jamesq: (Default)
So I've got to really watch my mood. A lot of shit's been happening lately and it's all been simmering under the surface, which is a recipe for another round of depression and/or pissing off the people closest to me.

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Back in July, when I put the down-payment on my condo, Laurel - the woman who sold it to me -told me that they were closing in on the day when I would have to customize my unit. This would be the picking of carpet, paint, tile, linoleum and extras that straight men are completely hopeless at. While helping M&M move, I commented to Michael that I was probably going to go in, close my eyes and point at the samples.

Horrified by this prospect, Michael volunteered to help me (he's actually taken courses on interior decorating - he also has a *cough* predisposition to this sort of thing). It's a good thing he did to, because on Monday I found a message on my phone from another POV salesperson. Jill had phoned to inform me that I had until Thursday to make my decisions! Now I was waiting for Laurel to call me - I would be waiting for a while though, as Laurel no longer works for POV. Hmm #1.

I phoned Jill and left a message saying I wanted to come in Thursday night. She never got back to me. I phoned again Thursday afternoon to find that they were expecting me. They had forgotten to let me know. Hmm #2

Michael picked me up at work and we stopped off for burgers on the way downtown. By a strange coincidence, we ran into Roger (a SCAdian) at the Wendy's. Apparently, the Clinton War is this weekend. Wasn't the last one like last week? Oh well, time flies when your having fun.

This got us to the POV offices about two minutes before they closed. Luckily, Jill was still helping two other lazy-ass bachelors. While we were waiting, Michael and I went over the samples. And Michael began speaking in tongues:
"Now this rug anchors the room."
"This tile is much warmer than the others."
"Do you prefer the Singapore Sunset Saffron or the Gunmetal Civet Delight?"
Eventually we (and by we, I mean Michael) came up with a collection of things that I actually liked.

As an aside, I would just like to say that it's nice to have friends who will aggressively decide these aesthetic things for me - I'm just good enough at it to know that I've bought something bad, but not quite good enough to get the good thing in the first place. I'm the same way with clothes, which is why I had Psycho-Kanga (back when she was just plain Kanga, and not yet psycho) help me buy my last suit - and a damn fine suit it is too. Most of the people I know are too worried about offending me to do this, so I get lots of "I like it if you like it" waffling. Thankfully Michael's not like that.

Jill by this time had finished with the other proto-residents and was ready to help us. So we told her the colour combination that we had decided on. Then came the time to decide on my upgrades. For examples we had to go to the show suite they had on the thirteenth floor.

The show suite is very nice, and it helped me to decide that I only wanted one upgrade (the breakfast bar - Mmm screwdrivers for breakfast). everything else was either too damn expensive, or just not worth it. For example, there were several bathtub upgrades available, and none of them made the tub three feet longer.

On the way out, the guy who had the suite next to the show suite came out and accosted us. He was waiting for some friends to come by and thought we were them. Then he described his home electronics and how he had to keep them turned down low so as not to bother us. He looked, acted and talked like an unholy cross between Uncle Fester and Louis Tulley from Ghostbusters. We couldn't get on the elevator fast enough. Whoever eventually gets the show suite, I hope they get a discount. By a strange and frightening coincidence, his unit number and mine are the same. Hmm #3.

We went back down to the office to finish things up when Jill discovered that she had locked herself out of the POV offices. To her credit she actually did try the locks before we left to make sure we could go back in - unfortunately, she didn't check well enough. It being after hours (remember, Michael and I arrived two minutes before closing) there was no one else there to let us in. So Jill tries the door for awhile before giving up. Then she pounds on it in the vague hope that someone was working late. Finally she tries to get in through the outside balcony (which she made sure was locked when we left the office).

Meanwhile, Michael and I are waiting outside the office door. After a few minutes, we can hear Jill outside trying to enter the office unsuccessfully.

