Monday, February 15, 2010

Well, I did it...Bernard is on Craigslist.

Olympia SG3 (Side View)

Bernard is up on Craigslist, for about the amount I have in him (with the platen and all) not counting ribbons. It hurts, but I think have to at least make an effort, since I can't imagine fitting two standards in that little house without one ending up on the floor of the closet (or, heaven forbid, out in the shed), unused. That isn't fair.

It'd be nice if he ended up with someone who was into / got into typecasting, so I could keep a virtual eye on him...but we shall see. No bites yet.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Moving right along....

As my facebook friends already know, a lot has happened in the less than a week since my last post. Although I've kinda sorta been looking for a new place off and on for the last few *years*, it wasn't until right after my little rant that the perfect place came up. The location alone (right on the walking/bike trail, outside of town where it turns wooded and quiet) got me so excited I had trouble sleeping that night. I'd sent off an e-mail straight off asking if I could come by, but the next day I decided on the direct approach, and drove on over. It's a wonderful little house, all clean and bright and cheerful, with nice neighbors and room for thedog--and, as I said, *right* next to the trail, so I can meander and think to my heart's content. And ride my bike to work again (work is also right on the trail), once it isn't so dark in the mornings. I love that.

I've already signed an agreement and figured out move dates. And I've already broken the news to my current landlord, so it's all official. I'm a little dizzied by how fast this has happened after so much searching and discouragement. It's like a story. Almost doesn't seem real. I'm liable to feel pretty unsettled right up until I close the door of the current place for the last time and drive off into the sunset.

I feel like I was a little too harsh on it (and my current landlord) in my last post. Yes, it has a plethora of issues, some of them serious. But it hasn't been such a bad deal, all around. And as for my landlord...well, the poor guy never *asked* to be a landlord. He inherited me and this place and all its issues, and I think is embarrassed by the language barrier, among other things. Trying to make repairs or really analyze the place while I'm there is very awkward for him, so he's just avoided it, for the most part. It may actually be a relief that I'm going so he can finally really deal with it, I dunno. He hasn't actually spoken to me since I brought over the letter and made sure it was understood, so I'm a little nervous I won't get away without *some* sort of fuss, far so good.

Now comes the packing and moving part! I have until the end of the month, which is approaching at alarming speed. One of the big concerns is that the new little house is, in fact, little. The current mobile is a double-wide, and actually pretty spacious. The new place is a tiny two bedroom bungalow with no real storage space to speak of, other than an outdoor shed. Much paring down will need to occur. In a lot of ways, this will be very good for me--force me to decide on what matters and clean up my packrat tendencies. However, sadly this will likely mean that many of the typers will be on the block, possibly including Bernard. Ulp. I'm going to stall on that decision for a few days, but if the Pacific Northwestern typospherians see a sudden glut of well-worn typers appear on Craigslist, it's my fault. I'm thinking I should really pare down to just one standard and maybe two or three portables, probably the nicer SM-9, the Galaxie and the rather chintzy Olivetti-Lettera-35l-inabag I picked up on a whim a month or so ago, just 'cause it's tiny and reminds me (for reasons I reserve for a future typecast) of my childhood teddy bear.

Other revelations of packing: good gracious I have a lot of paper! It was spread throughout the house, but I packed up most of my notebooks last night, and the result makes me feel both gloating and sheepish. Most of 'em are cheap composition notebooks, plus a few Rhodia pads and some of the lovely HP paper I use for Circa stuff and the scrap paper I use for typed drafts and the box of what's left of the onion skin paper I got from Duffy Moon. Two whole milk-crates full of unused paper, not counting the loose stuff. Makes me want to sit down in the middle of the floor and start scribbling.

And packing books tempts me to stop what I'm doing and read "just a few lines".

Which is why it's a good thing I'm starting ahead of time....

I am easily distracted.

But man, is this exciting or what??

Friday, February 05, 2010

Shameful secrets and a prayer request of sorts

I'm still struggling to get back into regularly updating my journal, let alone getting back into blogging. So...instead of any attempt at deep thoughts, how's about I just babble about stuff-I've-been-up-to-and-what's-been-on-my-mind? Kinda.

