In addition to the holiday and work stuff that usually takes up the time, this year i'm also moving.
I mentioned to some people awhile back that Avalyn's roommate was thinking of moving out, and the idea of me moving in had come up. That was back in November and we'd only been dating for about six and a half months, which seemed _very_ early to be moving in together to me and had me a little concerned.
However her roommate's plans kept getting delayed, until eventually he was moving out in mid-January. Avalyn and i have now been dating for almost 9 months, which still isn't what i'd call ideal, but i'm definitely more at ease with this timing than with the earlier possibility. I think a big part of that is that we've now spent at least part of every season together. Which is a rather silly benchmark, but apparently it matters to my subconscious or something.
But other than the issue of how long we've been dating this is perfect timing, since my lease expires at the end of January. Well, other than the whole abutting with all the other chaos of late december and early january. I started moving stuff up last friday, and will be renting a moving van tomorrow to move the big things, and then have until the 31st to mop up. Which is a little shorter than the ideal amount of moving time, but is certainly a lot more planned and controlled than some moves i've been involved in.
Aside from living with Avalyn there are several other good things about the new arrangement. After accounting for lower rent and shared utility bills, i expect to be saving somewhere on the order of $200-$300 a month, and that's with a month-to-month lease rather than being locked in for a year. The new apartment is much nicer in _almost_ every respect than my old one. It's got hardwood floors, a nicer living room, more closet-space, more space in the kitchen, there are _two_ balconies, and the building has a coded front door which hopefully means that i won't have to worry about packages wandering off. Oh, and it has air-conditioning and heating. I'm used to just suffering through the really hot and cold months, but i'm not going to complain about not having to anymore :) And most importantly, Avalyn also has a cat, and we're taking the time to introduce the two cats together in the "proper" way. Which means that my cat has been at the new place since sunday and the two of them still haven't been introduced. They each spend about half the time locked in our respective bedrooms while the other gets to roam the living room, getting used to each others' smells. Hopefully if this goes well they will get along when finally introduced and both of them will have company for when Avalyn and i are at work.
The only real downsides are the bathroom, and the bedroom window. The new bathroom, and the tub in that bathroom are rather small. And it's a little oddly designed. When the door is open it's difficult to access the drawers and one of the towel racks. The bedroom window was either not built well originally or the apartment has settled since then, and the top of the window does not quite meet the frame when it's closed. Avalyn has mentioned that it seems colder in that room at night, not that that really bothers me. However that side of the apartment is next to the parking lot that serves several restaurants, at least one of which has a bar. The proximity of those restaurants is great during the day when we want somewhere to eat, but not so much late at night when people get out of the bars. My bedroom also happens to be located directly above the automatic gate to the underground parking for the complex. I can't say i've been seriously bothered yet (i am a pretty good sleeper =) but my cat has seemed a little concerned about some of the sounds going on outside. She may end up getting used to it, but on the other hand we've only been there a couple days so far, so i probably haven't even experienced the worst possible levels of noise yet. I'm thinking about getting some heavy curtains to (temporarily of course) replace the blinds. (I expect either repairing or replacing the windows would involve far too much effort and trouble.)