Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dear DirecTV, You Suck.

Hello there from summer cold ville.

That's right.  I got it.  I got the summer cold.  And let me tell you... it blows.  Literally.  I had to stop by Duane Read and actually pick up some tissues.  It's cool though... a few more rounds of Duane Read Daytime/Nighttime relief and I should be good to go!  I hope...

I determined that the reason I got this summer cold is that... dudes... I have been running non-stop for months!  If I'm not traveling on the weekends, then I'm moving, or painting, or apartment hunting, or unpacking.  It just never ends!  My body just decided it was time to put on the breaks, and since being incessantly tired, unfocused and late for work wasn't enough to do it, she decided to go and get herself sick.  "HA" she said.  " Try working through the horrendous summer cold!"  She knew I couldn't.  I left work 2 hours early to go home and sleep and pound myself with meds.  I feel much better and actually completely rested. 

I better be 100% by this weekend as I am traveling.  Yes, again.  I'm going back to Hershey for the weekend as my baby brother, Scott, is having a graduation party.  Don't even get me started.  Kid is huge.  I remember holding him when he was a new born.  The kid now towers over me and is all muscle bound and wants to be a cop and WHERE DID MY BABY BROTHER GO?!  But it's fine. 

Last weekend I painted.  MY GOD, I painted.  I painted like nobody ever painted before.  Friday after work I went to Home Depot and spent $130 on all things paint related.  I got a step ladder.  I got paint, and a paint tray, and paint rollers and paint brushes and painters tape and a laser level.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  I chose Bleached Denim as the paint color.  It's basically a dusty blue color.  My inspiration for this room was my mom and step-dad's house.  Both in their last house and the house they are currently in they used a really cool technique.  I think the way they did it was they used flat paint and painted the entire surface that same color.  Then they taped off equal sized stripes vertically on the wall and every other one was painted with a high-gloss finish.  When you remove the tape, the wall looks two toned even though it's only actually one tone.  It creates a really cool effect kind of like this:

So instead of doing that same thing, I did much thicker horizontal stripes.  They were each about a foot wide.  Also, to save myself a gallon of paint, I bought one gallon of high gloss and one gallon  of flat paint, both in the Bleached Denim color.  I know this saved me about $30, but dudes.  It was exhausting!  First on Friday night I taped off the living room.  I had to be careful to tape outside of the boarder line for every other stripe so that I could paint the full stripe in high gloss (if that makes any sense) before moving the tape so that I could paint the full stripe of the flat paint.  Believe me.  by 1am my head was swimming and I was exhausted!  But I powered through... to 3:30am when I finally had the whole room taped and had the first coat of high gloss paint done.

The next morning I got up and put on the second coat.  While I waited for that to dry thoroughly (the can said it would take around 4 hours, but I wasn't sure what type of humidity I was working with, I was mostly numb at this point, so I wanted to wait extra long).

This is about the time that my cold settled in.  I got back from hanging out with Terri around 8 or so.  I laid down and "napped" until 11pm when I got up to finish painting.  I moved all the tape so that it now over-lapped the already painted stripes of high gloss paint, and painted the flat color.  The flat paint dried almost immediately.  I got 2 coats on super fast, but got to bed around 4am for some unknown reason.  I was totally beat and not feeling great. 

Of course that didn't stop me from waking up promptly at 9am out of shear excitement to see the finished product!  I pulled the tape off and OHMAGAH people!  It looks SOOOO cool!  I will try to take a picture of it but the room it's in doesn't photograph well.  We'll see if I can grab one today. 

So then we tried to mount my TV to the wall. 

This didn't go so well.


It didn't go at all.

We discovered 2 things.  1) in case of fire on either side of us, we are covered as we literally have cement walls surrounding us.  2) We do not, in fact, have a power drill that can get through concrete.  So now I have one single hole in my beautiful masterpiece of a wall.  So sad.  But reparable.  We are going to ask Buzz to build us a thin table to put the TV on so that we can still have the pull out couch and TV in the same room.  I'll keep you updated on that little venture...

So just when I think all the worry is over and I might just be problem free and unable to WAIT until I get a little pool time this weekend...

DirecTV rears it's ugly little shrunken head.


So here's the deal.  It appears that I never wrote about this little snafu because I was directly in the middle of LOSING MY EVER LOVING MIND and didn't want to impact that further.  Here's the back story:

In February when the DJ moved out, I had him cancel his DirecTV account and got my own.  I signed a 2 year contract because my total bill for all the "regular" TV channels plus HBO and Shotime was only like $70 which is awesome.  I figured I'd just take it with me when I moved and we'd be good to go.


