mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
(Wednesday night)
We actually got to take our stuff out of our trunk today and put it in the new apartment. Some of that stuff had been in there one day short of three weeks. That whole trunkful of stuff looked like nothing at all once we got it inside, funny how that works.

We really like the apartment, although as I've said, I think we're going to loathe the commute. But it has a LOT of light, especially in the bedrooms, and I do like that. It has a balcony that goes all the way across the two bedrooms. If I thought we were staying there longer than six months I would actually buy chairs for the balcony, I think.

We spent the afternoon running around spending money. We went to Container Store, Ikea and Gallery Furniture. Rob got very frustrated with Ikea, but we found a bed that we really liked. We also bought some odds and ends like trash cans there. The bed is a queen size, which is not what we had before and so that means we are going to buy bedlinens, but nothing at Ikea grabbed me. I bet I am going to end up with a bed-in-a-bag from someplace. (Don't those usually have dust ruffles in them, though? This bed is a platform bed so we don't actually need a dust ruffle. But oh well. It's still probably cheaper than buying separate pieces.)

We still don't actually have a mover. I have GOT to get on the stick and start calling movers tomorrow. I didn't see any point in doing it until the new address was official, and Rob was gung-ho on getting the furniture shopping over with so that's what we did today. But if we don't get that stuff out of there soon more of it is going to become unsalvageable.

Oh, I had swedish meatballs in the IKEA cafe for lunch. (Rob had penne.) And lingonberries, which were good. I don't think I'd ever had them before.

Since we'd already gotten a bed, all we absolutely had to buy at Gallery Furniture was a rocker for Rob, because he cannot live without one and the one we had was terribly moldy when we got back and has already been carted away. We bought him a nice Lane swivel rocker. I'm not sure how we are going to get the old apartment cleaned out because we are going to have to spend all our time waiting for deliveries and utility people the next few days - Gallery Furniture tomorrow (they wanted to do it tonight, but we were like, y'know, galveston? curfew?), Ikea Friday and cable (yay) on Saturday.

And we bought a media center at the Container Store, to match our iron bookcases which came through the flood pretty well. (We might have to sand the feet a bit later.) And also some boxes and newsprint. Rob went through a whole Sam's Club pack of boxes (18 of them) packing books and DVDs yesterday. We still have too damn many books, even though quite a few have had to go in the trash. We bought some small boxes - I think they were 12x12x12" - and I started packing plates - first the everyday ones and then grandma's china. That's a pretty good size for dishes, it doesn't get too heavy.




I was cleaning out all the random pieces of paper in my purse - much of it written on hotel notepads - and one thing was a page (of two, I think) for a going-back-to-Galveston supply list:

insect repellant
cutter backyard mosquito fogger (recommended by somebody-or-other)
lots of water
cooler
boots (rubber)
masks

I got most of this stuff out of lists in the paper and on the City of Galveston website, I think. We never did get any boots but we got most of the rest of this stuff - although I have worn my mask for a total of maybe a minute and a half. They are very hot.

Another piece of paper was the phone numbers of apartment locators, which we never used, of course. Yet another piece of paper was phone numbers and confirmation numbers for hotels.


Speaking of that curfew, I just looked out the window and there are NO cars on the Seawall. It's kind of eerie. Technically the curfew starts at 6:00, and frankly nobody has been paying much attention to that, other than that business have been closing down by then. But evidently after dark it's a different matter.



For those of you who are terribly efficient and want to update your address books, here is the new address:
(redacted)
Friendswood TX

(No new phone number yet, I called while ago and apparently AT&T does not run to 24-hour service lines. I will have to try again tomorrow.)

(Also, we are practically right across the street from the Friends Church, after which the town is named. Every other thing in our neighborhood is named "Quaker" something - streets, apartment buildings, subdivisions.)



