Est. 06.10.2004

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Work

I've realized after talking with friends and family, a lot of people are having a hard time figuring out where I work. So guess what this blog is about! OH BOY! :)
Here's the basics: I work for the Archdiocesan Housing Authority. AHA has over 150 properties in WA. They provide permanent and temporary housing for families or individuals, and they have many "themed" properties. Our newest one is called Ozanom. It's being built where our old parking lot used to be (we will get our parking back once it's completed). Oz will serve housing for homeless, practicing alcoholic men.
Anyways, my building is Chancery Place Apartments. We currently house (permanent) low income seniors, 62 of age or older, and persons with a disability who meet 4 features of an unit. Non-PC, if you're younger than 62, you need to be in a wheelchair or use some other machine to move around (walker, scooter, etc). I had said "currently house" earlier because HUD (Housing for Urban Development) is trying to change the way 202/8 (us) are viewed. We will in the super near future be offering housing to anyone who has a disability. There's a lot of mixed feelings about this, so I'll just continue on with the purdy pictures!

Here is the front of the building, and also looking up at it from the street. It's 15 stories tall, 13 floors are residential and the other 2 floors are occupied by the Archdiocesan Church.

Here is the lobby and where the Ol' Betties sit and gossip. It's a prime spot to sit; it's directly in front of the elevators and across from the front doors and mailboxes! Usually these chairs are filled with ladies up to no good.

Here is the other view of the lobby (it's in an "L" shape). The closed office is Katy's and the Front Desk Staff (we have night and weekend coverage here. The building is secure so guests are to check in).

Melanie and I share an office on the 1st floor. It used to be an old unit, but was changed into the office when they realized 2.5 people (Alvaro, our ONE maintenance man has a desk in here) can't share a 8x10 room (Katy's office). Melanie's "office" is the living room of an unit. All the units have one bedroom, bathroom, living room and full sized kitchen. The 1st floor also houses the Family Room, Laundry, Library and Computer Room. This is Melanie's desk; it is actually "clean" for her..

Here is my office. It's the bedroom of an unit. Melanie is working on getting me out in the living room with her, and use this space for a conference area. Thankfully, I still reside in it. Notice how somewhat organized it is compared to someone else's desk...hmmm...

This is the Family Room. This is where we have our House Meetings and other social gatherings. We also have tv with cable, pop machine and a piano for everyone to enjoy.
This isn't really of importance, but its the cause of just one of my many headaches with work. All the hallways have been carpeted, and somewhere down the line they decided to replace all the carpet with this nasty green marmoleum. It's ugly (the tenants picked out the color...), HIGHLY expensive and costly to upkeep, and makes the building look like a nursing home. We are slowly installing it. They bought this a few years ago, and we have only installed three's that expensive to install. Someone wasn't thinking correctly when they ordered it...but whatever. :)

Onto the roof!

We try and get away to the roof as much as we can (on non-windy days). Here is the view of stadiums (you may have to strain to see them in this pic). Notice the big mammoth building off to the left. That will be senior housing for multi-millionaires. It is HUGE!

Here is the west side view. The building straight in front is pretty new still. Imagine being 10 feet lower, and you can image how awesome the views are for some of the tenants. There is actually one tenant on the 13th floor (Catholics are not superstitious, so yes, we do have a 13th floor) who has black-out curtains and never opens them. What a waste of a view!

Here is the north side. You can hardly see the Space Needle just shy of middle, on the left.

Here's the east side. Capital Hill is off to the left. Swedish Hospital is pictured to the right (anything that is beige colored is probably Swedish).

This is the south-east view. When the Blue Angels were flying, we had a great view from here.

Finally the to the south. Those ginormous steeples belong to the St. James Cathedral. I realize now that I should have included a picture of the front of the Cathedral. It's absolutely beautiful. If any of you get a change to take a tour of it, I highly suggest it. Also, Harborview is off past the Cathedral. We work on First Hill, but it's often called Pill Hill since we have Harborview, Swedish, Virgina Mason, and Cabrini hospitals surrounding us.

