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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Angling for Apartments

(Up first, updates from the Bugs & Cranks side of life:

(Two-)Grand Finale: “Cox is listed 4th all-time with 2355 wins right now, but that could change day-to-day, based on the Canuck economy, Cito Gaston’s stock price, and the state of the beaver pelt futures market.”

Wednesday Walk Watch: Week nWine: “Basically, if you want to give one of these guys a free pass, then you’d damned well better smack them with a fastball.”

And up second… well, you’ll just have to read on to see that, now, won’t you?)

My apologies for being somewhat scarce this week. Or, if you prefer, ‘entirely absent’.

In my defense, it’s not especially my fault. In addition to the usual workplace madness, my pesky pooch, the demands of the missus, and a handful of truly trying fantasy baseball teams, the wife and I are also in the dual-barreled process of selling our current house and buying a condo.

“Evidently, I’ve been barking up the wrong binky.”

Which is not to say that I’m ‘too busy’ to write, exactly. It’s just that I spend an awful lot of time these days staring blankly into space, or curled into a fetal position under my desk, rocking slowly back and forth.

The latest potato up my proverbial tailpipe, homeowner-wise, is the fact that the closing dates to sell our current place and to take the reins of the new one are separated by thirty-five days on the calendar, give or take an afternoon. Which means the missus and I — and that muddle-minded mutt of ours — are effectively temporarily homeless, starting in late July. Which is just a few short weeks away. All we have to do by then is pack all our crap, find a place to store it, find a place to live for a month and change, find someone to move us out as well as in, thirty-odd days apart, and manage to make it to work most of the time, so all that stuff we told the mortgage people about having sources of income are still true. Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick…

That fetal position? Looking pretty good right about now.

In lieu of checking out completely and regressing to our thumb-sucking, binky-clinging ways, my wife and I have begun a search for temporary digs. You’d think, had you never done so, that locating a place to rent for just a month or so would be way easier than finding an entire house or condominium to buy for scads of money and live in for years and years.

I thought so, anyway. Evidently, I’ve been barking up the wrong binky.

Our main source for this search has been the Boston-area branch of Craigslist, that popular virtual local bazaar for everything from personal ads to modeling jobs, from ‘adult’ services to NSFW gig postings, and from adverts for ‘therapeutic massage’ to something apparently kinky called ‘ridesharing’. Yowza.

(Me, I’ve only ever used Craigslist to sell a TV, and to buy the occasional Red Sox ticket or two. Those transactions have only rarely involved any sort of ‘modeling’ or ‘massage’, and it’s never been anything I’d call ‘NSFW’.

Mostly.

But man, those were some sweet tickets.)

Anyway, it’s been a bit of a demoralizing experience. It feels a little like going on a fishing trip — only you don’t know what you’re fishing for, exactly, you can’t predict what bait might work, and the ones that manage to wriggle off the hook come up to the surface to taunt you. Also, they can talk. And the little bastards are snarky.

Take yesterday, for example. I got up in the morning, fired up a browser, moseyed over to Craigslist and carefully pored over every word and image in dozens and dozens of ads.

Then I figured I should probably look for housing. So I navigated out of the ‘naughty exhibitionist women seeking internet voyeurs’ personal ad area, and into the ‘sublets / temporary’ housing section.

(Hey, it was Saturday morning. Some people watch cartoons. And you don’t see me over here judging them.)

After a bit of a browse, I found four properties that met our troika of criteria — August availability, allowance of pets, and asking less than an arm and a dewclawed hindlimb in rent. Flushed with excitement — or the pic of one of those exhibitionists I’d adopted as my new desktop image — I cast four lines into the murky waters of internet-mediated sublet negotiations. Now, I haven’t fished in years, and I don’t recall ever fishing with four poles at the same time. If my utter lack of success with one pole was any indication — or if I’d worked out the math that ‘nothing times four’ still equals a big fat bupkis — then I shouldn’t have been surprised by what happened next.

But hope springs eternal, I guess. Hope’s kind of an idiot that way.

Springy idiot wishings notwithstanding, the answers to my queries reeled themselves in over the course of the day. First was the message deemed ‘undeliverable’. Too old an ad, and the apartment long taken. Then, the guy who wanted to rent for July and August — no exceptions, no discounts. Next, the lady who apologized because my email came just after she’d already rented the place. Hope her tenants turn out to be rowdy frat boys — or a guy with a surname of Bundy. Al or Ted, it doesn’t much matter.

Finally, the last response came back — a short, curt ‘sorry, can’t help you’. Maybe the guy didn’t like the way I worded the inquiry. Or he wanted to put ‘dogs allowed’ in the ad to seem friendly, but really wasn’t. Or maybe he’s read this site. Something. But he wasn’t having any part of us, so we struck out. On four poles. Maybe if someone would teach this man to fish, I could find an apartment for life. Or at least August. Evidently, I just need to learn to fish a little.

Anyway, the search goes on. Tomorrow, I’ll be up early again and casting poles in the direction of any housing ads that seem to be up our alley. But why do I get the feeling that the landlords are the sharks — and I’m just the chum in the water?

Permalink  |  7 Comments



7 Responses to “Angling for Apartments”

  1. Have you ever looked at “The Corporate Housing Network” (www.TCHNetwork.com) as an option for your short-term housing need? Mostly corporate rentals can be found on the site, but there are multiple options for furnished and unfurnished extended stay options. In fact, if after Searching you don’t find exactly what you were looking for, you can place a “Request for Housing”, and owners/providers essentially “Bid” on your business. Let me know how it goes!

  2. I don’t know how your spam filter let that last comment through. If TCHNetwork bombs out there is always a suites hotel. Most of the guests are contractors on the road, but they’ll give you a monthly rate AND clean your place once a week. As for Fido — there’s always the pound. Turn him in one week and then come back the next week and adopt him.

  3. ettarose says:

    I feel for you because I was in that same predicament several years ago. Now it is just a dim memory, or was until I read this. Some motels will let you stay for a monthly price. It is not too bad. Try that,Good luck in your search.

  4. jw says:

    Olly Olly Oxen Free! Come out , come out wherever you are!

  5. Okay, you’ve been gone quite long enough, don’t ya think? I need my dose of WTHWI humor, please. :)

  6. My wife and I had a similar problem when we moved about a year ago. Ended up renting these giant box things called PODS, shoving everything we owned into them and then staying in a hotel with three kids. Three weeks and several thousand dollars later, we moved into the new place. Life is grand, ain’t it?

  7. Lucas says:

    Hello there!

    I just discovered the site, and reading older posts, I instantly (maybe around the third post, to be honest) fell in love with it!

    Seeing that the latest post is more than 6 months old, I have to ask: Where the hell ARE you?

    There are few sites that provide humor in a intellectual fashion like yours. So, please come back! I know it’s a bold request from one that never read your site prior to this date, but I want to keep reading it after I’m done with the older posts!

    Cheers,

    Lucas

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