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How Home Sweet Home It Is!

homeAfter years of dealing with annoying neighbors one wall (or floor) over, lousy parking, poor management, constantly increasing rents and not being able to own a cat without a big deposit and paying ‘pet rent.’ I am finally going to take the plunge and buy a house.  I’m almost there, too:  if all goes well I’ll be a homeowner within a few weeks.

Its a big step for me and more than a little bit scary.  For better or for worse, I am setting down roots here in San Antonio.  There’s also the whole ‘what happens if I lose my job’ bit, but these days, that cloud is constantly hovering over everyone’s head, so that’s nothing new.  Instead, I choose to focus on the Good Things associated with having my own home:

It’s my house, and if you don’t like it… – On a philosophical level, an apartment is never ‘really’ yours, and it will be nice to do whatever I want without having to ask myself whether I’ll be dinged for something when I move out.  Also, there is the whole ‘investment’ angle, but I don’t care too much about that.  In my opinion, the mentality of the home one lives in being an ‘asset’ instead of a ‘home’ is partially to blame for the nutzoid homeowner’s associations I always hear about in the news.

More room! – I have always lived in one-bedroom apartments and even lived in a efficiency once when things got tight.  Unless I get a Unabomber special (i.e. an isolated shack)  I’ll be getting a 2-bedroom house at the bare minimum and it will more than likely have a garage, too.  That’s going to be a LOT of extra space that I’m not sure I know what to do with.  I might rent out the extra room and I hear garages are great places to store things.  I’m also looking forward to hosting parties again, it has been way too long since I’ve hosted a Super Bowl or New Year’s Eve gathering.

Do What I Want – One of the crappier parts of living in apartments is you have to be careful with your noise level lest you arouse the ire of your neighbors.  While I am not a very noisy person, I do like to turn up the sound when I play video games and movies and have occasionally been ‘that guy’ that has had his stereo or surround sound system up too loud.  Conversely, I have also had to bang on a few doors and tell neighbors to tone it down.

WOW a Garage! – My parent’s house does not have a garage and so I have never had the pleasure of having one.  Based on what I have seen from friends, I understand it is a storage space.  I might go nuts and actually keep my vehicle in mine.

KITTEH! – I have wanted to have a cat for some time, but as I mentioned in the intro, certain things about apartments have kept me from getting one.  I can now acquire a cat and hug him and pet him and hold him and call him George. 🙂

Good Old Gas – My parents have a gas stove, and it is awesome.  I have not lived in a place that has had a gas stove since I moved out, and cooking food has royally sucked since.  One of my requirements for a home is that it have a gas connection so that I can once again experience the joy of heating up tortillas and hot dogs the way God intended.

House Party – When I had a bigger apartment a few years ago, I loved having friends over for games and even Super Bowl and New Year’s parties or two.  It won’t be too long before I’ll be hosting get-togethers and this time we can crank up the tunes! 😀

Buying a house is big and scary and fraught with pitfalls, but I’ll take the hits as they come and look forward to the good things that come with owning a home, like freshly-warmed tortillas!

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Miss-Organized

One of my (many) quirks is that I try to leave things in the same location so that I can easily find them. My keys are always in the same place on top of the small bookshelf in my room, the remote controls are always on top of the coffee table, and the diet soda is always on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred this works very well. However, there is that one time every so often where I put something in a DIFFERENT place and it completely blows my mind. I once misplaced my cell phone and spent a good half-hour searching for it before I noticed it sitting on top of the television…in the living room…its also a larger phone so I definitely should have noticed it earlier.

I decide to bake some oatmeal-raisin cookies out of the misguided notion that they are somehow not AS bad for me as store-bought (but hey, who knows, maybe they are, right? RIGHT??). After washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen, I check my ingredients; flour, sugar, oatmeal, yadda, yadda, yadda. I appear to have enough of everything but a quick peek in the refrigerator reveals there is no butter! Crap. So off to the store I go for a box of butter.

Much to my disappointment, the HEB is completely OUT of unsalted butter. I am left scratching my head searching for some logical reason everyone should be baking today. I suppose everyone else who had today off in observance of Martin Luther King Day got the urge to do some baking. I’ve never used salted butter before, and for fear of tampering with my recipe, I decide to punt and use margarine. I guess its not really ‘punting’ though; Blue Bonnet did the job just as well before I started making fat cash and started using the Good Stuff.

I pick up a few other things I need and go home to fire up the oven and get to work. All goes well until I notice that burnt-cookie smell. It turns out the oven was set too high: 400 degrees instead of 350. Well, nuts. Fortunately, the cookies aren’t set-the-smoke-alarm-off burnt, the raisins on the bottom just got a little crispy. They are certainly edible, but as I do not wish to sully my reputation as a baker, those will not be leaving the apartment.

I turn down the oven and the second batch comes out perfect. I clean up the kitchen and go to the refrigerator to grab a soda. I had placed the now half-empty box of margarine on the bottom shelf and think to myself: “That should really be on the top shelf.” I move the margarine to its proper place and find a FULL box of margarine sitting on the top shelf.

Cookie, anyone?

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