So there was a mini reunion for Sara’s family over the weekend and we had quite a full house! There were about 14 of us, although only 6 staying at our place. We did Chicago up right, hitting up the Shedd, Museum of Science and Industry, Brookfield Zoo, and Navy Pier. Hopefully everybody had a good time. I thought the best part about the weekend was all the good food!
So leading up to that weekend I had been cracking the whip pretty hard to try and get everything done on the condo before everybody got here. I think Sara was getting pretty annoyed with me! I don’t know if she would agree, but I thought it was all worthwhile. I was really proud of the condo and I really enjoy showing it off. It was a lot of work leading up to it, but now that is all done so we can just sit back and relax! (Not really though because I still have to hang a ceiling fan and a hanging light in the dining room.)
This coming weekend is baby shower #2 in Wisconsin. We should have registered for a dog powered scooter!
Remember that story I had the other day about battle dancing? Well this just goes to show you how dangerous it can be!
I think that’s it for now, my show is over.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that video above was courtesy of Dabu!
Another long (frustrating) time without a post! But we’ve been so busy you would hardly believe it. So I’m going to tell you about it so that you can believe it. But I have to warn you, this post is more tragedy than comedy!
So let’s see, so after the last post, Sara’s family came to visit including her uncle Junior. Man could he paint! It was unbelievable. In the time I took to put a second coat on the living room, he put 2 coats on each of the hallways plus the family room. I seriously didn’t know it was possible to paint that fast. So we ended up getting every single room painted, even some of the rooms we weren’t sure if we were going to paint or not. We also got the first of the curtains that Sara’s mom made hung up (dining room) and got the chair rail put up in the dining room. The place looks SO awesome now! And Sara’s parents picked up the crib and chair for the baby’s room and put together the shelves we bought, so that was the first room that really looked finished. It is nice to see it all put together, it looks pretty good. Sara’s parents also bought a bed for the guest room, which I was really excited about. I had been saying to Sara that I really wanted to get a bed because I feel bad that guests have to sleep on an air mattress. So I was really glad when they offered to buy it because I am excited to have an actual guest bedroom.
Unfortunately, all the progress that was made and all the positive energy that was being generated was sort of sucked out when we found out Sunday morning that Sara’s car had been broken in to. They broke the back window, unlocked the doors and tried to hotwire it. I’m not sure why it was unsuccessful, but the thieves ended up stealing a car across the block. So in a way we were lucky because they didn’t steal her car and they didn’t break into my car which was only a few cars away. On the other hand we had a lot going on already and now we had to deal with this broken out window. And when they tried to hotwire the car they messed up the wiring or something, so we couldn’t start the car anymore. I think the worst part about it though was that I started feeling like it was unsafe there and I started wondering if we had made a mistake buying this condo in this neighborhood. I’ve been sort of worried about it ever since. I’m sure that’s how anybody would feel after something like that happened.
So, Sara’s car wouldn’t start and we had to call the police and then we had to have it towed and we had to call the insurance, etc. What a pain. Plus, we didn’t really need a $250 deductible on top of everything else we were spending right now. Little did I know, that was just the beginning of the hassle on her car. Long story short, I had to call the car place and the insurance adjuster at least every other day. For some unknown reason it took 10 DAYS to fix the car! I was very frustrated by the whole thing and it seemed to all be because of the car place. It was the WORST. Ugh.
So anyway, everybody was coming the next weekend to help us move, so we had to spend a lot of the week packing. It was sort of hard though because you get home from a long day of work and then you eat and then you don’t really feel like packing. So Friday, I was just leaving work and I got in an accident!!! Unbelievable. It wasn’t my fault. I had just turned out from work and I was driving on a two lane road when a guy who was at a stop sign on the cross-road tried to make it across in front of me. He said that he didn’t see me. So my front right bumper smashed into his rear right bumper. My car was pretty much okay, I just bent up my bumper, hood and front right quarter panel and broke out my headlight. His car was pretty bad and had to b towed from the scene. I just couldn’t believe this was happening with the move that weekend and Sara’s car (still) in the shop. Yet another police report to fill out, another call to insurance, etc. My car should be covered under his insurance, but they say that they can’t do anything until they decide who is at fault and they can’t do that until they get his side of the story. So here we are more than a week later and they are still “trying to get in contact with the insured” and I’m driving around with a car that some times smells like wires burning if I forget and accidentally use the right turn signal. Just one more thing, you know?
