Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hurricane Ike

My first real hurricane in Houston and I am ready to throw in the towel. I'd move, but really, my friends in Ohio lost power due to Ike, so it's not like I can really escape it, ya know?

The storm was supposed to start blasting downtown around 5 or 6PM on Friday and last through the night and the next day. Tommy and I got the bright idea to go ahead and do our 15 mile run on Friday morning so we would feel okay with drinking ourselves into oblivion that evening. We ran, walked the dog a mile or two, got some doughnuts, tried to nap, packed up the house and headed to Francis' for the Hurricane Party of the century.

The party at Frank's was a blast. We ate, we drank (some would say too much) and played Rock Band. Luckily, we had the right minds to calibrate the system before we got too was magnificent. Francis has a great view of downtown from his third floor and the guys (I was totally already passed out - I didn't even brush my teeth!) watched as the power went out downtown. The storm raged through the night...but it was wierd, you couldn't really hear it downstairs. Up on the second floor though, it was really scary.

We could see that Frank's neighbors tree had crushed their garage, and narrowly missed the house. The wind was loud, the rain was sideways and we had no power. I fell down the stairs not once, but twice. The guys worked hard to fix the leaks in Franks house and we started up the generator to keep food cool.

Once the storm died down, Tommy and drove the .25 miles to our house to survey the damage. There was a lot of impassable roads, but we made it there in one piece. It turns out that our street drains pretty standing water at all. Lots of tree limbs, but no water.

Our house had no damage - the yard was pretty messed up - but no damage to the house at all. Thank goodness. Our poor neighbors, who were robbed a few weeks prior, lost their roof, so it rained in their living room for most of the storm. Pretty terrible. Giant trees blocked roadways, the water was ridiculously high in the bayous and there was a lot of really bad structural damage.

We stopped at Christian's Tailgate (a local bar in Midtown) for a drink...there was no power or water, so it was a cash bar and you needed a flash light to find the bathroom and once you finally found it, you regretted it. Lack of running water makes flushing a challenge. But once again, the party was fun. It's amazing how people can come together in times of adversity. The line for the bar was very controlled, someone pulled their car up close and turned on some music and someone brought in a BBQ pit to make food. All in all, it was good time.

Tommy and I finally decided that we would drive to Dallas to escape the blistering heat at our un-airconditioned house, so we packed up the essentials and got on the road. We made it to Dallas by midnight, where my parents let us shower and fall into bed. We were exhausted and filthy.

We spent the weekend relaxing, but had to come back on Monday for Tommy to work. The town was still in disarray and we were still without power. Luckily, we have some of the most amazing friends in the world who were willing to put us (and our giant mutt) up for a few nights - THANK YOU Thomas and Janelle. We were without power for 11 days and it was hard. Those 11 days taught me how to drink like a fish and never get hungover. How it was possible is totally beyond me. I drank more in those 11 days than I did my entire freshman year combined. I now understand (and respect) why homeless people are always wasted. You HAVE to be drunk to be okay with being homeless.

Anyways, all in all, it was hard and I don't want to do it again, but I have some great memories from the days spent at Francis' in dungeon, on the air mattress in Thomas's loft and on the couch at Janelle's house...nevermind the many afternoons spent at West Alabama Ice House. I know that living in Houston I will probably have to deal with it again, but next time I will have a house with windows that I can open, a generator and a window unit. I'll be set.

This picture is a house down the street from us. It looks very cute from the front, but you can't tell that it's been totally cut in half.

This picture was taken on Nov. 15, almost 2 months after the hurricane. The tree is STILL stuck in the house.

Same house, from the other end of the tree. Those are the roots sticking out of the ground. The tree was so big it actually hit the house next door as well, but didn't do quite as much damage.

This is of Chase Tower downtown. The roads were closed off for at least week because of all the glass surrounding the downtown buildings.

This is what our neighborhood looked like a few days after the storm. The rain had drained away, but so many roads were blocked with downed trees and power took FOREVER to get anywhere.

This is of Seaside Beach in Galveston looking out at the Causeway. As you probably guessed, this area is usually not completed submerged.