My landlord had other plans.  He didn't want a satellite dish mounted to his building.  I get it, it is tacky.  But now what do I do?  I call DirecTV and tell them what's up.  They tell me that to cancel my contract will cost me.... get this.... $20 per month that goes unused in my contract.  That comes out to about $400+.  HA, I say to you.  There's just no way.

After multiple calls to DirecTV I find out that it is illegal for a landlord to say that you can't have a particular service (but not illegal for a company to not provide their service to certain neighborhoods AHEM I'M LOOKING AT YOU VERIZON FIOS), but that it is LEGAL for a landlord to state where a dish cannot be placed on their building. 


Me thinks we found a loophole!

So I tell my landlord the same thing.  He writes up a detailed list stating that it is in following City and Fire Safety Standards and whatnot.... it was great.  The technicians come out, look at the list, determine that they can't place the dish and say that they will let DirecTV know this.  That I will need to contact them to get boxes to return the equipment.  The plan was to contact them this week since I've been busy, and sick, and losing my mind, and moving couches out of windows.. you know... that...

Well yesterday when I left work early, guess who came home to a nice shiny BILL FROM DIRECTV?!?!  UGH! 

So I call today.  I get on the phone with one representative and explain the situation to him.  He puts me on hold for about 10 minutes and comes back and says "Ok, I'm going to transfer you so that you can set up an appointment to have the techs come back out and set up your dish."



"No no no no no you don't understand.  The techs have already been out and determined that they CANNOT set up the dish.  So I don't have service and my account should have been closed and I shouldn't be billed again."

"Please hold"


"OK, Ma'am (I hate that.), once the techs come back out, you should have service again.  So we'll just send them back out to you, waive this month's bill and start billing again once the techs have set you up."

Oh. For. The. Love. Of. Christ.

"NO.  You're NOT hearing me.  They cannot give me service.  It's not possible.  They have been out and determined it to be impossible.  I do not now, nor will I ever, have DirecTV service at my new apartment.  It's not happening.  So I should not be billed for services not being rendered and my account should be closed."

"Please hold"

*Sigh* (plus toe tapping which he can't see through the phone, but it made me feel better)

"OK Ma'am (still not any better.), I'm going to transfer you so we can give you that credit for this past month."

"ooooooook great"  anything to get off the phone with you.

Then I get an adorable little southern lady who tells me that she can issue a credit for $35 for the package deal that I have (no credit for the equipment rental, the taxes or the special channels that I had.  None of which I was able to use either.  But whatevs.) but that I will still have to pay the $400 cancellation fee.  I explain that, given then information her company provided me with, that I should not be held responsible for that fee any longer.  She "understands" but... ya know... I totally CHOSE to live in a building where the landlord doesn't like DirecTV. 

Oh. Man.

You're totally right, Southern lady.  It's not as though I had to make choices about my new apartment based on silly things like price, neighborhood, amenities, condition, bugs, rats... clearly the only thing that should have been on my mind when looking at apartments is "DirecTV.  Show me whatever you've got that allows DirecTV.  That's all I ask... I must have my DirecTV!" 


By the way?  She is the second person to mention that my choice of apartment should have been based upon DirecTV service availability. 

Kill myself.

At this point I have been on the phone for nearly 35 minutes in the middle of my work day, and it's ridiculous.  She finally puts me in touch with a supervisor.

I explain the situation to him as I have twice before in the last 40 minutes.  After 30 seconds, the supervisor says, "I can see that you've jumped through hoops and tried everything you can to have service moved to your new location.  I'm going to go ahead and waive all of this for you, and we're sorry to see you go.  We hope you'll consider DirecTV in the future.  Do you have any other questions?"

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! FREEDOOOOOOMMM!!!!!!! VICTORYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do understand that DirecTV is a business.  They HAVE to make it tough to get out of contractual agreements because if it was easy then NOBODY would pay that cancellation fee and they would lose tons of money.

Unfortunately, they did not realize that they were dealing with me. 

And in the end?  I think the better woman won. 

So yeah, I just saved myself nearly $500 by not being passive.  I'm getting $80 back from my TV mount since my walls are indestructible (which can be a god thing I guess but... not so much in this case)...  For somebody that has been so financially beaten over the last few months, I'm feelin pretty darn good!

Maybe I will give baby brother some cash for graduation...... *Le sigh*....... aaaaand we've come full circle.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday

Ugh.  Kids.  Crazy week yet again.  I'm pooped.

