2/1/2022> we only logged 5 journal entries in 2006, so we'll fill in th gaps + contextualize them chronillogically w/ key highlights from the Ↄalamari/Sleepingfish news feed, pics (w/date/time-stamps from 2005) + links 2 what we posted already on 5cense + also micro-blogged (b4 there was Twitter) > after 2005, we started 2006 living on Essex st in th Lower East Side then moved 2 the East Village but didn't last long there either, our shitty landlord woes were mounting > we started 2006 working as a freelance information architect @ Sony BMG then MTVN/Comedy Central + then BMG/Columbia House
[ early January 2006 in New Mexico ]
1/2/2006 > spent the holidays in New Mexico + reviewed some books + music + a few days later "reviewed" Faruk Ulay's Beneath the Shadow of Perpetual Defeat
> sumtime in January 2006 we went to Dublin
[ R bedder-½ @ gates of Trinity College, Dublin ]
[ bedder-½ in February on th way 2 Coney I-land ]
[ Coney Island on 2/21/06 (see also our 2006 flash photoblog) ]
[ snowstorm in Lower East Side in February ]
3/7> : published James Wagner's Trilce
[ image we made for Trilce ]
3/12> we start 2 hint @ post-humun tendencies in thi5 Inverse Anthropomorphisms and Animistic Animals post
4/5–4/7> went to the &NOW Literary Festival in Lake Forest
[ 5elfie in Chicago ]
[ selfie on 4/27 ]
5/7> reading @ Magnetic Field in Brooklyn w/ Gari Lutz, Dave Hollander, Robert Lopez + Peter Markus (think this was th 1st time we met Garielle, bumped in2 her on the street in Brooklyn b4 the reading)
[ X-ing Delancey on 5/7 ]
5/9> moved from Essex St in the Lower East Side to the East Village (7th st + ave B)
6/6> compiled a bunch of our "concrete poetry" NYC street pics on 5¢ense
6/8> published The Night I Dropped Shakespeare on the Cat by John Olson
[ Be Your Own Pet @ The Knitting Factory on 6/12/06 ]
6/13> Ↄalamari Press gets distribution (SPD)
[ hot July day on 7th street, East Village ]
[ Baaba Maal @ Irving Plaza on 7/3/2006 (yes, grinding millet as in our Niger song) ]
[ 7/26 photoflash from the East Village ]
July 27, 2006 – NY
Wow. This is the first I’ve written in my journal in a year. That’s not healthy.
Right now, exactly right now, [our bedder-½] is having a phone interview for a job in Uganda. She was supposed to fly out to London for it, but she couldn’t because she is on her Doris Duke staff retreat.
In another hour when I hear from her my mindset might be different. That’s why I wanted to capture it now. If we move, will there be any mindset of my feelings towards New York? Is New York responsible for me stopping to write in my journal, which would be responsible for me not writing as much naturally free-flowing writing? There’s no shortage of things to say, that’s for sure. Its just a matter of where to start. And where to find the time.
I would say in this past year or eighteen months, our NY experience has soured. Sure, we’d get sick of NYC in February when it was cold, but we’d get over it. I don’t know where were living last when I wrote in my journal. Probably on Thompson street in the west village. We were lasting in different places for two years at a time—the upper east side for two years, hells kitchen for 2 years, Thompson street for a year… and now less than that, which increasingly little patience. Thompson street was a tiny, tiny apartment, 6th floor walk-up. Old and dilapidated with very little light and ventilation. Our window looked out into someone else’s apartment that didn’t have curtains. It was a great location, near Washington Square. Bedder-½ was still at Columbia I think, but maybe at that point transitioning to her job at Doris Duke. Or maybe she switched to Doris Duke when we were living at 57th street. I left Napster when we were at 57th street and was working mostly at the Princeton Review. And then on Thompson Street, which was convenient as I could walk there in less than 10 minutes. Living and working in the village/west village. It wasn’t bad besides the apartment sucking and just having entrenched and embittered tenants that smoking in the hallways and apartments below us, and being that we were on the top floor we were constantly breathing it in, which was unnerving to think about the health effects from prolonged exposure. I think Bedder-½ was bothered by the size of the apartment. It was pretty fucking small. I measured it for tax reasons and it was something like 250 square feet. And I was working at home a lot, with no air conditioning. I remember I was working on the images for Land of the Snow Men there, so that’s what I was doing. I had probably wrapped up the first perfect bound calamari book in the 57th street place. I was able to do more publishing and writing after I left Napster, that was for sure. Doing more and more art and editing for other people’s books. I got good some good press and the word seemed to be catching on.
