swarm of Mexican movers
Saturday, April 22 2000
The best news of the morning: Elián is back with his own father. The certifiably ridiculous Cubans of Miami are up in arms of course, like yellow jackets whose nest just got smothered by a hot, steamy cow pie, but what can they really do about the situation now? Demand to get Elián back from his own father? It's truly amazing that those idiots got away with his kidnapping for as long as they did. What sucks is that it took a Saddam Hussein-style father-renunciation videotape for Janet Reno to wake up and send in the jack-booted storm troopers. My only regret about the government action is that the storm troopers didn't bust more heads on their mission to get young Elián out of the closet.
[Insert mental image of the deranged self-proclaimed surrogate mother Marisleysis González breathing Virgin-Mary-shaped flames here.]
Today Kim and I moved our stuff out of the vast, terrible indoor storage facility on Olympic Avenue and into our new town house a few blocks to the north. We'd learned something from the three hour ordeal of getting our stuff into storage, so to help us get it moved to our condo, Kim had scheduled the assistance of a couple of Mexican guys who charge $65/hour for professional moving.
But when we showed up at the vast storage hive, the movers were nowhere to be seen. The only guys available for assistance were a couple of marginal characters hanging out at the entrance to the storage area. As an indication of how marginal these characters were, one of them had a trash bag a quarter full of aluminum cans he'd been collecting for deposit value. Not knowing what else to do, Kim hired two of the marginal characters for $10/hr each. Then the guys she'd hired for $65/hr showed up. So we ended up having four guys helping us move. It took only about a half hour to completely empty our storage chamber.
Moving our stuff into our condo took a similarly short amount of time. In total, we paid the movers for two hours of work and gave them each $5 tips.
Sometime during the moving of stuff into our new place, Felipe the general contractor showed up to finish tidying up our house in the aftermath of yesterday's painting session. So we had the swarm of Mexican movers put all of our stuff into the closets.
Some time today while Kim and I were stopping in at Evan and Corynna's to pick up several computers and a monitor, I randomly came upon two old friends from San Diego driving a sport utility vehicle south down Centinela. It was Ludmilla "the Brazilian Girl" and her flaky actor-boyfriend Pete (who is friends with Eric the Defense Engineer; I've written about their relationship in the past). They pulled over to chat briefly and we caught up on our respective circumstances. Pete and Ludmilla had moved to Los Angeles about a year ago and pretty much vanished from our lives, but now it turns out we're living in the same city, only three miles away. Pete and Ludmilla live down in southern Mar Vista; when they learned Kim and I are living in West LA, Pete said, "whoah, that's probably a step up from where we're living!" We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to get together again some time. I noticed that Ludmilla's English hadn't really improved much since I'd last seen her.
Our new townhouse features a mostly-railed-in stoop which is easily gated to keep Sophie from wandering off. She's pleased to be able to sit out there and watch the people and their dogs walk by.
What with its stairway and its vertical separation of bedrooms from living rooms, the layout of our townhouse has much in common with that of the small house at 129 Observatory Avenue in Charlottesville, Virginia (where I lived '97-'98). There are differences, of course: our townhouse features two more bathrooms and a small laundry room but it has one less bedroom.
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