April 1st, 2007

No Worries

Status Report: If You Care, This Is Where I Show My Heart.

Friday: I saw two houses online that are good for me.

One is located really close by, and is relatively cheap, but with a potentially grumbly landlord upset at all manner of people harassing him about everything but the room for rent. He cut his demands down from $400 + 1/3rd utilities to $350 flat per month. I have to admit, I like grumbly people, because they're honest people, and they're strong enough to show their opinions. There were no pictures of the place or the room available, but it is within walking distance to check out if he can give me more information. I leave him a message.

The Other is a fair distance away, and to get to work from there, I need to set aside about 40-45 minutes each way (it's about 2.5 miles away, as the crow flies) or buy a bus pass and have a 10-minute walk each way. I see pictures of the youthful enterprising tenants on the website and they seem to enjoy their drink far more than I do, every picture involves beer cars in hands or a giant bottle of vodka protruding in the foreground, but the people look harmless enough, or perhaps intoxicated enough to be harmless. The price is $400, all inclusive, including cable and wireless internet, which I deem fair. I meet some of the people staying in the place on Friday night. I'm a little jetlagged but I'm friendly and sociable and explain who I am and my past with total honesty, I have no reason to be ashamed of how things have turned out. The site explains the room is a little on the small side, but I'll get a phone call on Saturday to arrange a viewing on Sunday, so I can make my decision then.

So far, so good. I have options. Time is short, but the hard work is done: I don't have to panic, I just have to wait. Packing fills up the waiting time.

Saturday: Landlord from Place One calls and tells me he's going to be back from work at 3. I tell him I'll be at work then, and will continue to be at work until 9, apart from an hour-long break where I rush to the house, look, and decide there and then. Or I can have a look on Sunday. He suggests Sunday eagerly, he doesn't know exactly what he's up to for the rest of this day. What a hot shot entrepreneur he is!

Nobody from The Other Place calls at all.

Sunday: I cannot contact either group, all I get are answer phones. I've left text messages and messages on the answer phones and I'm a little tetchy. I have back-up plans, thankfully. Either of two people who I work with have offered me a place to stay. One situation is short-term but close to work, the other in the middle of nowhere for what I know of Tacoma, with no exact date of when I'd need to be kicked out. I then pack the last of my items up and find out nobody in the house is organised and play a trump card, which needs me to go develop the story further. Let's go back in time... yes... back in time to before I left for England...

Oh, she was wonderful. She was charming and laughed at my jokes and anecdotes and was as beautiful as anyone I've sat across a table from - and as soon as I met her and felt the connection, I knew we'd have to keep in touch once our dinner ended and we parted ways. Her name is Tanisha, and she and I share a lot of similarities in our past, most notably her getting married due to the situation beyond the desire, another hopeless romantic who couldn't live with the What Ifs of life. She wanted to move and liked the idea of me as a room-mate. In the conversations we've had she's shown intelligence, creativity, has been full of stories and full of life. She's the type of person who I could enjoy sharing company with. She's the type of person I will always crush over bashfully, without wanting to wreck a blossoming friendship.

Then her car got stolen.

She has to use the money she was going to use towards her moving costs, her deposit and her rent, and it has to go towards purchasing another car, because she can't get to her job, she can't see her friends, she can't really enjoy the life she was loving weeks ago. However, she showed me a beautiful place she'd fallen for, and it was perfect for us. It is close to an area I used to live, it is a 'good' part of Tacoma, it had a friendly landlord who had no qualms with her dog staying, and it was a very respectable price. Perfect for us. Heck, it was cheap enough that it was nearly perfect for me if I get a good review and a raise at my workplace.

I show the place to someone in this household who has tried and tried and can't find anything good enough for his girlfriend: and if this place is perfect for me, it's even more perfect for her. It's near the area she used to live, and she longs to be back in that area. I call up the landlord in the hope the place might still be available, now I have someone else interested in the place, and yes, it's still available, we can come look at the place at 3 o'clock. This is ominous.

So, I'm counting the minutes and seconds down. My phone rests on my lap, set to vibrate into action if someone from either of my original choices wants to offer me a room. Set to vibrate if the person I could share the place with can't make it with me to the place, or can't convince her to take this place. Set to vibrate to let my back-up plans call me up to enquire how I'm doing.

How am I doing? Well, I still wish I could have moved into that place with Tanisha, but when it comes down to it, we've both been incredibly good friends to each other. What better way to show me her friendship than to find me a roof over my head. And maybe it'd wreck the friendship if I moved in with her. Still, I have to find her a car now. I think that's only fair. And then once both of us are indebted to each other, maybe I should elaborate on that crush to her.

It's quarter to two now. I'm just editing this post to hell. It's taken an hour to complete. But I'm content with this post, and with a bit of luck - or even the right perspective - I should be content with my life for the immediate future.
Lousy Smarch Weather

Update On The Housing Situation

As a member of Pacific Time, we're set to invade what you guys in the future apparently refer to as "April the Twoth". In your parallel dimension, our rent ran out yesterday. However, we seem set to wake on Skyline Drive at least one last time. How? Apparently a text we sent to our landlord requesting we stay until Tuesday may have been heeded, if that is the case I am grateful to her. However, she may also have knocked and we ignored her due to our house-hunting. Either situation is more possible than the other.

Me and my potential "roomie", Mr. J. R. Rivera, went to the household at mumble to three, and we entered an apartment with crevices, crannies, quoins and inglenooks aplenty. I like these kinds of places, especially when I'm set to get kicked out of my current house. To talk of the positives, it is spacious, has high ceilings, has a gorgeous view in one direction (from a kind of "cabin" off the living room, where one can look out at the cherry blossom trees in our yard) and seems to get a lot of natural light into it. To talk of the negative, some rooms seemed a bit cramped, including a kitchen which may frighten me into never cooking again. There was an angled ceiling jutting into my personal space just next to the cooker or the refrigerator. Also on the agenda: I will have to either set myself 70 minutes' travel-time either way, or bite the bullet and use a bus to get to work. I also have to get used to coin-operated laundry machines all over again, alas! Still, baby steps for now, while I get myself together. Generally, it's a roof over my head and there's no need to worry any further. I don't think it'll ever feel like my home, but it's got the capacity to be cozy enough.

So, after we fell in a kind of love, we took our application forms to the local bar and filled them in whilst "enjoying" a pitcher of Pabst Blue Ribbon, the locally-produced economy water-beer of choice for those who want the commercial taste of a Budweiser without the brand name. One hour later, we returned our completed forms to the landlady with a steely form of determination. Well, the steely form was less tangible than the other two application forms, in that it was a frame of mind. But that frame of mind was less tangible than the forms, steely or otherwise.

Do you see?

She's going to run background checks in the morning, and if all goes well, the lions will be let into their den in the afternoon. The fee for the checking will go towards our first month's rent and all of this makes for a promisingly cheap new chapter of my life, where I get to fill another house full of awful junk foods and purchase a bus pass to use recklessly. I'll use any excuse I can to pootle around on buses and visit random people and talk to the friendly drunks on the buses. Some can even tell your fortune by how their vomit lands on your shoes! It's quite excellent.

Beyond that, I need to convert my British-money to go towards the deposit and rent, pay off the cost of the flight on the credit card I used, and possibly look at for a shiny laptop for myself. All is possible with the mighty power of the British pound versus the pitiful dollar!