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The Great Deluge, Day 3: Stinky Carpet Abounds!

1 Nov

I feel like this lady.

Well y’all. It just keeps getting better.

Apparently I called a terrible company to come out here and deal with this. COULD MY LUCK GET ANY WORSE? I went to bed feeling highly unsure about this carpet issue, due to the fact that there was still a TON of water in the floor. Woke up in the middle of the night to the powerful stench of mildew. Like, knock your socks off powerful.

So this morning I got up and called the carpet company that had been out here previously. I explained to the woman that I didn’t think this was normal and that it stunk to high heaven in here. She said told me that shouldn’t happen, that they should have sucked water out of the carpet and the padding underneath and there shouldn’t be a ton of it left. Well, I told her, the guy did the carpet, but he did not do the padding. At all. So she calls the dude. AND THIS IS WHERE THINGS GET RIDICULOUS. He then calls me and is telling me that everything is fine, it will take a few days to dry, not to worry about it, and he’ll come out tomorrow morning. I try to tell him about the smell, he’s like oh yeah don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.

I get off the phone feeling a bit befuddled, and I decide to just call the lady back and just voice my concern again, just to have it on record. I call and explain that Erin said not to worry about it but that I was still a bit concerned because it stinks like crazy in here and I don’t think that’s normal. She says, no, that’s not right, I’ll call him. AND THEN HE CALLS ME AGAIN ALL IRRITATED BECAUSE I CALLED HER. Like, in what world is it professional to run a business that way? I call and talk to the company, the company calls their worker and tells him I’m complaining and he calls me telling me not to complain? REALLY?

I try to calm him down and explain to him that I’m not trying to get him in any trouble, I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m just very worried because the carpet isn’t drying fast enough to prevent mildew and the smell is so strong you can smell it outside the apartment. Oh and by the way water is leaking out of all of my air vents. THAT’S HOW MUCH MOISTURE IS IN HERE, PEOPLE. He simmers down a bit, tells me he can’t come back until tonight. Well I have to teach class tonight, so tomorrow morning will have to suffice.

And then I try to get some work done and move on with my life. But the more people I talk to about this, the more people are like, nooooo, that doesn’t sound right. So this afternoon I call the lady back one more time and say I’m not seeing eye-to-eye with Erin, that something has to be wrong, I’m very concerned and I’m just trying to get this taken care of, blah blah blah.  This lady then turns it around on me saying it could be very expensive to get this fixed and she tried to tell me that when I first called to get an estimate and I chose to do a simple extraction (Erm, no I didn’t “chose” anything, I asked to get someone out here to take a look at it, this dude showed up and told me he could take care of it), that there may not be anything they can do because the carpet might just be ruined and have to be replaced, so on and so forth. Oh and on top of that, she called the dude again and he immediately called me again, I’m sure to chew me out for calling again. I decided against answering his call. The joys of caller ID!

Basically, things are only getting worse around here. And I’ve got no clue what to do at this point. He’s showing up tomorrow morning and my friend Brian is going to be here as my witness, but basically, I’m now the smelly girl. I have a smelly apartment and it’s not likely to get fixed any time soon and I may get some kind of fungal growth inside me because of the massive amount of mold and mildew and I’m destined to be stinky until I can move out of here in December.

So, now that my apartment and all my things stink, who wants to hang out?!



The Great Deluge of 2011

31 Oct

**fair warning, this post contains large amounts of all caps. There’s a lot of yelling. Sorry in advance.

Y’all, somewhere I have done something terribly wrong. My karma has got to be so far out of whack, I must have really been a jerk somewhere at some point. Here I am, on the verge of a nervous breakdown about thesis stuff and the possibility of me not being done in December *gasp!* and I’m burnt out, stressed out, strung out (not literally) and then: THE GREAT DELUGE OF 2011.

You see, it’s been raining here in Miami every day for about 3 weeks now. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And in the midst of this rain, there are several problems. #1: We have an upstairs patio that doesn’t drain properly. I don’t know why, but water just seems to sit on our patio. There’s a drain and there is nothing blocking it. I’ve even gouged a wire hanger down in there to make sure there was nothing blocking it. The wire hanger goes all the way down, no problem. But the water on the other hand does not. There are signs all over the parking garage saying “CHECK YOUR DRAINS ON YOUR BALCONIES AND PATIOS, IT’S RAINY SEASON, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH” but I mean, hello, I’m a 26 year old renter. I can make sure the drain looks clear, I can run a hanger down there, and that’s about the limit of my outdoor plumbing prowess. I don’t have freaking 40-ft long snake tools for cleaning giant 4 story tall drain pipes. MY MISTAKE.

patio door

The patio door in question. The source of much woe and suffering, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Problem #2: Our patio door is janked up and doesn’t close properly. It’s like it’s not sitting right on its hinges or something and it drags really badly at the bottom when you open it, and when you close it, it closes all the way at the top, but not at the bottom corner. No amount of pulling, cursing and cajoling will get that bottom part to close properly. Believe me, I’ve tried.

