shirenomad: (wtf)
With school fast approaching, I've been hunting via Craig's List for a place in DC to stay. Slow going at first, hunting through ad after ad... then I decided to advertise myself as looking for a room instead, and got a massive flood of responses. "Law student" apparently gets attention.

Several good offers, which I've been narrowing down, but then there are the odder ones. For instance, this was sent from RESOM NEGASSI (with the caps and everything)...

DEAR [CMZERO]

MY PLACE MIGHT FEET FOR YOU. HERE IS THE DISCRIPTION:

BASEMENT with private entrance, bathroom, kitchen and closet. has washer/dryer.cabel, hi-speed internet and all utility included. located in springfield,va 22153. connection bus is on the door to springfield metro station(blue line). it has fenced yard , community tenis and basket ball courts. minutes to grocery store, costco, restaurant , mcdonalds and seven eleven. will be available aug 1 non smoking and no pets.
the rent will be $ 850.00 all included. if you are interested you con contact me.

thanks


---

PS: Foot's much better now, though I'm still sitting down more than standing up.

Tag team.

Sep. 8th, 2007 12:34 pm
shirenomad: (insanity)
I've been very busy dealing with two developments, which explains why I haven't been posting much lately.

The first is law school applications. You may remember I was looking into this a couple years ago, but law school's obviously not something you commit to on a whim... and okay, I was basically stalling on the decision. But this year, I'm definitely applying. That means collecting all the information I need, writing a good personal statement, getting recommendations, and finding money for the application fees. Preferably by the end of October, so I get in on early enrollment for all schools concerned.

The second and more complicated task is finding a new place to live by October 1st. I've basically outgrown my current room (it was pretty crowded when I first moved in and is only getting worse); that plus the sudden introduction of two dogs as of a month or so ago, and the relocation of our department 15 miles south to Irvine (my primary reason for choosing this location was its proximity to the office), has led me to decide it's time to move on. The trick is finding something that is both large enough and within my price range... given Irvine housing prices, I'll may need some divine help for this one. There are a couple options that seem promising, though (if somewhat more than I wanted to spend) and a third that I'll be checking on Monday. Fingers crossed.
shirenomad: (frustrated)
A reason I've had a tendency to be slightly late to work: continued renovation of the house. Namely, the master bathroom this week. There are only two bathrooms in the entire house, which means the landlady, her daughter, and all three renters get to slug it out over the remaining one every morning. Four times in the past two weeks, I've woken to discover that my contact lenses, bath soap, and toothbrush are all cut off from me for ten or twenty minutes because someone beat me in there, and I'm not going to work until I've had a chance to use all three, thank you. To save at least a little time in these cases, I've started stashing my electric razor in my room so I can get that part done while I'm waiting; it, at least, doesn't need the sink.

To further complicate matters, Friday the contractor finally finished getting the new toilet in the master bath installed, and -- with everything else there still a mess -- decided that made it a good time to paint the other bathroom. So Saturday for about five hours, one bathroom was closed off due to paint and all bathroom use was diverted to the master, which had no working sink, proper flooring, or door. (Well, the master bedroom door, but that basically meant locking the landlady out of her own room when you needed to use the facilities, something I was loathe to do while she was around.)

I don't think the brief blackouts that hit the house Saturday evening had anything to do with the contractor work; it certainly looked to me like the entire side of the street was out both times. Didn't make it less annoying though, especially since I was working on the computer both times. Especially since one of the times I was backing up data to DVD-ROM. Oh well, I needed a new coaster...
shirenomad: (tired)
My landlady has been renovating the house as of late. Generally, you do that before bringing in a new renter, the better to impress them, but whatever. Some parts of the house are a bit beat up and in need of tweaking, though I knew about that when I started renting.

One annoying side-effect, though, is that yesterday the contractors ripped up the shower to install a new door frame. That meant that this morning said shower was out of order. Hope I don't smell too bad.

The other annoying side-effect was that, since I was sick yesterday, I got to try to rest through that chaos. Joy.
shirenomad: (defeated)
Sometime between then and when I got back, one of them decided gravity had the right idea after all and ripped itself out of the wall, taking about 60 or 70 paperbacks with it. Which I found scattered everywhere when I arrived home. I had to do some major rearrangement of said books, especially since I felt the need to lighten the load on the other shelf just in case. The faulty shelf itself remains unattached until I find some more stubborn screws.

