Falling Behind

I've been sick for the past week. I've been doing bar prep from home, or trying to do it anyway. I feel a little better today, but what with the pounding headaches, stuffiness, nausea, and hives (! who knew hives could be a symptom of the common cold?) of the past few days, it's been incredibly difficult to concentrate. So I've fallen behind. I'm trying to focus on getting well first... and freak out about the fact I've fallen behind later. Or not freak out, and play catch-up over the weekend. (Is it possible to stuff a week's worth of bar prep into 2 days? I guess I'll find out!)

On top of that, the apartment is a mess and I have friends coming tomorrow night. Normally, I take out the trash, clean the dishes, and generally organize the place daily... it's amazing what our place looks like when that doesn't get done for a week. M just isn't bothered by it. (Why?!?)

Anyway. I'm going to continue to take it easy today, hope the puffiness in my face subsides (um, should I be alarmed that the hives that appeared last night are still hanging around?), and try to absorb legal knowledge by sleeping on my books.

How we got our rent decreased

I was asked by a commenter to explain how we got our rent decreased by $100/mo.

First, it was just a good time to ask. It's definitely a renter's market around here right now. We knew it was a good time because (1) two units have been open in our 14 unit building for months; and (2) I checked Craig's List and found units within 1-2 miles of us that were going for less than we were paying.

We're also good tenants. Always pay rent on time, no issues with neighbors, and we're on good terms with the resident manager.

I typed up a one page letter asking for our decrease. At the time I wrote it, our lease was approximately 2 1/2 months away from expiring. I began the letter by stating that M and I had enjoyed our time in the apartment, but we were facing a tough decision in regards to renewing the lease, because of the "abundance of nearby less expensive units." I then expressed some fear about crime (our bikes were stolen from the building's parking lot soon after we moved in). Other than the bike issue, there is really VERY little, if any, crime in our area, and we feel safe, but I mentioned it for leverage.

I then brought up the two vacant units in our building and the cheaper nearby units (I gave the addresses of 2 comparable units I found on Craig's List). I ended the letter by stating exactly how much we pay now, and exactly how much we wanted to pay. I then asked for a response by the beginning of the month (I gave them about a 3 week window).

I delivered the letter to the manager and we chatted about it for a little while. She said she really didn't want us to leave, and that she would express the sentiment to the landlord. At that point, I was pretty confident that we would get the decrease. A few days later, she stopped by and said the landlord had agreed to it. And that was that. :)

I'm Free! (sort of)

I survived finals hell. And now I'm trying to survive social hell (just kidding... mostly ;P). But I do have to be way WAY more social than usual the next three days. And I'll be running between museums, the airport, theme parks, restaurants, nail salons, school... A lot to do, a lot of people to see. I already had one day of family time and I'm exhausted!

Part of that exhaustion could be the hypothyroidism. Yep, I definitely have it. I went to an endocrinologist, and she - in a very disappointed voice - informed me that my TSH levels are higher than they were before (beyond subclinical levels), my antibody level indicates Hashimoto's, and my thyroid is enlarged. She gave me two sample packs of Synthroid, which I'll be taking daily, and I'll be doing follow-up bloodwork in 6 weeks. I was feeling kind of down about it this morning... but I'm mostly apathetic now. I already take birth control daily, what's another pill? And if it increases my energy levels and helps me lose weight... that would be fantastic.

I have a ton of other stuff to write about, but it'll have to wait until Monday... after bar class. Yeah, it starts the day after graduation. I get NO BREAK! It's making me feel a little crazy. But I'm sure I'll pull-through. I have to.

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