However, this has never been a problem for us, and I mean, we get a lot of rain here. But yesterday was particularly bad and there were flash flood warnings everywhere in South Florida as it dumped buckets of water on us ALL DAY LONG. Around 12:30 a.m. as I was still up working late, I heard some water dripping. I noticed the vent in the ceiling in the kitchen (downstairs) was dripping water. I shrieked, put a pot under it, and stood there pondering said drip. And then it occurred to me in that slow motion way things happen in the movies, where the lead character starts to say NOOOOOOOOOOO and it comes out all slow and drawn out and then there’s a giant explosion, THIS WATER HAD TO BE COMING FROM UPSTAIRS SOMEWHERE.

I dashed up the stairs and as soon as my foot hit the top landing, I was standing in about two inches of water. EVERYWHERE. It had spilled all through Shannon’s bedroom, out to the landing, up to the doorway of my bedroom and into the bathroom. Like, not just a little water. GALLONS UPON GALLONS of water. When I put my foot down, water pooled up around it and over the top of my foot. INCHES OF WATER, PEOPLE. And it’s almost 1 in the morning. I have no idea what to do, who to call, where to begin, oh and we have a grand total of two bath towels in our entire house. Not that they would have done any good, with the amount of water there was. I dropped them over by the door to try and stop the flow and they were instantly completely saturated.

So yeah, I froze for a few minutes, hopped from one wet foot to the other trying to figure out what the hell to do, and then began snatching up anything and everything that was on the floor of Shannon’s room. Thank god I did because girlfriend had a whole basket full of hard drives WITH EVERYTHING SHE’S EVER FILMED sitting on the floor right by the patio door. (They survived unscathed, fortunately.) In the meantime I was frantically dialing trying to get ahold of the maintenance man, with no success. I called the building manager, no success. Did I mention our landlady lives in Peru? Yeah, well I tried calling our landlady IN PERU, fat chance of that working. So I finally found an emergency number for the building, called it and got the building manager on the phone. And guess what? Like most people here in Miami, she was completely NOT HELPFUL IN ANY WAY. Awesome.

Wet Vac

My friend the Wet Vac

She informed me that it was the landlady’s problem, that our landlady is responsible for this unit, so there was nothing she could do to help me. She told me there might be a wet vac in one of the maintenance closets if they are unlocked, and that I could try that, that I should really find something to plug the gap with, and did I have any caulk? (Really? Yeah, I keep it right beside my nightstand) and then basically she told me to take a hike. AWESOME.

door crack

My ghetto sealing job. Thanks, year old tube of spackling goo!

So I go trolling around the building, find this ancient Wet Vac with no attachments and a hose that is taped on, and I lug the stupid thing upstairs.  I also managed to find buried at the bottom of a toolbox a tube of this weird spackling substance that we had used in our old apartment to cover up some unsightly holes in the wall. I stuffed the Wet Vac tube down in the crack, sucked the water out of the crack while I simultaneously slopped as much of that spackling goo down there as I could. The result is a rather unsightly but effective seal. We can’t ever open the patio door now, but you know. WHO NEEDS THE OUTDOORS ANYWAYS? Nature has betrayed me now, I’m done with nature.

Industrial fan

The jumbo fan thing that may or may not being doing any good drying the carpet

I then spent the next 2 hours crawling around the soaking wet floor on my hands and knees, sucking up as much water as I could with the Wet Vac tube. No attachments meant I could only work in 3-inch circles, so that was FUN. Crying, vacuuming, crying, vacuuming. I managed to suction up two 16-gallon buckets of water, but there was still just a ton of it. Eventually around 3am I decided there was nothing more I could do, so I emailed my landlady and went to bed.

This morning I had an email from our landlady asking if I could get some estimates from water removal companies and let her know. So I called around and everyone was swamped because of all the flash flooding. I got the first person out here that I could, a delightfully cheerful fellow named Eric who spoke Hebrew. Eric suctioned up a lot of water, sprayed some chemicals to prevent molding (I probably have cancer now) and left a giant fan blowing that will be my constant companion for the next 3 days. It seems like there’s still an awful lot of water in the floor, and I’m not sure how quickly, if at all, it’s drying, but I’m trying to remain optimistic.

In the meantime, I’d be thrilled if you’d send your warm, drying wishes. I’m at my wits end. And the rain keeps coming down.


Big Changes

3 Oct
Shannon wrangles the trash

Trash wrasslin'

Well guys, as you probably already know, Shannon is no longer residing here with me and the fishes. She is now a video intern at CNN! We found out about a week and a half ago about an internship there, and both applied and Shannon got it!

She’s now in Atlanta for the next two months and today was her first day. Wooo! I’m sure she was crazy nervous and whatnot, but we all know she’ll do great. And if there’s ever any doubt, she can just show them her trash wrasslin skillz.


Fancy livin

19 Sep

Fancy fins.

Shannon: “I feel like we are staying in a fancy hotel when we have a clean fish tank.”

