Goals Update {Link Up}

August 30, 2013

alright it's not the 20 things i crossed off in july, but hey, at least i did something!  three things.  and with a relatively last minute and unplanned move thrown in there, i say i did alright.

bold = completed, italics = in progress

help mom organize her photos and send them to be scanned - i bought my mom a groupon for mailing in her photos to be scanned.  now you just need to use it, mom.

party at northalsted market days - i'm glad i had something on my list that had to be completed in august!  market days is a street festival in boystown, which i've been going to for over 10 years since my best friend sarah and i stumbled upon it by accident when we were in high school.  i think by accidentally getting off the bus a stop early.  we've loved it ever since.  (side note - that photo of me over to the right that everyone loves, it's from when i was a bridesmaid in Sarah's wedding.  she has good taste in dress/hair/makeup.)  it's like pride fest but no parade.

fill my gratitude journal - i finally finished it!  i think it gave me a good outline for starting a happiness project of my own, so that's next on the list.

send a care package to a randomly chosen person who comments some time - i almost did this last month but waited for tomissa to move on august 1.  she's a wisconsin fan, but i decided i like her anyway.  i even refrained from sending her all sorts of iowa merchandise.

how are your goals coming?  link up below!

Vital Information for Your Everyday life

August 28, 2013

today is moving day!  after the exhaustive apartment hunt, you know that i found a place... a different unit in my same building.  yeah.  that happened.  and rather than box everything up and pack and unpack, which seemed silly for a 6 floor move in a building with elevators, i decided that i would just get a cart and wheel things up and down the elevator til i had everything moved in.

which seemed like a better idea at the time than it currently is in practice.  honestly though, it isn't half bad.  since i purged and downsized a ton of stuff, it's way less to move.  i really don't have much!  i'm pretty proud of that fact.  but moving anything is still a pain, i'll be quite pleased when friday gets here and i have no choice but to be done since i have to turn in my old keys and all. 

and, well, that's what i've been doing wednesday and will continue to do on thursday.  information?  yes.  vital?  probably not.  oh well.

A to Z of Annoyances: C is for Cancellations

August 27, 2013

and i mean television show cancellations.  i don't even know if this can be classified as an annoyance so much as a downright devastation.  some shows, admittedly, just have to be done.  as much as i hate to admit it, dawson's creek was at the end of it's rope.  at least i got a nice wrap up with that one.  but nothing makes me crazier than deciding i adore a tv show just to have it yanked out from under me.  rude!  don't trust the b in apt 23?  that shit was gold, what was that about?  james van der beek was playing james van der beek for crying out loud, how could you cancel that with no warning?!!

as if cancelling a show wasn't bad enough, most of the time they don't give you the closure you need.  and i need closure, people, i get legitimately sad at the end of a show.  like a friend leaving.  i need to know what happens to my favorite characters.  of course, cancellations after one season are devastating, like young americans and higher ground starring a pre-star wars hayden christensen.  but at least those didn't run long enough for me to really get attached to the characters.  my biggest annoyance is the cancellations of my favorite long running shows with no wrap up story.  like:

gilmore girls.  whaaat?  rory just leaves?  lorelai finally gets luke, rory says no to logan and then just up and leaves stars hollow... i don't even know what to do with myself.  i need answers people.  i need a wrap up episode or a movie, something.

veronica mars.  i always hear rumors of a movie.  is that happening?  can it happen?  if you watch the dvd version of veronica mars, they show you a preview of what would have been the next season, it seemed like a few years in the future when she was working for the fbi.  and she winds up with someone completely different than logan, duncan, or piz.  come on, why did that show not happen?!  i would have watched religiously!

my boys.  i'm not sure if it's my love of sports or the fact that it was set in chicago, i absolutely loved this show.  the bar, crowley's, with all the games - real place (named guthrie's though.)  i don't even know why my boys it went away, people loved it.  and now i'm left wondering what happened.  do p.j. and bobby ever work out?  does andy ever get out of his car?  does mike stop being creepy?  this is important information!