Right now the HR portion of Bedder-½ ’s interview is done. Its 7:00. She should be on to speaking with 4 scientists who are undoubtedly grilling her. I know she will do good though. She always does. She might not have the confidence going into it, or even after she will be hard on herself and say she did terribly and won’t get the job, but she will. I can picture it. We need a change. The time is right. And the job is perfect for her. She doesn’t need to get her MPH, she is above that. She just needs real world experience, this has what she has worked hard for. She deserves this. I can picture us in Africa, going there. That’s always a good sign. That’s when you know you’re ready.
We moved from Thompson to the Lower East Side. I can’t honestly say I could picture us living there. I think we were lured by the need to 1). Move to a neighborhood that felt more real than the cookie-cutter west village, nice as it was. 2). Ok, so we were suckered by modern conveniences and the space. It was technically a great apartment, completely refurbished “first occupancy,” it was huge, tons of light looking into open blue sky, completely modern with built in dishwasher and washer/dryer. Completely functional and practical. And it was nice, besides being a bit out of the way and we had really one train the F to rely on. Too far to walk to work. We did get bicycles though, which gave us a new outlook on life in nyc for sure. Been biking ever since. Everything suddenly more accessible, not having to rely on subways. But dangerous though, and Bedder-½ I think is spooked about it after getting smacked by a taxi door on her first day. What really made our lives hell though on Essex street in the LES was one fucking neighbor that happened to live directly above us, that was making noise at all hours of the night and day. Never slept. Ridiculous pounding and stomping noises, I’d go up there and they’d (her and dozens of friends) would be playing volleyball at 3 in the morning. Literally, with a net set up and everything (which is testimony to how big our apartments were). Another time they were break dancing, or listening to Foghat and stomping annd screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs. It really grated our nerves. Our sleep cycle was all screwed up, even Bedder-½ who sleeps through anything. Our landlord was a Hasidic Jew who was attentive and meant well I think, he was always coming by and checking up on us, but I think there was only so much he could do about the situation because her rich daddy had paid a year's rent up front (the only way she could get the apartmennt), and he wasn’t willing to fight it with a lawyer like this fucking bitch Katherine Marris was. And Natasha. I write down their names because I want to avenge them in some way, some day when they are at least expecting it.
[ ceiling (above our bed) of the apartment on Essex... at least this landlord would fix these issues ]
[ but every time it wd rain the walls would get waterlogged all over again... ]
[ + mold wd start 2 grow, th fact we din't write abt this in R journal is testimony 2 how annoying the above neighbor was ]
It’s 7:15 now. Bedder-½ is into the heart of it. Our lives going forward I think could rest on this. Well not really, I think it has just revealed how ready we are for a change. Even if this isn’t the one, there needs to be one.
After the nightmare on Essex street we moved here, to 202 E. 7th street between ave B and C. I should mention that while we were living on Essex, above what used to be the notorious Guss’ pickle factory, I started working for Comedy Central. As a lowly project coordinator in the digital media group. Its about as mundane and nebulous as you can get. But it’s around interesting content and interesting people, so I can’t complain I suppose. But the job duties are so vague and undefined it drives me crazy and was hard to get used to. I don’t know if I have some sort of puritan work ethic engrained in me, but I feel a compelling need to work, to produce, not to “manage”. All I would do was basically follow up with people to see if they did what I told them to do. I’d rather be the one actually working. And working independently instead of part of some monstrosity of a corporation, what is inevitably Viacom. Technically I actually work for MTVNetworks, and Comedy Central is the client. The pay is okay, $30 an hour. And lately I’ve been working 4 days a week, which is nice to have that extra day for Calamari and Sleepingfish stuff, but the paychecks are less. In that time, after Land of the Snow Men, I put out James Wagner’s Trilce, John Olson’s The Night I Dropped Shakespeare on the Cat, Carlos and I’s ma(I)ze Tassel Retrazos, the newest Sleepingfish #0.875, and just this week Peter Markus’ Good, Brother is going to the printer.
