We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Truck

May 9, 2017 at 2:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

After 6 years, Scott and I officially live in a new apartment!

Well, new to us. And same basic location. We essentially moved from the third floor of a one-bedroom building in our courtyard to a two-bedroom place on first floor of building next door (in the same courtyard). So we have more space! Which is good because apparently we had crammed two bedrooms’ worth of stuff into our old apartment. Literally. The movers had to order an extra truck (and that just did wonders for our estimate, let me tell you).

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This is what my old living room looked like pre-move

Truth be told, the entire move was a bit of a nightmare and at this point I don’t want to leave our new apartment until we buy a place or until we die. And death may win on that. Why was it so painful? Let me count the ways:

  • We initially thought we were lucky since we were moving next door and figured the movers would be nice and cheap (we hired movers because we care too much about our friends to offer beer and pizza for moving heavy furniture down three flights of stairs – we’re too old for that crap). Well everything turned into a logistical nightmare and we couldn’t move into our new place until the morning of May 1st but we had to be out of our old place by 7am that same morning. And movers don’t exactly move from 2-6am so we had to hire movers to take our stuff Sunday night then bring it back Monday morning. Did I mention that it was POURING down rain Sunday night? Because it was. So our movers were tired, wet and understaffed while Scott and I sat awkwardly on the back porch waiting for it all to be over. Then we had to leave a giant wardrobe because there was no room in the truck and serious doubts about whether or not it could be moved without it falling apart in the rain. Anyway, we eventually got everything out (except that wardrobe, which was a surprise gift to the new tenant. Lucky bastard).
  • During the packing process we had to go back to Home Depot for more boxes and bubble wrap. Twice. This is on top of the 30 crates we rented and ream of bubble wrap we bought at the beginning of the whole damn thing. Told you we had a lot of crap.
  • Then Scott and I had to clean the old place. Our landlord told us we could sleep there overnight as long as all of our stuff was out by 7am so we cleaned until about 2am then fell asleep on the floor with our cat, our plants and our cleaning supplies for warmth. At 3am, I heard someone trying to get in the front door. Panic ensued and I confronted a very confused cleaning crew while I was wearing nothing much more than a large t-shirt (so that was fun…and cold). I explained to them that we were told we could be there and had no place else to go (cue Mary talking to the innkeeper) so they left and warned they would be back at 7am. At that point I was awake and running on adrenaline so I started carrying all of our plants down to our new back porch. It was during this that I experienced my first sunrise at our new apartment – even though we couldn’t pick up our keys for a few hours more.
  • Eventually (by this I mean 7am) EVERYTHING was out of our old apartment and by 8am we had keys to the new one. Then at 9am movers came back with all of our stuff and shortly after that we were left with four rooms full of boxes and crates. And the overwhelming urge to hide from it all. There were also more than a few moments of “Why did we ever think it was a good idea to move?!” regret but all in all, we’re happy now that we’re in. And once they paint and fix the requests we made, we can hang our pictures and it will truly feel like home!

That said – I’m making myself comfortable because I do NOT want to go through this again anytime soon. Neither does my cat.

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To Move or Not to Move

March 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

That is the question.

I’ve lived in two apartments in Chicago – one for two years and my current one, where I’ve resided for nearly six. Scott and I truly love where we’ve lived for so long but I’m not going to lie, we’re starting to outgrow it. We also love our neighborhood and want to stick close but that’s about all we’re certain of. Our lease is up soon and we’re debating on what to do so I’ll do what I do best – make a pro/con list.

Pros of Moving:

  • New place! New ways to decorate and new surroundings!
  • MORE SPACE! We only have one closet in our entire apartment and it would be SO NICE to have say, an extra closet. Or an extra bedroom. Or both, which is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
  • Laundry in the building and not down the stairs, down the alley, around back, through a courtyard and down some more stairs. Also, in-unit laundry is a pipe dream for suckers.
  • Did I saw more space? Having an extra bedroom would help with Scott’s studying as we could have an actual study, plus we could have more space when we have house guests (which we do frequently).
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This would be me the last time I moved sans movers. Never again.

