Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wow, it's been a while since I have posted anything, but I figure that this letter to my Chicago crash pad (I live in Seattle now, own a home in Florida, and work in Chicago...go figure, so much for simplicity)landlord warrants a post. I really need to get better about this posting thing... Good morning, We are coming up on month two in the apartment, and I want to share a few things with each of you. Feel free to come to the coffee shop (where I have to go to get internet, more on that later) and join me, or just pull up a chair and relax, and enjoy this Monday morning diatribe. So how was your weekend? Mine was exciting! Let me start by saying that I am glad I am no longer of child bearing age, because the amount of bug spray that I used this morning would assuredly provide a high degree of certainty that something wrong would occur. The centipedes and spiders that are coming through the floor bite, and, after spending yesterday afternoon in a Benadryl and whiskey induced haze from the two bites on Friday, I decided that I liked having smooth soft skin, unmarked by bite marks from bugs. Fixed. The apartment has a fresh clean smell of bug spray and Lysol, almost sterile. I did not complain about this, I figured your hands were full getting tenants into newly rehabbed units. Anyway, I thought about making lasagna again today. You know, the thick cheesy kind with fresh mushrooms and fresh stewed tomato sauce, topped with grated Parmesan that I picked up at the cheesemonger. Alas, the oven is not working. So I thought about a steak, with the center just perfectly pink and fresh garlic and butter broiled over the top of it to go with the baked potato. Crap. The stove is broken. So I settled on a hot pocket. A ham and cheese hot pocket, and when I opened the freezer, it was once again a beautiful rendition of the stalactites and stalagmites in the great Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. It took me back to the summer of 2009 when my children and I journeyed there, but was not quite as thrilling. It sucks to have to chip an inch of ice off of the hot pockets. It sucks to want a bowl of ice cream, and know that odds are, it will be infiltrated by chunks of ice crystals. I like surprises, they are fun. I prefer them be balloons or chocolate or flowers or money...not the chip the ice off the hot pockets kind because the freezer is broken. The folks at CVS know me by name, because that is where I shop, freedom is not microwaving your dinner every night or buying single serve meals because the first 180$ of frozen stuff you bought is either sealed in an ice shell for the armageddon or has been ruined by the broken freezer. So then I said to myself,"Self, be thankful, you have a roof over your head, a television,an iPad,and your choice of four channels from which to enjoy.". That's right, I get four channels. Two of them are religious channels, and I am pretty sure that spirit of gratitude comes from knowing that the second coming is inevitable, and since I have moved in, have learned that the God of the old testament is not the god of the new testament. I also get public television, and if I hold the digital antenna just right, have learned a lot about cooking from Americas Test Kitchen, and to not throw away clay jugs from Antiques Road Show. These are all important things. I would like to sit and watch a movie from time to time, or even those new sitcoms I see posted on the billboards when I ride the train into the 21st century. Alas, Comcast cannot figure out where I live, if I live, and when I will be acknowledged as physically being in Apartment 2N. I thought I could live without cable, but apparently, I cannot. It has added a level of deep thought and newfound creativity to my repertoire that I previously did not possess, as reflected in this email to each of you. This goes to another point. I would love to know if I live in 2N. I have no document that says I live here, no contract that gives me the security of knowing that I exist. You may ask yourself, where is my beautiful house, and you may ask yourself, where is my beautiful mail...I do ask myself that. I don't have a lease. I am scared. My mail is sitting in the post office somewhere in Chicago, because the mail person cannot buzz the door to get in. Takeout delivery folks randomly knock on the back door to find out if I ordered the Kung Pao chicken. Sometimes, I tell them no. Other times, I eat my neighbors dinner because the thought of another grilled cheese sandwich makes me want to crawl into a corner and cry. I am 41 years old, and sitting in the middle of a coffee shop filled with twenty something artsy types who smoked way too much weed last night, are trying to remember the name of the girl or guy they had random sex with, and just in general looking like that creepy lonely guy your parents taught you to stay away from when you went to the coffee shop. Why, because this is the only way I can send you an email. I could have texted this to you, but that would take way too long. The apartment is still a half rehab. I finally (after two visits from Merry Maids and some high powered scrubbing of my own), was able to get the remaining grease and bodily stuff out of the bathtub, the sinks, the dishwasher, and can comfortably assume that any hair now is mine. I cleaned the microwave, and am thankful that when I use it now, the apartment does not smell like I bought a can of burrito scented febreeze. I am happy that I have utilities, but nervous that at any point, these could be turned off because I have no earthly idea if I am actually supposed to be doing anything with them. I don't want to move. I like it here. I do have a hard time paying 1100$ per month for a property that I get to manage. I own two homes in Florida, and when my tenant calls and says things are broken, I fix them. It is a pain in the butt to get those calls, but I want them to know that I am taking care of the problem. I value their tenancy. Those two homes are complete. They can roast a Cornish game hen, watch football, and get in the tub knowing that there are no bugs and that all remnants of the last tenant have been removed. Everyone has been easy to work with, but I suspect that until the last unit downstairs gets rehabbed, that I will overpay for a half finished unit that was closer to move in ready than 2S. So you see, I am not upset. I am taking things in stride. I just want to get the value of paying a high amount of rent. This is my home for now. You are my business partners. I am your tenant, and to some degree at your mercy. I appreciate your patience and kindness noted below, but would like some consideration, be it a temporary reduction until the unit is completely rehabbed, or an occasional invite to cook lasagna in your oven and watch football. Let me know, I have to go now, the girl next to me (apparently named Sequoia) has sucked me into her conversation with another girl ( apparently named Trish) about some jerk named Eric that had sex with another friend (Jennifer), and I am finding it hard to eavesdrop and type at the same time. George Sent from my