South Side Spirit

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Now the namesake of this blog truly comes to fruition. We have moved to the South Side of Pittsburgh. I am loving every minute I spend here! I barely need my car most of the week, which is great! I can walk to the grocery store, a pharmacy, coffee shops, restaurants, night life, I even recently walked to a copy center just a couple of blocks away. It is all right here and just as I have always hoped for.

I have just over a week until "the beginning" or "the end" depending on how you want to look at it. Work starts on the last day of this sultary month of July. Alas, real world here I come.

What have we learned since we moved in? The biggest thing that I can pass along is do not expect QUALITY SERVICE if you are a paying customer, sometimes you have to ask for it. If this means you have to get down right demanding on the phone, then do so!

Case in point (Steph has been a superstar at this):
We ordered a sofa well before we moved in. We opted for the model with a sleeper bed inside. Knowing that this would weigh a great deal, I was fully expecting to hear loud grunts and explicatives emanating from the three flights of stairs that it had to travel up upon the arrival of the delivery guys. No such occurrence, the two men came bouncing in full of energy and seemingly unphased - I was phased, I noticed it was not the sleeper! Not a big deal, they would contact the store where we had purchased it and they would send another while the one delivered would remain with us until then.

They called later that day and wanted to deliver it the following week (while Steph and I were at the beach). Steph's mom graciously volunteered to come up from the Morgantown area to be here on that Friday when the sofa was the be replaced. The day came and Steph received a phone call that there was something wrong with the piece and that they would have to deliver another one and it could be there the following day.

We rushed home from the beach and while doing so (about 5-6 hours away from Pittsburgh) the delivery people called and wanted to drop it off sooner than when we could be there. Steph was told that if she could not receive it then, she would not be able to until the following weekend (we would be gone again) or the following (same story). Over the course of several phone calls and ultimately asking for a supervisor she made her stand that she had paid for the sofa and it was supposed to have be delivered on two prior occasions, all problems were not her fault.

They made it work.
It arrived that day.
There were grunts in the stairwell.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lesson #2: Do the math...

This is going to seem really stupid - we were buying a sofa the other day. After days upon days of searching, we found one that we agreed would be perfect at Kaufman's in Robinson. We went back a couple of days later to make the purchase. When the clerk was doing the paper work he came up with an total due of almost $200 more than what it should have been. We did the math (and saved a chunk). His excuse was that the price tag did not match his listed price.

Folks, more times than not, they have to honor the price tag - so no matter where you are, even Giant Eagle, double check and argue the descrepancies!

The lease has been signed, sealed, and delivered. We are ready to move in June 28.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

As the days roll by and June approaches I eagerly anticipate the move to Pittsburgh. Each time I spend a few hours or an evening in the city (i.e. Pirates game or shopping for one thing or another) renews my energy and zeal.

I am ready for the next chapter of my life. I continue to feel a certain current lack of purpose coupled with the drawn out, two month long wait period. Sadly, I fully realize that once I am in Pittsburgh, and grinding it out behind a desk daily I will wish for these days of leisure and apathy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Whirlwind of emotions over the last couple of days. Commencement went off without a proverbial hitch. A lot of family and several friends came in from both in and out of town. I had the opportunity to reflect on just how blessed I am to have so many loved ones who are willing to travel so far (read: barring the price of gas) to see me walk across a stage (or in the big ceremony, simply stand up). It meant so much to have them all here. Each person who came to the events of this past weekend made sacrifices so that they could celebrate with me, I don't think I can overemphasize just how special that is.

Currently I am in a rather purgatorious state. No longer in school, no living in my own rented space, working a part time job. Not all is negative, however, I have had much opportunity to relax and enjoy friendships and family. This will kind of be my story for the next few weeks.

We did a recon mission this past Tuesday to Ikea in the 'burgh. We found some simple items that we are in need of (stemware) and perused some other potential purchases. If you haven't been to this Scandinavian Mecca, do yourself a favor and prepared to be overwhelmed.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Lesson #1: Buying a Mattress

Yesterday we went to hunt for a mattress. The first two mattresses that were shown to us were the best ones in the entire store (typical). Eventually one was decided upon (thanks to a referral from someone else in the store that Stephanie knew, and they gave us the price that they paid for it $750). We talked with the salesman a little about some of the options in the store and mentioned the one that we liked. He told us it would run around $770, and that there was one left in a Parkersburg store. We were about to leave (to search for our other options). The salesman wanted to know why we wouldn't want the one, and we told him the price was a little more than what we were wanting to pay (around $600). He said that he wanted to check one more time, and came back with a price of $625. Eventually it was decided that this was a good price for what was being bought, and at that, $125 less than what the previous customer had paid.

Dr. Neidermeyer's (my personal finance professor) advice on buying a car applied here. He said to simply ask, “What is the lowest cash price for the car (mattress)?” If the price is not right, then you leave. $770 was not right, so we were going to leave...$625 was right.

Other advice received on buying a mattress:
-BUY A GOOD ONE, it will last for a while
-You don't need to pay more than $600 for a Queen Sized
-Look for previous models of current models
-Be careful of extra thickness in the Mattress, you might spend more on the sheets
-Softer beds are better for side sleepers
-Buy a good mattress cover - ANY type of a stain will void a warranty

Thanks to Steph's mom, Steph's stepmother, my dad and assorted salespersons for the advice above.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I just turned in my last assignment. In addition, my only final this week was two days ago. That means that constructively, my undergraduate career is over. The only remaining aspects are going through the motions and formalities of commencement. My last assignment was a paper on the alcohol related lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. It was for a political science class, and I find quite fitting that I turned it in inside the ever iconic Woodburn Hall.

The next big order of business is shoveling, yes shoveling, out the place we call "home" here in Morgantown. Of course, with my 6 roommates, this cannot be done with out a few more good times.

Other news, Stephanie got a raise...at the job she has not started yet. This came at a great time, allergies have had her really under the weather during the last couple of days.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

11 days out from graduation. That is all that remains of what has been the best part of my life! It really is okay though, all that it means is that the bar has been raised that much higher. Good times lay ahead.

Yesterday we signed an 'Intent to Lease' in Pittsburgh's South Side. That is really what spawned the 24 hour craze that has led to my creating this blog. I want document and share my experiences, successes and failures in the coming months. In addition, I need to stay in touch with my friends as they disperse across the region and country.

My adolescent dreams are slowly falling into place. I will be living and working in a large metropolitan area and I will be living in an urban apartment setting within walking distance of exciting experiences.

Grab a seat, and buckle up - here we go!