badness, goodness, life, manfolk

A sudden change of scenery

Diminutive Roommate has been looking for a house for the past year and a half or so.  She made an offer on a house Wednesday, and heard back Thursday that her offer had been accepted.  I felt a stab of panic on Thursday.  Today is Friday.  I”m waiting for the stab of panic to fade anytime now.

within my price range (DM’s is a little higher)

In all seriousness, I’m pretty excited for Diminutive Roommate.  We got to chat about the house for the first time tonight, and she’s (obviously) feeling overwhelmed, and worried that we’ll stop hanging out (note to self: harass Diminutive Roommate endlessly for the next three months, or until she gets sick of me).  I let her know that she would have my weekends for a while to help her get situated, and at the very least get the place in order so it can feel like a home and not just a new space to store herself.

Meanwhile, this is the perfect time to move out of our apartment for me.  I have good credit, but apparently it wasn’t good enough for me to not need a guarantor when we moved in here.  I was furious and embarrassed.  My dad signed on with much grumbling.  He and Mom didn’t seem to understand how angry and ashamed I was to have to ask for that kind of help at age 27 until they were delivering yet another lecture about how they didn’t like having to do this kind of thing at my age, and they hoped I understood the implications of blahblahblah, and I burst into tears and went on a tirade about how much effort I had put into being fiscally responsible and how mortified I was to have to do this in front of my friends, in front of my family.

Fast-forward ten months later, and Diminutive Roommate’s sudden escrow looks like an escape route for my parents who are financially on the hook until this lease ends with finality.  Plus, boyfriend and I have been talking about moving in together, but that’s all contingent on the approval of his family, who owns the house he’s been staying in rent-free for almost two years.  Plus the logistics of where my stuff would go in a house where they have expressly forbidden Boyfriend from doing anything as extreme as moving the furniture around (how would they ever fix such a permanent change?!).  So where would my stuff go?  How much rent would I be expected to pay?  How long would I be safely housed there until we got booted out because they suddenly decided to sell the place?

Then there’s the possibility that they’ll just say no outright.  Where would I go?  Would I stay here?  Would my parents take me in?  They let Sister live there for a while before she couldn’t stand it for another second (that was explosive exit).

I’m expecting the panic to subside anytime now.  Yep, aaaaaanytime.

Side note: It’s Saturday now, and I’ll be going to see Diminutive Roommate’s house this afternoon.  I’m pretty excited.  She said there are two cats that come with the place, lol.  I wonder what she’ll do with them (adopt, obviously).  More as this story unfolds.  Back to you in the studio.

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family, goodness, life, manfolk

Upgrade complete

Yesterday was moving day from the apartment where Diminutive Roommate and I have been living for three years to a new place with a new third roommate just a mile to the east.

With a big event like a move, something’s gonna go wrong.  This move demonstrated Murphy’s Law too well at times.

Wednesday, August 31st: The day before the move
I got an IM from Diminutive Roommate saying that everyone except me had failed to sign one random page of the lease, and that we couldn’t get the keys for the new place without it.  Bear in mind that this is the same management who failed to check that we had signed each page when I delivered the lease (although, to be fair, we didn’t check either), and who refused to give us the keys the night before because our lease didn’t start until the 1st.  Of course, their office didn’t open until 9am, so even though we were officially on the lease, we would have to wait for their office to open to get the keys.  So instead of “wrongly” having the keys from 6pm (when their office closed) to midnight, they would withhold them from us from midnight to 9am on the 1st.  Or we could pay $85 for one day of pro-rated rent.  I smell bullshit.  We planned to pick up the keys first thing in the morning and hope for the best.

I got home on the 31st, said hi to Calico, wandered down the hall to my room, flicked on the light, and… wait, why isn’t the light coming on?  *click, click, click, click* No light.  I went back to the front door to see if the building’s lights were on in the hall (yes).  I flicked the light switch in the kitchen to see if the problem was localized to my room (nope).  I sighed, and chuckled, and called Diminutive Roommate:
“Hey there, just calling to see how you’re doing, and make sure that page got signed by everyone, and we’re good to go for tomorrow, although if you needed help with it I guess you would have called me.  Uh… oh, by the way (haha!), when did you arrange for the power to be turned off here?  Cus there’s a little surprise for you when you get home!  Call me!”

"are you shitting me?"

