Thursday, December 21, 2006

Relocation Day Two

So I woke up a little late, of course with the time difference, I was right on time ;-). I drove from my hotel in Glenview to Evanston, my future home. I had done some research the night before on parking, registration, and driver's licenses. Now aware of all the rules, I parked in front of my building and walked the block and a half to the "L," hopped on the purple line, transferred to red, then to brown. I got off and walked 12 blocks (1.5 miles) to the Wirtz Realty Company and the leasing office. I sat down, spent all of three minutes signing paperwork, got my key release so my super can hand me those, off onto Belmont street I went.

I got on the bus and rode through Lincoln Park (the 151 Manders, we spent most of our trip here on that bus) and got off and the top of the "Magnificent Mile." I got a hot dog from a street vendor, just chilli though, I was not willing to spend the points on some cheese. I called Amanda, walked into a few stores, being that I paid a deposit on the apartment, first month's rent, AND my mortgage this month, money is, shall we say, a bit tight, so I did not feel much like shopping. My house is supposed to close on Friday and I can loosen the purse strings enough to buy a few presents, maybe even make a car payment! The store fronts were quite well decorated and were fun to look at. I strolled down the Mile to the Loop, where I caught the Brown line train back up to the Red, to the Purple, and off at my South Blvd. stop back to the building. I met with my super, walked around my apartment a little bit, imagined the furniture placement.

I headed back to the hotel at about 4:30, I didn't feel like dealing with rush hour, traffic was a little heavy. It seems that as long as you avoid highways, you are in good shapes when you are in and around the "close-in 'burbs." Most of the people who live way out there are the ones who clog the interstates.

As I headed downstairs after a swim and a shower, I went downstairs and was headed for dinner, while checking my e-mail I smelled italian food, I was right. It turns out that this hotel serves a free dinner, tonight was meatball subs with some chips. Best of all, free Miller Lite on tap. Needless to say with free beer, I blew a few of my weekly points allowance.

Watched a Duke game... went to bed.

Relocation Day Three

So woke up way too late, even on central time. Who cares though, I am just time and learning my way around this place until the moving guys show up. I feel like a homeless vagabond with no ties to anywhere. I decided I wanted to check out the hub store in Schaumburg, IL.

I was not aware of how far this place was. One thing I learned about the difference of sprawl of 1.2 million people (Charlotte) and 8.4 million people (Chicago) is that when you drive 20 miles away in most directions from Charlotte, you will find a farm or a forrest. When you drive 20 miles from Chicago, you will find Charlotte. Schaumburg is the largest of the Chicago suburbs and our store there is huge. It is a very nice looking red and tan brick building, hardly looks like a Carmax at all. The front lot is roughly the same size as our Independence store. As I was checking out the local Wendy's, Mitch the van driver called.

Mitch said that he would be there in a couple hours to drop my stuff off. I got to the apartment around 3 and called him, he said he was about 3-4 hours away (to me, that is more than a "couple") so I went back to the hotel. I chilled for a few hours and decided that before rush hour hit, I would go to Evanston and see what local eatery I would like to sample.

I tried the local greek place, the food sucked but I think I didn't really order something I would have likes, so I am willing to give it another shot. I of course saw a place as I was walking down Main Street that was right up my alley, so I know where I am going to eat tomorrow. I went to the local coffee shop, bypassing the Starbucks on the way, I want to keep my money in the community when I can, a little lesson Aunt Annie always taught us. She eats at the Red Lion in Elizabeth not because the food is so great, but because there are jobs attached to that place and Elizabeth needs all the help it can get. I went back to the apartment and waited, and waited...

I met one of my neighbors while I was knocking on doors to pre-apologize for the impending noise. His name is Robert, his wife was out of town visiting relatives and he works in sales for some kind of medical supplier. He and I chatted about the area and what drew each of us to the Evanston area. Everyone I have met so far has applauded me for our choice and been nothing but positive about the community.