Bedder-½ just called. It’s 7:26. She talked to the HR person, but the main people haven’t even called her yet. She is stressed out as she has to go to a session at her staff retreat right after at 8:15, so them running late is crunching into her time. Poor thing. Hopefully they have called her by now.
So yah, here we are on 202 E. 7th St., me working for comedy central and publishing a lot, but not really writing a lot, Bedder-½ working at Doris Duke but right now having an interview with the MRC (British equivalent of CDC). Bedder-½ said they are making a decision by tomorrow! So at least we will know soon enough. I emailed her to ask if they have called her and she didn’t respond, so I’m assuming now she is finally amidst it. Fingers crossed. Kissing Singha’s nose. In my underwear. Sweating. One thing nice about this apartment is that this is the first time we have been on the street. I’m looking down through our fire escape onto 7th street. And all the characters. Crazy lady feeding pigeons. Its quiet right now. Overcast and not too hot. Compared to last week. A lot of our experience here in nyc I think we are taking for granted and we’ll appreciate later. I don’t write about nyc, that’s for sure. But I don’t think I ever wrote about places while I was living in them. Just like I when I dream of home it’s never where I’m living at that moment, which is the first line of Poste Restante, which I should mention that is finally finished. I did a bunch of images for it, and went over and over it, and these past few weeks Norman Lock has been going over it, and he said he sent it back to me yesterday. So hopefully I can get that published before we split to Africa, hehe. Already thinking ahead. Thinking of when I go into the office and give notice. I’ve already scoped out the URL www.mylifeinthebushofghosts.com and it's available [+ we still have it registered]. Of course there’s the matter of what I would do in Uganda, but I’d be free to do whatever. Work more on my own writing. Whatever’s feasible. Volunteer. Actually make a difference in things you care about instead of being a useless cog in a huge evil American media company. Though Jon Stewart is pretty funny and the world is a better place for it.
Geez, email from Bedder-½ and they still haven’t called. That was at 7:39. It’s 7:46. Now there’s the time pressure. That’s just not fair.
The apartment we are in now, is okay, its just riddled with the usual problems and the landlord sucks. We’ve written 4 or 5 letters complaining of all the issues, every time it rains, there’s leaks in multiple places in our bathroom and living room and bedroom, there’s junkies squatting in our building, when we moved in, there was a bunch of stuff unfinished, holes in the wall, bare wires sticking out, etc. One thing after another. A week ago someone broke the lock (probably intentionally so they could get in easier). They finally fixed it, but changed the lock and didn’t tell us. It took them 2 days to get me a key. That was only after I freaked and yelled at the super, who doesn’t speak English so all my communications with him are in Spanish. I’m tired of being nice. In that way I think ny is grating on me (or us). We’re becoming those pushy NYers. It’s really the only way you can get anything done in this town because the loud and obnoxious assholes win out. Even walking on the street you just have to hold your ground and bump people, riding on my bike I’m constantly ringing my bell and whistling at stupid asses getting in my way, exercising my right. If you can’t even live within what’s your right, within the rules we’ve established, green means go, you pay $2500 rent for a functional shelter over your head, etc. then what else is there? Sure, Uganda might be pure anarchy, but as an outsider you’d just have to adapt to whatever customs they’ve accepted. Get used to their smell because they don’t believe in deodorant. But in the U.S. when someone stinks of B.O. in a restaurant, or someone’s phone is going off in a movie theatre, as an American, I have the right to be annoyed and say something. I’m surprised I have gone 39 years of my life with still never opening a can of whoopass on anybody, never so much as physically pushing anybody, outside of mosh pits, but that doesn’t count.
It’s 7:57 and bedder-½ hasn’t emailed me back so I can only assume she’s in the interview. And she’ll probably run straight from that to her retreat so I won’t talk to her.