I snapped a quick on of the Ozanom. It's the beige building towards the top of the picture. Hopefully it'll be completed in the Spring of this year!

Almost forgot, here is the Sun Deck, from the rooftop. It's nothing special (especially from this pic!). There are flower pots that the tenants fight over, a couple table and chairs, and plenty of room to roam around.

I hope I helped clear up some of the mystery around my work. I guess I never said what I do. I'm the Business Manager. Since this is a HUD building, all the tenants must get re-certified early in order to live here. Rent is only 30% of their income (if they have any), so it must get verified yearly. Since everyone is either a senior or disabled, their medical bills can also help reduce their rent, so that is also calculated and verified yearly. We do have some tenants who don't have any income (no Social Security, pensions, wages, etc) so they actually receive a check from AHA to live there. We pay the water, sewage and garbage, and also take off $29 from their rent so the tenants who don't pay rent due to no income, receive a check to help cover their electricity bills. Pretty cool to get paid to live somewhere!
Well, since it's now 3:30am, I should probably go to bed. Gus and Lucas left for the ocean today, and I apparently can't sleep. My night/day to get extra sleep, and I can't. Perfect!

Monday, November 17, 2008

This is why I love my job...

I know I already emailed this out, but I'm just so proud of my tenant! hahaha It's not everyday that someone writes something cute AND funny!


I did not think, at my age, it would ever happen, but it has. I am in love
with my new toilet.

The day it was installed I sat upon it all
afternoon; we were getting used to each other. I got up at night, every half
hour or so, just to make sure it was still there.

I was so
gleaming, so white, so virginally pure in its newness.

I tried to
think of how to best describe its efficient sound: whISH, or whOOSH, or flUSH,
or bUSH! and suddenly, heilige scheiss, it was all gone, to be forgotten

It has brought me and my neighbors on this floor together,
as we visit each other to view each other’s new toilet. We should have one big
house party for the entire complex.

Some day I will leave, either
for a nursing home, the morgue, or Southern California. What a consolation to
realize that the new toilet will still be here to remember me by.

- Peter Eccles

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our new place

We moved into our new townhouse in Tacoma on October 31st in the evening (wasn't the smartest choice to do it on Halloween....maybe we'll remember that next time...). I took some pictures of the inside Sunday night (basically the day after we moved in). They're not the best, but they're the best I have as of now!

We signed our lease late Friday night after a very stressful family emergency (everything is okay now), so actually moving our stuff on Saturday was a piece of cake! When I think I'm having a stressful day, I remember that lovely Friday..chances are, it's not worse than that day! Anyways, my wonderful parents and Keith helped us move on Saturday. We had a Uhaul and got everything out of Bart's house and our storage unit within 3 or 4 hours...then we unloaded it. Fun fun. I was/am very thankful for Keith helping us out. He gladly took anything that was heavy...awesome hired help! :)

We amazingly had most of everything unpacked by Sunday. A few boxes here and there. Now, a week later, we're almost 99% unpacked. Still have those pesty boxes full of junk that we're trying to figure out where to put.

On with the photos...

When you walk in, the stairs are in front of you and off to the right is the kitchen, dinning room, laundry and living rooms. Here is the messy kitchen. Came to find out that we don't have a pantry. The unit that they showed us sure did....but what're you gonna do. It took some figuring out, but I think I have the kitchen how I like it....for now...

The view from the front door. All that mess is no longer there. You can now see straight into the living room without having to look through boxes.

The laundry closet. It's in the dining room area. I thought it'd be loud when watching TV, but they're pretty quiet.

The corner with all the photos. Gus is planning on moving some of that around because it's too cluttered for him with how it is. Those doors off to the left of the pic is the laundry room.

The super messy couch. The "backyard" is out past those blinds. I couldn't take a pic of it because it was 10pm when I took these. There's a storage closet outside, a big concrete slab (maybe 8x5?) with room around it to plant flowers and whatnot. It's all fenced in with a nice fence that's about 6' high.

