Saturday, December 21, 2013

Apartment Issues & Christmas with Mom

Here's the deal about the parking spot... she verbally told me that I had a parking spot with this apartment and that it was included in the $1500. But on the official contract which is a generic renter's contract, it says.. if you are assigned a parking spot please don't do repairs, paint.. blah blah blah in your spot. There is no mention of a parking number or that I actually had a spot. 

So with that I pretty much made up my mind about the apartment, I got alot of advice from my friends on Facebook. Some said "get out now", others said "fight her" as it was a verbal contract. If you know me, you know I'm so not a confrontational person, which doesn't mean I'm a push over (some my disagree) but this isn't worth fighting for. I don't want to be at odds with my land lady the very first day of my lease. It's easier to just move on, learn from the experience and find something even better.

I talked with the owner/land lady in the morning and said I will take the place if it's $1500 a month with a parking spot as we agreed upon. She refused to give me the spot so I terminated the contract. I will go down tomorrow to officially terminate it and get my deposits back. So that's it.. I am on the search for another apartment.

Today I was spending Christmas with my Mom and Step Dad. I joined Mike and his family and we drove down to Balboa Island. It was a nice time, we spent about six hours there. We exchanged gifts, watched a bit of the boat show, ate some Chipotle.. it was good times.

Got home and worked on catching up on my blog.. with all the craziness I'm about two weeks behind but slowly and surely I'm getting caught up.

Friday, December 20, 2013

You Win Some... You Lose Some!!!

I got the apartment... the owner called me and said that everything checked out and that the apartment is mine.. just have to come down and sign the lease. So I planned to meet up with her at 1pm out in North Hollywood. I had to bring a check for the deposits and first month rent so I went to my check book and there were no more checks (I rarely use checks). So I had to go with a cashiers check so I stopped by BofA before heading to her place.

I got to her place and once again like yesterday she talked to me for an hour, pretty much about the same stuff she told me the day before.. but I smiled and agreed like this was the first time I was hearing the info. I signed the lease, she explained where I could park and about the keys. We toasted the deal with a bit of wine and some german cookies.

Afterwards I headed over to my new apartment to check it out. I parked in back in my spot and then went through and checked the lights and such and made notes on what needed to be changed and/or fixed. I made a video of it and posted it on Facebook.

Pix from SDCC this year.
Once I was done there I decided to do a bit of Christmas shopping.. while at Target I ran into my friends America and Dove. We shopped together for a bit, it was fun. While I was shopping I got a call from the owner of the apartment that I just signed the lease for, she informed me that she had made a mistake and that parking did not come with this place and that she would have to charge me an additional $100 a month for a parking spot. I told her that I would have to sleep on it.

Talk about being disappointed. I'm was already pushing my monthly rent limit to $1500, now she is asking for an additional $100 for a total of $1600 a month. Yeah I can't do that. It's a tough call to make because it's a great apartment, big and has plenty of room for all my stuff. I wouldn't have to rent a storage unit and the more important thing is that about 20 of my friends live within walking distance of the place. But my home mortgage was to expensive and one of the reasons I wanted to move was to pay less money a month (my range $1000 - $1200). So I'm going to have to pull out of this lease.

After the phone call I was depressed and no longer in the Christmas shopping spirit.. so I head back to my brother's to crash.

"Get Fit" Week 20

So it's been a crazy week with the closing of my house, looking for a new apartment and such. Last week I manage to lose some weight and get down to 196.5lbs. At the beginning of the week I was down to 193lbs which is my lowest weight in five years. But unfortunately by the time I officially weighed myself today I was back up to 196.5. Good news is I didn't gain any more weight then last week, bad news I did gain weight from a really good low number at the beginning of this week. I'm still on track for my end of year goal of getting to or below 195 lbs.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Finding an Apartment!!

Woke up, took a shower, was in an earthquake (well a small one), left for the escrow place to pick up my escrow check. My escrow place is out in Van Nuys so after getting the check I headed to North Hollywood and had breakfast. I then started to drive around and look for vacant apartments. It was pouring down rain and after an hour and a half and finding nothing I was about to head home when I came across a sign for a 2 bedroom on a decent street in my friends neighborhood. So I gave the number a call and talked to a very sweet old lady. She said that the maintenance guy could be by to show me the place in ten minutes.

