Sunday, May 30, 2010

Apartment Apparition - Part 1

It's not that I'm feeling especially pessimistic this evening, but an entry about my distaste of apartment living has been long overdue. So here it is.

Ryan and I have been living together for about 4 years or so now, and while we've always inhabited apartments, they've all been of the triplex variety. In December we moved into our first actual apartment building - and I had high hopes that things would run a little smoother here (referring to building management) than they have in other places we've lived.

So...without further adieu: The top 4+ things I hate about this apartment.

1. The people...or rather, the dirty people. On each floor of our building (as with most buildings I would imagine) there's a garbage chute so that us lazy inhabitants do not need to concern ourselves with going outdoors to dispose of our waste. On our floor (and possibly others), people have taken lazy to all new levels. On more than one occasion I have gone into the garbage chute 'room' to find several garbage bags on the floor as opposed to in/down the chute. It's apparently not enough that all one has to do to dispose of their garbage is to walk down the hall, open up a door and throw your bag in the neighbours seem to feel that they are above actually touching the garbage chute and that someone else should dispose of their bags for them. Wait - there is one neighbour who is the exception to this rule. Words can not describe, but a picture says a thousand words:

Okay, so this picture says 42 know what I meant.

Needless to say, this behaviour has resulted in the posting of a few letters - initiated by yours truly (naturally), but followed up by other tenants who share my disgust.

2. The parking lot. A couple years back I was convinced that our neighbours were going to kill us with the giant compressed gas cylinder they were storing on their front lawn for use in their drug lab. Since our SWAT team equivalent came and evicted all their asses before it came down to that, this theory was conveniently (and thankfully) proven wrong. In our new home however, there are two potentially lethal sources: the elevators and the parking lot - more specifically, the blind spot coming into our parking lot where I almost got slammed into head-on by a guy driving a pest control vehicle. I couldn't help but think of all the unfortunate puns that would be used if I died from being hit by an exterminator's truck (ie: "Well, I always said she was a pest - it's only fitting!" or "She did have a way of bugging me. I guess I won't have to deal with that anymore"). There was also that incident involving the douche-canoe in the truck who was later discovered to have handcuffs. I'm tempted to call in (or write in!) a work order for the installation of some convex mirrors at this blind spot. Stay tuned for progress on that front...

**On a side note, two other things I hate about this parking lot is that there's not enough spots for all the cars in the building, and the number of available spots is dramatically reduced in heavy ran when about half of the lot floods so you step out of your car into 3 inches of rainwater. It's called a drain. Look into it.

3. The late night calls. More specifically the knock on the door at 2:30am Saturday night (or rather, Sunday morning) by one of the Superintendents and a couple police escorts. Since I was not decent to answer the door (and honestly, what woman is going to answer a knock at the door at 2:30 in the morning?) Ryan went to see who was there. I guess they were looking for some guy who had an altercation with a cabbie earlier in the evening and they guessed the wrong apartment based on the cabbie's story (ie: the guy must have been a floor above, below or apartment to the left or right of us). I'm thinking however that whatever happened must've been something to see though because they wouldn't go knocking on random doors at 2:30 in the morning just over a yelling match. I'm kinda bummed I missed it...

4. The laundry room. Oh how I loathe the laundry room. Let us count the reasons why, shall we? (wait - aren't we already in a list? Hmmm...)
First and foremost the fact that we're having to use the laundry room at all, given the fact that we have a brand new washer/dryer set in my dad's basement - just no hook up in our apartment. So the knowledge that we're (somewhat) needlessly paying about $4 per load of laundry is frustrating.
Even more frustrating is the fact that we're paying into machines that don't always work. Sadly, I seem to be the only person who will leave a note on the machine (to caution other tenants) when we take it out of the washer dry or the dryer wet. My neighbours seem to think that the note is a good idea because they'll take it off one broken unit and put it on another broken unit leaving the next unsuspecting neighbour to lose their money in a broken machine. Awesome.
There's a strong theme of laziness running through this entry (and my building) as we end our tales of the laundry terrors with the discovery of 'the unknown'. This of course means the mysterious articles of laundry that don't belong to us, yet somehow find their way in with our own. At first it was a random sock, followed by another the following week (interestingly enough I believe they were a matching set...just not a set belonging to Ryan or myself). More recently however I was about to start heavily teasing Ryan for finding a plain white t-shirt that either fit a very petite woman or an 8 year old boy...that was until the next article of clothing I pulled from the hamper was a pair of BOXERS that were not belonging to my husband. I figured his case would be stronger than mine. I mean a shirt is one thing, but a strange pair of underwear is an all new level - one that evokes more power when one is trying to tease another about their boyfriend/girlfriend leaving articles of clothing behind. At first I thought someone was just being cheap and instead of paying for their own dryer had started throwing their clothes in random dryers (a la "The Blindside" - only he did that out of necessity, not out of frugality)....but then Ryan pointed out that maybe they just got caught in that little niche under the dryer lint catcher thing. Touche Ryan....