Finally our stuff arrived, about 5 of 8. Unlike the loading process, I had to help. There were too many steps. The alley behind my building made my apartment pretty accessable but the stairs were very steep, they would not pass any building codes today, my guess is that they are "grandfathered" in because of the building's age. Some of the bigger stuff, like the headboard, dressers, and my desk had to be hauled in the front door and brought up those steps. So now all the crap is piled high in the living room.

Agenda for tomorrow, 1, meet my new boss and my new boss' boss, 2, unpack some stuff if I can and sort through some crap, try to figure out where to put things.

Friday.... shopping day!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Relocation Day One

So I thought I would tell you what it is like on a relocation journey. %0D%0A%0D%0ADisclaimer%3A+The+long-term+hotel+I+am+in+has+free+beer+on+tap...+thus+the+following+does+not+nessicarily+contain+the+truth+or+objective+views.%0D%0A%0D%0AWell%2C+that+being+said%2C+this+could+be+worse.++%0D%0A%0D%0ADay+1%3A%0D%0A%0D%0AJon+wakes+up+at+Amanda+%26+Marlies%27+apartment+around+the+ +of+nine.++%28discontinue+third+person+here%29++I+am+a+little+hoarse+from+screaming+at+the+top+of+my+lungs+the+night+before%2C+the+Barenaked+Ladies+put+on+a+Holiday+concert+which+included+the+soon-to-be+classic+Christmas+ad-lib+%22Canadian+Jesus.%22++I+clear+my+throat+and+drink+a+Diet+Pepsi%2C+wondering+how+I+will+get+the+day+done.++This+is+the+first+day+of+this+journey+where+I+was+genuinly+scared.++I+drove+from+Stonecrest+to+my+mom%27s+and+was+perplexed+by+the+chain+of+events+that+lead+to+my+Chicago+relocation.++I+don%27t+know+what+I+am+scared+of+and+I+must+admit+that+as+I+write+this+the+feeling+has+subsided.++I+stoped+by+the+credit+union+to+pick+up+some+travel+cash+and+went+to+my+mom%27s.%0D%0A%0D%0AI+got+to+spend+some+time+hanging+with+my+mom%2C+she+made+me+scrambled+eggs+as+we+chatted+about+stuff.++She+did+a+couple+loads+of+MY+laundry+%28old+school+yo%21%29+while+I+showered+and+got+ready+for+my+flight.++Everything+that+I+own+that+isn%27t+currently+on+an+Atlas+Van+Lines+truck+is+now+in+the+back+of+the+1989+Chevy+S-10+that+I+spent+the+first+3+years+of+my+driving+life+in.++All+my+stuff+is+sitting+in+the+garage+waiting+for+my+to+load+into+my+4Runner+and+drive+out+of+Charlotte%2C+the+next+time+I+come+back+it+will+no+longer+be+home%2C+I+will+be+visiting.++%0D%0A%0D%0AI+got+to+the+airport+and+of+course%2C+my+flight+had+been+canceled.++Shrug+Shrug%2C+I+lope+off+to+the+%22speak+to+a+human+line%22+to+await+my+destiny.++Thank+God+I+am+US+Airways+Dividend+Miles+Gold+Prefered+because+I+think+I+would+have+been+in+line+for+hours+to+be+told+I+just+missed+my+last+chance+to+get+out.