Tag Archives: the rent is too damn high

Move It: 2017 Edition

Back when all my worldly possessions amounted to a twin bed, a stack of CDs and a Mr. Coffee, I thought moving was fun. These days, things are a little different. With five bicycles, three grills and a small collection of non-Ikea, grown-up furniture, changing addresses is a stress-inducing hypothetical endeavor. Add a pretty lady, a big black dog and their stuff to the mix, and the subject of relocation is enough to inspire visions of a massive bonfire fueled by unnecessary household goods.

So when the landlord’s real estate sign went up in our yard back in June—roughly eight months after we moved in—the task before us seemed daunting. The Craigslist search. The big dog discussion. The you-want-how-much-for-the-deposit shock factor. The packing. The truck. The loading and unloading. But we did it. Mission accomplished. With a little help from a friend*. Now, as we dig our way out of the boxes, we’re up against the real-life limitations of physical space. We’ve stacked, stored, reconsidered and rearranged. I gave up on recovering the tape measure two weeks ago. I’ve come to terms with the idea of never owning a couch again. I hate shoes (other than the ones on my feet). Extra shirts seems extravagant. I find myself questioning why anyone would need more than two forks. All the things I’ve loved before are clutter and clutter is the enemy!

But one must remain calm. It’s the only option a relatively sane person has. In the end, we’re lucky to have a roof over our heads, a wonderful new neighborhood just beyond our front door and, of course, a magical sunflower watching over the entire process. Without the sunflower, I’m pretty sure the above mentioned bonfire would’ve been the first and only thing on my agenda.

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Cut from my lady’s garden at our previous address, this sunflower has kept me grounded.

* I hired a mover who happens to be a nice guy and by the end of the process I considered him a friend

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Sunshine and M&Ms.

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As life in the Bay Area gets increasingly more expensive and hectic, I try to frequently remind myself how lucky I am to be here. In this case, three random photos taken on a Tuesday made all the difference. Now let’s see what Wednesday brings.

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Lazy.

Grab the last cup of coffee. Jealous that the burner on the stove has done its job and gets to take the rest of the day off.

Check my phone for emergency emails. Envious of the charger that just gets to hang out the rest of the afternoon.

I pass the pictures in the hallway. Resentful of the fact that my poor man’s artwork gets to just hang around, day after day.

I see the smoker perched in the backyard. I think of it just sitting there in the sunshine all afternoon, taking in the view and waiting for the next round of pork products and apple wood.

Off to work. To read and write. Where I’ll sit at my desk and worry about being busy until I return to my lazy home, full of my beloved, lazy stuff.

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No storage.

Funny how dreams can be so vivid, yet so quickly forgotten. But I suppose most things in life eventually run their course and wind up on a truck to be dumped in a remote area or living on the dusty, disorganized shelves of the local Salvation Army.

As checklists and change-of-address forms once again dominate my world, it seems only natural to question all the work that goes into temporary states. Momentary lapses of perceived happiness. So here we are.

This house is not a home anymore and I’m glad to say goodbye. The life that unfolded here was tangled and messy. But I sure am going to miss the garage.

On that note, enjoy your weekend—especially if you’re not packing. And if by some strange coincidence you are packing, try to make the most of that as well. As a recently widowed woman told me a few days back, “new beginnings are good.”

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Home for the Holidays: San Francisco

In a city known for exorbitant rent prices and a human feces epidemic, Christmas spirit isn’t exactly the first thing you’d expect to find in abundance. While the above mentioned issues are far more important in the great scheme of things, I’d prefer to post on a more positive note—with a handful of random snapshots of the holidays in action. From Market Street to the steep hills of Bernal Heights, the season of decorated shrubbery and Las Vegas lights is alive and well.

 

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Meeting notes.

Somewhere between juggling a nutty work schedule and trying to be a decent single parent to Woody the dog, my fun-time writing suffers. However, I still like to dig for small surprises and unexpected outcomes.

In this case, sticky notes, doodles and sketches in the margins offer some kind of reprieve from the corporate dance of hierarchy and strategic maneuvering.

Here are just a few mildly entertaining meeting notes.

Big Eyes Die In the Margin

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The law of gravity.

The number of homeless people in San Francisco is apparent everywhere you go. We live near a highway overpass, so I’ve grown to accept them as our neighbors. I say hello if we make eye contact and smile even if we don’t. They mind their business and I focus on mine. Life goes on. At least until it rains.

Sunday morning it was absolutely pouring. Gutters were overflowing with pools of water and garbage. Woody and I left our cozy confines to run outside for a quick bathroom break. He didn’t want to be out there and neither did I. He squatted and I scanned the area from the middle of the steep hill that leads to our place.

I noticed a guy digging through one of the trash bins a few doors down. Woody zeroed in on him as well as he leaned into one of the cans and lost his balance. This led to an urban avalanche. With the trash, recycling and compost bins all chained together, they all fell at once into a precarious stack. One misstep had toppled three containers, instead of one.

“Motherfuck you people!”

The guy yelled up toward the apartments after inching his way out of the mess.

Standing there in the rain thinking about his life, I felt rotten about 1000 different things all at once. I wondered if there was anything I could do that would make his day better in any way at all. And like any lame civilian, I decided it was best to just leave the situation alone. We inched our way back up the hill and cursed the rain. We took cover in our comfortable home.

An hour later, the the clouds cleared and the sun came out. Woody and I headed back outside for a real walk. On the way down the hill, we passed the triple stack bin situation and I wondered if the homeless guy we’d been watching earlier was perched somewhere nearby watching us.

Triple Stack

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