I ate some melty ice cream, and frowned at the two wedges of brie that had been sitting in a dark, un-powered refrigerator all day.  As prepared as we were, there was still work to do.  I did that eyelid-fluttering mind-search that helps me remember things, and went straight to the box where I had packed the candles (win!).  I packed the last of my junk amid some flickering, romantic lighting, did some packing in the kitchen, and realized at 830pm that I hadn’t had dinner.  I drove around looking for a post office drop box to leave our cable box in, then arrived at Fancy-pants Farms to get a sammich only to discover them 10 minutes past closing.  I crash-landed in a CPK booth instead, and had a nice chat with the waiter who enjoyed The Hobbit more than the following Lord of the Rings trilogy (disagree).  Diminutive Roommate finally got back to me after two and a half hours of calling and texting.  Drove home to find her mulling around in the dark.  We agreed we had done all we could, and hit the sack.

Thursday, September 1st: The day of the move
I wake up around 7 before the alarm and can’t get back to sleep (too excited/ready for it to start the move so it can be over).  Melissa leaves around 815am to get keys and garage clickers from management.  I finish packing up, and pace around while the movers arrive a half-hour late, and seem to move in slow motion once they arrive.  At one point, time seemed to flash to a halt and balance on fine point in the exact spot where I sat.  I could feel each second pass like dripping water, and the expanse of the hours before the move would be done stretched out before me as a vast ocean of carboard boxes and the smell of moving blankets.  It was a low point in my day.

"JUST LEAVE YOUR KEYS ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER."

Diminutive Roommate takes her garage clicker to the new place to test it.  The owners of our old apartment building, an older couple, come by with the manager (let’s call him Melty-face) to check out the apartment.  They seem nice enough.  I tell them about how my dehumidifier pulled one cup of water out of the air per hour in my room alone.  The lady looks shocked, and asks if I left the window open during the rain.  I said no, and that the moisture might be in the walls, because we didn’t know where it was coming from.  She didn’t like the sound of that.  Not.  One.  Bit.

Meanwhile I had missed a text from Diminutive Roommate regarding her garage clicker: it won’t work.  She slouches into the kitchen minutes later, and I decide what I need to get back into the game is a quick verbal sparring match with our new management (who couldn’t give us the keys six hours early, but was kind enough to screw up our garage clickers).  I bid a final farewell to our old apartment, and drive a mile east with all our artwork wrapped in brown paper in the back of my little Fiat.  Boyfriend and I try both clickers in every combination possible to no avail.  I call management (let’s call them Overworked Equities).
lady: Overworked Equities.
me: Hi, I’m moving into [address redacted] today, and the garage clickers we picked up this morning aren’t working.
lady: Ok, you’ll have to come in and pick up two new ones.
me: …Absolutely not.  Our movers will be here in 20 minutes.  You need to find another solution.  I’m not driving all the way to your office.
lady: *sigh* Ok, well, uh… ok hold on.
After being bounced around I finally get hold of a guy who speed-talks me through the problem, and says someone will be by in 20 minutes to fix it.

Ten minutes after our movers arrive, a guy comes and opens the gate after fiddling with it and referring to several pages of numbers (“This code isn’t working.  They must have changed it without telling me.”).  The movers make extensive use of the freight elevator, which one coupled set of tattooed Hispanic residents did not like.  The lady asked me if the movers were emptying the elevator and staging everything in the hall first, or moving things one by one, “because that’s slow, and I gotta move my stuff from storage 3 to storage 1.”  Thanks for the warm welcome!

Over the course of the move, even when we ran into problems, I kept a pretty up-beat attitude.  It wasn’t hard; we were so close to finally getting into our new place.  I got short with Boyfriend once (he was being contrarian), but otherwise had maintained a good, positive drive.  But it was not to last.

My father is sort of a Renaissance man.  He’s a lawyer who grew up on sailing and canoeing teams in Hawai’i, loves to hike and navigate the wild, has quite a green thumb, and is currently rebuilding some derelict stairs on the hill behind his house (like a pro).  At our house growing up, he had a garage which he converted to a workshop where he could typically be found late at night working on something or another.  I have fond and powerful memories of spending time there in the summer.  The concrete was always cool on my feet.  He built a bench for Sister and I to stand on so we could “help” him on projects.  The smell of sawdust, the sound of a table saw, the sound of a plane on wood were all visceral experiences for me, and I smile even now thinking about it.

