Downsizing

In another couple of weeks we’re moving AGAIN. There is nothing else I loathe worse that I seemingly do so often. That it’s MY idea this time, and for a practical reason, won’t lessen the misery either.

The impetus this time is almost purely economic; this apartment is more expensive in rent than we care to afford (and the floorplan sucks, too). We have a mind to do all we can to become debt-free[ish] within five years, and tossing cash at an apartment we don’t like isn’t fiscally sound. So we’re moving across the parking lot to a 1bdrm/1bath, for an eventual savings of $260 per month. I say “eventual” because the corporate (pirate) entity that runs this community insists upon another deposit and a 30-day waiting period for the refund of the original deposit we paid for this unit, instead of merely transferring. Plus some other little fees and expenses here and there. Thanks so much, and may I point out that in some nations of the world a bullet-pocked wall in the central square has often been the response to this sort of crap? Just a cultural-slash-historical aside offered for edification.

Other than the slogging of possessions across hot pavement for hours on end (how can two people amass so much junk? Excuse me, how can ONE person amass so much junk? These “curios” are NOT mine), I’m looking forward to living in a smaller space. Let’s say “more utile space” instead. The living area and balcony are actually somewhat larger and much more arrangement-friendly in the smaller unit. No more shoe-horning my bike in and out of a cramped space (what, you thought I stored my bike OUTSIDE? Dudes! I’m from PDX!) AND there’s a breeze-way right outside the front door where I can clean it under cover. Sweet.

One slight disadvantage: no washer and dryer in the unit. This bothers the missus more than me, but I told her I’d gladly take care of the laundering. I prefer doing laundry in an hour-and-a-half rather than four anyway. Makes for a less-noisy household, too. Freakin’ dish washer is bad enough. I haven’t checked out the laundry facilities here, but should they be inadequate (surely not, in a “luxury” community) I’ll need to find a decent laundromat in the neighborhood. Other quibbles that I’ll make someone else’s problem if they aren’t addressed: what’s with the cheap plastic base moulding in a “luxury” apartment? And the soot on the ceiling next to the vent? And the debris shoveled into the storage closet? Are we in Green Acres here? I’ve been a cliff-dweller most of my adult life, so I don’t expect faeries and chocolates every time I rent in a complex, but if one’s brochure suggests filet mignon, one better not be slingin’ Hamburger Helper.

Ever seeking the easiest way to do any damned thing, I’ve hit upon an idea for moving our stuff. Rather than boxing up the books and kuhnick-kuhnacks, I’ll use a few of the canvas grocery bags we’ve accumulated. This will mean a lot of trips to and fro. Oh well. I’d rather do it this way than spend a bunch of time filling unwieldy cartons to carry up and down flights of stairs (of COURSE we’re moving into yet another second-floor unit to appease the little woman’s security anxieties; I swear next time I’ll just offer to install punji sticks in all the windows). We’ll have to hire a couple of guys for the big stuff because the wife can’t carry anything that heavy and I’m not about to Ferrigno a sofa by myself; my middle-age insecurities don’t yet extend quite that far.

One interesting bit is that this “office” will have to be incorporated into the dining area. This prospect pleases me more than I would have once thought. I spend too much time in this room with my back literally turned to everything and everyone else, and I need seriously to break the habit. This honkin’ yuge desk is going away too, and it’s about time. I’ve broken this thing down to relocate it so often it’s a wonder it doesn’t fly apart as I type on the keyboard. Time to go find a new and smaller (and cheaper) one. Another purchase in the offing: a king-size mattress set. We ditched our old one a couple years ago in favor of a friend’s plushy queen that she had replaced. Nice, comfy mattress, but we’ve subsequently found that both of us reading in bed leads to elbow wars, plus the cats are missing the no-man’s-land, plus the woman stored it on it’s side and leaning against a wall so that it’s all warped (what IS it with people?). We shopped a couple of mattress shops and have decided to put a king set on lay-away so that when 2020 rolls around we’ll have a brand-new bed that I hope will float because I expect we’ll all be under water by then unless some kindly aliens drop by to save us from ourselves. Klaatu barada nikto.

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I’m pleased to relate that so far I’ve had nary a curse nor beer bottle cast in my direction since I’ve taken to Albuquerque’s streets on the bicycle. I was “honked at” (more of a “please don’t” than a “HOW DARE YOU, WORTHLESS TWO-WHEELED HUMMER-LESS PINKO!” kind of honk, really) once last week when I was looking to segue to the left lane on Ellison with the intent to turn onto Jefferson (I didn’t make it; this was at roughly 9:15 a.m. on a weekday morning and there was just enough overtaking traffic to warrant a safer transit at the crosswalk. So far I feel just as safe as I did in Portland, and my route to work is actually a LOT more fun.

I’ve had two flats so far (one rear, one front), and neither of them were attributable to the dreaded and despised goat-head or any other roadway hazard. In both cases the tube simply gave way around the valve. I was told this might be due to the drier air and friction (I now use talc when replacing tubes). The missus went to a bike shop while I was at work to purchase a couple of spares for me (I always carry two) and came home with a pair of thorn-resistant tubes, the cartons of which stated they were sized 35c to 43c. Oops. I use 32c hard-case tires, so I’d asked her to request 28c-32c; every tube I’ve ever purchased indicated this sizing. She was repeatedly assured that they would fit when she voiced concern. Guess what? It was like trying to stuff an anaconda into a garden hose. WTF? I am not a dab hand at changing tubes, I’ll admit, but I actually ruined one tube trying to get it seated properly. We took them back and we received full refund for them, but the fellow stated again that this was the size recommended, and they had no other size range. Weird. I’ll try another shop later this week.

I’m outtie. Enjoy the week.

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