We saw Max Cannon a few nights ago, the first time we have seen him in nyc, so was interesting to see the difference, our Tucson lives meeting our nyc lives. Unfortunately we only spent one evening with him as Jack was being a complete dick and hogged him to himself all weekend. Something weird going on there. We’ve had our suspicions about Jack, skittish and scheming and untrustworthy as a friend, and they have been confirmed. I think our relation is over with him because of this. Not that it ever started, as seems every time we saw him we felt like we were starting over. Never penetrated to the “personal” Jack Vaughn. Maybe we were looking for something that isn’t there. Even Max says he’s all business. Not that we all aren’t without our defaults, but common decency and the chill factor go along way.
Everything seems to be coming to a perfect convergence.
This is “before”. The next journal entry will be “after,” after we know whether we’re in for a move, or we’ll have to bite the bullet and suffer through more of the same waiting for the next opportunity.
8:08. I’m going to take a shower. But I’ll wait til 8:15 in case Bedder-½ calls. I don’t have to be at work til 11:00 today, I have my weekly project manager’s meeting at MTVN in Times Square. Normally I work at 57th and Broadway, strangely enough a block from where we used to live. I’ll walk to work today, to Times Square. We’ve both been walking a lot when we don’t ride. Taking pictures. Documenting this city. So in that sense, those are my journal entries. A specific aspect anyway.
P.S. 8:26. I just heard from Bedder-½ , a rushed call. She thought it went well but thinks she might have some stiff competition. She sounded positive though.
[ ceiling of R apartment @ E 7th + ave B ]
[ everytime it wd rain we'd have to put pots + pans around to try to collect all the drips ]
[ @ times it wd reach laminar flow ]
[ fixing a whole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering...]
7/30 > Sleepingfish 0.875 launch Party @ Magnetic Field in Brooklyn, with readings by Anne Pelletier, Christian TeBordo, Dana Kooperman, Doug Martin, Grace Vajda, Joe Salvatore, Jonathon Dixon, Joshua Cohen, and Nelly Reifler
July 31, 2006 – NY
Still in NY. Not going to Uganda. Bedder-½ heard back the next day. They chose someone else that had more HIV experience. But they were “enamored” by her and picked her as the runner up. So if the guy gets cold feet, then we’re going. Or if the guy should get sick or something. If only we knew his name. Oh well. We were pretty bummed out. Back to the drawing board, far as how the hell to get out of this country.
Last night was the Sleepingfish 0.875 launch party. Robert Lopez has had a rough summer. He had an anxiety attack brought on by addiction to nasal inhalers, infirim or whatever you call it. Leading up the launch party he was sounding like he might flake out, still having severe anxieties and not even leaving the house all summer. But he came through and showed up to host the event. Good thing as it's not in me to do that. I sold books and shook hands. Sold all 25 copies I brought, if the check that Doug Martin wrote me doesn’t bounce (in a drunken stupor he wrote me a barely legible check for $200 for everything calamari press has ever published) then I made something like $450. Not bad. If I did that every night might be able to actually make a living at this.
It was an interesting to meet the writers from the issue. For better or worse. Sometimes it’s nice not knowing, and just knowing someone by their work. But the human element is nice after so much email correspondence and “virtual” interaction.
Now that the seed of change is planted in my head I’m pretty hellbent on leaving Comedy Central now, so I’m gonna start looking when I get back. Not sure what I want to do, but its gotta be better than what I’m doing now.
8/1/06 to 8/8> swam w/ whalesharks in Yucatán
[ Holbox I-land, Yucatan ]
August 29, 2006 – NY
Haha, I think the last entry I had was pre-Uganda. Probably intentionally so I'd remember what it felt like to think there was such hope. Obviously it didn't happen. Though Bedder-½ was picked as a backup, in case the guy they picked gets cold feet or something. But that's unlikely. So its back to the drawing board. We still have our minds set on leaving nyc. We waiver, thinking maybe its not so bad, that we could move to Brooklyn our something. But we remind ourselves. Its not healthy to live like this. This city is changing us for the worse. We are feeling the longing for open space. To have a dog. The typical shit, guess you could say we are caving in. Dare I say even a car would be nice to have. Not to commute, never want to be in the situation, but at least to have the freedom to spontaneously pick up and take a roadtrip or go somewhere. We are lacking in spontaneity and it takes too much inertia to get out off this island.