And now for the picture that everyone has seen, but you can't have a Hurricane Ike blog and not mention... I just want to say that I need to get that guy to build my next house.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The things I do to torture my pet.

This is him in his Halloween costume. Because he is so large, I just have to buy the costumes I can find in XL. Sooo, this year he was forced to go as Pocahontas. I think he likes it.

This is him in the hooded sweatshirt we got him from Old Navy. He isn't really a fan of the hood portion of the event.

This one is just funny because his head looks so giant.

Moving Day!!

On Tuesday, November 4, 2008, I officially became a homeowner.

Tommy and I purchased our first home together and man, it was a great feeling walking into that brand-new, GORGEOUS house with our bottle of champagne, knowing that it was all ours.

That is, it was great until the phone installation guy backed over a water main and shut off water to our whole block within 15 minutes of homeownership. I mean, we didn't even have a chance to toast to our new house yet!! Luckily, after a trip to Lowe's down the street, the phone guy was able to repair the water line and turn the water back on. But seriously? We had only owned the home for half an hour.

THEN...yes, there's more. It's me. Of course there is more.

Tommy went to the old house to help the movers load the truck while I stayed at home to unpack the kitchen stuff we brought over earlier. The movers showed up an hour and a half late (at 4PM instead of 2:30) and it took them FOREVER to load the truck. When they finally had everything in the truck and they were about to head to the new house, the truck broke down. Yup, that's right. The truck broke down, in the driveway of my old house, with all my belongings in it at 6:30PM. They were able to get it started again, but it broke down several more times in the 4 mile journey from old to new house. It took them an hour to drive 4 miles. They finally finished unpacking around 8:30 and we were able to unpack a little before passing out.

All in all the house is great and we are so thankful that everything has worked out thus far.

Here is a picture of Don in all my packing materials. He is clearly not enjoying this. I think the crinkling of the paper was too loud for him. (In the background you can see the floor of the living room...oooh, ahhh)

Monday, November 03, 2008


Tommy and I are attempting to buy a house. It would appear that if you are a dipshit, buying a house is easy (I'm basing this entirely on the number of foreclosures around the nation) and if you are trying to be smart, they pretty much try to stick things up your a$$ every chance they get. So, buying a house is hard and my ass hurts.

We are supposed to close tomorrow, but then again, we were supposed to close last week too, so, I'm not counting on much these days. We will see. My fingers are crossed and they have been for a looooong time.

I am really excited about moving into a house that isn't a piece of crap since that's all I've ever lived in my entire adult life. I have lived in 11 different places in the last 9 years...6 of those places have been in the last 4 years. That's just wrong.

1. August 1999-December 1999
Freshman Year
I shared a dorm room in Haas Hall with Emily. As it turns out, this was also the lesbian basketball player dorm. We were two of the few who didn't play sports and didn't prefer women. This dorm also had a very strange smell.

2. January 2000-May 2000
Freshman Year
I shared a VERY small dorm with this crazy girl named Kim. She would disappear for weeks and steal my clothes and my credit cards. She was awesome. I think she also used to hide under her bed so I wouldn't know she was there. Seriously. Creepy.

3. May 2000-August 2000
Freshman Summer
Moved back home with my parents for the summer because they wanted to torture me. Apparently I was bad enough that they requested that I never move back home. My plan was genius.

4. August 2000-August 2001
Sophomore Year
My first apartment was with Sara, Julienne and Kristin. Sara and Kristin shared a room and I had the cool converted living room so I had my own front door. I shared a bathroom with Julienne who also turned out to be a crazy girl. This place was a dump - You know a place is good when they only pictures they show is the front office...and even that is scary. I once saw a man jerking off at the swimming pool. I'm telling you, this place was disgusting. BUT, it was my first apartment. I loved it.

5. August 2001-August 2002
Junior Year
Sara and I moved to a three bedroom apartment with her friend Jessica. This was the nicest place I have ever lived, other than the corporate apartment Dow gave me when I interned. This living situation just wasn't good for reasons that I can no longer remember, but it was drama at the time.

