Pamela decided to move to Syracuse earlier this year, in part to be closer to Dave and in part to escape a manager from hell. She works for a bank with branches everywhere, hence the ease of transferal. Her roommate's parents own the house and have made it into two apartments, one downstairs and one upstairs. The roommate lived in the upstairs one and couldn't afford the rent by herself, which is why she was looking for someone to share the place.
The roommate had some interesting ideas as to space and such. Pamela was only allowed to use one of three cabinets in one room, and wasn't allowed to put her stuff in any area of the apartment other than her room. For reference, the room was maybe the size of a college dorm single -- there was room for the bed and a dresser and after that only enough room for one person to get through. Even if she's neater than I am (and that's definitely up to question), there wasn't much room for anything under the house rules. The roommate also wanted Pamela to share in the phone bill because she had caller ID, call-waiting, and tons of other add-ons. Pamela got her own phone line, and eventually the roommate had to drop the extra services because she was unemployed and couldn't afford them.
Pamela owns two lizards (Fred and Sprocket) who eat, among other things, live crickets. They resided on her dresser in two aquariums. Once the tiny one isn't so tiny any more they'll be put together, but for now the larger one could easily swallow the smaller one whole. For now, though, she buys crickets at a pet store for them, and they have escaped in the past. Crickets are also common enough that some may have simply gotten in the old-fashioned way.
Last but not least, recently the roommate got a job at the bank in which Pamela works. Even more recently she was fired for, among other things, talking on her cell phone when she was supposed to be working. She'd been working there for less than a month, and she may not even qualify for unemployment. There are other issues as well, but Pamela has been miserable for quite a while, and she recently found out that the roommate had told others at the bank that she was planning on kicking Pamela out so her boyfriend (with whom she breaks up an average of once a night) could move in.
The eviction notice was, in my opinion, unprofessional at best. The primary reason for evicting her was because some escaped crickets got down into the lower apartment. They also claim the crickets were attracting fruit flies. Since I'm not a fruit fly expert I'll not question this much, except to note that I always figured fruit was what attracts fruit flies. It also included several personal attacks, including a line about how her pack-rat ways were a fire hazard and also attracts insect infestations (for the record, Pamela did not eat in her room). It gave her until mid-January to get out, but said she'd be responsible for all of January rent.
Pamela, Dave, and Mom spent today moving about half of her stuff to Dave's apartment. Tomorrow Gerry will also help move her. She's hoping that since she began renting on August 3rd, that if she's out by January 3rd then she won't have to pay any of January's rent. I have no idea if New York rental law backs her up, but I'm almost ready to believe her roommate composed the eviction notice, since before now her parents have seemed much more reasonable and have experience with having tenants. I'm hoping they'll allow her to skip January rent, especially since she may well be completely out by Jan 1st, and she's already living at Dave's.
Now, for a total digression: Andy's mom, Emily, makes quilts. These aren't just find some old cloth, cut out patches, and string them together haphazardly, they're works of art. In fact, many of our kitty pictures include the quilt Emily made us as a wedding gift, and people who see them are like as not to comment on the quilt rather than the astounding cuteness of the kitty in question.
When Pamela saw one of Emily's quilts a while back she asked if Emily would make her one, and Emily said there was a waiting list. A year or three ago she made a quilt which happened to be in shades of Pamela's favorite colors, and it was one of those things where she had the inspiration but no one in mind. I recommended Pamela, and would occasionally (hopefully not so often as to annoy Emily) ask if it was still homeless. In late November the quilt was officially declared to be Pamela's, and Andy sent it out while we were in Indy. You've probably already seen this coming, but it isn't due to arrive until after Pamela intends to be completely moved out.
Today when Mom and Pamela got back to the apartment, the roommate was kicking some of Pamela's stuff around (luckily it was just empty milk jugs which Pamela keeps water in). So, here's the worrisome part: while the downstairs neighbors and the roommate's parents would just send it on to her new address, we don't know how the roommate herself would deal with it. If anything happens to that quilt, though, there'll be a line to kill the roommate. We're currently checking to see if UPS will let us change the address while the box is en route.
The plane rides home were uneventful, save for the check-in kiosk not having Andy's reservation no matter how we looked for it. A live employee helped us out, though, so that was no problem overall. We managed to get the name of our favorite employee in RDU so we can send in compliment about her.
Andy and I exchanged gifts today. Among the highlights are even more magnet and ball toys for him and something called an ooze tube which gave him endless hours of fascination when we visited Grandpa in December. He also got all of the gifts whose doubles he'd bought himself after giving me his Christmas list. I got some neat candle holders, some of the cinnamon almonds which tyee got us addicted to, and a big old rock. A month or three back I mentioned the glassmaker's site in my journal and included the URL to his site.
Tonight we had take-out Chinese for dinner -- our indulgence was an order of dumplings. We also have tortilla chips and salsa for Andy, and a pan of Amy's potatoes (Andy's favorite) as a hot dish for picking on. We plan to toast with Martinelli's and eat some cake at midnight, then ring in the New Year in each others' arms. Happy New Year to those who celebrate the turning at this time of year!
[Update 01/01/03: Pamela had til Jan 4th to get rid of her lizards, and until Feb 1st once she did. She also had no formal lease, so she's not breaking one, but nor are they. I passed along the rent and UPS comments, and she'll be looking into them.]