We had been on the fence about whether we should get an alarm system or not, but having Sara’s car broken into kind of put us over the top. So we had two alarm companies come out to the house. The guy from Brinks was awesome, and their product was cheaper than we expected. The guy didn’t even mention trying to sell anything to us, he just walked around and worked with us to figure out what we would need. So we felt pretty good about stuff when he left. The ADT guy on the other hand…now that was a different story. He was the worst! First off he told us it would take 45 minutes and it took an hour and FIFITY minutes! Second off, he spent at least an hour talking to us including starting to price out some stuff before he even looked at the home! And it felt like the Brinks guy was really trying to figure out what we needed, but the ADT guy was trying to upsell us on everything. So finally he was like, “Okay, I just need your credit card numbers…” and we were like, “Whoaaaa there buddy. We’re not making a decision today.” That’s when he flipped out and got desperate. We couldn’t get him to leave. He was pulling out every trick in the sales book up to and including trying to guilt us (“I don’t understand, we agreed on the price range before we started, I thought we had an agreement, I just don’t understand.”) but there was no way we were signing up right at that moment. Especially since it was like twice the price of Brinks. Now there were some features of the ADT service that we liked, but the more the salesman refused to leave and tried to hold us hostage in our own house, the less I wanted to give him any money! Finally we pretty much shoved him out the door. Maybe those high pressure sales tactics worked in the past, but I don’t know why anybody would think they would work today. I mean seriously, the guy pretty much just talked his company out of making a decent slice of dough.
Next up came the big move day, and I have to say, it went a lot faster than I expected! I guess part of it was having a lot of help to move; I usually don’t have much help. I think the worst was when I moved to Philly and it was only my dad and me to unload everything in like blistering heat. So this time we had 10 people I think! My mom and dad both came, but I don’t think it was weird. They even went and got coffee together! I guess that was weird. Anyway, my dad forced us to take over like 5 loads in his truck the night before, so we had a lot of the small stuff moved by the time we got the truck the next day. My brother actually rented a car to come and help and came from a bachelor’s party the night before, so I was concerned that it was going to be too much for him, but we appreciated the help because that was one more person that could carry heavy stuff. Also my boss showed up and he was a machine! He just jumped right in getting the heaviest stuff and definitely made a big difference. Also, he brought us a pan of lasagna! Very thoughtful, since our kitchen was all packed up! So I picked up the truck at 9 but they opened at 9, so there was a big line. I probably got back at like 9:45, we took one load in the truck, and we returned the truck at noon. Also, our realtor Joe brought a pizza over on move day! That was also really thoughtful too, especially since the closing was a month ago.
So, in order to support the alarm system, we decided to get an actual land line phone for the first time in years. Since we have Comcast cable and Internet, we figured we would try out their new VoIP for the phone system. It seemed like a no-brainer since I’ve been a loyal Comcast customer for like 8 years over 3 states. But I know what you’re thinking, what about all those problems you had when you got your Comcast setup before? Well, this time the problems started up right away. I had to call back 3 days in a row and each day I got a different story. Everyday the order would be messed up in some way. Finally, the last guy I talked to (who was extremely rude) told me I couldn’t get the special deal because I was transferring service not getting new service. Finally I was just fed up with Comcast! So I took a look around at what my options were and realized I could save a TON of money by going with AT&T and Dish Network. Kind of stupid on Comcast’s part because I was ready to sign up for the long haul. And the best part is, with Dish Network I get NFL Network and my beloved Sci-fi channel, probably the two best channels on earth and two channels I didn’t get with Comcast. I think for the combination Internet and T.V. we are saving something like $30 per month. Per month! And that’s not even including some of the specials and promotions we got. Some people say (and some Comcast billboards say) it is stupid to get a satellite dish in Chicago because the weather knocks the satellite signal out all the time. Other people say you only lose it in the worst storms. I guess we’ll see, but the people who say it is generally acceptable seem more reliable than the naysayers.
But alas, it looks like the new master is a lot like the old master. My appointment was from 8 – 12 Friday morning, but it was actually 2 appointments. The satellite guy showed up first, and let me say he really earned his installation fee! (of course we’re not paying it thanks to a promotion, but still) So it took quite a while to get everything all set up. By the time he left it was about noon and I hadn’t heard from the AT&T guy. So I called and it turns out, they had set up my order to be installed between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.!! It is ridiculous enough to expect someone to be home for 4 hours, much less 12 hours! And while they were at it, the person didn’t set up the order for the Internet, only the phone! ::sigh:: Of course not. Of course. So I had to call off work for the day and the guy ended up getting here around 1:30. It only took a few minutes to set up the phone, but it took quite a while to get the TiVo and everything all set up to work with the satellite. I also had a lot of time to unpack and pretty much unpacked everything there was to unpack.
