• BIG news,  house stuff!

    The Great Apartment Search of 2012, Chapter Four: I Signed A Lease!

    Our new neighborhood!

    I did it. I finally found a new apartment and signed a lease like a big girl. I think it’s the biggest decision I’ve made completely by myself outside of hiring a lawyer to help with the divorce process. And just like that decision, I’m almost sick thinking I might have made a mistake. But it’s done.


    The horrible Apartment Search of 2012 is OVER!! Feel free to have a drink and celebrate.

    I’m so excited. Yes, it’s a little more than I wanted to spend and yes, it’s a little farther away from the beach than I was hoping but it’s nice. And it’s CLEAN and it’s in a really good neighborhood and school district. There is a park across the street and a nature preserve and it’s within walking distance of the farmer’s market, my favorite grocery store, my bank and several interesting Asian restaurants. I think the future’s looking pretty bright. It’s also only 15 minutes away from Toby so no more losing whole days to driving into Orange County! Wooooooooohoooooooooooooooooo!

    So let’s see what it looks like already, right?

    not so pretty on the outside

    It’s a little ugly on the outside. But I can live with it. I think I’m going to call my new town Babar Land because everything is master-planned and sometimes it feels a little cookie-cutter but I can deal with it. This complex I’m moving into is the oldest in the city and that kind of gives it a little more funk than the other over-processed housing. I like funk. I can do funk. I can get down with my bad self from the late seventies. Bring on the striped knee socks and roller skates! My bangs like to feather naturally anyway.

    New Home

    We fit right in.

    Do you think I should move my piano in?

    Let’s go up the stairs and look around. But first, do you think I should move my piano up these stairs? They’re kind of steep. I’ve had my own upright piano for years but kept it my mom’s house because I never wanted to bother moving it. But now that I have a kid who seems musically inclined I’m thinking it might be time to hire some moving guys and bring some real music into our lives. I do have neighbors though, connected by one wall and below me. Will they hate me?

    I haven’t lived in an apartment like this since college and back then we cranked up the boom box and annoyed our neighbors regularly. Don’t even get me started on the lady downstairs who liked to walk five miles on her treadmill to Mariachi music. We had music wars often. Techno dance parties…good times, man. But I don’t think I really want to be like that now that I’m a grown-up with my own child to be a good example to. Although I did notice a lot of students in the complex so it could be interesting.

    my <cough> yard

    Anyway, back to the tour: You go up the stairs into an enclosed patio. I like to call it my yard. HAH! I’m so funny. Yeah, I’m giving up a lot moving away from my house in the sticks with the giant back yard but them’s the breaks. Sadly, I don’t think Holly will be moving with us because this space is pretty pathetic. I’ll fix it up with my new andorak chair and a bunch of plants but I don’t think I could leave Holly here for hours at a time when I have to leave on errands. I could take her for amazing walks though because there are so many parks nearby. I’ll have to see how it goes. She does really love it at my mom’s house so I’ll just have to decide what would be best for her and how safe I feel in my new environment.

    sound-proof porch window thingy

    This is the view from our balcony.

    our view grassy knoll

    We have a grassy knoll! I foresee many picnics and photo shoots in this little grassy area.

    dutch door! front door

    living room

    I’m kinda jazzed about the split door. What are they called? Dutch Doors? It will be nice to let the breeze in.

    living room looking out

    This is the living room looking back at the door. Nothing exciting but that’s okay. These photos will make what I do with the place all the more fun. The crappier they look the better the after shots will look. I’m not sure how I feel about the blinds. I might pull the blinds all the way up and put my sheer curtains up instead.

    living room/dining room

    The living room is really big. Bigger than I need. I’ve been looking at studios where the complete living space is half the size of this living room/dining room. But since everyone thinks kids need lots of space this is what I’m forced to live with. Go ahead, twist my arm. I think I can manage.

    dining room

    living room looking into kitchen

    Dining room. Ignore the screen sitting on the floor. They were in the process of cleaning and painting and the cleaning ladies were out to lunch so I snuck in and photo-bombed the place. I’m so glad they let me because you know this is all I’m going to be thinking about for the next two weeks. Yep, I move in on the 16th. Woot!

    kitchen kitchen

    Kitchen. It has a dishwasher! And look at those white counters!!! I’m so spoiled. It’s so nice and bright and white. I’m going to have such an easier time photographing for food and craft posts. I won’t even need my old foam-core clipped to a curtain rod photo set-up. The white walls will be my soft box!

    at least I'll have something to look at while I do dishes

    Also, there is a window above the sink. I love that.

    kitchen weird little kitchen alcove space that won't fit anything

    There’s this weird little pop-out alcove on the end of the kitchen. It’s not big enough to put a table in and it has cupboards on both sides. I don’t know what I’ll do with it. Maybe my red toolbox end-table can go there. Anyway, it’s nice and bright. Maybe it will be my little photo studio or maybe I’ll put a chair there and Bug can narrate and judge my cooking from it, like a cooking show.

