...many times a simple choice can prove to be essential even though it often might appear inconseqnetial.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Alright, after a third attempt and a differnt approach, here are the before and after of my new haircut. Oddly enough, this is the most recent picture that I can find with my hair down, even thought it was taken at Christmas last year. Just imagine my hair a couple inches longer and you'll be good to go. If this Christmas is anything like last Christmas, (because, as Trout likes to remind me, we are a "picuture family"), there will be plenty of picture from this time around as well.


A former coworker from YB sent me the pictures we took the last time I was at YB (almost a week after my official last day). I always think cropped pictures look a little funny, especially since I know what the original picture looks like, but this is far better than the pictures I took of myself.

Unpacking: The Week (So Far) In Review

Since arriving in the 5400 on Saturday evening, I’ve spent the majority of my days unpacking and trying to find places to put all the stuff from the boxes. It’s been a daunting and arduous task, but progress has been made on several fronts, but there is still a lot of work to do. Here’s a little recap:

Sunday: Trout and I arranged the master bedroom closet so both his and my clothes would fit in the closet. This required a trip to Walmart in a nearby town to buy the organizational supplies that we needed. Both of us hated spending that much money at Walmart, but we truly had no other option; one of the few downsides to small town living. Miraculously, with summer clothes stowed in totes and suits and really formal clothes in the guest bedroom closet, everything we wear on a daily basis fits in one closet.

Monday: The master bedroom was completely de-cluttered and everything is now where it needs to be. The bathroom was also unpacked and organized. Thankfully Trout doesn’t have many toiletries, so that way all of my stuff could fit. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, it was nice to get two of the rooms completely done. Somewhere amongst the unpacking I did manage to get to bank to get my accounts set up.

Tuesday: Unpacked the living room. All of my books came out of their boxes (which had been in the living room since Trout brought them back from Denver after Thanksgiving). Unpacking the living room also meant rearranging the furniture so everything fits. With the exception of the kitchen totes, all the boxes have been unpacked. Of course this in no way means everything is in its proper place but at least the living room is now livable.

Today: The guest bedroom, which has served as a storage area until now, needs to be addressed. There is a bed in there, so I guess you could say it can serve as a guest bedroom, it’s just that it’s piled high with empty boxes and random other objects that don’t have a home yet. Trout’s kayak and guitars, camping and fishing gear and bike trainer are also all somehow stuffed into the room. This room isn’t going to be as big of a transformation as the other rooms, but it will at least improve a little bit.

The kitchen will come last because Trout and I have a lot of duplicate things and we still need to decide what we’re keeping and what needs to go. Unfortunately, until then, the kitchen is pretty much out of commission. This isn’t too big of a deal since we’ll be gone for such a long amount of time, and this way no food will go bad while we’re gone.

I tried posting some pictures earlier this morning of my new haircut, but for some reason, they haven’t shown up yet. I’m hoping they magically appear pretty soon, but if not, I’ll just post them again a little later. I don’t know if I’ll post again before Trout and I head out on our holiday adventures, so if not, Happy Holidays, everyone!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Writing From a New Location

Greetings from the 5400!

I thought I'd write just a quick little note to let everyone know that I made it to the 5400. I realize the picture above is as cheesy and corny as all getup, but it was no small feat to get out of my old apartment (I had a TON of help from Abbey and Dan, I wouldn't have been able to do it without them). The funny thing is (not funny, "haha" funny, but funny, none-the-less) on Saturday morning, as I headed up to my apartment after a quick trip to the store to get breakfast for my moving crew, and after a long night of cleaning and doing things like soaking my blinds in the bathtub and trying to wax as many floors as possible while still living in the apartment, my landlord pulled me aside to let me know that he probably wouldn't be around during my appointed check out time. He said that he trusted the apartment would be cleaned well enough and that I could just leave the keys on the kitchen counter. After all the sneering and knitpicking, he didn't even look at the place before I left. I know I shouldn't complain...but all that stressing and scrubing the baseboards with a friggin' toothbrush was really for nothing. Although it wouldn't suprise me if that's not the last I hear from my landlord; it really wouldn't surprise me if I got a note in the mail telling me about extra charges or some crap like that. I didn't even have a chance to attempt to negoiate some of my deposit back, so I better not hear from him, but I won't second guess that.