So, since I wasn’t going to work I had time to return our cable modem to Comcast. So I drove out to the Comcast office and there was a HUGE line! I had to park 2 blocks away and the line went all through the office and then out across the parking lot! I couldn’t even believe it, I thought it was going to be a quick trip. The problem was that Comcast is switching over to all digital and everyone has to come and pick up digital boxes. It ended up being quicker than I thought it was going to be (only about an hour) because they actually had 6 lines open on the inside. Everybody was angry, but the ironic thing was that I was already fed up with Comcast enough to cancel my service BEFORE I had to stand in that line!
Now here is the part you’re not going to believe! Saturday morning we were going to go to the 57th street art festival (which is really awesome, we will definitely continue to go every year) and we tried to start Sara’s car and it wouldn’t start! It did the same thing it had been doing before we took it in to get it fixed!! I couldn’t believe it, I was so upset. Like there were so many things going on and I thought that was one frustration that I could cross off the list! And the more I thought about it the more upset I got, so I had to struggle to keep it from ruining the whole weekend.
In order to get our mind off of the car, we decided on Sunday to go to IKEA to buy some shelves to create a pantry out of one closet, which is an awesome idea by the way (not mine) and the shelves look awesome! We freed up a bunch of space in the kitchen too as well as found some spots for some stuff that we didn’t know what to do with. The thing is, the closet isn’t that big, but it is very, very tall. So we bought these 7’ shelves and it is working great. The only problem was, we had to fit them into my car! We managed to fit them in with the back seats down and the passenger seat as far forward as it could go and leaning forward. Sara couldn’t fit her big pregnant belly in there, so she had to drive. It was the most uncomfortable contorted position with my head pressed against the windshield and my legs screwed up to one side. The funny part was that anybody driving by my car wouldn’t be able to see the shelves (they weren’t assembled yet) they would just see me pressed up against the glass like some kind of weirdo! But I survived the hour car ride and it was worth it, because the shelves are awesome. We also bought some other needed things like door mats, trash cans, etc. This place is really coming together and I like it more and more every day! We still have a lot of things we’d like to get though.
I also managed to watch some awesomely bad movies on sci-fi. Just like old times! The theme was heat movies and I think the worst one I saw was about a volcano opening up under New York city. Well it might have been a tie between that and this one about these snakes made of fire staring Xander from Buffy.
So Monday I get to work and I find out that my account had been shut off!! Agh! I thought I was going to have a break down! It just seemed like I was cursed or something. Everything was just going wrong and piling up, between both the cars, then Sara’s car still being broken, the problems with AT&T, the Internet still not working…man.
So since then, things have started to come back in order. My account at work was quickly restored. Sara’s car was towed back to the dealership and then fixed. They admitted it was their fault and there was no charge. According to the UPS website, we are supposed to get our DSL modem tomorrow (and then I can post this!). If that goes according to plan, then the only thing left to resolve is my car. I plan on driving Sara’s until I hear back from State Farm. It would be nice if that was resolved soon, but I am not hopeful.
Wow, was that really the last time I made a post??
Well obviously a lot has happened since then! And obviously we’ve been really busy and I haven’t had much time to post about it.
So the closing went okay I guess. There were actually a few snags that made it especially painful for the mortgage broker and the lawyers. We didn’t really know what to expect, so if you told us it took 10 hours we wouldn’t have known any better, but they all seemed pretty agitated. The first (minor) problem was that the parking spaces were numbered incorrectly and according to the contract they were selling us the parking space in front of the wrong condo! But that got resolved pretty fast. The more major issue was that the mortgage company was being a real pain. It sounded like maybe it was the first day on the job for somebody or something, but they didn’t know what they were doing. They kept requesting ridiculous stuff, like they made us redo the contract with asterisks next to the closing costs that were being paid by the seller and then made us redo it again because “the asterisks are too small.” Ridiculous things like that. Finally, after about 4 hours, we were told we could leave and they would get the rest straightened out. Whatever, we had the keys when we left, so that was the important thing!
