Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Finally, here's some more information on my move...

I think it was Friday the 9th that I finally got a call from the landlady here at the apartments. Actually, my mom got the call. I was at work, and about 12:30 my mom called me and said that she just got a call from the landlady, and that the apartment was available, and that if I wanted it she needed to know today, because she had some other people who wanted it also. So then I called the landlady back, and told her that, yeah, I'm still looking for an apartment, and that I worked until four, but I would be over as soon as I got off work to look at it. She asks me a few questions, including, "are you a partier?" I told her know. I told Daniel and Allen later that I wanted to make some smart-ass comment, like, "No, no parties, but I will be running a meth-lab in my apartment," or "Does running a brothel out of my apartment count as a party?" or even, "I'm not much of a partier now, since I live with my parents, but as soon as I get this apartment I will be!" But I didn't say anything like that, especially the meth-lab comment, because with the huge meth problem we have here in Oklahoma, they would've taken it seriously, and I probably would've gotten arrested. They say that something like one out of every five houses in the urban areas of Oklahoma has a meth-lab in it. Kim, a coworker of mine, who also moved into these apartments in February, said that the landlady told her when she was moving in that she is asking questions like that because she's trying to clean the place up and get all the riff-raff and drug dealers out. Right now it's mostly populated by shady looking characters, and Mexicans who stand outside your apartment all day, talking to each other in Spanish

So me, my mom, and my sister got there a few minutes after four, and even though the landlady should have been expecting me, she wasn't there. But the retarded groundskeeper who is impossible to understand was. We just stood there on the sidewalk and stared at us the entire time as we were pulling up in the car, and then getting out and walking up to the office. Finally, after we tried the office door and found it locked, he said something. We couldn't understand him, so he kept repeating it. My mom said "I'm sorry, but I can't understand you." Finally, through a combination of slurred speech and hand gestures we figured out that he was saying that she wasn't there, but that we could follow him to her apartment, where we could talk to someone else. He kept saying "mom." I don't know if the woman we talked to was the landlady's mother or what, she didn't really look any older than the landlady. Whoever it was, she didn't really know what was going on. I told her I was supposed to come look at an apartment that just became available, and she said that, yes, they did have one that just opened up, and told the retarded guy to show it to us. So we followed him to it, and he let us in, and we looked around it while having to listen to more of his ramblings. I don't mean to sound mean or anything, I don't really have anything against retarded people, I know they can't help it, but sometimes they bug me, especially when you can't understand what they're trying to say. It got a little easier to understand him after listening to him for a while, but not easy enough.

Luckily, as we were getting done looking at the apartment, and wondering what to do next, since the landlady still wasn't there, the maintenance man showed up. He still wasn't the ideal person to talk to about renting the apartment, but at least he knew what was going on, and was understandable. He took us to the office, and had me to start filling out the paperwork, while he made some calls to the actual owner of the apartment complex. He said I could fill out the application, and she'd look it over and give me a call when she got back from wherever she was. Luckily, when I was about half through with the forms, she came back. She agreed to rent it to me, and we went through all the paperwork, and the rules and stuff. The deposit was only $149, and the rent is normally $320 a month, but since I'd missed a few days of this month, they prorated my rent for this month, and I only had to pay $212 in rent.

Over the next few days, me and my mom cleaned the apartment. It wasn't filthy, not as bad as most apartments and rent houses I've seen, but it did need a thorough cleaning. We even cleaned all the walls with bleach water. After we did that, the whole apartment looks like a whole new paint job. The whole apartment cleaned up really nice. There's a couple of small stains on the carpet, and a few small burn marks in the carpet of the dining area, and the last renters apparently had a kid who liked to scribble on the wall with ink pens, but other than those few small problems it looks really good.

We got everything but the kitchen cleaned up, and I got the electricity switched over to my name, and the phone line activated, and all my stuff moved over, and furniture bought. My first night spent here was either Thursday the 15th, or Friday the 16th. I can't believe I've been living here this long already, it barely seems like a week. Then over the next couple of days we got nearly all the kitchen done, and everything moved into it. We did all of it except for a few cabinets along the bottom of the room that needed a paint job inside. And we just finished those this morning.

I got a really good deal on my furniture, it was still more than I expected to spend though. I ended up buying all new furniture. I had planned on looking through the classifieds in the paper, and stuff like that, and maybe getting some old furniture from friends and stuff like that, but I found all new furniture that was just too cheap to turn down. The first place we went was Sight and Sound, because the Sight and Sound location in Norman is having a moving clearance sale and everything was supposed to be really cheap. It was, and I found a set that I really liked. The couch was $260-something, the loveseat was something like $218, the end table was $28, the coffee table was $48, and they had a dinner table with four chairs that matches the end table and coffee table for only $200. In all I got the whole set, plus tax and delivery for a few dollars under $900. I think it was $898, or $889. Something like that. But my mom wasn't satisfied to buy furniture from the first place we went to. She insisted we look around at a few more places, to see if we could find something even cheaper. So we drove all the way up to this area of north Oklahoma City, where there's furniture store after furniture store, all right there together, and looked around four or five more stores. Nothing was near as cheap as Sight and Sound though, not even a Sight and Sound warehouse store we went to. So in the end, after wasting the whole day looking around, we ended up going back to the first place we went to, and buying my furniture there.

Moving in was a lot more expensive than I expected, even with buying new furniture. With the first month's rent, deposit, the electricity and phone activation fees, and then buying groceries, and towels and dishes and cookware, and all the miscellaneous things a house or apartment needs, I've spent around $2000, maybe a little bit over. My credit card bills should start arriving in the next week or so. My mom's going to help a little bit, she's going to pay maybe three or four hundred of it for me, and then she donated a lot of stuff to me, dishes and cookware, and stuff like that that she had extras of.

So now that we got those kitchen cabinets done today, the apartment's pretty much done. I've still got several boxes of stuff, but most of that will probably stay in the boxes, as I have so much junk that even a whole apartment isn't enough to hold it. Luckily, this apartment has a lot of storage spaces for the boxes. It's a big apartment, with lots of storage space. The bedroom was two closets. One's an average size closet, about two or three foot deep, and about 8 foot wide, but it's kinda dirty, and half of it is taken up by the AC, so I'm just using that one for storage of boxes mainly. Then it's also got a big walk in closet, that's probably about 8 foot by 6 foot. Actually, I need to buy another bookshelf, and that will let me get rid of most of the boxes that are left. I've got one bookshelf, but that doesn't even hold half of my books. I've got a lot of books. And that's not even counting all the magazines I have. I've got several boxes of old magazines. Most of those are still in my parent's attic though.

So once the AC is installed, hopefully Monday, the apartment will be all done. And this should be the end of my mom coming over all the time to help me work on it, so now I can start stocking up some alcohol in the fridge. I could've done that anyway. I'm 24. But my parents still think I'm a "good boy," and I really hate to shatter that image for them. As far as they know I've never had a drink in my life. I don't lie to them, I just don't tell them everything.

Ok, so I think that's everything that needs to be told. This is a really long post. It reminds me of the good old days, back when I used to have a post about this long at least once a week. I'll probably even make another post later, I've got some links and stuff I want to share.