Archive for the ‘Apartment’ Category

Shannon and I did not marry for money. This is indisputable. Fortunately, we love each other. I saw this fact clearly yesterday in a conversation about moving.

We were sitting in a movie theater lobby waiting for a movie to start, and began discussing what we might do in the next year about our living situation. We have both been sort of anti-house-purchase in the past. Too much work and too much risk. Too hard to move away if you need/have to. But lately, now that we are pretty sure we want to settle in a particular area, we’ve started to consider it. We can get a pretty good deal right now, and probably buy a house that we can grow into and possibly make money off of some day.

We started talking about when we might want to start looking last night, but that discussion quickly turned to the dreaded down payment. It turns out that, when you pay for a trip to Europe and a mini-van in the same month, it doesn’t leave much money for a home down payment. Where would that money come from?

Shannon offered that she had savings bonds given to her by her grandparents. All totaled, they would help us toward a down payment, but not give us one. Then she turned to me and jokingly asked “what do you bring to the marriage?” I replied, not jokingly but in a joking tone, “a van payment and some student loans…oh, you probably meant assets…yeah, nothing.” Sad day for me. Fortunately, Shannon didn’t care (or already knew that fact and had come to terms with it).

The bottom line of our discussion: we have no house down payment. We may have to move into yet another tiny apartment and save for another year to collect a down payment. Any suggestions?

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Oh no! More pet blogging!

We decided to go for it – we’re going to foster a cat and see how it goes. After much contemplation, we finally decided not to overthink and to just say yes. We pick him up on Monday. His name is Bennie and you can read about him here (you have to click on his name). We didn’t pick him out – I think that would have been an impossible task, so I’m glad he came recommended by the vet. We’ll be fostering him for up to six weeks before we make a decision.

It’s strange the range of emotions I’m having over this. I’ve heard parents, when preparing for their second child, say that they’re worried they won’t love the second one as much as the first. That’s how I feel. I’m so loyal to Oberon, and I don’t want to disrupt his life in a negative way. I don’t want to disturb his routine or in any way neglect him. Not only that, I don’t want to lose our routines for MY sake. It would make me sad if he stopped sitting with me during breakfast, waiting patiently to lap up my milk. Or if he no longer ran into the bathroom every time I took a shower so he could stick his head in and drink the water. Or if he stopped sleeping at the foot of our bed.

I want him to have a friend, and I’d be happy to give another kitty a home, but I hope we can strike a good balance of the old and new. We’re excited though. Yesterday we bought the cats (cats! plural!) a “cat condo.” I actually kind of hate those things, but we wanted to have some sort of neutral territory for them, something without Oberon’s scent all over it already. It’s in my car until we introduce the kitties tomorrow. Tomorrow when we become a two kitty home!

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Foster (kitty) parents?

I’m gonna go ahead and turn this into a pet blog for a minute. See, we’ve got this cat, Oberon, that we’re pretty obsessed with. Never thought I’d be a pet person, but damn, I love that little bastard. Our pirate, our hobo, our little pisser. That last one? Is the cause of much turmoil lately. Oberon has this terrible habit of peeing inside the house, but outside the litter box. He started it at our last apartment and it was disgusting. When we lived with Mike’s mom for a few months, he magically stopped, but has picked it back up since we moved into our own place again.

At first we were all “tough love!” Pretending like we might actually get rid of him if he didn’t knock it off, but then we remembered we’re total suckers for the cat and there’s no way we could let him go. Especially since shelters generally can’t adopt out cats who “eliminate” outside the litter box, which means he’d have to be put down. Deal with pee or kill my Obe? Duh, no brainer.

When we talked to our vet about this, namely the fact that he stopped while at mom’s, she suggested maybe Oberon benefits from companionship. Really? Our asshole cat who hisses and swats at any feline that comes anywhere near him? Companionship, really? Our vet also happens to run a no-kill cat shelter where Mike’s mom volunteers, and several weeks after we got the advice, we were told they had the perfect cat at the shelter to be Obe’s friend. Were we interested in fostering him for awhile to see if it might work out?

