I keep meaning to blog about something, but this time I have a good excuse. We spent the last week packing up everything we own into a million different boxes where we won’t ever be able to find that one thing we need right this moment ever again. We did this because we were moving to a new apartment.
We didn’t want to move as we’ve been pretty happy in Ann Arbor, but the owners of the apartment complex we lived in (Mill Creek Townhouses) decided to hire Village Green to run their apartment complex a couple of years back and Village Green likes to think they can turn any apartment into a “luxury” apartment by putting in new cabinets, fancy lighting fixtures, and black appliances in the kitchens and raising the rent to an unholy level. When we first moved in we rented a 3 bedroom townhome with a basement for $1050 a month which was a stretch at the time, but Anne was working and we could afford it. When Courtney decided to move out to live with her mom so should could attend college in Grand Rapids a year later we moved down to a 2 bedroom with a basement that cost us a much more reasonable $735 a month. That was 5 years ago. In those years Village Green jumped our rent considerably each year such that my last year of rent was $1010 a month — almost as much as we paid for the 3 bedroom 6 years ago.
This has nothing to do with this entry, but I thought it was amusing.
We ended up finding another 2 bedroom townhouse with a basement for $810 a month in Canton which, if you’ve been reading this blog since its inception, you may recognize as the town I lived in back when SEB first came into being. We lived in Canton from 1998 to 2005 and only left because that was the year of my first real bout of unemployment. It’s been 10 years and moving back feels a lot like going home to a place that (so far at least) seems to have only gotten better since we left. We’re losing about 100 square feet of living space in the move as the new apartment is slightly smaller than the old one. This is particularly noticeable in the kitchen where the fewer number of cabinets is significant, forcing us to make some decisions on what goes in the cabinets and what gets moved to storage in the basement. We’ll find a way to make it work, though, and I think we’ll be pretty happy. More importantly we’ll have a little more breathing room in the budget than we’ve had in a couple of years. If you have to leave someplace you were happy with it’s always nice to go to someplace else you were also very happy with.
Technically I was on vacation last week, but it sure doesn’t feel like it as we spent it trying to figure out what to put in which boxes and what to throw away and where the stuff we were keeping would go in the new place and hoping the movers we hired didn’t kill us for being the disorganized, messy, hoarding people that we are. Fortunately the movers were awesome as fuck and kicked much ass and told us that we had done an excellent job compared to a lot of their customers. I suspect they were just being nice, but they got all our crap loaded into their truck and unloaded in the new place in around 7 hours or so in heat that felt more like late August than late May. They even disassembled and reassembled our bed for us which was probably the thing I was most unqualified to do. If you live in Michigan and want to hire some professional movers we’d happily recommend Morse Moving and Storage as they did a kick ass job for us.
So that’s what we’ve been up to. We’re in the process of unpacking now which is going to be a long process, but we’ll get through it. We did decide to make the second bedroom into a Den for our computers instead of putting them in the basement like we did in AA. So now when I use my webcam there won’t be a tower of boxes behind me. Maybe I’ll try some actual vlogging now.
So I see the blog is getting dusty again. Here’s what I’ve been up to instead of writing stuff.
Mostly it’s been looking for a new place to live. Our lease on our apartment here in Ann Arbor is up at the end of May and, much like the last several years, the folks at Village Green are asking for a huge jump in rent for us to stay another year (from $1,010 to $1,145). We’re living hand to mouth as it is already and so we’re on the hunt for someplace new which, unfortunately, means leaving Ann Arbor. We thought we’d found a place in Whitmore Lake, but the guy they thought was leaving in May has opted to stay another year and so they don’t have any units that’ll be available before we have to move.
Now we’re looking at possible renting a manufactured house in Novi which would put me within 15 minutes of work, but they’re already finding it hard to just show us the unit we’d be renting and that makes me wonder if moving there would be a mistake. We saw a unit that someone else is renting last Thursday and they promised we could see the one we were being offered either Monday or Tuesday, but here is is Wednesday and I actually had to take the day off tomorrow to maybe see it because reasons. They have an move-in incentive of getting the first month for free, but that promotion ends tomorrow if we don’t sign up and I’m not signing up until I see exactly what it is I’m signing up for. So depending on how things go tomorrow my hunt may or may not be over.
The SEB Podcast revival is still going to happen, but I’m not sure exactly when. Dave has been busy with remodeling his kitchen out in Denver and the month of May will have Anne and I packing for the move to wherever at the end of the month. So maybe we’ll squeeze it in and maybe it’ll be June. Still, Dave and I totally plan on doing it and we may re-ask about topics depending on how long it takes us to get our shit together.