But I have stories!

OK, so you know that I went home on Friday to Hershey, PA for the RELAY FOR LIFE walk etc.  So here's what happened.

Uneventful train ride home.

Hung out and walked a few laps at the relay for life.  Enjoyed a snocone because it was HOTTER THAN SATAN'S TOENAILS out there!  Got Subway for dinner and I found out that... my mom?  Never had Subway before.  I'm not entirely clear how that's possible, but... I was shocked.

They had a bunch of "themed" laps, my favorite being the Mr. Relay lap.  One guy from each participating team dressed up like a woman and created "her" own persona including favorite places to shop and hobbies.  My favorite was probably the girl scout, but the whole thing was hilarious!  After shakin what their mamas didn't give them, they took a lap to try to collect as much money as they could.  I suggested that next year somebody do a water gun/ water balloon lap because, did I mention?  HOTTER THAN THE BLAZES OUT THERE! 

My mom has gotten slightly lax about the whole relay thing, and let us go home to sleep.  And who am I to argue against that??  So I went and thank GOD we did that because HOLY HUGE STORM BATMAN!  It got so bad that they had to move the relay indoors anyway.  I didn't even notice it thanks to being all snuggled in bed.  We got up the next day and went back to the relay.  We heard a guy talk about his battle(s) with cancer (he was diagnosed 9 different times, and had some ridiculously large number of very invasive surgeries and found out just months ago that he has it AGAIN.  Ugh.), and we walked a little more. 

Eventually we packed up and headed home to get ready for my cousin's graduation party.  By the way:  Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2011!  My baby brother is included in that group and I just couldn't be prouder!

So we hung out at my cousin's for a while where there was TONS of food and Apples to Apples which I played for the first time without it being a drinking game....


Then I had a minor heart attack.

OK, not really.

We had to drop my step-dad off at his class reunion since he is on the committee and he had to set up.  The DJ was.... well... DJing the reunion.  So we pull into the lot and I see his car.  Just knowing we were within probably 50 feet of each other had my heart racing over the potential drama of it all.  I threw the stuff that the DJ had left and ACTUALLY wanted back at Buzz, dove back into the car and my mom and I sped off. 


Crisis averted.

I'm ridiculous.

So no DJ sighting thank GOD!  My mom told me that she cried when she said goodbye to him after the reunion.  My mom gets attached.  You want to feel unconditional love?  Come meet the Vicki.  She'll love you forever no matter what.


Even if you screw over her daughter.



Then Maria came to visit :)  YAAAAAY MARIA!

And then my "diet" went to crap.

We made pizza in the oven... and added Philly cheesesteak meat to the top of it.  Super delish.  Super not OK for somebody/people looking to lose weight...

So then we got ready to go.  The original plan had been to meet up with Dustin that night at the local bar (Shakey's... or.... now I guess it's Overtime.  But it's like how the Harrisburg mall will ALWAYS be the Harrisburg East Mall to the locals.  I digress...).  Basically, it appears that Dustin met up with some other high school friends that don't have much of an interest in seeing Maria or myself which is just FINE.  But Dustin showed up to dinner drunk (who needs a DD to get to dinner?  Dustin does.), and then just got drunker as the night went on.  So he didn't have a way.  And of course the people he was with were completely unwilling to meet at the middle point (SHAKEY'S) so we didn't see him. 

Everybody has priorities.

Maria's was getting me drunk.

Ya know.  Just in case we go home to find a DJ raiding my mother's fridge or snoring in my mom's guest room. 

She either wanted me to be so drunk that I didn't notice it at all, or I started some sort of odd pillow fight with him.  The details were fuzzy...

... as was my vision.


The night ended up being SUPER fun and exactly what I've been needing the last few weeks.  My tab was $10 (mostly because the situation I'm not telling you about that was next to me bought me at least 4 shots and maybe a long island or two?  Fuzzy.)

Maria tried to get me to take a body shot off of said situation.  I did not.  He did. 

... Still not telling you about situation....

... Don't worry!  I went home without the situation (which really wouldn't have been bad if I had, but I'm a good girl... from central PA.... we... don't... do.... that... sort............. BAHAHAHA I couldn't even get that out without laughing.)

But I was not sober.  I vaguely remember Sheetz.  I do not remember the MTO I got.  I do recall seeing CARLI!!! I do recall crying over a friend we lost this year.  I do recall a fun moment in the rain in the parking lot.  I do not recall the ride home.  I do recall Maria waking me up in the morning to say goodbye.  I do recall my mom coming into my room at 12 saying "um.  Get up.  Shoe shopping.  Now."