He arrived to show me the place. It had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, both bedrooms were really big. It had a fireplace, dishwasher and a parking space. The building was over 30 years old but didn't look too bad on the outside. There were only four units in the complex. The apartment was perfect.. only two things that concerned me.. the price at $1500 which is the top of my limit and it was on a semi main street so the traffic sound was pretty loud. But once inside the apartment the traffic sound wasn't so bad and getting such a big place for $1500 eased my mind on that so I called the old lady back and asked to fill out an application.

I headed to her place to fill out the app. She was a very sweet 88 year old Italian lady. You could tell she was lonely and she talked to me for an hour before we even got to the application process. She loved me (of course) but still wanted to check my credit so she said she would call me tomorrow and let me know if I got the place. Once I filled out the application she gave me a large bottle of brandy and some Italian bread (for Christmas) and sent me on my way.

I got to my brother's, where I will be staying while I look for a place and there were two screeners waiting for me. The first one I was super excited to see that I got but also expect it as well. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and the second movie is called Her and I've heard so many great things about this one and can't wait to watch it.

Spent the rest of the night helping my brother wrap "Santa" presents for the kids. It was fun as I don't see myself doing this in the near future for my own kids..

Let's hope I get the apartment tomorrow!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More Babylon 5

It's Wednesday and that means TV night. Robert and I haven't done a TV night since mid November and we were both jonesing for some B5. And since I am now homeless I figured I'd crash at his place tonight.

We continued our Babylon 5 first time viewing starting with S3 Ep 6 "Dust to Dust" Bester returns to Babylon 5 to stop the flow of Dust, a powerful new drug which can temporarily unlock telepathic powers. But Captain Sheridan and the crew can't risk Bester reading their minds and uncovering their secret Shadow war preparations. G'Kar finds out the truth about Mollari but has his path is changed by a vision.

This was an enjoyable episode. They actually kind of made Bester likable. G'Kar was crazy in this episode but he finally found out the truth about Londo and Londo actually looked sorry for what he has done.. but still not a fan of Londo. G'Kar character changes big time with the vision that Kosh "helped" with.

We then watched S3 Ep 7 "Exogenesis" Marcus and Franklin investigate a series of deaths caused by a mysterious parasite.

This was a good episode, had a bit of humor with Marcus and Ivanova, some action scenes. I really liked Marcus and his bow.. with his long hair and bow he reminded me of Gambit from the X-Men. This was the first big episode that featured Marcus, he's a fun character.

Third episode we watched tonight was S3 Ep 8 "Messages From Earth" An archaeologist is brought to Babylon 5 with a grave message - a dormant Shadow ship has been found on Ganymede. It must be destroyed before it falls into the hands of President Clark.

Things are really starting to heat up, everyone finds out that Clark is much more evil person then they thought. He's trying to use a Shadow's ship. I like that Sheridan took control and took the Mimbari ship and destroy the Shadow's ship. 

We were on a role so we continued to watch B5.. next up was S3 Ep 9 "Point of No Return"
Nightwatch takes control of Babylon 5 security. The widow of the former Centauri Emperor visits Londo, and gives Londo and Vir news of their future. 
The beginning of the end has begun.. Nightwatch (meaning the Government) takes over Babylon 5. Marshal Law is happening on Earth. It was good to see Majel Barrett on Babylon 5. If you don't know who she is.. she was married to Gene Roddenberry and was in Star Trek TOS, TNG and DS9, and has done the computer voice for all incarnations of Star Trek. Anyways I was shocked to find out that Vir was destine to be Emperor and Londo's reaction to this news was priceless. It will be interesting to see if this effects Vir and Londo's relationship in the future.

And the final episode of the night was S3 Ep 10 "Severed Dreams" When President Clark escalates his brutal repression of the people of Earth Alliance, Captain Sheridan declares Babylon 5 independent.

