Thursday, February 28, 2008

Day 159 - Apartment Hunting

When I return to work in three weeks, Lisa and I found out that there are actual laws that prohibit you from leaving your babies at home. That posed a problem for us. Not only would we have to figure out who will watch the kids, but we would now have to return all of the large baby cages and feeding bottles back to PetSmart.

Thankfully, my parents have volunteered to temporarily move down here to sunny Los Angeles until Lisa is out for summer vacation in June. Since my mom and dad are currently down here helping me transition to Mr. Mom mode, we decided to look around the Sherman Oaks area for a short term apartment lease.

The requirements we had for the apartment were the following: 1) Close to our place. 2) Short term rental of three months. 3) Must be clean for my mom. 4) Must be clean. 5) Must be clean. Did I mention it had to be clean?

I did a bunch of searches on craigslist.com, realtor.com, and porntube.com (I was just bored). After jotting down a bunch of phone numbers, I started to make phone calls. But it was one dead end after another because almost every complex I called required a six month lease. And not only that but I now have an eternal repulsion towards ping pong balls. Oh wait...that was the porntube.com video. Sorry, I went off on a tangent.

Finally I found a listing on craigslist from a guy who needed someone to take over his lease until the end of June. Perfect! I called him up, and I set a date for my parents to look at his apartment.

We drove up to the Sherman Oaks Plaza apartment complex which is just under a mile and half away from our place; a quick 3-5 minute drive. The complex is fairly large with a lot of amenities: pool, jacuzzi, dry cleaning, theater room, gym, petting zoo, and an Arby's. After getting slightly lost trying to find the apartment, we found the front door and knocked.

I said hello and introduced my parents to the tenant, and he welcomed us in. So far so good. The apartment was a fairly generic-looking one bedroom apartment. You have the kitchen, dining area, living area, and the bedroom with attached bathroom. Size-wise it's probably around 700-750 square feet. My parents liked the place enough for three months, and we decided we would meet later on in the week to do the paperwork. But before we left, it got kinda awkward.

First of all, my dad started to have circular conversations with the tenant about cable, parking, utilities. It went a little something like this:

DAD
So what do you do about television here?

TENANT
Every apartment is hooked up for DirecTV.

DAD
So you don't get cable here?

TENANT
No.

DAD
What do you get then?

TENANT
DirecTV.

DAD
So you're saying I would hook up my tv to DirecTV?

TENANT
Yes.

DAD
And that's what you get for television here?

TENANT
Yes.

DAD
So what do you do about cable?

And it went on and on like that for several minutes with other topics. As for my mom, she actually didn't say too much. Until the end...

As we were walking out, the tenant had a replica of a samurai sword on his kitchen counter. My mom went up to it and said, "Ooooh. Samurai sword. You know...I'm Japanese." My dad added, "Yah. My wife comes from a samurai family." The tenant went, "...oh..."

Suddenly, my mom picked up the samurai sword with both hands. I thought she was about to slash the guy in half, and if she did I'd have to take the sword from her and commit sepaku. I whined to my mom, "Moooommmmm!" But the tenant told me it's fine, and the sword was just a replica of the samurai sword from "Kill Bill." My mom put down the sword and mumbled, "hmm...too light. Not real."

I then tried to rush us out of there before my mom saw anything else interesting, but this time my dad caught something on the counter that drew his attention: a 50 caliber bullet. "Wow," said my dad. "Now that's a big bullet!" The tenant said that his friend goes shooting and gave him the bullet as a conversation piece. My mom went up to it, picked it up, and then slammed it down on top of his Netflix movie shouting, "GOOD PAPERWEIGHT! HAHAHAH!"

Oh dear lord...help me.

Long story, a little shorter...there was much confusion over whether or not my parents could finish the lease or would have to sign a new lease which entails not only paying the current rate but $200 extra per month for a three month contract. It went back and forth until the supervisor told us my parents would have to sign a new lease with the higher rate. I then contacted the tenant and asked if he would meet my parents halfway with his rent and the new rent, and guess what? He agreed!

So tomorrow, we will make our way back to the apartment complex to sign the paperwork and start to sort the details of having my parents come down here for a few months. The best thing about that besides having Grandma and Grandpa babysitting is having more great stories for the blog. Suit up!!!

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