1. Don't waste your efficiency skills packing all your clothes into a dozen medium-sized boxes. I had a few shirts left on hangers when the movers arrived, and they just hung them in a portable wardrobe that they wheeled out to the truck. They could have moved everything that way, and I wouldn't have ended up with inconvenient creases in every article of clothing that I own.
2. The people you trust the most lie to your face about Ikea furniture. Two of my closest acquaintances encouraged me to buy couches, chairs, a bed, and bookcases from the Swedish cult. "That would look nice! That's a good deal!" they said as I pointed to things I planned to buy from the catalog. But what did they say when I had second thoughts and cancelled my Ikea order? "Their stuff is terrible! Everything falls apart after a year!" Thanks for looking out for me, guys! Don't bother recommending any heart surgeons to me!
3. Not all electrical outlets are as slutty as the ones I had in my triple decker in Somerville. During the first night in my new place, I thought that I'd have to buy all new lamps because their plugs didn't seem to fit the sockets. I finally figured out that I had to work them a little bit, moving them slightly up and down until they were snugly inserted. In my old place, I slid plugs into the wall without any effort, and everything was good to go. Of course, if a speck of dust fell onto the electrical cord, it would drop out of the socket or just hang there so that the attached light or clock kept going on and off, occasionally producing colorful sparks. Good times!
In four days, I move to my new apartment in Malden, and all of my worries will disappear, but for now I'm as pissed as ever. Though my place still lacks furniture, I've been paying rent since the first. It's now the 11th, and my name still isn't on the intercom directory. On Saturday I was assured that my apartment would be buzzable on Monday, but it's two days later and I'm still not listed on the tenant roll call.
If this were New York, I'd figure out by know that I was supposed to slip someone a $20, but I don't really think Malden has reached that level of sophistication. I do know that this is a bad first impression of the management. If it takes weeks to fix this "problem," how long is it going to take to get action if the garbage disposal starts working in reverse?
Remember, boys and girls: Never move into an apartment building with an intercom problem -- or a building where you've ever noticed an intercom that was broken for more than 24 hours. Not only does this speak ill of management, it means that tenants will be constantly propping the front door open with phone books, and you will eventually be burglarized. And a word of warning: Whenever I enter or leave an apartment building, I close the front door behind me, no matter what cute handwritten signs are taped to the door and no matter what whimsical objects are used as doorstops.
Late-forming El Niño conditions are blamed for the fact that last year's hurricane season was more benign than forecast, said Philip Klotzbach, a forecaster at the hurricane center of Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
I would have thought El Nino deserved credit, not blame, for preventing another Katrina, but then I'm not a Weather Channel groupie.