4 posts from December 2004

Oldies: Sunday, December 19 - Saturday, December 25, 2004...

Wednesday, 22 December 2004: Last night was the first night we spent in the new house. Why didn't we spend Monday night as well, you might ask? Well, the movers coming in yesterday and moving all our furniture (bed included) did play a slightly big part in it.

It was very weird. Even with all the furniture, it still sounds hollow in here. Our master bedroom and living room are even bigger than we thought they were. When we first looked at the place, the rooms didn't seem quite as big as we would have thought. Now all the furniture is in place and we can view it in more relative terms. And it is a lot bigger. We've got space in our bedroom we never thought we would have. That or our bed shrank during the move. Six of one...

I can't wait to get some stuff up on the walls. They desperately need a little love. And maybe this will help eliminate the sound reverberation. We shall see.

Monday, 20 December 2004: There is nothing quite so nerve-wracking as closing on a new home. Well, nothing quite so nerve wracking in my limited experience. I haven't slept more than a couple of hours in the last two days just mentally pacing back and forth wondering what to expect. My head is on overload. My stomach isn't very fond of me right now as both it and my heart are doing synchronized somersaults.

In retrospect, I guess it could have been worse. It only took an hour and I was told some closings have gone on as long as six or eight hours. I think I would have curled up in a pretzel on the floor if I had been in there that long.

Well, congratulate us. Katie and I are now property-tax paying citizens of this great nation.

...And there was much rejoicing... yay.

Oldies: Sunday, December 12 - Saturday, December 18, 2004...

Thursday, 16 December 2004: Some interesting business news today (or yesterday if you so choose to look at it that way)...

The deal to bring the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C., next year and rename them the Washington Nationals may have just gone south. The deal was for the Nationals to play at RFK Stadium until a new stadium is completed in time for the 2008 season. This stadium, according to reports, was supposed to be funded publicly by D.C. Now D.C. lawmakers are telling the owners of the Expos/Nationals (the "owner", in this case, is Major League Baseball) that the deal must include private funding. I'm not sure what percentage they are claiming must be privately funded, but it has raised the ire of the MLB who are now threatening to not move to D.C. The question now is where would they move? I don't think they can go back to Montreal and it's not exactly an easy task to just up and move a baseball team and have enough support in place in time for the start of next season in April. Heck, season tickets will be going on sale soon if they haven't already. This will be interesting.

My other newsbit is that Blockbuster Video has announced they are eliminating late fees so they can compete with online DVD rental services like Netflix and Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart) that already don't charge late fees. However, before you go rushing out to your local Ballbuster, please realize that there are some caveats to this new policy. Schlockbuster will still set due dates. However, there will be a one-week grace period from that date until they come after your butt. After that grace period ends, they will charge the full amount of the DVD onto the credit card that they have on file. The price charged will be determined by the lowest price that they charge in store for a new copy of the movie. And we all know that Blockheads are notorious for overcharging for new movies. However, you will still be allowed to return the DVD after you have been assessed this charge. The cost will be refunded to your credit card less a $1.25 restocking fee. So, when all is said and done, your credit card will show a big DVD charge, a refund of that amount, and then a $1.25 charge to Block-o's. If you are a chronically late movie returner, your credit card company is just gonna love you.

All I know is that I'm still quite happy with Netflix. I'll stay there, thank you very much.

Wednesday, 15 December 2004: I guess I really shouldn't expect much less from the state of Florida, given their inability to vote and whatnot. But, apparently there are reports of hospitals down there having minor bouts of confusion with the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Foundation yellow cancer bracelets. In hospitals, a yellow bracelet on a patient signifies "Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)" or, for the layman, if you're teetering on the verge of death, doctors are not supposed to bring you back to life. Some doctors are confusing the LiveStrong bracelets for the DNR bracelets. Dunno for sure if they have allowed people to die or not as a result, but they have hired people in some hospitals whose only role is to distinguish if a patient is wearing a LiveStrong bracelet and cover it with tape so as not to confuse the doctors.

In the words of Cleveland from The Family Guy, "Now you're just bein' silly."

Tuesday, 14 December 2004: The one thing that sucks about moving next week is that it comes right on the heels of our final exams. Katie's exam is tonight for her organic chemistry class (good luck, hon; I know you'll do great). But my final exam is this Saturday and I do want to get some studying done. This, of course, limits me in terms of time to pack up the apartment. We got a lot of it done a couple weekends ago and we've each been packing up a little bit here and there throughout the week as we find time. I finished up several boxes last night and I plan to get a little more done each night until there is no more (will it ever end?). Katie will be packing during the week as well.

Of course, this Saturday is also her family's Christmas party and we'll be heading up to McHenry pretty soon after I wrap up my test. Then Katie is working on Sunday so that she can have off on Monday for the closing. So I'll be packing up the rest of what I can as well as going to the final walk through of the new townhouse. It's going to be a pretty hectic weekend. Thankfully we got a bunch of the packing done already. Now we just need to wrap up what's left and pray we don't forget anything.