I keep going "and another thing" - but I just thought of something else I haven't talked about. nonelvis had mentioned that LaQuinta was updating and sort of swankifying some of their locations, and I am theorizing that the hurricane caught this one in mid-update. This is a pretty new hotel in the first place - I think only a couple of years old or maybe less - and our room is a nice sort of junior suite thing, I guess you'd call it. (I am old fashioned and I think that a "suite" means something with a real living room, with a door that separates it from the living room, but I know that's not the usage these days.) This room has an archway in the middle with a nice desk sort of underneath, and on the far side of the archway is a little living area with a couch - which may be a sleeper sofa, I'm not sure about that - and a table and a couple of chairs. It's a fairly nice room, really, much swankier than I think of LaQuintas being. And the bathroom is pretty nice. There are a couple of little glitchy things that makes me think that this was hastily re-done, though, which fits in with what nonelvis was saying about it.

(Sorry about all the long entries with no cuts, but I have plenty of time to write in the evenings, and when I post it always seems to be in a hurry. Boy I can't wait to have my internet access back!)
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
(Monday)
We are ensconced in the (relative) lap of luxury at the LaQuinta on the Seawall, which just reopened - we seem to be some of the first guests other than the contractors who are working here.

(Aside - watching the screen crawl on ESPN can be very disorienting. Somebody had their leg amputated? - I have been a bit out of touch so I have no idea who - and the next thing on the crawl after that is that Bruce Springsteen is doing the halftime show at the Super Bowl.)

So anyway. I came down here to check this morning and I thought for sure this hotel was closed. There were repairmen swarming all over the place, and there wasn't a "yes we're open" sign or anything like that. (There is an sign now, which may be thanks to me - because I called the 800 number for LaQuinta and said "But it doesn't LOOK open!") I guess the repairmen were swarming because they were trying to get it fit to open. And it's fine. I can live with no internet, no ice and no elevator. There's electricity and a/c and a lovely shower. It's not too blazing hot outside but we still got a bit sweaty in the damp apartment with no electricity.

My phone has been ringing off the hook. FEMA called me just now. That was a bit odd. But it was a guy named Todd who was very polite and who is coming to "inspect my property" tomorrow. (Sounds kinda like a dirty joke, doesn't it? But he does know that the so-called property is an apartment, apparently.) The FEMA guy got my voicemail because I was on the phone with my cousin Stephanie. Earlier Rob's boss called and got voicemail because I was on the phone with my father. I am not a big phone-talker, in general, but everybody wanted to know what was going on, so I've spent a lot of time letting them know. But hey, it's nice that everybody cares!

Rob's boss called to say he doesn't have to go to work tomorrow after all. We're not sure what that's about, except that UTMB's website still said, the last we saw, that non-essential employees were not *allowed* to go back to work yet. Rob's department has been known in the past to attempt to sort of go their own way, and to do what they want even when it's against the grain of what the rest of the institution is doing. We were wondering if they tried to call their employees back and got told, no, you can't do that. Anyway, I'm glad to have the help. Trying to pack up all our stuff and sort out the good from the wet and so forth is a big job. Trying to do it by myself was going to be a bitch.

So we are going in the morning to meet with our prospective landlord and see the place and unless somebody comes to us with some incredibly better deal we are probably just going to sign it. (We may go check my e-mail before we go to make sure that nobody has e-mailed us about these incredible theoretical deals.) It's a two-bedroom in a nice complex for less money than we're paying now. Then, after we do that and see FEMA, the next round of fun begins - we have to finish packing and find a mover and all that stuff. We are thinking that rather than move our old ratty bed again, we may go up to Gallery Furniture (they of the "buy it tonight, get it delivered tonight" policy) and buy a bed. And maybe a couple more small pieces. We threw away my mom's swivel rocker which Rob was using for "his chair" - it was covered with mold - so we need to get him some kind of rocker to replace it - he is very partial to rockers. And I don't know that we'll buy the other stuff at Gallery but we need some other things like lamps and side tables and a computer table, or maybe two, because both of ours are trashed, think. Other than that I think the rest of our furniture is probably okay. The dining room furniture was solid wood and seems to be alright. The rest of the living room furniture was solid wood and further, the upholstery was scotch-guarded, which - I can only think - must be the reason they didn't mold when other things did.


