Sunday, May 28, 2006

Moving Out

It’s that time of year again. When we devote several days and countless hours of driving, packing, and cleaning all in the hopes of vacating before the 31st of May. The house on Lindig has been one of the best places my roommates and I have ever lived and really a steal. 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms all for $1600/month, not bad when we were living in 808 Berry Place in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment for almost $1805/month. At Lindig, everyone had their own bedroom and only Kevin and Pete had to share a bathroom, while Frank and I enjoyed having our own bathrooms.
It’s now Sunday before Memorial Day, and we have until Wednesday the 31st to be completely moved out. Frank and I got a majority of our things moved out the week before and the early part of this weekend. All that remains for us is packing up some of the food that belongs to us, general picking up and packing up, and then cleaning the rest of the house in the form of dusting, vacuuming, and shampooing of carpets.
Things I am going to miss about Lindig:
• My bedroom The Cave: I really did luck out when it came to drawing rooms for the new place. This room was huge just slightly bigger than the master bedroom. The room allowed me to have a lot of stuff in their such as my desk, bookshelves, a chair for reading in, and a lot of storage space for clothes, shoes, and such. The room also acted like a hideout, if I didn’t like what was going on in the house I could go to my cave and lock the door, didn’t have to worry about sharing it with anyone else or have arguments on “who got the room” that night.
• The Bathroom. One gets used to having his own bathroom fairly quickly. Even though this bathroom was by no means extravagant, it was incredibly efficient and practical. Plus the water pressure and temperature was far superior to that of 808 Berry Place.
• The Location. The house on Lindig couldn’t have been a better location for the price that we paid. Located right off of Larpanteur Avenue with access to both 35W, and I-94, as well as being in walking distance of the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota.
• The roommates. This was my second round of living with Frank, Kevin, and Pete all of whom I had lived with at 808 Berry Place my sophomore year of college at the U of M. Kevin I will miss for his humor, his love of all things military science fiction including anything involving Warhammer be it 40K or the regular one, and his love of all things culinary. The trip to Kevin’s “cabin” (cough cough second home) was a really good time and would be great to visit once again. Pete I’ll miss for helping me with taking care of the lawn, introducing me to Dino’s Gyros, LAN parties consisting of DOTA and Unreal Tournament 2004, plus watching great shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Family Guy, Robot Chicken, the list goes on of shows that Pete had shared on his computer. I wish Pete the best of luck in his new house and I hope Pete and Tanya’s relationship continues to grow stronger and closer (they are cute together and make a great couple). Frank is moving home to BP same as I am, until his condo in Golden Valley is done in winter of 2006.
Things I am not going to miss at all!!!
• The Yard: As I have mentioned in several other blog posts, this yard was tough as nails to maintain and mow. There were several large stumps that were hidden throughout the property and that you had to watch out for or they would really damage your lawn mower. Also, the yard was far to shady for sod and instead consisted of patchy grass, mixed with weeds and other foliage including Burning Weed which we had a patch of in the front yard. Mowing at Lindig (for those that did it the most, Pete and I) made mowing at the house in BP and the Cabin, like a walk in the park.
• The Voles/Rodents: I think almost everyone heard the tail of the voles chewing through my screens and me taking on the task of exterminating them. (See old blog posts).
Bickering amongst roommates: be it about chores, expenses, or problems between roommates and roommates’ girlfriends even though few and far between I am done dealing with all of these potential problems.

Thank you 1715 Lindig, we’ve enjoyed living with you, you were a vast improvement over our last place of residence and so far much easier to move out of and so far clean. We’ve only shampooed one section of carpet in the basement so far and successfully moved out a large amount of food from the freezer, refrigerator, and the pantry. Still have a few more things to pack up and a little more cleaning to do. 3 days left to go. But thanks to the efforts of Frank, my Mom Cathy, and myself we are much closer and should hopefully be done by Monday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

So Much For Yard Work

What a day, what a day. The KU and I woke up around 10-10:30 this morning after recovering from the weekend at the cabin. We made some waffles and went over some of the ads from the weekend. Last night we rented some flicks from the Blockbuster in Roseville including The Dying Gaul and Ellie Parker. Both of these films were independents that KU and I saw trailers for and wanted to see but never got around to.
The Dying Gaul was an interesting film involving love, bisexual love, betrayal, deception, and a boatload of other messed up things for a film way more explicitly graphic than the Brokeback Boys of Ledger and Gyllenhaal.
We watched Ellie Parker this morning, a crazy film starring Naomi Watts as a girl trying to make it on the mean streets of Hollywood Los Angeles as an actress going from one crazy audition to another. Afterwards, Kristen and I went on a bike ride to Como Park and took a lap around the lake. When we got back, the two of us made some sandwiches and ate some toll house crackers along with lots and lots of water from the Nalgene Bottles.
Fearing that the weather would turn for the worst after our ride, I decided it would be good to mow the lawn before it got any longer and more uncontrollable. Kristen offered to help me outside by picking up twigs and branches from the trees in the yard while I mowed. We went through the backdoor from the garage and retrieved the lawn mower. I moved to the front yard to start mowing and Kristen began working on the back and front yard. I forgot to pen the garage door, but didn’t worry about it until I noticed Kristen trying to get in the house through the front door and the back door again. Turns out, in our rush to do good and take care of the lawn, we locked ourselves out of the house.
Kristen and I tried everything to get back in the house. From jiggling and attempting to pick locks in some of the doors, and scrambling for other possibilities. Then an idea occurred to the two of us, go through the one of the windows. We attempted to pull out the screen in the dining room, but had a little trouble. Having hit a block, I suggested we rip out the already damaged screen in my bedroom that the voles had chewed 8 to 10 holes in. We did our best, but couldn’t get the window open from the outside.
We went back to the window in the dining room. Using the other blade from the lawn mower in the shed, we slashed the screen, and I was able to boost Kristen through the window and into the house. Kristen quickly unlocked the front door and opened the garage door.
One of the things I learned from this encounter, is that I quickly lose my temper when I feel that I have no options left. I made the mistake of blaming Kristen for locking us out of the house, when it was nobody’s fault. If it was anyone’s fault, it was mine. The backdoor closed behind me and I had forgotten to unlock it and open the garage door before we started mowing. Afterwards, Kristen brought to my attention how easy it is to break into a house like this, and when we told Frank what had happened he mentioned the same thing and how none of the neighbors called the police or even saw what happened.
With the house unlocked and open once again, I returned to mowing and Kristen did some work inside. The backyard was a nightmare, nothing but weeds, old tree stumps, branches, and tree roots all getting in the way of my lawn mower. The problem with the backyard is that there is far too much shade for good sod to grow. Suburban grass needs lots of sunlight to do well, and there are too many trees in our backyard. If a couple were removed, I think the yard would be a lot easier to maintain. However, it is not my place as a renter to make major landscape changes in a yard we only have to mow.