6. August 2002-August 2004
Senior and Second Senior Years
Due to the Drama at the previous apartment, I decided to go it alone and get my own place. This place was probably the worst of all the places and I am actually quite embarressed that I spent so long in a 400sq ft one room apartment. But since I was no longer splitting rents, I had to make ends meet. The Doux Chene... Once again, you KNOW it's good when they don't actually show any pictures. I painted a wall hot pink once and was too lazy to repaint...seriosly. Surprisingly though, I was very happy here and only have good memories...despite the blue carpet and hot pink wall. The place was so small I could open the fridge from my bed. There are some very specific reasons why I gained so much wieght in college...

During my time at the Doux Chene, I relocated to Houston for an internship, but since that apartment was furnished and I didn't have to lift a couch, I don't consider it a real move. I left all my stuff at the Blue Douche for the summer and came home 3 months later.

7. May 2004-November 2004
1st Few Months Out of College
I relocated to Houston after graudation and found a lovely little one bedroom that me and my giant mutt quickly outgrew. After a few months I realized that when the SPCA said he would be 35 pounds, they really meant 70 pounds, and I was going to need a bigger place. I don't know why I am constantly drawn to ugly and gross apartments, but once again, the website doesn't actually show any pictures of the buildings.

8. November 2004-August 2005
I was able to upgrade to a 2 bedroom apartment at the same complex where the mutt and I could flourish. This apartment was ghetto, but bigger, so therefore slightly less ghetto?

9. August 2005-August 2006
Why I always insisted on moving in the hottest month of the year, I have no idea. But I was able to find a cute little one bedroom house to rent right next to Memorial Park. It was perfect for Don and I. We were able to run to the park and play and he had a yard and it was magical. That is, it was magical until my landlord broke in one day and rearranged my furniture and opened all my windows. That was pretty awesome. So, I moved out.

10. August 2006-December 2006
Natalie and I moved into a giant house together. This seemed like a great idea, but what we didn't realize was that this landlord was even creepier than my previous landlord and only rented the place to us because we were young girls. He didn't even do a credit check. Bizarre. Around December, I pretty much moved out and moved in with Tommy.

11. December 2006-August 2008
I moved into my man friends VERY small garage apartment in the Heights...which, surprisingly is one of the best living situations I have ever had. Up until our landlord got this AWFUL monster Yorkie dog. I have never wanted to kick a puppy so much in my entire life. We lived almost 2 blissful years there before we got antsy. Sharing 700 sq ft with another person and a giant dog isn't easy. Our bathroom was so small that I could sit on the toilet, rest my head on the sink and wash my feet in the tub at the same time. We didn't have heat at all and only had central AC. It didn't have much, but we loved it. We had a storage shed for all our junk and we made weekly trips there to trade out things. The good news was that we could clean the place from top to bottom in under 2 hours. Despite having been robbed while we were sleeping, we loved the neighborhood, the people, the location, pretty much everything. This is where we want to live forever. Siiiiiiiigh.

12. August 2008-November 2008
The garage apartment just got too small and we decided we wanted to upgrade our renting capabilities so we could save for a couple more years before buying our dream house. Sooo, we found a great little bungalow in Montrose, which is a little seedier, but in an excellent location. Within one week of living there, our neighbors got robbed. Awesome. At least it wasn't us. This house has pretty much been a disaster from the beginning to the end. The AC was broken when we moved in and out of the first 53 days we lived there, we only had AC for 24 of those days. The house is cursed and I am pretty sure someone died a brutal death there and is trying to haunt us to get us to leave. No prob bob. We broke our lease and are moving out by the 12th.

Which brings us to home #13. Lucky #13. We are supposed to close on a house tomorrow morning and move tomorrow afternoon. This will be the 13th time I have packed all my belongings and moved them in 9 years. That averages out to me moving every 251 days or approx every 8 months. This is a cost of about $500 per move, excluding deposits...and a total of $6000.

The worst part though is when I have to reset a password (or something) and they want me to confirm where I lived in May of 2002 and I have no freaking clue.

Wish us luck tomorrow. It's gonna be a doozy.