Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hunting in Chicago 6

So... the estimate? Two phases. Phase 1? $2800. Phase 2? $1400. Making $4200 total. Yikes. Can't do it, I'm afraid. Sorry Curtis. Couldn't happen. Well, I thought that was all. I said sorry, and I really appreciated it, and we would recommend him to all our friends, and I loved him so so much.

Um, yeah. That wasn't the end of Curtis. He's persistent and he means business. I made the mistake of telling him where the other apartment we were looking at was, just because he wanted to check if it was listed with his company. I thought, I really doubt that it's listed with them, because if it was, my wife would have noticed that. So I went on my merry way, and 30 min later got a call from him. Well, they hadn't been listed with Curtis' company, but he had called the landlord and persuaded him to list. What the eff? Crap, so I was thinking, I can't just go with Curtis, because Debra (the other realtor) had shown me the place first. To be honest, although Debra had done a fine job, Curtis had gone much more out of his way. So, first come first serve? Or is it meritocratic?

My wife luckily resolved this dilemma by telling me that #1, I was an idiot, and #2, that Debra had been super helpful to her, going out of her way finding places that were in our specifications, before I went out there. So, I called Curtis and told him that I didn't feel right about getting the place through him, because another realtor had shown it first. He was understanding and wished me luck. He's an all around classy guy, definitely. In a sneaky sort of way.

So that's really that. A place with over 1700 square feet, for $1300 a month, in a pretty good area with a huge playground right across the street. The only thing is there was a mass murder there in 1972, and the place is still haunted. But we have earplugs; I just hope the constant wailing doesn't wake the kids.

I made dinner (authentic cart-style chicken tacos) for the couple that let me stay with them, because, well, they are super nice and let me stay with them. They ruled. Turns out the husband Brandon went to the same mission as my brother, and told me some cool stuff about it.

The flight back was fast, and actually almost felt faster than taking the bus and train back from LaGuardia to my apartment (might be, actually--haven't calculated), because the freaking trains took forever and my half of the A train was shut down.

But whatever. I got back. We have a new apartment!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hunting in Chicago 5

Day 3. Uggh. I had hoped to be done by this time. Unfortunately, there are two apartments that we really like and it is getting super hard to decide, especially since there are people (friendly, and coincidentally working on commission) involved. Curtis, the guy I mentioned before, is super nice and very very persistent. He really wants to make this sale work.

The non-Curtis apartment is less expensive and bigger, but every other amenity (location, perks, free cable, all that) is better in the Curtis one. I would have already taken Curtis, but there is one small problem: the place has no complete walls. I.e. The ceiling is higher than the walls go up. This makes for a very cool "loft" look, but makes it so screaming kids will be able to make themselves audible anywhere in the apartment.

So we had a contractor come and look at the place and make an estimate on putting in doors and wall extensions. Right now, everything hangs on that. If it's too much, non-Curtis. If it is reasonable, Curtis.

Only time (about 30 min or so) will tell... Da da da DUM!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hunting in Chicago 4

I would have written a long time ago. But I spent all last night last night figuring out the best way to transfer pictures from my camera to the computer. My computer that runs Windows Vista, the memory and CPU resources hog that everyone loves. It actually sucks a lot, because, with the new operating system, my camera cannot just copy the files to my disk because Vista doesn't recognize the camera in Explorer, only asks me if I want to transfer them to a Word document. A Word document? What the eff, seriously. Of course, I ended up doing that because it was my only option.

Anyway, turns out while I was writing that blog post yesterday, the dude that was supposed to show me the apartment was sitting in his truck the whole time. Whoops. Hey, he should have been more obvious. That apartment was cool, it reminded me a lot of our apartment we have now, only bigger. In other words, still pretty ghetto.

Later I was walking around and found this girl's ID card on the ground. The first thing I thought was, if this girl isn't a lesbian, I have no gaydar. It had her name and home address (in Pittsburgh) but no phone number, so I whipped out this phone, started up the internets, and found the number associated with that last name and address on Infospace. I called it and told the girl who answered that if Allison wanted her ID card, she should take my cell number and call me.

I saw some other apartments, on a tour with a super nice guy named Jaz. ID girl Allison called me during the tour and thanked me, but I couldn't meet her at all yesterday. She didn't sound too concerned. Probably because it was like this non-driver's licence thing that also said she was under 21. So maybe it's useful for, I don't know, getting a library card or something.

That's enough. The boring meter of this post is starting to get a little high.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hunting in Chicago 3

So I walked on my own to a place called Chicago Apartment Locators; wasn't too far away. The agent there, an older black guy with a short white fro and crazy/cool green eyes named Curtis, decided to show me around the neighborhood to check out 2 apartments that were ok. Well, the first one was kinda lame -- in fact I would say it was a downgrade in size from our apt right now in NYC. Sorry, but no. We're movin' on up. The second was pretty huge, but no central AC or in-unit laundry, which are essentials for the wife.

We didn't get to look at the one that we really liked, because the dude that owns the place couldn't show it today. So tomorrow, I'm headed over there -- at noon.

I just had lunch at this gyros place, called Hyde Park Gyros. It was good, in the sense that it was exactly the same as every other place like that (that specializes in gyros but has a million other greasy things--you know what I'm talking about). It must be some sort of cartel, or hidden franchise.

Hunting in Chicago 2

So here I am, in a little park next to the apartment building that I'm staying at, pondering my fate. The flight over was good, except for the lady sitting next to me who talked loudly THE ENTIRE TIME to the guy sittng across the aisle from her, whom she obviously worked with. The guy had an empty seat next to him, so come on. Get a room. I just wanted to sleep.

I think I'm going to end up taking the bus here, mainly because it only costs $12 for 3 days, and there's a lot of convenient buses. I forgot how long the bus ride was from the airport though. It took about an hour for me to get to this apartment building, Regent's Park.

I picked up some Kettle Sea Salt and Vinegar chips (I acquired an addiction for these when I was at Stanford in August and have subsequently gone through an 8-month withdrawal) and Cherry Coke Zero at this little market attached to Regent's Park.

So one realtor dude hasn't called me back, so now I'm going to try the others. Hopefully I won't be sitting in Harold Washington Park all day. Although I hear he was a cool guy.

Hunting in Chicago 1

So here I am in a little bus taking me to the "Marine Terminal" at LaGuardia. Has anyone ever been to this terminal? It's for the Delta Shuttle flights and it's like as far away from the regular terminals as the regular terminals are from my apartment. Ok, maybe not that far. But I was pretty frustrated when I got all the way to the TSA girl who checks your ID in the normal Delta terminal and she was like... "Um, wrong place dear." Embarassing! I had to be led out of line to let the non-terminal-ignorant people through.

This bus is taking forever.

So that's the first part of my trip. Not knowing that there's a special Delta terminal for people who jump back and forth from Boston/Washington/Chicago as often as I jump back and forth between my two couches.

What? Don't you still do that?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mana what now?

I found probably THE most pathetic thing I have seen in a long time.
It's an energy drink for World of Warcraft players that need to play longer because they are tired due to playing for 40 hours straight.

The link is here:

Mana Energy Drink

I love - they have some sweet stuff. But there's a definite line between geeks and total losers. I like to think I'm the former, but I suppose that's up for debate.