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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Vegas Fun - FOOD!

This recent vacation to Las Vegas was different for us because we kind of knew that it would be part vacation/part relocation research. Once we saw the house w knew that we didn't have to rush to see everything, didn't have to get sad when we left, didn't have to wonder when we'd be able to return. We knew we'd be back in a few weeks and that made everything better somehow.

That being said we did have some fun on the agenda and we did do some serious partying, especially when my brother, Matt, arrived a few days after we landed. Matt got to join us on our trip last yea and he had so much fun he wanted to head back for more. This time around we returned to some of our favorite haunts, especially if food was involved.

Makino, for their fantastic all-you-care-to-eat sushi buffet was on the list, only this time we went to a location at a downtown mall. We were told of this place by one of the locals years back and our sushi-loving hearts are forever in the debt of the waitress at the Four Queens for doing so.

Hash House A Go Go was where we enjoyed our first real meal on this trip. To be exact, this was where we enjoyed our Easter Breakfast. The staff knew about our apartment disaster as we ended up chatting with them about it a bit when they called us to change our reservation. They were looking forward to meeting us because not only were they sympathetic to our plight, they were so happy to meet the folks who lost everything, came to Vegas and went to their restaurant to make it all better. Many of the staffers here also provides some great information about living in local Las Vegas and that made us feel much better. That was where we ended up enjoying lunch after making the trip to see what would be our new home as well. DAMN GOOD FOOD!

Why should anyone from Chicago, the home of some of the best food ANYWHERE, be so happy to be relocating to Las Vegas? One word - FATBURGER!

Did somebody say, "buffet?" Hell yeah! Matt and April both wanted to once again enjoy the bountiful culinary treasures found at the mighty Wynn Buffet. Who was I to argue? My wife has been talking about that food for a year and Matt was certain to put it on his list as well. It is expensive, but SO worth it you don't even notice the money missing from your wallet. We ended up eating there once for lunch and once for dinner. Come on, people...Kobe beef meatballs in your pasta! Plus, there's a great chocolate shop in the mall there and you can always enjoy taking a trip to the Spamalot gift shop so there's no real reason not to go. Highly recommended!

We had some killer Italian food at one of the local favorites, Nora's. GODDAMN that's some great food. A wonderful, intimate setting, truly delicious Italian food prepared by folks who know what the hell they're doing, and aromas designed to make you HUNGRY make this a must if you are in Vegas. It is not anywhere near the strip or downtown so thankfully, many of the tourists never make it there. Sadly, that was where I started having some of my intestinal problems, but I was in a full-on panic mode for a spell and the nerves did a number on me. I was just starting to have some of that, "Oh my GOD, I'm pulling up 37-year roots and changing EVERYTHING! How do I pay for all this?" kind of initial panic and it really kicked my ass. None of that affected my enjoyment of the food, mind you and I am more than ready to go make a stop there again.

Of course we took some time to drink and the Rum Jungle and visit Greg. I also enjoyed a gigantic plastic football filled with frozen alcoholic beverage while downtown. It was discussed on an episode of Podcrapular awhile back.

Speaking of which, take a listen to the latest, Andy-free episode of Podcrapular. One day I'll return to the show, but I have no idea when this will happen. Until then Josh & Golfwidow keep the fire burning.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that's OK. I'll remember more of the great places I've eaten when I'm here permanently...eating there often!

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Having Touble Deja-Viewing My Show?

THIS would have been the April Fools Day joke, as opposed to the whole "my apartment was destroyed by a micro burst" thing.

Thuesday I had a show to perform in Naperville. With all that has been going on in my life of late, something like being able to perform my silly little program is a genuine treat.

This was a booking that came in while I was in Las Vegas so I was even happier to get the booking. Not only was this to be a very timely and needed booking, but it was among the first bookings I made sans office (post-disaster). I was very proud to be able to do what I could to keep things "business as usual" and the client was certainly sympathetic to my plight.

Everything was all set for the show and the enue was fantastic. Being "Take Your Kids to Work Day" there were MANY kids and parents in attendance. Always a plus.

I'm not kidding you here. One minute before my show was to start a loud siren screaming from outside could be heard in the building. I recognized this siren right away as the local TORNADO WARNING SIREN.