Cons of Moving:

  • More money. Any place we move will likely cost us a few hundred more a month. This is because I got a great deal when I moved into our current pad and it’s essentially a steal. We could afford it but we could also stand to save some more money (who couldn’t?). Also, moving costs need to be taken into account because we are for sure hiring movers.
  • Won’t find all of the perks of our current place such as: central AC, dishwasher, (tiny) back porch, top floor so no one above us, corner unit so sharing no walls, ceiling fans in all rooms, trees outside of living room and dining room windows, open kitchen space with lots of room
  • Moving is a pain in the ass. And Scott’s in school so a lot of it would fall to me. Gross.
  • Would likely be slightly further from my train/my gym/my grocery store

So what’s a couple to do? Yeah, I don’t know either. I saw a few places last night and the first one immediately ruled itself out for being kind of nasty but the second one was decent – there was a bigger back porch than ours but it’s shared with a neighbor and faces a brick wall, whereas ours is ours alone and faces the neighborhood. There were two bedrooms and tons of storage space but it had a super tiny kitchen and the dining room table would have to be in the living room/sunroom area. And no dishwasher, which I can live without but may ruin my marriage if Scott doesn’t learn how to wash dishes immediately versus letting them “soak” for three days at a time.

No matter. We have a few more viewings set for this weekend so we’ll see how it all shakes out. After all, the biggest pro of all is that we don’t have to move if we don’t want to!

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Moving and Shaking

October 16, 2013 at 9:03 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Scott and I were struck by some kind of invisible rearranging monster on Monday night and we decided to completely move around the living room.  This was a bad idea.  We had a grand plan of moving the couch and armchair to totally different walls, incorporating a new(ish) coffee table and placing the TV in an entirely different location.  We were pretty pumped because we really thought it would look good, plus it’s been about 2 years since we rearranged anything and it felt like it was time.  So I came home from a long day of work and started shuffling stuff around.

Been there.

Perhaps it was because it had been 2 years since we had done anything like this that we forgot just what a pain in the ass it is to entirely shift a living room.  We managed to move the furniture to its intended spot (vacuuming mounds of cat hair and throwing out whatever trash had accumulated under our couch along the way) and at that point I was ready to hook up the TV and relax.  Scott was in a frenzy and unplugged the cable, TV, DVD player, computers and internet in one fell swoop and we braced ourselves to move the screen.  That’s when we noticed the cable cord wouldn’t extend another two inches, let alone the 10 or so feet we needed it to.

Oh, that’s right.  There was a reason the TV had always been in the same basic spot and the shortness of the cable cord was it.

So Scott called Comcast to see if they sold longer cords but they don’t.  He then asked me to get online to look up the number to the nearby RadioShack (yes, they still exist), having completely forgotten that he had just disconnected the internet and the cord to hook it back up was in a nightmare of a tangled cord web.  Luckily in this age of smartphones we were able to find the number we needed but they also didn’t have a long enough cord.  So we tried the Sears down the street but they transferred Scott to the national line and that certainly didn’t help.  In the end he found the cord at Best Buy – for $60.  Totally not worth it just to move the stupid TV.

By this point it was about 2.5 hours after we started and I was completely over it.  After bickering for a little while we decided it would be dumb to move everything back exactly how we had it so we settled on some furniture rearrangement instead.  It’s not perfect for viewing the TV but it works for now and it does seem to make the living room larger.  Also, there is lots of space between the armchair and the couch which came in handy because by the time we finished putting everything in its new place and cleaning up, we needed to have some distance between us.

The biggest perk from the whole experience?  Finding the watch I lost about a year ago in the folds of the couch.  At least it was all good for something!