These thoughts seem to dominate our minds. We are constantly reminded of it. Our crappy apartment and a landlord that is totally unresposive (though we only paid $1000 rent this month, so he is forced to either respond or we can at least save some money). If he doesn't fix the leak by next month we'll just withhold completely. Outside our window is constant noise. Car alarms, people blaring their stereos, hipster smoking and talking obnoxiously. It all percolates up through our windows. There's no fighting it. Yesterday someone yelled out the window for them to turn down their fucking stereo and all it got was an invitation to come down to the street so they could kick his ass.
To say we live like rats is an insult to rats.
My job is really annoying me as well. Typing this from there, from my crappy desk crammed near the water cooler. I've been tasked with handling sponsorships since the other two producers doing this shit left, so now I have to deal with ad sales people and promoting sponsorships that are always really fucking evil like dodge, GM, McDonalds, stupid movies, Airforce and just tons of car companies. Its moronic. And its a pain in the ass to deal with. My expectations and role is still ill-defined and at the end of the day I don't feel like I've accomplished anything. So I'm looking. Had an interview with New York Magazine last week. A phone interview, they haven't asked me back for a live interview, so not sure they went for it, though probably for the better as it was kind of a producer/project manager that sounded about as vague and nebulous as what I'm doing now. And I think he picked up on that. "This job sounds like what you are doing now, why would you like it anymore?" Good point. So just trying to figure out what the next step is.
What else? Working on the edits to Poste Restante. Norman Lock had quite a few edits, but most of them stylistic changes that would make it sound like something i didn't write. But some good feedback. Working on some images to the Mellis book. And got Good, Brother back and have just been sending out review copies of that, etc.
[ image we made for The Revisionist ]
Its been dreary and raining a lot lately. A nice change from the heat, but feels like fall is here prematurely. Oh and I guess the other news since I last wrote in my journal is that we went to Yucatan for a week. But I "blogged" about that. My journal is becoming public. Strange times.
[ don't real-E remember what thi5 wa5 (a burlesque 5how?) but it'5 date-stamped 8/30/06 ]
9/11 > published Good, Brother by Peter Markus
10/11> went to Paris for a long weekend
10/16> published Poste Restante
> concerts we saw in October + November 2006 included The Rapture, And You Will Know us by Trail of Dead + The Blood Brothers
[ The Blood Brothers in July 2006 ]
10/31> went to the dog Halloween parade in Thompson Square
11/1> Kevin Sampsell interviewed us for the Powell's Blog
11/3> Peter Markus read at Pratt in Brooklyn
November 15, 2006 – NY
Sitting here at BMG, again, haven't written in a while. Geez. Little time for anything let alone writing in my journal. If that's what you call this. I barely even write fiction anymore. Though I'm sure between now and the last time I journaled, I published Poste Restante. I also published Peter Markus's 2nd book. And am in the process of publishing Robert Lopez's and Miranda Mellis's books. But these are all facts that can be found out later. What there is no record of is my state of mind.
Yah, I'm working at BMG/Columbia House. Maybe I did document my disillusionment towards the end of my gig at Comedy Central. "project managing". I definitely feel more productive here and the "work day" goes by faster, and I suppose there has to be a work day, 8 hours that are just lost towards making money. And I'm making shitloads more here than comedy central, from $30 an hour to $50 an hour. And I'm working more because it is not so intolerable. And the days go by fast. At least so far, but I have only been here a few weeks. It’s a conservative environment though, and I work for and with a lot of marketing people. And the product is not the best, but could be worse. At least its CDs and DVDs.