Naturally I wasn't at all worried. After all, I've been through my disastrous storm already. How many can one person be asked to experience in one lifetime much less one month, right?

We all had to head to a hallway and take cover just in case the storm outside provided a tornado. I met a person I'd gone to high school with, much to my surprise and we waited for the all clear together and caught up a bit.

After about 30 minutes the show went on as planned. I went up to the gal who booked the show and asked her if she'd planned all this for me. I mean that would be rather cool for someone to go to all that trouble on my behalf. Oddly enough she did not plan a tornado.

As it happened, a tornado did not hit Naperville. It hit Plainfield and Bolingbrook, just a few miles away!

Can you believe this? At first they thought it was a micro burst. Later the National Weather Service deemed it a tornado. The weakest of all tornadoes, but a tornado nonetheless.

I am starting to think that April and I need to get to Vegas much sooner than planned!

Gigs...Kind of a Relief

I actually have a rather busy weekend with regard to bookings. I'm not making a fortune, but I'll be happy to have something else to focus on for the next few days. All this moving, disaster, storage, new home crap is starting to really wear me down.

Today I am working a show for a Naperville company for "Take Your Kids to Work Day". I've never really figured out the purpose of this day. It takes a kid out of school and slows down the productivity at the workplace. That being said, I'm always happy to be booked for such events. A lot of the companies around here have decided that bringing in some kind of entertainment is the best way to salvage some of the work day and I am thankful.

Sunday has me performing what will likely be my last Vegas Brothers show. I'd like to keep it afloat, especially since we're actually getting some calls for work. However with me in Vegas soon and the fact that it is nearly impossible to get everyone to return phone calls & do other promo along with me, I assume this weekend will be the end of Nicky Vegas. Maybe they'll discover a new Brother and keep it going, but who knows?

Monday I have a Bluez Brothers gig downtown and that is also a welcomed booking. Among the things I saved from the home for immediate use was my Bluez Brothers costume, anticipating gigs. I believe I have another BB gig in Lake Geneva on Tuesday. No contract in hand, but my calendar insists it is happening.

May 3rd I have a gig for the Woodridge Police Department. It is a real show, not a court appearance.

On the 4th I head to Phoenix, Arizona. I'm working some corporate gigs along with my good friend Travis at the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum. This is significant because now that I'll be living in Vegas, a short drive from Phoenix & the Grand Canyon (two places that the owner has properties and gig opportunities for me), I am hoping to do well there and score a lot more work. If I can hit the ground running once I land in Vegas and have some gigs lined up that would be all the better for us. I'd like to meet some of the Phoenix area bloggers while I'm out there, but none of them have returned any e-mails. Ah well...I've got enough friends. lol

When I return from Phoenix I can look forward to a show in Villa Park. I am very grateful because May is not usually a busy month and this all couldn't have come at a better time. I even have more bookings in May. Sure all this will affect my packing and moving arrangements, but I NEED to do something other than worry right now.

That being said, even with some work lined up I still have to raise funds for the impending move. I know that I can borrow money from family and so on, but I'm trying to do as much as I can without having to pay anyone back. I've actually received a gift from a blogger friend (Thank yous will be personal and not public) via PayPal ( I am extremely grateful. I mentioned when all this began that I wasn't too proud to beg, but I do get a bit humbled when someone actually does respond to the begging.

The Martello Relief & Relocation Fund is always accepting gifts of a buck or two, but does not plan on begging a whole lot, especially since this post talks about some actual work I have in the immediate future. ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Special Anniversary Today

Today is the 20th birthday of something very near & dear to me. I've never been closer to anyone or anything in my whole life.

20 Years ago today, I started growing this ponytail.

OK, I'm not 100% certain that this is the day. I recall starting this one on a Saturday two weeks before my Junior Prom. So this date has always been the one where I celebrate the birthday of the tail. I know...silly.

When you think about it though, this piece of hair has been the only constant in my life over the last 20 years. I've gone through several girlfriends, homes, jobs, ups & downs but the tail has been there. The only thing that has changed has been the length of the damned thing.

This tail is how people would recognize me after television appearances and once was the way people would ask for my act, "Get me the guy with the ponytail!" This is the distinguishing feature people cite when describing me. In fact, this is just about the only thing people ask me about if they haven't heard from me in a long time, "You still have that ponytail?"

