death of a sofa

Last night I decided that I had enough.  It was time for me to end my nearly two-year relationship with my studio sofa.

[singlepic id=33 w=320 h=240 float=center]

We have gone through a lot in our relatively short time together.  This was my bed in my first apartment, a small studio I barely left.  It was, and still is, surprisingly comfortable though the cushions have thinned out a bit.  I don’t believe it was designed for continual/daily use as a bed, but it certainly worked for me.  It also wasn’t designed for more than one person, but you can actually fit two people.

It survived the move to the Northern Territories really well.  And since I had a proper bedroom (practically the size of my old studio too), I didn’t need to use it as a bed anymore.  So it found a home in the living room along with Bec’s sleeper-sofa, and I found a foam mattress to put on my floor.  (And my dad’s 3-inch memory foam topper found it’s way to my room as well… He thinks I’m “borrowing” it; I say “house warming gift”.)

At the new place, it pretty much lived a normal sofa life.  I lounged on it in all manner of positions, the cats climbed around on it and occasionally fell off the arms, and a few guests crashed on it.  One day, however, while trying to herd the kittens to take them to the vet, we had a mishap.  One of the slats was broken in a (failed) attempt to grab one of my precious furballs.  It wasn’t cracked all the way through, but it was still weakened by the accident.  My lovely roommate Bec graciously attempted to fix it by bracing it with a large piece of wood.  This didn’t work.  One week before my move to the Midlands of Lakeview, one of my curious, adorable, and destructive kittens decided to spill a whole mug of mint tea on my dear sofa.  During my melodramatic rampage of throwing cushions around the room, I discovered that our failed attempts at bracing the slats had actually broken another slat, cracking and splitting worse than the first one.  In my less than mature state, I called my mother and unleashed all my frustrations at my sofa and my desire to heave it off the back porch to the cement below.  My mother in all her wisdom told me to stop being idiotic and that I’d miss my couch once it was gone.

My sofa was stripped of it’s tea-covered cushions and made the move with me.  The covers had been washed once before, after Bec’s cat Lucyfur decided to mistake it for her litterbox.  That resulted in a very snug fit, but it worked.  After getting to the new place, and doing a bit of laundry (which still not yet finished), last night I attempt to refit my cushions back into their covers.  The pillows were fine, though I remember them being more squareish than rectangle… The main cushion cover, however, refused to fit.  In a final effort to zip the cushions in place, the cover exploded completely dislocating the zipper.

The cushion is all disfigured and lumpy now as it sits on the frame.  I have a fleece blanket covering on of the arm cushions to keep the batting from being destroyed (further) by myself and the kittens.  I do indeed own another over, an off-white one that it originally came in.  However, with all that I’ve gone through with this sofa, I’m not sure how much more it will survive.  Given the kittens penchant for spilling things, I’m sure that going with the white cover is a terrible idea.  So now, I’m left with few options with my intended “investment” piece.  I can just deal with it and see what else happens to it, or I can list it on craigslist and hope it finds a better home.  The latter option would indeed leave me sofaless, and ultimate seatless in my new living room (other than a very small folding chair I’ve been using for a desk chair).  But I have found another sofa that folds out into a two-person bed that I like.  Unfortunately it’s about $325 ($115 less than I paid originally for my studio sofa and additional cover).  Now, $325 isn’t bad for a couch, even just a two-seater.  But given all the other purchases I’m putting into this new place, it’s adding up.  That’s why I’m not going to rush my decision of my sofa’s fate just yet.  I’ll live with my dear seating friend for just a bit longer, and try to decide whether or not I can part with it.

send blankets!

Well, I officially have a new address now.
And no cooking gas and very little groceries. (Even fewer that don’t require a stove or some other ingredient that I don’t currently have.)

However, I am back in the Second City again… in the Midlands of Lakeview.  It was a good pick too.  I’m impressed with myself — choosing a prime place without really thinking about it or making much effort.  All the stores and shops and food I could want are all within easy walking distance.  There’s even a video game store there too.  (Guess who will be stopping by to check out the nerdy boys AND get new games…)  Plus, though I’m not near the train (or the lake) any more — a first since moving to the area — I am near buses… and the train is only a 15 minute walk.  But I can make it to the Northern Territories easily, and take a 30 minute bus ride down to the Southern Lands of Pilsen… No transfers.  Getting over to Wicker Park will be nice too.  Meaning I can stay out a bit later with my bandmates.

Now.  The place is small.  But it’s just me and the kittens.  And though I own a lot of crap (which I won’t get rid of), it pretty much all fits.  Granted, I’m not finished unpacking, and I still have stuff to go through at the old place.

