Life Events: Apartments and Cars

Wow… I don’t even know where to start as far as the changes that have happened these past few weeks… yup, don’t even know.

Let’s start at the beginning.

1) Mike and I got possession of our new apartment.

This was cool, but involved lots of work.  I spent all day on Saturday the 13th transporting boxes and bags of my stuff back and the forth in the rain with a giant rented E450 cargo Zipvan named Eskimo.  Eskimo and I made quite a team.  Except that I had no idea how to turn off his emergency brake when I picked him up.  I could tell from the light on the dashboard that it was on when I first started him up, but I couldn’t find anywhere to release it.  I tried for 10 minutes and then decided it was time to call Mike.

“Hello?”  He answered blearily.  It was only 8am, so I knew I’d woken him up.

“Hi.  I’m in a cargo van named Eskimo on Westlake and I can’t find the emergency brake.”

<Silence.  Mike was trying to process this on a brain muddled with sleep.>  “You want to turn it on or off?”

“Off.”

“Is there a pedal off to your left?”

“Yes, and I tried pushing that because I remembered you said sometimes they were there, but I’ve pushed and pushed and nothing’s happened.  I think I’m going to break the brake.  No pun intended.”

<More silence.>  “You’re probably not pressing hard enough.”

“I am.  I totally am.  I am braced against the front seat and am pushing my entire weight into the pedal.  If I press any harder, I’m going to push myself through the floor of the van onto the pavement.”

“Hold on.”  <Sound of rustling and keyboard typing.>

“The internet says that there should be an E-brake release above the pedal on the E-350.”

I checked.  Yup!  “Thank you!  Go back to sleep!”  Fortunately the E-brake still worked despite the fact that I had apparently tightened it as much as my weight braced against the seat would go.  Crazy.  There needs to be a standardized braking system across automotive vehicles.  Where’s the DMV when you really need them?  Probably performing emissions tests.

Anyway, four full trips later most stuff was at the new apartment except a week’s worth of clothes, bathroom necessities, a few odds and ends, and all of the furniture.  I was exhausted but ready to crash at my old apartment.

2) Fast forward to Thursday.  The movers came.  They are the first movers ever who took me seriously that the couch WILL NOT fit in the elevator at the old apartment complex.  Both previous sets of movers refused to take Mike’s advice, struggled with it for half an hour, and then ultimately carried it up the stairs.  These movers were ready to try it in the elevator, and I said, “It doesn’t fit.  Two other professional movers have tried before, and it doesn’t fit.”

“No?  It’s too high, huh?”

“Yes it is.”

So in a matter of 90 seconds they had carried it down four flights of stairs.  Talk about efficiency in motion!  I would definitely hire those guys again!

3.  Work was busy.

I went back to work Thursday afternoon when the movers left and everything was crazy.

After work, even though it was late, I officially moved in to the new apartment.  By “officially”, I mean that I brought Piper.  🙂  I was really afraid Piper would pee on something, because that’s what she tends to do when she’s stressed and I didn’t want her having an accident on the new carpet.  So I made sure to bring her over only when I would be able to keep an eye on her.  However, all my worries were for nothing.  She was a perfect little trooper and kicked litter wildly around her litterbox like a perfect lady.

Well, almost.

She discovered how to get into Mike’s studio room after I had gone to bed.  She jumped from the kitchen floor, to the counter, to the top of the fridge, to the top of the cupboards above the fridge, then shimmied through the crawl space above the cupboards and jumped all the way down into Mike’s room on the other side of the wall.  What the heck, cat?  I was half asleep by this time, but I heard her pathetic mews, because now of course she was trapped in Mike’s room with the door shut and there was no way for her to get out.  I got up, saw what she’d done, was upset with her and spanked her, but let her out.  Then I went back to bed.

Two minutes passed.

Then I heard a “thump” and her pathetic mewing from Mike’s studio room again.  Angry this time (was this cat ever going to let me sleep??), I pulled myself out of bed, spanked her harder, locked her in the bathroom for awhile, and put a mini pumpkin on top of the fridge to block her progress up the wall.  That seemed to work, but I don’t know what I’m going to do when I have to get rid of the pumpkin.  Anyone know how long pumpkins stay good?  Pumpkins that are resting on the top of fridges?

3) Mike and I bought a car.

Yes!  We did!  Crazy, right?

We both took Friday off to go car shopping and Mike stayed up late printing out info for every Honda Civic Si at every dealership within an hour of Seattle.  Friday morning, we convened at a Wallingford coffee shop and went over his packet as we sipped hot coffee.  We went over the list of cars and ranked them all in our order of preference.  Then we got in a Zipcar and headed to Tacoma to check out our first choice.  We tried to find the car in the dealer lot ourselves, but it was a very large dealership and we had to stop and ask an employee for help.  We were pretty wary given our experience at a different dealership a few weeks prior and expected them to pressure us a lot.  The guy who helped us was really nice, though, and really outgoing.  He asked why we’d come all the way from Seattle to look at the Si.  I showed him our info packet of car info and he was visibly impressed.  Mike’s handiwork often has that effect on people.  20 different cars, all with a summary title page, an insurance sheet, and a Kelly Blue Book page showing the expected value of the car.  Each car had all of its sheets neatly stapled.  And the entire packet was housed in a plain manila envelope.  Yes, the guy was definitely impressed by Mike’s research.  After the test drive, we said we’d liked the car but had to check out the other cars on our list.  We asked for his card in case we decided to go with that particular car and, as expected, when he took us in to give us his card he brought his boss over to try to sell us on the car.

Mike showed the boss the informational packet.

The boss looked Mike in the eye.

“How low do I have to go on this car for you to buy it right now?”  I liked him immediately.  He had the air of being perfectly straight with us, which I appreciated.

“You tell me.”

He took us back into his office and started crunching numbers.  The final number he gave us was significantly lower and a little lower than our Kelly Blue Book value.  And it still had some of the manufacturer warranty left on it.  Excellent.

Long story short, both of the guys there impressed us and we got the car from them.  We weren’t as impressed with their assistant who tried to get us to buy gap insurance we didn’t need and an extended warranty for the car that we didn’t need.  For an hour.  Such is life.  🙂

Although this hardly begins to detail all of our lives for the past week and a half, it at least gives you a good idea that we’ve been good, but very busy.  🙂

Hopefully tonight I’ll finish cleaning my old apartment.  Each night I’ve been getting some cleaning done, and I think I’m getting close.  I’ll post pictures of the car when Mike gives me some pictures.  He took a bunch over the weekend.  Oh, since I know someone’s sure to ask the color, it’s grey.  And it has a 6-speed manual transmission that shifts more easily than the transmission in any car I’ve driven.  And less than 30,000 miles.  Exciting!  We’re car owners again!  🙂

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3 Comments

Filed under Momentous Events

3 responses to “Life Events: Apartments and Cars

  1. Becca Krzmarzick

    Welcome to the PNW! It’s a beautiful place, especially Seattle.

  2. Lia Kochenderfer

    Congrats on your new/used car! I look forward to seeing photos whenever you get around to posting them. Any names come to mind yet?

  3. Lia Kochenderfer

    Also, I’m sure you and Mike could come up with some sort of contraption (think Ace Hardware) for keeping Piper out of Mike’s office room area once the pumpkin retires. Some sort of durable material/plastic/board you can pin to the wall? I’m trying to picture the space she’s crawling through…? Cats are so crazy—they will go anywhere they like, even if they get stuck time and time again.LOL.;)

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