SO even though I'm stuck calling people and canceling contracts for the second half of the year and I am also going to head to the storage unit to try and condense/organize some of our hastily-packed belongings, I celebrate the 20th birthday of my stupid, dated, lame as all hell, hair.

Incidentally, about a month from now I'll be celebrating my actual birthday. I've decided that I wish to combine the celebrations for both my hai and the body that carries it. So if anyone wants to send along cards or gifts, I'll provide an address for you. Sure, I'm homeless, but I can get mail! Since I need money for this life-changing move, I'm insisting that all actual gifts be actual cash, checks or money orders. Those fit in greeting cards nicely ya know. I also accept PayPal. LOL!

Monday, April 23, 2007

We Need Money, We Need Space

UGH! Looks like this move is going to cost around $2500 IF WE USE ONE OF THOSE, WE PACK IT - THEY DRIVE kinds of places. I'm sure that it would be more to hire a full service moving company. Maybe a tad less if we use U-Haul.

Unfortunately, the relief funds that are being issued to folks who went through this have to come in the form of gift cards for stores and such. We're the only ones relocating so far away so there's no real relocation help to ask for. We will have some gift cards to help with furniture and food and the like, but I'd love to hear that there were some options from moving companies at our disposal.

The problem with U-Haul is that I'll NEVER get April to even attempt to drive the truck, much less have her drive it with her car in tow. If our going or not going revolved around her driving the truck...she'd stay here and be miserable for the rest of her days.

The reason for wanting to use some other company is so we could take her car and drive alternately all the way to Vegas. Now, unless we can come up with enough moving funds (not sure if that's going to happen yet), I'll be stuck with all of the driving and she can sleep the whole way, even though she'll insist she's keeping me sleeping.

I repeat...UGH!

OK, she'd be awake for most of the trip, but I'll be stuck with the driving. SUCKS, especially since I'll have to make that exact same drive about 6 weeks later. Ah well.

We're going to do a comparison between the moving companies and U-Haul and if it is that drastic a difference we'll go for it. If it is negligible we'll pay the extra for the pack & shipsters.

One thing I'm looking forward to is the house itself. I haven't lived in a house since I lived with my parents so the extra space will be quite a wonderful change. Essentially we'll be going from a little more than 710 square feet to about 1634 square feet. There'll be 3 bedrooms, a den, two full bathrooms, a two-car garage, a back yard of sorts - I'll never have to actually see my wife again if I so choose. Lord knows she's already planned on hiding from me every time I want to see her. LOL.

Currently, we're living in borrowed space at my sister-in-law's place and sleeping on a couch. So yes, the thought of a house, even if it had only one room, is appealing right about now. Everything is working out well here, but I miss having my own space and I know that we're inconveniencing things around here somewhat.

Ah well, that's it for now. We're probably going to our back to get a loan to cover moving costs and living expenses while we get on our feet. We're looking forward to not sleeping on a couch. We hope that all this works out well.

You're caught up. Stories of our trip and other goodies shortly.

Speaking of goodies, Golfwidow and Josh have yet another excellent episode of Podcrapular for you to enjoy. Feel free to listen and enjoy my phone messages I left for them.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


We hadn't been to Las Vegas in a full year. I was amazed at how much had changed. When we were taking two trips a year we saw the subtle differences in the town. Waiting a full year showed us that Las Vegas was almost a completely different town altogether.

Maybe it was because this time around we were looking at the place as our new home. With all the crap that had been going on we'd no real idea if we were even going to take the trip much less take a serious look at it as a reality with regard to our living arrangements.

Last time we were there we enjoyed visiting the Stardust as much as we always had. This time it was a pile of rubble an lots of memories stuck in our heads.

Last time we could enjoy The Roulette Wheel, a sampler wheel of the many fine beers made right there at the Monte Carlo Brew Pub. This time we were stuck with all the standards in bottles, after learning that the MGM owners of the place had decided to get rid of the brewery after 11 years.

Last time we could gamble at the Barbary Coast. This time the building was the same but the name was now Bill's Gambling Hall. Not the same.

