Moving up, err down in the world?

The bike shop I worked at just got kicked out of our space because the liquor store is expanding. Our bowling alley shaped space has been traded in for a much smaller box size room. Technically we did move up, there were 4 stairs to move up to get to our new space. We moved all of the stuff for the front end on Tuesday and Wednesday leaving the other room empty and desolate.

It also highlights how much space we had and how we actually needed a bit less and needed it a bit better organized. Here are pictures of the old space coming in from the front door.

The new space is a lot cozier and homey feeling. It’s also way better organized, you don’t have to pace back and forth just to sell a bike. Instead you can walk around a small circle, but don’t even have to do it that much! I’ll try and take picture of the new space soon.

Though we aren’t quite yet finished moving in. The mechanic’s area still needs to move. It was thought that we could move it before we got kicked out of the old space (The end of December) but it’s becoming clear that just isn’t as plausible as we thought. I’m going to be going in early the next few days to help out move, hopefully we have the place moved in a week or two.


Crazy Month, Crazier Roommate

The past month has been quite a trip. From roommates moving in to moving out. Smiles visiting me and I visiting her. Finally gathering my last remaining items from Philly. And I settling down in my house and just relaxing for a little bit.

The first thing is the most exciting. Turns out the trucker girl I moved in with was crazy. She was the first person I moved in with and we signed the lease together. She’s 23, immature, disrespectful, dirty, got some issues with men and not being able to control her emotions.

We as a house began to discover this when Smiles visited. Trucker girl had previously sent me a text message late one night when she was drunk saying she liked me. All the advice I was given said to ignore it, which I did. While that might work sometimes this wasn’t one of those times. Smiles came to visit and trucker girls harassed me via text message for not “asking” if Smiles could stay over for a few night. She was clearly jealous but refused to acknowledge what messages she sent when she was drunk, claiming, “I don’t remember what messages I send when I’m drunk”

Not to mention the fact that in trucker girls month living with us she had 3 or 4 different boys sleep over, she had sex with everyone of them. One ran away and never talked to her again, one was a friend that she had sex with a few times, one was “abusive” towards her (she’s now living with him), I’m not sure of any details of the 4th one.

I tried talking to trucker girl on two separate occasions about this and she denied that anything was going on. So I began talking to the roommates. One of them promptly took my side and said that she should move out, the others followed suit after hearing the whole story. This is also when we learned that the newest roommate’s room was actually the bathroom of the dog who had peed and pooped in it dozens of times, destroying the carpet and leeching pee smell into the floor below, something that trucker girls basically refused to deal with saying, “I don’t see what the big deal is.”

The kicking out process was long and strenuous. It started with confronting her in person. Then rehashing the whole thing via text message. Then she called the landlord and we tried to to let him know what was going on. She began citing the fact that she was on the lease and wouldn’t move out that everyone else should. Finally the landlord talked some sense into her and her lawyer friend on the phone. She agreed to move out and give up the house after a three week long battle that left everyone involved exhausted. In return she got her security deposit, last months rent and $25 of her first months rent (because additional people moved in towards the end of the month).

In fact it was a week from today she moved all of her stuff out and everyone moved in to their desired room. The house began to settle down and feel a lot more like home. We started to work on a garden in the back and one in the front. And the stress level disappeared knowing that we’d never see trucker girl pop in the house again. Now all we have left to do is finish this garden. I’ll let you know how it goes and take pictures of the progress along the way. From mud to oasis is the goal!

My New Home

I successfully made the move to Pittsburgh. Despite one roommate backing out I also moved into a house. The house is in Garfield on a nice block. The streets are clean, the houses look pretty good, and there is a nice yard with shrubbery right next to us.

I’ve moved into my room, which is expansive. I’m going to need some more furniture because there is so much more space than my last room. I’m currently only living with one person. She lives in the attic with her dog, a beagle/setter mix. Her dog is super nice, and very calm.

