Tag Archive: roommate


…get out of The Woods.

But let’s back up. A few weeks ago Jimmy, the boyfriend of my neighbor Angela, sold me a window unit air conditioner that belonged to his recently deceased mother. I put it in my bedroom window and have been sleeping better than I have in years.

This is the third summer I’ve lived in this apartment complex. It was built in the 1950’s, presumably by workers on loan from the local chapter of the Special Olympics. On the ground floor there is a single unit that has heat and A/C, similar to what you see in hotel rooms, but older and less efficient. The bedrooms are upstairs, with no A/C, and windows that slide horizontally rather than lift up. Of course hot air rises, so the ground level unit doesn’t do jack shit for the bedrooms, and putting anything in the window requires a solid understanding of architectural physics. Essentially, I placed the window unit on the window sill, one bracket pushed up against the wall and the other against the sliding window. I slid a piece of plexiglass into the window frame to weigh down upon the unit. I then filled in the cracks with foam insulation tape and covered almost everything in duct tape for extra security. Fun times.

The first summer I lived in this complex was bad, but mostly bearable. Last summer had several days that topped 100 degrees, with nights when it was still in the 80’s until dawn. I got physically sick on numerous occasions, getting headaches, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It was then that I hatched the plexiglass idea, and I was determined that this year things would change. And it’s been great – like I said, I’ve been sleeping like a baby and things seem wonderful. Or they did, until the other day.

I got a letter in the mail from my landlord saying that window units were not allowed. Friday morning I called up to the office with the intention of telling them how secure it was, and how I didn’t have to drill any holes or do any modifications, so therefore didn’t violate anything in the lease. Evidently none of this matters as much as how a unit looks hanging from the window. To quote the property manager, “If everyone had window units hanging out this place would look like the hood.” Nevermind the fact that it is the hood. I offered to pay a fee, but they still wouldn’t budge. I told them how last year I was physically sick from the heat, but he assured me that since there are 190 units and only two have installed air conditioners, there was no reason I shouldn’t be able to cope with the heat like everyone else. He said that one option some people choose is a portable A/C, but those typically cost around $300, still require feeding a tube out the window, and don’t cool nearly as well. When I brought up those objections, he had the audacity to suggest I should start looking for a new place. Three years as a tenant in good standing, always paying my rent on time and never causing any problems, and that was as close as he would come to a compromise. So I told him I would find a new place, but I planned on leaving the unit in the window until I move out. He said that if that was my choice, then they would send a notice and I would have seven days from then before they began the eviction process.

This long phone call ended up making me late for work, but it didn’t matter. When I got there I was still so worked up I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I told my manager what had happened and asked if I could just take the day off to calm down and look for a new place. I came home and hit up Craigslist and started searching. I ended up going to a rental office downtown and applying for a trailer in Woodfin, so in 3-5 days I should find out if I’m approved or not. Then I went by the complex I nearly moved into before this one to see if they had any open apartments. There was a note on the door saying the office manager would be gone until Tuesday. Then I went to my bank to see if I qualify for a personal loan, so I won’t have to do a cash advance on my credit card to pay for a new place and a security deposit. I’ll most likely find that much out on Monday, which will determine what I’ll do next.

My roommate was pretty pissed when I told him all of this. Not that I really care about his feelings anymore. He constantly uses and consumes everything of mine without asking, and he is quite possibly the most disgusting person I’ve ever lived with from a personal hygiene standpoint. But he is a pretty nice guy, so I’ve done my best to tolerate his shit and convince myself that the problem isn’t him, but my own OCD. So I told him I would pay for this coming month’s rent to help him out and not leave him in a bad place on such short notice. Tomorrow morning I’ll go down to the office and give them a check dated for Friday, which is when I get paid. I’ll find out the absolute last day I can keep my A/C before they start to evict me, and take it down at the last minute. Hopefully by then I will know where I’m living next, maybe even have the keys to a new place so I can sleep in a cold bedroom there instead of sweating it out here. After work and on my only day off I’ll do a bunch of packing and moving, and if I need to a friend has agreed to let me store some non-essential stuff at her place.

