Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ambient noise

On Sunday morning, I woke up at sometime in the very early morning to a loud, repeated noise of something hitting metal. With no clock plugged in, I had no idea what time it was. Was someone doing construction nearby? I was very confused. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep to no avail. Finally I had to get up to see what it was. I checked my cell - 3:30 AM. Oy.

I followed my ears (not very easy for someone partially deaf from rock concerts) to the kitchen, and then back to my window. One look outside told me everything - water was dripping onto the top of my air conditioner. And it was very loud. I went outside and looked up. Sure enough, the neighbor on the second floor had an air conditioner directly over mine. And it was leaking. Onto my air conditioner. BANG BANG a 2-year-old hitting a pan over and over. Welcome to New York, I guess.

I was too exhausted to do anything about it. I went back inside, covered my head with a pillow and toughed it out.

I was able to sleep until about 9:30 AM and I needed every second of it. That's when the calls started rolling in - friends checking up on me, family, etc. I was starving so I dug through my boxes until I found my food. Bagel, yum.

Then it was on to unpacking. A truly daunting task. I started by checking my manifest. I wanted to unpack my clothing first since it and my hangers accounted for 6 boxes alone. Unfortunately, all of those boxes seemed to be on the bottom. After a bit of shuffling I found my hangers and soon after started hanging up my clothes. I ended up with a lot of extra hangers but my closet rod was full. Guess I won't be buying any new clothes for awhile.

The closet wasn't super wide but it was very tall inside. Since I am pretty tall my first thought was to yank out the shelf, raise the bar and add a second bar. But I decided against it when I tested the shelf - glued and nailed. Instead, I decided to buy a second shelf and install it myself. Then I could use the floor for shoe storage. Damn I have a lot of shoes. And much like my jeans, I think I wear the same three pairs over and over.

I broke for lunch and stared longingly at my poor, broken TV stand, which was still wrapped in the moving blanket and laying upside-down to protect the broken leg from further damage. As I'd started opening boxes I realized how much crap was dependent on that stand - all of my DVDs, all of my video games and the system, my TV, my DVD player, etc. My TV was sitting on my dresser looking distraught, and my stereo was still packed since the TV was in its space.

With no other form of entertainment, I pulled out my laptop. Time to test the Internet. As my HP started, I prayed to the Internet Gods that someone around was running an unsecured router. As luck would have it, there was not one but three people doing just that. I could live without TV but life without Internet was too much to ask. None of the networks had super reception - all were one bar - and I couldn't even connect to the first two. The third let me connect and I was surfing the web slowly. But at least I was on.

I ran out to D'Agostino and grabbed the basic groceries - milk, butter, cereal, etc. With no gas I had to remember to buy microwavable dinners. I also signed up for their rewards card, which I noticed only gave you discounts after you earn a certain number of points. Lame. I miss Stop & Shop already. I went back home, unpacked everything and headed down to Bed Bath & Beyond.

I cannot even describe how bad of an idea that was. Let me be clear - love Bed Bath & Beyond. I was happy to see that the store carried discounted toiletries like my store in Connecticut. But it was back to school weekend and every college freshman and their parents was there as well. Not to mention that the store completely overwhelmed me. I mean, they had a whole wall of spatulas. There were too many New York City options. I went for a trashcan. I wanted a stainless steel one to match my kitchen. The cheapest one was $90. I walked out without the trashcan, but with $90 worth of crap. They do take coupons though - their coupons, Linens N Things coupons, expired coupons...that pretty much rocks. The subway ride was unpleasant at best with two huge bags. I'm happy I live only 2 blocks from the station.

A friend came over for dinner, so I put the unpacking on pause. We went to the Atlantic Grill and had awesome meals with complimentary brownies for dessert on a dreary rainy day. I learned later that it's a bit of a celeb eatery but we didn't see anyone while we were there.

After dinner we went down to the Whole Foods in Union Square. I had been in there plenty of times - my work used to be located at Park and 17th. But it was my first time downstairs. With two sets of arms I stocked up on goodies.

I can't believe I have to go to work tomorrow. I need a week off to unpack.

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