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Movin’ and Shakin’

June 9, 2011 at 11:25 am (Uncategorized) ()

My move may be a thing of the past but it seems like just about everyone I know is preparing themselves for one transition or another.  One friend is moving to Indy to live with his boyfriend later this month (and it’s about time!) while a lovely couple I know is searching for a new place as their current neighbors are making their lives a living hell.  A fellow cubicle rat in my office is looking at buying a condo with his significant other and one of my lady friends just finished grad school so she may or may not stay here in the city.  Not to mention the girlfriend who recently moved back to NYC and another who also just finished grad school and moved from Tuscaloosa to Chattanooga (which I learned last night is not easy to say after a few glasses of wine).

These are all moves that I knew were coming and was expecting.

Bust a move!

However, a couple of months ago I encountered one I did not predict.  A very close buddy of mine has decided to move cross-country, to Seattle.  I’m very excited for him (and very excited to visit Seattle) but as he was a pal who currently lives just a few blocks away and enjoys nice cold beer as much as I do, his presence will definitely be felt.  Then last night I was informed that one of my very best friends (ever, let alone in the city) was offered a job 5 hours away.  She accepted.  I am extremely happy for her because it’s a career move she wants to make but a very selfish part of me would love for her to stay.

I know this happens, just as I know I’ve been able to maintain long-distance friendships before and this will be no different.  Still though – what’s up with all the moving?  I understand that Chicago is a transient city and not everyone stays here forever.  Hell, I probably won’t stay here forever.  And I know this is an opportunity to cultivate other friendships, blah blah blah.  I’m still gonna miss my buddies!  However, I am excited to add some more places to the list of where I can visit and crash for free, so that’s a perk.

Of course, these moves will affect my friends much more than they’ll affect me.  And I’m truly excited for everyone to begin these new chapters in their lives – just don’t forget to send me a postcard every now and then!

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The Professionals

May 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The move has come and gone and I’m still around to blog about it.  And let me just say – never again will I move my own stuff.  Not when there are companies like The Professionals to do all of the work for me!

Three dudes named Carlos (yes, that was really their names…I asked) showed up Friday night, on time and ready to go.  These guys became my best friends over the next few hours and ended up completely blowing my mind.  I just stood to the side and tried to stay out of their way as they loaded up box after box, tied them together and threw them on their backs.  They made it look so easy but I know how heavy that stuff was and while all I wanted to do was apologize, they just rolled with it and loaded everything up.  The entire move took 3 hours, from the time they showed up to the time their big truck pulled off into the horizon.  3 hours.  It would’ve taken me 3 days to do myself.

They ended up coming in almost $50 lower than the absolute lowest quote they gave me, so that was pretty awesome. They also left me with some new mugs featuring their logo and the promise that they were going out to take some shots of tequila for me.   Other than Catsby freaking out and shredding one of my very favorite, oldest T-shirts (leaving me flashing a bit of skin for the entire move, as all of my clothing was boxed up) everything went way better than expected.  By 2am Saturday morning I had managed to unpack quite a bit of the overall haul –  I was like a machine and had to force myself to stop before I unpacked the entire night through.  It’s just so exciting!  The rest of the weekend was spent making large runs to Trader Joe’s and Target (where I had an unfortunate incident involving my clumsiness deactivating an escalator…luckily I hid quick enough so no one could pin it on me) and finishing up the unpacking.  I managed to put together a new shelf all by myself, so I’m fairly proud of that.  I also cleaned up and said goodbye to my old place, and even met the new girl moving in on my way out.  And because I’m a sucker, I actually also carried up a few of her boxes.  Anyway, if all goes according to plan I should be completely finished with unpacking everything at the new pad later tonight!