Also tomorrow morning before work I will call a few other places that weren’t open on Friday. There’s a string of “affordable housing” complexes in town, most run by the same rental agency, which is only open four days a week. The main ones I’m interested in are the apartments I mentioned before that I almost moved into, and a complex they just built in the River Arts District. The place I almost moved into had a waiting list, and by the time a unit came open I had just signed a lease at my current place. Hopefully they have something open right away this time, because it would be pretty much perfect. They have two bedroom units starting at $345 (only $70 more than what I’m currently paying) and the complex is really nice. It’s also right off the highway, so it might even be more convenient than my current location. The complex in the River Arts District is around the same price for a one bedroom, but a two bedroom is about $50 more. And then there’s the place I applied to Friday. It’s a trailer park, which isn’t ideal, but the location is good. The price is a little more, and a quick drive-by revealed that these are pretty old trailers. They couldn’t show me the inside because the tenants hadn’t moved out yet, but hopefully I’ll find a way to see it on my lunch break or something one day this week. As long as the inside looks okay I don’t really care about the outside, and if the other places have waiting lists this might be my only option.

I’m so sick of living with people, so that’s a distant last option. I replied to a Craigslist ad thinking it was for an apartment, but when I got there it became evident it was a room for rent. The guy seems pretty cool, but he’s older and the place smelled like smoke. He also has a big dog that doesn’t like new people. If that wasn’t enough, I just don’t think all of my stuff would fit in the available space. Today I attempted to go see a trailer out in Candler, not realizing just how far away it would be. I found the street but couldn’t find the trailer. The guy had said to call him if I had any trouble finding it, but I didn’t get any cell phone service from the second I turned onto the street until the second I decided to give up and turn back onto the main highway. I don’t like the idea of a half hour commute to anything, and not getting any service would make life inconvenient on so many levels.

After giving up and heading home, I decided to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart in Weaverville before doing my laundry. On my way home it began to pour, and all of a sudden my car wouldn’t get out of second gear. I put my hazard lights on and turned off the highway onto Merrimon and drove 30 miles an hour the whole way back home. I braved the rain and popped the hood, but didn’t see anything unusual at all. I waited a little while to see if the rain would stop, and eventually decided to just head to the laundromat. This time my car drove beautifully, so I have no idea what its problem was. This is the second time in two days my car has done something like that. Yesterday on the way to work my brakes squealed. Then they suddenly stopped and it braked normally. I attempted to take it to the shop just to get it looked at rather than take a chance, but they were too backed up to do anything because of all the people bringing their cars in before the 4th of July. So yeah. My car is weird. But I already knew that.

And that’s pretty much where I am now. I’m sitting in my cool, air-conditioned room (for now) not sure where I’ll be in a week’s time. I’ll still be working crazy hours at my shitty job, but I’ll probably be having to cut into them for a while so I can look at places and sign leases and all that good stuff. And hopefully I’ll have a car that will take me to all of those things without any hassle. If I have to bring my car to the shop, the only option is to bum a ride to and from work. By the time I get off work the last bus has already departed the station for Merrimon, and in the event I move into one of those places in Woodfin, the bus doesn’t go that far anyway. Maybe I’ll finally get a fat check from unemployment. Maybe I’ll get approved for that loan. Or maybe I’ll give up and decide that I’ve had enough of Asheville and its low wages, high rents, and hot summers. All I know is, I wish I could find this Murphy guy and teach him a few laws of my own…

 

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I’m writing this from my family’s house. It’s the wee hours, Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. In about five hours my family will want to wake up to open presents. I should be exhausted, yet I’m not. It’s pretty much impossible to sleep around here, for one reason or another. So out of boredom and the need for an update on life, let’s back up…

Last Wednesday my probable roommate came over to do some measurements. It looks as though his stuff is going to fit, so at this point all that’s left is for him to go to the office and apply. Later that night I met a girl named Amber who I’ve been talking to on OKCupid and Facebook. She’s a redhead, she works with autistic people, and she’s in recovery, five years sober. She seems really sweet and intelligent, but I’m not sure what I think about her yet. I’ll probably try to get up with her after the holidays and then see how things go.

