Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Phase 3: A Tale of Two Kitties

Okay, so I'm now residing at Emily's house. This is Emily:

Sure, that picture is years old, but I mean, B.J. Morecock? Shit's rich. I digress.

The thing here at Emily's house is the kitties. They're my ticket in because cat-sitting is what people need. Nobody needs to generously give up their place to a weary traveller (thanks, by the way), but cats do need to eat.

Percival is most definitely the apple of my eye. He is the cutest little bastard in the world. He enjoys many adorable hobbies such as balancing on the bathtub, playing with my iPod charger, playing with rosary beads, playing with the strap to my helmet, playing with...well, basically anything strandy in nature. Check out this fine specimen of a cat:

I would kit-nap him so fast if not for the fact that I'm very allergic to male cats. I don't know why, but the little bastards cause my eyes to turn every shade of red and my very bones to itch to the core. It's really a shame.

Martin, however, is the devil of the cat world. He tries to scratch and bite me at all times, and he also rather enjoys menacingly blocking doors to rooms I wish to enter. These cats could not be more opposite. Look at this thing!:

So I ended up living at the Pasadena and here at the same time for a week because I was too lazy to move all my stuff. Lindsay and I ended up getting it done on Sunday, but during the time in between, I used my van a bunch more. The good news is, I rented out my van to the band No Gold for a whole week, so that will cancel out some of my gas and all of my insurance for the month. Here is my new cost/benefit for June:

$175: Rent (paid for by trading in an old airline credit)

$90: Extra gas as compared to living at the Backside House.

$75: Storage space.

$105: Van insurance

-$140: Money made off No Gold renting the van out.

$50: Parking ticket.

$60: Alcohol bought for hosts of various kinds.

Total: $415

Money saved in June: $275! Hooray! I'm actually ahead of the game.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Spent: $15 or so on beer to compensate Scott for all the laundry I did. My plan was to wash everything at the Enchanted House since the facilities are $2/wash at Becky's place, but I couldn't do that once they got in trouble for having me live there. I actually went almost two weeks without driving my van, leaving laundry both dirty and clean at the Enchanted House. When I went to get it, there was a $50 ticket for parking facing the wrong way on a side street. Bullshit. Also, my laundry was all drying nicely on the deck, where apparently Keri had put it on the first of June. Good thing the weather has been perfect. There is no need to ride anything except the scooter, and my undies just toast in the wind and sun. So here's where this first two weeks of June has me:

$175: Rent (paid by trading an old airplane credit.)

$40: Extra gas paid as compared to the Backside House.

$75: Storage space.

$105: Van insurance.

$50: Parking ticket.

$15: Laundry compensation beer.

Total $460 for half a month. That's a rate of $920/month, but the insurance and storage are for the whole month, so I'm on pace for $830. I'm not yet saving anything.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When like likes like.

Homelessness has many advantages. Generally speaking, when I explain what I'm doing, people are pretty excited. One question that often comes up is, "But Justin, how do you bring girls home?" When beds are borrowed, and couches or vans prove to be excellent substitutions, is one's style in any way cramped?

The obvious solution would be to get a girlfriend with her own place and mooch off her. Since I'm not Evan, I'm not doing that. Instead, I've found the only type of person who will date a homeless dude. I'm dating a girl who is also homeless!

This is Lindsay. She really wanted to live in Vancouver. She wanted to live in Vancouver badly enough to move into a closet while she looked for somewhere else to live:

The current state of the rental market in this city is such that more and more people I know are surfing couch, renting dens and closets, or otherwise making temporary arrangements. In fact, in the 12th and Granville neighbourhood, a $350/month closet is actually proportionately appropriate! When I moved to Vancouver in 2004, paying $825 for half a 2 bedroom in a divided character home seemed so expensive. I'm sure that same place fetches at least $1,100 these days. My how times have changed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sofa, not so good. (When storrowing backfires.)

Okay, so yeah, I cleverly storrowed a bunch of stuff with Amy, Scott, Rachel, and the Enchanted House girls. The problem with doing that is you have to count on the stability of living arrangements of your friends. When I lent my red couch to Scott, I mentioned the fact to Tara and Nevada. They said they would have taken it too because they hated their own couch. So Scott has moved in with his girlfriend, and doesn't want my couch because he'd rather, like, have couches owned by him and his girlfriend than watch mine and wait for me to take it away and leave a giant hole in his living room. Fair enough.

We had to remove my couch from Scott's, and bring it to Tara's:

We had to remove Tara's couch from Tara's and leave it in an alley:

We had to move Scott's girlfriend's couch into Scott's, which involved tying it with rope and throwing it off a balcony:

I ended up just giving Tara my couch. I didn't want to own a couch I never liked that much anyway if it means stuff like worrying about where it is. I originally got the couch by trading a free couch I really like but that my sister had ruined when she bleached her hair to my girlfriend at the time for this couch and $50. Best $50 I ever made.