There’s really only a few things I’d like to change…

1) A way to kitty-proof the doors; both to the outside door and to the laundry room (which is practically in-unit and free)… I’m just worried one of the girls will get outside.. or into the laundry room and I won’t be able to coax her back into my place…

2) A bedroom door.  Yeah I live alone, so it’s not necessary… and I will get a curtain soon… but well, there might be times when cute little kitten’s interruptions aren’t wanted…

3) Heat!  My place is pretty chilly right now.  Mainly that’s because in the winter I’d be relying on the pipes from the upstairs radiators (my landlord’s) and an electric heater… I’m also coming from a freakishly warm apartment in which I had the windows open practically all winter.  But until I get a bedwarmer (ie: boyfriend), I’ll be sticking to my large collection of blankets and sleeping in clothes.

I would also add cooking gas, as metioned above.  But apparently it’s just a pilot light — my landlord just emailed me.  So hopefully tonight I can actually make some hot tea… and cook some food…

Anyway.  The place is coming a long.  I’ve got Angel to thank for that… He painted it for me… and we’re going to talk about some custom art/murals.. But depending on the heat issue, I might only be there for 6 months and mirgate to another apartment that’s a bit warmer… and hopefully in the same area.
I also need to thank my amazingly awesome friends who moved all my crap.  Robert (one of my bandmates; tuba) really conducted the whole thing.  If it wasn’t for him, and Jason B., I would have been screwed.  Dani saved me by driving me to and from U-Haul… And I had the help of Becca and jrosei for all of it too.  jrosei’s youngest sister helped as well (so I’ve had both of her sisters helping me with a move), as did Weiss and Angel who showed up for the last bit.  Bec and jrosei brought the kittens over the next night.. in the rain.. with their freshly cleaned litter box… (THANKS!)

A last little brag of what I’ve got:
New place all to myself (bedroom door or not), awesome paint job, free cable, free internet, free laundry, all utilities but gas, a kickass neighborhood, and a pretty decent landlord.  … Win.

a lot of silliness and love

Last night my roommates and I had our Christmas dinner.

Libby made some killer, fall-off-the-bones ribs… and Becca made some really good garlic mashed potatoes, and broccoli (seriously one of my favorite veggies — which I hated until I went to China… I don’t understand it either)… Jess made rolls and Abby helped her make the gingerbread pieces.  I supplied the wine.

After dinner… we went upstairs for gifts and gingerbread decorating… and silliness.
I decided for my gingerbread apartment, that well, I’d be a little non-traditional.  Basically… Well…  Here’s the video…

Gingerbread of DOOM

Yeah… Nothing says Merry Christmas like and inferno and dead candy people.  (I’d like to blame my weirdness on the wine, soda, and half-a-tin of cookies that I ate.. but it’s all me.)

This year we put a $10-20 cap on gifts.. and I tried to stay near the lower end… not because I don’t care about my roommates $20-worth… but because I got gifts for about 17-18 people this year.  Five of whom are 13 and under.  I went with books for all of them… A 365-recipe cookbook for Becca, two histories of Britain (by Austin and Dickens) for jrosei, the Secret Spy Handbook for Libby (in which I’ll post a video of the reading soon), and an amazing dating book for Mennogirl (entitled: “Dating Makes You Want to Die, but You Do It Anyway”)….

We had a lot of fun with gifts, and I can say… it’s easy to tell that we live together.  I could see a little of each of my roommates in the gifts they gave me, as well as knowing that they perfectly fit me too.  I’ll have a full list of loot after the holidays (it’s sort of a tradition from older blogs that mostly originated with JenJen!theamazing… one of the only people from my high school I keep in decent contact with.)

Anyway…  It was a great night of giggling, silliness, kitties, short skirts, weird faces, and love.

home, bittersweet home….

I moved to the Second City in June 2007.
I decided to move in May… I had thought about it before, but well, Chrissy sort of pushed that to a firm yes.  I think it may have taken me two weeks to find an apartment, sign a lease, and then move in to said apartment.

I was in Edgewater for about 9 months.  3 of those months I was an unemployed hermit.  I only left my apartment for food about once every two weeks.  Occasionally I’d head off to the library.  Mostly I stayed home in my 11 x 15 studio with one window.
This really wasn’t a healthy situation for me.

Eventually I found gainful employment, and due to Steph’s marriage, was asked to move to Evanston with live with Becca, Mennogirl, and jrosei.  There’s two apartments, one on 2nd (mine) and one on 3rd.  I actually only live with Becca.

There are a few things I didn’t know about when I moved… The deposit was huge.  My half was huge.  It was more than my buy-out fee for ending my lease 15 months early (never, never get a 2 year lease).  Also, the rent was really cheap, but this was because our building is considered low income (or something near that).  I knew it was a co-op, and that we’d own a share in the building.  This means attending meetings, assisting with work days, monthly cleaning, and basically being proactive as apart of the building community (as well as planning to be there for a bit longer term).

I acknowledge that I’m a difficult person to live with.  I have my quirks.  And apparently, I have some sort of mild OCD-neurosis when it comes to the kitchen — the fridge mainly.  However, Libby’s assured me, this isn’t a mental quirk, this is normal.
Anyway… moving into this apartment was definitely a healthy and good decision for me.  Since Chrissy moved away, I really needed to be around people.  More so than just work.  So moving in with “the girls” was a good thing for me.  We’d all gone to college together.  Mennogirl, jrosei and I lived in China together.  I knew Becca, but well, honestly we never hung out in college.  Living with her has been the first time for me to really get to know her.  There have been some challenges — again, this is me acknowledging I can be a difficult person to live with.