So since that time, we’ve just been spending huge piles of cash. It’s amazing how fast things add up! I already mentioned what we spent on paint. We bought a crib and a nice chair for the baby’s room, some shelves for the baby’s room and a bedside table for the guest bedroom from IKEA and an end table for next to the couch. We spent almost $600 on fabric for the curtains (Sara’s mom is making them for us, so I can’t imagine what we would have spent to actually buy finished curtains!) and then ended up spending another couple of hundred for curtain rods and things. And that was from IKEA which had rods for way cheaper than like Target or anything. So the moral of the story, and I guess everybody said this but I still kind of didn’t believe it, is that even after you write the huge check for your house you still have a lot of spending left to do!
So, that first weekend after we bought the house we were visited by my dad, brother, and Sara’s brother for a painting extravaganza. We actually got a lot done! We painted the baby’s room, our bedroom, the living room and the guest bedroom as well as the ceilings of all the bathrooms with mold resistant paint. The living room was awesome because it is the biggest room to paint and also there was the little incident of the area over the stairs. See, the ceilings are pretty high (say 12 feet?) and then the stairs go down from the corner of the living room, so the distance from the stairs to the ceiling was reaaaaaly far. And of course this is over the stairs with no landing or anything, so we didn’t even know how to do it. The best idea we had we found online, but it sounded very sketchy. Basically, put an extension ladder on one side and a regular ladder at the top of the stairs and then run a board between the two resting on the rungs of the ladder. I know you can’t imagine what the area looks like, but trust me; someone would have died trying that. We tried to rent some stuff from Home Depot but they didn’t rent it. But finally in the end, the simple solution was the best solution. My dad brought an extension ladder and we just put a couple of cinder block pieces on the lower stair and put one leg of the ladder on that and the other leg on the higher stair. It was still pretty dicey though because I was still up pretty high and the ladder didn’t have much of an angle to it. So I had to cling to the top of the ladder because if I leaned backwards it would overbalance and fall. So anyway, it was a big relief off my mind to get that all finished!
So we got a lot done, but there is still a LOT more to do! Originally it was just the 3 bathrooms, the kitchen, dining room and the family room left, but then we decided we should paint the hallways and the office since we would actually have help at the moment (more on that later). We did get all of the corners and trim and stuff done in one of the bathrooms this week.
The Monday after that I picked my mom up from the airport on the way back from Japan. So mostly they went to see shrines (kind of like how we saw so many churches in Italy) but it sounds like my mom really enjoyed the trip to Hiroshima. It sounds kind of funny to say “enjoyed” and “Hiroshima” but I don’t know what the right word is. The main thing she just kept talking about was just the cultural differences. I think that is the main thing you gain by going out of the country is sort of a broadening of your horizons. Anyway, she had a good time.
The weekend after that was Nathan’s graduation. Jenny and Josh and their kids Jacob, Bekkah, Jaames and Braelynn stayed with us Friday night. We were a little nervous since it was such a large crew, but they actually weren’t there very long and it wasn’t a problem at all. In fact, Braelynn was so quiet I kept forgetting she was there! I didn’t hear her cry once the whole weekend. I can only hope our baby will be so good! We didn’t act
On Saturday we met Sara’s family at a fabric store to pick out all the cloth for the curtains. I already mentioned how expensive this all was and all in all I have to say it was not as fun as I had imagined! I imagined running through the store throwing fabric around trying to narrow down all of our many choices. Instead it was like digging through trying to find one we liked. Sara told me she thought it would take 2 hours and I thought, “No way! 1 hour max!” Well, it actually took about 3 hours. But it was good to get it done and I’m excited to see all of the curtains when we are done.
So after that we went to Purdue and got there about 5. We didn’t go to the ceremony, just the after party. We stayed until about 9 and ate some good food and visited with family members, etc. It was fun but it was also an exhausting day.
On Sunday we went to IKEA and then we planned to paint the bathroom, but by the time we got around to that, Sara decided it was too much for a weekend. So I ended up just sort of doing odd jobs around the new condo that somehow took hours. I did the touch-ups in the baby’s room and finished that up, put on outlet covers, etc. This led to my lock changing odyssey.
