Thursday, May 19, 2011

Delurking on my own blog...

So you may have noticed that I've been Missing-In-Action lately.


You haven't?

Well... I was.  I felt guilty.  Glad that was a wasted emotion.

But seriously.  I keep wanting to post and things just explode into an out of control ball of flaming gases and it doesn't happen.  I wish I was exaggerating.

You also may have noticed that I stopped posting about apartments.  There are just so many reasons for this.  First, the nightmare that I was trying to instill in you so that neither you, nor anyone you know, would ever move into NYC in the foreseeable future so that all the apartments wouldn't be gone before I got to them, became a little too real.  People.


I have seen just the very worst of the worst.  One broker was trying to sell me on a 2 bedroom apartment that was maybe 400 or so square feet.  For a 2 bedroom.  He also tried to convince me that a queen sized bed plus furniture could fit in the bedroom.  It could not.  This wouldn't have been so bad if there had been some other living space.  But the only living room to speak of was about 4 feet by 6 feet.  My TV is bigger than that.  But all of that is OK, because in case the "closet" in the bedroom isn't enough space for you (it was about 2 square feet of space) you can just overflow into the "living room closet" and put stuff in there!  Because that one was at LEAST 3 square feet!  And the neighbor was cooking a lot of bacon.  Don't get me wrong, I like bacon.  But that?  Was a LOT of bacon. 

I have run into the worst brokers.  Some that tell me that 400 square feet for $2050 per month?  Yeah that sounds right.  That 4 avenues and 3 streets only take 5 minutes to walk.  Maybe in Usain Bolt's world.  Not in mine.  I have very short legs, you see.  I have stood looking at sinking floors and rotting walls and cabinets falling off walls, bathrooms that you can't both be inside AND close the door, and brokers stand looking at me asking "Is this a place you'd like to live in?".... "is this a place YOU could live in?... I didn't think so."

And then it happened.  Last Friday night I found a place.  A PLACE!  It was on 83rd Street between York and East End Avenues.  It was far from the train, it was a 5th floor walk up.  But it was worth it!  Everything had been stripped out of the apartment.  The walls had a fresh antique white coat of paint, the hardwood floors were still covered to protect them from damage.  All the appliances were new and stainless steel!  The bedroom had 2 huge windows, and the second room was just a little smaller but still had a window!  This was it!  I had to have it!  Nobody had peed in the toilet, or showered in the shower or cooked on the stove!  It was all new! 

I had been talking to a girl about moving in together, as she wanted to move to NYC from Ohio.  After I gave her a pretty serious breakdown of the moving process (must make 40 times the monthly rent, or have a guarantor who makes at least 80 times the monthly rent, 3 months worth of rent to move in, all the proof that you have a job, etc.)  she seemed hesitant.  When I found this place, I told her about it and said that if she wanted to do it, we had to make a move FAST.  She decided she couldn't do it.  So the stress started.  Major stress.

I turned to Craigslist and found a really cool girl who wanted to see the apartment.  So Saturday afternoon she saw it, and LOVED it.  So we filled out the paperwork.  We gave a full month over as a "good faith" deposit (which, by the way, was the biggest good faith deposit I've ever heard of).  Sunday we waited.  We knew that the management company wouldn't be doing anything that day, so we would know by either Monday or Tuesday.  Monday morning the broker called and said that there was another application on the apartment, but that if they didn't accept them that we were next in line. 


He suggested we keep looking.  So we did. 


We tried.

Over the next 3 days we tried to look at probably 20 apartments.  We saw 7. 


Oh.  Because our brokers didn't know how to make appointments.  Or get keys to vacant properties.  Or contact tenants to set up appointments to see their properties.  So it was tons of walking, without much luck.  The places we saw weren't good. 

Flo (the girl that had also fallen in love with apartment number 1) and I decided that we dug each other enough to keep looking for a place together, once we found out that we didn't get the first place.  We kept looking at places, and calling other brokers and whatever.  I have never been so tired and stressed... awful.  To top it all off, It has been raining ALL WEEK LONG.

And you know how well rain and I get along.

Tuesday night Flo saw a few places on her own as I was detained at work.  She called and said "You should look at this place.  It's.... weird... but I think I like it."  So I set up an appointment to see it the next morning at 8:15am. 

You. Guys.  This place was so cool.  Ready for this?  It had 2 entrances!  That's how big it was!  It is half of the second floor of this building!  Each door lead into one of the bedrooms, so the bedrooms were on each end of the apartment.  Between then were the common areas (Living room, Kitchen, Bathroom) and each room has a lot of character!  It was clean, pre-war with lots of crown molding, big windows and original hardwood floors.  We wanted it!

But there was an application on it already.

Usually this is the kiss of death.  But the reason it was still being shown was that the guy that had applied for it was not a top choice.  He smokes, has a 50 pound dog and he needed a guarantor to be able to afford the place.  At that point, the guarantor's paperwork hadn't come through yet and the landlord wasn't crazy about both a smoker and a dog being in the apartment.  So we applied.

And we were approved.

Did you read that?!


Ready for why I'm still stressed?  OK, so the plan had been to have 3 months of my half of the rent by May 31.  I sort of forgot that these people want money like... right away.  Bummer.  OK, no big deal, I will ask mommy to front me the money for 10 days or so, and then just pay her back on May 31st, rather than paying the landlord.  No big deal.  And mommy was totally find with that!  Cool!

Oh, wait.  I gave that $1150 to the broker as a "good faith" deposit. 


I need to get that back.

So Flo calls and although they had no problem at all taking it from us on a Saturday at 7pm, we had to find a way to get to the office in Union Square, Monday through Friday, 10am through 5pm. 