But thank God for small favors. The shelf lost the top screws first; thus it went flat against the wall before plummeting... had it gone straight down jutting out as it used to, it would have impacted the glass table underneath instead of slipping (semi)gracefully behind it. There also would have been the possibility of winging the corner of the TV, which I doubt could take that kind of punishment.

Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] westmarked, sorry I didn't sign on, but between the chaos in my room and the need to cook dinner before the meat went bad, it slipped my mind completely. Remind me tomorrow and I'll try to be on then, at least briefly.
shirenomad: (mellow)
This house is old. It's well-kept, so I didn't notice at all until I actually moved in, but it's about as old a house as you can expect in Orange County. The stovetop requires actual matches to light. My room needed a whole mess of two-prong to three-prong adapters and the cable line had obviously been punched through the wall by someone other than a professional. The brick in the kitchen wall isn't false; it's real brick (although there's another layer between said brick and the outside). The garage is a separate structure from the house proper. And there's little signs of wear and tear if you look closely; thankfully, nothing you notice from a distance unless you're anal about paint jobs and the like, which I'm not.
shirenomad: (memorable)
After major shuffling of furniture and many sundry items (mostly in the closet), as well as the purchase and installation of some wall-mounted shelves, I think the room is in an acceptable state. I'm also REALLY hoping those shelves don't come crashing down; I have only so much confidence in my handyman skills, and that's a LOT of books. (Also a lot of books on virtually every other flat surface. I have a lot of books; have you noticed?) But I didn't even have to send back the couch, which was a surprise. (The lamp still went back to Brian, and most of my cookware is going into storage.) Photos to come.

My chiropractor milked me for three appointments last week. Moving heavy furniture will really screw up a guy's back.

They have both a cat and a dog here. The dog is a small one and slightly hyper, but the cat is still the nuisance for its noisiness; at odd hours of the night he'll suddenly decide to start mewing. And mewing, and mewing, and mewing... I keep both the door and window closed when I sleep and I don't notice, assuming I'm already asleep when he starts. Kitty has otherwise been ignoring me so long as I don't get too close; if I do he spooks and takes off.

I really need to take a closer look at my bills before I pay them, or I'll wind up with a nasty surprise a week later when I finally find the time to go over my receipts. When I paid for my UHaul rental, I failed to notice that they dinged me an additional 48 bucks because the truck wasn't completely full of gas. I refueled to the top maybe two miles from the rental station; what more could they want from me?
shirenomad: (defeated)
Even with the crappy blinds business, I couldn't figure out just why the sun was being so blinding until just recently. I mean, I'd been outside at sunset in Irvine and had never had the sun be so directly in my eyes. Then it hit me. The house is in the town of Huntington Beach -- operative term: beach. Two miles west, tops, is the ocean. And between it and my window: mostly residential and low-density commercial. No hills, probably not a single building over three stories, not even a serious number of trees, on a gentle slope descending into the water. In other words, virtually NOTHING blocking the setting sun until it's almost at the natural horizon. Not even smog. I never realized how much difference the hills of Irvine or Santa Clara County made in the evening.

I really hope those new blinds come soon...
shirenomad: (memorable)
So yeah, with some major furniture-moving help from Allen (thanks Allen!) I got... well, not everything, but all the big stuff and quite a bit of the little stuff moved to the new place. The advance planning I did with measuring tape and a lot of cutouts on graph paper helped considerably when deciding where all the furniture would wind up, although I made a miscalculation in placing my desk (more on that in a minute) and I expected more out of the closet than I got (or rather, I expected there'd be less to fill it).

More details underneath )
shirenomad: (inspired)
No, not in the nice men with white coats sense. I plunked down my deposit; room reserved.

Ended up being none of the six I talked about last week; there were three more I saw on Tuesday (sorry for not mentioning them earlier) and two of them were good enough to get involved with last week's #1 in a lengthy, three-way battle in my mind that involved a runaway water wheel. But in the end, the winner was a reasonably sized room in a house with all the basic features I needed, pool, close to a good-sized shopping center, nice neighborhood, no real disadvantages, and at least $50 a month cheaper than everything else I was even remotely considering.

