Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Why Aren’t You Moving?

February 16 2014

So, perhaps there is something wrong with my lifestyle of constantly moving.  Today, I received the following email from a moving company I used to help me move from Pittsburgh to New Orleans in August:

Hi Brittany,

It’s been a while since your last move with High Tech Movers. We’d love to have you come back. You can go online anytime and make your next move date

Hope to see you soon!

High Tech Movers



Yes, I’m Calling to Cancel that 911 Call

August 29 2013

I am living alone near one of the most dangerous cities in New Orleans.  For the past two weeks, I’ve been watching Law and Order Marathons while unpacking, organizing, and everything.  I think it’s starting to catch up with me.

At 10:00 tonight, my doorbell rang.  Since I don’t know anyone yet, I didn’t know who it could be.  I look through the peep hole to see a man, wearing a wife beater.  Not what I wanted to see.  I yelled “Hello” through the door to figure out if it was one of my neighbors who I have yet to meet.  No answer. I yelled “Hello” again.

So, I called 911.  The dispatcher was quite nice, and when a 504 number called me, mid-conversation, I couldn’t figure out how to answer it (she said she would hold).  So, I let it go to what I thought was voice-mail.  Then, Dave calls, so the dispatcher and I say our tearful good-byes, but I am unable to answer his call in time either.  Thinking it could be a neighbor, I called the 504 number back.  Yes, it was a neighbor calling to tell me that her boyfriend just dropped off my packages that were delivered to her door by mistake.  Whoops!

Anyway, I went out to our front doors and finally met my neighbor (but not her boyfriend).  Maybe I’ll meet him for real another day.  She was very nice, so I feel a bit bad for calling the cops on her boyfriend … although it had already been 15 minutes and no sign of the cops.  When I got back inside from our meet-and-greet, I dialed 911 one more time to cancel my call.  And, it worked.  I thought you aren’t allowed to cancel 911 calls, but I guess you are.

NOLA, here I am!

August 25 2013

Last week, Natalie took the bus to Pittsburgh. She got up at the crack of dawn (probably before the sun rose) and arrived in Pittsburgh around lunchtime. My greeting was very hospitable — I put her to work packing my car with a tight deadline right away. Then, we picked up Dave from work, dropped him off at the airport, and headed South.

We took off last Thursday afternoon, a week and two days ago now. We made it to Bardsville, Kentucky before calling it quits for the night. It was probably good that we stopped, as I almost fell asleep while in the shower shortly after arriving at our hotel.

In the morning, we strolled around town, buying produce at the farmer’s market (and cabbage plants!). Then, we went to the 1792 Distillery, because starting a 9 hour road trip with bourbon samples is a good idea.  The tour was actually pretty neat.  There were two people on the tour with us who didn’t know what alcohol was or why people drank it, so that was a little strange.  My favorite part was seeing one of the large sheds that housed the bourbon barrels.  The ingenuity that went into designing this house is amazing.


Watching the bourbon age.

After the tour, I decided we must go to Nashville.  And so we did.  We had lunch at Arnold’s.  This was everything I could hope from a stop in Nashville: true southern, bad-for-you food.  I had some meat along with mashed potatoes and fried green tomatoes.  It couldn’t get any better than that.  In Mississippi, we stopped at PDI (Philip’s Drive In) for dinner.  I took a picture of the menu, as I don’t think you would believe the prices if I didn’t have proof.  I had a delicious burger with tater tots!