Someone please give me a free couch in like December, okay?

Oh, and now that the girls are moving, who wants to storrow my patio set?

Incidentally, the worst part of all of this is that for a week in July, my old red couch will be where I sleep, but Tara is moving. After somehow jamming that thing in her basement suite, I'm now going to be responsible for getting it out of there too.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ikea: Swedish for easy to break.

So last night, we tried to watch a video. The television and the digital video disc player weren't plugged in. Not only that, but there was no outlet within reach of them. I pulled on the table a little bit to slide it across the room. Suddenly, I heard a sound, and I was holding the giant television over the hardwood floor. It slipped and I dropped it.

Apparently, the leg had broken right off.

Anyhow, it turns out the table was broken all along, but I just didn't know it. I don't think we should put the television back there.

Other misadventures in the house last night involved the next door neighbours. There is an apartment so close to ours that you could almost reach over and touch it. The first time I took a shower and opened the window my head was visible and someone was just standing 10 feet away in her kitchen. Last night, someone in that building had a noisy party, and a lot of people were standing in the back yard. As you can see, that's pretty much right outside our windows.

Anyhow, so I was in the shower last night, and I kept seeing camera flashes through the window and hearing funny sounds. Eventually there was a knock on the window and I opened it. The whole party was cheering and raising their drinks and taking pictures. I wish I could get one of those pictures, because I was the perfect portrait of a guy in the shower. I was definitely mid-hair wash with the big ball of shampoo suds on my head. This is the angle I could see:

I had a drink with them out the window later, but didn't go outside.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Phase II: For real this time.

I've moved to the 12th and Granville area. This girl Becky from CiTR radio offered me the keys to her place the first time we met. We have a lot of mutual friends, but we had somehow never crossed paths. I mentioned this in my post about a month ago. Anyhow, she has a roommate, but her roommate sublet the other bedroom here to this Italian guy named Manu. Manu is only in Canada for four months studying architecture, so he's super into having a good time here in Vancouver. Part of my deal is that it's probably boring to live alone, so Becky wanted someone here. She looked for a sublet and couldn't find one, so I'm here now. I did trade her a $175 airline credit though, so my rent here for the half month works out to about $350/month, which is still a great deal for such a nice neighbourhood.

Here's Manu cooking eggs for dinner:

Here's what I did to the chandelier because we're not short girls like Becky and her roommate, so we kept hitting our heads on the thing:

That's an Ikea butter knife, but it does the trick. I think it's well in line with Manu's style of problem solving. He put a Life Saver outside to tempt the ants from the kitchen to the windowsill. It's attracting the little fuckers, but it's hard to say if it's helping us or hurting us. Are they coming for the Life Saver, staying for the kitchen? Perhaps.

The only thing that is a pain in the ass about this neighbourhood is parking. I can barely find spots for my Vespa, and I know every spot within blocks of here. I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I bring my van down here. Aside from moving, I haven't touched the thing. It's still at the Enchanted House along with a clean load of laundry (thanks, Keri) because the weather has been so hot, and the parking situation is so crazy. Some places have limits so you need a permit (which I don't have because I don't live here). Some places have restrictions for time of day (which is no good because if I don't take my van to work, it gets towed during normal business hours). The meters are right out, for obvious reasons. Egad.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Phase II: South Granville

With a degree of sadness which one might not expect a temporary resident to exhibit, I have now left the Enchanted House. The agreed upon month is up. Not a moment too soon, actually, as the girls got busted having an extra person living there and were facing the possibility of seeing their portion of the utility bills going up. The utility bills are split between the basement suite and the upstairs, but of course, the presence of one extra showerer and launderer was enough to make the landlord give a hard time to the girls. I suspect that the basement suite tenants were the ones who tipped them off, but I mean, fair enough on the complaint. I paid a whole month of bills for the girls under the old breakdown, so don't think I'm a jerk for making their bill go up!

Unfortunately, the girls decided to move out of the house. Well, I guess it was what they wanted to do, but it breaks my heart a little because I really love that house. Geez, no wonder I have never travelled. I seem to find something special about most places I live. Part of this weblog seems to be an examination of my constant need for a home. I feel like that German Shepherd in The Littlest Hobo. Maybe tomorrow. I digress.

Amanda took a picture of me leaving:

I managed to get all my stuff I had there into one vanload:

Actually, phase II will have to wait. I have a lot to say at moving time.

The Enchanted House was awesome. I loved it as a place where people cook together and hang out at home a lot, but not too much. It was pretty far out of the way, so we'd be out a lot, but people still made the journey when we were there. The girls are awesome, and I'm stoked to have spent the time there I did. Here's a picture of the cookoff they were having when I went to pick up my scooter:

Cooking as a competitive event! More people should do that!