Wow.. the shit has really hit the fan with this episode.. everything is about to change. Great episode, action packed, tense and lots of great battle scenes. Humans against humans... the civil war has begun.

It was tough stopping but we did five episodes tonight and that's quite a bit for us. Won't be able to watch next week as it's Christmas but hopefully will be able to pick back up the week after. 

My Last Day...

So my house sold... I have until 5pm tomorrow to be out. So today I was up at 5:30am packing what remained of my belongings. I shoved about eight bags of cans into my little car and drove them down to the recycling center and got a nice chunk of change for them.

With my brother's help I figured out where the main water shut off valve was and was able to fix the outside faucet leak and this time it worked. I did two more trips to my storage unit and took some paint to a recycling place.

My brother came to help me out and we packed up this big SUV with boxes and bags of stuff I was going to give to charity. I also gave a few more things to him as well.

Got another screener.. The Book Thief. I went to a PGA screening of this and really enjoyed it. I'm glad I got a screener so I can watch it again and share it with friends.

It was now around 4pm and I packed up my car with the last remaining things of my house. This stuff was going with me like two suitcases, my computer and various other things. I made a "goodbye" house video which I posted on Facebook and did one final walk through to make sure I had everything. At 4:30pm I walked out the door, left my house for the final time. It was very bitter sweet on one hand I know I needed to sell the place and that I couldn't afford to stay there much longer but on the other hand there are so many great memories associated with that house and I loved living away from neighbors.

I drove to the buyer's realtor and dropped off the house keys and then headed south. My first stop was the escrow place as my final check was ready to be picked up. They closed at 5:30pm and I didn't get there until 5:40pm so I missed it. I'll have to pick it up tomorrow instead.  I then drove to Robert's for TV night (blog to follow).

So that's it guys.. my house adventure has come to an end. I'm glad it's over, that's one long chapter of my life that I get to close and I get to start a brand new one.. can't wait to see what's next.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Escrow Closed & Amazing Christmas Gifts

ESCROW CLOSED!!!!! They signed the paperwork this morning and I officially sold my house.

Hmmm... Now what!!!

I forgot to mention this in my Sunday blog post but I got some amazing Christmas gifts when my buddeis come over to help me move.. First I got this really awesome Hufflepuff beanie cap from my buddy Dallas... he knows me so well.

I also got a very cool handmade gift from my friend Jes (but I can't say what it is or post a pix of it, at her request). 

And finally my buddy Aaron commissioned a UComic to be made for me. UComic's are done by Acclaimed artist Len Peralta (Geek a Week) and award winning writer Jessica Mills (Awkward Embraces).

For mine they went with a Hobbit/Potter themed comic. It's pretty amazing and I love it. You can check out their site and commission them to make one for you or for a friend like Aaron did. CLICK HERE.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Final Days, Screeners and Once Mid-Season Finale

One day to go until the escrow closes so the buyers did their final walk through. They were here to check if I did all the fixes they requested and to ask any final questions they might have. I went over everything with the husband and he seemed satisfied with the fixes. He did mention that he wish I would have replaced the roof tile where the satellite dishes were screwed in, instead of just sealing the hole but he accepted my fixes. The woman had all the questions, like how does the water system work, how much propane there is left in the tank and so on.

So I spent a good hour walking around the property explaining all the nuances of the place. The woman asked if I would remove some of the trash that has collected on the hillside (because of the winds), I agreed and then their still the leak on the outside faucet that I tried to fix but couldn't find the water shut off valve so my fix didn't hold.

But they were happy with everything and planned to sign the closing papers tomorrow.. so yay!!

I got three more screeners today, three independent movies that I've only vaguely heard about. August: Osage County, Fruitville Station and Philomena. These aren't high on my list to watch but if a friend wants to watch them I'd be open to watching with them.