(i also get told a lot i look like p.j.  probably we're both blonde?  whatever, i'm taking that as a compliment, she's pretty.)

and even though they were only 1 season, i think that i got attached enough to the characters to be legitimately upset at the cancellations:

firefly.  pretty sure the cult following on this is huge.  and for good reason, this show was great.  at least they made a movie but it still left so many questions.  i need to know what happens to river.  does she kill all the reavers?!  does she take down the alliance?  and poor kaylee, in my mind she'll still be becca from flash forward.  does she end up with simon? (technically answered in warehouse 13 but not enough of an answer for me damnit)  where do they all go after they bury wash?

and my favorite tv show of all time - my so called life.  i was (am) obsessed.  gorgeous jared leto and the only time i've probably ever liked claire danes in a role.  maybe i hate her because it's her fault it was cancelled.  and i just don't know what happened to everyone.  i think it's safe to assume rayanne killed herself via some form of overdose but what about everyone else?  does danielle ever stop whining?  does rickie ever get a boyfriend?  does jordan learn to read and realize he's better than angela?

i need answers, tv producers.  get on this.  and also, perhaps i should stop getting so invested in tv shows that i think i'm friends with these people in real life.  lord help me when there's no more downton, orange is the new black, or the league.  (uh... or psych, or revenge, or supernatural, or lost girl, seriously someone take my tv away.)

what show are you most peeved about getting cancelled?!

Steal My Sunshine

August 26, 2013

sidetrack - i decided to set up a diet bet to begin this sunday, september 1.  nothing like paying your own money in to keep yourself motivated.  would you like to join me?  i'll provide the link!  what bet amount would you be comfortable with? $10? $20?

back to the scheduled programming - when michelle did this sunshine award post, she used a song as her blog post title.  which of course i needed to copy, and then i realized just how many songs use the word sunshine.  think about it.  it's overwhelming.  i was about to go with 'pocketful of sunshine' because i watched easy a over the weekend for the 73rd time.  but at the last minute, the 90s child in me screamed out for some len, so obviously i had to do it.  anyway, the sunshine award.  maybe this is a nod to my sparkling, sunshine-y personality.  yes, i'm going with that.  thank you michelle, for the wonderful nomination - here's what she wanted to know about me:

1. what's your favorite place in the world?  lexington, kentucky.

2. if you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?  alaskan cruise.  i can't exactly explain why, just something about it looks fun.  even though all my boat fears stem from watching titanic too many times, somehow an alaskan cruise is still really high on my list.

3. if money were out of the equation, what would you do? i would run a dog retirement community.  i want to live in a giant farm where old dogs that get brought to shelters and don't get adopted can come live out their days, in a happy home where someone loves them.  but i'd want to hire other people to do all those silly things like 'grooming' and 'picking up poop.'  i just want to love them.

4. what do you like most about yourself?  i happen to love all of the so-called negative traits associated with being a scorpio.  i love that i'm stubborn, secretive, fiercely loyal but the worst enemy of all time if you betray me, fearless, controlling.  i see things in black and white and i'm strong, so don't mess.  i don't see these traits as negative at all.  i know what i want and i am who i am.  that doesn't change.

5. what are some of your favorite books?  sigh.  i know, i need to read more.  um, harry potter and the hunger games were probably the last things i read that weren't e-books.  i read the happiness project and happier at home as e-books, i did love those.  usually i just get e-books from amazon, on organization and minimalist living, that's what i like to read about!

6. if you could give advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?  jameson is not your friend, stephanie.  don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  and shortly after you turn 21, you're going to come upon an opportunity to drink 2 bottles of andre by yourself as a 'pre-game.'  this is a poor decision, don't do it.

7. what are the scariest things on your bucket list?  for me, any of the travel ones because they all involve getting on a plane.  which to me, is the scariest thing.  i hate flying.  it'd be even scarier if i had anything involving visiting another country, since long flights are the worst.  but i don't, because i don't have the travel bug and i actually had a meltdown to convince my parents not to send me on the senior latin class trip to italy.  i like staying home, thank you very much.

(i've also never been to springfield, il, or washington d.c. because of similarly staged meltdowns in which i insisted on never leaving home for a school field trip without my mommy.)