I don’t know, are we? On the one hand, I’m excited about the idea of another cat. And if it’ll help with the pissing, of course! But on the other hand, there’s the shedding (Oberon is a light shedder), there’s more food and litter to buy, there’s the potential it won’t affect the peeing problem, and what if I don’t love the other cat as much? Also there’s the potential that my cat might hate the shit out of this other cat and claw its eyes out before we even have a chance to cage it up and return it to the shelter. Then we’d have to pay the adoption fees for a dead cat. That’s $80 I’d much rather spend on some new boots.

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We’re in!

We made it. We’ve moved into our new apartment! The move was smooth – it helped that most of our stuff was already boxed up in storage. I think I like our apartment. It has two bedrooms, one that we’re using as a bedroom and one that we’re using as Mike’s closet slash the office slash storage. My closet is in the master bedroom, and it’s glorious. It’s HUGE! and somehow I filled every inch of it. Shameful really. But it’s very organized, which makes me giddy. I mean, just look at this Wall o’ Shoes.

It also has two bathrooms. The one off the master is primarily mine, and the one in the hallway is primarily Mike’s as well as the “public” bathroom (for visitors). Separate bathrooms makes us both happy. It was rare that we got in each others’ way in the bathroom, but when we did, we prayed for separate spaces. And now? Achieved!

The rest of the apartment includes a large entry and dining space that opens right into the large living room, a coat closet, a linen closet, a galley kitchen, a small porch and (drum roll please…..) a laundry room! Yesterday we threw a load of laundry in the dryer and then LEFT for SEVERAL HOURS, and we didn’t have to worry.

There are only two things we’ve discovered so far that we don’t like about this place. One is that the kitchen sink has no sprayer (so annoying), and the other is the stupid mother effing idiot jerk of a dog in the apartment above us. It barks and whines all day, which, honestly, doesn’t bother me much though it drives Mike crazy. However, last night it barked and whined throughout the night, and that is so not acceptable. We’re discussing what to do about the situation. I was thinking a blow to the cranium in the dark of night, but that’s mean. So maybe just a noise complaint?

While I realize “new apartment” photos bore most people, I’ll probably share a few once we get fully settled in. You’ve got to see our adorable new bathroom decor.

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In May of 2009 Shannon and I moved in together. We had a happy year of cohabitation before our wedding. The worst part about our year lease was the commute Shannon took on when she started a new job in December. Suddenly she was in the car for two and a half hours a day…torture if you know how Shannon feels about driving. After much discussion, it was agreed that, when our lease was up and I was done with school, we would move to a little town along the highway, half-way in between our places of employment.

Then things got interesting.

First, we discovered that small towns are not rental-friendly. There were three apartment complexes to choose from, only one of which suited our needs. There were a whopping grand total of 4 apartments/houses for rent in town, none of which were right for us. There was a mobile home park a couple miles outside of town, but the only unit available for rent was approximately 17 feet from the highway. Not exactly quiet.

In the midst of our difficult decision amongst all of our two choices, Shannon got a glimmer of hope from her boss, suggesting that she might get to work in town instead of commuting. We were cautiously excited. We already lived in the city we wanted to eventually settle down in, so this transfer would have allowed us to move on without moving out. Unfortunately, our lease was still ending, and well before any final decisions would be made.

Since our apartment complex was apparently aligned with the devil, they offered to extend our lease month-to-month for a very reasonable $500/month fee, also known as almost doubling our rent on an apartment that was way too small for us. After much deliberation, we decided to wait and see on the job and, in the meantime, rent my Mom’s basement for a couple months. This would get us through the wedding and honeymoon, and into Shan’s new fiscal year.

And then Shannon found a job she was interested in, in another different city. If we moved, and then Shannon got this new job, she’d have been driving over an hour again, and I’d have been driving 45 minutes on top of it. So, we held off again. As much as my Mom loved having us home, we were getting the itch to get back into our own place and get settled.

Finally, with Shannon’s job placement stable, we went back to the original plan, and narrowed the choice from two to one, deciding to apply for a 2-bedroom apartment. We got approved, and are planning to move Labor Day weekend.

With the plans firmly in place, I anticipate a major life change sometime in the next week. Wish us luck!

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