Perhaps the most shocking change for us hit us in the face withing a couple of hours after landing. Last time, as with every time I'd been to Vegas, we could take a trip to the Flamingo and visit the adorable penguins at their wildlife exhibit. This time we were stunned to read the sign that stated the penguins had permanently moved to...Dallas, Texas! DALLAS???

Now that I'm planning on a permanent relocation to Vegas I have no penguins to visit. Unless Wayne Newton decides to befriend me, which is kind o unlikely since we've never met and all, I may never see a penguin again! OK, I'll likely find some at a zoo or something, but penguins in Vegas! Tragic.

Currently, I'm trying to stave off panic. I've no idea how to make a cross-country move happen. I know I have to remain behind after he initial move to honor some contracts and the thought of a long drive all alone to rejoin my wife is freaking me out. I've no idea how we're going to make a living, no clue as to what I'll be like in the new climate, no hint of whether or not this is the right thing for us.

We know that this is what we've wanted for a long time, and I personally know that there will never be a better opportunity for us to make this move. That being said, I've lived here my whole life and I've grown rather accustomed to life here.

I'm terrified.

I also have not had any chance to really break down and try to soak in all that has happened. More on that later I suppose.

For now I have to fill all my free time with impending move stuff. I have some shows this week, one of which is a Vegas Brothers show. Somehow I've been stuck with planning everything on that show, even though I've asked and pleaded with the others to step up and take care of this stuff. I just don't have the time to do as much business stuff right now. I am, after all, living on a sofa in someone else's house.

As lucky as we are, this all scares the hell out of me and it all kind of sucks at the same time.

Some Disaster Stats

The entire storm, the one that destroyed my apartment building, took all of five seconds from start to finish.

Nine other buildings in my apartment complex were affected by the storm. Damage included broken windows and doors, chunks of roof being torn apart, collapsed ceilings, water damage, multiple downed trees, and loads of debris everywhere.

One building had the bracing that held the roof in place completely torn off, causing the roof to temporarily removed. The storm had been diffused enough from its impact with my building that it didn't have the strength to completely remove the roof. It was lifted off for a brief second and then landed right back onto the building.

11 people were injured, but nobody was seriously injured nor killed.

A wall of the Wheaton Christain Center, directly across from my window, was blown out, downing electrical transformers and causing a fire.

Pieces of the roof of my building were found on cars and in parking lots as far away as 1/4 of a mile from my home.

The apartments on either side of mine and below mine suffered water damage. Mine didn't have a single drop.

Our cat survived unharmed, but we did lose two goldfish, a snail, and our Dwarf African Clawed Frog.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Awww Crap!

I mean...WOO-HOO! CRAP!

Been starting to feel better, normal, and everything lately. Of course all the pressure built up inside me, combined with the moving of the rest of our stuff out of the apartment yesterday (and all the trips before - UGH!) has brought about some "man pains" that I really, REALLY don't have the time nor the cash to deal with right now.


It looks like we're going to make the big move some time around the end of May. I'll help get everything there and then head back here where I'll honor as many of my contracts as possible (and pay for this stuff) until about July 4th. Then...a long, lonely, solo drive back to Las Vegas, possibly with another truck and some furniture. More on that later.

Yes, I'll update you on the fun we had in Vegas and the other disaster stuff. I swear. I'm sorry haven't been around your blogs or mine as often as I'd like. I'm on borrowed time (literally - I'm on a library computer right now) and I have a LOT of important things to do. I'm one busy homeless guy ya know. SO again, I apologize.

Anybody who hasn't quite figured out why I haven't had time to visit, play, update or has actually been MAD at me because of the aforementioned lack of time for I need to keep you as a friend? can't be that dumb right?

Good fucking lord!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Feeling "Better", but I'm FAR from "Well"

I'm rather hopeful that all the stress and anxiety from the apartment disaster and the decision to uproot everything and relocate 1800 miles west has had some sort of effect on my intestines and caused a TEMPORARY problem. I'm on the mend, but somehow I still can't "enjoy" the quality, regular, toilet time I have spent my life enjoying. Still some pain, still some blood, still some threat of something worse that would ruin my no health insurance having self.

I gotta, while informative, sure scares the shit out of you (not me...I'll never shit again apparently) if you type in your symptoms and come up with ulcerative colitis.

Ah well, at least we get to gather more stuff from the old apartment on Tuesday...and our new home in Las Vegas awaits.