We are going to have 3 more roommates join us. Two of them are going to move in around the middle of the month. They are a couple and both are, as my roommate put it, “into metaphysical stuff.” One of them reads Taro cards in addition to working at Trader Joes. The other one is a pedals a bike-taxi and works at a bike shop as a bike builder.

We still have to find the last person, I’m not sure who we are gonna find. Right now I’m the only guy, so maybe we’ll look for another guy, or maybe it’ll just stay that way. But I should stop being rude and let you in the house; come on in.

Oh quiet! That’s Inky, he’s friendly. He just has a loud bark.

So this is the living room. The weird glass table came with the place. I currently have all of my bike stuff in here, but now that I’m almost done cleaning up my room I can start cleaning up my shit in the rest of the house.

This is the dining room. The new roommates have tables so it won’t be empty for long. I was also thinking of storing bikes in here permanently. I obviously would have to make a holder of some sort for them if chose to do that.

Here’s the kitchen. It’s a good-sized kitchen, gas stove, good amount of countertops and cabinets.

And you can see in the room behind the refrigerator there is hookups for a washer and dryer. I’m going to try to convince the landlord to get us those. If not maybe we’ll all pitch in and buy one. Especially considering the rent is going to be just over $200 for all of us when everyone moves in.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. That is the backyard. It’s a project. My roommate really wants to plant a good-sized garden back there. The landlord has already said that there is plans for a fence to go in, I’m hoping he will take out the tires and wood before he does that.


The bathroom is right at the top of the stairs.

Now for the main attraction, my room! I’ve still got to clean it up a bit. I’ve got the basics of my organization system down, now I just need to put in place the final touches. My computer isn’t going to stay there, it’s just where I get the best internet access right now. Yep, free internet! That’s how I’m blogging this post right now. It’s pretty good too. It works best at night, but I can still get it sometimes during the day. I’m also looking for some furniture if you have any extra. maybe a desk or something.

There are two more rooms on the left. Those are the open rooms.

And finally my roommates room, the attic. Which is still kind of a mess. She doesn’t have much stuff at all, so the bed frame in the middle of the room and stuff strewn everywhere is probably just to fill this huge room. It’s about 28 feet long.

We’ll I’m gonna have to see you out, because I gotta get some sleep. Tomorrow is my first real day at my new job at Trek of Pittsburgh! I’m starting out as a service writer, the person who fixes flats and checks in bikes but I’m pretty certain I’ll be back just doing mechanic work soon. It’s nice too, my work is just over a mile away so I can easily bike to work, and can almost walk there.

It’s Time to Leave

I just spent 5 days in Pittsburgh staying at a friends house. I was excited to come home and sleep in my own bed, have some good solid alone time and see my friends and roommates. But it just wasn’t what I had dreamed about. It wasn’t an exciting goodbye-jam-packed-weekend, the people weren’t energy filled they were just like they always were. It helped remind me why I’m leaving Philly: to live my happy life again with my friends.

When I got to Philly I first went to Smiles and enjoyed myself there. Then I went home and my house was empty. I had already told myself that I was going to spend the night with my roommates, but I hadn’t told them and wasn’t sure what we would do if we did. I was super energized and excited to see everyone, but it was hours before anyone came home.

Finally the first one came home and she said, “hey.” I was bursting with excitement for all my future plans (I’ll got to them in a minute) but she was giving off much calmer vibes, and didn’t seem super excited/excitable. It reminded me of why I thought about moving out a while ago.

Don’t get me wrong I really like my roommates as friends. But they are just very boring sometimes. I mean this one time the kitchen light magically became a strob light (it eventually just plain stopped working). So like every sane person would: I ran up stairs, got my ipod and started blasting Justice and danced in middle of the kitchen. I got all of my roommates downstairs but they simply stared at me. They all stood outside of the kitchen and stared as I danced. That describes my roommates. Instead of letting go and going crazy they kind of mope around awkwardly stared.

