On August 15th, 2008, my then-apartment mate, from whom I was renting a room, told me to find another place to live because he couldn’t handle my interacting with his son when he thought he should be having quality time with the kid. I still have the letter that was slipped under my door, poor grammar and spelling and all.

I moved in with a friend and strained her relationship to her boyfriend for an entire month before I found another apartment—this time on my own. In a lot of ways, I was lucky. I had a job that allowed me to afford the apartment I found and a friend who was willing to let me stay with her (actually, the house was her boyfriend’s parents’ place) while I was looking. And, I found a great place with a decent landlord. But it would’ve been nice to have a place to look for apartments ratings before I moved in. I paid a broker’s fee that was outrageous (but standard in the business) and moved into my new place in October.

ApartmentGrade is a relatively new site, and my cursory scan didn’t uncover much in the way of actual content, but I’m hopeful. Anyone conducting (serious) independent research that will make the hassle of apartment hunting easier on the hunter has two thumbs up in my book.

Business phones


Phones.com is the internet’s number one website for cell phone reviews. It’s not only good for personal call phones, like my sister needed, but also for business phones. I worked for six months as an executive assistant for a high powered organization president who used her phone for everything and everywhere she went. Since I often had to troubleshoot her phone’s problems, it might’ve helped to know about Phones.com to learn more about hers in particular. I’ll be using Phones.com in the future for private and business ventures involving phones, and if you’re in the market for a phone, you should check it out, too.

Cell phones

Recently, my sister’s cell phone died and she needed a new one. I looked through the Verizon Wireless website (Verizon is my family’s carrier) and eventually came up with decent phone that she wouldn’t break. (She’s pretty hard on her phones and we had to have something that was “ruggedized” so that it wouldn’t break in the first ten minutes she had it.) It would’ve been nice to know about Phones.com, where you can learn about Nokia E71s and other cell phones for personal use.



When I first heard about Goldline International, I admit I thought it was a service for people who wanted to sell their old gold jewelry, etc., but I was wrong. It’s actually a pretty decent website about buying gold and gold coins as a way to prepare for and invest in the future. As I flipped surfed through their website, I learned a lot about the history of individual coins. For example, here’s what the website has to say about the $10 Indian coin, pictured here:

$10 Indian obverseOne of only two coins designed by America’s most acclaimed sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens… this $10 gold piece is one of the most exquisite gold coins our nation has ever struck…

Perhaps the most fascinating feature of this striking gold coin is that the edge of the coin features raised stars signifying the states of the Union, rather than a lettered or reeded edge. Coins struck from 1907 to 1911 feature 46 stars. Two more stars were added the following year to commemorate the addition of New Mexico and Arizona to the Union.

The $10 Indian was originally struck with a wire rim in 1907, which gave the coin a more 3-Dimensional appearance. Only 500 were produced before the Mint began producing regular strikes later in the same year.

Of course, I’m the history geek, so that’s what interests me, but I’m sure you’ll find something you like about gold and gold coins, too, at Goldline’s website, especially if you need to buy gold.


If you’re in the market for any kind of insurance, make sure you check out NetQuote for auto, health, home, business, and even life insurance. For example, if you live in the Midwest and want Oklahoma insurance, you’d just fill out the brief form requiring your zip code, the type of insurance, and whether or not you have that insurance already. NetQuote logoThen, hit the “Get Quotes” button and wah-lah! There you have it. I put in “73142” and picked “Health Insurance” for the purposes of testing. I added my sex, birth date, height, weight, and other information—including a couple “pre-existing conditions”—and got all the way to the last step before I had to stop. The last step is to add your personal information so that insurance companies can actually contact you with offers. Since I don’t actually live in Oklahoma City, I can’t put in any (correct, true) information from there, but all in all, the process was relatively pain-free.

Anne, a lay Apostle

The website for anne a lay apostle, is the simplest, least cluttered MySpace page I’ve ever seen. I don’t have a MySpace page myself (gasp! craziness, I know), but I do check other people’s pages periodically and I have to say, there’s not much information on this one. Here, see for yourself:

“Anne, a wife and mother of six children, lives in Ireland. The messages she hears in her heart, which she believes are from Jesus and Mary, reveal the tender, solicitous love that our Savior has for each one of us. These messages are recorded in a series of books called The Volumes. Other writings include Climbing the Mountain, The Mist of Mercy and Serving in Clarity. She gives a talk each month in her parish and participates in Eucharistic Days of Renewal around the world.”

That’s basically all of the information on the entire page, though the “Details” section does mention her zodiac sign (Leo) and that she’s married and only looking for friends.

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with the page. Just look at it? Add her as a friend (assuming I had my own MySpace page)? Look for The Volumes that are mentioned in the “About me” section?

Buying First Home

Buying first home? Check out Coldwell Banker’s 2010 home buyer tax credits page. I watched the video there and learned some interesting things. First, I learned about the first-time home buyers tax credit that was due to expire last November, but was extended by Congress and signed into law by President Obama until the end of April this year. The extension raised the income caps for individual and family buyers, buyers must not have owned a home in the previous three years, and contracts must be finalized by end of April and the sale closed by end of June this year. It also extended credit for “move up” home buyers who have lived in their previous home for at least five years. The new home they buy must be $800,000 or less. (Did you know that real estate has brought the United States out of every major downturn and recession since the 1950s?)

Watch the video and tell me what you think.

Now, I think that everyone who reads my journal is relatively intelligent, but I know nothing about buying houses. I can guess what an “income cap” or “‘move up’ buyer” is, but I don’t really know for sure, and the Coldwell Banker president didn’t define any terms; he used some words he assumed everyone knows and… well, I don’t. He did say, though, that every time a house is bought in this country, it creates a job for the next twelve months. I’m not sure how a body figures that out, but it sounds good, right? One house = one job for one year.