided to kick the bucket. Oh well. Murlynns_view, her husband, and I spent a couple hours when we got back from Pembroke last week setting it up. We had it running for a bit on Tuesday, after we finished getting it in place and discovered that the lid to the internal water tank needed to be positioned just so (and, for the record, exactly not the way the instructions say to position it) for the AC to even turn on. If positioned *properly*, it slides in uber extremely easily. And out the same way. Except the AC behaves like it’s not there. So we fought with it for a bit on tuesday, we got it to run supervised (I had to practically babysit it for the evening so it didn’t turn my kitchen floor into a small lake) that night by positioning the lid in a way that it had no choice but to actually keep the AC unit turned on. Of course, this meant that supposed beneficial feature of the AC unit being able to turn off automaticly to prevent flooding was pretty much negated. It also meant that the tank was a uberbitch to get in, and out again to empty it (fortunately it wasn’t full when I turned it off that night). And of course, putting it in the exact same way afterwards did absolutely nothing to get the thing to come back on. Royal pain in my ass, that is. So we again fought with it for an hour or so yesterday, and between the 3 of us decided the thing was designed to be a piece of crap. So when next I meet up with someone with a set of wheels, the thing’s going back to the nearest Canadian Tire, and I’m force feeding the first person to tell me there’s nothing wrong with it my extended warranty. So Now I’m back in pre-AC mode. Which means those stupid little restrictor things my oh so caring landlord put in the windows so they don’t open more than maybe 5-6 inches are coming out, and those things are open as wide as they go. As for my landlord? He can either put an AC in these apartments or stand in one spot for a couple minutes while I take those restrictor plates and break them over his head. Since he probably won’t be too inclined to do that, I look forward to getting a letter saying he’ll put AC in these apartments. Though he may not be quite so inclined to do that, either. Cheap bastard.

So about that entry with substance.

Seeing as, you know, I’ve got time now that I’m installing windows for someone. Woot and such. So for the first time in all of… hmm, maybe a week, I actually didn’t drag my ass out of bed before 7:00 this morning. By choice, even. I likes me my sleep… sue me. Ended up throwing things together for lunch, finding something to call clothing and still got here in plenty of time to not be late to work. And it’s been pretty well non-stop since then. With the exception of this morning’s break, which I caught up on paperwork and threw together something resembling a post on this here thing, I haven’t really been off the phone since I got here. Not complaining, it’s just… unusual. Yesterday and monday were pretty well, um, written off. So I was kinda hoping today’d be more of that. Not so much.

The weather forecast does look like we’re gonna catch another pouring at some point today, so at least I won’t stick to myself when I get my lazy ass the hell home tonight. I love that apartment, but 3-4 days of 30+ degree temperatures plus top floor apartment? Yeah, not pretty. Note to Wall Mart: I am *so* not paying $300+ for a $80 AC unit, thankyamuch and die in a goddamn fire. Okay I’m over it now. And going back to actually doing my job. Hmm, I thought I said there’d be substance.

Random happenings that don’t fit/didn’t get put into the last entry.

  • My intercom decided not to work last night. In fact, the intercom apparently building-wide crapped out. I did not find out about this until delivery came with bad for me food. someone did not want me to order out, apparently. I, as usual, elected not to listen.
  • I’m getting off the bus about halfway to work (I have to switch buses, le sigh), and this random girl comes up to me. “Are you Jeff?” I’m thinking, um, buh? But all I actually say is, “Nope, I’m James.”. She promptly walks off. Again, buh?

Bleh.

So I finally get around to opening the letter someone stuck in my door last night, uh, this morning. And it turns out ye ol’ landlord has decided to up my rent by $25/month. I’m already taking it on the chin a little bit as it is considering this here apartment doesn’t come with AC and I’m still paying for my electricity on top of that. Ah well, once the employment situation’s been kinda widdled down to something resembling a secure job (I know, it’s a myth, but let me have my goddamn dream.), I’ll tackle the apartment situation. For now though, the place isn’t exactly half bad. One bedroom, easy to clean when I’m motivated enough to do so, and built in such a way that on the nicer days I can open up the windows and pretty much have a breeze wherever I happen to be. Still though, I’m not getting a whole lot out of this rent hike. Which means I’ll be apartment hunting by summer provided job hunting pans out by then. They say bad news comes in 3’s. Well, I’ve got 2.

Someone’s been cooking something awesome all day.

It’s a small apartment building, so if someone downstairs starts into the cooking, it gets up here in a real hurry. I never bothered taking any kind of time to learn to cook–it’s just me, I’d be cooking for 1 on most if not all occasions, so what the hell for? But in this particular instance I almost, almost wish I had. So instead I’m ordering pizza. And they tell me my logic’s gone screwy.