Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Going from living alone in the same place for a long time, to sharing a new home, there’s the obvious trade-offs -- less independence, privacy and familiarity, but also more shared responsibilities, companionship and new discoveries. Either way, I’m still gonna hang out at home wearing just my boxers.

Regarding my old joint, here are 5 things that…

…I’ll miss:

1. My buddy Mike, who lived downstairs in the building. He’d hole up in his rat’s nest surfing the web to confirm his latest Republican conspiracy theories. I’m moving less than 2 miles away, so it’s not like I won’t see him again. But since the only way I’d get him off his lazy ass to go do something was to stop by and kick his door down, it’s gonna be a while before we race up the Santa Monica steps while he blames Bush for his bunions.

2. Callahan’s, the diner up the street, featured in such movies as Zodiac (doubling for San Francisco). The place had an Irish name, was decorated with photos of Italian and Greek landscapes, was staffed by Mexicans, but served good ol’ American grease.

3. My dry cleaners, also up the street. So not only were they convenient, but also always professional and friendly. The owner provided the best service, but wore the worst toupee -- a black and tan rug sitting low on his middle-aged forehead. I always wondered if he martinized that thing.

4. My own parking spot. That’s the one thing that my new apartment doesn’t offer. There’s plenty of space on the street, safe and legal with a resident permit. But I still have to risk tickets for street sweeping restrictions, or the random hit-and-run hassle.

5. Nearby movie theatres. My new place is within walking distance of the restaurants, coffee shops and stores of Main Street, but no longer can I decide at the last second to dash to the multiplex. The night before I moved, I ditched packing to go with Mike to see Hot Fuzz. Even though I was swamped the next day, it was totally worth it. I love those Shaun of the Dead blokes.

...I won’t miss:

1. Coin-operated laundry. The new place has a free washer and dryer. Also, free gas, electricity and we have a dishwasher. It’s not just the convenience of cleaning coffee cups and clothes that’s contented me. Now, the only time I'll scrounge for quarters is at an arcade with a Ms. Pacman machine.

2. Avi, the old nickel-and-diming landlord. ‘Nuff said.

3. Noisy neighbors. My old place was close enough to the throat-clearer in the building behind me and their ankle-breaking biddies. The lunatic below made a racket until 2 in the morning. And at 7AM, I could eavesdrop on the business calls made by the guy next door. So I got a 5 hour window of quiet. That is, if the house in front wasn’t having another fiesta por toda la noche. No, I won’t miss that maddening Mariachi music.

4. And the owners of that house found a way to keep up the noise even when they weren’t around -- by leaving their three little dogs outside to YIP!YAP!YIP!YAP! incessantly. I wasn’t the only one who hated those cacophonous canines. But everyone on the block’s calls to the police, the city of Santa Monica and animal control did nothing to keep the peace. My last day there, I thanked those yapping little fuckers for making me so much happier to be moving out.

5. The dusty old gas heater. I’ve got that at my new place, too, but now, on cold rainy nights, that’s not the only thing to keep me warm.


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