Thursday night after work I went to Walmart for a few quick things and ended up waiting in line for almost an hour. I wrapped Christmas presents and finished a new painting. On Friday my friend Rhiannon came into town, along with her boyfriend and some friends of theirs, another couple. I stayed up pretty late talking and goofing off and was extremely sleepy at work on Saturday.

After work Saturday we met back up downtown. I waited while Rhiannon and her boyfriend got new tattoos, then we went in search of food. My neighbor Angela sent me a text saying that she was at the LAB with my other neighbor Michelle. They hit it off nicely with Rhiannon and my new friends and everyone had a pretty good time. Rhiannon and Michelle did more than a little flirting with each other, which was pretty interesting to say the least. After dinner we split up, with Angela, Michelle, and I staying at the LAB and the others going to the Boiler Room for some techno fetish Christmas party. Playing that night at LAB was an old friend from Fayetteville who I haven’t seen in years, a guy named Ryan who performs under the name Rookie Of The Year. We hung out afterward and he bought me a drink and gave me a deal on his newest CD. It’s not exactly my prefered style of music, but definitely a step up from his last album. I rode home with Angela and Michelle and then we hung out at Angela’s apartment for a while. Rhiannon and her friends got back around 3:00, very drunk and giggly. We chatted for a while and then everyone went to sleep.

I somehow managed to wake up extremely early Sunday to pack my stuff and load my car. I spent the whole day at work alternating between nodding off and consuming more caffeine. After work I met up with a guy named Christian. He posted on Reddit that he needed a ride to Statesville and would pay gas money. I figured I was going that way anyway, I might as well. In Hickory, after much confusion, we met up with my friend Lucie. Christian’s sister came to Hickory and picked him up, and Lucie and I had dinner, drinks, and chatted. After dinner I set back on the road, alone, but with the help of much more caffeine. I arrived at my family’s house around 1:00. Earlier today a few of my mom’s friends came over, followed by my sister, her new husband, and the kids. We had dinner, opened a few presents, drank, and watched TV. Everyone is either gone or asleep now, and I’m thinking at some point in time I should follow suit.

A lot of my family’s Christmas traditions haven’t happened this year. We didn’t go to Midnight Mass, we’ve yet to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, etc. It doesn’t really feel like Christmas, which I suspect is part of being an adult. It’s still my favorite holiday, but it’s becoming more and more just another day. And now I’m finally starting to get sleepy, so perhaps the time for rambling is over. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, The End.

 

The pre-Christmas rush

You know how you feel like you’re really busy, but then you can’t think of anything you’ve done? That’s kinda how I feel right now.

I dropped my car off at the shop Friday before work. I need new shocks and a new belt tensioner, I knew that beforehand. I just want to make sure my car is highway-ready before I leave for Fayetteville. Evidently it took them a few days to get the parts because it’s not ready, and they said probably tomorrow around lunch time. I need to do a little last-minute shopping at the *gasp* mall before I have to work four days and then leave town. Today I had to bum a ride to the laundromat from my roommate and walk pretty much everywhere else.

I’ve been looking for a new roommate, with very limited success. I can’t remember if I blogged about this already or not, but at the beginning of the year, Sofia is moving in with Joshua, who know has an open room because his roommate moved to Africa. I put an ad on Craigslist, but I’ve gotten a pretty random assortment of weirdos, people my mom’s age, people on disability, people who want to raise chickens, you name it. This guy Matt seems pretty cool. He’s coming over tomorrow to measure the room and make sure his furniture will fit, and if so I’ll offer it to him. If not, I’m not really sure what to do. There isn’t even a close second this time around. It’s him and a bunch of freaks. So hopefully his stuff will fit and it will be a fairly easy transition. Fingers crossed…..