8. describe a perfect saturday.  if i could ever sleep in, that would be perfect.  my body is just geared to wake up, as hard as i try to ignore it.  which makes me have to nap in the afternoon.  or else i have some sort of plans, usually with my mom because no one else gets up early on saturdays.  i just want to sleep!  other than that, a day full of nothing would be ideal.  no cleaning, no errands, no doctor's appointments.  just television and the couch.  a bar at night to play some drinking games if i so choose, but not because i have to.

9. what are your fitness goals for the year, if any? i'm not sure about my goals just yet.  working out more in general, i suppose.  but i did already come up with my list of rewards for when i meet these goals!  and since i'm going to start the diet bet, losing 4% (i think it's 6 or 7 lbs, i guess i should do the math) by the end of september of course!

10. cats or dogs?  dogs.  although i love both.  any animals, really, i prefer animals over humans.  but dogs edge out cats because they're so loving and comforting.  (although tara's cat thecat is the biggest cuddler ever.)

so, this 10 things idea -- answer 10 questions then i'm supposed to nominate 10 people to answer my 10 questions.  but... i hate following rules.  so i nominate anyone who wants to answer these questions!  you know, in case you need some blog post inspiration this week.  or even answer them in the comments.  ready?  go.

1. what's your favorite tv show currently on netflix? (uh, yeah, i need new suggestions, i admit it.)
2. what color do you look the best in?
3. which disney princess (the animated kind, not the miley cyrus kind) are you most like?
4. favorite cartoon to watch growing up?
5. go to drink at a coffee shop?
6. favorite blog(s) you've found recently that you want to share?
7. first store you look at when you have money to spend?
8. what's your instagram account? so i can follow you of course.
9. thing about fall you're most looking forward to?
10. what's your favorite thing to win in blog giveaways? (gearing up for the return of my sponsor giveaways come november)

Lessons From Taystee

August 22, 2013

i'm exhausted.  i need it to be friday at 5 pm.  it's been a headache filled week.  literal headaches, the pulled muscle or whatever it is in my back is still hurting and i think it's making my head hurt too.  regardless, it's definitely making me lose sleep and i'm not a happy camper when i'm tired.

rather than cry about it, i'm just going to leave you with helpful friday thought.

listen to taystee.  learn your grammar.

and enjoy your weekend.

Motivation. But Really, Presents.

August 21, 2013

i work for presents.  that's just the truth.  money, presents, i just need to be rewarded in order to accomplish anything.  i had a tip jar on the piano as a child, that my dad had to put money in if he wanted me to play a song.  my parents had to pay me to go to those pesky weekend track meets.  dad still pays me to beat him in 5ks.  heck, i even used to sell my halloween candy.  really, i had little price tags on them and would count it all daily so my mom had to leave quarters while she ate my tootsie rolls while i was at school.  i like money, and i like presents.  always have.

which brings me to my point - i need to work out and lose weight.  partially to check it off my 101 in 1001 list, partially to get my mother off my back.  i'll let you just guess which one is the bigger deciding factor and otherwise keep quiet, because my mother reads this blog.  (too often.  seriously mom.  stop reading, i'm not that cool.)

but since she does read, i got the bright idea to list my motivation here, in case she decides she'd like to help me out.  hint hint.  and by 'motivation' obviously i mean presents.  cold hard cash will always suffice but since i'll likely be rewarding myself, cash doesn't cut it.  it's what i'm going to buy myself with that cash when i reach certain goals - losing a certain amount of weight, working out a certain number of times a week.   because as nice as it sounds to work out "for my health" that does nothing for my will power when i'm staring down a plate of nachos or 2 a.m. taco bell.  or both, usually both.  because taco bell nachos are amazing.  yes i often say "no, i'm getting in shape! no nachos!" but my mind always responds "round is a shape, stephanie, eat the nachos and figure it out tomorrow!" 

so something else has to be done.  something that'll work better.  and that something is tangible goals and rewards.  meg has her list up, as of yesterday.  she's all legit, like 'i'll be good and get a heart rate watch and another year membership to the gym!'  pssh.  those are not motivators for me.  (although her last motivator, genius.  go look.  you go girl.)  i like things completely unrelated to my fitness dreams but they are motivating nonetheless.  things i want more than i want taco bell nachos.  in true stephanie fashion, i haven't yet figured out my workout goals like meg did with her "3 times a week" for however many months.  i'm still working on that.  but i sure as hell made my present wish list!

