Thursday, May 27, 2010

The New Apartment

I've been living in a new apartment for about a month now. We moved here because we thought it would be a great place to live during the great Spring weather (which has yet to appear here yet...we had snow a few days ago). It's got a pool and lots of grass to lay around on. However, after staying at the Stein Eriksen Lodge last week, I realized what a dump our apartment is. And I decided to document it.

Our roommate Becky, whose TV we have been using for two years, moved somewhere else so we were left with my TV. I thought it would be perfectly adequate, but when we set it up...well the screen is about as big as a computer screen. We have to squint to see the ball when watching the NBA finals, and whenver any writing shows up (most often in the after-stories at the end of movies, ie: so and so went on to own a store in Bluffton) we all have to get about ten inches from the TV to be able to read it. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I think this picture just needs one word: pathetic.

We were actually fairly excited about the couches here, they look a lot softer than the ones we came from. However we soon discovered that upon sitting on them, you sink to the point of drowning.

The bathroom is doable. The toilet necessitates an unnatural observation of one's own waste as it doesn't completely flush about once in every ten flushes. You'll notice in this picture that the outlets in the sink area are oddly positioned. We're curious what electrician thought that putting the outlets immediately below the lights, barely within the reach of shorter people like me, was a good idea. I don't enjoy being reminded of my lack of height every morning as I go to plug in my hair dryer.

There is another lighting mystery in the bedrooms. Apparently the electrician also decided that only one of the two occupants deserved decent light, so he decided to put the fixture on one side, right up against the wall. I lucked out with the lit side of our room, but it is absolutely blinding in the morning.

The kitchen is small, but that's very doable as there are just three of us. The biggest problem is the absence of a dishwasher. It's sort of a wash-and-use situation at this point. If you need a spoon you've got to dig through the sink, find one, and wash it. But we don't really have anything to dry them after we wash them, so I've been using a clean t-shirt. We also decided to actually cook something after things settled down from the move-in. We wanted to make a chicken dish in the oven, but we realized we had no pans to put in the oven, and nothing to pull hot dishes out of the oven with. We bought some cheap stuff at Smiths but only the minimum. We made quiche (baked in an alumnum pie tin we got for 93 cents) and muffins last week. Instead of springing for a muffin tin we bought the cupcake liners, put them on an old cookie sheet, and poured the batter in. It worked well enough that I may never invest in a muffin tin!

The last, and possibly most irritating aspect of our apartment is the noise. We live right above the lounge of our complex, and there is a piano in the lounge. We have to deal with people pounding away at all hours of the day. I woke up to someone playing Phantom of the Opera (not well) and singing along! We also live on the pool, which we thought was brilliant. We'd have easy access, we'd have a good view of whoever was hanging out there, what could be bad about this? However we soon learned about the pool gate. It's this big iron thing that closes automatically behind people as they enter or exit. However, if they don't slow it down before it closes it BANGS shut and shakes our whole apartment. The heater vent drowns out most of the talking and yelling at the pool but there is NOTHING that will muffle the noise of that gate.

Thankfully only three more weeks of this place.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hot Tub

I currently have the great pleasure of staying at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, UT for a work event. The Stein is one of the premier ski resorts in the world (top 10 in the U.S. according to Forbes magazine, top 500 hotels in the world according to Travel & Leisure magazine). As you come up the main drive you pass U.S. and Norwegian flags waving against the backdrop of the gorgeous mountains covered with pine trees and some with snow. Needless to say, I love this place.

Upon my arrival, I discovered that I had a hot tub out on the deck of my room, with a fabulous view of the mountains. So, although I had not brought appropriate hot tub attire, I felt obligated to take advantage of such luxurious accommodations. After dinner, I fired her up, turned on some appropriate 'sit-in-the-hot-tub-and-look-at-the-view-music', (a little Frank Sinatra and one of my favorites, 'As Time Goes By' from Casablanca), disrobed and climbed up the steps to get in. It took me minute to get comfortable, I had to ease into the heat, and I was enjoying taking my sweet time getting in. I thought my balcony was pretty secluded, however, the road that led to the service entrance for the hotel was below me, and as I was taking my sweet time, a car drove up the service road. Feeling COMPLETELY exposed, I practically dove into the hot tub for cover and scalded every inch of my body. After that fun experience I realized that leaving the lights on on the balcony was probably not the best move, so I checked for approaching cars, and ran quickly to turn all the lights, every last switch I could see, off. (It was pitch black outside and any light on on the inside drew attention to my area.)

I floated around in the hot tub for awhile, although I must admit I've never really understood the point. I turned on the jets but they kept pushing me around the hot tub, I couldn't just sit and relax while being buffeted about like that. So I turned them off, but then I felt silly, I might as well be in the bath if I was just going to sit, less chlorine and I could get clean. So I turned them back on, and braced myself so that I remained stationary, despite the jet flow. I lasted about ten minutes, but I was bored and hot. So I got out, put on my robe and slippers, and went to go put the cover back on. 

However, in my haste to remove the cover I had let it slide to the side of the hot tub, and attempting to lift it between the edge of the balcony and the hot tub from the side was not working. I could lift it high enough on one side to get it over the hot tub but the other side of the cover would be stuck against the balcony. It was sort of stuck and there was only one solution: I would have to get back in the hot tub and lift it back on using the handle in the middle. So I disrobed again, and climbed back in. I had to stand on the edge of the hot tub, balancing precariously near the edge of both the tub and the balcony, to lift the cover high enough. So there I was, in my hot tub attire, or lack thereof, standing on the edge of the hot tub, high up on my balcony, pulling on this cover, when another car comes driving by on the service road. I couldn't have been more visible if I'd lit off a flare! When I had gotten out the first time I had turned on the light to make it easier to see the cover, but of course, did not think to dim it again when getting back in. I was horrified once again and dropped immediately back into the hot tub, pulling the cover with me. Thankfully only half of it closed so I wasn't completely stuck. But I stayed down for a good five minutes, half waiting to hear a honk from the car below (clearly an over-estimation of my impact on the driver). Then I started envisioning walking around the hotel the next day as people sniggered to each other "Is that the one from 218...the one with the hot tub?" Oh I felt sick.

When I woke up this morning I started to think that I hadn't been seen. But when I went back to my room for a half hour this afternoon a man stopped by to 'check my hot tub'. Lesson learned: hot tubs on balconies - only to be used with appropriate attire.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Last week I was talking to my sister, well actually attempting to ask her to pickup her toys. She was not responding well and I made the comment that she needed to go to bed earlier because she was being grumpy. Her reply completely caught me off guard. She glared at me for a second and stomped up the stairs as she said: "It's not because of when I go to sleep, it's because I don't have a good life!"

At first it just made me laugh and I couldn't believe I was related to such a drama queen. Then I realized just how off her perspective was. Now, I am wondering about mine.

She demeaned her entire existence all because she was required to pickup a few toys. I like to think of myself as pretty undramatic, completely above such overstatements. However I have started to wonder about the little things that upset me or get me off-track, and how silly they'll seem in twenty years. I have to believe that my hundred-page reading assignment will be no more significant than picking up a few toys.

While I may not usually be as blunt as Lucy and go so far as to say that I don't have a good life, I think my behavior and thought process may communicate a similar message. I like to think that this is a problem that lessens with age, so that my perspective is at least a little more accurate than Lucy's. But I have a feeling that my twenty-one year-old issues are no less ridiculous than her five year-old issues.