It's that time of the year when the universe aligns to do me wrong. Constantly and repetitively wrong. One thing after another wrong. Let me see how I can count the ways I have been wronged.
The Cable - well duh, who hasn't been wronged by their cable company? This one is obvious but must be mentioned. We were forced to get digital cable when they threatened to turn off HBO if we didn't make the change. After years of resistance this was the threat that worked. On the other hand it was thrilling to get HBO On Demand which I can't even find words about how much I love. HBO combined with "at my leisure," what more would a girl want? Except that for the first 2 days it didn't work. Then it did work. Then it didn't work. After many phone calls after it didn't work for 2 days in a row and several times rebooting the system, Time Warner showed up (10 minutes before the end of the 4 hour window by the way) and quite naturally the man they sent didn't come with any equipment that might actually fix the problem. After poking around he announced that we would have to reschedule for the following week. So about 3 days later it started working again after not working for a week. And they are supposed to come tomorrow to fix it, but it works. So what will happen? Who knows.
The landlord - we got a new landlord and in the first month, they returned our rent checks to many of us tenants for the most lame reasons. It is so lame I can't even go into it because it just makes me mad. I did my research, made phone calls, found the appropriate passages in the rent code, and wrote a strong letter to send back with my check, and of course had a fight with Josh, the only guy who would answer the phone, the same guy who wouldn't give his last name or the name of the owner of our building or the name of who he reports to. This guy's only answer was "that is the rule." Even though it is illegal (and immoral) to not accept our rent. Let's see what happens next. I got the green return receipt today so I know they got the letter and the check.
The bicycle - I LOVE my new bike (and yes Shana I need to take a video of me riding it!) but while I was riding around Chinatown looking for a big salmon for my barbecue birthday, I heard a very loud squealing coming from the front wheel. As I examined it (without stopping because you cannot stop in Chinatown for risk of life and limb) I found that the bolt that holds the wheel in place was completely missing. I had been riding on inertia for quite some time. Luckily it's only a bolt and it can be fixed. But by then I had an 8 pound salmon and 2 pounds of ground beef in my backpack, and it was heavy to walk home with including a scary bike!
The pipes and the light - after weeks of trying to get the super to come snake out the drain to the bathtub, and weeks of taking a shower in a foot of water that takes hours to drain, I called Josh, my good friend who is apparently not the owner of our building, but does follow all the rules. He said he would get the super for me. The day went by and nothing happened. So for the dozenth time I poured drano into the drain. It didn't work so the husband did something I can't say here because he shouldn't have done it, but the result was that the very old and corroded pipe burst through its corrosion and all over the floor, but mostly into the ceiling of our downstairs neighbor. Many more calls to Josh and the super and a guy came up to look at it saying "well I need to leave to pick up my kids and I don't know anything about plumbing anyways." So the super did come the next day and replaced the pipe. The husband was so relieved that he forgot to ask him to also fix the light fixture in the kitchen which does not stay on for more than a few seconds in a row.
Storage - every New Yorker that has lived more than a few years has no place to store all that crap that is in your basement or attic. So we have storage spaces that we pay too much money for. Storage is a halfway house for garbage because once in storage, you never see it again, and if you want to see it again you can't find it anyways. Our storage space, which is apparently in an historic west village building, is being turned into condos (of course what else do we need) so we have to be out of there by Oct 31. That means we now have to move our garbage into another garbage facility. It's like dumping your trash can into another trash can and putting it in another part of the house for the next 10 years. Except that this takes a full day and you have to rent a truck to do it.
The pillow which leads to the freezer - in our recent day of luxury one of the prizes that we came home with was a little goose down pillow that is very cute and quite perfect for lounging on the couch while watching HBO On Demand. My son was so enamored of this pillow that he decided to stuff it in the freezer, thinking it would fit and that it would feel so good while he slept. However he did this right before going to sleep, so when he thought he would use this cool pillow is beyond comprehension. I woke up to find the freezer door wide open because the pillow doesn't really fit inside it, everything frozen now melted, and a very wet down pillow with stains from meat juice and ice cream all over it. Yes, that was a happy morning.
The visitors - my sister-in-law Cathy and her daughter and friend are coming to NY this weekend and in a big moment of unclarity about 2 months ago I told her that we would already be gone on vacation and she could stay in our place, no problem. Oh no, not true. We are not leaving until the next morning. So 3 extra people will be in my tiny apartment and at least one of us will not have an actual place to sleep that is not the floor, while we have to pack and get ready for a 2 week trip? The happy joy discovery was that we would see them; the unhappy part was trying to get a hotel room for them at the last minute, which Cathy did without any complaint (yes I love her a lot and her rolling with the punches solidifies my complete worship.) Then they will stay here for the 2 nights after we leave. Will they enjoy it? I doubt it - it is steamy steamy hot and we don't have a/c that cools off more than a couple of feet in front of the unit, or a kitchen light that regularly turns on. We also don't have a private bathroom, and the 2 teenage girls are going to be totally weirded out by this trip into turn-of-the-2 centuries-ago New York.
So to end this saga on a happy note, my birthday garden bbq was really fun and I have great friends who I love so much. And neighbors who, voluntarily, lit the big fire, tended the bbq and cooked all the food for us, to perfection. And my husband who spent all day preparing the food and baked the most chocolate-y delicious cake imaginable. Happy birthday to me. Yay.