The room becomes available on September 1, which is conveniently about when I needed it (lease here expires Sept 15). I'll take advantage of Labor Day weekend to get moved in and thoroughly settled, though hopefully I won't need all three days.
shirenomad: (speculative)
Here's the housing options as they stand, for the morbidly curious )
shirenomad: (kodak moment)
Everything's unpacked, save for the books, which still sit in boxes and bags in an empty corner. Brian wanted to line a wall of the dining area with bookshelves but hasn't had time to pick out anyway. Ah well, I know where everything is...

The cable's being argumentative; for some reason the only jack working is the one in the living (read: my) room, so the cable modem and router sit on the floor near the wall until we can get the cable dude over here to see what the problem is. Also means I get the only TV in the house for the moment, which is an admitted plus.

The other annoyance with the place is the tile floors. Easy to clean, yes, but they echo a bit too much even with furniture taking up a good chunk of the room. We'll see about picking up some rugs later.

Not quite sure where I want to put my degree. Everyone in the house already knows I graduated, so it'll just look like pointless boasting if I hang it up somewhere. What DOES one do with these things anyway?
shirenomad: (tired)
Left Campbell at 9:30am yesterday (later than I had planned, but that was because Dad wanted to treat me to breakfast and I don't believe in passing on free food). Took a lunch break and 20 minute nap halfway down. Arrived safely in Irvine at 5:30pm. Unloaded truck for the next two hours. Drove to Brian's; picked up everything I had stashed there. Drove back to apartment; unloaded for yet another hour. Refueled the UHaul, killed my bank account. (On whatever's in the fridge until my paycheck arrives tomorrow. Stayed up until midnight getting stuff in relative order.

Still need to unpack most of the kitchen stuff and hook up my computer. (This is posted from the office... on lunch break, so stop looking at me like that.) And repair my desk, which still has a busted keyboard pullout from two years ago.

More to come when I'm more conscious.
shirenomad: (mixed)
Flew back up north last night. I'm spending today packing up furniture and anything else I couldn't fit in the car two weeks ago; tomorrow morning I head back south in a UHaul.

I don't think a couple things really occured to me until now. First, it's a freakin' UHaul. I've never driven anything bigger than a minivan before, and I had the trip from the UHaul rental place to home to learn the difference. Handled bad, bumpy ride, mirrors can only cover so much, and I miscalculated the stopping distance once and wound up a good two feet into the intersection. O_O This is going to be a fun 8+ hour drive to Orange County.

Which brings up the second thing. Yes, I've taken the I-5 up and down California several times, but I've never soloed it before. I rode with one or both parents, or with my roommates, or once with a pack of boardies (*waves*). So even those times when I took the wheel, it was never for the duration; we'd switch drivers at each stop to keep everyone fresh. This time, I won't even have a CD player to keep me company.

Frankly, I'm kinda scared I'll doze off at the wheel. And I certainly expect to white-knuckle the entire Grapevine. I'd say pray for me, but I'm not sure I want to roll out with the mindset that I need it. ^^;;;

New digs.

Sep. 15th, 2005 12:38 am
shirenomad: (tired)
Brian, Hacker, and I have found a place just a few doors down from where I used to room with Allen (and where he still lives, so that's convenient). ...I'm in the living room again. Whee. But I'm not getting charged much for it, so there's that. Brian just signed the lease and we move in this weekend, so I'll be heading back north Friday evening to grab a UHaul and take down furniture. Seems like I just got here... won't miss the ants, though.

JW, if you could, same request as before starting Friday?
shirenomad: (tired)
That was less painful than expected.

I'll give details sometime tomorrow after I figure out the quirks of this place, but for now, just know I'm okay and settled in some temp housing, and I start work Tuesday (YAY! Or possibly BOO!)

For now, I think it's time to sleep.

PS: JW, I don't think I missed anything, but pass it along anyway to be sure. Thanks.
shirenomad: (celebration)
...about noon PST tomorrow, when I pack up my computer and start the trek south to greener pastures. Don't know when I'll have net access again, so see you when I see you.
shirenomad: (frustrated)
But a decade into the Internet Age, this house is turning out to be a frustration.