(Tuesday)
So yeah, if you live somewhere that might flood, apparently buying solid wood furniture is a good idea. Because it's all fine except maybe some damage to the finish at the bottom, while the laminate stuff is mostly out in the trash heap. Mama's expensive-but-laminate sewing table is alright, I think, but that may be because it was on casters and that was enough to get it above the worst of it. The FEMA dude's theory was that it was mostly one big wave that came through, cresting at a foot high inside, or a little more. If that's true, carpet dries out better than I thought, but hey, he's the expert, and that's probably about the most information we're ever likely to get about what happened.

We probably have an apartment. At least, we filled out the application, and since our credit is good and we're not felons or anything, presumably it will be accepted. (Hmm, wonder what will happen if they find out we were late with the rent last month. Because we totally forgot about it, not because we were short money or anything. But normally we never do that, and anyway, there's still no phone service to Galveston so unless they have some secret landlord webpage or something I don't know how they would find out. And it was exactly one day late and we paid the fee and everything so it might not be fatal even then.) It's maybe not quite as big as our current apartment but it's slightly cheaper so that evens out. I knew ahead of time that it would be very clean because Art lives there and he's a neat freak. He would never live anyplace with roaches or bad maintenance.

We can technically move in tomorrow, assuming acceptance. We may go on up and buy furniture tomorrow - at least, Rob wants to. And apparently I may get called back to work along about Monday so I guess we need to get as much as possible done before then.

We went to see the apartment, and filled out the - rather lengthy - application, and we drove around a bit before we came back. It's a lovely neighborhood, really - lots of trees. And oh, did I say that it's actually a senior citizen's apartment complex? So we are going to be the youngsters there. That might mean that they are a lot more neighborly than we are used to - nobody at our apartment complex ever talked to each other before the hurricane. (Now everybody swaps stories while they move out.) The sad thing is that we are almost old enough for the senior citizen complex anyway - apparently you only ever had to be 50 - but apparently they don't enforce that so much in any case. Also we will be much nearer the big shopping area on the edge of Houston, which might not be a good thing. And I might actually go to a quilt guild meeting since I will be so much nearer.

I spent half the afternoon worrying about getting the electricity turned on and then it turned out that it was already on and the complex just bills you for your share, which is odd - but you'd think I would have noticed that the electricity was on. There was a lot of sunlight in there and everything (big French doors in the master bedroom leading to the balcony, which is nice) but it wasn't so bright that I wouldn't've noticed the difference. I also sorta failed to look in the bathroom very well. I guess it was just sort of a standard bathroom, but still. I think we are buying a lot of things like towels and linens over again - for one thing if we get a queen size bed we will have to get new linens. I guess we will just have to throw ourselves on the mercy of places like Bed Bath and Beyond, since mail order seems rather out of the question right now. (Supposedly mail service is coming back right away but I'll believe it when I see it.

We did go in Sam's and Wal-Mart and bought plastic drawer things that we figure can continue to hold our things between moves without having to go to the bother of unpacking them. (And some ice. Ice, as you might guess, is a hot commodity. So to speak.) And at Sam's we got cardboard boxes. I had saved a bunch of the nice boxes we had for the last move but they were of course trashed as well. I hate to say it, but along with my "solid wood" recommendation earlier, I have to add another one for watertight - meaning just regular old plastic - storage boxes. Those mostly came through like gangbusters.

(I am asleep in front of the computer. Bedtime.)


(Wednesday, early)
I have been typing all this on Notepad in the hotel room since there is apparently still no internet. It keeps teasing me and telling me there are networks available but nothing works. It's 7:06 - so the computer is telling me - and I have been up for a while. I went to bed early, right after I fell asleep in front of the computer, and it was much earlier than I usually go to bed so I woke up at 5:30. Ugh. But I have already called the electric company so I am getting a thing or two done, and when Rob gets back from running we are going to have breakfast and go to the mainland and start on our stuff. We will probably go to Panera Bread again - which is what we did yesterday, only we didn't stay long - and go see if we can get into the new apartment and then go up to Houston for the big shopping trip. We may go to Container Store and Ikea before we hit Gallery Furniture and see what we can find in those places. Those iron bookshelves I bought at Container Store might be on sale and I love those things and of course they came through pretty much unscathed, too. We threw out a couple of small particle board bookshelves that were hand-me-downs from Mama, and we may have to toss our big ancient one, it got pretty wet, too.

