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In real life, I was asleep on the couch of my new house, after a night of light drinking and heavy medication-forgetting. I had gone through a lot of trouble to get the pico projector and the SD card media player set up, only to decide I was too tired to stay awake for an entire movie. I went to bed and would take the bus to work the following morning. I'm taking a half-day at work so I can do some last-minute packing at the apartment Friday afternoon, so I can move all my major furniture and appliances in Saturday afternoon. That's the context.

In a dream I had, I was in a different new dwelling. Normally when I have dreams where I live somewhere else, I picture some impossibly huge house with too many rooms. Sometimes, I imagine a complete dump where it's a single barren room. But this time, I don't really remember the layout of the place, just that there were people knocking on the door, and whenever I'd try to go to work, I'd get distracted by some task and not make it there.
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had a dream that I up and moved to a new, but much crappier and cheaper apartment. Somehow moving wasn't so hard.

but then i realized before work one morning that in moving out I had broken my lease with this place nine months early.

This is significant because I just got notified that I'm moving on to round 2 of a job interview for reddit.com. I'd have to move to California if I took it, and as it so happens, I have about seven months left on my lease.

what was I thinking?
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So I gave the keys back to my old apartment complex, and my keyring is much lighter.

I'm getting more unpacked every day.

Also, I've hacked my Wii. Perhaps a little too hard, as I think I might have corrupted a few strange system functions. Fortunately, I think I know how to restore it from a backup I made more or less immediately after I hacked it.
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so, I'm mostly settled in. outstanding issues so far:

1. Lots of minor repairs need to be done, mostly lights burnt out and vents that don't close. Also the garbage disposal won't turn on.
2. Can't find the remote control to my brand new Roku, which is useless without it. Found my Roku remote. How'd that happen? I had a remote-control-holder on my couch, and removed all the other remotes from it, except that one.
3. Still need to buy a new mattress. I usually shop at IKEA because it's the one place I can shop without getting The Fear. But it's a long bus trip and every mattress store is probably having a memorial day sale too. Haven't decided what I'm doing yet.
4. Still need to finalize the location of my book, CD and DVD shelves, and put my stuff on them.

The neighborhood is as quiet as promised.
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so the movers are gone and so forth.

Now to unpack, and live. But to do either, I have to be able to get up.

thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ziabatsu for the assistance.
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so I grossly underestimated the effort involved in packing up my kitchen and remaining clutter.

also, my old apartment's AC is broken. it's dripping water. they couldn't fix it today because the storm means it's unsafe to go on the roof. maybe tomorrow morning. It would be easier to sleep tonight if I removed the bucket I suppose.

i hope a truck and three movers is going to be enough. and i hope work's ok without me.

I also hope that the master bedroom's creaky floorboards are only that loud when the room is empty, and that putting stuff in the room will somehow magically de-creak it. I've always worried about having a noisy upstairs neighbor, so it'd be supreme irony if I were my own noisy upstairs neighbor.
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So, the neighborhood my new apartment would be in is a bit mixed. The complex itself is nice if a bit small; you can see some video of the interior and exterior here. The complex itself seems quiet enough, but I haven't tried to visit it during the weekend or late evening. And I've spoke to a couple of tenants there who were glowing about the place. If you don't have time for the video, it's a recently remodeled two-bedroom 1.5-bathtoom with a washer-dryer and a pretty nice kitchen, though it's not obvious where I'll put the bike yet.

Direcctly north of my apartment is my office, the new Sky Song technology center, where, despite the economy, tenants are starting to slowly fill up the third floor of the second building. Further north, across McDowell, is Pop the Soda Shop, which sells every soda imaginable, and a few nice fast food places.

Directly east of my office is a grocery store that has been vacant for over two years, maybe longer. If it ever opened, it'd be closer to my front door than the QuikTrip is now, and would be much less tricky to jaywalk to. But it probably won't, as most people are served well enough either by the Food City a mile south, or the Fry's a half-mile east. Also further east is Miller Park.

Directly south of my apartment, and extending eastward, is a nice-looking residential area that was built in the 1950s. The lawns are well-kept, children play outside and speak English. It reminds me of the neighborhood I grew up in, when my family bought our first house.

Directly west of my apartment is a vacant lot with a sign that announces a new apartment complex "coming soon in 2005". Then, some single-story apartments, where the children play outside and speak Spanish, and Monday at 6pm I heard ranchero music blasting from somewhere, though only when I got close. Directly west of that is Skin Cabaret and Vegas Pawn, and the Good-Year tire place that indicates that I should pull the string on my bus. And apparently they're trying to build a halfway house behind the Skin Cabaret.