So we wanted to change the locks just to be safe, since who knows who has copies of the old key. So this is yet another thing to spend money on. However, I found some kit online which you are supposed to be able to change up to 6 locks for like $10. I figured it was worth the $10 to give it a try because it could potentially save us like $50. So even if it doesn’t work, I’m only out $10. So I get the kit and I decide to give it a try. There are lots of different directions for different kinds of locks, but I find the right set and get started. So I’m taking the lock apart and following the directions and everything is going well. It says, “Turn the key to release the locking mechanism, yada yada” so I do that and I’m like “cool, this is actually working” and I pull out the locking mechanism. All these tiny little pieces go flying everywhere. So I thought, “Well, I guess this is the point of no return, there’s no going back now!” and I looked down at the next instruction which says, “Be careful not to removing the locking mechanism because if you do all the tiny little pieces will go flying and you will be totally screwed.” Don’t you think that could have been mentioned before the previous step?!?! So it goes on to say, “If you are the type of idiot who just pulls out the locking mechanism without reading the next step, see this other step on this other page.” and it tells you how to reassemble it. Well holy crap, it was hard! There are 5 little holes that take 5 little springs with little metal pins on top. Once you get the spring with the metal pin into the hole, then you have to push it down and slide this tube over the top so it doesn’t spring back out. And of course I’m at the empty condo, so the only tool I had to work with was an unbent paperclip. It took me at least an hour and a half to get that lock reassembled! At least a quarter of that time was spent looking for the tiny pieces after they sprang out over the carpet which is colored the exact color of the inner workings of a lock. I wonder if the name of the carpet color is “lock mechanism brown” or something. And my back was hurting from hunching over because it’s so small you can’t see anything. So finally I managed to put everything back together and finish changing the lock. So I got it done, but it took me about 2 hours to change 2 out of 6 locks.
So I was very frustrated, but at least I got it done! Fast forward to yesterday and I was going to change the other 4 locks. I thought it should be pretty fast because by now I know what NOT to do and also I have a pretty good working knowledge of how a lock works after spending 2 hours on them. So I’m cruising along, I changed the next 3 locks in about 30 minutes. I was in a pretty good mood, everything was going well. I didn’t even need to look at the directions anymore because I knew what I was doing. And then of course what happens? I was actually past the hard part on the last lock and my hand sort of slips and pulls out the mechanism and ::SPRING:: out flies all the little pieces! Ohhh I was so mad at myself! I just got careless because it was so easy. So I figured, “Oh well, at least I know what to do to fix it.” But when I looked at the pieces, I realized it was subtly different that the previous lock. On that one the pin fit in the top of the spring, so you just had to put the spring and the pin into the hole as one piece. But on this one the pin did NOT fit into the spring, it just sort of rested on top. So you would have to balance this miniscule pin on top of this tiny spring and then somehow push it down so it goes in the hole. This would be impossible. I was almost done with the locks! The more I looked at it the madder I got at myself. I was thinking I would have to buy a new lock and then re-key that one (and hope the same thing didn’t happen) but in that case I didn’t save much money by doing it myself. Also it was quarter to nine so I couldn’t really get it that night. So Sara convinced me to put the lock back on so it looked like it was okay (but it wasn’t really locked or anything) and gather up all the tiny pieces and just wait until the next day. When I got home I tried a few times with tweezers (which sure would have helped with the other lock the other day!) but it was just impossible. But then, out of nowhere, I figured out the trick for doing it and I put it back together! It was so random because over the course of like 5 minutes I went from the total despair of, “This is impossible” to “Hey, I’m done!” So I ran back over to the condo and put the lock back together (veeeery carefully) and presto! Everything is fine.
So the moral of the story is, you can do it yourself but be very, very careful. And if I paid myself per hour it probably would have cost as much as if a locksmith did it.
Speaking of do-it-yourself stuff, we had this problem with our drains in the bathroom. The sink and the shower both were so clogged up that they virtually were not draining at all. I poured like 2 gallons of drain cleaner down each over the course of months, but it did little or nothing to help. We were kind of thinking we could just live with it for the next couple of weeks until we moved out, but finally the sink came to a complete standstill. I bought these cheep plastic zip line things from Target (2 for $5) and they actually worked miraculously! Probably better than advertised. You just push them into the drain as far as you can and then pull it back out, but it has these one way teeth (like an arrow head), so when you pull it out the clog snags on the teeth and out it comes. I had to do it a few times and it was grosser than all get out, but I removed so much hair from those drains you wouldn’t even believe it. You could have made a wig for a cancer patient, provided that that cancer patient had no sense of smell and didn’t mind that the wig was sort of a decaying grey color. But anyway, if you have a problem like that, go ahead and buy those cheep plastic zip things because they work really well.
