Friday, January 21, 2011

Upgrades and Problems Solved

Pause for plug: Vote for my stories in the Tweet Me A Story Contest! Mine are the 13th and 21st on the list-- you'll see my name next to them. You can vote for as many as you want. I personally also like the one about Adam and Eve.

Look! A real bed! And it's comfy! It's been a long time coming but I am finally no longer sleeping on a leaky air mattress loaned by a childhood friend or a futon given to me by my girlfriend. I'm sleeping on my own bought and paid for, full size, combo foam and spring mattress. With a box spring. And nice memory foam mattress topper. And that goose-feather down comforter from my brother. Can you tell that I'm excited?

The bed was the very first item on a list I'd started making a few months back. Back then when I was basically unemployed, living off my savings, I stuck a piece of paper onto the wall next to my desk. On it, I started writing a list of all the things I wanted to buy that weren't essentials for living (like food, or replacement light bulbs for the ones going out around me). Now I've been able to turn this around and start buying those things and crossing them off the list.

This spending spree has been brought on by two good developments:

First, tutoring is finally starting to take off. I was worried that this month would be a lean one, but it was anything but. I subbed for three different students, took on a short-term one for a paper on Hamlet, and got a long term one who needs help in at least four subjects I'm qualified to tutor. So, for the first time ever, I have already earned enough to cover my bare-bones expenses for the month by tutoring alone.

Second, after a lot of phone calls, emails, house calls, tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth on all sides, I got ConEd, my electricity provider, to reevaluate their bill. Turns out their meter reader (and, incidentally, my super) misread my meter by 1,000 kWh. So instead of wanting nearly $300 for 34 days, they now want about $115 for 64 days. Much better.

That with a Christmas present of a little shopping excursion with my mom at Target, and I've got a bunch of new stuff for the apartment. A red microwave, extra sheets, and, here's the exciting one: a power drill. From the power drill comes more cool stuff. Like a couple extra square feet of counter and shelf space I just put into my kitchen using a couple $1.50 brackets and a discarded piece of a computer desk a friend of mine never figured out how to put together.

Oh, and now that I know how much electricity the heaters use, I'm turning the electric heaters on for a couple hours a day. It's not exactly toasty, but man does 65 F beat 55 F (or in my bedroom, 50 F).

There are a bunch of little things going with it. The futon I was sleeping on is now a couch, joining a chair I picked up for free in the living room. The my bedroom door has a rubber sweep on the bottom, insulating the temperature on either side. All but one of my overhead lights are now CFL bulbs. So the apartment is starting to look like a home.

Starting to. It still needs a lot of work. But now I think I can start putting together the little things that'll make that happen. Anybody in NYC want to help design and decorate my space? know, that's a crazy idea. I've been waiting to have any kind of house warming party until I had the place really decked out. But what about a open house design party? Get a bunch of drinks and snacks, invite  my friends to my empty apartment, leave a lot of pens and paper around, and let them write down their ideas. What they would do with the space.

Hmm... What do you think?

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