And so I got up :)  We went shoe shopping!  It's not possible or OK to leave a shoe sale that is buy 1 get 2 free.  It is also not OK to assume you are getting high quality shoes.  It's kind of like the Forever21 of shoe shopping.

And then I took a nap.  And then I came home.

This week... has not been busy at work.  I was incredibly tempted to lie to you there and say YES, in fact, we WERE super busy, why do you ask?  Oh why yes that IS why I haven't posted.  The truth?  Pinterest totally sucked me in over the last 2 days.  Shameful.

But I really wasn't expecting much on the weight loss front this week.  Really not at all.  I didn't gym.  I drank a lifetime supply of booze.  I had Philly cheesesteak pizza for the love of Pete.  (Pete was the bartender whom I have known since I was 5, in case you were wondering). 

... and I was right not to expect anything.

I didn't lose anything.


I didn't gain a darn thing either which is GREAT!  So I splurged this week.  I didn't gym, I went out, I had a good time.  No big deal.  I jumped right back in the saddle after Saturday night and I'm doing great.  This DOES put the pressure on for Florida because now I for real have to lose 2 pounds per week to get those last 15 pounds.  But I think I can do it.  I am determined not to stop!  I can DO IT! 

So we're holding steady at -14 pounds which is something to be proud of, you know? 

I've noticed I get a lot of readers on these posts, so if you are working on your own weight loss goal, or have any encouraging thoughts please let me know!  I could definitely use them!

OK, onward and upward.... I'm off to the gym!

Friday, June 10, 2011

And we're off!

OK kids, I'm off for the weekend!  Heading back to Hershey for Relay For Life/ Graduation Parties/ Drama, Drama, Drama!

If you would like to, please sponsor me HERE!  Anything you can offer helps!  I'd like to blow people's collective minds in the post-event fund raising since I totally SUCKED at fund raising before what with people taking my money and refusing to return it, couches that wouldn't fit out of apartments, greedy movers... ya know.  THAT.

I'll give an update upon my return what with possible DJ sightings (although unlikely) and a mini high school reunion of my own.  Should be an interesting weekend!

Enjoy everybody!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday!

I'm pretty sure my gym thinks that I have a membership solely for use of their scale.  They are happy to take my $29.99 every month for that, but they still think I'm weird for it.

I will get back to the gym at some point.

I swear.

Anyway.  As you've heard pretty much every week since I started this little WLW column thing... I was sure, yet again, that this was the week.  The week I wouldn't lose.  Or I would gain.  Or I'd only lose 1/4 pound.  Or god forbid I'd start a plateau.  UGH!  The worst!  I knew it.  I stripped down as far as I would dare in a new gym with lots of people in the locker room and stepped on the scale.

And yet again I was shocked into bursting pride and happiness.


That makes for a total loss of 14 pounds!  Which is amazing!  In 6 weeks I'm down 14 pounds!  Geez!  That's still just over my 2 pounds per week goal.  My next goal is to have a total of 25 pounds gone by the end of July when we go to Florida.  Which means that I have exactly 7 weeks to lose 11 pounds.  I feel like this won't be a problem, but you never know.  I don't want to get too over-confident.

I just need to get myself into the gym so that I'm toning while I'm losing.  I don't want all that skin hanging off of me, or to still look out of shape once I've lost my total amount I am trying to lose, you know?  So that's something I need to concentrate on again.

I told Maria last night that I felt like somebody was playing a trick on me.  Like every time I go in to weigh myself and see that I've lost, I feel like somebody has tampered with the scale to make me think I've lost, when in fact I haven't.  I don't know why a stranger at the gym would do that to me.  But it seems logical because I just don't feel like I have to try hard this time.

My mom thinks it's because I finally decided that this is something I really want to do.  So thanks to being superficial and a shopaholic, I'm losing weight?  Does that seem a little too.... easy?.... to anybody else?  I don't know.  I'll take it and keep doing what I'm doing.  And just hope and pray that Livestrong.com doesn't flake out on me at some point.  Because so far it's been a champ! 

OK, I'm sorry to cut this short but work just keeps getting so busy and yet again today I'm the only assistant in the office because, really, in 6 months, being completely alone in an office of 25 needy execs for a total of about a month and a half is COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE!  Grrrr!!

OK back to work.  Have a nice heatwave!

Monday, June 6, 2011




Hi there...

It's me again.