Going upstairs...

Looking downstairs...

The little area separating Luc's room from ours.

The bathroom (it was bath-time too)

Gus was trying to get Lucas to put his nose up to his. Lucas thought Gus was crazy! haha

Luc's room. We've decorated it nicer since this. It was my goal to get his room looking as close to normal as I could get it the first night. He was having a bit of a hard time with the move, but once he got that bed in there, he was happy! He just got that bed from the Great Grandparents at the ocean. He loves it!

A better look at his pennants. We have mini ones for all the football teams that we have to get up also. Already have the glow-in-the-dark stars and planets up...though we do need to get more. He loves having those to look at...and it's a cheap night-light!! :)

Luc's closet. You can't tell, but it's huge! We all have walk-in closets. His is big enough to put a crib in (...already pointed that out to Gus!! haha)....

Our super super messy room. Sadly, it still looks about the same, except for the computer that would be right off to the right where that blue blanket is (why would someone put a cable outlet there!?). Our room is pretty large. We definitely have enough room for a crib or two where all those boxes are!! haha

Our closet. Nothing exciting.

Well that's it for pictures for now. I'll take some better ones one of these days. Oh, and we do have a non-attached garage in front of the row of townhouses, and one small parking spot off to the side of the garages...Gus' truck is waaaaaaaay too big for the garage (my tiny car just barely fits!) and is too big for the parking spot, so he gets the street. SO...we have parking for anyone who comes to visit!


Leaves leaves everywhere!

After the pumpkin patch, we stopped along the side of the road to gather some leaves (Lucas loves leaves right now). Here are some cute pictures from that adventure!

This reminds me of the pic I took of him last year...

Well, I guess it doesn't look much like it, but it's still cute! Back to this year...

He had a blast throwing the leaves up in the air. I was wishing we'd had a rake, so we could make a pile of leaves for him to jump into. One day, when we have a house (or somewhere with a yard!) I'll get that on camera :)

I tried my hardest to get the leaves as they were falling down around him, but the camera wasn't fast enough for that kind of action...

He was devastated when the wind blew some of the leaves away haha

My little tree-hugger. His retired hippy Grandpa would be so happy to see this :)

Oh joy, found the sticks. Nothing screams safety like a 3 year old with big sticks!!

And this is Lucas walking back to the car (with Gus in front) with the sticks. He was extremely determined to take those big ole sticks home. It was loads of fun getting him back in the car without his new "friends"!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin patch

Hello! I know I haven't been great at keeping this updated often, but hopefully it'll improve after we move into our new home. We found a cute townhouse in Tacoma, off of 48th and about a block up from South Tacoma Way, and probably half a mile behind the mall. It's probably not the best area, but...where isn't anymore. We move in on Saturday, November 1st....and it's not soon enough! We're all pretty excited. Lucas will for sure have the hardest time adjusting. Uncle Bart's house has always been his fav and he was stoked when we moved in, so this will be interesting. We'll for sure miss Cooch! We'll have to stop by often and see her.

Anywho, onto the pumpkin patch. We took Luc last Sunday to the Carpenito Brothers patch. He didn't seem too excited to get a big pumpkin. Just mostly wanted to walk around and take pics at the pumpkin cut-outs. He had to stick his head threw every hole, and made Gus do the same!

I love how funky his forced smile is!

Lucas really was interested in the corn, and wanted to do the maze, but it was $14 for the small maze and my cheap hiney couldn't do he just got to take a pic next/in the corn :)

Both Gus and Lucas liked this pumpkin because it looked like a pickle! I was surprised to see so many green pumpkins this year. Usually there's only a hand full, but there were almost as many green as orange!

Lucas did love the different shaped squash. He's holding this one up to his ear like a seashell :)

We ended up not taking home any "normal" sized pumpkins, but only the super small orange and white ones, the some funky shaped squash. It was a pretty fun family outing.