++The+airport+was+full+of+soldiers+on+leave%2C+by+the+busload+they+enter+the+terminal%2C+I+thank+God+right+there+for+their+service+and+I+am+glad+I+don%27t+have+to+work+for+W+and+get+shot+at+so+his+family+can+get+richer...+I+digress.++At+first+they+tried+to+stick+me+on+a+7%3A55-9%3A30+flight%2C+uh%2C+can+you+say+unacceptable%21++Then+they+tried+to+send+me+through+Philly%2C+umm%2C+yeah%2C+see+I+want+my+luggage+to+arrive+the+same+year+that+I+do%2C+and+if+where+January+I+may+have+given+it+a+shot%2C+but+giving+Philly+only+2.5+weeks+to+deliver+my+luggage+was+just+not+enough+time.++I+opted+for+the+earlier+connect+thru+Indy+that+cost+the+airline+more+money+because+it+was+a+United+Flight...+screw+you+USeless+Airways.++%0D%0A%0D%0AArriving+at+O%27Hare+is+good+times%2C+I+get+to+the+rental+car+counter%2C+check+in%2C+go+out+to+get+my+car...+oh+wait%2C+this+isn%27t+good%2C+in+the+mid-size+department+sits+20+PT+Cruisers+and+20+HHR%27s%2C+both+of+which+are+again+unacceptable.++I+am+not+too+cool+for+these+cars+and+if+I+were+in+Charlotte%2C+I+would+not+have+a+problem+being+seen+in+them.++However%2C+I+am+in+%22Drive-It-Like-You-Stole-It%22+Chicago+where+the+speed+limit+is+merely+a+guide+as+to+how+fast+you+should+drive+with+a+flat+tire%2C+not+four+good+ones.++I+spent+20+minutes+digging+out+the+only+V6+car%2C+a+Carmax+Blue+Pontiac+G6+burried+behind+a+row+of+5+PT+Loosers.++The+lot+porters+were+not+happy+with+my+choice+and+asked+about+what+I+was+doing%2C+after+my+retort%2C+my+helpful+sympathiser+remove+the+last+PT+Cruiser+and+I+was+on+my+way.%0D%0A%0D%0AYou+must+be+thinking%2C+what+a+day...+it+aint+ % ++I+got+up+to+the+Deerfield+area+which+Amanda+and+I+were+familiar+with+a+little%2C+I+called+the+number+on+my+sheet+and+got+the+fax+machine...+uh+oh%2C+well%2C+at+least+I+have+an+address.++So+I+finally+spot+the+address+and+pull+into+the+empty+parking+lot%2C+it+is+an+office+building+for+a+company+that+sells+and+distributes+urinal+cakes%2C+or+ +pucks%2C+on+an+industrial+road.++%28Ladies%2C+ask+your+man+if+you+don%27t+know.%29++I+am+none-to-impressed+with+our+travel+department+at+this+point.++After+some+help+%28%3F%29+from+directory+assistance+I+am+lead+to+a+hotel+20+miles+from+where+I+am...+this+is+not+the+right+hotel.++The+ladies+at+the+Springhill+Marriot+are+nice+enough+to+google+my+hotel%2C+give+me+a+proper+address+and+phone+number%2C+after+missing+my+turn+once%2C+I+am+able+to+find+it%2C+check+in%2C+and+go+get+a+sub+for+dinner.%0D%0A%0D%0AIt+was+a+stressful+day+one%2C+but+after+this+my+fear+is+gone%2C+there+are+many+obstacles+you+can+throw+my+way.++Go+ahead%2C+send+them%2C+I+will+navigate+them+all+and+prevail%21+++

