This weekend I went to dinner with ri and kaiya to catch up. It's been quite a while since we've had quality time together, and ri said something to the effect of You know, I feel like I find out more about you from reading your blog than from sitting across from you at dinner like this. I wasn't sure if I should be sad or glad about that. Granted, it's easy to wander off on a tangent while discussing marriageable characteristics portrayed on The Bachelor. But more importantly our time together is so limited that we often spend it all just getting everyone up to speed on what's happening in our respective lives.
I feel like I need to have a catching up of sorts here, what with all the crazy crap going on that I haven't had time to explain. Let me start with how I missed the third anniversary of this blog last Friday. Which is surprising even to me.
Normally, I post snippets of what people might have missed. I'm too exhausted for that. And here's why:
Back in 2004 I started working in the dungeon. I was living with my parents and sleeping in same bed I had grown up sleeping in. And while the 36-mile commute wasn't the best—what with the parking and all—I felt a lot better pulling into their quiet cul-de-sac at 4 a.m. than I would have parking on a Chicago city street and walking alone to my own apartment. Plus, I had the whole house to myself because when I was awake, they were asleep or at work. And eventually, the steep discount on rent allowed for more frequent trips to see H.
The dungeon thing was a two-year gig with an option to stay on. Certain factors indicated that I had a pretty good shot, so I purchased a tiny piece of high-rise property that would turn my commute into a seven-minute walk or a $4 cab ride. But because long-term dungeon was not a done deal, I allowed the person who had been renting it to stay there until I found out, even though the rent did not cover all of the mortgage and assessments.
Then the economy started to turn. The dungeon didn't work out after all and I was done by New Year's Day 2007. I didn't find a full-time right away, so I was freelancing and wrangling with tenants. (Apparently, sympathy and being considerate are traits that successful landladies do not have.) And even though I technically had no holes in my resume, I wasn't eligible for unemployment compensation and started freaking out about covering the bills. I was told employers would be scrambling to snatch me up when they saw I had a big-name dungeon on my resume, but the industry on the whole was hit very hard and there were few takers and a lot of talent to compete with.
So I visited Miami. Then Detroit. I courted people in New York and Los Angeles. And then I snagged a full-time gig in Chicago. I was relieved that I wouldn't have to sell my place and could still be local to deal with tenant drama. And live with my mom. And still be able to afford plane tickets to LAX.
Then I got laid off on my birthday. Our last day wasn't until November, so there was a cushion to figure out what to do next.
Looking for a job and not knowing when or how much the next paycheck would be during most of 2007 was not fun. The stress brought on some health issues, too. So I decided to make the leap and join a startup business. Unfortunately, while the tiny high-rise condo is not far from the startup, the place and all of its high-end niceties is a bit out of my current price range. Especially now that the current tenants have broken their lease and I have no rent to count on.
So this is the plan:
- The current tenants are moving out next week
- H is moving here the week after that
- We will stay at the place, renovate it ("Um, stainless-steel appliances and hardwood floors are STANDARD now, Cadiz") and put it on the market—Hopefully this will be my absolute last stint as landlady. Ever.
- Instead of paying 5K for three months to have professionals "stage" the place with rented furniture and accessories, I'm trying to buy stuff that will make the current digs look nice and can also work with wherever we end up moving after (when?) it sells.
- Hopefully H will have an easier time landing a full-time gig than I did.
All of the above has pretty much overtaken my thoughts (and kept me up at night) for the last few weeks. I'm extremely excited to be in the same zip code with H. It's pretty much the only thing that's keeping me sane. But it's a big step for us; this weekend he's selling most of his stuff. I think I might be more sad that he's parting with it than he is.
Tonight our startup company is having a launch party to celebrate little guys everywhere (but mostly just us). Things are going pretty smoothly and hopefully in time we can build a bigger and even stronger business. The newspaper gave us a small mention, so that's a good start. I'll be toasting to new beginnings.
But that's not all there is to celebrate. Three years of blogging! I'd just like to thank every one who reads what I write here, especially those whom I don't get to see or talk with often. It means a lot to me that you take time out of your day to stop by and comment, and you always give great advice. You guys are the best.