I had always thought my parents simply never bothered getting a high-speed Net hookup for the house, but it turns out that in the five years I've been gone, they've made more than a couple attempts. But for starters, DSL was finally supposed to be available at our location last month, emphasis on "supposed to." No cable company providing to this location handles Net access either. And just to add insult to injury, we've discovered that something about the phone lines here (just this house or the entire area, we don't know) doesn't allow modem access at speeds greater than 28.8. Mom and Dad were baffled as to why the 56K modems didn't seem to be helping much.

To complicate the matter further, a little quirk of this neighborhood I forgot about: the border between Campbell and San Jose runs right down the center of the street. We're technically within San Jose limits, everyone across the street is a Campbell resident. Guess what; a DSL company provides to that section of Campbell, but our section of San Jose remains unclaimed...

This might actually be good news, though. Dad and a family friend, Ron, are seriously looking into the possibility of getting our neighbor directly across the street to let us set up a wireless network. We're pretty sure that a broadcast sent from their living room will envelope most if not all of our house. The only problem is that it's going to be frightfully expensive to get the gear for that, so we're double-checking all other options before going for it.

Meanwhile, at least the house LAN is running smoothly. Dad and Ron got that put together a few years ago. My computer still has no connection, modem or otherwise, but I can make my Favorites a shared folder and have instant access to them from the main computer whenever I go online. Also I can listen to my entire music collection.
shirenomad: (mixed)
Pulled into Campbell at about 2pm Pacific, unpacked about half my stuff, and left the rest in the garage. My computer still isn't set up yet, so I'm using the family one. Just as well, considering that we don't have high-speed access here (and I mean NO ACCESS; Mom and Dad can't find a company that will supply it to this location), and my computer doesn't have a dial-up modem at present, so... I'll figure out what to do with that issue later.

On a lighter note: I have no idea if this image will show up as is, but I found it amusing, so I'll try. You should be able to guess when this photo was taken without looking at the date (or the file name).
shirenomad: (defeated)
Timeline for August:

- Four weeks ago, recognizing my financial situation for what it was (and that my intended temporary income source was intent on welching out), I abandoned the pretense of searching for a long-term career and started applying to anything and everything with a Help Wanted sign out front. Never mind putting my degree to good use; all I needed to stay in the black was $8 an hour, 40 hours a week, and I'd take what they would give me.
- Somewhere around last Tuesday I realized that anyone I applied to as of this point wouldn't even respond before I was long gone. I notified my roommates that barring a miracle they were getting their living room back, then called home for moving preparations.
- By Sunday my parents had arranged for a UHaul and a hotel room and prepared to drive down (it's a day-long trip from their place to mine, so they'd be staying overnight). Had all gone according to plan, they would have been halfway here by now.
- Yesterday at 2pm I get a call from a local bookstore I had applied to. They want to meet me for an interview, Thursday at 3:30 (that is, about an hour ago). Yes, if they like what they see they can hire me on the spot. I tell them I'll be there for the interview, figuring I can always cancel later, and email home immediately for advice.
- About 6pm Mom calls and we start trading information. She and Dad agree this is worth pursuing. By 7pm we've cancelled their hotel reservations and the UHaul (the latter at a $50 penalty), since there's no way I can get a final answer, positive or negative, to them before they'd need to leave. By 8pm I've informed all my roommates that I will be around at least another week (the next time the folks can come down), hopefully much longer.
- An hour ago I show up at the bookstore, armed with resume, tie, and shaved face. I have by this point convinced myself that the miracle I had thought would never come was knocking on my door.
- Five minutes into the interview my manager-to-be brings up salary. She'd noted the high rates I had listed on my application for previous jobs (all of them $13 an hour and up; tech jobs may be in short supply but we can still charge well for them even at the intern stage) and figured she might as well mention up front that she couldn't match them. That was fine by me; I wasn't aiming to get rich, just stay alive and down here. Then she said what I could expect to receive.

$7 an hour. Tops.

I refer you back to the first bulleted point.

I was tempted to keep going with the interview anyway, but I had double-checked that number last night and I knew I couldn't go lower, not with a student loan and Irvine rent prices. I politely told her on the spot that I couldn't live on that, and when she revealed she couldn't budge on the figure either, I didn't have a choice. Sorry to waste your time, thanks for seeing me, good luck finding someone else.

I got as far as the car before my emotions went completely through the toilet. I don't think I realized how much hope I had put on this job before it was snatched away...
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