    Enough about that. Let’s go see the bedroom.

    living room/dining room

    Here we’re standing in the living room looking into the hall that happens to have a mirrored double-doored closet that is full from the top to bottom with shelves. Hello craft supplies. I’d be sad about not being able to hang clothes there except that will not be an issue because I have a walk-in closet in the bedroom!!

    view from all into bedroom

    The question here is, what will we do when we have to move again and I’ve filled up all this space with junk? That is the issue to ponder.


    So here’s the bedroom. It is much bigger in person.

    bedroom looking into living room

    Standing on the other side looking back at the living room…

    bedroom view

    View from bedroom window looking at snoresville parking lot. It’s an east facing window so we’ll get to watch the sunrise which is kind of cool for morning people like us but I’d rather it was my patio facing east so I could sit in the sun and drink my coffee. I guess I’ll just have to sit on my patio and drink a margarita instead.

    bedroom looking at closet and hall to bathroom

    Walk-in closet with saloon doors. I think we will be acting out many spaghetti westerns there.

    peeking into the bathroom vanity area oh hello.

    Let’s go down the hall and look at the bathroom. Oh hello mirrored closet. Why thank you, I think you look nice too.

    vanity aka hair salon bathroom sink

    So this will be the morning hair salon station. Not too shabby.

    WHITE bathtub

    And lastly, a great big white tub. I know most of you will look at this tub and think it’s not that special. It’s not that big and it’s not like it has claw feet or anything but we’ve been living with an avocado green tub for a year and a half.

    It’s not that I have anything against avocado green, I don’t. I love avocado green it’s just that it is super dark and there is no direct light into the tub so my dad rigged some track lighting over the sink and one light pointed into the tub. It worked but let’s just say it was very “romantic,” which is not really what I’m going for at this point in my life and it’s not all that great when you need to shave your legs.

    Also the light flickered like it was haunted and we had a lot of spiders. Dark + spiders + flickering made bath time a little more adventurous than I like. So we’re pretty excited about this nice bright white bathroom. Though I am worried that Bug will miss pretending to be a swamp maiden.

    So instead of ending this post with a primo shot of the white bathtub I will leave you with this:


    This is the park across the street where I hope to spend a lot of time. Isn’t it pretty?

    And to answer all your questions, we’re 15 minutes away from the beach. That’s driving time, not walking. It’s sad but it’s a lot happier than we were.

  • 15 minute posts,  raving lunatic rant,  spilling my guts

    The Great Apartment Search of 2012, Chapter Three

    I told her all I want when I get old is my coffee and a chair in the sunshine so please make sure the old folks home knows that. Even though she's only six I think she'll remember.

    I wrote this a few days ago and I wasn’t going to post it because it’s pretty much a whiney, woe-is-me complain-fest about how I hate the rental situation going on right now in this economy. However, now that I’ve found a place and signed a lease (wooo to the hoooo!) (and I’m not afraid of potential landlords reading my bitter rants) and I’m over-the-moon excited about my new place, I thought it would be good context for how great it is to have finally ended The Great Apartment Search of 2012.

    The big thing that is getting me down right now is that there seems to be some kind of unspoken rule (or maybe it’s law, I wouldn’t know) on how many square feet a child requires in an apartment. Did you know that? I didn’t know that. I know that Bug and I can live in a very small space but apparently landlords in Southern California do not agree with me. I’ve been turned down for FOUR apartments now because the landlord didn’t feel comfortable having two people living in a one bedroom studio.

    Honestly it irks me a bit. I can understand on the super small ones. Eeeking out an existence in an apartment the size of a dorm room would be sad for Bug but it wouldn’t be impossible. Especially since her Dad would live just around the block with a three spacious bedrooms AND we would have the beach within walking distance… We are out and about all the time having fun. It’s not like I would lock her in the closet while I worked. I just don’t know…I guess since there are so many applications they have to judge me based on something and that seems to be it.

    The apartment I’m looking at now (which I didn’t get) has a full-size kitchen AND a very large bedroom. It doesn’t have a living room but that’s okay with me. I’ll just put my expedit bookcase crossways in the bedroom and BAM! Two rooms. One for a double bed, one for a chair and all of Bug’s toys. My office could be in the kitchen with plenty of room to spare for a dining room table. I’d call it perfect. Bug sleeps with me anyway by choice so it’s not like she needs a whole bed area to herself just so she can stack her stuffed animals on it.

    I would love to tell those landlords that I don’t feel comfortable paying two thousand dollars for two rooms but I don’t think they care much about my opinion. They probably think I belong back in the ghetto anyway. Speaking of, it was particularly ghetto last night at 2am in my neighborhood. I just can’t stand it here much longer. Also: three cockroaches this morning in the living room.