Monday, June 1, 2009

Mah apartmentz, let me show you them

I swear this is the last post about my apartment this week. I'm just [insert contented sigh here].

The last few weeks have not been without stress. I lost the cat which still is kind of stressing me out. Losing my already-terrified indoor cat on moving day in an unfamiliar place that doesn't smell anything like us? Turns out she was in the wall. In the wall. Then there was AT&T stress, or rather getting AT&T to show up stress. When they did it turned out that I didn't have phone lines. Oh sure, I had phone jacks but my lines apparently burned in a fire. No, really. Last summer a guy was welding on the roof and neglected to bring along a fire extinguisher. This apartment was fine but it destroyed the phone lines and any evidence there had ever been one. Those don't really compare to my biggest stressor, though. This, by far, has been the number one stress kicking my ass:

The good news is that I don't think I am quite as allergic to mold as I used to be. I can probably thank my last apartment for all that really excellent mold exposure that has bolstered my immune system, but 62,920? That's kind of extreme for anyone.

I still have the desk to sort out, the kitchen to clean and the dye studio shelf (which I'm calling Site A) to organize, but things are mostly put away. I need to wrangle the cats to the vet for boarding so some work can be done in the apartment tomorrow but then I should have the rest of the week free to do absolutely nothing work do absolutely nothing.

Things I love:
* New carpet. There is something vaguely satisfying in stopping every 5 minutes to empty the vacuum canister of new carpet fluff.
Grown women
(grown women taking full advantage of the wide expanse of brand new carpet)

* New paint. It smells like a hotel in here. The newness will wear off soon but for now it smells like I'm staying in a fancy hotel. It smells like a vacation.

* Direct entrance. After spending 15 years in an apartment building with apartments off a common hall, I find it a little unnerving that there is outside outside my door. This unnerving feeling is far overshadowed by not having to share the smoke of 20 neighbors who all think it isn't a big big if they take a little puff of whatever while they are in the common hall or laundry room.

* Quiet. I can't tell if the apartments are largely soundproofed or if our neighbors are just quiet. I suspect we may be the loudest people in the building what with our running from one end to the other and yelling 'OMG I LOVE LIVING HERE!!!!!!'

The garden is, pardon the pun, blossoming under the afternoon sun
(the garden loves its new home)

* Nature. The other apartment had a very small wooded area, more like a verge of woods, but it was mostly half-dead trees, weeds, and abandoned tires hidden by the "wildflowers". This area we are in now, although just a few blocks away, is full of manicured nature. The trees are healthy and well-trimmed, the grass is lush and green and the plant variety makes me happy. The tenants are allowed to fully garden any green space that touches their apartment so the sidewalks and nooks are filled with gardenias, clematis, tomatoes and lilies instead of uniform ugly perennials that look more like flower silks than nature.
Insert happy contented sigh here

* More nature. Every so often a family of birds would show up in one of the trees along the old apartment. We could hear a few birds in the distance and the same half-dozen or so would come by our patio to dig in our garden pots for worms and berries, but it was nothing like it is here. There is a relentless cheeriness among the birds here. Even above the (very) loud hum of the building air conditioners is a chorus of chirping birds. It's almost enough to make me want to put out a bird feeder. The only downside to the relentless cheeriness? Bird poo. Lots and lots of bird poo. Does anyone have any ideas for managing bird poo on the wood balcony aside from pulling out the hose and drowning the downstairs neighbors?

(Obligatory cat picture--Notice how they are sitting on people furniture instead of the amply supplied cat windows we got just for them. Do not notice that our temporary living room furniture was purchased in a sporting goods department and yoinked from Dennys.)

* Sunlight. OMG. The sunlight. I have one lamp in every room and it is more than enough.
(This is the only window ledge the cats want to sit on. There are a half-dozen just like it and this is where they want to sit, among my needles.)

* Space! We have gotten rid of enough stuff and acquired a big enough space that I feel like I can keep a good handle on it. We are not utilizing every square inch of space, we have a lot of white space and it is easy to move items around to vacuum and clean. We need to implement a little bit of organization in areas we traditionally fail at, but it's good. Really good. I feel like the creative knot in the base of my brain is loosening.
Dyeabolical Site BDyeabolical Site B
(Dyeabolical Site B-1. Site B-2 is the desk I'm sitting at right now. It won't fit through the door to Site B-1. Instead of working in a cozy office I am forced to write from my dining room surrounded by natural light and views of trees instead of parking lots. OH DARN! )

* Amenities. I thought I would hate having the laundry so far away. Turns out no. A well-lit, clean laundry a few blocks away is a lot better than a dank, moldy, unlocked, scary basement/transient motel that is just downstairs. Oh and yeah, two pools, a fitness center, basketball court and a playground, plus access to the community water park. I probably won't use most of these amenities but I'm pretty sure my guests could.

The only things I don't love are things I don't love about apartment living in general--the parking is a nightmare, you can't control the cleanliness of your neighbors and beige carpeting.