It’s the little things that are so special. Like the card Kristin gave me “just because.” Like the two sparkly-clean rings sitting in the jewelry drawer just waiting for Friday to get here. Like the dresses hanging on the back of the bedroom doors, pressed and ready to go. Like looking through photos of us to choose eight and getting lost in memories for an hour. Like the fact there are only FIVE days until I marry the woman of my dreams.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Wedding planning is in full swing. Posts over the next several weeks could be spotty, but I promise to do a great big final wrap-up post after this craziness is all over. Kristin and I have both commented that we don’t remember what we thought about, dreamt about, talked about, or focused on before all of this wedding stuff. I will forever pity any person planning a wedding. Honestly. Even when all the “big” stuff is taken care of there are still millions of decisions to make and things to do (and I used to think wedding planners were useless!).
Don’t get me wrong – we are enjoying every second of all of this, it’s just that sometimes things get a little overwhelming and, unfortunately, the people around us have to pay the price of our short tempers! :)
This has been great, though. It’s been so much fun to plan all of this with Kristin, and I think it’s brought us even closer and has definitely made me love her so much more.
A shout out and a thank you to all of those out there (and there are MANY) who have put in countless hours helping us with different aspects of the planning and to those who listen sympathetically to our rants and cheer along with us at our successes on this journey!
Monday, July 9, 2007
We just got back from 5 fun-filled days in San Diego with Kristin's family. It was nice to spend some time with them and meet some extended family I hadn't met before. There was talk of making heading out west a yearly trip - I hope that's the case because it was so much fun!! Thanks to Roger and Helen for the trip and to Ginny and John for sharing their beach house with 12 fools :)
Pics are here.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
We’ve found a new place to live! While we are thrilled to be leaving Como Park Apartments (pictured above), we will miss all of the cultural diversity we found during the three years we’ve inhabited
A small bit about some of the interesting characters we’ve met during our stay here:
Earl (Greg) – Earl was one of the first people we met here. We named him Earl because Kristin always told him he was going to end up dead in a trunk someday (Dixie Chicks song). He was probably in his 40s and lived down in 103 with his girlfriend and her daughter. He was always good for a laugh and was one of the few people I knew that could keep up with Kristin’s wit. He always had interesting family over – like his cousin Larry who ended up getting sent to prison for violating a restraining order. We loved Larry and missed him while he was away. Earl also had a friend or a nephew that stopped over often. He always had his hair pick ready to go – stuck in the top of his afro. His niece stayed with him a lot too. She would often get home from work to find no one home. She would just have to hang out outside and wait. More than once we helped her break into his apartment and climb through the front window which was always a feat because she was of a sizable stature.
Old Man – Old Man’s real name was John Jones. He was a white man with a great big white afro. His hair didn’t look so bad when he cut it, but that wasn’t often. He worked for Comcast and was always complaining about people at work. He also used to clean our apartment building and complained incessantly about the management. He had three kids that visited on the weekends. His ex-wife was crazy, but I guess you’d have to be to have been married to Old Man. Old Man was a little freaky…if we were outside he would talk to our boobs. If we were inside he would stand below the window and stare up at us. Shortly before he moved he commented that he would miss being able to watch all the hotties in the pool. Gross. I always said if I mysteriously disappeared the police should question Creepy Man at the convenience store near where I work first and Old Man second. We were somewhat relieved when he finally moved out.
Gay Girls – There were two lesbians that lived on the third floor. We didn’t actually talk to them for about a year…just before they moved out, unfortunately. :(
Weird guy in the next building – So this guy was interesting. He has lived here for like 15 years and caught us in the parking lot one night. He had lots of questions about if we liked living here and such. He drives a pretty beat up car that looks like it could lose its last bolt at any minute.
Laundry Lady – So there’s a lady that lives in the next building over. She has kind of taken over a little patch of lawn just outside of her window. She has hung bird feeders and hanging potted plants from the tree and set up a patio set on the lawn. One day when I was driving home I passed, and she had hung up a string between two trees and was happily watching as her undies and other unmentionables blew in the breeze. WEIRD.
Restaurant Guy – This guy worked at Macaroni Grill and would talk to us about how much he hated the guy that sang on the weekends there.
Gay Guys – These guys live in the next building over. Their living room and kitchen are painted in vibrant lime greens and not-quite-fire-engine reds. Over Pride they had lots of friends staying there and just last night we noticed a motherly-looking woman packing things up – we can only hope they are escaping as we are.
Lady Lady – I had the privilege of watching Lady Lady head off to the hospital when she was in labor. Her husband couldn’t get the new baby seat in the back seat and he was getting frustrated until Lady Lady pointed out the baby wasn’t actually BORN yet and the seat probably didn’t need to be secured in the back seat at that exact moment. She came back a few days later with a cute little baby girl in hand. A month or two after that she appeared with a small dog named Lady. They only stayed here for a month or two after that – dogs weren’t allowed, but I’m not sure that had anything to do with the move. Her husband drove a white car that had lights that blinked all day and night. Must have been some sort of theft prevention thing, but I just found it annoying.
Hate Man – Hate man lives in the building next door. He got his name because he had this big hand-written sign hanging on his wall that said “HATE.” He’s a small, pale guy. I blame that on the fact that he’s always on his computer into the wee hours of the night. One night I got home really late and he had a lady-friend over. I wanted to shout up some “CLOSE YOUR WINDOWS!” advice, but decided I would just ignore it. Hate Man also has a freaky looking white cat. He loves to play with this big saber-like sword at night and has even been known to throw knives at a target on the wall. He’s someone I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.