Some excitement for a change, now it is time for The Sopranos marathon of Season 3.

Until next time,


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hurray For Cabins

Woke up this morning, had myself some bacon… I know it doesn’t sound as good as The Sopranos, but it works for this post. Kristen and I got up this morning at around 10:30 and were greeted by coffee with crème-brullet coffee mate, pancakes and bacon, and the smell of warm maple syrup.
After breakfast, the four of us got dressed and spent most of the morning getting the dock in the lake through levering and adjusting cement blocks left and right. We also brought the boatlift down and got it ready to be put in as well. Afterwards, we enjoyed some Ham and Swiss sandwiches along with some apples and Pringles. Having refueled, all of us settled into some reading and light napping. Kristen and I attempted to catch some shuteye on the couch; however, Kristen started making odd noises and woke everyone up.
The three of us, Kristen, myself, and Frank Sr., fresh from our nap started preparing to put the boatlift in. We inflated the tubes and with some levering and pulling, donning some chest weightiers and successfully got the boatlift in place.
Afterwards, all of us enjoyed some baked chicken and rice prepared by my Mom. Then Kristen and I set out to rebuild our fire bit that had been eroded when the ice moved out in the spring. Many of the rocks that formed the fire pit had sunk into the beach and some had to be dug out before they could be moved. It took some time, however the move should help give us some more beach and worry less about rebuilding each spring. Overtime the rocks will sink and through fires a nice layer of ash will build up for a flat surface for coals. I got my Minnesota sweatshirt all dirty in the process; thankfully Dave Adam’s wife Pat let me use their washing machine and cleaned my Minnesota sweatshirt. Their daughter Chrissie, who went to Madison, dropped it off later in the evening joking that she felt unclean touching it.
The rest of the evening was spent making popcorn, watching an old episode of the new season of Dr. Who on Sci-Fi, and watching the last few episodes of Season 1 of The Sopranos.
Tomorrow the plan is for Kristen and I to get fishing licenses and to try our luck on Tuluby. Hopefully we can build a fire in the new pit to break it in a little bit and use some of the wood that my folks harvested from behind the garage last fall.
Monday, we are heading back to the Twin Cities. Hopefully, Kristen and I can catch some flicks, do some packing and moving, and then attend Kristen’s brother’s prom on Saturday evening.

Hopefully we’ll be able to spend a lot of time at the cabin this summer and get plenty of projects completed as well as host the annual Frank and Ta’s cabin party sometime in July. In the meantime, I have a lot of planning to do in preparation for Norway and next year.

Until next time,


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

3 Finals Down One More To Go Then…Cabin Time!!

Monday, the first final was submitted for PA 5221 in the form of our final development project. Nick and I chose the Bunge Grain Elevator next to Van Cleve Park in the Southeast Como neighborhood of Minneapolis. The site is currently under consideration for redevelopment by Project for Pride and Living (PPL) and Urban Works Architecture with over 150 units of housing. Our project was only able to create about 49 units of housing on the site, however, the project showed the difficulty and high stress of real estate projects. I had several sites in mind before we settled on the Bunge project, including a commercial property on the corner of Larpanteur and Lindig that could be better used as a 3 to 4-story rental property for students with classes on the St. Paul campus and to increase the amount of rental properties to offset the over investment in condos. Rental properties have their place and uses in society, renting although not a long-term benefit can have benefits for the short term.

Tuesday involved a final in Understanding the Urban Environment from 8:00 till 10:00 AM that went fairly well and spent the rest of the day resting. Today then consisted of a final quiz in comm 3431 Persuasion Theory and working on the take-home final for John Adam’s American Cities II class. I think of all my classes at the University, I was the most disappointed with Adam’s class. While he has done great things for the Urban Studies and Geography departments of the University and for the state of Minnesota, there was nothing ground breaking about his class. For me, it was heavy repetition from Judith Martin’s Intro to Urban Studies 2 years ago. A much better transportation class was Fundamentals of Transit Planning that I took Spring Semester of 2005.

The take-home final is due Friday in the afternoon leaving me this evening and all day Thursday to finish it. Friday, my folks, Kristen and I are all heading to the Cabin for some needed rest and relaxation and to put the dock into the lake. The weather calls for rain, so hopefully we can catch up on some good movie and television watching as well as some delicious air popped popcorn from the Presto Air Popper.

Finals week is coming to an end and I hope everyone had a great semester. We’ll need to have a celebration before leaving the house of 1715 Lindig.

Until next time,