Not much going on in the girl department. A friend of a friend added me on Facebook and was supposed to come over last night. I haven’t met her in person, and I only knew of her existence for an hour before she said she wasn’t doing anything and wanted to have a good time. Evidently her friend needed her for emotional support or something equally dramatic, so it didn’t happen. Maybe we’ll get together sometime soon, who knows. I met a girl on OKCupid last week and we’ve been chatting. She seems really cool, but we’ve yet to meet in person. But that’s really about all I have going on at the moment. My friend Rhiannon is coming to Asheville on Friday and Saturday, which should be a fun time. I’m not sure how much I’ll get to see her since I’m working both days, but any time spent with her is pretty fun.

So yeah, that’s pretty much my life at the moment. The End.

 

Boredom

I’m bored.

Like, really bored.

So bored I’m writing a blog about nothing.

I got home from work today and wandered over to my neighbor Crystal’s apartment. She’s been bugging me to introduce her to this police officer who sometimes works at the gas station. I knew he would be working tonight, so I went to see if she wanted to go ride up there. Her oldest daughter was supposed to be watching her youngest daughter, but was nowhere in sight, so she couldn’t go anywhere until further notice.

I made some dinner and lounged around for a little while. I grabbed my guitar and sat on the front porch playing, hoping neighbors would appear out of the woodwork and cure my boredom. But alas, ’twas not to be. I briefly talked to my neighbor Michelle as she was walking to her car. She was going over someone’s house for their birthday, and once again was not accompanied by her cute friend.

My roommate got home and went out on the front porch to smoke and chat with some of her friends. For some reason my body has just completely rejected even a hint of cigarette smoke lately. My nose fills with the smell until I can’t smell anything else, gets really super dry and itchy, and I find it hard to breathe. The only thing that seems to work is to blow my nose, take a few puffs of saline spray, and force myself to inhale something that smells good, like an air freshener. Then all the nicotine makes me feel jittery and sometimes I get a headache. I’m going to have to start shutting all the windows in the house, even though the weather outside is gorgeous and the perfect temperature for leaving windows open. The day she stops talking about quitting and finally does literally cannot get here soon enough.

But yeah, that’s pretty much all that’s going on. Mass amounts of boredom, a guitar, a lack of cute girls, and some cigarette smoke. Fun times. Mental note: find something to do tomorrow night.

 

The Book Of Moron

Somehow tonight I ended up just hanging out with a bunch of our neighbors. My roommate Sofia has become pretty good friends with one of our neighbors, Krystal. They were sitting on the front porch chatting and another neighbor, Angela, came up. I’ve been friends with her for a while, and her crazy little dog tagged along, so I decided to join them. Two people moved into the next building over not long ago, and one of them, Dustin, came by. Eventually his roommate, the extremely adorable Michelle joined us. We were having basic get-to-know-you chats when we saw two guys approaching…

Sure enough, they were Mormon missionaries. They were nice and friendly, but it quickly became apparent that this was five-against-two. My roommate, Krystal, and Michelle (who has a gay best friend) started giving them a lot of crap about their stance on homosexuality. Then I jumped on board and started dissecting their philosophy (ie, the stuff they don’t usually mention when they come to your door). I asked all about becoming a god and getting your own planet and whatnot, and they insisted these beliefs (which they correctly did not deny were part of LDS doctrine) came not from The Book Of Mormon or The Pearl Of Great Price, but from the Bible itself.

I’m pretty sure this was just an attempt to make these ideas seem less crazy, now that they had been brought out into the open and they couldn’t just gloss over things and make the LDS church sound more like mainstream Christian denominations. Instead, they had to show us how mainstream Christianity was just as crazy, but that non-Mormons had been misinterpreting it. They showed me plenty of Bible verses and talked a lot about what mainstream churches believe, but I was able to counter everything they said, based on the fact that I spent around twelve years studying the Bible, theology, and the beliefs of various denominations.

When they could see that I knew more about their beliefs than most people they talk to, they had no choice but to back down and try to sell me on a pamphlet that would explain everything. I told the guy who offered me the pamphlet that I wasn’t going to read it, that I have probably already read the material that it cited, and that I would rather it go to someone who might be interested and sitting on the fence. I didn’t want that one person to miss out on this pamphlet because he ran out of them, meanwhile mine sat on a shelf and collected dust. He assured me that he has never run out, so I told him I would take it and put it in the free bin at Downtown Books and News, and perhaps someone else will find it more helpful. This seemed to him to be a good compromise.

