The plan today was to look at apartments from the inside (as opposed to doing drive by viewings to get a feel for the neighborhoods and all) and possibly find a new place to live. While looking at the listings on Craig's List I ran across one that's been popping up every day (more or less) for the last few weeks. We already had lined up some appointments and found out where the rental office of one property management company was located, yet this particular victorian flat really struck me as a sweet deal.
Roni was worried it might be a bit pricey, so I asked her what the rule of thumb was regarding the price of a rental. She said it was one third of the household income, before taxes. So, I whipped out the trusty calculator and did some crunching.
No, it wasn't fair -- she's a book-keeper, after all, so applying her own rules of accounting to us was a sneaky thing to do, even if I did it out in the open. However, even using the lowest possible numbers, it turned out this place WAS in our price range. While she grudgingly conceded the point, I assured her that this wasn't an attempt to raise the upper limit of our search across the board... this was an exception based on an almost absurd level of quality.
So, we set up an appointment for 2:30. We got out of the house and made our way to Alameda, just before 10 AM. I know, scary.
After arriving we tracked down a place to eat. While driving down one of the main drags, I caught the scent of something extremely yummy, but couldn't place exactly what it was. After stopping for gas (wherein the red head discovered that the local Arco had the perfectly adjusted crunchy ice machine... LONG story!) we back tracked in hopes of finding a deli, and I caught a whiff of that wonderful smell again... just as Roni says "Hey, look... a cheesesteak shop!"
I whipped into this parking space near a shop shooting bubbles over the front doorway on the corner, and went on to have a great lunch. Dynamite Cheesesteak is true to the name.
Afterwards, since we had an insane amount of time left on the meter, we decided to check out the shop of much bubble-age. I think it was called "Vignettes" or something, and they had the COOLEST stuff, all reasonably priced. Wait, that's not quite true... some of those prices seemed to low to be called "reasonable".
Around this time I noted that I had a voicemail -- checking it I found a message from the manager of the Apple store I had applied at for the "Mac Genius" position saying he had "good news" for me. There was much rejoicing, though it turned out he was out to lunch when I returned the call, and wouldn't be back until after 1:30.
We decided to go to that rental agency to see what they had. I wasn't surprised when Roni's credit report came back pretty spotty (thanks in large part to a very messy divorce thanks to a guy who left her to join the gay man's chorus... and that's only a slight over-simplification/exaggeration), but was frankly shocked at my own. No, it wasn't spotty... it was PRISTINE. I don't know what I really expected, but good credit?
Anyway, the first place we took a peak at was 1300, and was... well, alright, I guess. However, it was also over-priced by almost 300 bucks. It explained the agents comment that this particular place had been vacant for "quite some time",,, and probably will be for the foreseeable time to come.
The next address was only 80 bucks more, but 4 times better. However, when we found the place, it was being shown by ANOTHER rental agent who was with this cute family with one small child. Okay, so the father figure was the cute one... albeit completely straight.
We rushed back to return the keys, and trekked over to the dream flat. We got there fairly early, I tried to call the Apple manager back again. He answered the phone, and before I could identify myself, he asked if he could put me on hold. I figured he was talking to a customer, so I said "sure!" -- five minutes later I realized it would have to wait until after the showing, so I hung up.
I'm afraid to jinx this place by talking too much about it... suffice to say it was a stunning deal, and we have a good shot at it. We both fell in love with the feel of the place (as well as the appearance), and the owners seemed open to working around Roni's credit issue. We'll find out about it Monday.
After getting through that, I decided to make it "third time's the charm" and called that aforementioned Apple store yet again. This time I got the gentleman online, and he made a formal verbal offer... and then told me that it paid MORE than the NASA gig. Since I had been bracing myself for a LOWER amount, this was a pleasant surprise... to say the least. Add the whole benefits thing into that mix, and there's no contest.
He actually was starting to tell me I could be starting as soon as THIS monday or tuesday before I could tell him that I had to give NASA notice first. He asked me what the job was, and I explained I was assisting in the OS X MIgration... and the sillyass valley synchronicity effect kicked in. It turns out I'm working with one of his ex-employees... one of the guys I like, professionally speaking at least.
[cue creepy music here]
There's more, but this will have to do for the moment... not only am I toasted at 1:45 AM, in fifteen minutes it'll be 3:00 thanks to Daylight Savings springing forth.