I'd like to sincerely apologize for....


all that CRAZY that exploded over here in the last couple weeks.

I won't say it was unnecessary or out of line.

Because seriously?  Did you SEE the giant steaming piles of crap I was dealing with?!

But I feel like we could use a little happy around here.

Are you ready for some happy?

Can you HANDLE the happy?

Let's start with Friday and that damned couch that I used to love and adore so much. I was fo shiz in love with that couch.  My friends were in love with that couch.  I wanted to have that couch forever and ever and ever. 

By Friday I couldn't even stand looking at it anymore.

Just get it OUT of my HOUSE!  As you know we tried (unsuccessfully... which is being kind about it) to remove it on Thursday with no luck.  On Friday I got to the apartment at around 6:30, and the guys that really really wanted the big comfy free couch showed up.  For literally an hour and a half they tried to figure out how to get the couch out the door and couldn't.  They were so close!  Literally inches away from getting it out the door.  But kids.  It wasn't happening.  And suddenly numbers like $200 to dispose of the couch were floating around my head causing panic and cold sweats.  We started looking for another escape route. 

Out a window?

Okey dokey.

That's right, people.  The movers took out my kitchen window and got it out that way.  Like. Within 5 minutes.  Weeks of stress and panic and heart attacks.... and it took 5 minutes.  Ridiculous. 

This is the mover's truck...

This is me sitting in the mover's truck.  Sorry it's
a little blurry.  An ambulance came around the corner
and flipped on it's siren at this exact moment.  Scared
the crap outta me.

But it's out!  And it's done!  And I'm free of the black mark on my new shiny life!

I turned in my final key, took the last bit of trash out and left!  I never thought I'd be one of those people that, once they moved to Manhattan, refused to go back to the outer boroughs. 

I am totally one of those people that's never going back to the boroughs.  Not because I feel superior to them but because my GOD the heinousness that has been moving out of that apartment!

This also means that I am totally free and clear of all the crap surrounding the DJ...

... except for this weekend which I'll tell you about after it happens because it might not even actually happen.

... and returning the security deposit. 

But really, those are minor, minor things.

So my new apartment is all set up.  Just going through a few more things.  Alice played the part of boyfriend yesterday and helped me hang up my artwork.  Except for the mirror.

Bastard mirror.

The same one that the stupid movers left at my apartment in Queens and I was forced to take a cab back to Manhattan to get it to the new place.


And now it won't hang because it appears that there's some sort of cement wall behind one of my walls.  Which is good in case there's... say... a fire.  But for hanging a mirror? Not so much.  So we're still working on that.

But my room is so pretty!  And roomy!  And lovely in general! 

We went grocery shopping so now the kitchen is pretty much all set up.

I also went and got Puka's food and 20 pounds of cat litter.  Because I don't know if you're aware, but that's the SMALLEST amount litter comes in.  The DJ used to just get it from CostCo and I just let him deal with the 40 pound bag.  Now that I have to deal with it myself I have a whole new respect for... him... ugh.  Anyway.  I carried the litter in my bookbag on my bag for an hour.  I told Ana that, for the last time, NO there are no pet stores closer to my house!  I have to come to Union Square to get it. 




Ya know.  Right around the corner from my house.  Like, literally a 30 second walk.  That I somehow never saw before?  And which I wouldn't allow myself to look into once I was passing it just out of anger. 

But Puka's all taken care of!

And it's a good situation.  I'm incredibly happy.  I had a fantastic weekend complete with going out to fun dive bars and lounges with my people finally.  And I can honestly say I haven't been this stress free and happy in a really long time.

Also?  We have an amazing pizzeria across the street called Luigi's.  This could be heaven.  It could also be the death of me.  I'll keep you posted.  Oh, and on the other corner?  A bagel place.  That Flo (the new roommate.  Which I will now stop describing as the new roommate because I've been saying her name for too long for you to not be following along GEEZ!) says she has eaten at like a million times.  And it's good.  Like.  Really good. 

I have yet to find a deli.

We did find our laundromat which is pretty reasonably priced and 24 hours, so that's kind of great. 

So all is good with the world.  I feel physically lighter from the inside out. 

and Puka's warming up!  Finally!

This is where I found Puka when I was getting ready
to go out on Saturday night.  This is Flo's bed, not mine.
Little bugger has made herself right at home.
So life is good.  And you should prepare yourself for a brand new Connie.  Until, ya know, the next stressful thing happens and I'll be right back where I was.  So enjoy this while you can!

Funk Out!

Friday, June 3, 2011

There are no words.