Seriously, I will get to details about the apartment, the trip, the new home...I'm extremely busy with far too much crap (as in "stuff", not actual crap...I don't do that anymore) to even think about blogging or podcasting right now.

But this new episode of Podcrapular totally rocks. Josh is excellent and he is clearly stealing the show right from under me. Don't ya wish you listened to me when you had the chance?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Back. Sick & Tired.

What it says there.

I'm back.

I'm sick. Some sort of funky food-induced crapfest that has been going on since Thursday night and won't stop. Not to get too gross, but I can't remember a time where I was crapping too much for a full day and not crapping at all the next (and both sensations hurt equally as much). But the gushing blood coming out of my body most of the night has been a real treat. OK, I got too gross. Deal.

I'm tired. Lots of vacationy-goodness, gambling, drinking, and searching for a home for us to talk about. Just not now. The aforementioned fun and the recent illness has rendered me useless in every respect. You should actually consider yourself lucky I'm posting at all. No really, you should. I know you missed me.

Brief news...we're in all likelihood moving to Vegas. Soon. Not sure when. Too much stuff to sort out here and I'm just too damned out of it to start working on it. But we have a place to stay and possibly own down the road. YAY us.

I have a gig tomorrow. Assuming my body doesn't rupture from not being able to dump successfully, I look forward to working and worrying more about the impending move.

Lots to talk about.

Thanks for the well-wishes and the e-mails. I promise to get you filled in on everything when the dust settles.

By the way, listen to the Podcrapular podcast with guest host, Josh (The Listener). Stop making my partner feel like crap by telling her the show doesn't work without me. It worked without me in the beginning and it will work until I can get back. Some very funny stuff on this week's show, including a lot of great techno-glitches, which are among the reasons you listen to us after all.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N! V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!

YES!!! It looks as though we're going to really take this overly needed and much deserved vacation.

With all that has happened this week (today is the one week trageversary) I can imagine how much we need to relax and release some tension.

There is a lot still going on. It will be months before everything is truly NORMAL again.

However I have to thank you very much for the support and the e-mails. You have been providing some much needed mojo and it certainly has helped.

Please keep on with the mojo because among the things we'll be doing while out in Vegas is looking at a potential new home!

I can't say much and I know that I am desperately behind on giving you the full update here. Just know that things are remarkable considering the circumstances and I'm hopeful to give you all a full report on what's what when I return.

Also, considering all the the plane doesn't crash, the hotel doesn't get imploded, and that nothing else "awful" happens. ;)

Got to pack now and do a million other errands, including more "post-emergency stuff".


Full reports when I return.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

We Are So Fortunate

I promise to put up a better update later today. Still very tired.

However, the majority of the most stressful things we have to endure are pretty much over. There are still many things we need to do and it could be months before we're back to "normal".

We did manage to get most of our belongings out of the house and to add to the list of ways we have been extremely lucky...not a damn thing was destroyed. No water damage at all. Let me put this in perspective for you. The apartments in every direction of our place did suffer water damage and our didn't at all. The glass from one photo frame was broken. Everything else was for all intents and purposes, as I left it when I evacuated the building.

We've been approved for a new apartment complex and we now have 45 days to either accept or reject the potential apartment. It is entirely possible that we may relocate out of state altogether. More on that later.

I've been getting quite a few inquiries for bookings which couldn't come at a better time. One of them, which I can't talk about for a variety of reasons could have me working for MONTHS. Those months would be away from home and across the country, but they also would provide some much needed security and cash to pay for a lot of things.

There are other things to talk about but not now. This isn't about the things we're getting. We're fortunate because of the things we're not getting.

We're not getting hospital bills because nobody was injured in this horrible mess.
We're not stranded with no place to go and nowhere to live, thanks to the generosity of my sister-in-law and countless friends and family members.
We're not devastated by an awful feeling of loss due to the destruction of our "stuff".

All told, the karma things that I'll talk about more along the way are all amazing and may actually be leading us to a conclusion that losing our home is the best thing that could have happened to us.

More importantly, the fact that the entire roof of our building was torn off in a matter of seconds, solid chunks of drywall, glass & debris flew around an at people everywhere, worlds were permanently altered...and nobody was seriously injured and nobody was killed is the most important thing to talk about here.

