Thursday, February 15, 2007

Welcome back to the City of Angels

Hardwood laminate floors in an IKEA beechy color (but a tad darker). Stone tile in the kitchen and bathrooms. Marble countertops. Brand new name-brand appliances including front-loading, energy efficient washer/dryer. Refrigerator with functioning light and ice maker. Dishwasher. Microwave. Stove and oven. Recessed sink that allows for easy "sweep in the crumbs." Faucet that has a removeable nozzle that acts as a hose with an on handle-button that toggled between spout and shower-type-spray. New cabinets and cupboards. Newly installed marble tiles in the showers and new bathrooms.

What's not to love about my new apartment?

Since leaving Yuma Hall (my dorm at the University of Arizona for two years), I've lived places that could hold plenty of couches and chairs to host parties, had a parking spot for a car in the front yard, contained dead roaches in the kitchen cupboards, featured spots on the carpets that Mob hitmen might be proud of, was a tiny studio with really high ceilings and a furnace in the bathroom that wouldn't shut off, a place furnished with a red pleather sofa that was sticky in the humidity, bad parking, and an apartment with a really long hallway that every once in a while made me scared of the dark.

The new place well, kisses good-bye to all that except for the not-so-great parking.

Quickie backstory ...

One of Andrew's oldest friends, Curtis, moved out here in December to work for Nielsen (the TV ratings peeps). While he was getting himself set up, he crashed on our floor. At the beginning of his apartment search we told him that if he finds any three bedroom places to keep us informed, since we were living month-to-month in a place that had the gross carpet stains, old crappy appliances (with no dishwasher). However, deep down I know I didn't expect to be moving. We were paying $717.50 a month each in rent and living in an amazing neighborhood in Culver City. I couldn't imagine Curtis finding a place that was proximal to our Culver City locale (e.g. near the ocean) that would have a comparable rent and be of similar quality to our old place. Not that our last place was palatial by any stretch (in fact it was kinda dumpy), but it was cheap and in a great neighborhood in Culver City!! I could walk to Trader Joe's, the Post Office, a good movie theater and Duke's (the coolest bar I've been to in Los Angeles. As Dave says, it seems like you're on a movie set).

Well, a couple weeks into the search he found a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment which was asking for $2550. This was more than we wanted to pay, especially for a place that said "like-new bathrooms." In the L.A. market, places that say "like-" anything typically mean, we put something newish on top of something indescribably horrifying. We were happy to pass.

A couple weeks later, this place appeared again. Curtis decided to call as the search for a decent, affordable one-bedroom place was not going so well. I was honestly ├╝berskeptical at this point now, b/c for a place to re-list means that a body must have been found. So Andrew and Curtis arrange to see it. I give them a list of questions to make sure they ask and to call me (I had to work late).

Well, Andrew, who shared much of my skepticism about whether we'd find a good-enough place and this place in particular, called raving. We went back that night and immediately upon walking in ... I knew we were taking this place. The rub, Andrew would be out of town for three consecutive weekends. including an entire week around the end of January. Moving suddenly would become an additionally burdensome task. At this point, we decide it's time to get movers. Long story, not toooooo long, the movers rule. At my age, I can honestly say that I don't know of a better $230 I've ever spent. They were fast and like actually strong adult males. One dude carried our large 27-inch TV by himself and they all handled everything far more carefully (respecting corners and edges) than we would have.

So now several weeks of unpacking, furniture buying and organizing later we're basically in. Btw, at Target I picked up this amazing kitchen shelving unit. It's black wire racks that's 72 inches high and about 48 inches feet wide and 20 inches deep. And it cost only $39.99 Buy this thing if you need more shelf space in your kitchen. It's like the Darth Vader of kitchen racks (it happens to be black).

There have been a few minor issues ... the hot water in the bathroom Andrew and I share ain't so hot (pun intended). They screwed up installing the temp/on-off control lever so that it reaches its maximum hot point, before the cold water valve is actually fully closed off. And they still have to get a big fan out of here. But we've recently discovered a much bigger rub. There's a leak in the bathroom. This is very uncool. :(

But every night I'm still really happy we made the move. Because the place I'm living has matching high-quality, non-stick pots and pans, mostly genuinely nice adult furniture, ceiling fans in every room and a full-size couch. And I've got new 300-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, a new 400-thread count sateen comforter, a desk (yay!). So no regrets as I feel truly welcomed to adulthood.

Pix coming soon, I hope.

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Btw, a former NBA player has revealed that he's gay. Good for John Amaechi. And then Tim Hardaway replied that he hates gays. Bad for everybody, but perhaps it'll get people to have an honest conversation. The only way to educate the ignorant is for them to be exposed.

So many people have said that they hope this story goes away and that they don't care what people do as long as it's confined to their bedrooms. I dig that. And I'm glad that they're at least not actively rejecting gays and their lifestyle. But that attitude seems to be very don't ask, don't tell to me. And that is not accepting. So while I don't want to get news fatigue on this, I hope that the notion of atheletes and sexuality and what's acceptable in sports culture and social norms doesn't get relegated to the closet.

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