Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can't Take The Heat

Happiness is an organized closet. Actually, happiness is when your living room is no longer cluttered in junk because the closet is organized. Total bliss is when your boyfriend does it himself and you reap the benefits. Eventually I'm going to post some pictures of the place all finished and junk. It really feels like an honest-to-peaches home.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, there is a heat issue with the downstairs neighbours. There's always something. We thought it was going to be smooth sailing with these sisters at first. They introduced themselves right away, were friendly, and we were charmed by their pleasant Australian accents.

But then it turned out they don't like turning on the heat. We couldn't understand it at first. I thought perhaps it was just warmer down there. The Dude thought perhaps they were cheap. Well, the Dude was right. I was a little right; it is warmer downstairs, but they keep turning off the heat because they're trying to cut down the bill.

This would be a decent energy-saving idea if it weren't for the fact I work at home and shivering at a desk in a 14-degree apartment is not going to fly with me. So the heat goes on.

We're trying to be reasonable about saving money on the bill. We've planned to insulate a door, shrink-wrap an old window in the hall, and live with 18 degrees instead of a more comfortable 20. But that still has not seemed to ease their minds downstairs.

One sister knocked on the door the other day and told Dude they wanted to cap how much they would pay and have us pay the rest. Our lease agreement says we are to pay 30% of the utility bill, as we occupy roughly 30% of the building. So we're not going to be subsidizing their share of the utility bill.

It's just so awkward. They're from a much warmer country than Canada. One sister said the gas bill was outrageous. We looked at it, and, well... seemed pretty standard for a Toronto winter. Heating bills get high in this city in December, January, February, and turning off the heat at any time in -15 degree weather is so not going to happen. How do you politely get the point across to your new and otherwise pleasant neighbours that if they can't afford their bills, that's not really your problem?

I know that for them they had a sweet deal being able to turn off the heat while everyone was gone at work. But that deal was, you know, a deal. Now the "sale" is over and it's not up to us to make sure they can still afford the gas. We moved in knowing we can afford it. I feel kind of like we're being controlled by another household's budget. I hope this gets resolved.

In happier news, my bee costume arrived. And I was right, I don't look sexy, I look cute. But that being the story of my 5'2" baby-faced life, I'll take it.

Buzz, buzz, buzz, I'm a bumble bee
Cutest little bee that you ever did see,
I like to make my own honey
Buzz, buzz, buzz, I'm a bumble bee

(And a total kid, deep down inside)

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