I can talk about the reasons why April & I are fortunate all day in regard to this dilemma. However, that should come later. Right now I am amazed to feel as though a genuine miracle happened. 150 mile per hour winds devastated 9 buildings and destroyed one completely and everyone, EVERYONE walked away from this tragedy. Some lost everything in the manner of security and property, but nobody lost lives. Those would have lost everything indeed.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Lot to Report

But I'm far too exhausted. Far too much to do still.

The news is good overall. Our belongings are 75% out of the house and all safe. No real damage thus far.

Much more to tell, but I simply can't muster the energy to type right now. I'll try to get more info later.

Just know, we're continuing to be very lucky, which bodes well for anyone heading to Las Vegas on Saturday. :)

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


A lot of wind today. Some rain came through as well. But still, we're on schedule to get as much stuff out of our apartment as we can in TWO HOURS.

Of course, the temperature is now dropping, the wind is picking up, and we're told that some rain and possibly snow is in the forecast for Wednesday. S-N-O-W. Snow is bad. Snow can accumulate. Snow can weigh heavily on the tarps and temporary structures acting as a roof. Snow can MELT when it is all done.

We'll know around 11 AM what, if anything, has survived since Sunday at 3 PM, the last time I was allowed into the building I called my home for around 5 years. We've got friends on the way, trucks rented, and boxes ready to be hastily packed. We have a storage unit ready to be filled and with a little more luck, something we've been modestly blessed with through all this, we'll fill that thing with damn near everything we own.

We're allowed to make repeat trips in the future. We've been told to take our vacation. The building will still be there when we return and they won't start renovating until we're completely out. That being said, everything can change in an instant and we've proven that many times this past few days.

Please...just a little more good news to report? We've been extremely fortunate and it is selfish to ask for more. But please...just a little more good fortune to help this transition? Please?

When we get to exhale, I plan on sleeping for a month, crying for a week, and complaining a whole lot less.

Thanks so much for all the wonderful supportive e-mails, blog posts, and and comments. I know I've asked many times, but keep on with the good thoughts for us. We're much better off than most who have endured this, but we're not in the clear by a long shot. Please?

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Went Back to the Old Apartment...

We were hoping we would be allowed inside our apartment again today to retrieve more of our belongings, assuming nothing has been damaged since yesterday. Unfortunately nobody was being allowed in at all today, both for safety reasons and because the weather was so nice and sunny, they wanted to give the workers all available unfettered space to make repairs or at least strive to get tarps and braces up in the hopes of preventing more damage guessed it - more rain.

This was the first time April got to see the damage to the building herself. Basically it was kind of my first time as well since the sky was not all to clear yesterday and the sky was pitch black the other night, save the exploding electrical transformers, the fire in the church next door, and all of the emergency vehicles.

April described the devastation of the third floor apartments, sans roof, as if she were looking at cubicles on top of a building. No roof, wide open spaces, square pseudo-buildings. She was a bit freaked to see it all, as anyone would expect.

Later when we stopped off at a store before she had to work (she's missed not a single minute of work since this happened...she deserves a damned raise!), she suddenly came out to find me and tell me how happy she was I didn't get hurt. She was happy before, but seeing the roof completely torn from the building and all of the other carnage among the complex made it considerably more "real" to her. She was a bit depressed all day.

We both have had a few moments of sadness, mostly brought upon by the sadness of the others around us. That, and the fact that when it is YOU who is talking to the Red Cross and being given comfort & aid ( and a nice little prepaid debit card for food purchases ), you realize that it is YOU who is the victim of a natural disaster and not someone else. Bear in mind, at least in our specific case, I consider this to be a "white collar disaster". While many have been displaced and inconvenienced, even traumatized, most are safe and unharmed. In our case, we are extremely lucky in most every way and that makes our disaster not hold a candle to that of the people above us in the building and nothing quite like any of the folks who suffered through, and continue to suffer in New Orleans.

I took care of as much as I could today. We've got a strong lead on an apartment and will be dropping off the application tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

I've done some work to secure a storage space, tried to get our mail, and other necessary errands.

At one point we were told we'd be able to get in the apartment for another 15-minute visit today. Then, a few hours later I was told that we could not get in until Wednesday. They started filling up slots like appointments with a doctor or a hairdresser and simply booked up Tuesday. Ah well.