Menu at Philips's Drive In

Menu at Philips’s Drive In

Finally, we arrived in Louisiana on Saturday night.  The first night we spent chez Darrell’s parents (thanks, Maggie & Larry!)  The next morning, we arrived at my new apartment / Dave’s new vacation home (after eggs cooked by Maggie):

Moving Again … At Least Part-Time

May 4 2013
Early in this semester, it became clear that there would not be funding for me to continue at CMU next year.  Since most deadlines to apply for postdoctoral fellowships and faculty positions had passed, I started applying to everything remotely related to computational topology.  I applied to post docs, faculty positions, lecturer positions, and even considered applying to industry.  The hope was to stay in Pittsburgh, but I broadened my search to relevant positions elsewhere.
A few weeks ago, I struck luck.  I was offered a post doc at Tulane University.  The upside: two years of funding, living in New Orleans, working with computational geometer who seems like she would be great to work with.  I was so excited for this opportunity at first, but then it hit me: Dave can’t move to New Orleans with me.
I am working on writing a grant with some of the people I am working with at CMU.  This would also be a great opportunity, and would allow me to stay in Pittsburgh.  However, we won’t be hearing back from the Air Force very soon about this grant.

After much deliberation, I decided t take the position in New Orleans, with the option of making it a joint post-doc if the grant comes through.  This seems like a good solution to me, although will include a lot of traveling.  This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but I’m lucky to have Dave who supports me and our long-term goals despite the short-term difficulties.

Dave is excited to come visit for Jazz fest next year, and I think my yet-to-be-found apartment is already booked up for Mardi Gras.

Signed a Lease

September 20 2012

After looking at the best and the worst that Pittsburgh had to offer, we have found a place to live!  We signed our lease and will move in on 1 November.  Before I tell you about it, let me tell you about the places that we did not decide to rent:

(1) The apartment with no bedroom: They marketed it as a “2 bedroom” but one of the bedrooms was a living room with a bed in it.  The other bedroom was a dining room with a bed in it.

(2) The investment property: Here, a guy showed us the newly renovated house that he is showing for his “investor friend”.  Then he wanted $50 for an application fee and it was not clear if someone else had applied or not.  I don’t think I’m giving $50 and my SSN to a man who is not an authorized real estate agent showing a property for an investor friend.

(3) The apartment with mold: This was one of the first places that I looked at.  It had a huge mold problem.  The owner told me that he would “clean and paint” it.  Based on the thickness of the paint already on the walls, I decided that this meant he would “paint over the problem.

(4) The house with a hole in the wall: While in this house, Dave noticed a cockraoch on the floor and I noticed dirt falling out of the wall.   On site, we were told that this was just dirt from people being in and out.  I was skeptical as I actually SAW dirt falling out of the wall.  Later, we were forwarded an email from the contractor who said that the “parging” was falling off and that it can be re-parged.  If you are unfamiliar with the word, parging means to cover and to paint.

(5) The house under a bridge:  This place also smelled bad.  If we wanted, we could have bought this problem-filled house for <$100K.

(6) The overpriced carriage house: This apartment had a garage with more square footage than the apartment.  It was advertised saying it had 2200 square feet, but I think it had closer to 900 square feet.  And, there was no dining room.

(7) The texting landlord house: The landlord here was upset with my 2-day turnaround on responding to his emails, so he demanded that I contact him via text messages instead.  This house was very similar to the house that we wound up renting, except it had a driveway that was as wide as half of a car (but 3 parking spots back there, if you can cut your cars in half to get them back there) AND it was for about $500 more than what we were going to pay.  Minutes after leaving the house (where we told him that it was too expensive compared to other properties), we received a text message offering it to us for $500 less than what was posted.

(8) Shared foyer: This apartment was the 2nd and third floor of a house, with the landlord living on the first floor.  We would “have the foyer and front porch” and they would have the “back entrance”.  It was unclear, but I think they would go through our foyer to enter the house and definitely in order to go to the basement.  Not to mention, it would probably be very expensive to heat/cool the unit.

(9) Unresponsive landlord: This was a place that we tried to rent,but the landlord just wouldn’t give us a commitment.  Turns out, we like the place that we found better, so she lost out in having us as tenants!

(10) Clean Carpets: This is an apartment owned by a church.  The apartment itself was pretty nice, except for the rugs.  It looked like the church used this apartment as the location for making animal sacrifices.  Well, they weren’t THAT bad, but it was close.  The real estate agent called the church for us, and we found out that the carpet was recently cleaned.  Our realtor told them that they needed to get their money back.