But, across Scottsdale Road from that mess, is Papago Plaza, a strip mall full of resturants and beauty salons that cost about 30% more than they tend to cost in Tempe, including Papago Brewing Company. The Scottsdale Motor Mile extends south from there. Two miles north is Old Town Scottsdale, and two miles west is the Phoenix Zoo.

So, it's kind of a mixed bag, where good and bad neighborhoods seem to converge. Certainly, my current neighborhood is much more affluent and safer, and I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to downgrade that aspect of my life. But it would certainly be an upgrade in most other ways.

Anyway, I'll be turning in my application this week, unless I change my mind and either find a different place, or stay here.
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I looked at a third apartment complex.

Pros: Two-bedroom is actually slightly cheaper than my one-bedroom. And I can get a one-bedroom for $600/mo, which is much cheaper. Big balcony. Concrete building. Gas stove! Professionally managed. Close to Food City.

Cons: Still a couple miles from work, and from nearest east-west buses. No washer-dryer.

I also took a look at the neighborhood surrounding the apartment that's closest to work. There are a lot of cheap one-story apartment buildings around, and I heard a lot of Spanish spoken. It seems a bit working-class, but not dangerous like my 48th street neighborhood. Living that close to work will give me more time, and allow me to sleep late, and I'll also be able to go from work to home to somewhere else without feeling like I'm making some kind of epic journey. And I can go home for lunch instead of Arby's.
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I'm considering a move, and once again, there are two obvious choices.

For $50/month more rent, I can get an apartment closer to work. They're both north of ASU, and they both have washer-dryers built in. The money I save in bus fare and laundry fees will make up the price difference, though I'll probably have to pay for movers.

One's a larger one-bedroom, technically still in Tempe, and in an apartment complex that's very fancy even though it's next to Food City. Pros: It's right next door to a cheap grocery store. I also know a co-worker who lives in that complex; the bonus he gets for referring me probably means he'll help me move. Also, apparently they have Wii Sports tournaments every week, which seems interesting. It's still professionally managed, which is what I'm used to. Cons: A little too far from work to just walk if I can't use my bike. And it's in the middle of a dead zone for east-west bus travel; I'd have to go all the way north to McDowell or all the way south to University.

Another's a two-story two-bedroom that was supposed to be a condo but they can't really sell condos these days. Pros: I get my own tiny backyard, and an extra room to use as an office. There's a brick wall separating me from my neighbor, and I do not share my floor or ceiling with anyone. And it's closer to work than anywhere I've ever lived; you can see the parking structure from our street, so I won't even need the bike. Cons: Yhe kitchen's a little awkward and the closets are small, and there's no leasing office where UPS packages can be conveniently left while I'm at work. And eventually there's going to be a lot of construction around that parking structure. Also, it's a half-mile from a grocery store, which is still an improvement over my current situation.
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this is my apartment as of Sunday night.

since I so seldom have visitors, maybe posting my apartment on YouTube will help me keep it presentable.

Is there anyone out there who would visit me if invited? The apartment would definitely be cleaner than this. I can make food, and there's a Wii. I have some card games too.
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OK, this wasn't as cut-and-dry as I thought it would be.

The desk was too close to the entertainment center, and the chair didn't have any clearance, so I moved it behind the couch, instead of in front.

And now, the dining table doesn't have enough clearance for more than one chair. And the front wall to the right of the sofa is way too blank. I can put my work computer's workstation there; it's just a TV tray and a laptop. But, then the couch would be between the two desks, so I could no longer share the same office chair between them easily.

It's weird how I kept basically the same layout in my old apartment for five straight years. The bedroom was big enough for my home and work PC's. I suppose I could have used a work table or something. I started out with not enough furniture, and acquired more and better versions over time. I went from no dresser to a shitty cardboard dresser to a decent particle-board dresser. I went from an old second-hand bookshelf to the IKEA standard BILLY/BENNO combo. The only thing that actually moved to a different place was the bed; it moved from the middle of the wall to a corner.

Now, the bedroom is a problem because there's no corner that's suitable for a bed without a headboard, or a corner desk (which I gave away for that reason). The bedroom window is a sliding glass door with hanging vertical blinds, and I don't want the bed interfering. It's also smaller; a lot of the square footage is wrapped up in the living room, so that's where I put everything.

Maybe I'll move the bookcase in there anyway.

For all this effort, I should have people over more often. But first, I have to finish up.
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My downstairs neighbor is moving out, so why don't you move in?

Rent is $750/month for a spacious one-bedroom apartment. Lots of cupboards, nice balcony. Coin-op laundry room down the hall. Upscale neighborhood.

It's next door to one of their model rooms, which means that, unlike me, you share your bedroom wall with nobody. I'll be your only attached neighbor, and I don't stomp around.
Also, your apartment number would be 1138.
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My goal for tomorrow: get the living room clear of packed boxes and crap. I don't have much left out there, mostly books that are strange sizes and as such don't really fit neatly on the bookshelf.