We had a few more debates about human nature, the concept of sin, the existence of God, and the validity of the Bible, and then they decided their work was done. I started playing Michelle’s guitar and then one of our other neighbors, Ty, came out with his guitar. I grabbed my derbuka and we had a short little jam session until it started raining and we all dispersed. Overall it was a pretty fun evening. It’s not every day a group of people living in an apartment complex in the city hang out around a front porch and shoot the shit. And it’s definitely not every day five people gang up on some Mormons and have a good laugh at their expense.

In a completely unrelated note, my stuff is ready at the frame shop. My bank account isn’t exactly happy about that, but oh well. Two-and-a-half weeks until my show! w00t!!! And yeah, I guess that’s about it for now.

 

How about a quick little summary of my past two days?

Last night I went out with Lauren. We met at Carmel’s and had martinis, then headed to the Battery Park Book Exchange and had some wine. She was charming, often very funny, and obviously rather intelligent. She has probably forgotten more about wine and literature than I will ever know. She gave me a list of books to look for, most of which I’ve never heard of, but that sound like something I would enjoy. Evidently she drinks a lot, and she seems like she’d be absolutely hilarious once she got enough alcohol in her. There were a few of the awkward silences one might expect, but for the most part things went well. We both had a good time and agreed to get together again soon. I wasn’t knocked off my feet or anything, but I like her, and hopefully the next time we go out things will go just as well.

Today I went around checking out some frame shops. The Frugal Framer gave me the best price, so I left four pieces with them, and they should be ready in a week. If I have enough money and enough time I have a few more pieces I might get framed, but this framing bill has pretty much dashed my vacation hopes. Oh well.

After the frame shop I did some grocery shopping and then laundry. My roommate’s car is in the shop so I let her tag along to the laundromat with me. When we got back I threw together a quick dinner and got ready to go out yet again.

Tonight I went out with Stacie. We met up at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, where she had an iced coffee and we chatted a bit before heading to the theater. Moonrise Kingdom was absolutely fabulous, but more on that later. After the movie we roamed around downtown looking for something to do. A friend had told her the Yacht Club was a terrible place, so she wanted to check it out. Turns out it’s a private club, and neither of us wanted to buy a membership. Everywhere else we went seemed to be having live music, and we both decided we’d rather go somewhere quiet so we could talk. We ended up just kinda walking around in circles until we landed at Wasabi right before closing. The sushi was pretty good and very reasonably priced, but I probably ate more than I should have, considering I wasn’t really hungry. We walked around a little bit and ran into my roommate and a friend of hers. Evidently her friend came and picked her up and they went out for coffee and were just sitting on a bench chatting. We talked to them for a little while and then decided to call it a night. Initially I wasn’t sure if this was a date per se, and maybe that lack of pressure allowed me to have a good time, who knows. But one way or another, I was really impressed with Stacie. She’s also very intelligent, with a good sense of humor, and an adorable Kentucky accent. She’s also pretty much gorgeous. She seemed to have had a good time as well, and we also decided to get together again soon.

The great thing about being single is that you can go out with several different girls and focus on having a good time. Eventually I’ll have to narrow my scope a bit, perhaps settle down. But at this point in time I don’t really know what I want. It’s good to know that I do in fact have some options, and I don’t have to sit at home alone every night. Believe it or not, I can go out with beautiful, intelligent women. So I guess I can’t really complain, can I? As Barney Stinson might say, I’m awesome. True story.

 

My family left pretty early on the 4th of July so they could be home in time to go to a cookout my sister and her fiance had planned (but not told them about until the last minute). After they left I caught up on some much-needed sleep and then started on a new painting. It’s a sort of companion piece to my last work, the one with the gold leaf that everyone seems to like. I’ll post it whenever I’m finished. My original plan after painting was to just lounge around the house and do nothing, but then around 8:00 James called me and said that they were downtown getting ready to watch the fireworks. I decided to join them, but other than that my 4th was pretty uneventful.