snow scent.  i love winter and the smell of snow.  mostly the smell of cold.  like open the freezer and sniff the ice box - that smell.  which of course has already been bottled, because you can find anything on the internet.  and i need it.  it's not very expensive for a little room spray, so perhaps it's a good starting out motivator.

makeup brushes.  i really need a set of new, nice ones.  like mac-level brushes.

one thing that is fitness related - these shoes.  at some point, these have to happen.  i think i'd work out more if i had these on my feet.  but i know myself well enough not to buy them in anticipation of working out, because i'm pretty sure i have a victoria's secret sports bra with the tags still on.  no, they have to be a reward.  whitney has similar ones, she described them as unicorn puke.  perfect.

this adorably perfect camera bag.  i love padded camera purses, i want one!  this one is by jo totes, it's just so pretty.

a trip to nashville.  this has been on my list for awhile.  and my best friend sarah decided it's happening for my 30th birthday (which is in 1.5 years, nbd.  except, it is a big deal.) and she's honestly already started planning it.  so regardless of working out, it's going to happen - but it'd be nice to have a reason to justify it other than just turning 30.  {fyi, all of you are totally invited to my 30th in nashville. november 2014.  be there.}

i suppose this list also serves well for my birthday and christmas ;)  kidding!  i really am going to print it out and pin it to my fridge to remind myself what i'm getting instead of reaching for ice cream.  the joy of mac makeup brushes lasts for years.  the joy of ice cream does not.*

what would be on your list?

*i don't know if that's true.  i get a lot of joy out of ice cream.  i still remember the gold medal ribbon treats i would get for surviving another horrid day at my junior high.  but i'm going to keep repeating it til i believe it.

5 Sites That Will Be My Downfall

August 20, 2013

with the exponentially increasing number of waste of time internet sites, you'd think i'd be all over the web, browsing everything from clothes to blogs to news to recipes.  this is just not the case.  i find myself going back to the same websites over and over again - and i don't even have facebook.  it seems as though i just can't help myself, and obviously one day you'll find my body in front of my computer, on my couch, with one of these sites on the screen.  as much as a try to remind myself what would tyler durden do? (you know, 'this is your life and it's ending one minute at a time'), i'll still keep ticking away those minutes on places like:

1. this is why i'm broke.  the most aptly named website i've ever come across.  before perusing this site, i had no idea i needed $11 glow in the dark toilet paper, a $50 brass knuckle taser, a $65 hands free umbrella dome, a $6,500 labyrinth aquarium, or a $55,000 tron motorcycle... but i do.  oh yes i do.  and the wishlist grows every day.  it seems i can scroll forever on here.  pet hoodies!  mini jellyfish aquariums!  wolverine handblades!  someone stop me.

2. 'recommendations' on youtube.  at least when i'm watching netflix, i can see that some show is 45 minutes long.  i understand where my time is going.  but the time suck that is youtube videos - where do my hours go?  really.  it feels as though i've watched 3 videos, maybe 5, 8 minutes... but according to the clock, the sun has set and it's now 140 minutes later than i remembering it being the last time i checked the time.  maybe aliens abduct me during those hours.  that seems more likely than the conclusion that i really did, in fact, just spend 2+ hours watching dancing cat videos online.  or willam belli on repeat.

3. tumblr and gif sites.  for example, my friends are married.  there's also a ton related to the legal profession that i find hilarious and oh so true.  why is it that everything is funnier if gif form?  and tumblr is another one that, like youtube, auto connects to a bunch of other 'you may also like' options.  stop it, of course i like them but i cannot sit here all day and view them!

4. webmd.  i am dying in so many different ways.  i spend a good hour, at least, reviewing my symptoms and deciding that i have cancer.  and then i call my dad, an actual doctor, and he tells me that i just have a headache, deal with it and tone down the caffeine.  (actually, not true.  my mom says things like that.  my dad and i are hypochondriacs and he had my brain scanned for tumors when i complained about my headaches.  for real though.  that happened.)  but webmd likes to cover all it's bases, so when you enter a symptom, there's an extensive 'it could also be this' list.  and i like to read every single one.