Or maybe the last time I wrote was when we were close to going to Uganda. We suffered some post-trauma after getting our hopes like that, and NYC seemed unbearable over the summer. And our apartment situation was just a complete headache. Our landlord a complete asshole. We ended up withholding our rent for 3 months before they fixed the roof, and we had to fight for a measly $1500 abatement, which I'm still not sure he agreed to since he doesn’t communicate with us, just asks for our money. And now we barely have heat, and all last weekend we didn't have hot water at all. Not a big deal really, we can shower at the gym, but its the principle that we live like rats when we pay so much rent. So we might move rather than fight it anymore. Plus its a long walk to get to the gym or for Bedder-½ to get to her classes. Would be cool to live near Union Square even if it means paying more.
I'm working at 1 Penn Plaza, so I walk most every day, both ways. I took the subway the first day and felt like I was in the rat race so I don't do that anymore. I like walking. Its crazy to think how much mileage I've put in walking or riding my bike in NYC, and all the different commuting routes I've had. Now my commute is 27 streets and 9 avenues (which equals 27 more streets), which equals 2.7 miles. So 5.4 miles a day. We've been working out at the NYU gym, a nice perk. The weather has been very seasonal, in the 60s even though it's mid November.
Next week we are going to Seville for my birthday and over thanksgiving. Over Xmas and our anniversary we are going to Morocco. Oh, a few weeks ago we went to Paris for a long weekend. So we are getting out of the city which is making our lives bearable.
What else. Back to reading Sleepingfish subs now. Tis the season. Even though its always during a different season (intentionally). I never really finished the fallout of post-Uganda, but looks like we're gonna stick it out as long as it takes bedder-½ to get her MPH. So a few more years in NYC. With this job, making this kind of money and getting Information Architecture experience under my belt makes it more bearable. And really there is no other place in the U.S. to go that is not a cop out.
Sometimes I'm so busy, or so distracted that I never have quality reading time or writing time. So many things unfinished, to work on. LIT Magazine asked me to submit something yesterday and I realized I didn't have anything new that hadn't been published already. I feel sometimes like I'm flying by the seat of my pants and with that comes a certain detachment, incompleteness. But I'm wondering if you hit a level where something gives. Kind of like what Raymond Carver was talking about when he did his best writing when he had so many distractions: kids and financial problems, and he would just have to go out to his car and write. I wake up in the middle of the night and hear our neighbor at all hours. Not like he's terribly noisy, but its just unsettling I guess, always living with people in close proximity, that constant reminder, car alarms, people making noise in the street, in the halls, before it never bothered me but now its getting to me. I think. Or maybe I'm getting used to it. Or rather than fight it I think I want to get used to it. It's hard to explain, but I think I'm about to push through to another level. I'm on autopilot as far as work stuff, things I used to get nervous about, I hold meetings now with marketing executives and what not, and its almost like I'm out of body watching myself, I'm just casual about it. I think I'm very different than I was. Yesterday I was walking the streets during lunch, it's so crowded here that I have to walk in the streets, faces flashing by, complete chaos, and I was thinking back to when we lived in Ajijic and I used to feel self-conscious walking in the streets, in public. Now the public is part of me. I'm definitely more aggressive. I hold my ground, I demand my rights, I've never gotten into a fight, but I fight for my space, with cars that pull into crosswalks, with idiots that don't know how to walk, its like I'm on a mission, like that Verve video where he walks with attitude, I think I'm becoming like that and its necessary in order to get anywhere in this city. Could I adjust to a different pace? Could I adjust to having to drive or living in a car culture? I think not. That’s all for now. Back to work.
[ our terazza on E 7th st ]
> we didn't complain too much more in our journals about our living situation, but wrote dozens of letters to our landlord, this is from a letter dated 11/21/2006:
[...] Besides the previously documented major leak which went unfixed for 6 months, being moved into an unfinished apartment prematurely, and all the other issues we've had which are well-documented in other letters, more recently during this month:
- we have been without hot water on numerous occasions, including the entire weekend from November 10 to November 13, 2006. We called the Super Dennis numerous times before calling the city as he never responded to our calls.
- we have had sporadic or no heat for extended periods during cold days and nights, including no heat at all starting from November 18 to the present. We have called the super numerous times and have received no response whatsoever, so we reported it to the city. It is now the evening of November 21 and we still have absolutely no heat and the outside temperature is 39 degrees.