Getting Our Thesis On!

9 Sep

Hey everyone!

Shannon and I are back from Africa and back from our Arkansas vacations! And now it’s time to get serious about our thesis projects. *gulp* We have until December to get them filmed, edited, get our websites designed and complete about a million other things, so we are definitely feeling the pressure.

But progress is being made! I’ve started a blog for my thesis, and I have some interviews set up next week, so with any luck I’ll be able to at least post a short trailer video sometime fairly soon. If you want to follow along on my thesis journey, you can check out the blog at: And you can read exactly what my plans are on the about page of that blog. I’ll try to post some updates on my thesis here, but mostly, I’ll be posting on that blog, since I don’t want to be redundant. So if you’re interested, go ahead and subscribe. There’s a subscribe box at the bottom of the home page.

Shannon also has a blog going for her thesis, which is a look at the changing face of AIDS in today’s society. You can keep up with everything Shannon is working on and where she is going here: I think she’ll be posting her videos or at least some of them as she progresses…so you should subscribe to hers too!

Shannon and I both have to travel quite a bit for our projects, and in today’s trying financial times, grants are hard to come by. So we are both going to put our projects up on a website called Kickstarter. Kickstarter describes itself as “a new way to fund and follow creativity.” They allow people to post their projects on the site and ask for help with funding. There is a target goal that must be reached, or else the project doesn’t get funded. So with any luck, we’ll both be able to make our goals and finance our travels!

My Kickstarter page is not up yet, because I’m waiting on a few more pieces of footage so I can post a great video along with my project description. I’m hoping to have it up and running sometime in the next 2 weeks. But Shannon is on the ball and got her Kickstarter page up yesterday! So she now has 30 days to get her funding. If you want to see Shannon’s Kickstarter page and read all about her project (and maybe slip her a few dollars), you can check it out right here. Wish us both lots of luck!


Cue the Charlie Brown Music

12 Mar

So, today I had a major Charlie Brown moment. Like when he tries to kick the football and that mean little girl snatches it out of the way and he TOTALLY BUSTS IT and she points and laughs. That biddy. I had considered keeping my pitiful humiliating moment to myself, but I mean, it’s this kind of crap that makes great blogging fodder. So here we go.

So, of course, since I blogged yesterday about how great everything is going getting ready for Ecuador, naturally the Universe decided to kick me in the teeth today. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling that crappy way you feel before you get sick. Headache, feverish, swollen, sore lymph nodes in my throat, you know, all that goodness. Oh, and did I mention I leave the country in 3 days? GREAT. I’m freaking out and popping echinacea and vitamin C.

To make matters worse, I had to drag my busted butt out of bed and go to shoot this photo/audio story I’m trying to make some progress on before I leave. And since I already feel bad, things naturally went REALLY REALLY WRONG. First, I get out to where I’m recording, which is this little beachside bar/historic Miami spot. It’s a strange place, but a good place for shooting. And I’m trying to record my audio, and I can’t get the audio recorder to work. Even though I spent an hour the night before testing it and making sure it works. OF COURSE.

I put the audio recorder away and decide to get some photos, so the trip won’t be a total loss. I go get the camera and have a seat on one of the picnic benches scattered around so I can gather my wits, adjust my camera settings, etc. After doing so, I get up, only to realize that my pants have some strange substance on them. Which ends up being, get this, WET. PAINT. Like, wet cream-colored paint ALL OVER THE BACK OF MY PANTS. Oh and did I mention that after it happened one of the employees started laughing and calling other employees over to look? Oh and did I also mention that only moments after this a ridiculously attractive cyclist rolled up and stopped to chat? Yep. TRUE LIFE.

So if anyone has any suggestions for getting paint out of my favorite pair of jeans, do share. I’ll just be in bed with the covers pulled over my head, popping vitamins and feeling like this: 


That’ll be $350

21 Feb

So one of the joys of living 22 hours away from our fathers, stepfathers, uncles, random male friends, etc, has been getting to do things like install shelves (see this post), talk to mechanics about brakes and belts, and make trips to our local Home Depot. And as of last week, we can add amateur plumbing to the list.

See, our toilet runs. Like, a lot. And it’s really, really annoying. When we first moved in, my mother mentioned we needed a new float in the tank. So we finally decided to fix it, and off we went to the  Home Depot where we purchase an all-purpose toilet repair kit. Only after we got it home and unfolded the directions did I think this might be a little bit over our heads. There were about 35 steps listed and numerous small, unidentifiable plastic parts.

But I mean, if some man with plumber’s butt can do it, so can we, right? Eeerrr…..right.

So Shannon documented the event with photos while I practiced my best plumber impression, low riding pants and all. Many confused and questionable moments later, after much giggling and silliness, I emerged from the bathroom floor damp and victorious. Only to find out that the float was not the problem. The stupid thing still runs. OF COURSE. It’s like it’s mocking me. Probably because it is. And our landlady is somewhere laughing maniacally.


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