So let's recap:

  • Tuesday: Katie works during the day and has her final exam at night; Kevin works during the day and will pack at night
  • Wednesday: Katie will pack during the day and works the closing shift at Walgreen's; Kevin works during the day and the closing shift at the gym
  • Thursday: Katie and Kevin both work during the day and will pack at night
  • Friday: Katie and Kevin both work during the day and both have the closing shift at the gym that night
  • Saturday: My final exam in the morning while Katie packs and then we're both off to McHenry for the Christmas party
  • Sunday: Katie works all day and Kevin will pack except during the final walk through at noon; both will pack at night
  • Monday: the big day.

Moving sucks.

Monday, 13 December 2004: Scott Peterson has been sentenced to death. Surprise? Hardly. Will it stick? Who the hell knows in this day and age. The only thing I know for certain is that the state of California is destined for a decade plus of appeals as well as jailing costs for this bastard before they finally do kill him. If that even happens.

Just fry him. And I don't mean the Amber variety, either.

Sorry, bad joke.

Sunday, 12 December 2004: After two months of flopping back and forth between no facial hair, a beard, or something in the middle, I have actually gone back and shaved down to my old goateed look. But, for all I know, this isn't likely to stick around long either. Now that I know what I look like without my goatee and that I can actually tolerate my baby-faced cuteness (hack!), I will be more likely to shave it off again. We shall see. Hey, I've got little to no hair on the top of my head; so I may as well have fun playing around with the look of the hair that actually will grow.

Oldies: Sunday, December 5 - Saturday, December 11, 2004...

Saturday, 11 December 2004: I feel like Katie and I hardly have a chance to go out and see any movies anymore. It seems like the opportunity for the two of us to escape our reality and enter the surreal existence of Hollywood characters has been a bit stymied. Could be the fact that we each have a job and a half as well as being part-time students. Or maybe it's just the fact that so many movies being released these days look like pieces of celluloid tripe. Ah, six of one...

However, when we do get our chance to get to theater in recent months, we have done so in style. Usually a couple movies at a tiime. This weekend it was Ocean's Twelve and Spanglish. Both of which we've been wanting to see for a while. Unfortunately, we left Ocean's Twelve a bit deflated considering our expectations going in. Spanglish more than made up for it, though. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend seeing it.

Friday, 10 December 2004: I just had to share this, Katie has an uncanny ability to figure out endings to TV shows and movies well before they happen. When we went to see The Sixth Sense the first time, she announced "he (Bruce Willis) is dead" about 10 minutes in and we both spent the rest of the movie piecing it all together to see if her hypothesis was supported.

It was.

Last night, we were watching The O.C. (which, by the way, has gotten better since my recap a couple of weeks ago. Not as good as last season, but better than the earlier episodes from this season), and Katie pieced together the surprise twist at the end of the episode after about 15 minutes. Not that it shouldn't have been obvious as daylight, but I just try to sit there with very little discernible brain functioning while I watch the show. I find it makes the show that much better (I assume that people who enjoy daytime soap operas must act in a very similar manner but stepped up another notch or two or three). So, figuring out what's going to happen is not much of an option.

Lo and behold, she was right again.

And, admittedly, it was a nice twist.

Thursday, 9 December 2004: I won't lie and say that I was a huge Pantera or Damageplan fan. But I was floored all the same this morning when I heard that the lead guitarist for those bands, Dimebag Darrell (Darrell Abbott), was shot dead on stage at the beginning of a Damageplan concert last night in Columbus, Ohio.

My friend Wiggy and I saw Dimebag, then known as "Diamond Darrell," perform with Pantera on the Vulgar Display of Power tour in 1993 at the Aragon Ballroom. It was a great show and Darrell showed why he was so highly regarded in guitar circles. The man could shred like few others I've heard.

I think the person I feel most sorry for in this whole situation is Darrell's brother Vinnie Paul (Vincent Abbott) who was the drummer for Pantera and Damageplan and was on stage performing as well when he was shot. To be sitting there and see your brother shot dead right in front of your eyes. I doubt there was anything Vinnie could reasonably do to stop it, but you know that he's going to beat himself up mentally wondering how he could have saved his brother's life. That's gonna be tough. It's something I hope I never have to endure. But it's unwarranted guilt and self blame. There was nothing you could do, Vinnie.

RIP Darrell. You will be missed.

Wednesday, 8 December 2004: Katie wanted me to add on the site that, on my birthday, she made me breakfast in bed. She decided to try to make one of my favorite meals as a surprise. So she comes walking in with a plate of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese along with birthday candles stuck in between a hot dog and its bun.

Okay, so it's not your typical birthday meal and it's a far from typical breakfast. But I loved it all the same. I just wish I had taken a picture of the hot dog with the candles. Quite amusing. And yummy.