I live in a dump. Well...pretty much. It's bad. I'm ashamed of it. On any occasion where people ask where I live, I hedge. On occasions when I've needed a ride home, I ask them to let me off nearby without pointing out my house. Once, when I had my guitar worked on and the friend who fixed it up for me offered to drop it by on his way to town to save me a trip, I actually got in my car and drove to the store that's literally next door so I wouldn't have to admit to this place. It's a very old and very poorly maintained mobile home with a host of issues--only one stove burner works, the electricity to the oven is broken, the roof leaks in at least one place during hard rain, there is mold anywhere and everywhere, many of the electrical outlets don't work...I could go on. And on the outside, it's just plain ugly. It needs pressure-washed in the worst way (green crud all over it), it has shutters that were painted an odd wanna-be-Hermes sort of green, many of which dangle precariously, and the back stoop has folded in on itself.

And it's literally falling apart around me. While I was dealing with my recent cable outage, I discovered that part of the floor against the wall near where the cable comes into the house is rotted all the way through. I've fixed things I'm capable of fixing, but there are many, many limits to my skills in the fix-it-up realm.

It's a rental, so I'm not bound to it in any way. And though I've tried to make my landlord aware of my worries, he a) seems inclined to blame me and b) doesn't completely understand the problems--he's Korean and doesn't always understand me, I don't think. To be fair to him, he kind of inherited this parcel of land (and all its problems) when he bought the store next door, and it's a bit of an afterthought for him. But even so...he is my landlord. I'm sure if I really made a stink about it, he'd at least take a stab at things...but in all honesty, he doesn't have a great track record for finishing things. Also in all honesty, this place should probably be torn down and replaced with a new mobile if it's going to continue as a rental property.

My stay here was originally meant to be very temporary. It's a long and boring story, but in essence, it was cheap rent, and I wanted somewhere to live until I was more settled in my job when I first moved out here, and there are, in fact, some good things about this location. I have a good amount of land and a huge fenced yard, where I'm allowed to keep my dog. I'm near the interstate, but out of town (except for the mini-mart next door). Most of the time, this place is mostly warm and mostly dry--it's fine all summer, and it's really only this time of year it gets me down in a big way. I realize that compared to much of the world, I'm incredibly blessed.

But I really want to move on. However, the pickings are slim. I have a dog about the size of a small Labrador, for one thing, and it can be hard to find rentals that are OK with that. There's no way I'd give him up. Besides the fact that he's my dog and I wouldn't abandon him, as a single gal living alone, there's a great deal of comfort in having a biggish black dog around. Granted, *I* know the most he's liable to do to an intruder is to breathe on them excitedly and drool on their fingers, but *they* don't necessarily know that.

And the two cats...well, I dragged them all the way from Vermont with me. They're not going anywhere, either.

But having both means most of the places that would work well for us are those really geared toward families--which often means they're actually too big and well out of my price range. Also often crammed into housing communities up near Fort Lewis, when I'd rather be, if anything, further south and more rural. There just aren't many rentals available in rural areas, which only makes sense.

To complicate matters (or simplify them, I haven't decided which), nearby friends are finally buying their own bit of land and a house, so their current home will probably be available. The downside is that it too is a mobile, albeit a much nicer one in much better condition. And they live right here, which would make moving easy. And all my routines and paths and haunts could remain the same. The rent would be some higher, but not a lot. They do, however, have space for horses, and I don't need that. I think I'd worry about not making full use of the place, silly though that may sound. And above all, I don't want to take it over just because it's convenient--if it's the *right* move (and it may well be), I want to do so, but I can be all too quick to jump on the easy route.

On the other hand, taking something a long way away and at the edge of what I'm able to spend just because it's *different* from here would be a bad move, too. Even if this place itself is pretty lousy, I have a lot going for me: "my" coffee house is pretty much on the way to work, I have my routines where grocery shopping and the library and all go, and above all, I have a *fabulous* parish in St. Michael's in downtown Olympia: it's a huge parish, which can make it a bit daunting, but because of the size they can support all sorts of activities and different groups. And they have Perpetual Adoration. Awesome.

My tendency is to rush into things once I've made a decision to make a change. I get completely obsessed with a thought and have trouble dealing with any other aspects of life, and that's just not right. I've been here almost four years. A few more months one way or another isn't going to make a difference. I'm going to keep an eye out on Craigslist and such, keep thinking about the nearby option, do some driving around to get a feel for the various neighborhoods out there. For those of you who are the praying sort, I'd really appreciate prayers for guidance--and patience!