I pull a credit card out of my wallet and raise my eyebrow at Michael.
"Do you have any idea how hard that is to do in real life - I've managed to do it twice." Said Michael.
"What have we got to lose?"
So I walk up to the door, and I jimmy the office door open with my credit card in about two seconds flat, slicker than snot. Hmm #4 - hopefully my unit will have a dead-bolt. Then I walk into the office and let Jill in through the balcony door.
"It's gratifying to find that I have undiscovered skills."
Jill proceeded to look into several oddball requests I had made regarding my unit (installing cat-5 cable for my computers). While she was doing that, Michael and I made wiseass comments about how I could use my newfound jimmying skill to get myself lots of furniture at POV's expense (they had some nice leather chairs in the office).
"I wouldn't mind taking this cool model of the building"
"what would you do with it"
"Use it as a big voodoo doll to keep my neighbors in line of course"
"Ahh."
We sat down and made ourselves comfortable and Michael leaned back and tipped over the (precariously balanced) glass case containing the building model - the one we just said would make a good voodoo doll. Images of the real building collapsing in a freak earthquake filled my mind as I jumped up and caught the case. Gently righting the display case I realize my heart rate has doubled faster than it took me to break into the office.

Anyhow, Jill and I finish as much paperwork as possible, and then Michael and I leave. On the way out we find Louis Tulley in the building lobby, waiting for his friends. He again begins to talk to us (shudder). We quickly leave, wondering if the friends he brings back to his apartment know they're his friends - and if they ever leave again.
jamesq: (Default)
Calgary saw the it's most expensive residential fire ever this week. I had no idea until I had this little exchange with [livejournal.com profile] bunglelord via email:
Subject: Pardon me, is that your bonfire????

Hi James,

Is that your condo that is roasting Calgary?

Welcome to the home of the Flames....

-Nazrat
He can be surreal at times, so I thought he was making some obscure joke/pun. Not getting it, I responded with:
What the hell are you talking about?
On his next email, he told me the news, that a condo complex by the Stampede Grounds was a raging inferno. Sure enough, I could see it from my balcony.

For the record, it's nowhere near my condo. And it's a good thing I put a deposit on my place last Monday because I'm sure all the available condos downtown have vanished (as 200 people go condo-hunting simultaneously).
jamesq: (Default)
I walked into Pointe of View condos and put down a deposit on (when it's completed) my new condo. Phew.

I first looked at Discovery Point about a month ago when I first started checking out condos. It was, in fact, the first place I looked. The salesman was friendly, low key, and didn't pressure me at all (given the Calgary's housing market, he didn't have to - if I didn't buy a condo, there was no danger of the building going empty).

I found, as I looked around, that I kept coming back to the information I got on Discovery Point. I was subconsciously using it as the standard to judge all of the other places I saw. Which isn't to say it was the best or the cheapest - just the best combination of price, layout and location I've been able to find. I still want a 400K house in Hillhurst for 150K. Houses being sold by morons are hard to come by though.

Looking for a condo was one of the most stressful things I've done in recent memory. For one thing, I hate cold-calling people, and this required a lot of that. I also hate having to talk to strangers. For example, on Sunday, I convinced Gareth to chauffeur me around to check out some places in Bridgeland, Regal Terrace and Varsity. I actually looked at some places (that were really nice) in Regal Park. By the end of each visit, I was dripping with nervous sweat and desperate to flee.

After searching, I thought "Well, I've found a condo that I should make an offer on." And then I would get really angry and depressed. I couldn't put my finger on why I was having this reaction. So I slept on it. And woke up every hour angry and depressed. I was useless for work on Monday spending the day (you guessed it) angry and depressed. Monday night I woke up and thought "Just buy the damn unit in Discovery Place already and put the headaches behind you". So after work I went down to the sales office and did just that.

And I feel great. Not angry, not depressed, just satisfied that I got a nice place with a great view, in a neighborhood that I already know like the back of my hand (unlike Regal Park).

The downside is that my possession date is estimated to be in December. Which means I have to stay at Continental Towers for another six months. And I have to do it without a roommate as the Bruce is moving at the end of the week. Anyone looking for a place to stay until January? $400/month which includes rent/phone/Internet. Let me know if you're interested.

On the bright side, I will own a parking stall (which I can rent out for the equivalent of my condo fees) and I'm right next to the river. Also, I have six months to save up the rest of my down payment.

CHEESE and CRACKERS am I glad that's over with.
jamesq: (Default)
1 am: A horizontal snowstorm drops visibility outside my balcony window to the point where I cannot see the east tower of my apartment complex.

9 am: The snowing stops, having covered the city in a soft white blanket.

11 am: I leave the apartment to discover that the soft white blanket is thick, wet, heavy snow capped with a crunchy layer of ice. I bet that was fun to drive on.

I gave up my plans to go condo-hunting and, feeling depressed due to the weather (among other things) I baked cookies.

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