New apartment

This past weekend, with the help of my parents and grandparents, I moved all of my worldly goods here to Bloomington-Normal. Mom stayed over an extra day to help me get things sorted, and now I'm starting to feel somewhat settled in. I thought I'd share a few pictures of my new apartment. Don't be fooled by how put together everything looks - my closet is crammed full of boxes yet to be unpacked.

The living room:

The kitchen:

The bedroom:

Moving, etc.

A lot of crazy stuff has been happening, so this post is going to be a jumble of sorts. First and most importantly, I'm moving tomorrow - and I still have about a million things to do before then, of course. My parents and grandparents are helping, and between us we've got two minivans, a pickup truck, and my little car, which we're hoping to be able to cram all of my stuff into. I hope it all fits.

Yesterday was my last day at ACPL, and it was very bittersweet. I spent my time playing Euchre and Rock Band with the teens - best last day ever! But it was horrible to say goodbye to everyone there. I've loved working at ACPL, and am going to miss all of my coworkers and the teens there so much. I wish I could take them all with me.

I've spent the past several days working hard on finishing my new furniture. A few weeks ago, I went to an unfinished furniture shop in town and picked out a new desk, dresser, TV stand, and bookcase. I did all the staining myself - I got a beautiful dark espresso stain, and it looks great on the pieces. Now I'm scrambling to finish up the polyurethane coats so that they'll be dry in time to pack them in the vans. Maybe I'll post pictures of them in use in my new place once I've settled in. Oh, and I also bought a sofa and chair - no more ugly flowered hand-me-downs from my parents, hurrah. I'm so proud of all my new grown-up furniture!

I can't stop watching it:

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

A Normal job

So, I guess it's about time to mention that I've been offered the job in Normal I talked about in my last post. It happened so quickly that I'm still a little shocked. We've tentatively set my start date as August 4, and last Thursday and Friday my parents came with me to Bloomington-Normal to look around at the area and hopefully find me a place to live. I wanted to live close to work, but unfortunately the vast majority of the apartments around uptown Normal are either heavily student-oriented (Illinois State University is literally right next to the library), or they're Section 8 housing, i.e. rent-controlled, and for the first time in my life, I'll be making too much money to qualify. (!!!) So I ended up looking further south in Bloomington, where apartments were quite a bit more expensive but also nicer. There was one apartment complex I really liked, but they were completely full and had a waiting list, so it didn't look like there was a chance I could get a place there before I'd need to move. But it just so happened that as I was in the leasing office, one of their residents came in saying that he wanted to do a sublease for July and August, and I pretty much jumped up and down yelling "Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!" So we talked it over and worked it out, and now I have an apartment. I'm going to try to head back this weekend to do some cleaning and hopefully move a few of my things in, and then in two or three weeks I'll move over there for good.

It feels like everything has really fallen into place perfectly for me to have this job. I hope I like the job and the Normal area. It's not terribly far from Chicago, and there's a train that goes straight there, so that'll be nice. And it's about four hours away from my family and friends here in Fort Wayne, which makes weekend trips very possible. I'll miss ACPL and the people there a lot, but overall I'm excited about this opportunity. Now I'm just incredibly nervous and worried about doing the job well. I hope I don't disappoint!

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