Beyond that, the weather has improved a bit as of late, but I’m still not back to walking as often as I should. I’ve made it out a couple of times with my buddy Greg, but it’s still not a routine. My weight is hovering right in the mid-280’s so at least I haven’t put back on all that I’ve lost. I thought my Fitbit had crapped out on me as it stopped syncing for several days and I got on Twitter to moan about it and the FitBit folks responded with the secret of how to do a reset on the device. It’s back to working again and reminding me that I am one lazy motherfucker.
If you stopped by SEB today you may have found it unresponsive. Seems the Varnish cache that Dreamhost puts on the account needed to have its memory settings tweaked and was killing the site for several hours. Alas, the couple of posts I had intended to write (other than this one) have since withered and died. I’ll try to post something in the next day or so.
I mentioned in the last post that we were getting ready to move into a smaller apartment this holiday weekend and, for the last three days, that’s what we’ve been working on. Friday was largely eaten up by the the laundry rental guys showing up to move the washer and dryer we rent over to the new apartment and the AT&T U-Verse installer who was hooking up our new service, but we did get some boxes moved that day. My buddies JethricOne, Andy, and Bob came out to help by getting all the big, heavy furniture moved on Saturday. And yesterday my in-laws were out to help move all the rest of the crap we had.
By the end of the day yesterday we had at least 95% of everything moved and my legs were totally useless. My knees were bothering me something fierce, but it was the calf muscles that were the real problem. If I needed a reminder of why I need to exercise then yesterday served that function well. My in-laws will be back out later this morning to help get that last 5% moved over and then we’ll do a quick cleaning of the apartment and turn in the keys tomorrow.
One thing is for sure, I’m going to make the time to go through a lot of the stuff I have and see if I can’t reduce and simplify a bit. Of course I say that every time I move and realize just how much crap I actually have tucked away in boxes and stuff, but I’m going to do my best to actually follow through on that this time. Wish me luck!
Haven’t posted in a day or two so I thought I’d take a moment to let folks know why. We’re trying to get ready to move out of our current apartment to a smaller unit some four doors down as it’ll knock about $300 off our rent. This has been complicated by a couple of things. The first being my ongoing recovery from the knee surgery.
At this point I’m able to walk with only a minimal limp, but my knee still isn’t up to full strength and it keeps wanting to buckle every few steps. The entry wounds from the surgery have healed up well and are down to just small scabs at this point and the only pain I have occurs if I spend an extended amount of time walking. Walking being one of the things I’m supposed to be doing a lot of to get the knee back into shape. I’m good enough that I should be able to help quite a bit in the move, but still weak enough that I’ve called in some friends to help with the heavy furniture. That’s supposed to happen on Saturday. We get the keys on Friday and I’ll begin moving some boxes over then. Sunday will be spent moving whatever didn’t get moved on Saturday and then doing a thorough cleaning of this apartment. My hope is to be able to relax on Monday.
The other thing that’s been complicating the move is my wife’s health. She’s been having problems with headaches, IBS, and high blood pressure. We ended up seeing the doctor today about it and the diagnosis is excessive stress. Her job has been more stressful than usual lately and when you combine that with the upcoming move and my continuing unemployment the Doc decided she needed to take a few days off to decompress. Needless to say we don’t have as many things ready for the move as we would have liked, but if worse comes to worst we’ll clear off the heavy stuff to be moved on Saturday and get that much done and worry about the rest on Sunday.
Speaking of my unemployment, I’m trying to ensure that I get at least one resume out a day using the various job finding websites that are out there. So far I’ve been pretty successful at that which is impressive considering how a lot of the jobs listed are well beyond my skill set. Those that are in my skill-set are, of course, being inundated with applicants. I’ve yet to have any interview calls, but at least one company sent me a follow-up questionnaire which I answered and sent back.
Finally, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has sent in a donation to the SEB Spring Fundraiser. You guys have been a huge help and we really appreciate it. Some of you sent along notes apologizing for only being able to donate a small amount like $10 and I want you to know there’s nothing to apologize for. Ten bucks is still ten bucks more than I had before you donated and every little bit helps. SEB gets around 2,500 unique visitors a day on average with the occasional peak of 10,000 plus on some days due to an entry gaining popularity on Stumble Upon. In short, there’s enough folks pitching in that your $10 goes a lot further than you might think. Again, I thank each and every one of you who has tossed a few bucks my way. It is sincerely appreciated.