The good news is when we get to go in on Wednesday morning, assuming all goes well and doesn't change, we will be allowed up to two hours to gather as much as we can. This made April cry with happiness because she simply wants to know most of our things are secure if we are actually heading out of town this weekend.

We are also able to bring as many people as possible to help us. So we are of the opinion that we could get nearly everything out and stored if we have enough people. That is, of course if anything is still there and nothing changes between now and then.

The better news is that we were told that the building will not be demolished and there will be no "one day only, get yer shit and leave" kind of event. So we can schedule other times to retrieve whatever we can't move in two hours. We were also told that whatever is left will be somewhat secure an certainly there for us whenever we can get it all.

The best news, depending upon your perspective, is that we will very likely be getting to take the vacation and have our stuff waiting for us when we return. The building managers, some of the Red Cross people, event a few maintenance people insisted that, if nothing "worse" happens, everything will be safe and there for us. We were also reminded of things we already knew least if we go to Vegas on a vacation we already paid for, KNOW there will be at least 6 days where we have a place to stay. :)

There are still lots of "ifs" and many things that need to go well for us to be the luckiest damn people around. But in all honesty, right now we already know that there are MANY from our building who are worse off that we are. Given all that has happened and how well April and I have fared, right now, the only way we could be any more fortunate is if it never happened at all. All this can change at any moment. The rain is starting to fall again as I finish this all too long post. Many families have many more needs than we do. I still don't know if my computer, clothing, cigars, & papers are soaked with water. For all I know a raccoon has been crapping on my pillow for two days.

No matter, this is a fairly positive report I'd say. Thanks all for the support and please keep on the watch as I may be calling upon you yet. In any event, I can't say "thanks" enough.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

We're Homeless

It looks like nobody will be allowed to return to living at our apartment building. I was allowed 15 minutes today to get essentials, rescue the cat, and so on. I'm hopeful that on Monday we'll be allowed additional time to gather additional goods. I have no idea when we'll be expected to able to gather our things, pack and move. Still and all, we're good and everyone has come together nicely to help out.

At the time I retrieved some goods, our apartment did not suffer any water damage. If all goes well it will remain that way by the time we pack and move either this week or after we return from Vegas (assuming we are going).

All told we're fortunate, especially when compared to some of the poor folks on the third floor who were treated to a lovely view of the sky as their roof flew away.

It is still a might difficult not to freak out when it took all of five seconds to lose our home, realize we have no idea what we can keep and what we have to throw away, wonder if we can or should go out of town next week, and taxes are due.

At least we don't have to pay rent for April.

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I Know You Won't Believe Me...

...but today of all days, I have to report that my apartment building was hit by a tornado, or more likely, a microburst, last night.

If you turn on CNN or so a search on "microburst, Carol Stream" you'll likely see MY BUILDING. Yes, that is where I live(d).

I'm fine. April's fine. Our cat is presumed fine (and hiding somewhere in the apartment). No injuries.

We're not allowed back into the apartment yet so I don't know what, if any, damage there is. The ceiling of my apartment collapsed though. When I left it looked like a mess, but nothing was damaged. Unfortunately, the roof was torn froom the building and there are reports of water damage due to the rain. As I said, I don't know what the status of my specific apartment is so I can't tell you.

No, we don't have renter's insurance. No we don't have a lot of valuables to replace, unless you count action figures , flame Skechers, and DVDs.

No, we don't know what we're going to do regarding living arrangements, moving (although I suspect we are going to move sooner than planned), or if we are going to still go to Vegas next week. Thinking is, if we're not allowed to even get into our place for a week, we may as well take the trip. It's paid for already and the cash we'd spend out there won't really make a HUGE difference locally.

April just pointed out to me that it could be worse. We could have been in Vegas and heard about this on the news. She's a funny gal.

I'm sure you'll understand if you don't hear from me for a little while.

At the risk of sounding like some kind of victim, there may be a time when I call upon people for "help". If our apartment isn't too messed up, we are considerably better off than most were last night so I doubt I'll be making any heartfelt pleas for aanything other then thoughts and support. Just be ready! Charity begins at home...MY HOME! ;)

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