Dad built a hutch out of ash in that workshop while I was a kid.  Dad always said, “Ash is known as the poor man’s oak,” meaning it was cheaper than oak, but just as sturdy.  He did all the dovetail joints himself with a chisel.  The handles on the doors and drawers are solid brass, shiny and smooth.  It’s the closest thing we have to a family heirloom, and it weighs roughly a ton.  It’s never been an easy piece of furniture to move, and this time was no different.

inconsolable

There’s a sharp turn from one hallway to another into my room in the new apartment.  The movers took one look at it and said, “It’s not gonna fit.”  My heart sank.  Then they tried, and it didn’t fit.  We stood in the living room discussing where to put it.  “You want it there?  That’s a good spot,” one of them offered.  I held up a finger to ask them to wait, walked down the hall into my room, and burst into tears.  Boyfriend came in to tell me something, and instead asked me what was wrong.  “If the hutch can’t fit into my room, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”  I had reached the end of my rope.  This problem was just too much for me to handle.  Where would I put my clothes?  This beautiful chest my father made for Sister and me as kids would sit in the living room like a common piece of furniture instead of being safely stationed in my bedroom where I could look at it everyday and feel love for it (and from it).  My chest hurt.  I sat on the floor and cried like a child.

Boyfriend went into problem-solving work mode, and began inspecting the window.  “I can pop this screen right off.  I’m gonna measure it.  I think it could fit.  Do you want to ask the movers to try that?”  Neither of us thought they’d be game to try putting a giant, heavy piece of furniture through a window.  I looked up from my spot on the floor and shook my head, “Will you ask them?”  Boyfriend did, and they tried it, and it worked.  The hutch stands in my room now, facing the bed, holding my books and clothes just like it should.  Heart mended, I got back to work.

After some more sweating and shuffling around the mess we’d made in the living room, I asked Boyfriend to go grab some In-n-Out for us and the movers so I could stay and coordinate.  We moved some boxes out of the way and made room at the kitchen table for a meal.  Boyfriend arrived with the food just as they brought in the plaid couch.  We didn’t realize how hungry we were until we started eating.  The van was empty, we were all full of food, and the mover said he would like cash (even though their website said they took credit card).  I drove to an ATM, counted out the cash, signed his papers, went upstairs, and unpacked my room for the next six hours until all that was left was the computer.  It was finally time to sleep.

My current room is about a third smaller than my last, which I’m surprisingly happy about.  I thought I would feel cramped, but looking back, my room always felt a little hollow.  I have less furniture in my current room, but it feels roomier somehow.  There’s a nice central open area in the middle, the closet isn’t packed to the gills, my bookshelf is organized, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it start getting all cluttered.  And I’m changing out the damn vertical blinds for something that blacks out that damn exterior hall light.

In other news my roommates are awesome.  We shared a beer and some Indian food from Samosa House (best vegetarian food ever).  I’m feeling good about this whole setup.

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goodness, life

Le Move

I might have to hide somewhere in here and jump out at Diminutive Roommate tonight

I have too much stuff.  I thought to myself, “Moving will be so cleansing!  What an excellent experience!  I can’t wait to start getting rid of all the junk I’ve been accumulating for the past three-plus years I’ve been living here!”  While all that’s good and true, packing the other 85% of my crap has been distinctively less rewarding.  All my free time for the past two weeks has been taken up with driving all over LA picking up cardboard boxes from people on craigslist, packing, spackling, painting, and discovering more crap that needs packing.  Yesterday we went through the kitchen (almost done!).  Highlight: We got rid of 90% of the liquor cabinet, and discovered that I still had one bottle of that wine I love so much!  A night of celebratory imbibing will certainly be in order once we settle in.

Today we’ll be dealing with Diminutive Roommate’s flatscreen tv.  The plan is to wrap it in moving blankets, then not break it.  The move has been exhausting but good.  I got to see which art books I want to keep (almost all), and which I should really take a look at instead of piling crap in front of them (Van Dyck is the man, y’all).  Diminutive Roommate’s cat (Calico) has found a new nook  to tuck into every day, which is adorable, and I’m starting to get excited about the new place.

I could go for a solid four hour nap, but I have to get packing again… After I finish this episode of Kaze no Stigma.

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badness, life

Not my best month ever

This has not been my best month ever.

me vs. universe. guess which one is me.

We lost a great roommate (High School Friend) to graduate school in another state, and attempted to fill her spot.  Without friends available to do so, we searched on Craigslist with semi-disastrous results (Treacherous Wench backed out the day before she was supposed to move in).  So we gambled and assumed that Diminutive Roommate’s old college roomie would be able to live with us if we could find a place that suited our needs (i.e. a bigger room for her).  Luckily she has decided to live with us (yay!).  Two Saturdays in a row we hunted for apartments all day long, driving around the Westside in my little Fiat, hoping to find an owner or manager desperate enough to offer us a place on the spot because, let’s face it, it was the 20th, and we were running out of time.