Ahh scary

So, because you know how I love my lists, here’s a few things that make my new place superior to my last:

  • A DISHWASHER
  • Nicer neighborhood, with one of the biggest and most scenic parks in the city right down the street
  • Central AC and an actual thermostat
  • Back porch
  • Tons of counter/cabinet space
  • More space in every room
  • Closer walk to the train
  • Better location
  • Convenient spot for Catsby’s litter box, no longer in my bedroom (yes!)
  • A DISHWASHER
  • Better water pressure
  • Great natural light (though not so great I can get dressed sans artificial light.  Example: I could’ve sworn I put on brown pants this morning.  Imagine my surprise when I got on the elevator and realized they were, in fact, quite black)
  • Walking distance to some of my all-time favorite people
  • I now get to sleep in roughly 20 minutes later (theoretically – my dad actually called me this morning at my old wake up time, so the extra sleep will hopefully begin tomorrow)
  • Did I mention I now have a dishwasher?  I was doing dishes this weekend and I wasn’t even home

Even Carlos #2 told me it was a nicer place, so that’s something.

I would also like to take a brief moment and give a shout out to all of my wonderful friends who lent the use of their vehicles and muscles this weekend.  They transported plants, Catsby, groceries, the most expensive cumulative purchase I’ve ever made at Target and myself and for that I could not be more grateful.  I’m lucky enough to have some fantastic people in my life and if you’re one of them and reading this (you know who you are) THANK YOU once again for being so freakin’ awesome.  I owe you a dinner in my sweet new pad.  And I’ll gladly dish wash your dishes!

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Long Lost Junk

April 20, 2011 at 7:59 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I always think it’s interesting to see what sort of stuff emerges from the woodwork when you begin to pack up your

Easy - move

entire life in preparation for a move.  Seeing as how I’m preparing to move into my 8th new place in the last 10 years (whoa really?  Yeah, I guess that’s right…), I’ve enjoyed being able to do a massive inventory of my crap prior to each relocation.  Even so, I’m often amazed at what I come up with as I clean stuff out.  Here are some recent examples:

  • A sturdy white step stool that’s been hiding in the storage unit in my basement (having a storage unit is a double-edged sword, let me tell you).  Had I remembered its existence, I probably wouldn’t have fallen off of my kitchen chair while trying to change my smoke detector batteries last year.
  • A box full of car cleaning supplies.  Good car cleaning supplies, also hidden in my basement storage unit.  One of the things my dad taught me when I was younger was how to properly detail a car; when I owned one, I enjoyed taking the time to make it look good.  So I have quite a collection of waxes, cleansers, sprays and brushes, all of which I completely forgot I owned.  Hell, I didn’t even have a car when I moved into this place so I have no idea why I’m still lugging this box around.  It will soon find a new home with my momma.
  • A box full of gardening supplies (including a rubber hose.  Who am I?).  See above for the general gist of why I have this even though I no longer have a garden.  The only difference is that Dad didn’t teach me squat about gardening; my female parental unit schooled me on that.
  • A massive collection of hair ties, found under a rug.  This is The Great Catsby’s doing, as she plays fetch with them and steals them in the middle of the night if they’re not safely secured around my wrist.
  • A pair of pajama pants I had long since though were lost.  The monsters under my bed must’ve hidden them because that’s where they were found.
  • Lots of dust, cat hair and a couple of spiders.  All have been forcefully removed from the premises.

Obviously, cleaning/packing/moving has some benefits.  Finding so much stuff makes it almost seem like Christmas!  But instead of having cool new things to play with, I have to reevaluate the life decisions that led me to keep so much junk to begin with.  And slowly but surely, I’ll continue to get rid of everything I can.

Until I move into my new place, of course.  Then this cycle will start all over again.  I guess sporadically de-junking my place is better than accumulating year after year after year…my mom has joked (?) on more than one occasion that when/if she moves from the home we’ve had for over 20 years, she’s just going to take a match to the place instead of packing.  Sounds like a plan but she better let me look through it all first…I might have another storage unit to fill up.

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All Packed Up and No Place to Go

April 19, 2011 at 11:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

There are 10 days until I move.

This is not me, as I actually think I'm kicking this move's ass

I have class until 9pm tonight, will be out-of-town Friday – Monday evening, have class next Tuesday until 9pm, will be attending a volunteer appreciation benefit at the Field Museum next Wednesday and am picking up my keys to my new place next Thursday night.  Movers will be at my apartment a week from Friday when I get home from work.  For those of you keeping score at home, that leaves me with two nights to finish shoving everything I own into various boxes and bags.  Am I worried?  Not really.  I have roughly 87% of my packing finished and really the only thing left is my kitchen/pantry area.  And of course cleaning, but that’s on the back burner until the place is entirely emptied out.

