Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My life as a 10 x 10 storage unit

When I first started carting over my books and boxes to the storage unit, I thought that the cube of space was a little grim, but plenty of room. Then I thought I would never be able to get all my furniture in there, and I waffled back and forth over whether it would be fine or I was going to have to jettison random pieces  at the curb. It turned out that everything fit, with a teeeny bit of leftover space, and mainly because my movers were good at stacking high and Tetris-ing everything in there.

Now I am freeloading off my sister, in the bedroom that holds all her junk and the furniture my niece grew up with (some of which is old crap from my childhood and even handed down from my sister's childhood, which is oddly depressing), and I am struck by how similar the space is to the storage unit and is maaaaaybe 10 x 10. This might be rough.

I am even more struck by how different our priorities are. Sure, she bought a place in the heart of Silicon Valley and I know your money doesn't stretch all that far, but although she bought something cheap, she didn't buy the cheapest --- I know there were places that were cheaper that looked less of a "dungeon" (her words). This place is a bottom floor condo in one of the zillions of apartment complexes built in the late 70s/early 80s that got flipped into condos sometime in the 90s. There are only windows on one side of the unit, and only a couple at that. Other units are on all other sides. Even if access to light and a view was unimportant to her, the closed-in layout means it is over 90 degrees in here most of the time --- and my sis refuses to put in air conditioning. It is tough to fall asleep here at night. Hell, she refused to get a bed and slept on the floor of the living room for years after her divorce --- which she only changed when my brother got a new bunk bed for his son and gave her the old bed! It's like she was punishing herself for the divorce or something.

In return for staying here I agreed to grocery shop and cook (which I like to do and she hates) and I crammed the last bits of my pantry into her crowded kitchen. Dudes. She lives off canned soup and applesauce. All the food in her freezer is over 5 years old. She mentioned the other day that she hates eating. She doesn't like coffee or beer. How are we related?

And this morning while I was making my coffee, a bug sauntered across the stove. Taking his own sweet time. I think it was a roach. I've offered to clean out her freezer, and now I guess I'll do all the pantry cabinets too. How are we related?

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Ugh, now what?

The easy part's over. Now what do I do with my life?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Would anybody like to borrow some cats?

I still haven't figured out where to store them. Most places that hold cats for you end up costing as much as rent, so I'm not sure that moving in with family is actually the big cost-saving plan they thought it would be. Most places want about 20 per cat per night, which I have always been complaining about whenever I try to visit family for 3 weeks or a month. "You're leaving so soon?" "Maaaa, I've already spent 500 on cat boarding! I need to get back!" My teeny emergency savings pile won't last very long if I shell out 1200 a month for the cats --- again, I could probably be living in a studio somewhere with them for that kind of money! (And if that's the right plan, then why did I bust my hump to haul crap over to the storage unit all week?)

I know what you're going to say --- why not just get rid of them permanently? That's not an acceptable outcome. I know my family is going to start pushing hard for that plan soon but my cats have been there for me and helpful in ways that my family has always let me down, so I'm not about to put them over the cats as a priority. Instead I have been researching chicken runs and catios and their construction costs in the hopes that I can just have them squat in my brother's backyard without being eaten by coyotes. I mean, he never goes outside anyway so why would it bother him to have some cats out back with the other allergens? Although I haven't figured out a way to broach it with them and the timeline is running short. Maybe I could just not tell him? It's not like he ever looks out the back window anyway. He probably wouldn't even notice...right?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wrap your digital keepsakes with yesterday's tweets

I can't believe I did this, but I actually went out and purchased packing paper. It seems so pointless, paying money for paper that I'm only going to throw away soon, but I kinda had to. Last move I could use my clothing since I was unpacking and putting everything away as soon as I moved, but that's not the case this time. I used some of my long- sleeved tops, but that and my towels only covered part of my breakables, and I have most of my kitchen dishes to go. Grumble grumble grumble. And this town doesn't have a local paper or weekly mag (my packing material of choice back before that) for me to grab. I just drove around town and couldn't even find the "homes for sale" and "penny saver" rags to use. (This is probably because the local shitbirds and hooligans destroy anything that isn't nailed down and a lot of stuff that is.) And Starbucks must have some sort of intricate lossage system since they told me their paper deliverer keeps counts of what gets left as well as what gets sold, so they couldn't give anything to me.