5. repetitive, single idea websites.  like rainy mood.  eel slap.  the constant evil emails on don't even reply. these things should get old.  but they don't.

someone take my internet away from me!

A to Z of Little Life Wins: B is for Bouncy Castles

August 19, 2013

you thought i was going to say blogging, didn't you?  no.  well yes, but not today.  today my little life win is for any time you, as an adult, can legitimately get yourself into a bouncy castle.  those things are the shit, i don't care how old you are.

once upon a time, oh ya know, like 10 years ago, i worked at a country club.  said country club would host a 4th of july party each year and set up fun things around the pool for the children.  those fun things included a bouncy maze.  oh yes.  like inflatable things to crawl through and slide down, it was amazing.  when the company came in the morning to set these things up, while of course employees were there but no families yet, my co-workers and i played on them for an hour under the pretense of "making sure they were safe for the kids."  of course.  because you all know how much i love children and care oh so much about their safety.  psssh.  don't worry, i was not a lifeguard.

this actually turned out to be a bang-up idea because after a bit, the thing deflated.  it didn't have enough of a power source to keep it running while the kids were on it.  or our combined weight deflated it.  either way, they picked a different outlet and we saved the day.  and the children.  (but side note, it's seriously fun to be crawling through a bounce maze and have the thing deflate all around you.  an totally awesome version of being trapped.  because if i'm going to die, i'd like to go out in a blaze of glory - like being suffocated in an inflatable castle.)

best job ever?  i should say so.

the moral of this story: you are never too old for bouncy castles.  and you can always use "children's safety" as an excuse to weasel your way in to one before the kids stick their germy snot-nosed hands all over it.  and then you should play snake race.  where you can't use your hands and you have to keep your arms at your side and wiggle your way to your destination.

and if someone tells you no, you should stop being friends with them, because you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

A to Z of Little Life Wins: A is for Auto-Anything

August 14, 2013

obviously a lot of things annoy me day to day.  you've already heard about apartment hunting and bike riders.  but occasionally you just have to celebrate those little life wins - the tiny things that happen in your daily life that balance out the annoyances.  like scoring a free coffee or timing green lights perfectly.

one of my favorite little life win is auto-anything.  finding out that something, literally anything, is automatic makes me so disproportionately happy.

auto-draft on your fantasy league.
auto-reply on e-mails when you're out of town.
auto-start on the coffee maker so the coffee is ready when you get up.
auto-sync on your phone/computer/other devices so you never even need to plug them in.
timed auto backups on word processors like microsoft word so you don't lose your work.
auto shut off on things like my computer and tv so i don't waste electricity when i fall asleep with them still on.
automatic doors so you don't have to touch any nasty door handles.
automatic transmission, obviously, since barely anyone can drive stick any more.

oh and this automatic skittles sorting machine.  what??  yeah.

sure, a love of automatic things just means i'm lazy but any extra steps taken out of my day make me sublimely happy.

except auto-correct.  because apparently my phone does not appreciate my swear words, but sometimes, siri, i'm not ducking anything and you should know that by now.

A to Z of Annoyances: B is for Bikers/Bike Lanes

August 13, 2013

let's touch on the horrid little fact that chicago has made over these top bike lanes.

what the actual fuck.  this is the street directly outside my work, so you can see why this annoyance smacks me in the face daily.  not to mention my walk home takes me down 5 such streets.  (this photo is from the chicago reader.  because i'd get ragey if i stood out there and tried to take a photo.)  yes, you're seeing that correctly - the bike lane is inside near the curb, and then there's a car park lane where you see those trucks, and then there's the traffic.   and the bike lanes have their own traffic lights.  which, shockingly, they don't follow those either.  where did this complete asshat of an idea come from?

people who ride their bikes downtown during rush hour are despicable human beings.  most days and times and locations, bikers are annoying no matter what.  but the people who do this during rush hour are a particular breed of pure, unadulterated evil.  they don't follow any of the rules of the road.  they blow through stop lights and stop signs, turn left on red, don't signal, don't stay in their lane.  don't care if you're a car or a pedestrian, they think and act like they run world.