My goal for Sunday: get the bedroom clear of packed boxes and crap. There, ut's mostly clothes and computer equipment.

Monday, I'll probably send most of it to the thrift store.
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OK, got my desktop computer set back up. Where's my mouse?

I remember throwing away a lot of extra mice in the move. Maybe even a trackball. Too bad.

Cable mess

Dec. 3rd, 2007 10:00 am
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My computer desk is built. My desktop computer, sans network and mouse, is hooked up. So how am I going to run my network cable across the room?

I want to run most of my cables on the wall, as opposed to on the floor along the wall. That way, my vacuum cleaner and Roomba are not discouraged from cleaning along the walls. This is especially good for the balcony door, where my cable splitter and a bunch of messy coaxial cables used to be, just begging to trip someone on their way out. I already have the splitter and my cable modem screwed to the wall, never to hog up shelf or floor space again. My dad thinks that looks tacky, though, and says I should just get a doormat to cover them up. I'm skeptical that that'll work; I'm pretty sure it'll result in an unsightly bulge; he says he'll bring one by next weekend and we'll see how it looks.

What do you do to keep cables out of the way? Or do you even bother anymore?
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My cable signal is no longer cluttering the floor in front of my balcony. I've got the splitter and my cable modem screwed to the wall.

This will be useful for when the Roomba arrives from woot.com, or when I finally get a computer desk for the adjacent corner.

I'm still chipping away at the mess. Somehow I feel most proud when I put screws in the wall.

I also bought a labeler and I'm putting labels on all my smaller boxes. One says "BIKE" and one says "GUITAR" and one says "N64" and so forth. I've come across a few boxes that defy categorization, which indicates to me that maybe I should discard their contents.
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I got my sofa. Still needs throw pillows, but I'm starting to see the shape of the apartment a little more.

I got the Pac-Man pillow out and it looked very lonely on the couch by itself. Then I remembered those screws I had with hooks on the end, and hung it from the ceiling.

Then I realized, hey, I can hang stuff from the ceiling! So I hung those baskets that I thought I wouldn't be able to hang in the kitchen. It's way higher than in the old one. Good, more room for the glass Pigasus to fly.

OK; now what to do with that corner that's just begging for a computer desk? I know! Put a computer desk there!

I realized that the reason I kept walking into my bedroom even though there's nothing to do there, was because every so often, I just need a change of venue. For that reason, I might get a second, smaller desk and put it in there.

Incidentally, who here needs CD/DVD storage? I got some wire-frame shelves that work great, but I replaced them with shelves that are thinner and taller.
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Funny. When I'm sick of watching TV or playing a video game console, I have the urge to return to my bedroom to hop on the desktop computer and get some lean-forward variety of zoning out.

Then I remember, oh yeah, I no longer have a desktop computer hooked up, and all I have is the iBook at the dining room table.

My bedroom is now too small to support a computer desk of any significance. And my living room is damn enormous. So I think I might as well make the southern third of my living room into a proper workspace, with not only a computer desk, but also a writing desk, for paying bills, reading, and filling out forms.
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The good news is, the statute against cooking on my balcony applies only to open flame. So I can put my toaster oven and Foreman grill out there, and maybe even my crockpot if I ever decide to start using it again.

Except now I need outdoor furniture.

This is also another thing that might have been cooler if I'd gotten that fifth-floor apartment. Except the view would have been like 5% downtown skyline and 90% strip mall and parking lot. With this one, it's 75% courtyard and 25% parking lot.

Spending breakfast time outdoors might improve my mood.

couch trek

Oct. 15th, 2007 03:32 pm
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Checkin' out couches, and also testing LJ post-by-email with HTML. (didn't work, had to edit the links into place.)

How does this one look? the black one matches my recliner (they both come in birch with black cushions), but if it gives visitors the idea that I bought the cheapest thing in the catalog, that'd be unfortunate. I also noticed that lying down on it means foregoing the armrests. In theory that could be solved by pillows. But it could also be solved by a better couch.

I decided to try ask.com's shopping feature and look around. I could get one of these. it's inflatable and has a Footrest! Also, are you allowed to call it a sofa if it's impossible to sleep across or make out on?

There were a few more serious contenders in the mix, and I think we may have a winner. It's black and is consistently cushioned, and apparently folds down flat to become sleepable. Unfortunately that implies futon-like discomfort. So I'll have to pay the local Target store a visit.

(Update: Sadly, real furniture makes all my existing cheap furniture look cheap by comparison. but the "better couch" above has a matching better recliner that I can get eventually.)


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