Archive for July, 2009

Apartment Hunting

Posted in Home Sweet Home, life experiences, Michigan with tags , , , on Friday, July 10, 2009 by dragonsvamp

In about a month, my sister will be moving in with me. This not only means that I will have to change my life around so that we can become roommates. I’ve had two years of living on my own, so you bet it’s going to be tough getting used to having another person in the house, having another person to take into consideration, having another person to compromise with, having another person to talk to, to laugh with, to go shopping and out to movies with.

It’s a great feeling and a very unwelcome one at the same time. One moment I’m thrilled to have my sister come live with me and the other moment I dread it. It’s odd being able to feel two extremes concerning the same thing. But in the end it’ll be a novel experience that will hopefully have more ups then downs.

Now for me and my sister to get comfortable, I need to decide whether we can bear living in a one bedroom apartment for a few months before moving or if I should move into a two bedroom apartment right around the time she moves in.

As everything, there are pros and cons to both points. Let’s look at the pros of staying in the one bedroom apartment for a few months before moving out:

1. Save money: I’d be able to afford the apartment without any strains on my fincances and without the need to make my sister help me out with rent just yet. This will help her get situated and get a job before having to stress about that. I had that help the first couple of months I was on my own and I’d love to provide that help to her as she gets accustomed to living on her own as well.

2. Less pressure: Since I know that I didn’t get as big a raise for this coming year as I did for last year, I’m going to have a little more pressure on myself if I move into a bigger apartment. Waiting a few months before moving, will definitely lessen the stress on me and being able to afford the things I’m used to without having to (going on to #3) cut back.

3. Not having to cut back: To be honest, I’ve gotten accustomed to a lifestyle that will probably need to see some cutbacks if I decide to move into a bigger apartment. Now this isn’t the case if my sister gets a job right away but I’m not betting on that nor am I taking it into consideration. Like I said above, I want to be able to help her out as I was helped out. It means a lot to me the amount of help and support I had when I moved out on my own and I want to do that for my sister.

Now the pros for moving into a bigger place:

1. Space: Having enough space for both of us to feel comfortable, is vital if we’re going to be able to get along. Living in a one bedroom apartment (even though my sister is willing to sleep on the couch for a little while) is just not enough for us. I’ve gotten used to having a whole apartment to myself, and I’m sure she doesn’t want to end up in a similar situation that she came from. Growing up we always had two kids a room- I know I can’t do that anymore and I’m sure she needs her own private space to call hers. A two bedroom would be perfect for us.

2. Comfort and Convenience: The area I live in right now is not a place I feel really comfortable in. It’s pretty safe but it just doesn’t feel homey or as homey as I’d like it to be. I have to make a couple of sacrifices living in my apartment. The first is not having my own washer and dryer. I don’t want to have to deal with that anymore than I have to and it’s just going to be so inconvenient having to carry twice the amount of laundry around to get it done. Moving into another apartment lets me put the criteria of having hookups for a washer and dryer and it’s easier to find in larger apartments. The second is being more comfortable in the apartment I’m living in. I only really moved into the apartment I live in right now because it was the cheapest thing out there. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a decent apartment, but it’s not anywhere near ‘home’. I moved in with the mindset that I wouldn’t be staying for long.

3. Pets: I’m the kind of person who loves animals. I need pets. I already found two cats that I want and that are on hold for me (in case I decide to move) and the place I live in right now doesn’t allow any pets. A bigger apartment will be great for having pets. I also want to get a pet snake- and that’s something I’d be able to get if I moved out.

Those are the three top pros of staying or moving and I really needed to just write it all out (and talk to a couple people) to realize that the pros of moving have a more impact on me than the pros of staying where I am for a little longer. In the end, I’ll be moving anyways so why not decide to now?

Also, I’ve already seen a two bedroom condo that is owned by my hair dresser and oh my God. It’s perfect for what I want. It’s 15 minutes away from work and from the University. It’s got two floors and a great amount of space that would be perfect for me and my sister and our pets. I love the condo, the location, and the person who owns it. And writing all this out has helped me realize that in the end it’s a really good deal. Last month while I was getting my hair cut, we talked about my sister moving in with me and having my hair dresser’s tenants leaving. She told me how much she’d be asking for her place and when I got to see the apartment she offered it for a little cheaper, I would hope because she feels really comfortable with me moving in.