as if riding a bike suddenly gives you this inexplicable right to behave like a total hipster asshamper.  newsflash - it does not.  i get a little excited when i see one of them riding without a helmet in bustling chicago rush hour traffic.  yes, darwinism at it's finest.  you're doing mankind a favor, so please, please continue to never wear a helmet while riding around like a suicidal maniac.

but really, what is it that makes them think they're so entitled?  they're more environmentally friendly than cars?  well i walk to and from work about 1.2 miles each way even in the snow or rain and i've never even owned a car so really, i'm even more entitled to act like a self-important environment saving tree-hugger than you.  i just don't do it.

so yes, if you're wondering - if you ride your bike in your city during rush hour and obey no laws, i hate you.  period.

Whitney English Day Designer

August 12, 2013

let's fill you in on a secret - i love to organize and i love planners.

fine, you're right.  not a secret.  so let me tell you about my new planner.  in response to my mother's favorite question, "another one?!", yes - another one.  i posted a bit a few months about about my filofax system, essentially i copied toni's system.  it was working really well actually, it was a combination planner/home management binder.  but a few sections became a little unnecessary just because i simplified a lot in my apartment/life this year.  if you remember, my word of 2013 was 'less' and i'm working on it still.  so i don't need big sections to keep everything together any more.  (i.e. there's not some crazy cleaning schedule.  i have way less stuff so there's less to clean.  one task each day.  dust, vacuum, laundry, etc.)

well i won a whitney english day designer.  no, i didn't get anything for free to write this review and no, mom, i did not go out and buy yet another new planner despite how tempting the back to school aisles are though i'm three years removed from any kind of school.  so free yes, but from a win, not a sponsor.  because i'm lucky, just not with the powerball. (actually, i had 4 numbers.  but apparently close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.)  so here is what this pretty thing looks like.

when i first won it i was thinking that maybe i'd give it to a friend since there was nothing wrong with my filofax system.  but then it arrived.  first of all, i obviously have a gold obsession (remember my bar cart?) and i'm a hawkeye so i bleed black and gold.  the color is just perfect.  i would have kept it as coffee table decor even if i didn't use it.

then, i actually opened it.  i instantly loved the pages.  i don't need some sort of home management binder because the pages are huge and fit everything i could want.  this planner is big, as in big pages and it's one day per page.  it's bigger than an erin condren and it's heavier.  but i don't transport my planner so that's not an issue for me.  i just check it in the morning before i go out and if there's any work day errands i might forget, i use the notes section on my phone as a reminder.  plus, given my 101 list and happiness project ideas, the goal setting pages are a lifesaver.

so, yes, i love it.  it's just so pretty, i want to make up things just to write in it more.  (admittedly, i've been writing things like 'unload the dishwasher' and 'take out the trash' just so i can check them off the list....)

you can find them here.  also check out whitney's twitter for info on a free webinar she's hosting that will show how to use the worksheet pages in the front. 

Things I Can Admit to Liking

August 7, 2013

brussels sprouts.  i'm not a fan of the way it's spelled, but i am a fan of eating them.  they are delicious, any time they are on a menu, i order them.

dance moms, honey boo boo, various other 'trash' television.  now i'm not claiming that it's not terrible television.  what i am claiming is that i like to watch it.  i don't just watch it because it's so horrible i can't look away or that i must see what nasty concoction mama june makes next.  i get excited when a new season of dance moms is starting.  i enjoy seeing the teen moms being ridiculous.  it's fun.

gomi forums.  everyone seems to hate on the site but i can admit, most of the time, the posters aren't wrong, and i like reading it.  granted, i only read the forums for blogs i hated before visiting the site.  because some bloggers, like some people i know in real life, post things i find utterly ridiculous and i like to read that someone out there agrees with me. 

infomercials.  i have so many as seen on tv products, and i like all of them.  pajama jeans, the perfect brownie pan, the magic bullet, pillow pets, snuggies, sham wow, those infomercials just suck me in.  i can't help it, i love them.  pajama jeans are probably the single greatest purchase i've ever made.

