The first townhome that I looked at was pretty awesome -- for a townhome. While it sports such typical townhome drawbacks as a one car garage and only one-and-a-half baths it does have a series of things in its favor: a very neat floorplan, a den with skylights, valance beams, vaulted ceilings and a sizable back yard with wooden porch. I'd have to do minimal work to make it suit my tastes (the two worst things on my list would be to pull down the super-cutesy-flowery wall paper and install ceiling fans to cut the heating/cooling costs those vaulted ceilings would incur) but outside of those issues the place is almost immaculately maintained. The roof and the appliances are new enough that I wouldn't worry about them for some time, the foundation seems to be sane and the electrical infrastructure was sufficient to meet my needs.
Unfortunately that half-duplex represented the high point of the day's viewings. The other two townhomes were in a completely different subdivision than the first and didn't catch my eye nearly as much. The second townhome I viewed had a neat livingroom that was very spacious, but the kitchen was small (you couldn't open the refrigerator door all the way, to give you an understanding of how cramped they made things with the counter). That would be easily worked around with a side-by-side fridge/freezer, but the big deal-killer, in my mind, was the narrow flight of stairs I had to ascend to reach the living space -- I might as well live on the second floor of an apartment complex. While I stood in the living room looking at the railing I could imagine trying to get furniture up those steps, onto the landing, then making that ridiculously tight 90-degree turn. No bloody thanks! As nice as it was I'm simply not going to deal with stairs like anymore.
The third place we visited was badly in need of work. The trim was messed up, the cabinetry was poorly hung, the carpet in the second bedroom was a disaster, the tile in the master bedroom was cracked, the wood flooring on the ground level was shoddy and it generally made sense to me why that place was $164,000 while the first place I looked at was $180,000. To make things worse the third model's layout was even more atrocious than that of the second place I viewed. With a floor plan that lame I pretty much scratched five other potential viewings off the list since they were in the same complex and of the same model. I will not live in a home that has only one light switch for a stairway (at the top, no less, so you can stumble up the stairs at 2 in the morning and break your neck), no linen closet and no coat closet. Think about that for a second, if you would. No coat closet? That's simply unworkable in Illinois. No, scratch that, it's stupidly unworkable. This is a climate that has very distinct changes of seasons, and you have very distinct pieces of outerwear for each season. Because we get snow I need a place to store my heavy goose-down coat and boots for winter, my light jackets for fall and spring and my windbreaker for summer. No coat closet? What the hell am I supposed to do, keep it all out in the garage? I think not.
After viewing properties the next stop was BD's for the weekly lunch tradition. Have I mentioned how much I love that restaurant? I think it's been made patently clear at this point, but I'll say it again... that's some damn tasty food. Today was unusually busy and I was nearly recruited by Scott to help work the grill because of the number of people in the restaurant (parties of twenty-eight will do that to you, I guess). Regrettably I wasn't able to lend a hand, we had other obligations that needed tending to in the afternoon that limited how long I could stay around the store. I did celebrate a successful morning's work with a nice heavy drink after lunch, though. While I was sipping my specialty up margarita it was discovered by roho that our friend Patrick makes an absolutely superb Bloody Mary. That wasn't the only good news for the visit, though. We also found out today that one of our favorite grillers (Joe) was recent promoted to management. I guess today represented his first day in the new position, and man did he seem calm and cool. On a personal note I would say that money aside this is a very important thing for Joe -- you see, not long ago this fellow was on a path that undoubtedly was going to lead him to jail time (at the very least). Fortunately he seems to have gotten his shit together and has turned himself around these last few months. I applaud him for his efforts, he has come a very long way from the man I first met a year ago. To me it is a rare and refreshing thing to see somebody take responsibility for their actions, own up to the consequences and then take steps to better themselves so that such mistakes are not made in the future. I wish people would take a lesson in maturity and responsibility from this man, we'd have a lot better place to live in.
After BD's was the bi-weekly convention staff meeting. I met with linnaeus to rework some floor plans for the art show room since we're going to go in a new direction with traffic control this year. I also discussed a few other matters with mirkowuff, and I'm generally pleased with the way things turned out overall. Some questions were answered while others were raised, but that is par for the course. I'll need to talk to hightensile in order to polish off the final details but I for one do not forsee a problem; we have pretty much have had our thumb on it for the last couple months. At this stage I just want it done and over with. I'm tired of the meetings, I'm especially tired of the manufactured drama and right now I simply want to get to the main event and go go go.
After MFF's meeting we all piled back into the Expedition, braved the horrendous Woodfield Mall traffic to get to the highway and drove home. A stop was made at Oberweis Dairy so Roho and Kestral could grab a late-evening snack, then it was back to the apartment. When I got home tarinfirepelt surprised me with a drawing that initially shocked me (I could have strangled him if he had been there in person) but in the end it gave me a really good giggle, just what I needed at the close of my day. I'm lucky to have friends as cool as Tarin -- even if it does mean having my dignity stripped bare on occasion. After the excitement and giggles were over the three of us settled in on the couch to watch a couple episodes of The Simpsons (The annual Halloween episode aired tonight for some reason) and once that was over we turned on the DVD player and watched an episode of Babylon 5.
I have discovered a most dangerous web catalog. When I finally get my house/townhome/cardboard box in an abandoned building I really want to buy a complete set of these Klubi glasses to get things started off right. I am a big fan of crystal barware, oh yes.
Tonight I realized that throughout the month of October I wrote a LiveJournal entry every single day. I think that's one of the very few times when I've gone an entire month and never missed a day. It's sort of scary to consider but I'm going to try for a repeat with November. Let's see how that goes, as I'm sure there's going to be plenty to write about.... but will there be enough time to fit it all in?
You can feel the fire around us