And we’ve still got more boxes than we’d like to admit to left to go. Thanks to the help of Andy and JethricOne (and his two daughters) we loaded up two vans worth of stuff and shuttled it to our new home. You never really realize just how much crap you have until you try to move it all someplace else. One of my projects in the time that I am here will be to go through all the stuff and start getting rid of things I don’t need. Courtney and I are both terrible rat packers, but I find that I’m getting better about it as I get older. Whereas in the past I would be inclined to hold onto the most miscellaneous things out of the mistaken belief that it may come in handy someday, a day which never seems to come, I’m actually giving such thoughts serious scrutiny and throwing stuff away before we move it. Andy has kindly offered us the use of his van to get the rest of the stuff over here and we’ll probably take him up on it.
But first my car has to go into the shop tomorrow to see if they can replace a faulty switch on the driver’s seat that controls the seat positioning. Anne and I share the one car and she’s considerably shorter than me and while the seat will still move up and down and tilt, it won’t slide forward and back which is the one thing we need it to do as she is much shorter than I am. Currently it’s stuck in a position where I’m the only one who can drive the car. We’re also going to have them take a look at the brakes to see if they’re due for replacing.
Right now I’m going to go upstairs and rest my weary bones. Sore not only from moving all day, but also the shopping for groceries we did after we were done moving. I hear the melodious sounds of a new microwave informing me that a nice hot beef pot pie is awaiting me.
… we’ve got all the furniture moved, save for a floor lamp, along with the computers and a handful of boxes. There’s still a whole lot of packing to be done and boxes to be moved, but we’re actually here and I’m posting from my living room. Our computers aren’t up and running yet, but I’ve got my work laptop here and the wireless is working so I can at least check email and the blog. We should have the computers up and running in the next day or so, have some of the boxes unpacked, and some of the misc shopping we need to do done.
So far I’m pretty impressed with the IPTV/Broadband service from AT&T we’ve signed up for, but the real test will come once we get a decent HDTV in here (looking for recommendations on deals on 42 inchers btw) and have the desktops all hooked up. I’ll probably write more about U-Verse later when I’ve had a chance to really put it through its paces.
I managed to get myself one hell of a sunburn today which I’m sure is going to be painful as hell tomorrow, but we got some lotion that’s helping and I’m sure I’ll survive. Just hope it doesn’t interfere with sleeping much. I’ve got work in the morning so I’ll pack it in for now. Should be back to regular posting over the next couple of days.
The deal is done and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’ve been a proud leasee for almost eight and a half hours now and I still don’t have a single thing in the apartment. Mainly because I was running all over the place borrowing stuff for the move. Also had to hit the DMV today to renew license plate tags seeing as my birthday is coming up on the 25th of this month and these days you’re supposed to have that done by the 1st of the month of renewal. Then Courtney and I drove up to my mother’s place where we borrowed her truck, a couple of dollys (one of which is meant for moving furniture), and some moving pads. Meanwhile Anne stayed at home and continued working on packing stuff.
My sister will be meeting up with us at 11AM tomorrow with her truck and a small trailer to help and our buddy Bob will be meeting us at the apartment to help unload around noon. All in all we should be able to get the major furniture down this weekend and then it’ll be boxes, boxes, and more boxes. Right now, though, it’s rest a bit after driving all day long.
Posting may be light over the next few days as we’ll be busy moving into the new apartment. Tomorrow we’ll be picking up the keys early in the day and then doing some quick shopping for stuff we’re going to need after we move. After the shopping I’ll be headed up to my parents place to borrow their truck leaving my piddly Grand Prix behind in case they need to drive someplace over the weekend. Not looking forward to filling up the gas tank on that truck, but even with the mileage involved it’d still be cheaper than renting a U-Haul.
This weekend we’re concentrating on what little furniture we need to get into the new place starting with desks, chairs, and futon and finishing up with the beds most likely on Sunday. The goal is to be able to actually sleep in the new place Sunday evening. I will have to make a point of taking at least one computer and the small TV over on Saturday, though, because that’s when the AT&T folks will be showing up to install the U-Verse stuff we’ve signed up for as opposed to going with Comcast, a company I swore I’d do everything I could to avoid ever using again. Normally I wouldn’t schedule them to come out in the middle of the first day of heavy lifting we’re going to be doing, but the only other day they were available was the following Friday and I didn’t really want us to be offline for a whole week.
If we get enough stuff over to live with this weekend then we’ll save the rest of it for the following weekend when we hope to have some friends with vans available to help out, though I may end up being dropped off at work a couple of days so Anne and Courtney can use the car to go grab any boxes that are needed immediately. This weekend it looks like we’ll be flying mostly solo as there’s a number of birthdays being celebrated this weekend. The plan is simply not to kill ourselves getting this done as it’s not like we’re on a deadline to get all our crap out of the in-law’s house, but we’re hoping not to drag it out any more than a couple of weekends either. So wish us luck as we take the big step of getting back out on our own. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.