Monday, September 12, 2011
28 Years Kicking out My Feet
It has been a bit since I've last posted. August was a wild month featuring a trip to Minnesota, a summer cold, a handful of live sketch shows with Wood Sugars, packing up the old apartment, moving into a new one, and celebrating yet another year alive and healthy. I haven't written a damn thing in a month, and I've gotten antsy. The novel is back in revision stages, some short stories are set in motion. My energy is back up to par for daily demands after rough little kick in the calves. All through August I felt a sense of gleeful complacency knowing that my girlfriend had some extra money and had booked some movers. My first time with that, have always bribed friends with pizza and beer to help us move shit in and out of a rented U-Haul. Which had always worked well despite having lots of shit, but we figured maybe we're getting too old to expect that sort of favor. So psyched for the movers we were, everything ready in boxes, cat locked in one of the now empty bedrooms with his litter box, food, water. Everything cleaned so it would be an easy empty and returning of the keys on August 31st, the last day of our lease.
But then the movers did not show up. They were due between 5-6pm. At 6:05pm we called to see an ETA, assuming they were just running late. Traffic can sometimes throw curve balls. No one answered. We tried again. No answer. No call from them. The patterned ensued until about 7:40pm when we lost faith that they would show. Desperation flared, here we had all of this stuff, some big furniture pieces, and the lease soon to expire. U-Haul had no availability until 10am the following morning as August 31st is one of the biggest moving days of the year. Using my BlackBerry we found a moving company on Craigslist that was hoping to put our anxieties at ease. The guy manning the phone called out to a crew finishing a job to see if they didn't mind an extra gig. They were game. But there was some mis-communication between the amount of stuff we had and a fairly small truck was sent, along with three guys. We had asked for three. Half of our stuff was loaded up before the main guy realized they wouldn't have enough room, then he started to panic about time. Even though we asked for three hours he now wanted to be done in 1.5hrs. So ultimately they only helped us move our big furniture, and milked us out of a lot of money. My girlfriend and I made trips in her four door sedan, filling up all available space to transport everything else, back and forth. We wrapped this about 5:45am. I got 30 min of sleep, she got 10 min before the next work day. My body barely held itself through the next day after what was essentially an all nighter, with physical exertion on a muggy summer day. One of those experiences that reminds you to work out more prior to such an activity. But we had expected the moving company we had hired to show up! Even after confirmation the prior day! We were quite aghast at the gall of them not even calling, we certainly understand shit comes up, but communication is what separates the professional from the piss poor mother fuckers. Allstate Movers dropped the ball. When we got a hold of them the next day (we had left several messages and didn't even receive a return call the next morning) they acted surprised that we didn't receive our service. The receptionist then said one of their drivers had a seizure, which is terrible and I feel for him, but still, could they not have called to alert their clients? She was going to speak to her manager. We still have not heard from them. I wrote them a 1 star Yelp Review. So had 3 other people on the 1st of Sept, to vent them same thing happening to them on August 31st with a No Call/No Show from Allstate Movers. But Yelp has filtered all of reviews. Perhaps because there were so many on one day and it flagged it as perhaps one person really trying to ruin a company. In this harsh economic climate I wish all small businesses success, but Allstate Movers needs to close business because they have proved unable to deliver the service they advertise and have no problem leaving you hanging.
I will end my rant with mention of one of the repercussions. Since we didn't have the 22 ft truck we required, we didn't have room to bring my bicycle. So I had to lock it up across the street on a bike rack, outside of a well lit condo building. Both a U-Lock secured the frame and front tire to the rack, and a chain wrapped through securing frame and both sets of tires. When I went to retrieve it a few days later to ride it home, it was gone. Someone had apparently picked the U-Lock. If you see someone riding a black Jamis Commuter 1, feel free to tackle and question.
So the week covering my 28th birthday had a rough patch, a test of patience and stamina towards bullshit. But the good news is I am moved into a new apartment and I love it. The building has been around since 1907 and has all of the original woodwork, although refinished in 1999 to keep it all nice looking. No ghosts yet, you would think perhaps an old building in Chicago might have a few spectres but it's a peaceful parlour. I also got to see Pearl Jam at the PJ20 event at Alpine Valley Wisconsin. Despite rain on that Saturday I enjoyed the rock and roll, Eddie Vedder's wine infused melodic grunting and Chris Cornell's special appearance. I have come to love the music of Liam Finn. And I still found burrs on my shoes the next morning after stepping up to be my brother's friends designated driver, hopping fences and ditches to find his car parked in some remote lot, a marshy field in Wisconsin. I was crabby during the field romp as I was still sleep deprived from the moving fiasco, but the next day I appreciated the opportunity of running around under a faint cloud covered moon in rural lands. We all need the fresh air and dark night to boot sometimes.
So 28 has given me a kick to the teeth in ways, but I'm hoping I've met my bullshit quota for the year, getting all of that out of the way, and onward we go to glorious year, kicking ass in good ways.