The Couch.


In my apartment.

In Queens.

Not. Even. Kidding.

The movers came yesterday, and the guys that want the couch showed up.  And the movers couldn't fit it out of the apartment.

Not even kidding.

So the movers had to go to their next job.

I had to call the DJ to see how he had gotten it IN in the first place.  Which was....

ya know....


So we're trying again today.

If after today this doesn't work, I may have to be committed to a mental hospital. 

I wish I was kidding.

I will either talk to my landlord about leaving it there or I'm calling to have it hauled away.  Not that I have any money for that because it looks like a $200 job.  Awesome.  Death. 

This is the never ending move.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So where do I even start??

Please stop giving me that look.

I know!

... I KNOW!

I suck. 

... what?  Of course I still love you!  This is a me thing, not you! 

Look, I meant to write, and then things just kept happening.  And I have barely had time to breathe let alone put together a coherent thought. 

... well if you're gonna be like THAT forget it!

... No, I'm sorry!  Come back, I'll write, I promise!

OK, on a serious note, I'm not even sure where to start.  It has been such an insane month.  I guess the last time I wrote it was Weight Loss Wednesday.  So... since then... let's see.  I'll go day by day if I can even remember how to separate the days.

Thursday night I packed up a lot.  I was getting boxes from the liquor store downstairs, so EVERYTHING I own was in wine and liquor boxes.  It looked kind of amazing.  I estimated that I didn't have that much stuff, maybe I would have 20 boxes or so at this point...

Yeah... it turned out to be a little more like this:

So.  Yeah. Lots of boxes.  But two or three liquor boxes equal one regular box... right??

I got rid of TONS of stuff too!  I cleaned out my closet and got rid of probably half of my wardrobe.  I also threw out tons of miscellaneous stuff that I just hadn't used and didn't need.  I sold Puka's Cat Condo because that bitch just refuses to use it. 

Oh there's a story!  The guy that picked up the cat condo was talking about his kids who were like, 9 years old, and the fact that his car wouldn't start the day before due to the heat (it had been like 80ish.  I can understand when we get up into the 100s.  But 80s?  You drive a POS, and I know it!)  and then tried to hit on me.  Like seriously.  To the point where he was blushing and I was like "haha yeah thanks buh bye now!" 


Anyway.  Friday I was up until 4:30 in the morning packing.  I didn't want the move to take any longer than 3 hours.  For $85/hour, I was getting 3 guys and a truck, plus a flat 30 minute travel time, and my moving estimate was $297 total.  It would be $20-$25 to pack up the TV extra carefully.  And I had budgeted around $400 for the move, so I would have plenty to tip them with.

Friday afternoon I took Puka over to the new place.  FYI:  Puka does NOT like the subway.  AT. ALL.  She will bunker down inside her cat carrier, and meow like someone is ripping hairs out of her tail one by one.  Everybody kept giving me looks like "what are you doing to your cat??"  Thank god I had Ana and her adorable and sweet sister (Happy Sweet 16, Holly!) to help me carry the pissy cat to the new place.  Once we got there, Puka pretty much stayed in her carrier the whole day.  No big deal.  I went home to finish putting the last few things in bags and boxes.

The movers arrive at 6:30, which was within their time frame.  I booked them late (literally the day before) so 5-7pm was the only time slot they had available.  I showed them everything I had, and then my day went downhill.  First he said that I didn't have much, and that it wasn't a bad move.  YAY!  And then this started:

"OK so it's $35 to pack up the TV..."

"They told me $20-25?"

"Nope.  $35.  And it's $15 to wrap each mattress.  So you have a mattress and a box spring, that's $30"

"Oh, my stuff is old, I'm not worried about it.  You don't have to wrap it."

"Nope, it's the law.  Due to bedbugs, they have to be wrapped.  OK, and the mirror is $25 to wrap it."

"OK, no.  Don't wrap the mirror.  Just put it in blankets and if it breaks, it breaks.  No worries."

"OK if you say so.  And everything has to be in a flat bottom box.  They are $13 per box to rent.  All these bags have to go in a box.  And the artwork too."

"Really?  I wasn't told everything had to be in a box.  You can't just take the bags?"


"Can you fit it in one box?"

"I can try.  And we have to box up the artwork.  I can't carry one piece at a time, and if I try to stack them they'll fall.  You're attached to the art right?"
"I mean... the most expensive one was $20 at Century21, so... I mean... I like them but they are replaceable."

"No.  They have to be in a box."

