Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Air fresheners don't smell clean to me. They smell like not inhaling, or breathing shallowly, until I get to fresh air. My live in landlord really, really believes in air fresheners. In our halls, there aren't very many outlets so he has them plugged into daisy chained extension cords. We unplugged the ones in our room, and I keep the window open with the fan running full time. So that's nice. But walking to the kitchen in an artificial flower haze is really unappetizing. So is the kitchen.

When we moved in, he said he was planning to handle the roaches in a few days. I assumed that meant he had started removing them and expected to be finished in a few days, and then 14 days later he put in traps and baits. So our kitchen was kind of usable. I would rewash the dishes and cooking tools I needed and then balance them on stove burners and hold them in my arms, carrying them with me if I went to our room to get pantry things. I got pretty good at sequencing. And then he painted the sink with bathtub paint and told us not to use it for three days, to use the bathroom sink instead.

Yesterday a stranger was fixing the wooden bars over my window when  I woke up. I was kind of alarmed and upset because the drilling was amplified and I hadn't been warned or anything. I realized that I need to move, since this house doesn't provide normal house things like privacy and food prep space. I feel weird though, because if my landlord weren't here actively making it unlivable, it would be cute and fine and in a part of town where I'm pretty comfortable. And he's really nice. And one time he opened one of my letters because he thought it was to his sister. Although his sister doesn't live here, I live here, and also it had my name on it because it was a letter to me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Silver in the Mail

I went away for a long weekend, and when I got back I had any number of mailbox presents! Besides correspondence, I had three silvery treats. 
 Janitor's Keys Charm, $8 from etsy (sold as Realtor's Keys)
Costume earrings from a website called that discounts things by 90 or 95%- I wouldn't give them my credit card number but I have ordered two things marked down 100% with no hassle.
Custom Collar Stays from etsy's Tesoro Jewelry, $17.25. I don't think a lifetime of tidy collars is worth $17. I love that an unknown percentage of men carry around little love notes from their partner or children in their collars, and I wanted Casey to be included in their number.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thanks, 1910s.

I had to stop buying things because I ran out of money, but before that I had to hardly buy anything because I have no income, and before that I had to hardly buy anything so I could quit my terrible job. So I feel like I have been very responsible, applying for jobs (free), learning to cook (cheap), keeping my spirits up with yoga (free), while still taking advantage of living in the capital (free events+cost of subway). I feel like I have earned a reward for being responsible for more than 9 months straight. But my bank account is as tiny as ever. I window shopped online for a bunch of silver charms. I put some in a cart, not to buy them, but to see the total. I thought about how quickly and guiltlessly I could spend $130 on groceries, and how much longer jewelry would last.

 Then I worked on job apps for a bit, and cleaned house to prepare for my upcoming camping trip. I found scouting handbooks on Project Gutenberg for the drive up+ gleaning camping tips. And  I started reading about earning merit badges. Young men in 191_ had to grow an acre of corn, and grow 25% more than average, just to get an agriculture badge. I would be impressed with my grown up self if I even found an acre of land and made arrangements to grow food on it. So I reframed my overwhelming desire for jewelry rewards as goals. And hopefully I'll meet my goals at the same time as I start getting paychecks not earmarked for past expenses.

 To obtain a merit badge for submarine I must:
1. Attain Submarine
2. Maintain Submarine and annotate Nissan Guide
  ii. arrange routine maintenance per manufacturer's schedule

 To obtain a merit badge for swimming I must:
1. arrange free access to the community pool
2. swim 50 miles over no more than 50 visits
 To obtain a merit badge for college I must:
1. matriculate to a four year school
2. graduate from four year school in four years
3. pay or repay tuition

To obtain a merit badge for kanji/hanzi I must:
1. Learn to recognize joyo kanji
2. Learn to write joyo kanji

To obtain a merit badge for custodian I must:
1. Take custodial job
2. Survive custodial job
^I achieved this one already, and it's $8 shipped...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gallaudet Letterbox

I first heard of Gallaudet in high school. I had a hearing housemate who went there, and she was delightful and whenever we went out she would somehow notice and meet deaf people. But she didn't mention that Gallaudet is made of castles, so I got to discover that for myself yesterday. The architecture was just stunning and lovely but I felt sooo awkward walking around campus by myself, thinking that someone would try to put me at my ease by talking to me in ASL and I would be too shy to say hello, or girl, or thank you. I reminded myself that everyone at Gallaudet knows lots of hearing people, but I felt like such an intruder. Casey met up with me after he got out of work, and I felt much more comfortable with someone to talk to. 
Before Casey met me I just wandered around in a daze, taking effortless photos of amazing architecture. I studied contemporary architecture as a visual art in college, but I didn't know what anything was supposed to be.
 This is the gym. The website says it's in the Queen Anne style. But that is a Tudor building..
I have been meaning to plant a letterbox in DC, so I scouted for spots. The campus is urban, so I expect maintenance crews repair everything all day long, but I did find a currently neglected hidey hole. I spent an hour and a half carving this stamp.
 It is so sloppy, but I think people will still like finding it. It is mostly sloppy because I am out of practice. But also, I had to improvise an x-acto knife

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My new 1930s hotel room bedroom

Our sublet ended and we moved four miles from Maryland to DC! I am going to vote (spoiler) for the President from the President's backyard! I am going to give blood at the Library of Congress! I am going to find a job of some kind! I love fresh starts. 
This classy enormous chair is in my bedroom. My landlord is a really good decorator, where good=enthusiastic.

 This is inside our front door. Our front hall is like a slightly generous hall split in two and one half is a staircase. So it's a single-file sort of situation.
 There are pinwheels and flamingos and tinsel and marbles all over outside, which makes a nice effect but a poor photo, so here is a cute photo of a plant on our awesome porch.
 What is this? I love it.
 I am a glamorous lady in my green, white, black and red bedroom. I even have a fireplace just to hold my vintage suitcases. And, even though none of the furnishings are ours except the bedding, Casey and I are nearly matching the room in classiness. We got a second iron at Goodwill so that we can more easily look neat and pressed all the time, and we write letters in fountain pen to our friends, families, or mentors every day.
Also, our entire house is seeded with plug in air fresheners, we share a bathroom with 4 other people, our kitchen is unusable for an indelicate reason, guests are forbidden, and emergency response teams /police work hard on our street all night long. I really hope we can handle those things so we can stay.