Tuesday, May 24, 2011

There is no right answer

I have no window covering at the moment. Considering I live on the sixth floor and faces a building that hasn't finished construction yet, it's not a huge problem. At first I thought it wouldn't be such a big deal, but I have found it to be more uncomfortable than I thought. When the sun rises in the morning, I have trouble staying asleep, and surprisingly, even though the building im facing is contructing probably its 12th floor, there's people working on balcony plexi-glasses (e.g., today) directly facing my unit. Imagine my surprise when I walked out of the bathroom in my towel and then ran back in.

So window coverings...what are the options?
I can:
  1. Hire someone legitimate and professional and pay about $1-2k to cover it
  2. Hire a contractor and pay about $3-800
  3. Buy some blinds and find someone I know to do it, or do it myself, and pay about $2-300

The thing is, this is the exact same problem with every single decision I've had to make in general. I pay more to get it done right, someone tells me I got gypped. If I cheap out to do it another way, either it's not done right, or I have to spend triple the amount of time and ask people to help me to get it done.

Case 1: Blinds

When I discuss these options with people, I get drastically different opinions.

Me: "I think I'm going to pay the price and have a professional big company to do it"
Person A: "Why would you pay so much? That's a rip-off! You'd be so dumb to pay for that. You should find a contractor or do it yourself, it'd be so much cheaper"

Me: "I think I'm going to hire a contractor to do it."
Person B: "You should really be careful about these things, they might take your deposit and run with it, or do a horrible job. You really should do your due diligence and find a reputable person, but you don't even have time. Plus, why do you want to pay someone to install it? Why don't you just do it yourself or find someone you know to do it?"

Me: "I think I'm going to get the blinds and do it myself or find someone to do it"
Person C: "HA! You do it? That's more trouble than it's worth. You'd have to go get blinds, figure out the measurement, have it cut, get tools, and then either do a bad job yourself or owe someone a favour for doing it. You don't even have a car, how are you going to get the blinds? Just pay for someone to do it and you don't have to be so stressed out about organizing everything."

Decision: I got a contractor to do it. $500. He seems pretty sketch, and the guy he hired is not drilling in the holes upright. I had someone ask me why I didn't do it myself or pay someone more to do a better job or spend more time asking around to see if I can get a recommendation. But I did! His work cannot be judged until the blinds are done, but I'm pretty sure I'll have someone tell me I made the wrong decision.


Case 2: Mattress

I need a bed. This includes mattress + frame + a mattress topper of some sort.
I bussed up to Ikea in North York one evening after work and met with my mom there. They had a mattress for with a topper for $350, the frame I want for $250, and then tax + $70 delivery. If I did that, all would be good...right?

Mom: "Why would you pay $70 for delivery? I heard Ikea Mattress is horrible! You're wasting money and you're getting a crappy mattress! You should buy a mattress separately from elsewhere and then your brother and I can help with the frames and no delivery is needed. And you can buy the mattress topper from Costco, we have a costco card!"

Decision: Decided to do my mom's way. Sounds pretty on paper, huh?
On Saturday morning, I picked up the car from my mom when she was working downtown, drove through DVP traffic to North Scarborough to pick out a mattress from an Asian store my mom recommended. It took me four hours back and forth in traffic. The mattress was extremely firm but I had no other choice because I had no more time to keep looking since I needed this to be done over the weekend and this was my only day that I was going to have the car to drive (to Ikea or anywhere else). The mattress is delivered on Monday and after being unable to sleep on this hard surface, I realized I really needed to get a topper.

How am I going to get to Costco? What about my frame? My mom told me she's available on Tuesday to help me with it because she's not working. But the two of us carrying a queen-size frame is difficult, so I asked my brother. As usual, I get an ugly and rude response from him telling me that he works until 4pm, it's rush hour traffic, and that I'm wasting his time. No suggestion on alternative solution, just a simple "what a waste of time." Sooo....am I supposed to assume he said no and do it myself? Or assume that he wants to go on the weekend?

The following is through email:
Me: "Hey, do you wanna go to Ikea Tuesday to help us with the frame? I was thinking going to the one that's closer to downtown (etobicoke, 15 min drive from my place) to save time, since you're driving down anyway even if we're going to the one in north york"
Him: "I'm not going out west a weekday after work...it will take an hour to drive there..what a waste of time."
Me: "Okay when are you available then? What do you want to do?"
Him: "I don't know. It's so much trouble to drive downtown on a weekday. I can't do it this weekend because of blah blah blah."
Me: "Okay? So is that a no? Why cant you just give me a yes or no?
Him: *explodes in a temper tantrum*

Maybe I should have just paid Ikea.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Survival of the Fittest

Some time this evening, after another eventful day of delays and panic, I told someone that I'm surprised I haven't been eliminated by evolution, since I clearly am unable to handle being out here in the big world on my own.

Not so surprisingly, when I took the Big Personality test (https://www.bbc.co.uk/labuk/experiments/personality) just now, I scored the highest on Neuroticism.

"In the context of the Big Five personality traits, the term 'Neuroticism' relates to a person’s response to threatening or stressful situations. People with scores like yours may find that they often feel tense or anxious, and may well experience changeable moods."

Ironically, "some scientists have suggested that Neuroticism was beneficial in evolutionary terms. Early man may have found it advantageous to live in a population where certain individuals had a high sensitivity to threats to the group's survival."

This explains why I have yet to win the Darwin award; however, the keywords in the previous paragraph include "was" and "early man" (secondary words include "suggested" and "may"), which only means this award may still come.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I have all these little things i need to buy and i keep forgetting even now as i'm making this list...

Things to buy:
cling wrap
cutlery bin
garbage can for inside of kitchen cabinet
strainer + giant bowl for washing vegetables
blinds (in process)
frying pan
toaster/toaster oven
rice (+container)
a container for sugar
pepper grinder (i have peppercorn but no grinder)
cooking oil
storage bins
bed (mattress, frame, night table)
coffee table
more jars for spices
labels for jars
magnets for fridge
foreman grill
small vacuum cleaner

Things to do:
apply for mortgage (in process)
sort out my mail issue (in process)
check to see if anything is broken to fill out form
changes my addresses

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Face

Lately the new endorsements for big brands have been pretty fitting. My disposition towards the brand has a 1:1 relationship with my disposition toward the celebrities.

Gwenyth Paltrow --> Coach (tries too hard)
Angelia Jolie --> Louis Vuitton (ritzy, but not for me)
Jessica Alba --> Piaget (tasteful)