I wasn't able to ride with them to the new apartment, so I had to trust that 3 Russian guys were going to deliver all of my earthly possessions to me in one piece.  I rode the subway over and thank GOD Flo was there.  They started moving my stuff in before I got there and were done in under the 3 hours minimum mark.  Perfect!  But all those extra charges...

I had contacted the company before the move and asked if a tip was included in the hourly price, or if tip was expected.  I was told that tip was not expected.  That I could if I wanted to, but no, not expected. 

The end bill came and I was charged ......


What?!  How is that even possible!  That's all the cash I have!  I have $10 left to get myself some dinner (since all I've had today was peanut butter and jelly on pita bread which was gross and so I only ate half of it).  But the mover wasn't done yet.  I hand over the last of the money that I have to him and he says:

"Usually on a job like this a tip is expected..."

"I spoke to the company before the move and they said tip WASN'T expected."

"Who said that?  Jon?"


"Well of course he said that.  All this money goes to the office.  We don't get any of it.  Each guy was expecting $50 for a job like this..."

"What?!?  That's a 50% tip on the original estimate!  Are you kidding me?!  You had 1 flight of stairs at each place!  This was not a tough move as New York apartments go!"

"This isn't a bar or restaurant.  That's a customary tip for us." 

I gave them each $15, which the mover scoffed at and said that he couldn't go to the truck with something that pitiful.  He made me feel awful!  And over something that I was told I didn't even have to pay!  I said I could meet them later in the week and give them more of a tip, but that I wasn't guaranteeing $50 per person.  He agreed and left.  I was really uncomfortable.  So I'm calling the company today to see what they say.  First, I was getting conflicting information, which is why I asked in the first place.  I have heard of companies adding $18 to the total automatically.  But 50% is outrageous!  I just don't want to be murdered by a disgruntled Russian mover in the middle of the night, what with them knowing where I live and all.  Awkward...

I'll keep you updated on that situation.

So my entire apartment worth of stuff fit into my new bedroom.  This either means that I have a very large bedroom, or I have a very small amount of stuff now.  Maybe both? 

Here's the before...

Here's the after...

and from the OTHER direction:


and after...
Clearly I was unable to get the exact position as the before pictures because of all the STUFF EVERYWHERE.  But it's all there! 

The New Building
 And there it is! My new home!  Those 2 windows with the lights on are Flo's bedroom windows.  We have half of the second floor.  AMAZING.  You don't find places like that in NYC!  But we did!

Puka was a little nervous.  So she spent Saturday night, Sunday and most of Monday in this closet:

... Just in general being scared and skittish.  But she has seriously warmed up and is making her presence known.  I'll include more pictures of the finished place once it's... ya know... finished.  Last night I did laundry which is good since I was down to 2 pairs of underwear and some mis-matched socks.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of my clothes somehow are going to fit in the new closets.  I didn't see that happening, but I didn't know what else I could do.  At least I won't have to find a new solution for that!  I am still waiting on my mom to send me my bed frame so I can get that done.  I'm also waiting on my next paycheck so I can get a few things that I need around the place.  Money is a little tight until the 15th which is unfortunate since it's only the 2nd.  But you know... whatever....

By Sunday I was pretty stressed out.  I had secured a girl to come pick up my coffee table and couch on Saturday during the day only to find out that she couldn't make it.  Then she wanted to reschedule for Sunday which was fine.  I had been up until 3:30am, but I could TOTALLY be in Queens so she could pick up the couch and coffee table at 9am.  Except when she showed up she didn't want it.  Awesome. 

Also?  THE MOVERS DIDN'T MOVE MY MIRROR!  Ya know, the mirror?  The one that they wanted to charge $25 to wrap up and when I decided they could just wrap it in blankets, they opted to JUST NOT MOVE IT.  Along with my clothes hang-drier, and a couple other odds and ends.  So I had to pay for a cab (which I paid for with the money that I had gotten from creepy cat condo guy) to take it back over to Manhattan.  UGH! 

So that was an entire Sunday morning wasted.  I got home and made myself some leftover pizza for lunch.  I called my mom and told her I was a little upset with how poorly I was handling the stress.  She told me that I had dealt with a lot over the last months between roommates, failed apartments, missing $1150, moving, the whole DJ break-up and dealing with everything on my own thing... whatever.  She told me to just relax.  Finish my lunch, take a nap (since I had gotten about 15 hours of sleep over 4 days) and everything will seem better when I wake up.  Of course she was right.  I slept from 1:30 until 3pm.  Flo was out doing a walk-through of her old apartment so I had the place to myself.  It was lovely.  I got up, and finished unpacking.  EVERYTHING.  That made me feel better.  I decided that I wanted to just relax on Monday.  That I couldn't do another day of moving stress since it had been about 3 straight weeks of constant stress. 