To be continued.....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hate the playa AND the game!

I recently discovered that Crest is playin' the game with me. When I wrote in to them a month ago with my concerns over having had their toothpaste in my eye on several occassions, they wrote back and seemed to be genuinely concerned. (Although it remains to be seen whether their concern was for my personal safety - or theirs, FROM me. No restraining order yet!). I was told by the Crest representative that they'd be sending me something in the mail in two to three weeks, however it has been a month now, and I've received nothing. BOOOO CREST! So in return for the absence of mailage, they have received the following from me:

(If you can't read the text, leave a note on this post and I'll edit with the text in the body of this post for all to see)

Since I've only just sent this e-mail, there has not yet been a response, however you can rest assured that as soon as I receive one, I will update you all. Be forewarned however, we may have a boycott issue on our hands. Crest isn't the only one who knows how to play....

Additionally, one of my recent favourites for the summer beverages is 'Vinho Verde' -

a nice Portugese wine, that's refreshing, delicious, and most importantly - cheap. I've had several bottles in the past few weeks with the anything-but-winter-weather, and all of them have presented issues with the cork - namely that when uncorking the bottles, the cork falls apart into about three different pieces, sometimes more - and typically at least one chunk goes INTO the bottle. For this, they were GOING to recieve the following:

Dear Gazela,

I'll try to keep this simple since I don't know what skill level your translators are working with - but I am a big fan of your Vinho Verde. What I am not a big fan of however, is taint - more specifically, cork taint, which I suspect is what is happening when your corks crumble everytime I go to open up a bottle of your otherwise delicious wine. Please revise asap, and don't hesitate to send me samples so I can do some product testing on your new sealing methods.
Looking forward to your response and delivery,

Unfortunately, Gazela doesn't care about what their consumers have to say because they don't even have a feedback/contact us section on their website. So now what I want to send them is something like:

Dear Gazela,

Screw you for not wanting to hear what I think. I'm only trying to help you out and am extremely offended that you've cut off any reasonable source of contact with concerned consumers such as myself. On the otherhand, thank you for not frontin' like some of the oral care companies who claim to care what I think. You may be an asshole, but at least you're not a playa.
Your fan,

If anyone happens to find a way to contact the Gazela people (I wonder if maybe they don't have contact info because they're not people, but Gazelles?), let me know!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gluttons for Punishment

Nearly three years ago during a night of drinking, Ryan thought it would be a great idea to bring home Bella - a seemingly cute little kitten who was destined for a life of fleas, street rape, and fights with hungry raccoons. So small she could fit into the palm of my hand, I couldn't exactly say no (although I readily rejected the name he and some of his drunken friends thought would be ideal for her - - "Love" - so they could call out "Come 'ere Love!" with an accent best described as 'drunken Canadian impersonating an Aussie'. Once the booze wore off we determined that Bella would be a much more suitable (and might I add, less ridiculous) name being that she was just so damn adorable.
A matter of months later and I wrote Bella a little letter on my previous blog that read the following:

Dear Bella,
You are Satan. Everyday you bring me closer to wanting to make you an outdoor kitten. I don't know that you realize how lucky you are to have a daddy that loves you so much despite the fact that you try to eat him limb by limb, you hiss at him as if you're a snake pit, and it appears as though you flinch sometimes when he tries to pet you. You try to play cute and come nestle on my lap and purr in my face, and you kiss my nose like it's your religion...but I know better. You can't fool me. You think I don't know that cats have ears on the TOPS of their head to hide the horns?
Your stunt last week was not funny. Knocking a nearly-full bottle of red wine onto the kitchen floor at 6:30am is not a good way to wake up your humans. Eating the last of the toilet paper roll is also not recommended, and yet you seem to continue to enjoy yourself. One of these days when you are back behind the entertainment unit chewing on cords like I've told you NOT to do time and time again, you will bite down a little too hard into the wrong cord, my dear Bella. I'll try my hardest not to say "I told you so", but I make no promises.
Shape up, or ship out you bratty little feline.
Lovingly yours,

It was also around this time that Ryan and I took this quiz which promptly informed us that there was a 91% chance Bella was in fact trying to kill us.

Knowing this there's no reasonable explanation for why we've made one of our most recent decisions, aside from the fact that we are gluttons for punishment. Two weeks ago, we brought home this:

His name is Toby and just like his feline sister, he is deceptively cute. When we went to 'pick him out' from his litter mates, he was the quiet, docile one who was happy playing with the pack, but even more content on his own with a toy. He climbed into each of our laps and lavished the attention and affection he received from us both. We knew this was our little guy. A week later we went to pick him up and thought that just about every little thing he did was just so damn cute, regardless of whether it was his crying in the car, flattening out on all attempts to take him for a walk, his clumsy attempt to prompt the evil cat to play, and even when we noticed that our dog is a carpet muncher (not the lesbian variety). It didn't take long before these things were no longer considered cute - and the dog actually made me cry. Most recently, was the night before last when he was completely insane for five hours. You are probably thinking "What did he do?" - the answer? What didn't he do?! Working a full day then coming home and having to keep an eye on this 28 pound, 11 week old German Shepherd ball of energy with teeth and a burning desire to use them is exhausting. If he wasn't trying to eat the carpet he was trying to snack on the furniture or the cat, completely forgetting that he's house broken I'd watch him run in the opposite direction of the door and pee on the floor - all the while I'm confident he was giving me this mischievous grin as if to say "this is all for you Mommy!". Over the last week his newest fixation has become his own poop (or, when available, the cats). He practically lives for the stuff. It's no sooner out of his back end then he is trying to eat it, and I'm almost positive I caught him trying to turn back mid-stream to ingest the draft-version of his own pee. Even worse, he comes in after ingesting his waste (and quite seriously, he'll try and fight us for it when we try to beat him to the punch), and then he decides now would be the time that he wants to lick or mouth us, leaving behind residual poop and a very, very angry human.
What really has me concerned is how cunning he is. Every time we have company over, they are visiting the cute and cuddly version of Toby. When we talk about some of the not-so-cute things he does, they have a hard time believing it since this is what they're seeing:

This is not meant to be doggy porn. If you are aroused by this, seek help.

They find it next to impossible to believe us when we tell them that no, our puppy is not a Saint. Sometimes I think Ryan doesn't even fully understand what he's like when I'm alone with him. This dog? Knows how to play the game. Unfortunately, the people who we got this not-so-little guy from didn't get his first shots done and out of the way before we took him home, so that means we have to wait a few extra weeks before we can bring him into obedience classes or even socialize him with other dogs in the park. So essentially, we are his play toys. Being a Shepherd, this dog is smart(as evidenced by his 'act' when others are around) and he's going to be BIG....and he's already had a hefty influence in how I/we function day-to-day. Our discussions almost always include successful poops outside ("It was solid!", or "He didn't eat it!"), cute things he did ("He was running for the frisbee, went into a nose dive and his back end flipped up and over his head!"), or naughty things he did ("THIS DOG IS MORE EVIL THAN THE CAT!"). Most recently, he's actually kicked me out of the house. I have been reduced to one of those pretentious people that are ridiculed for bringing their laptops to their local Starbucks to write their book/screenplay/blog - as I'm currently sitting in the coffee shop down the street from the house writing this post.
Toby? You win this round....