11/29> went to Spain (Granada and Seville) for Thanksgiving/birthday
December 6, 2006 – NY
Playing the waiting game. Our fate could be significantly different in a few days. We decided to look for an apartment to buy. Not sure when that happened, sometime before we went to Spain, for my 40th birthday. We were probably looking for apartments to rent because our current situation on 7th street is so bad. It still is. We didn't have heat and that was mid-november. Now its December 5 and we still don't have heat. Our landlord is such a dick. So we were looking for yet another apartment, and I was thinking why not buy, after all we got that money from selling the Oregon house. So we called up Carlos Spaventa and started looking. The very first place we saw was this place called the Foundry on 23rd and 2nd avenue. Not an ideal location, but we can't afford to be too picky, and it's a 5 minute walk from Union Square, and also central to our jobs. The studio loft is in this old building that used to be a soap factory, solid prewar with high ceilings. It felt right when we walked in. Lots of light, this cool sleeping loft, lots of closets. The only drawback was the kitchen kind of sucks. We were turned down initially because on top of the 20% deposit (our first offer was $330k and the ask was $359k), they wanted 2 years of mortgage and maintenance in the bank, which we didn't have. We were 40k short and they told us to get a "gift". We told them to fuck off and went to Spain (see 5cense for a write up on that).
We got back from Spain and looked some more. We were pretty consumed with it once we started looking and didn't see a lot of viable places. But we noticed that the Foundry 11H was back on the market as the other person that bidded on it fell through. So we threw our offer back on the table. But they stalled and got a few offers, that supposedly were up to ask (359k). We saw more places including a one bedroom on 21st and 3rd avenue that was pretty cool, shared no common walls with anything. Great location. They were asking 425k for that, but hadn't had offers so we threw an offer of $385 in the hat, and they haven't turned it down yet. Meanwhile we were coming home to an apartment with no heat, working out, walking to work, trying to take care of calamari and sleepingfish stuff, and Bedder-½ going to class and working. By yesterday we got a bit frazzled and freaked out realizing how much money it actually was. The Foundry has a maintenance of $905 which is insane. So our mortgage and maintenance monthly payment would be about $2700, which is doable I think, but we would totally deplete our savings, and have to "borrow" 40k from David, or get him to agree to this in writing so we could put in our offer. But was all this worth it? Just to live in Manhattan? We would be completely strapped to a mortgage and not have the freedom to pick up and leave. Bedder-½ has got 2-3 years left at her MPH at NYU, but still. You never know. We could rent the foundry out, which is rare (its a condo-op, not a strict condo), but I don't think we'd get $2700 for it, nowhere near, probably more like like low 2000s. I don't know, it was starting to freak us out. Looking at places in Brooklyn we were realizing why everyone swears by it. You can get a nice big place, for a much more affordable price. With the commute on the subway. But in another sense would it give us a new lease on life for our last few years in NYC? Nevertheless, the foundry was the best we can do, we think barely within our limits, so we put in today our last offer of $365k into the hat. We find out tomorrow who they pick. Supposedly there was few others already at ask, and when we went to look at it again, there seemed to be a lot of interest. Part of me, and I'm sure Bedder-½ is almost hoping we don't get it, but I dont know if it's fear of being disappointment, and preparing us for the truth, or because we don't want to get locked down into a mortgage.
On top of not having heat last night, they finally decided to fix it at 1:30 a.m. until morning. It was really surreal. I woke every few minutes because I'd hear pounding on the pipes and weird noises emanating through the pipes from the guts of the building, kind of like that movie Delicatessen. I tried sleeping on the couch where it was a bit quieter, with all my clothes and jacket on and blankets and pillows piled on top of me. We've filed complaints with the city and everything, we've done all we can do besides sue, which would mark us for life if we ever wanted to rent in NYC, because we'd be in that database of having a landlord-tenant dispute, regardless of outcome. So we've accepted it like abused children.
So much more has happened. We've eaten a lot of Sushi. I've stood in line at the post office. Walked a lot.