Hopefully we can clean out our trunk before we go shopping. Bear in mind that we have effectively been living out of our car for nearly 3 weeks. I have no idea what all is in that trunk any more. We have the luggage that we haul in and out of hotel rooms and the various relatives' houses, and we have been keeping that stuff in the back seat. The trunk has some bigger bags of clothes that I have delved into once or twice, and then a bunch of miscellaneous stuff. Like I said, I've lost track. There are a lot of Wal-Mart bags full of various items, food and duck tape and who-knows-what. So if we want to buy anything more than will fit in the back seat of a Toyota, we have to clean out the trunk first!

Yay, hotel

Sep. 28th, 2008 10:50 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (Bellagio shiny)
In case anybody is worried about the whole roof-over-our-heads thing, the LaQuinta right down the road from us has apparently reopened and we got reservations for the whole week. So at least we won't have to be driving up to kingdom come every night!! (Kingwood, actually. We almost got reservations at a hotel in Kingwood, which is a heckuva long way away.) Hopefully by the end of the week we will have an actual place to live, I think we are getting sick of hotels.

Odds are that the Galveston LaQuinta does not have internet at the moment, though. (Hmm, wonder if Starbucks has theirs back on yet.)
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
Oh, but the good news is, we don't have to clean out the refrigerator. Not our problem.
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
Okay, so. The apartment has water but no power, and it's still damp enough that I doubt they would turn the power back on anyway. We are going to have to find another place to live for a while. (We may or may not go back there, we don't know that at this point.) Hell, we don't even have a place to stay tomorrow, at the moment, although there are a couple of last-ditch places we could crash if it came right down to it, so don't worry about us. We are at a decent Econolodge in Pasadena, right now, with wi-fi, as you see. I was probably a bit too complacent about the hotel thing. It's worse than I thought, obviously.

Anyway. About 75% of our belongings are salvageable, maybe more. One of the computers even looks ok, I think. We can't quite figure out how much water was in the apartment, because different places seem to indicate different things. Most of the furniture looks like it only got wet at the bottom, a couple of inches, maybe. It looks like water came in at the windows, and at least some of the roof blew off of various buildings in our complex so some water may have come down from inside the walls or something like that. It's just hard to tell. Oh, and my car may be totalled - it definitely had water in it, anyway. I guess it depends on how wet the engine got, ultimately.

You can tell we haven't quite processed it all yet. We have to find an apartment and maybe buy some new furniture and arrange for a mover for the old stuff... and I guess we need to shut off the utilities, officially, although I doubt think they are charging us right now anyway - I even got e-mails from Comcast and Netflix saying we wouldn't be charged and/or would get a credit. I am avoiding making a to-do list because I think that will just overwhelm me completely. There are some inhabitable apartments left in our complex, so we might be able to get one of those. Or we can check on the mainland. I guess I will try to call an apartment locator in the morning. And we are just going to go back to Galveston in the morning, early, and see how much we can get done tomorrow, considering that Rob has to go back to work Tuesday.

(My sister said, "At least your life is interesting!" I don't think she was really being ironic, either.)

Island fun

Sep. 24th, 2008 09:27 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
If you want to know what we are looking at in going home, here's some stuff to look at:
http://www.galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=b27e0ac19c8481a8
http://www.galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=9e57bddf2b0b536c
http://www.cityofgalveston.org/news/default.cfm?ID=2309
(That first one is particularly fun.)

The upshot is that we probably have water and sewer, probably not electricity. We still don't know about the possible water in the apartment, of course. I think we are looking at living somewhere else at least until the electricity comes back on, even as a best case. And until we don't have to boil the water.

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