300 Seconds Episode #95 – “Home Less”

Listen to the episode here!

You are listening to ‘300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz,’ and this is episode number 95, “Home Less,” so let the 300 Seconds begin!

Because life (or something like it) happened, I sold my house a few months ago.  Thus, after five years, I’m no longer a homeowner, and there are a few things I already miss about having a house.

To begin with, there is the notion that the place where I live is no longer ‘my’ place anymore.  I’m staying with some friends for the short term, and God bless ’em, because they’ve been pretty awesome.  At the same time, their house isn’t my house, you know?  When I owned my house, I could do whatever I wanted to, like using an old CD to fix a hole in the drywall or putting the TV set in front of the fireplace.  That feeling of ‘ownership’ is pretty nice and the lack thereof will continue to bother me until I own my home again.

I never had a garage growing up; my parent’s house didn’t have one, and so I didn’t see a need for one on the rare occasions when I was offered one as an option when leasing an apartment.  Once I started making use of my house’s garage, though, I loved it.  I remember being at the laundromat folding clothes one day, when it started raining.  I grumped about the rain for a few moments before coming to the delightful realization that I HAD A GARAGE AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO GET WET.  I got spoiled by having a garage; now I have to park my vehicle outside and have it, and me, get rained on.  But at least I have a place to park at, at my friend’s house; I’m really not looking forward to fighting with fellow apartment dwellers for prime parking places in the future.

Another thing I’m going to miss is solitude.  I like being by myself, especially after a day of dealing with silly people at work.  This isn’t really a big deal right now, because my roommates are cool, but once I move into an apartment, having people on the other side of the wall is probably going to drive me nuts…again

But the biggest thing that I miss the most about my old house is having natural gas.  It’s the best thing for cooking, it’s less expensive, and I’m sorry, but you just can’t heat tortillas properly on an electric stove or even one of those fancy pants convection ranges.  And no, I am never ever, EVER going to put a tortilla into the microwave because that’s just WRONG.

This has been 300 Seconds, the next episode will be posted after I warm a tortilla in my toaster oven.  I am Eduardo Soliz, if you’d like to listen to, or read, more of my words and short stories, visit my website at Eduardo Soliz dot com.  Thank you for listening!

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Click to see what awaited me after work.
Click to see the good news and poor comma usage.

Final Update: 1/9, 1030PM: Looks like the hot water’s back, w00t.

2nd Update: 1/9, 620PM: Still nothing, purchased a “Homer Bucket” from Home Depot to assist with bathing. Not bad for two-fifty or so, though I wish they had tops for them.

UPDATE 1/8, 430PM: After sending a link to this blog to the regional manager via Venterra Realty’s website, I got a call from the complex at about 4PM. I was unable to answer because I was busy at work. They left a message essentially saying they’re really sorry (again) but they don’t have an ETA for a fix. Whoopee. I called back but got a message saying they’re weren’t available. They called me back again and apparently the entire boiler went kerplotz, so they need to get a new one…yeah, I think that’s going to be awhile.

If you’ve lived in an apartment for any decent amount of time, it’s a question that you get to ask yourself every year or so. As the day your lease ends gets closer, you think it over and think it over until finally the ‘renew your lease’ letter drops into your mailbox or gets left on your door. If you’re lucky, your rent stays the same, or only goes up a few bucks, so assuming things haven’t been too crazy, you re-up, and stand pat for another year or so.

If you aren’t lucky, your rent goes up just enough to make you think over whether you want to pay more to stay in a place that you are not completely happy living in. My renewal letter came in the mail about a week ago. I opened it to learn that my rent is going to be going up $50 a month. Crap.

I initially had a few issues with my current apartment complex after I moved in. The buildings are a bit on the older side and so it seemed that the maintenance guys were coming in at least once a month to fix or do something or other. I also had problems with the office hours not being consistent, I would occasionally have to go to the office to pay my rent during my lunch break to find it closed. Things did seem to be getting a little bit better as time went on, but still I winced when I saw that fifty dollar increase and thus began the internal debate.

Then last Saturday the hot water went out. On a 40-degree morning.

After making that discovery and stewing in my own juices for an hour, I boiled a bunch of water, took a hot bath, and life went on. I received an email later that day containing the management’s apology for the outage. It also said that there was a temporary fix in place and that the boiler would be fully repaired on Monday.

I think to myself: “Okay. These guys have got a handle on this. The boiler will be fixed on Monday. Awesome.’

I spoke too soon. I got home to find the lovely e-mail above waiting for me in my inbox. I turned on the tap, and of course, no hot water. No telling when its going to be fixed, either. All I have is a poorly-written message about ‘a part that needs to be ordered’ that I’m sure was hurriedly banged out by someone before they got out of Dodge.

Last straw, meet camel’s back.

24 Things I Noticed While Moving for the Umpteenth Time

Well that's just ducky!
What every new home needs!

I turned in the keys to my old apartment today, and so I once again bid farewell to one apartment while getting settled into a new one.

  1. Whily my method of shuttling stuff back and forth with my compact car is horribly inefficient, it gets me plenty of exercise.
  2. Okay, yeah, its ridonkulous and I should just do everything at once next time.
  3. I thought “why is it pink instead of blue?” upon seeing the toilet paper and rubber duckie above and then I saw the Susan G. Komen card and pink ribbon.  Ohhhh.  Derp.
  4. Speaking of which, I always leave a roll of toilet paper in the old place. I’m not sure why, its just something I do.
  5. Sometimes I wonder if I am really this elated at being here, or am I just high from paint fumes?
  6. It only took two trips to move the crap that wouldn’t fit in my car, so yeah, I should have packed everything else up.
  7. Cable guys are much more efficient when you have the apartment folks call them.
  8. That’s a good thing, too, because once again, I’m facing the wrong way to get a satellite.  Rats.
  9. Digital thermostats are awesome.
  10. The new place’s built-in shelves can hold all of my games and movies, and it is BEAUTIFUL!
  11. I have been in such a better mood now that my commute has been cut in half.  God, how I hate traffic, and once those really tall ramps (or skyways as I like to call ’em) on 281/1604 are done, the commute should be smooth sailing.
  12. My commute should be cut about in half, which is good because holy cats, gas is getting expensive!
  13. It really says something when even the dollar store in the new neighborhood is nicer.
  14. The nearest HEB is an older one.  Somehow, this isn’t a problem.
  15. The nearest Wal-Mart got upgraded from a “Raunchy-Mart” to a Supercenter since my last visit.  Nice.
  16. The nearest Best Buy might just be a little too close, I think I need to freeze my credit card…I mean literally, as in ICE.
  17. I should have gotten rid of that old living room furniture a LONG time ago.
  18. Shopping for new furniture has been a drag so far, maybe I should just get a bunch of beanbags, or move my bed into the living room.
  19. Moving stuff while working the 9-6 shift work during the wintertime SUCKS.
  20. Really, it wasn’t until that first Saturday that I went, “Gee, this is what this place looks like during the day.”
  21. The water heater at my old place didn’t hold enough hot water to take a bath, no wonder I was so cranky there.
  22. The oven here isn’t much bigger than the one at my old place, but at least it has A LIGHT! Seriously, the last one felt like an Easy-Bake.
  23. The margin of error on that thing is pretty darn thin, though, one long paragraph or trip to the bathroom and I end up with dark brown instead of golden brown cookies.
  24. My TV looks kind of small now, maybe its time to upgrade! 🙂