Sunday, June 24, 2007

We're moving into Communist Housing

Once again my grand plan has been foiled. I should start by saying that I hate my current apartment for a variety of reasons (it used to be low income housing, it's on South Street, it's on the first floor, the woman who moved in upstairs sounds like an elephant when she walks around in heels, people ring our doorbell and run away on an hourly basis, etc) but despite this I had hoped to stay here for another year to avoid moving into yet another Philadelphia apartment.

As many of you know we've avoided buying a house because we're not sure where my husband will end up doing his residency. I don't have the sort of luck that would allow me to magically pick a home in the right area. I know that if we bought it would be on the wrong side of town from where he ends up working or perhaps in the wrong city, thus making a bad situation worse. Despite the fact that I'm a mystery to some by my refusal to take on the responsibility of a house..."why do they continue to waste money in rent when they could be gaining equity in a home" I've continued to rent. Fear not, I have a plan.

That plan was slightly sidelined two weeks ago when we received notice from my landlord tell us he needed to sell his place in order to buy his new place in northern NJ. (I say, good luck selling former low income housing when it's empty in a depressed market when 5 other places are on the market on the same block…)

To give you some background, the last time we needed to find a place I'm pretty sure my husband wanted to divorce me (this could have also been exacerbated by the fact that the PFD had just used our apartment to ventilate our building from an electrical fire, but I won't revisit that experience) . Generally speaking, I have this unnatural anxiety associated with not having somewhere to live. I turn into a crazed person on a mission to secure housing. I freak out and yell at everyone until my signature is on a lease and then I magically turn into myself again.

So here we are, again, looking for an apartment. I have a long history of saying "I'll never move there". I was living up around Rittenhouse and I said "I'll never move below Broad Street"….then I moved below Broad. Then I said "I'll never move further South" and then I did. Then I said "I don't want to move north of Market" thus bringing us to today.

Looking for an apartment sucks. We saw some really rotten places. The funniest was the 3rd floor walk up that was in the roofline. My husband could only stand up straight in half of it. Then there was the place down in Old City, considered a "loft" by the leasing agent, considered "a stinking cesspool filled with 20-somethings in a dank alley" by me. Then there was the monster of a place that had a 3 story spiral staircase (would have made him throw up his lunch due to his problem with heights and me throw up from the cost of heating and cooling a 3 story useless space).

The 60 day notice in most leases was ticking and good property was disappearing so I finally gave in and agreed to look at the high rise buildings. The Drake with no closet space, The Museum Towers with kitchens from 1982, the Phoenix with odd support walls in the middle of your living room…. When finally some snotty leasing agent says, "well you could look at Franklin Town but it's pre-fab…if you're into that sort of thing". Hmmm, let's think about this. A building that was build for people to live in with every conceivable amenity and cement walls so you don't hear your neighbors. Not a hotel, warehouse or commercial space that was repurposed, but an honest to God facility intended to house lots of people with all the stuff people need to live. What a novel concept. I'm sold.

From the outside this place looks like Eastern Bloc housing. It's cement, it's boxy and it's ugly. Inside however it has a pool, sauna, steam room, gym, BBQ area, and best of all…it's 2 blocks from the second Whole Foods in the city and (wiping away a tear of joy) it has closets. More glorious closet space than I could ever have imagined possible.

I declare victory over the evil apartment search gods! Come visit us after August 1st – we have a second bedroom in a renovated pre-fab building with zero charm!

Yay for us!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Babies Everywhere

Seems everyone is having babies so I thought I would put some pictures out here of my various friend's babies.... Several of my closest friends gave birth within a few months of each other.

This is little Harrison. Shortly before this picture was taken he sneezed and slimed my mom's friend Carolyn. Who knew that much snot could be inside such a little kid. Actually he's a pretty big kid. He's only about 5 months old and he's over 20 lbs. I digress...back to the incident, she didn't seem fazed. I suppose having three kids of her own has prepared her for being covered in baby snot.

This is probably the cutest baby picture I have ever seen. This little guy is out in San Fran.

And the latest arrival - Sydney. Who apparently has a very creative grandmother who took this picture.
There's another little one on the way that I'm not supposed to know about so more on that later - You know who you are and I expect a picture :-)

Congrats also to Tracey who is about 10 weeks along!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Technology is the Devil

Good god, technology is the DEVIL. Yet another installation of the stupidity that abounds in my life. (see earlier post on the cell phone incident). Anyway, a few weeks ago I got this idea from LinkedIn that I could find friends by searching for their email address. Since it's the one thing that people really can't avoid in the silly little website we call myspace. So after spending way too long looking people up I started snooping. *Insert cliche about curiosity and the cat.* I decided that it would be a good idea to see what this person who we'll call SWM was up to (protecting the identity of the not so innocent)

The problem was I couldn't remember which email service they used. I go to that nifty search feature and I enter one address and nothing comes up. Then I click in the box, delete the first .com and put in the This is where it gets ugly. Myspace, much like Microsoft, automatically does things that one might ordinarily find helpful. It assumed that because I couldn't find the email that I might wish to invite this "friend" that I've searched on. And so my trigger finger being faster than my brain hit the button to the right thinking I'm searching again on the new email address and instead I end up clicking invite. As soon as it happened I realized what I had done and freaked.

So what does any normal person do, they email the help site to see if there's a way to stop it. Alas, it takes myspace about 20 days to respond and needless to say I was out of luck. So then I think, "well, perhaps it wasn't the right email address, maybe nothing happened. Maybe, just maybe there is a kind God out there who will prevent this email from reaching SWM and I'll be spared the problem of dealing with the aftermath".

No such luck.

Weeks go by, I forget about it until one day a little note appears that I have a new message. SMW is indeed out there and he has now responded. I damn near had a heart attack. After hyperventilating, I sent a polite message back saying "oh, just wondering how you're doing, blah, blah, blah, hope all is well". To the casual observer this may seem like not such a big deal however if anyone recalls my story about a series of incidents involving SWM, you'll understand why this is disturbing on a whole new level.

So the moral of the story is, don't go looking for just may find it. Oh, and technology is the devil.