Yesterday at work was a very draining day. In addition to being pretty busy and having a shipment to put up, my boss came in, and she was in a bad mood and gave us a ton of busy work, and made a big deal out of the smallest of things. She also brought her six-year-old son because she couldn’t find anyone to watch him, so I wound up playing with him and keeping him occupied for a while. He’s super high energy, and even though he’s a sweet kid, he can wear you out pretty quickly.

When I finally got to take my lunch (about half an hour later than I usually do) I got an unexpected text message that kinda messed with my mind and my emotions. It was from Hannah, who I haven’t communicated with in any way since February. Evidently she was me, but I’m not sure if I saw her. I was really stressed out and kind of in a daze, so maybe I watched her walk by and didn’t even notice, who knows. She said that I looked sad and asked me if everything was okay. I told her I was just stressed, and we chatted a little about whether or not to reopen the lines of communication between us. She essentially said that next time if she sees me she might come say hi and talk a little, but that we weren’t going to start talking on a regular basis. I can definitely live with that – even though I’ve forgiven her (and I hope she’s forgiven me) and most of the hurt has passed, I don’t think it’s good for us to talk right now. Maybe down the road we might be able to, but at this point in time we’re just not good for each other. But talking to her again got me thinking about our relationship and how things fell apart, and it also got me thinking about the girls I’ve gone out with or attempted to date in the interim, and the one I’m trying to catch now. Sometimes I think I’m just not wired for normally functioning relationships, and just the thought of it stresses me out beyond words.

When I got home from work I cooked dinner and relaxed in front of the television for a while. My roommate came home and we started talking, and I guess because of everything that had been on my mind the conversation got really in-depth and personal. We talked a lot about our respective failed relationships and philosophies of life and whatnot, and before I knew it, it had gotten extremely late. I love the fact that I finally have a roommate I can just sit and talk with, but perhaps we need to try to arrange these long chats on nights when I don’t have to wake up early the next day, because today at work I was exhausted.

My coworker didn’t show up until around 1:00 (we open at 10:00) and wasn’t answering her phone. My boss came in and was of course assuming the worst and freaking out. Turns out her alarm didn’t go off and her phone has been messing up, so she somehow slept through all of it. By the time she finally got there, my boss was in a pretty foul mood, and started taking it out on us. As the day went on she started to settle down and actually got in a good mood, and we all had a nice chat about classic movies. Then just as she was about to leave, she misplaced her prescription sunglasses, and all of a sudden it was the end of the world again. We eventually found them, my coworker left early to get to an art opening, and I closed up show by myself. I made a quick trip to the grocery store and then cooked a nice black bean and garlic stir fry over rice noodles. I worked a little more on my painting and decided to write a blog.

I need to make it a point to get to sleep early tonight, I’m completely drained. Tomorrow should hopefully be a more relaxing day at work, and the next day I can catch up on a little sleep before returning to my other job after taking this past week off to see my family. And I guess that’s about it until I can think of something else interesting to write about…..

 

So I have a really crazy story. A story in which I take someone I’ve only known a few days to the emergency room at 2:00 AM. A story in which a drunk redneck with a mullet, wife beater, and trucker cap gets escorted out of said emergency room by security officers. A story in which I spend the rest of my evening helping someone cope with opiate withdrawal. A story in which the next morning, my car, which was parked at a very steep angle, refuses to start, meaning I have to walk a mile to a gas station and buy a gas can and fill said gas can with gas, most of which spilled all over my feet because I have no idea how to use said confusing gas can.

It’s really quite a story. But unfortunately, I won’t be able to tell it at the present time. You see, I’ve started the roommate search. My current roommate is moving to Oakland sometime in the next few months. I put an ad on Craigslist and have spent most of my free time replying to emails and meeting people. I had three people come over last night and one tonight, with a few more coming by over the course of the next few days. Add to this the fact that I was already sleep deprived thanks to my crazy night that I can’t tell at the present time, and you can imagine how tired I’ve been this week. It’s only 10:00 now, but I feel like I could just drop.

I think I might just do that. After this episode of American Dad that is.