While Trout's at work today, I get to try and upgrade the apartment from complete and total disaster area to (at the very best) cluttered and crowded. I'll update more later, and I still promise to have better pictures of the haircut very soon ( I realize this picture isn't the best representation, but it's something, right?), but in the meantime, I need to run to the bank to set up new accounts so I can spend money other the imaginary money on my credit card.

I still can't quite believe that I get to live with Trout, but I'm finally here, safe and sound, and I couldn't be happier. Good times! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Packing: Day Four and Five

I finally talked to my landlord yesterday evening, and now I have this dreading feeling that he is going to make my life just a little harder than I would like it to be come Saturday morning. For a brief, shining moment, I thought I wasn’t going to have to wax my hardwood floors. For a brief, shining moment, I thought we’d be able to head out of town by 10:00am. For a brief, shining moment I thought my landlord wasn’t going to live up to his reputation as being a big ol’ pain when it came to moving out. Oh, how I was so wrong, so very, very wrong.

To make a long story short, my landlord believes the following:
  • The nice men who are going to move The Couch will somehow damage something when they move it. A look of dread/disappointment washed over his face when I told him who would be picking up The Couch. I had to reassure him I would be home when they moved it, the people moving it are qualified to do so and that I would be sure to record any damage done to the building so he could charge the thrift store. I almost reminded him that the couch was moved in by my boyfriend, brother-in-law and boyfriend of my sister and they managed to not damage a single thing when they moved The Couch in, but I was afraid he might have an aneurism just from the thought.
  • I am not trying hard enough to get the apartment as clean as possible. When I told him that I couldn’t get the 15 or 20 years of grime off the floor next to the base boards in some parts of the kitchen, he gave me a disapproving look like the only problem was that I wasn’t trying hard enough. I should mention, after spending hours on my hands and knees with Mr. Clean and a toothbrush, the reason the floors won’t come clean is because the previous tenant (or possibly even the landlord, I’m not really sure) waxed over the dirty tile floor. While scrubbing yesterday I found little pieces of hair and bits of food waxed into the floor. My landlord then proceeded to tell me in all his years of being a landlord, only one tenant has cleaned an apartment to the point where it was as clean as when they moved in. And I should be prepared to wax all the floors in the apartment. Oy.

I don’t know what he can do if doesn’t think the apartment isn’t clean enough because he’s already taking my entire deposit for getting out of my lease a month early. He doesn’t really seem interested in looking at the apartment before the walk through on Saturday, even though he expressed major interest and concern over it just three days ago. I just hope he remembers that he said he would touch up the spots in need of paint. He’s also promised (in writing) that he would provide me with the supplies I need to wax the floors. So far, nothing has been mentioned about when and where I can pick up those supplies, even though the floor waxing has been a major topic of conversation. He’s supposed to stop by tomorrow to have a quick look at the apartment, let’s see if that happens.

Alright, so enough of my venting session about my landlord. On a lighter, much more exciting note, I cut my hair on Tuesday. I wasn’t going to mention it until I was in the 5400 (because I wanted to surprise Trout) but I unintentionally told him on the phone last night. Pictures, however, will have to wait until I’ve moved. The ones I’ve taken myself are not very good, so I’ll wait until someone else can take a picture for me. I’m still getting used to the change, but so far I really like it. I still can’t get over how fast I can get ready now. And I’m going to save a bundle on shampoo and conditioner. And I won’t be shedding 1 ½ foot strands of hair all over the place. Okay I’m done gloating about the new haircut. But in case you missed it, I really like it.

Considering how the day is shaping up tomorrow, I may not be able to post. The next time you’ll hear from me I’ll be done with the move and in the 5400 for good!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Packing: Day Three

Today didn’t feel nearly as productive as yesterday, but one very important thing was accomplished.

Many in the readership have expressed interest in how The Couch will be removed from the premises. Several of you have suggested taking a chainsaw to it and then either taking it out the front door or out the living room window. Dan even thought about hoisting it down from the living room (in one piece) by stringing ropes out the living room window and bathroom window. Taking it down the very narrow, back staircase and then somehow lifiting it about the banister, was also considered. It appeared that getting it out the apartment in any way than from which it was brought into the building was a better alternative.

Well all of that doesn’t matter now because I’ve found someone else to do it for us. Today, I walked to the Catholic Workers Thrift Store, conveniently located 5 blocks from my apartment, to merely inquire if they could at least take The Couch on Saturday morning. The nice man who runs the store said they would gladly take it. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be open until 10:00am that Saturday. This would surely push the move out timeline back, which isn’t the most ideal thing considering the 5400 is about 5 ½ hours from Denver. I still thought this was workable, though, at least I had a place to take the couch that wasn’t a random alley. Then, the nice man in charge made a phenomenal suggestion. They have a truck that picks up donations on Mondays and Fridays! Not only do they pick up donations, but they also move the furniture for you. That’s right, folks, the nice men from the Catholic Workers Thrift Store will be taking The Couch out of my apartment, through the narrow hallway, down the winding stairs and out the front door for me!

I made sure to let the nice man in charge let the nice men who will be moving The Couch that it will take several people and will need to go down some rather tricky stairs. The nice man in charge assured me the nice men who will be moving The Couth do this sort of stuff all the time and that there was nothing to worry about.

So that’s exactly what I’m doing. I don’t have to worry about The Couch anymore. This is a very good thing, considering I now have room to worry about other stuff. Running errands and the like took longer than I expected, so a minimal amount cleaning got done today. Holes from picture hangers and curtain rods were filled, but that’s it. I will be spending a good amount of time tomorrow with my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser trying to get all the grime off my kitchen and bathroom floors, something I’m pretty sure the previous tenants didn’t do. I’ve always thought those floors looked grimy and just overall gross, so I’m hoping this will fix the problem and leave a big ol’ smile on my landlord’s face when he does a preliminary look-through of the apartment tomorrow.

That’s all for now folks. Another update for another day. I don’t know if I’ll be updating tomorrow (a disappointment, I know) because I’m off to have drinks with some former coworkers at our favorite local hangout tomorrow night. Thursday also promises to be a busy day (lunch with another former coworker at Tom’s and a night at the theater), as does Friday (pick up paycheck, donate TV, close bank accounts, couch pick up and the arrival of Abbey, Dan and my good friend Sarah along with Jenn and Phil coming to hang out later that night). It seems the week is quickly coming to a close and it’s only Tuesday. Today was my slack day, but I still feel in control and I hope that’s still the case come Saturday morning (or even Friday night).

Good night folks, I’m sure I’ll talk to you very soon. Hasta.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Packing: Day Two

I realize posting about packing may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but, in all honesty, I need something to do other than sit in front of my TV while I wrap my more fragile belongings (ie my glasses and dishes) in newspaper and then into large Rubbermaid totes.

So far I’ve packed all but six days worth of clothes and all of the dishes, pots, pans and utensils I won’t be using again while I live in this apartment. I think I’ve done fairly well for a day’s work, and the sun’s just starting to set. The frustrating thing is because all that I’ve packed is usually hidden away in closets and cupboards, my apartment looks more cluttered than it was before because I now have more boxes and suitcases out in the open. Before the night is over, I’m hoping to box up the odds and ends that were out before the additional boxes emerged, in an effort to keep the apartment under control.

My landlord stopped by this morning to let me know the bug guy was on his way up and looked nervously into my apartment. Just as he was always worried I (or any of his tenants, for that matter) would somehow destroy the historic integrity and overall condition of the apartment, I have a feeling he is worried I’m going to leave him with a huge laundry list of things to clean up, only after he’s discovered I really have destroyed some part of the apartment. Perhaps this is a fear of any apartment manager, and maybe it’s just a happy little quirk my landlord has. Either way, as far as I know, everything in the apartment is intact and I fully intend to leave the place cleaner than when I moved in.

Tomorrow I’m actually taking a break from the apartment to run some errands (which mainly consists of buying things directly related to the move). The afternoon, however, will be spent filling all the holes in the walls left by my picture hangers and curtain rods as well as scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom floors and probably the walls. It doesn’t feel like it now, but I really, really hope this is going to make Friday night and Saturday morning really, really easy.

Saturday can’t get here fast enough. That first night in the 5400 is going to feel so good.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Let the Packing Begin

Friday was my last day at YB. I don’t know if it’s really set in that I don’t work there anymore. I have to stop in next Friday to pick up my paycheck, donate my TV and eat lunch at a café that, according to most of my coworkers, serves the best hamburgers in the city. It’s only six or seven blocks from my apartment and I’ve never been, so one of the program managers insisted that we go (for various reasons, we couldn’t make it last week). Knowing I’ll be back makes it harder to realize that I’m not staff anymore. Sleeping in on Monday will help, I'm sure.

So, now begins the arduous task of packing up my apartment in a manner that doesn’t cause me, or anybody who is helping me move, large amounts of stress. Other than a couple standing appointments, I have the whole week to devote to the process. Today will consist making lots of lists, and figuring out what I need in order to live for the next six days. If I don’t need it, it will be packed away in a box or tote.

I still feel confident that by the time Saturday morning rolls around, I will be very well prepared for the move. I think those who are helping me have their doubts, but I really am going to try and make this move as painless as possible.

Because getting the couch out of the apartment is going to be painful enough.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

All I Want For Christmas

Apparently, people think I’m hard to shop for. I’ll admit that it’s hard for me to tell people what I want for Christmas and my birthday. Most of the time I don’t need anything, so therefore, figuring out what I want is always a struggle. For whatever reason, when asked the magic question, it’s hard for me to remember that two months back I thought it would be nice to have a certain CD, or book, sweater or pair of shoes.

Because Trout and I were friends for a little over a year before we started dating (and had known Abbey for almost as long), he already heard about this gift-buying challenge before we were even a couple. To help him out in this arena, he introduced me to the world of Amazon.com wishlists. I have no problem adding little random items whenever I remember it would be nice to own something; it's actually kind of fun. Most things on the list are little: CDs, books, DVDs. Until a week or so ago, there were very few big ticket items (who wouldn’t want a Bose system to go with their 40 GB Ipod?). I’ve since removed the unrealistic items hopefully to ease any shopper stress. I’m a very simple person, it will take very little to make me very happy.

This year, also thanks to Trout, I made a Christmas wishlist for the first time since I addressed them directly to Santa Claus. This caused a little bit more stress than I expected, but I made it through and got the list sent out to the appropriate parties. As a side note, whoever in my family drew my name in our annual Christmas Present Draw, let Trout know if you would like to see the list, he has a copy of it.

If I really am hard to shop for, then, according to ads on television and radio, I am a rarity because women are actually very easy to shop for. It appears that all women want is jewelry. If it’s sparkly or shiny, the females of the world can think of nothing else they want for Christmas, and for that matter, Valentine’s Day, their birthdays and anniversaries. Now don’t get me wrong, I like looking at jewelry as much as the next girl. If given any sort of jewelry for whatever reason, I will most certainly not reject it. I’ll wear it very happily.

There is nothing wrong with getting jewelry on any occasion, but the extent advertisers go to during the holidays to convey how much women want the bling is a little outrageous. So far, my favorite ad goes something like this:

Voice Over Guy: When a women says…

Woman: Honey, I don’t want anything for Christmas.

Voice Over Guy: What she really means is…

Woman: (in a sultry-esque tone) I want diamonds.

Until I heard that one the radio earlier this week, I was always slightly amused and a little dismayed with this theme:

Pondering Husband: I got my wife diamond earrings for Christmas last year, I want to surprise her, what you do suggest I get her this year?

Jewelry Store Owner: Why don’t you surprise her with a beautiful diamond pendant or necklace!

Because clearly surprising her with something besides diamonds would be unacceptable.

The ads are so frequent and becoming more and more ridiculous, I almost want to stop watching TV and listening to the radio until after Christmas. I remember feeling this way last year as well. Advertisers are making women out to be bling obsessed harpies. We couldn’t possibly be content without jewelry; if we can’t get diamonds, we’ll settle for pearls or maybe a mix of diamonds and other precious stones. See? We’re very easy to shop for, after all!

To take a stand against such atrocities, you will not find anything resembling jewelry on my Christmas list or wishlist this year. If you feel so inspired to buy me something sparkly or shiny, by all means, knock yourself out. Just know that, when I open up gifts on Christmas and any other occasion, and I see a CD, board game or cookbook, I’ll be just as happy.