With my decision to attend grad school, I decided that I want to move closer to that campus and have a longer commute for work.  (Grad school would be in the loop, work is on the northern side of the Northern Territories.)  All of the girls, Libby now included (Mennogirl moved down the alley and Libby moved in), knew I had planned on moving for school.  My goal was to convince Chrissy to come back to me and we could live together.  This is still in negotiations.

Anyway.  With the uncertainty of who I’ll be living with, I at least have the neighborhood picked out.  Right now I’m focusing on moving down to the Southern Lands of Pilsen.  Weiss, who lives there, is assisting in finding some reasonable dwellings.  Since Chrissy is being all academic at grad school now, if she were to come back it would be in June.  However, after more talks with a handful of people, and more time spent down south, I have been toying with the idea that if for some sad reason Chrissy won’t move back, then I’d be willing to move in March.

I hadn’t mentioned this to my current roommate until last night.  I didn’t feel the need to add stress when I really don’t have any of the details worked out.  I only told her last night because I just now found out that she will be quitting her job in January and at this point doesn’t have a plan other than to just find work elsewhere.  With this information, it felt wrong not letting her know.

Anyway… without letting this post get too long… I’m having an interesting time dealing with this whole living situation.  I enjoy the girls, and there are a lot of aspects about the apt that I like.  However, I won’t deny that this hasn’t necessarily been my ideal situation.  It is definitely better than where I was at in many ways.  I’m becoming ready to move on.  But as my excitement builds, I feel this dragging guilt.  That in some ways I’m a bad person for moving.  That I shouldn’t feel so happy to be moving.

It’s my personal decision to move, and I have multiple reasons.  I’ve had a small handful of people telling me to move to Pilsen for well over 6 months now.  And while I realize that my move will change things, and put Becca into a situation she probably doesn’t want to be in — everything’s sort of raining on my parade.  I’ve been in a rainy (and hail-y) parade.  It’s no fun.

It’s hard to know where to be.  I don’t want my roommates to feel that I am abandoning them.  I realize it’s probably hard for them to be supportive of me and excited with/for me when it’s going to bring new challenges to them.  But, with risking sounding too selfish, I need this change.  The Northern Territories were good for me, but I’m ready to get back into an active social life — just an active life all together.  The kittens and I are ready for a new phase.

a summary of three days

My weekend started with seeing Deerhoof at the Metro. Adam, Weiss and I decided to meet up for all you can eat sushi beforehand. Indeed. The ninja roll wasn’t terrible (though Adam didn’t like it), but the tofu roll went over well (as I knew it would).
Anyway. Deerhoof included free tortilla chips and bread. Plus, it was just an all around enjoyable concert. I wish I was a little asian girl. And a drummer. I’ve decided I sort of like (good) female drummers*.

my latest addiction
my latest addiction

This beauty pwnd my saturday. Seriously.
I had thought about purchasing one for a while.  I nearly bought one while in NYC a few years back with WGCS — we were at a radio conference.  There was much win for the Globe that trip.  (We brought a Wii with us.)
Anyway.  DS.  Shiny.  I bought two games to start with — Brain Age and Mario Party — but will gladly take old used games off anyone’s hands.  Hell, I’ll take new games too.
I have a feeling my mom will buy me Super Monkey Ball for christmas…

Sunday was a national holiday.  Hopefully you didn’t miss out on it.  It’s too bad if you did.
Libby‘s birthday.
Much fun was had.
I started my day with her, attending her church — which mostly made me miss attending Meeting.  I might start going again… After church was lunch at Buffalo Joe’s — which will be featured on Wing Chicks soon.  I played more DS… and then met up with Libby and her man Zach… and we all progressed to dinner at a tapas restaurant.  Becca, jrosei, and Mennogirl met up with us a bit later (apparently The Google can be wrong).  … I skipped out before dessert.

Eventually I found my way to a Pink Line, and was heading to the Southern Lands of Pilsen.
Potluck is always a good time.
I succeeded at spending more than 30 minutes with Dan too.  (And I’m starting to believe that he’s possibly one of my best dressed friends.)
My day concluded with good people, good conversation, and more wine.  (Oh. Yeah.  Zombie Zin = not half bad and pretty easy to drink.)   I’m thoroughly enjoying this attractive group of people and definitely am looking forward to Sunday evenings.  And well, I think it’s been decided that there will be a migration from the Northern Territories to the South… in less than a year.

*(asian) female drummer not found in deerhoof.. but in one of the openers…

things to look forward to (10.16.08)

  • Deerhoof tomorrow night (w/ Weiss, Jesse, Roselyn, & Adam)
  • art gallery show closing (artwork by: