Friday, December 30

A sheltered life ... hopefully

Yikes. The time, it is slipping. It's already nearly a week since Christmas and I've barely gotten a chance to breathe since then.

Wednesday, Brandon and his dad came up to apartment hunt (a miserable adventure, which I'll get to in a sec), so Thursday we met up and went to Quetzal for lunch. My basic turkey sandwich was good (even better since Brandon's dad paid) and we had some good conversation about Memphis and trying to find a place to live here when you know nothing about the city. Luckily, they found something to Brandon's liking.

After lunch, I went across the street to work (Quetzal is literally across the street from the CA). Someone had called in sick and my boss was unable to get either of the two remaining designers to answer the phone, so I was asked to stay late and stitch together both DeSoto and the A section. It proved to be a monumental challenge, and I think I barely squeezed past the DeSoto deadline.

Then today, I tried to be all proactive and meet with a property manager to look at some apartments. The first was cute and bright but with a tiny bedroom (in which only my bed would have fit). The second started out great until I realized that there wasn't an actual bedroom. There was a foyer, kitchen, living room, and small sunroom. I opened the door to the back porch, thinking it would be the bedroom, when the guy told me that most people make the living room their bedroom and the foyer the living room. Next.

So I drove around Midtown, scribbling down phone numbers from yardsigns on the back of an envelope. Ill-prepared, as always. Made some phone calls. Left a ton of messages. Made an appointment to look at a place on Peadbody tomorrow. Talked to two ornery old landloards for separate properties. The man said, "You're not going to find anything cheaper in this area! We're as expensive as Germantown!" The woman said, "I don't rent to trash! And there's a lot of trash in this area!" And when she was done talking to me, she abruptly announced, "Good day!" and hung up. And I even used my very untrashy phone voice. You know the one. I sound like a friendly chipmunk.

I toured two places on McLean, one just north of Poplar and one just north of Madison (both of which are within walking distance of Jamie's apartment). They were basically the same type of unit -- old, squat, brick walkups with courtyards in the middle. Each apartment had a balcony, hardwood floors, heat from a community boiler (which would be turned on or off by the property manager depending on his or her tastes, and which would carry its own cost to the renter, in addition to the amount paid monthly in rent and in addition to the amount paid monthly to the utility company; ouch!), old crappy kitchens, window AC units, high ceilings, plaster walls, crystal doorknobs, etc. Very charming (the first apartment especially) but, I imagine, very quirky and, in the cold months, extremely expensive.

I don't know about this community billing they told me about. I've never lived in a place that did that. Apparently, the property divides the heating/outdoor lighting cost between all tenants based on square footage, regardless of how much heat each unit actually uses. So even if I never use my heat, I could still end up paying upwards of $80 a month on top of my rent and regular electricity cost for some anemic person's constant need for heat in the dead of February. That's a frightening prospect, but I'm told this heating season hasn't been bad so far because we've barely had any truly frigid periods. See? Global warming has its benefits.

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If you get bored this weekend, check out Nashville Is Talking. I'll be over there doing the guest blogger thing, starting tonight and wrapping up late Sunday. You Nashville bloggers be sure to post plenty this weekend so I'll have stuff to link to.

3 Comments:

Blogger TVonthefritz said...

You've hit the big time now. If you're the scheduled host, I can be the musical guest, right? Or maybe I can be your sidekick who makes quippy comments.

Fri Dec 30, 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Both! You'll be the Paul to my Dave.

Fri Dec 30, 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

And I shall be the CBS Orchestra.

Sat Dec 31, 01:55:00 PM  

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