It's interesting to me how quickly I've become a relic of another time, what with my insistence on hard copy books and DVDs for my movies and CDs for my computer programs and printed out copies of student drafts and finished projects. It's also interesting to me that we as a society can have given up so much of this and yet reports say we are drawing in more stuff than ever. What stuff, if not  that stuff? I dunno.

Anyway, still ever closer to the move-out date, and not really showing much more than incremental progress on anything. Meh. Sigh. I'm gonna go procrastinate now.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My arms hurt.

I still don't know what I'm doing with my life, my job search, or anything, but I now have a storage unit. So far I have moved 2 or 3 carloads (remember I have a tiny car) of book boxes over to the unit, and, honestly, it doesn't look like I've made much progress on the heaps of boxes. I'm planning on hiring people and renting a truck to take the big stuff over, but I haven't worked any of that out yet or planned when it will happen, so I thought I might as well take a carload over every dawn before things get hot. I don't know why I do things this way. I just do.

I priced out storage units around the Bay Area (PODS was shitty and took a deposit and then decided to tell me they don't service my area THANKS A LOT GUYS YOU BETTER DAMN WELL REMOVE THAT CHARGE) and found out that a 10 x 10 runs about 200/month and for several places I'd have to put my name on a wait list and hope something would open in time. So I looked around here and found several that are open for 65 or 75/month. It makes the hauling around of crap much easier, if more prolonged.  Eventually, my stuff will be over here, and I will be over there. What happens after that, I really have no idea. I'm just not dealing with this at all, which is to say, I'm dealing with it one box, and one problem, at a time. I sure hope everything ends up fitting in the 10 x 10.

I told my family --- sorta --- which means I came home and told everybody I got fired and burst into tears and left without answering any questions or going into any details. I think my sister thought I was joking when I told her that was my plan but nope, that is what I expected to do, and that's what I did. Except it felt even worse and more horrible than I expected it to. Now I am back here in The Hot Place, trying to get my head around what I told them, and they are at their places also getting their head around things and I hope that by the time I move back home I'll be able to talk about it or just move past the whole shebang without hashing it out, which honestly is what I'd prefer.

Anyway. My arms hurt. They just might fall off. And most of my stuff and boxes and furniture will not fit in my car. I will contemplate actually solving these problems later, when it becomes absolutely necessary. First I'm going to take a nap, and figure out how to read books on my iPad with no arms.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Affordable, Schmaffordable

Just for fun --- or perhaps pathological and obsessive procrastination --- I have been checking out the rental and house market for the bay area. My actual plan is to crash with family, but I can't stop my self and my time-wasting. And the more I look around, the more I think this whole idea of moving back to be with family and then try to get a job is a terrible idea. What was I thinking? Sure, there's no jobs around here, but the cost of living is only unaffordable instead of "We have beaten out Manhattan for expensiveness." Ugh. Anyway, I was tooling around, procrastinating, and found the perfect cheap place. And in San Francisco, too!

Take a look at what will set me back only 288,000!

I love the pink wallpaper.

But, you know, that's still a bit of a stretch for me, financially, and unlike some fashionistas, I define "the Bay Area" more widely. What about the other side of the bay, sunny Oakland???

I found this lovely location on Zillow for only 60K that really puts the oaks in Oakland:

Good thing we're in a drought, inorite!?! Cause there doesn't appear to be any actual buildings there. Even if I could push a trailer or something up to the top, it might just roll back down. But it gets much warmer on the other side of the bay so I'm sure camping out with my cats and pissing in a portapotty would be totally doable. Although probably against housing regulations. And possibly dangerous if I put the portajohn at the bottom of the hill and then needed to roll down the hillside for a middle-of-the-night bathroom break.

Ohhhh, people, I'm so fucked.