We found a place we all loved, they even put in new carpets!  But it took us a while to get our paperwork in.  Finally, with everything properly submitted, a couple nail-biting days passed before we heard that my parents will have to cosign the least to make up for my apparently questionable, previously immaculate credit.

Furious at this blatantly false accusation, I rushed home from Karate Job to check my credit score.  Three days ago, it dropped 55 points.  Fifty-five points.  In one day.  HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN.  Apparently when you get a new car and put in two applications for apartments, your credit gets checked all the fucking time.  I also paid one bill late last week (through no fault of my own THANKS FOR NOTHING, GAP).  Five hard inquiries within a month later, my credit score could not stand the constant verification, and collapsed under the weight of the absurd credit rating system to which it is a tiny, starved, brainless slave.

Now, at age 27, I have to call up my folks and ask them to vouch for me financially, after I just bought the first brand new car my family has ever owned, impressing everyone with my financial prowess.  It’s infuriating, and frankly humiliating.

Now begins the moving process, when I spend all my free time attempting to fit my life into too few boxes in too little time.  Which means… no more World of Warcraft until after the move.  DAMMIT, UNIVERSE, I NEED MY FIX.

Not my best month ever.

P.S. Amidst all this, I’m happy about something: moving is a cleansing process which, while difficult, is always good.  It’s an exercise that needed to happen.  I have too much stuff.  I need to shed all that extra fur and let my summer coat come out.  You should see my summer coat.  Gorgeous.

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badness, life

Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

I got some bad news this morning.  The girl who was planning on moving in with Diminutive Roommate and me bailed on us.  Yesterday.  Via Facebook.  The day before she was going to move in.  It’s been a stressful morning.  I got a message from Diminutive Roommate (who had just read the Facebook message about how Traitorous Wench was basically dumping us for someone else).

hey look, it's me.

I called her back as I parked for work at Office Job, and spent a good half hour ranting with her about how screwed we would be if we weren’t financially responsible, hard-working people.  We’re both just shocked at how selfish Traitorous Wench has been.  Diminutive Roommate suggested taking her to small claims court.  I said we should wait a week or two and see if our sakki* had subsided by then.

Faced with annoying, stressful (but not horrible) crap, I regress into imaginationland, or find something to laugh at.  I decided to have a look at the most popular searches that have brought my blog to the attention of the world.  The results are pretty great.

dýně– Czech for pumpkin.  I get lots of hits for pumpkins.  No surprise there.  Pumpkins are the best.
фацепалм– Russian for facepalm.  I might have some friends in Russia if this is what they’re searching for.
юри хэнтай– Russian, something relating to hentai.  I just lost some friends in Russia if this is what they’re searching for.
требушет– Russian for trebuchet.  Heads up, Japan.  They’re doing their research.
goat in karate outfit– This is my favorite search so far.  I’ve written about martial arts, I’ve posted about goats standing on stuff.  The two were unrelated, until now.
гай фокс– Russian for Guy Fawkes (I think).  The most popular search term for my blog is Guy Fawkes.  Random.
what is hentai?– Among all the other explicitly hentai sex-driven searches my blog experiences, the innocence of this search is heartbreaking.  Imagine what this brought up.  My posts mentioning hentai are nerf-town compared to what’s out there.
the beavers over under sideways down– Wow!  Someone actually searched for this super obscure Japanese 1960’s band!  Sweet!
sexy orochimaru– What?!  No no no.
جاى فوكس– This translates roughly to “gay fox vagina.”  Wow.  Way to go, UAE.
фильм сомбреро– Russian for Sombrero!  Ole!
scary basking shark pictures– Is there any other kind?  Seriously, basking sharks are horrifying to behold.

Ironically, I played a game called Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill last night at Treehouse friend’s place, during which I became the “traitor,” and went around the house attacking and eventually subduing the rest of the participants.  It’s like art reflecting life.  Traitorous Wench!

*Sakki is a Japanese term describing a sense of bloodlust, or killing intent, directed at another person.  High-level practitioners of martial energy work (Aikido, Samurai, etc.) can sense this.  Even those with no energy or martial arts training can sense this enough to become intimidated or frightened.  This concept is mentioned in Lone Wolf and Cub, Naruto, Inuyasha, and many other manga and anime in which combat is common.  See here and here.

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