Okay, so that’s about it. Sara’s entire family including an Aunt and Uncle are descending on the condo this weekend to try to get the rest of the stuff done before we move in next weekend. So we will be very busy with that, but in a good way!
One final thing. Just because I don’t have time to blog about the more fun things that I usually blog about, doesn’t mean I’m not saving them up. So when I get a chance I will drop some of those on you.
In the meantime, you’ll have to tide yourself over with this awesome Rube Goldberg machine. My favorite part is when the one cell phone calls the other cell phone. Very modern touch!
Tomorrow we close on the condo! I think everything is ready to go. I just had to hold the check in my hand, just to see what it felt like to hold that much money!
Wish us luck!
First off, I’m reposting the search box now that my last one has moved off the page:
Hopefully I won’t have to do that forever. Yet another LJ annoyance!
Okay, so now to what has actually been going on in our lives lately!
Two weekends ago we went to Purdue for the Alpha Phi Omega 75th anniversary. We had a good time, it was a good weekend. Unfortunately not many people turned up from our “era.” Most of the people who came were recent graduates or from a really long time ago. I was hoping to see some of the people I was friends with while I was there. The weather was a little crappy…okay it was a lot crappy! So we didn’t go around Bug Bowl very much. We did a couple of service projects and went to a dedication ceremony for Professor Teaford. That was one of my favorite parts, it was really good to see him again. I would have trouble believing there could be any individual that could be more devoted to an organization or be a better adviser, not to mention the most entertaining professor that could possibly exist. The highlight of the weekend was the banquet at the renovated stadium. Some of the highlights included a past national president speaking, a presentation about our chapter (Alpha Gamma) through the decades including research on some of our traditions and how they started, and a short speech by a guy who pledged in the ’40s and talked about keeping the chapter alive through WWII. So anyway, it was a good time and too bad for all you guys who didn’t show up because you missed out!
During the week after that I was supposed to go to a conference in Detroit, but that fell through. So Sara had invited her sister to come and stay here in the meantime. It was a pretty low key visit, we didn’t really do much. It was nice to have her here, but unfortunately she got sick towards the end. That weekend we visited a friend of Sara’s from grad school who recently moved to Chicago. The highlight of that trip was playing with the parachute! Remember like when you were in grade school and you played with the parachute? Well, they have one to play with their son and it was good time.
We also spent money like it was going out of style! Behr paint was on sale, so we spent $400 on paint and paint supplies! On Sunday we went to a store to look at chairs and we ended up buying a chair AND a crib! We had been looking for a crib for a long time and hadn’t found anything, so we just stumbled onto the perfect one. For the chair, we were looking for a rocker/glider for the baby’s room, but we ended up buying a little more substantial one that we can use in the living room one day.
Sunday night my mom and brother showed up. Nathan was just there to borrow the car to continue on to WI for job interviews. Mom got her passport fixed on Monday (after many trials and tribulations) and then left for Japan on Tuesday! She’s there now. Unfortunately I had to wake up at 5 a.m. to take her!
So this weekend, we had the final walk-through on the condo today. There was nothing really to report about that, it went pretty smoothly. Tuesday is the big day! After that we will be a couple of homeowners. Today I watched the NFL draft for about 8 hours and tomorrow we will go visit Dabu and play games.
Aaaaaand I think that actually brings us up to the present! I expect that updates are going to start being few and far between since we are going to be this busy for the foreseeable future.
So I’ve been meaning to post a lot more in here, but this week was a little rough!
I was up for about 5 (early) hours throwing up Tuesday morning. Obviously I didn’t go to work. I felt miserable but I managed to sleep on and off from about 8:30 a.m. until about 2:45. I had to get up then because we had our house inspection!
The house inspection went really well, in terms of the property. In terms of my health personally, the house inspection went pretty bad. I felt so bad I couldn’t even stand up. Sara had to go around with the inspector while I spent most of the time sitting on the floor in a different room sipping water and feeling sorry for myself. I apologized to everybody but I think they understood because I think I was looking a little green. But, the good news is that there were absolutely no major problems with the condo.
So we got back to our place and I went directly to bed. I slept fitfully from about 6:30 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.! The next morning I got up on time to go to work, fully intending to go. But standing up was not good to me. So after I shaved and stuff I was like “forget it” and I called work and then went back to bed. Wednesday was a little better, but still not great. Actually, every day since Tuesday has been better but I’m still not completely 100%. I did go to work Thursday and Friday though.