Monday I slept in late.  Like... noon.  Flo was already gone getting her nails done.  I washed some dishes, but as soon as I heard from Miranda that we were going to Central Park for the afternoon, I was outy!  (Holy throw-back phrase...)  I met Miranda, Natalie, Josh and Matt at the Great Lawn.  I had missed the end of the softball game, and subsequently a lot of my old restaurant friends.  But I was outside and stress free.  I laughed... like a for real laugh!  I felt happy and not on edge or annoyed with people.  I felt great!  I could feel my skin soaking up the vitamin D (a little too much because I got a little burn on the tops of my arms and chest.  But I am no longer iridescent which is a nice change)! 

I brought everybody back to the apartment to check it out, which they just loved (the boys loved the Wii more than my apartment I think.  But whatever... I'll take it!) after I introduced them to 16 Handles which they just couldn't get enough of.  I even got a "job well done" high-five and hug from Matty and Josh over the sweet treat.  So let that be what convinces you of the amazing powers of 16 Handles... you will be hugged by boys!  Which I guess can be good or bad...

Monday night I went to see Bridesmaids.  It wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be.  It was funny, I enjoyed it.  But it wasn't, laugh out loud, pee in your pants, squirm in your seat, laughing 10 minutes after the movie ends because it's so funny, funny.  It was just good to get out. 

And THEN.  It was Tuesday.  First day back to work.  I am the only assistant in the office this week, so it's a bit busier (and I should probably NOT be writing this right now, but I had to!  I missed you guys!) than normal.  I met Terri for dinner at Blockheads.  This was the first real meal I had in 4 days.  I wasn't sure what this was going to do to my weigh loss for the week, but I had to eat.  I was so hungry!  Now... the frozen peach margaritas on the other hand... maybe I didn't HAVE to have those.  But... in a way I did... and so I had them.  And they were phenomenal.  And I loved it.

My couch and coffee table still weren't sold as of yesterday.  I put them on Craigslist for free yesterday morning just to try to get rid of them.  I got somebody to come get the coffee table last night (after 2 separate people canceled at 6:30pm to come get the couch and coffee table.  Bastards.), and I found somebody to take the couch tonight.  They aren't paying anything for it.  I just need it gone.  They are coming to take a look at the couch tonight before they officially move it.  So barring any "craziness", I'll be done with the couch as of tonight.  Keep those fingers crossed Internet!  After that, it's just the DirecTv issue that I have to deal with, which , to be honest, I can't even talk about right now.  I'll have to fill that all in on Monday because MY GOD THE STRESS IS EATING ME ALIVE OVER HERE!

OK, so you are seeing that, yet again, it's Thursday and not Wednesday.  And I owe you a Weight Loss Wednesday.   As you may recall, this was to be a big week.  I needed to lose 1 pound to reach my weight loss goal of losing 10 pounds by move-in.  If I did, then I was treating myself to a massage.  If I didn't... well... I only believe in positive reinforcement here.  I have been punishing myself for too long.  Time for some feel-good vibes! 

I moved my gym from the 33rd street location to the 82nd street location since it's within walking distance of my apartment now.  Good warm-up or cool-down walk.  This gym does not have one of those old scales with the little single pound weight that you push over ever so slowly as you become more mentally prepared for the outcome.  Nope.  This one you stand on and the little dial shoots to your weight and ready or not you're staring at the number!  It's like doing the Polar Bear Swim, or taking a shot of tequila!  Ready or not, here it comes! 

So I step on the scale, hold my breath and watch as that bright red dial zings to my weight...


So not only did I reach my goal of losing 10 pounds, I very nearly blew it out of the water by having now lost a total of 11 pounds in just 5 weeks.  Which means I am actually ahead of my goal of 2 pounds per week!  And I owe myself a massage!

My next weight loss goal is to be down 15 more pounds by the end of July.  That's 8 weeks away, so if I keep going the way I have been, I should be able to make it.  But I am aware that plateaus and rough weeks happen.  But I have a goal, and I know I can do it if I can just stay focused!

So there you go.  Now you have a little window into my most recent life and why I've been so distant.  I'm sorry, I'll really try to stay more on top of keeping our relationship a top priority from here on out. 

Hopefully tomorrow I will have something really light-hearted to write about!  Here's hoping!