Weird Guy Downstairs – WGD has lived below us ever since we moved in. His windows are always closed, his A/C is always on (even in the middle of winter), and he has heavy curtains that are always drawn. He is a sizable man and works overnights at a gas station not too far away. There are two names on the buzzer list, but we have never seen the other mystery person…apartment always cold, mystery person. I think we may have a dead body on our hands!
The Missing Indian Family – This family lived in 202 and had a cute little baby. At one point they just disappeared. We thought they must have moved out in the night or something but noticed the crib was still visible in a window. After about six weeks they were back. My vote is that they were on an extended trip to
Hispanic Family – This family lives down the hall from us. Some of the friendliest and nicest people here – they always have a smile on their faces!
Man Nurses – These two African guys with awesome accents moved in down the hall for awhile. They were nurses on a mental health floor at one of the hospitals. They told us about how they used to live in the building next door but that the trains would pass and shake their apartment so they moved to our building. They weren’t here for very long before they disappeared. Not sure what that was all about, but we were sad we didn’t get to say goodbye.
Deaf Guys – These guys live on the third floor in the building next door. Never seen them, only know about them because of the grunting noises that come from their apartment windows and because the Man Nurses told us about them.
Beth – Beth was known as the “Gay Girl” for awhile…then we talked to her one day and she turned out to be great! She taught Special Education at a local school and would crawl out of her 1st floor window rather than go around to the front door to smoke. She moved this spring after getting a strange letter from the management here, and we miss her.
Guitar Guy and Daughter – This guy is probably the most “normal” of all the people we’ve met here. He has a day job (not sure what that is) and plays in a band on the weekends. He has a fabulous daughter who just finished 4th grade. When we had a computer we needed to get rid of we gave it to them. Not sure what happened to the mom, but he is an awesome dad!
210 – Ah, 210. They were the local….how shall I say it…street pharmacists. I’m not sure we ever met them in person, but everyone here knew about them. People were coming and going all the time to their apartment. There was a man who came several times a week – would buzz in and then be back out with his sack of goodies in less than a minute. There was also a woman who always had shorts on with thick nylons/tights on underneath. She was always nice and talkative but also usually in a hurry to make it to 210s door. One time three men who told Kristin they were FBI agents were here to talk to 210. Somehow 210 escaped before the FBI dudes could get to them. I’m not so sure the FBI guys were really FBI guys…maybe hit men from a drug deal gone bad? Anyway, one day when we were headed down to the laundry room we noticed their door was open a crack. A week later it was still open a crack. I’m convinced they were either killed in there and it was covered up by management or they went on the run from the…”FBI guys.”
College Co-eds – Our current next-door neighbors. They are bleach blonde and extremely noisy. Why did the Indian family have to move?
Twins and Dad – Not so sure the two guys are actually twins, but they are brothers and look like each other. They go work out every evening wearing their workout shorts and weightlifting gloves. One of them just shaved his head…not sure what he was thinking. Their dad used to live here with them, but we haven’t seen him in ages…maybe HE’S in the trunk…Earl?!?
Pete – While Pete doesn’t actually live here, he deserves his own mention. He was the manager here for quite awhile. He told us all about his silver and purple bedroom and how much he loves to pick paint colors…which is good, I suppose, because we recently learned he moved on to a new apartment complex undergoing renovations in the Lake Calhoun area.
Singing Loud Lady – There used to be a couple that lived above us that were really annoying. They would stomp around at all hours. One time we took a broom and pounded back. They just pounded harder. She was a singer in a band or something and more than once she broke out into song outside. I always wanted to tell her to shut up but Kristin would always remind me to be nice.
Mormon Couple – These people currently live above us. I’m generalizing by calling them the Mormon Couple, but it’s what I know so it’s what I go with. They just have that pious, religious feel to them. And they’re quiet…not that being quiet has anything to do with being Mormon, but you know what I mean.
Speed Racer – The first time I ever saw Speed Racer was when he came whipping into the parking lot, revved up his engine, and peeled into a spot in one fail swoop. I was amazed and thought “wow, that person must be in a hurry!” But no. He sauntered out of his car and up to the door. Over time we came to realize he just like peeling into the parking lot with his souped-up Dodge Neon.
Pimp – Pimp drives a nice cream-colored Mercedes. He’s still a mystery to us. Not sure why he’s living in a place like this if he can afford a car like that. Maybe he lives in a place like this so he can afford a car like that.
And that’s that! Exciting times here at Como Park Apartments! As I’ve been typing this I’ve realized we sound like freaks…like we’re out there poking our head in people’s windows and watching every move they make. Let me just say that we’re not like that at all…it’s just after living in a place for three years you get to know the people around you and their routines. They probably all have names for us (mine might be computer girl, for example, because our computer desk is right by the living room window that faces the parking lot and I’m on it a lot in the evenings).
I’m looking forward to moving to a building chuck full of old people…maybe a little less drama with the older crowd. But I will miss the cultural mix of people we’ve grown to love, hate, fear, and cherish here! :)
Monday, July 2, 2007
I currently use TCF and Kristin uses Wells Fargo. We've been talking about getting a joint account for awhile and decided to go with Wells Fargo since I've had several issues with TCF and their ever-changing weird fee policies over the past few years - honestly. If you ever are thinking of signing up with them talk to me first!
So we went to the bank and sat down with Eric. Nice fellow. He had us rocking with a joint account in no time. He was even kind enough to direct me to their drinking fountain that was so close to the floor I couldn't even get to the water by bending over...I would have had to kneel on the floor to drink out of it (I decided quenching my thirst wasn't worth that humiliation).
Anyway, so we got the new account set up and new checks ordered - even made a nice deposit in it thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Moe.
Just one thing left to say - Sorry, Kristin...no going back now!