I know for a fact it’s not because she won’t find tenants for her asking price (which is relatively low for a place like that) because there’s always people who want to rent and I doubt she’d have a hard time finding someone to pay the price she’s asking for it.

I need to let her know my decision tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll be making the right choice after sleeping on it.

Wish me luck!

Norway

Posted in Travel with tags , , , on Saturday, July 4, 2009 by dragonsvamp

It’s hard to believe that my stay in Oslo, Norway is nearing it’s end. I’ve been here for almost 20 days and will be leaving soon. I remember buying the plane tickets back in April and so there was plenty of time for this to build up in my mind. Surprisingly, I was ready and packed with my apartment, for the most part, clean and ready to be ‘boarded up’ for three weeks (which is actually not how I usually go about things) days before my flight was scheduled to leave.

Vigeland Paark

Vigeland Park

Oslo Norway

Oslo Norway

It was somewhat worrisome knowing that just a few weeks before a plane holding more than 300 people on it’s way to France crashed into the sea leaving no survivors. But I kept this in the back of my mind. I had more important things to worry about like my luggage being too heavy or getting lost, like making sure last minute things were done before I left and like finding a gift for the friend whose going to be ‘taking care’ of me during my stay in Norway.

Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park

The Royal Palace in Oslo

The Royal Palace in Oslo

I’m really glad I overcame my inhibitions and went on this vacation. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I got the opportunity to go and see places and never would have seen like the Royal Palace, Vigeland Park, the Edward Munch Museum and Stockholm Sweden. I got to see The Scream by Edward Munch in person. I got a chance to buy reprints of two of his artwork that I fell in love with. Vigeland Park is a sight. It’s beautiful and huge and full of naked statues in varying stages of the human life cycle with more than one fountain.

Gay Pride Parade

Gay Pride Parade in Oslo

Munch Museum

Munch Museum

I got to even see my friend get his very first tattoo and I myself added an extra piercing to my collection. I even got to see Gay Pride being celebrated in the streets of Oslo as the Gay Pride Parade ended the week long event.

Prison Wall in Oslo

Prison Wall in Oslo

View from Fort of Akershus Oslo

View from Fort of Akershus Oslo

Church at Fort of Akershus

Church at Fort of Akershus

Apart from my friend being extremely sick on our two day trip in Sweden (which limited what we got to see) I had a blast there and saw what a beautiful sprawling city Stockholm is. Too bad they wouldn’t let me take pictures when I toured the Palace in Stockholm. It was phenomenal. The city had all it’s beautiful old architecture surrounded by the bustling more advanced buildings and public transportation.

View from Royal Palace in Stockholm

View from Royal Palace in Stockholm

Royal Palace in Stockholm

Royal Palace in Stockholm

Stockholm

Stockholm

The bus ride to and back from Stockholm lasted over 7 hours and it was mind numbing how gorgeous the scenery was. The only thing that caused a bit of difficulty during my stay was the weather. I had kept track of the pattern of the weather in Oslo and for the most part it was nice cool-ish weather. The day I arrived in Oslo was really nice, the next day it rained, the third it was nice and then after that it became progressively warmer and warmer until a pretty permanent and unusual heat wave hit. It’s been almost unbearably hot since about my fourth day here.

Bus Ride

Bus Ride back to Oslo

Though I had a great time and love Oslo and Stockholm, I’m ready to go home. I’m ready to go back to my life (maybe not refreshed and well rested but at least ready to face it) and get back to reality (as I know it).  Three weeks is a long time to be away from home and- don’t get me wrong I love it here- I do miss my ‘normal’ life.

Love and Pain (later renamed The Vampire)

Love and Pain (later renamed The Vampire)

Kloudes

Kloudes

And though I’m ready to go home I’m already mapping out my next ‘big’ trip. I want to go to so many places and I realized that if I don’t take advantage of going to them while I can then I may never get the chance to later.