keanu reeves movies.  the replacements, hard ball, constantine, the devil's advocate, speed, bill and ted.  i don't know why people don't like him, i love all those movies.

miley cyrus.  everyone is so mean to poor miley.  i like her.  i liked hannah montana, i even dragged my friend to see the movie in theaters.  i like her music, i like her movies (ok, not whatever nicholas sparks one she was in but lol was decent, and bolt.)  yes, i have an extreme dislike over her haircut, but other than that, i'm a miley fan.

winter.  snow makes me happy.  humidity does not.  give me winter and cold and tons of snow any day.

spin-offs.  i guess people tend to hate spin-offs of their favorite shows, but i like them.  angel from buffy.  melrose place from 90210 (and models inc from melrose place).  young americans from dawson's creek and the fact that it was only one season was a travesty.  the hills from laguna beach.  everything degrassi.  and one of my personal favorites - tailspin, from the jungle book.  anything that allows me to watch more of my favorite characters, i'm happy.

what are some things you like that everyone else hates?

A to Z of Annoyances: A is for Apartment Hunting

August 6, 2013

nothing like the start of a new series to get back into the blogging swing of things after taking the time off for the name change.  yes, in case you haven't noticed, it's not longer bourbon and glitter around here, it's not entirely perfect.  a big change, yes, but a good one.  i hope you like it as much as i do (and stick it out while the last few tweaks, like the blogger dashboard updating, get worked out.  and maybe writing an about me page.  soon!)

anyway, the first part of my new a to z series -  a is for apartment hunting.

as you know, i took last week off from blogging, not for the name change but because i was apartment hunting.  which is just the worst experience ever.

the biggest annoyance being why is nothing standardized on a giant website like homes for sale are?  do you know how many places i had to look to find all the different apartments for rent?  so many websites - craigslist, rent.com, apartmentfinder, a million others and all the properties are represented by different rental companies who have deals with only certain apartment search companies.  so once i finally found properties i was interested in, i had to schedule appointments with 10+ search companies because they all represented different neighborhoods and buildings - even if the buildings were next door to each other.  someone please streamline this process, it's out of hand.  (and i had to do all this searching and scheduling during my lunch hour - my prime blogging time.  how rude.)

and to be honest, i'm not sure how people less organized than me apartment hunt.  i'm excellent at searching, scheduling, paperwork, staying on top of things like being on time and knowing who i'm meeting when and where, even if i don't write it down!  i know it stressed out my mom and dad who are far less organized and efficient than me.  (hi mom.  you know it's true.)  i would hate to see and feel what someone less focused than me goes through when they apartment hunt.

ugh, then there's the issue of rent.  i know this isn't new york or d.c. but rent here is still outrageous for what you're getting. specifically, rent in chicago is the equivalent of a mortgage payment.  that is flat out insane.  i don't understand how they can get away with that.  a mortgage on a $200,000 condo downtown, including taxes and assessments, is most of the time less than what they charge in rent on a similarly situated unit.  this makes absolutely no sense to me.

well in case you were wondering, i did find an apartment.  in my own current building.  how's that for ironic?  it was always an option, but it's a smaller unit and not saving a ton of money from what i currently pay.  but certainly saving from giant increase they wanted on my current unit.  i think it's a turnover thing.  apartments in chicago no longer require security deposits (the laws in chicago make it difficult, things about interest bearing accounts and such) so instead, they flat out charge you a non-refundable "administration fee" and "move in fee" often around $400.  in addition to credit check fees and everything else.  so i think they only want you for a year, then they want to get someone else in and get their non-refundable $600+ in fees.

i would have had to pay these fees at all of the places i looked at.  plus hire movers, etc etc so it made sense to just stay put in my building and switch units.  no extra fees, and no need for movers - just a few friends to drag my couch and bed to the elevator and into a new apartment 6 floors down.  so that is where i'll be for the next year, but of course - it's still not exactly enjoyable to move all my stuff down a few floors (and do things like transfer the cable and electric.)  thankfully i don't have too much of it after all my decluttering and minimizing, so it won't take long.

and at least a decision has been made and i can stop apartment hunting.

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