During the evening I watched last nights mid season finale of Once Upon A Time. Wow.. what a game changer. They concluded the Peter Pan story in a very satisfying way if not shocking way by having Rumpelstiltskin stab Pan and himself and disappearing into a puff of smoke while everyone looked on frozen in fear (literally). Rumpelstiltskin finally found his courage and did what he had to do to save his loved ones. This character has come so far and has had so much growth it's pretty amazing. But this is the real end to Rumpelstiltskin?

But then they did the set up for the next half of the season and this is where things went crazy. Before Pan died he enacted the same curse that Regina did at he beginning of season one so that meant everyone would be stuck in time and not remember who they were. Regina was the only one who could destroy the original curse but would have to sacrifice her greatness love, being her adopted son Henry. Again like with Rumpelstiltskin, Regina has come a long way from being the evil queen. She's not "good" per se but she loves her kid. The other hitch to destroying the curse is that the town of Storybrooke would disappear and all the fairytale characters would be sent back the Enchanted Forrest. All those who were born there. And though Emma was born there she is the chosen one and once again will not be effected by the curse. So she and Henry have to leave Storybrooke but once the curse is broken both of them will lose their memories of Fairytale land and all the people.

It was heartbreaking to watch everyone say goodbye. But Regina destroys the curse and the town disappears in a purple haze. We then see one year later and Emma and Henry are in New York when there is a knock at the door and it's Hook saying that her family is in trouble and needs her help. Of course Emma has no idea what he's talking about, Hook kisses her (hoping to break the spell) but it doesn't work and she pushes him out the door and slams it on his face... the end.

Can't wait for the return of this show.. I wonder if everything is going to take place in Fairytale land since Storybrooke is gone and I wonder how Emma and Henry will get their memories back and what kind of trouble Emma's family is in.. guess I'll have to wait and see.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Frozen - My Review

After The Hobbit, Doug and I headed over to Jes and Dallas' place to watch my screener of Frozen.

Here's a quick synopsis: Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

My review: I loved it but then again I'm a huge Disney fan and I think I've loved all their movies but this one was especially awesome. I liked the animation.. reminded me of Tangle, I also enjoyed that it was a musical but I have to admit that the songs weren't as memorable as Tangle.

Olaf the snowman was hilarious as well as Kristoff's reindeer Sven. I think my favorite part of the movie was that it wasn't the man (her true love) who saved the girl in the end.. but instead it was the true love of a sister's love that saved her.

And speaking of Kristoff. I never understood why or how people could be attracted to animated characters.. well that was until I saw Kristoff. The entire movie I am was so enamored by him. I think it was a combination of his looks and personality. I totally adored him, everytime he was on screen my heart would pitter patter.

The Big Move... Part 2 & The Hobbit Part 2

Started my day early.. I was up and off to Uhaul to pick up a truck. I was getting a large 24 foot truck so I could load everything at once. I got back to my place around 9:30am and started to load up some boxes that didn't make it on the first trip. I finished with the boxes just as my buddy Tamar showed up then Robert arrived 10 minutes after that and finally Doug, Dallas, Jes and Aaron. By 10am everyone was there and working in over drive and loaded up all my furniture.

Jes took control of organizing the stuff into the truck. She made sure in the truck and making sure that everything was secure as can be and that we were able to fit it all in one load. We killed it and what I thought would take us three hours only took us about two. You guys were awesome!!!

After we unloaded everything into storage I took the group out for a "Thank You" lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Didn't have the best experience as it took about 45 minutes to be seated and then our order was wrong but we didn't have time to have them fix it so we ate what we were given.

After lunch we headed to Arclight Sherman Oaks to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Along with Jes, Dallas, Doug, Robert and Aaron we were joined by Cait, Scott, Lan, Rupert & Luis. This was mine and Doug's second time but this was the first time for everyone else. I loved the movie the first time and enjoyed it even more the second time. I was actually anticipating scenes that were coming up.. made it even more exciting.

After The Hobbit, Doug and I headed over to Jes and Dallas' place to watch my screener of Frozen. My review will follow in my next blog post.

So overall it was a great day. Got about 98% of my stuff put into storage. I'm this much closer to getting out of this house and closing this chapter on my life. There was lots of work today but also lots of fun and play with friends. I love days like today.