So things are going good with the condo and everything though. It was appraised already, but we don’t know the results of that yet. I’m really curious to see what the result is! The deadline to know about financing is Thursday, but it sounds like that won’t be a problem. After that I think it’s mostly just waiting for May 1st! Also today we looked at some fabric shops for ideas on curtains. Hopefully Sara’s mom is going to come and help us make some curtains or roman shades which would save us a bunch of money!
I keep meaning to make a post about more baby stuff, and I promise I will some day.
So I’ve been really busy lately, and I haven’t had a chance to post about it yet, but our offer was accepted for the house!!! Perhaps we offered to little because they accepted all of our terms! But really we’re very happy because we offered $7,000 less than the asking price in addition to the $5,000 closing cost credit they were offering. Also, we got them to run a 220 volt line for our electric dryer and give us an $800 credit for using our washer and dryer rather than having them buy one. Since ours are pretty much brand new, we are very happy with that. Our realtor didn’t really want us to try to get both the credit and the lower price because he didn’t think they’d accept, but we sort of overrode him and look how it came out!
You can see some pictures of the place on your snapfish account.
One of the reasons we were so busy was that this weekend we went to a 1st birthday party followed immediately by a 50th birthday party! Opposite ends of the spectrum there.
So we put the offer on the condo in on Saturday. Here it is Tuesday night and we still don’t know!! From everybody that I’ve talked to, they said it usually only takes a couple of hours until you hear back! I’ll give the the benefit of the doubt over the weekend since they probably weren’t in the office, but they promised on Monday that we would know by today. And to top it off, the seller’s lawyer/realtor is sort of rude.
In the meantime, you can occupy yourself with this submarine game. You have to time your depth charges so they hit the subs and avoid their torpedo things. My high score is 13,800 on level 12.
Endangered Ugly Things is another good time waster. Basically it is a blog about all the endangered species that are too ugly to be the front-men for conservation efforts. Take, for example, the long nosed Saiga Antelope:
Not exactly pulling in the big donations!
So I think we found “the place” as far as our condo search is concerned. Very exciting!!! I think we’re going to put an offer down, so I guess we’ll see what happens.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a condo/house in the greater Chicagoland area (and I know that neither of you who read this are), you should check out Chi-town Living. It’s very good general information about realty and the housing situation in general, as well as useful links. It may be of interested to anybody searching for a house. Anyway, mad props Chi-town Living!
Last night our freezer/refrigerator decided to stop working for unknown reasons. I never had one with an ice maker in it before, but if you have one and the freezer stops working, all of that ice melts and makes you a lake in your kitchen! And so do frozen strawberries, except their lake is decidedly more sticky.
Awful snow storm today. Work was closed but I didn’t know until I was already there, so I ended up working all day. Needless to say, this wasn’t the best day ever.
Last weekend we went house hunting! How exciting is that? We looked at 8 condos but there are only 2 possibilities of the bunch. We’ll probably have at least one more blitzkrieg of looking at places before we make any decisions.
Here is an interesting page debunking science myths (like the great wall of China is the only man made structure visible from space). Many of these I believed! I feel so duped.
You should check out this awesomeness both for the technical stop action lightbrite skills and also for the great song about the dangers of robots (mainly, that if they win, we’ll have to listen to techno music)
I have so much crap to write in here that it’s like too big of a job and I never get around to it. So, time to rip it off like a band-aid!
Alright, so I have to start at the beginning, and the beginning starts with painting. So the living room was painted a dark maroon-ish kind of color and the bedroom was a color we have taken to calling “Neon Salmon.” Also, the paint job in the living room was…not so good. The paint was just sort of slopped all over everything including painting over all the outlets (not just the plates, the whole outlet) and going up on the trim and everything. It took 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint in the living room and 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint in the bedroom. We also had to touch up all the other rooms since he just patched the holes but didn’t repaint. These are not white walls; it kind of looks a little ridiculous with the plaster on there but no paint!
Also the apartment was sort of dirty so we had to clean everything top to bottom and that took a long time. Our landlord left like a bunch of stuff in there and we called him and he was supposed to come over and get it and give us the 2nd set of keys and get his mail (which we are still getting like 3 weeks later, the Chicago mail, she is not so good) but he didn’t come Then he came a couple of nights later and he said he had to take 2 loads to get all of his stuff but he never came back for the second load!
