Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Weird Day

1. In SF I had prisoner of UPS days in which I had to sit near the buzzer and wait for a delivery. They almost always delivered in the afternoon. Of course if I went out in the morning they delivered in the morning. My first delivery here was UPS delivering books from Kristina. Of course. She's cool like that. I was worried because I hadn't figured out how to use the intercom for the building. At some point that day I heard a knock on the door and when I opened it the packages were there! They get in on their own! I sent a text to Kristina and we rejoiced. We rejoiced a bit too soon because on my birthday she sent a gift basket via FedEx and I didn't hear the knock on the door. Apparently if I'm in the front of the nest and have the TV on and the window door open there's enough noise to make my already weak ears unable to hear a knock on my door. So, OK. If I have to sign for something there may be an issue but other wise still better.
Then yesterday I knew I was getting a delivery of some dining room chairs so I propped the hallway door open slightly so I wouldn't miss them. Another problem I had in SF was that some of the delivery guys would drop and run. Packages had been lifted from our entry way and if it was a big package I had to beg a neighbor to bring it up, as in the infamous box delivery. And that tradition continues. The UPS guy dropped the boxes off at my door, which is better than dropping them off down the stairs but I had hoped he would bring them in. My door was blocked so I had to move them. It wasn't terrible. I'm doing a lot of pushing heavy boxes around these days but it was a bit of a let down. Today I was waiting for another delivery with the door propped open. By the afternoon I checked and found it had been "left at the front door", which was actually the lobby. It's a more secure lobby but still.
2. I had become increasingly dependent on friends and neighbors to carry trash down the stairs in SF. I was lucky to have very kind friends and neighbors but being able to take out my own trash has made me very happy. But. You knew there was one coming didn't you? The recycling bins are at the top of an alley, also a hill. Even if I could get up it I couldn't get back down. So I call the local garbage company and they say the recycling trucks can't fit down the alley. I call the property management and they don't have a clue what's going on and don't seem to care. I have one more email out to one more possible problem solver and if they don't help I'm back to begging friends. Drat.
3. The nest comes with Internet access although there has been a lot of confusion about how that works. The instructions I got for the WiFi didn't work. The possible cable outlet is obscured by things and will be until more unpacking occurs. In terms of cable Comcast doesn't service the Hood so I had to switch to Charter. Not a big deal. Since I needed a land line for the building intercom I decided to bundle with them. I've always resisted bundling because I hate corporate domination but I more or less gave up and bundled. Internet access is important enough to me to bypass what ever the building may or may not have. Once I was connected I was able to solve my WiFi issue by reading a bunch of tutorials. Quite pleased with myself on that. I'm glad to have both though.
The land line/intercom thing was just not working. Yesterday I noticed that when the guy installed the land line he plugged it into the modem and not the wall. Feeling pleased with myself again I called Charter to ask if I could change that. Oh. Well. No. They have to send a technician. He comes. He does stuff. He tells me there's more to do but he can't do it. I need to get the building wiring guy to do it. He leaves. The property management doesn't have a clue and doesn't seem to care. Again. Same email. Same last ditch possible problem solver. We'll see.
4. And I get an email from Comcast saying I have a credit for more than 100 bucks. Turns out I've been paying a month ahead. Who knew? So the account has been closed for two weeks or so. The equipment has been turned in. The email says I have a credit but no mention of how to get a refund. After a unreasonable amount of time waiting for customer service to answer the phone, which included being hung up on, a seriously slow witted person created "a ticket" for the refund and said it could take three to four weeks. Um.
There's even more but it's not fun to write so it can't be fun to read. These things happen everywhere and I still think that my life is better and more manageable here. I feel bit old and codgerish but why does it feel like it's so hard to get people to solve problems? And do jobs well?  I know people are often over worked and under paid. I get it. But really.
Yesterday was the weird day. I felt a bit punch drunk by the end of it. Today was still weird but better. There's a lot of revolution in the world right now and I'm all about the problems of privilege. How did that happen?  

Sunday, June 30, 2013


I didn't grow up with a dish washer. I remember the nightly ritual of someone washing and someone drying. I'm not sure at what age or if I was ever part of it. I know my job was to set and clear the table so I may have been excused from dish duty. We moved into a brand new house in Maryland with a dishwasher. I remember having to scrub the dishes thoroughly so that food wouldn't "bake on" in the dishwasher making me wonder why I didn't just go ahead and wash them.
When I left home the first time I stayed in a friend's grandmother's house and she happened to have the same dishes my grandmother had. I remember standing at the sink washing the dishes and feeling sentimental. From that moment I loved washing dishes. Really. If you invite me to a party the odds are you'll find me in the kitchen washing dishes.
So now I have a dishwasher. I doubt I have enough dishes to use it on a regular basis. It's on the small side so maybe. I use a dish or two at breakfast, wash them by hand and use them again for dinner. I have been filling up the new machine with dishes as I unpack them and I do notice a difference. I'd been scrubbing a coffee pot and not feeling like  it was getting clean. I put it in the dishwasher and wow. It looks new. But I'm still washing my daily dishes by hand.
My refrigerator might be the only thing I don't love in the nest. It's heavily compartmented and feels small and overly instructive. I'll put my dairy where ever I want to thank you very much. Because I don't drive I tend to do Armageddon shopping. Not easy with this refrigerator. And it's noisy. It makes weird thudding noises. It also so beeps at me if I have the door open too long. I actually find that part funny.
I have a washer and dryer in my bathroom. I have a washer and dryer in my bathroom. I have a washer and dryer in my bathroom. Yeah. That is the Holy Grail. I have always wanted that. Back in SF a neighbor and I talked about how neither of us knew about cleaning a lint trap. We'd both done laundry in laundromats. I did grow up with laundry machines in the house and I think my mom made an attempt to teach me how to use them in my teenage years but in my adult life I've never had them. Well once I had a washer but it didn't work well and there was no dryer. It was easier to go to the laundromat. In New York everyone I knew had their laundry done no matter how much money they made. But I dragged mine up to a laundromat on Broadway near 95th and sat there reading with the hum of the machines filling my ears. My new washer and dryer are complicated and I'm sure I'm not using them perfectly. It took me a long time to find the lint trap.
I have a notebook the size of a New York City phone book. It's filled with manuals and warranties. It's the instruction book for how to live here. I've never needed such a thing. These are the problems of privilege.