Those aren't even normal business hours!  So even if I could ask to be a couple minutes late to work, that wouldn't happen!  And they wouldn't make any exceptions. 


OK, fine.  So I get both of our credit cards that the money had been drafted from.  On my lunch break I go alllll the way down to Union Square ( I work on 55th street, Union Square is on 14th street, just to give you an idea.) and get the refund for our money.  There was no fight or argument.  They gave me the money back on the card it was taken from, apologized for it not working out, and I was on my merry way.  The whole trip and reimbursement process took 30 minutes.  Great!  I have time to go to the bank to get the check!  So I go, and I tell the teller what I need.  He checks out my account and informs me that I don't have the funds.

What now?

Well the refund hadn't even POSTED to the account, let alone gone through.  So I couldn't get a check made out.  UGH!  When I called the broker, he said that it could take 2-4 business days, depending on my bank. 


So now I'm freaking out.  We pushed back the lease signing to tomorrow night so we could buy a little time.  The refund should post tonight, and hopefully by tomorrow afternoon it will have gone through.  But my GOD I'm stressed!

Either way, tomorrow morning I will get a check from mommy, and between Flo and I we will have 2 of the 3 checks ready to go.  I have a feeling that if we give her that, and explain that we're just waiting on our deposits to be returned from another broker for an apartment we tried to get the previous week, we'll be OK.  My God I hope so!  But I am praying to every saint I can think of to get that money into my account sooner rather than later!  Please pray to whoever you pray to for me... I figure the more "big guys upstairs" we have working on this, the better the chances are that it will work out.

So beyond that, last night Flo and I looked at 3 more places with another broker.  This guy made appointments with tenants, had keys, and was super prepared and professional.  It was awesome!  None of the 3 apartments were as good as the one we applied to and were approved for.  They were all smaller, lacked personality, and just weren't "us".  So we felt pretty confident about wanting the apartment we were approved for.

So there.  You're caught up on that.  And to be honest?  That's really the bulk of what my life has been recently.  And when I tell you I'm tired.... it's quite the understatement.  I'm completely beat.  I'm tired physically, emotionally and mentally.  My body aches from stress.  My body's natural response to stress has always been to sleep it off which is just the worst thing in the world to do.  So now on top of it all, I'm fighting my natural instincts. 

Thank GOD Maria is coming to visit this weekend.  I can ease some tension by going through and getting rid of stuff.  Organizing stuff always helps me.  And tonight I'm cleaning so that helps too. 

OK, on to more positive stuff.

As you may have (but probably didn't) notice, yesterday was Wednesday and it was supposed to be Weight Loss Wednesday!  But as you know my schedule has been insane.  So I didn't get to do it.  I went to the gym to weigh myself with the intention of writing something short and sweet when I got home, but I was hungry and tired and Puka was giving me crap about never being home, and so I didn't. 

So here's the weekly breakdown:

I didn't go to the gym once.  We had a work function and I ate fried macaroni and cheese squares.  I ate out because I was getting home so late, and hadn't been grocery shopping in far too long.

I walked about 30923408 miles, all on the upper east side, all between last Friday and last night.  I was conscious about what I ate when I ate out, with the exception of the fried macaroni and cheese squares.  But please be serious.  Who on God's green earth would pass something like that up?!  It's carby!  It's cheesy!  IT'S FRIED FOR PETE'S SAKE!  I did invest in some Rold Gold Cinnamon Raisin Pretzel Rolls that are freaking amazing and only 110 calories for 7 pretzels.  It's a pretty good snack!  And Delicious!  They actually taste buttery!  I also came across some good stuff at Trader Joe's.  Like their linguine in clam sauce which was so good and literally took 5 minutes to make.  170 calories for a cup of the pasta dish.  That's crazy! 

Either way, I was a bit nervous about heading to the scale which I am finding to be a weekly thing.  I always doubt myself and my progress because this all feels too easy!  I know it's not, and that I am really paying attention, and am more committed than ever before.  But... I don't know... I just feel like there's no way that after fried macaroni and cheese squares that I could possibly have lost weight.  It wouldn't be fair.

On top of that, (and I'm totally over sharing here.) I have my period this week which means I'm bloated and retaining water, and am craving sweets.  So... yeah.  No way.

So after looking at apartments last night I trudge to the gym.  I didn't have any workout clothes with me so the plan was strictly to weigh myself.  I stripped off some clothes like the heavy boots, the button down shirt, the metal buckled belt, and walked very slowly to the scale.  Part of this was because my feet were throbbing.  The other part was because I was a-scared.  I get on the scale, and yet again slowly push that single pound marker to the right.  And all of a sudden the scale dips, and bobs, and settles. 

No way.

That can't be right.

I push it further to the right, only to watch the pin drop, telling me that I weighed less than that.

Uh uh!

NO WAY?!?!

- 4 pounds!!!!!!!!

In just 1 week I lost 4 pounds!  That brings my total to -8.5 pounds!

I'm starting to think that knows what it's talking about.  But for real this week. 

After I would track my slow walking for 3 hours each night, I wouldn't eat all the allowable calories because it just didn't seem possible that I should be eating that much more.  But clearly, if I was sticking with my 2 pounds lost per week, I absolutely could have eaten those calories!  My goal had been to lose 10 pounds by Moving Day... I think I'm gonna blow that out of the water!

OK, since I had no pictures for this blog, I give you a video:  One of my favorite episodes and it has to do with moving which makes it relevant.  Yes? 


That's all folks!  I'll be back when.... I don't know... Whenever I feel like it!  :)

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