Seeing apartments is weird. You have to see your life or at least a few years of it flash before your eyes. I thought I had that feeling at The Foundry. But was it a good feeling, and is there a better one?
At work right now, really tired. Waiting for a basketball game, U of A is coming to town, across the street from here at Madison Square Garden. We managed to get tickets right under the basket. Bedder-½ is in class, she's gonna meet me. I want to just sleep in MSG with thousands of other warm bodies.
The two current calamari projects have hit a roadblock with all this, not just because of time, but money. Robert's is significant expense, $1000+ to print first batch. He wants to launch in February, and I keep trying to push him off. Taking care of our living situation is critical right now. Worked a little on The Revisionist, but I have revisions yet, haha. Tomorrow I'm taking off so they can fix our damn heat and so I can be there for a package (bubble envelopes up the wazoo). Pain in the ass. Life's a struggle right now. Not that that's bad, but it's a struggle, and I have a hard time sleeping. I'm starting to feel like I'm 40, is this how it is? Worrying about shitty landlords and gainful employment? Today was the first time in my life I've called a lawyer. We have brokers who are our "friends". Do most 40 yr-olds have a broker friend and a lawyer friend? And I'll need to get an an accountant soon, tax time is coming up and we'll probably have to pay a lot this year.
Is it possible to just have a laid back life in brooklyn with a dog and not having to work a lot? I never have time to write. Whatsoever. I should probably be writing while all this is going on. I am now. Its all going by so fast. The weekend's over before you know it and another work week starts and the days drag on. Not that this job is horrible, but days are filled with lots of ill-defined tasks that keep piling up. I keep transferring vague tasks from my day planner from one Saturday to the next, "call 311" to register official complaints about the heat, job-related tasks, "write," send out writings," "read sleepingfish submissions" (of which I get a dozen a day, and can only find time to read in places like on the plane to Spain), "wrap up The Revisionist", etc.. mixed in with open house appointments or readings that I never have time to go to, and when I do it only makes me hate writers, especially "poets".
Tired. But I feel like a good change is due.
> then on Dec 7 we wrote to our landlord:
We are tenants of 202 East 7th St. Apt 1D requesting an abatement of $2500 for the lack of heat and hot water we have endured so far for the entire winter season on account of your negligence, and are still experiencing as of today, Dec. 7, 2006 despite numerous attempts to contact the super, landlord, 311 and HPD. We have had adequate heat for maybe one initial day back in October. The following complaints with the city were filed to try to resolve the issue, all of which remain unresolved:
- Nov. 11, 2006, complaint # 3526307 we reported no hot water or heat. Hot water was restored 3 days later but not heat.
- Nov. 20, 2006, complaint # 3541251 we reported no heat.
- Dec. 4, 2006, complaint #3560975, we reported that we still had no heat
- Dec. 6, 2006, complaint #3568800, we reported that in addition to no heat we also had no hot water.
We also contacted you directly on numerous occasions back in November to report no heat. We are requesting an abatement of $2500 (our current monthly rent) for experiencing a full month from November 7 to December 7 with no heat, and in addition, 5 days of no hot water. During this time we have had to stay at friends houses, shower at the gym or friends houses, eat at restaurants because it is too cold to eat in our apartment, and we have no hot water to wash the dishes.
In addition to these issues, we have been contacted by Con Edison multiple times about your lack of payment and response in regards to the buildings electricity and gas. Despite the fact that we have paid our own utilities for our own apartment, your negligence in this matter has caused us to have to negotiate on your behalf and assist the Con Edison personnel in finding the meters as they have informed me that you have been totally uncooperative and will not grant them access to the building to check the meter, let alone pay your past due bills. If they shut down utilities and something should happen to us in the building on account of lack of electricity or heat, then we hold you accountable.
We have also reported to you a missing window on the front door—the plastic window is just resting in the slot and can easily be removed to open the door, and we have noted numerous people going in and out of the building that do not live there, which we have reported to you. There have already been thefts in the building from people coming in off the street, and we hold you accountable for anything that should happen to our property or persons on account of this inadequate security which you are allowing.
12/25> + Xmas day we left for Morocco for 2 weeks
[ onword to 2007 in post #994 ]