In a vacation state of mind

Flowers in the backyard

Tomorrow’s my last day before the 2-week vacation (my first part of vacation — I have 2 weeks left after that). As usual, I’m worried that I haven’t shared enough information with my project manager back-up — or the tech people for that matter. Oh well, I have a few must-do things tomorrow, including a work-related phone call I must make. I’ve been postponing it for eternity because I don’t like official phone calls.

I did make an official phone call quite easily yesterday: I was inquiring about an apartment I heard about through the grapevine but, alas, it had been reserved when I called. Too bad; it would’ve been at an excellent location. The thought of reserving it, though, made me want to get an own apartment — desperately. I’ll have to go to the bank some day to make plans and hear what sort of price range I could consider.


Suddenly I’ve started to look for apartments for real. I made an appointment at my bank for Monday and then I’ll find out what sort of money I can plan on putting into an apartment. On Sunday we’re going to 4-5 showings (whatever it’s called — open house) and 4 more on Monday.

I have started a list of the things I need. And now I know some requirements for the apartment too: two rooms + kitchen and bathroom, preferably a balcony with “window glasses” (although a balcony will make it easier for my parents to smoke when they’re visiting…), storage space in the apartment (lots of old apartments have walk-in closets), no bathtub (takes unnecessarily much space)…

First I started looking for apartments nearby but Dad suggested the area where we used to live years ago. Not because he wants me far away (I hope so) but because it’s a nice area and it would make commuting easier. The apartments are also cheaper there. Still, I’m worried about “shunning my responsibilities” if I move too far away: I wouldn’t be able to help with the dog.

I’m going to buy an apartment instead of renting. Furthermore, I’m getting a two-room apartment instead of a studio because I see studios as temporary abodes — I want a Home. With a capital H. Also, there’s something about having all rooms in a single space that bothers me.

[Edit: June 17] Dad told me that it is actually forbidden in many places to smoke on the balcony nowadays. Therefore people have to smoke either inside their apartments or in the yard. Two of the buildings we went to see today smelled awfully of tobacco… Anyway, if I had a balcony, my parents would have to go outside to smoke because I would definitely forbid smoking inside. [/Edit]

Smoking us out

For quite a while now my university email has been hit by numerous spam emails every day. I don’t quite understand how spammers have got my email address because it hasn’t been on any open websites (only unlinked assignment pages).

Maybe this is a new way of smoking out the old students! Along with load of Bologna, the study time has been restricted. However, us old students can study for a while longer — uncontrollably (I suppose there are 10-year checks or something). So now they’ve decided to spam us, hoping we would get fed up with it and hurry up with our degrees.

Ha, I’m onto you!

– – –

But of course, there are several mailing lists at the university so most likely one or more of them have been compromised. goes mobile

Well, only in part. I often find myself scratching my head when shopping: I stand in front of a bookshelf or a DVD shelf and can’t for the life of me remember if I’ve bought a specific book or a specific movie.

B.N. (Before N73) I used to carry a small note where I’d listed all the King books I have and, more recently, all King movies I have. Nowadays it’s easier for me to remember which King books I don’t have (that is, only Cycle of the Werewolf and any recently released — currently Blaze), so the book list is pretty much unnecessary. I haven’t listed other books I have because books are things I remember more easily. A.N. (Anno N73) I’ve surfed to my Stephen King site, to the Bookshelf page and waited, waited, waited for the pretty pictures to load. I don’t have to worry about moving too many bits because I’ve never come close to the 25 Mb per month I pay for, but it’s the wait that bothers me.

My “Achilles heel” in the remembering department are movies. Although my movie collection is small by movie-buff standards, I often buy a DVD and put it on the shelf without watching it right away. I also record quite a bit from TV. And I don’t usually have my sister with me (she remembers my movie purchases better because she usually watches all additions as soon as I bring them home; movie-deprived, that one).

Therefore, I decided to create a mobile-friendly version of my movie and King book collections. Possibly in the future I’ll make the different pages modular so I only have to update one or two files but for now the mobi site is plain and simple HTML. I set the font size to 60% so that I don’t have to zoom out on the phone. (I view pages at 50% zoom.)

Without further ado, I present: Pretty much for my viewing pleasure only. The movie collection isn’t complete because I haven’t listed all my VHSs (bought and taped) or all movies I’ve recorded from TV.

Here’s a snapshot of it on my mobile:
all things me gone mobile

One giant leap for me

Well, what do you know. The apartment I tried to reserve suddenly became available. They called me today because I had left my contact information. And you know what? I’m going to reserve it. I tried to call today soon after 4 pm but the office was closed for the Midsummer (public holidays). I was asked to call back on Monday, so I’ll call then. Damn if they get someone else to reserve it before me. They did say that I should call on Monday and only then they’d call other people if I didn’t want the place. I shouldn’t get too excited though because every time I do, it all goes down the drain.

Nevertheless, how exciting! I’d get to pick out materials and colours for my new apartment. The building will be finished in the first quarter of 2008.

Soon-to-be home owner

I just called the seller and reserved the 52.5 m2 apartment for myself.

(I tried to find an appropriate, nutty, gif animation to insert here but I couldn’t find one. I’m seeing little Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone waving his hands around and screaming. Try and imagine something like that, please.)

I went to see the place on Friday and it’s such a great location! There are lots of trees and a grocery store is nearby. I was a bit worried because it’s on the 1st floor (that is, ground level) and I have a balcony, but it isn’t too low after all.

And it’s new! No one else’s gunk (filth) in the sink, shower, or toilet — or anywhere! (Except the builders’…)

I have no idea what happens next. The seller is mailing me some more information and then I should go to my bank (again…) now that I mean business unlike last time.

My home-to-be

Here it is! (I cleaned it up a bit — there were dotted lines everywhere.)

The apartment

The balcony is quite big… I measured it at about 2.5m × 3.5m. I’m not sure what all those dotted lines mean in place of closets etc. — I’ll find out when it’s almost finished, I guess.

Necessity is the mother of interior decoration

Last night I thought about trying to do “against my nature”: not have the apartment completely furnished the day I move in, or even the next day. I’d like to move in with just the bare necessities and then add as I notice I need or, more likely, miss having something around (be it coffee or hooks for the bathroom). Just because something has been a certain way at home doesn’t mean it has to be like that at my home.

The other day as I was listing things I should get at one point or another, I thought of a stand or a wall holder for the roll of kitchen towels — that’s what we’ve always had at home. Then I thought, why do I need one? Paper rolls tend to stand on their own.

Why get all kinds of pots and pans if I’m never going to use them? Of course, if the guests are due in an hour, it may not be the best time to go shopping for a pie pan… I’d survive with just one coffee mug that I’d use for everything from orange juice to coffee and wash it every now and then, but I assure you, I’ll keep a few spare mugs and other tableware for guests.

(See, I’m trying to be optimistic and not think I’m going to become a hermit. :razz: )