Needing Space

How is it that sh** accumulates so easily? You know how, when you move, you always catch yourself wondering how the heck you managed to acquire so much stuff? At first, you carefully wrap items and place them neatly in boxes, but then you keep coming across stuff you didn’t even remember you had. You’re slightly amused at yourself at the beginning, but by the end of it you just start chucking stuff at random into the car or box truck? You don’t care anymore, you just want it all to go away, and frankly, are wondering if maybe you wouldn’t be happier just tossing it all into a bonfire and watching it burn.

I’m not in the process of moving, but I almost wish I were. I’m feeling stifled in our shoebox apartment. Coming from a studio, we were ecstatic when we first moved in to our 1-bedroom shoebox. We felt we were bouncing off the walls we had so much space. We were mostly excited just to have actual separate rooms. Well now, two years later (and post-wedding-gift-mania), we barely have room to walk in our bedroom, we can’t really see our coffee table most of the time, and every single inch of space along the walls has some pile of something or other. (And most of it, I must admit, is mine). I could be a little more organized, but honestly, the biggest problem is that we just don’t have enough space. Both of us work from home, so we have our myriad computer and photo equipment. Plus, I am a grad student working on a dissertation, so I have stacks of library books and research materials lining all possible floor space. I have my files all neatly filed away in boxes, but am running out of places to stack the file boxes.

What I would LOVE is to find a place where a) we don’t work at the same table at which we eat–saves potential spillage on fancy computers, and b) we had some place for guests to stay–other than the couch or floor. Ideally, we would have a 3-bedroom place with a dining area separate from the living room area. One bedroom would be for us; one office for me, which could double as storage place for books, files, and other stuff; and one office for Toby, which could double as guest bedroom.

Seeing as how that is not financially viable in Santa Barbara (even the mortgage on my 2-bdrm townhouse–with garage! and laundry room!–was $150 less than what we pay now for a 1-bdrm closet), my options are either to move or get started on that massive pyre.

Construction Madness

Last summer after Toby and I moved into our cute new apartment, our landlord decided some “renovations” were necessary. He hired two guys to come by and paint the outside of our apartment. It was a nice swiss mocha (kind of off-white) with a green trim, and we thought it was cute. But they decided to paint the green trim white instead. We didn’t like it too much since it kind of made it look more like a mental institution…but whatever, not that big a deal, right?

Wrong. I don’t know who these painters were but they sure didn’t know their ass from the end of a paint brush. It took them about 4 months to do (probably about 5 times as long as any normal person) and it was a mess! They went to paint the trim on the lattice of the windows, but they used a wide brush on a quarter-inch trim. What’s more, they apparently haven’t heard of painter’s tape. So there were these big globs and swaths of paint on the windows themselves.

Then they realized they couldn’t leave paint on the windows, so they went back with a razor blade to try to fix it. Which of course took forever, and did nothing but leave huge scratch marks on the windows since you can see there’s still paint on the glass.

They also left big swaths of paint on the walls around the window as you can see here (you can click on the photo to see it in more detail):

And did I mention this took them the better part of 4 months? It was so obnoxious because I do most of my work from home and I was studying for a major exam at the time, and I had to do it all with these nimrods peering in the windows.

So, okay we got over that episode without too much complaint. Until now…

The landlord has decided again he wants “renovations”. This time he decided he wanted to take out the window in our bathroom shower and replace it with a new one. We said alright, whatever. Nothing was wrong with the old one, but whatever he wants to do, fine.

Well. So the same “painter” crew comes in and takes out the old bathroom window (banging on the outside with a hammer, thus creating cracks in the bathroom tile around the window), and puts the new window in. Except the new bathroom window is about 1/3 the size of the old bathroom window. So they have to fill in the missing wall and cover the empty spaces with tile. But of course they hadn’t actually ordered the replacement tile until after they put in the new window, so we were left showering with a minor construction mess for two weeks until the new tile came in.

Meanwhile, we’re both too busy to care overmuch, so we just deal with it and didn’t think much of it…until we saw the new tile.

Okay, so the old shower tile is pink with a green trim (kind of reminds us of a watermelon–like Nicole and Allyson’s old apartment senior year of college!). Not exactly the height of style, but kind of cute in it’s own funky way. But does the landlord get more pink or green tile?

No, he gets navy blue.

Talk about ghetto fabulous. I would say it’s hideous, but I don’t think it even makes enough sense to be hideous. I don’t know what the landlord was thinking but whenever we move out, I would love to see prospective tenants’ faces when they walk in the bathroom.

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