Tuesday, 7 December 2004: Good news on the Cubbie front... shortstop Nomar Garciaparra has been resigned to a one year/$8 million (plus incentives) contract while second baseman Todd Walker has been resigned to a one year/$2.5 million contract with an option for 2006. Very nice. And arbitration has been offered to outfielder Todd Hollandsworth and starting pitcher Matt Clement. I would like to see both return and I'm happy to see that the Cubs are willing to work out the contract differences. Here's hoping.

Welcome back Todd and Nomar. We're happy to have you both back on board.

Monday, 6 December 2004: Some good news came in yesterday via our realtor. Well, it's good news so long as everything works out. But anyway, the realtor selling the townhome to us let us know that the sellers are willing to move up the closing date to Monday, December 20. That would give us three more days to get stuff moved in before Christmas hits and also makes it easier to schedule movers to take care of our God-awful amount of furniture. Pending our loan being secured in time, the move in on the 20th should work out just fine. We are willing, they are willing, why not go for it, right?

Sunday, 5 December 2004: So how did I celebrate my birthday? Doing exactly what I wanted to do... nothing.

I know, I know. I've heard it several times at work... "how can you not want to celebrate a milestone like your 30th birthday?" Well, let me tell you, I just don't care about my birthday. It's just another day and I don't care much for making a big deal about it. Katie and I went out to dinner with my parents last weekend (joint celebration for my brother and me) and we went out with her parents this weekend. I don't mind just having a few people around and going out to dinner so long as the focus is not on my birthday. I don't want big parties. I don't want a lot of people around. That's just not me.

Maybe it stems back to my 25th birthday when I got so blitzed that I don't remember much of it other than the subsequent guilt over the fact that Katie had to nurse me back to health while suffering through her own pre-existing 102-degree fever. I dunno.

But Katie did get me some nice stuff as a gift. She got me a new connector so I can hardwire our iPods to our home stereo, Volume 2 of The Family Guy on DVD, and a beautiful new Fossil watch. I love them all, Katie. Thanks. 

Oldies: Sunday, November 28 - Saturday, December 4, 2004...

Wednesday, 1 December 2004: Okay, now that enough of the family members know, it's time to make the news available to the rest of the world... Katie and I are moving.

No, we're not moving all that far from where we live now. In fact, believe it or not considering the cost of living, we actually managed to be able to stay in Geneva. I think our new place is all of a mile and a half or two miles, tops, from where we live now. It's a cool 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath townhome just south of Delnor Hospital.

We will be closing on the townhome on December 23 and hope to be moved in right afterwards. And it all works out so beautifully considering our lease runs out on December 28. I don't know how we could have possibly timed that one out any better than we did. Yes, it means we have to move around Christmas, but we're cool with that. We weren't planning on going anywhere anyway. So we're just inviting our families to our place on Christmas Eve for a move-in party.

Here are some of the photos of our townhome from the realtor's website (okay, so I stole the photos!)...

Ah, "the Apgars of Caldwell Lane" has a nice ring to it, don't you think? The funny thing is that one of the things that we are most stoked about regarding this townhouse is the fact that we have a two-car garage. Ah the simple things in life.

The stairwell to the second floor. The living room is off to the left and the kitchen is on the other side of the wall with the mirror on it. Once you get up the stairs, you can look down onto the living room.

What this picture fails to capture is just how high the ceiling in this room really is. It goes well beyond the window you see there (and only half of that top window is actually showing, if that).

Nice, big kitchen. Just the way Katie and I like it. The door on the right of the picture is a closet that the current owners are using as a utility closet and pantry. It wraps all the way back under the stairs.

Yeah, kind of a boring picture, I know. The doorway to the right leads into the hallway and the second bedroom. The door on the left is our bathroom. There is another door even further to the left which is the walk-in closet. Behind the photographer is the built-in shelving unit and window seat.

A rather misleading photo to be honest as it was shot looking down all the yards in the unit. There are four townhouses in this particular unit. We are #2 as you face the building.

Yes, our townhome is featured prominently in our forthcoming Christmas cards as will be our new contact information. If we love you enough, you will get one in the mail sometime before the next holiday season (ha ha).

Tuesday, 30 November 2004: I'm just not understanding the logic in this decision.

Yesterday, the Chicago Bears signed veteran quarterback Jeff George as a backup to Chad Hutchinson. It's not the decision to get a backup that confuses me. Lord knows we need backups at QB considering we have two down for the season now. But why would we sign a guy who retired from the league in 2002 and hasn't played in a pro game since 2001? Are we just begging for that final nail in the coffin?

Whose bright idea was this one?

Monday, 29 November 2004: The fact that my brother turned 26 today can only mean one thing... six more days until I'm 30.

Oh Christ, we are both getting so old.

Well, happy birthday anyway, bro. Old man.