That vibe as well as the fact that I found few friends in Philly really brought me down. I don’t want to make it out like I’m blaming them for my bad time here, I just feel like my life took a downward turn and became a lot less exciting. I became calm, reserved, boring, essentially I was a normal person. I’m not a normal person, I need to be free and crazy. My friends in Pittsburgh and simply the new start will let me be who I am again, craziness and all.

Luckily my plans regarding moving to Pittsburgh are beginning to fall into place. I met two people through craigslist and we are going to live together, the one is very high energy, shes from D.C. has travelled and bike tripped all around and is going to work at a bike rental place. The other is from Virginia, she’s more calm, she has a dog she really likes and she used to be a Commercial Truck Driver.

We just filled out application for a place in Garfield, a up and coming neighborhood. The block is very clean and nice, and the house is huge. It has 3 large bedrooms and a huge finished Attic. The rent is $900 and we’re at least going to have a 4th person move in, so rent is super cheap.

As for work, Trek told me that they still needed to talk to the owner, but I was their top candidate. If that doens’t work out another bike shop called me back hours after handing in a resume and wanted me to come in immediately. I couldn’t because I was already leaving town, but I’m going back on Tuesday to sign the lease, have the job inteview and I expect to hear back from Trek as well.

So excited for Pittsburgh.

Filthadelphia, you ain’t so bad after all

I’ve had crazy times in Philly over the past year and a quarter. Mostly bad, some okay and even some good. But as Pittsburgh comes over the horizon, suddenly everything in Philly seems to be going better than ever. I’ve been forming friendships with coworkers and getting along great with my roommates. I’m having such a good time that it tempts me to stay.

I’ve began befriending some of my coworkers, and we were even planning on going mountain biking together. My service manager Fred is going to miss me a lot, he appreciates me both as a coworker and I think as a friend. We missed our chance to hang outside of work, but maybe I’ll get lucky when I visit and this chance won’t be entirely missed.

Me and my roommates have all learned to appreciate eachother very much. We play board games frequently together. Manly Settlers of Catan, occasionally Ticket to Ride. I’ve also opened up to them and told them things I’ve never told anyone before, talking about crushes and girls in general. I also bonded with two of them over nihilism. They both have taken that as a title for themselves, as has Fred more or less. Oh the nihilists in the fucking fucked up place we call a world are increasing daily.

Now for a new chapter. No longer a new chapter in spite of Philadelphia, but simply a new chapter. Almost everyone knows, and today even my boss will. That’s right Pittsburgh, here I come.

Onwards, West Philly on the Portside

That’s right the boat of life is taking me to West Philly. I’m leaving this desolation of young families and old people to join the rebellious youth and students in West Philly. I’ve been looking for places to move for just over a week.

So far I’ve seen nice places, expensive places, shitty places, and places filled with douchebags. One of the places had a porch with a view of a gravel parking lot, one place was a shit sty and things started falling over when I was there, and one place had dogs that nearly bit my hands off.

After this tour of West Philly I’ve narrowed it down to two promising places. Place one is a house on 40th and Green. It’s just across the river from where I am and it’s in a neighborhood with real people, but close enough to happening places. It’s a house recently bought by a grad student, she’s nice and is looking for more people to join the one student and old great dane that currently lives there. She wants to make sure the house dynamics are good, and wants everyone on the same page. The room there is a rock bottom price of $325 a month and is a good size. The basement is also up for grabs as well as a bit of office space.

The other place I’m interested in seems cool but I have yet to see it. It’s almost exactly 20 blocks west of where I am living now, right near place one. It seems like the house is in a similar situation the difference is that it is a queer friendly coop. And I love coops, I sorta lived in one during college and would love to do it again. This place is $410 a month including all utilities, and I’m seeing it tonight. I’m leaning towards this one as it seems like it would be a fun time and a good way to meet people, but we’ll see tonight.

Either way I’ll be moving there quite soon, with both of them having rooms open by the latest March 15th.