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Good Night & Good Luck

Okay, so I am not signing off but it will be a while before I post again. Gee, I hope I don't loose my fan base... whats that?.... you say I don't have a fan base.... well cool, no one misses out then. Anyway, I am going to be without computer for a while, but as soon as the proceeds from my house come in and the final bills are paid... iBook here I come!

Til then, Good Night & Good Luck

Friday, December 08, 2006

Relocation Update

We got the apartment! Our house is under contract and will close on December 19th.

I took our breakfront and dining room table to the storage facility today. They are both very nice pieces of furniture that are too nice to give away, and when Amanda and I finally get another house, we want to have those to move into the house.

Amanda picked up her keys to her Ballantyne Apt. We took the sleeper sofa up there, that will be her bed for the next 6 months. The house is kinda empty.

The moving van will pack and load our stuff for Chicago on the 13th... quick huh? We are not sure yet about the drop off date, I am trying to get a firm date from the driver so I know if our holiday plans will work out, sad to say, it doesn't look very good. I will be back before Christmas regardless.

I plan to work the "13th Month" (retail term for the week between xmas and new years) in Charlotte and then be permanently in Chicago at the begining of January.

WW Update

Loved ones...

Last Two Weeks: -4.6lbs
Total Weight Loss: -27lbs

I am almost at my 10% goal! I started on 9/20/06 at 280.4lbs (Holy Cow Right, no really, Holy COW{first time I have mentioned my actual weight}) and I am now at 253.4, one more # and I will be at my 10% goal. At that point I will set my overall loss goal. I am guessing somewhere around 190-200lbs for a guy my build. I have not been that light since Jr. High maybe. I am going to do it, it took 12 weeks to loose this much, I suspect it will take two years or so to loose the weight the safe, slow, and permanent way! When you see me at the wedding, I would like to be in 220-230's, a svelt looking dude!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Me Day

So after a crazy 3 week period in which our lives have been flipped upside down, I am talking a "Me Day." I am off of work, I have no appointments, no one coming to the house, no trips to plan or take... just me and my laundry. If you want to come over and hang out, welcome, if you are up to something today, give me a ring.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Evanston Sweet Home

I put in an application on a sweet vintage apartment north of Lincoln Park but south of Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois.

This house hunting trip was a little bit stressful. With the pending sale of our house here in the QC, there was not a "we'll find some place next week." Nope, we were under the gun. After some disappointing places and the realization that it is too expensive to have a car AND live downtown, we headed a little further out in the burbs, but we could not find somewhere we liked. I was actually considering paying $250 a month to park my car and suck it up. We decided to head back to the hotel to regroup (internet access) and look up some new places using good ole google. We went out to Evanston and saw two apartments, though we didn't like the apartments that were shown, we fell in love with Evanston. Everyone closed at 5pm, we left a few messages hoping that someone would call us back on Sunday, we had a 10:00 am appointment with the one person who did answer their phone.

Evanston is like a Dilworth style suburb right to the north of Chicago, the apartment we liked is two blocks from the "L" and is also about 30-45 minutes (traffic varries greatly in this 20 mile jaunt) from my new store.

So as long as everything goes well with the application, I have found me a home.

Notes From The Trip

+++Snow is very cool, especially when it doesn't melt when the sun is out

+++Even though everyone told us we wouldn't make it Friday night because of the blizard, our plane arrived early.

+++Every company outing should be direct billed, talk about no hassle.

+++Nine degrees is very cold, 22 as the high is also very cold

+++Windy city is an accurate descriptor.

+++Pontiacs have big gas tanks

+++Chicago's suburbs are like going from Mooresville to the south side of Rock Hill, then heading to Gastonia, without an interstate.

+++Roads in Chi-Town have only one name, and that is the name that road keeps until it ends. (i.e. Tyvola, Fairview, Rama, Idlewild, Seacrest Shortcut... ALL ONE ROAD)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Happy December

Hi guys, hectic life so just a little recap

Our house is officially under contract today, we actually received a verbal offer on Tuesday but it took us a coule days to work out the details. That is 7 days on the market yo!

The only bad news is that we are closing on December 19th, which means that I will be in Chicago sooner than expected. I expect to be moved up there before Christmas now. I am waiting for the details to see what will happen to Amanda and I's Pittsburgh Travel plans and when I actually will start working / living up there.

Due to the quick closing, I moved our habitat hunt up a weekend, so in 5 minutes A2 and I will be heading to the airport, as you know, there was a midwest blizzard so we might be back here in Matthews later tonight. We will be back late Sunday. If you need me or A2, I will have the trusty cell phone

Keep us, the weather, and the apartment search in your prayers please

Love, JON

p.s. A.M., we won the Mecklenburg County Parks & Rec Softball Championship, the 3rd of the last 4 for my team, and 5 in a row for our church (we have two teams)! {I know you care}