So yes, as I mentioned, I hired movers.  Considering my lack of vehicle and lack of desire to try to fit my queen sized bed on the bus, I thought this was the best option.  Especially since I’ll be moving from a second floor to a third floor (elevators do not appear to exist in Chicagoland apartments).  My plan is to stand around, with a wine glass in one hand and a french cigarette holder in the other, directing the three strong and burly men I’ve hired to be careful with my coloring books and monkey photos.  Yeah, that sounds about right.

Since I had to get such an early start on packing due to the crazy schedule I’ve made for myself, I’ve been sitting around staring at boxes for about a week.  It’s rather depressing.  It’s also frustrating as hell when I reach for something and realize it’s in a box and surrounded by tape.  Why I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and pack up just about every writing utensil I own, I’ll never know.  Ditto for my extra tube of toothpaste.  Anyway, as moving will be taking over my life for the next few weeks you’ll likely find a few more blog posts referring to it in the coming days.  And while I may not be too worried about packing, I will admit that it’s still just a tad stressful.  I’m more than excited to move to my new ‘hood but there are things (coughTargetcough) that I’m going to miss as I leave them behind.  However, I won’t miss quite a few things as well and that list might make an appearance here later this week.  Either way, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end (thanks Green Day) so this is no different.  If I can figure out where I stored my toothpaste I’ll be able to handle just about anything.

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March Monday Madness

March 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

As I mentioned in my last post, I signed my lease on my new apartment yesterday.  In a shocking display of ambition, I also did quite a few other things that had been hanging over my head.  Because I’m just so gosh darn proud of myself, I figured I should document it here:

  • I finished my taxes!  Though I’m still not entirely certain I did them right, they’ve been accepted by the IRS and my refund is pending.

    I seriously love getting to check things off my list

    Woohoo for free money I’ve already paid for!

  • I finished my freelance writing assignments for the month and sent them off.
  • I cleaned out under my bed.  This was huge and something I’d been meaning to do for roughly 1.5 years.  Because I’m so excited about my move, I’ve decided to tackle my apartment a little at a time and the bed was on the list for this week.  I found all kinds of things I’d long since hidden – college research and papers, random photos, love letters from loves gone by and a flashlight I thought I’d lost.  I also found lots of cat hair that Catsby hid too, so that was awesome.  I managed to get rid of 1.5 boxes of stuff and condense just about everything else.
  • Speaking of the flashlight, besides finding what I assumed was long gone, I was able to locate some AAA batteries and get it up and working.  Which came in handy because my power was out this morning (story for another day).
  • I removed a piece of broken furniture from my room and took it to the dumpster.  It’s not horribly busted so hopefully someone will take it and give it a loving home but it was time for it to move on out of my bedroom.
  • I was in the process of removing what I thought was a broken lamp when inspiration struck and I managed to fix it – all by myself!  This is a favorite lamp of mine (it’s in the shape of a monkey, so of course it has a special place in my heart) and it had been broken (or so I stupidly thought) for months.  That means for months I’ve been using my cell phone to read in bed at night.  Well, apparently I’m a rather large idiot because it wasn’t that difficult to fix once I really looked at it.  That’s when I  said, “Let there be light!”
  • I cleaned my bathroom.
  • I talked to a great friend of mine for the first time in what felt like forever and we got nice and caught up.
  • I finished a bottle of wine.

So that last one might not be a huge accomplishment but after everything else I did yesterday (including working my regularly scheduled 8 hours) I felt it was much deserved.

I won’t be near as productive this evening but I will be getting a private tour of the Shedd Aquarium as the last class in the first of 3 courses I’m taking draws to a close.

*Insert joke about Chicago gangsters helping people sleep with the fishes here*.

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