(11) An apartment: This was one of the only apartment complexes that we looked at.  (We have looked at some before, and found them to be overpriced for what they offered).  The complex was owned by Walnut Capital, a large apartment management company in Pittsburgh.  The person who was to show us the apartment was 15 minutes late for meeting us because she was in the middle of another appointment.  In the time that we were waiting, we learned from residents that the management company was not very good and that the parking situation was really bad.

Those were the highlights of our house-hunting, as I remember them.  There were probably some others that I forgot.  But, this brings us to our new home on Hobart street:  It’s owned by a lawyer who bought it right after college.  She lived there herself for 10 years and didn’t sell it because of sentimental value.  Laura (the landlord) is really nice and fun to talk to.  When we signed the lease with her, we actually wound up talking for an hour at the coffee shop!  Our downstairs neighbor is one of her best friends, and is a personal chef!   Maybe we will be so lucky as to learn a thing or two from him.  The apartment has 3 bedrooms & 1 bath.  We have a small private balcony and a shared porch.  One of my favorite parts is the small nook with a large closet and bookshelves.  I’m not sure if a chair will fit in the nook, but it could potentially be a reading corner.  The one downside: it has no dishwasher.  We rectified this by buying a used portable dishwasher off of Craigslist.  It’s now in Deb & Sy’s basement waiting for us to bring it to our new home!

Anyone free the first weekend of November to help us move?

Faculty Lunch?

September 12 2012

The past few weeks have been jam-packed.

I flew from Russia to Vienna, where I spent a few days saying my goodbyes to my friends and to the city.  Of course, I made sure to stop by my favorite places to eat and to pick myself up a few items that are necessary (for example, Apfelhonig for my grandmother).

After Vienna, I flew to Newark, NJ, where my father picked me up and drove me back “home” to Philly.  I was there for one short night.  I didn’t even get a chance to see my niece Peyton or my brother (although I later learned that he was awake and in his room when I left … whoops!  sorry, Joey).  The morning after I arrived, I packed my car (in the rain) and headed straight to Pittsburgh, PA.  I made sure to stop for a few hours at the outlet stores in Lancaster (where I practiced using my credit card).

Then, I was in Pittsburgh for half of a week.  Dave and I don’t yet have an apartment in Pittsburgh, so we are staying with Natalie’s mother’s college roommate and her husband (you might have to think that one through for a minute).  They live on an island in the Ohio river in a beautiful house.  Words can’t express how grateful we are for them letting us stay with them as we are searching for our own place.  During the few days I was in Pittsburgh, I started work … lots of paperwork was filled out and I met many people whose names I now forget.  In the evenings, Deb (Natalie’s mother’s college roommate) took me around Pittsburgh in search of a house.  I could go on about some of the winners that we found, but I’ll leave that for another day.

Then, I flew down to North Carolina, refinanced my house and packed my car with David’s belongings (including David) and embarked on a road trip back to Pittsburgh.  We were hoping to make it in one shot, but our departure time was a bit delayed (we had to deliver a broken glass to Robby, buy me a GPS watch, and meet Jessie for lunch).  So, we stopped somewhere in West Virginia at a Microtel.  The room was HUGE!

Then, we arrived back in Pittsburgh at the island paradise.  Dave moved his milk crates that I helped him organize into our room (really, Michelle’s room) and he was ready to go (I organized his clothes in milk crates instead of suitcases a few months ago to make things easier for him as he was moving from place to place … he’s become a bit attached to them now.)  Our quest to find housing turned on full force.  And, we saw a lot of places.  Some good, some not so good.  Cross your fingers because we hope to have a signed lease sometime this week!

At work, I started to figure out how things work.  For example, I now know how to print papers, which has led to Amir (the other postdoc in my group) and myself being buried in papers that we are interested in reading.  And, I attended the Aladdin faculty lunch on Friday.  The fact that I am no longer a grad student is finally starting to settle in.