Oh yeah, and I almost forgot the best (worst) part! We didn’t get the code for the alarm and when the landlord transferred his phone the alarm got upset because it had no connection (we only have cell phones) so it went off and we didn’t have the code so we couldn’t shut it off. It went off for about 10 minutes before it shut off, but it seemed like a lot longer. It was SO LOUD! Then the landlord finally called us back and gave us the code after it went off. He said it was supposed to work properly even with no phone connection but it kept trying to go off and we would have to run over and put in the code, so finally we had to just let the batteries run out on it and it’s just sitting there, worthless.So that was our first weekend, pretty much non-stop work, but my mom came up and helped us unpack and paint and stuff and stayed for a week and that helped immensely! We also went and saw Wicked which I have been trying to take her to see since forever and she loved it, so that was all good. We did manage to sneak off to the Hyde Park Art Festival that weekend too which was really cool. I think it really helped my mom because she has this ridiculous idea of what Chicago is and thinks you’ll get shot if you peak your nose out of your house. So seeing that our neighborhood is nice and going to the festival and seeing that everybody is normal people really impressed her I think.
Another exciting thing that happened was Sara’s parents came down for Father’s day, which allowed me to break out the big grill for the first time ever! I got the grill as a wedding present (2 year anniversary in 4 days!) and I immediately assembled it and then it sat there in the basement for the rest of the time we lived in Philly! So I was really excited after all this time to get it out and get the propane tank filled and everything. Now my plan is to eat off the grill every day for the rest of my life. I’m making steaks on it tonight when I’m done with this actually. Sara’s got her parents hooked on Acquire now so we played a lot of that and Apples to Apples.
So anyway, we took our sweet time unpacking but now that it’s pretty much done, our apartment is AWESOME. It’s definitely the nicest place I’ve ever lived (not counting the house I grew up in of course). I mean, I’m almost embarrassed at how nice it is…it’s so grown up looking. I mean, Sara’s always had very grownup stuff, so our apartment before looked really grown up, but I think it’s just not having “landlord white” walls that makes the difference. Plus the apartment is a little bigger and laid out so much better, with a lot more closet space. Seriously, it’s so nice. And the neighborhood is nice. There are so many parks within walking distance and the University of Chicago is really pretty. We have a nice deck we can sit out on, and sometimes if the wind is right you can even smell the lake. I really love living close to the lake and seeing it every morning on my commute. The commute’s not that bad either. Not as nice as Sara’s 15 minute walk of course! But still, it takes me about 30-40 min in the morning and 45-55 minutes in the evening. Not as bad as it could have been. So, in short, I don’t know if I really want to move out of here in a year, as per our plan.
Also since we’ve been here, we went over where Chad lives in Old Town and went to 2 different art festivals over there. They were pretty much similar to the Hyde Park ones I guess. Also, this guy at work gave me 2 tickets to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. I was really excited because I always wanted to see them, but Sara didn’t like them too much. She prefers music with words I think. The weird thing about that was the tickets were for this booth and we had to sit in there with 2 other people we didn’t know. It was kind of strange. Also, we went to a BBQ at my boss’ house. That was actually a really good time. There was soooo much good food (definitely the best food I’ve ever had at any BBQ) and there was just this big group of friends that he had there. They kind of reminded me of my mom’s big group of friends…basically everybody knows everybody, so it’s not like any 1 particular person is the lynchpin that holds them all together. It wouldn’t really matter who showed up to any particular event. They were very nice and friendly and welcoming and I could definitely see hanging out with them again. My boss isn’t *that* much older than me so it’s not too weird.
That’s a nice segue into work talk, but this is long so I think I’ll save that for another time. But I have to leave you with 1 quick story. So I knew already that “Chain Reaction” staring Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman was filmed there. But what I didn’t realize was that the actual machine from the movie (the crazy one with the water and laser thing and all the bubbles) is sitting in the building next to mine. It looks just like the one from the movie!! So I was all impressed with that, but then we walked a little bit further and saw this huge metal cylinder. The guy explained that it is the actual engine for submarines that the movie “The Hunt for Red October” was modeled after. It really was silent like in the movie, but since it used electromagnetism to propel itself, it put out a huge electromagnetic signature that was as easy to locate as a loud submarine.
So anyway, I think I’m going to call this one. That’s pretty much the bulk of it. But most of our summer is already booked up, so I might have lots more stuff to put down here soon.