The Apartment Search

Aside from my usual life filled with work, LA ass events, stalking my Twitter crush, and pretending to be a writer, I’ve been looking for an apartment which is a full time job in itself. And not just any apartment, but an apartment on the westside which is arguably the hippest/most sought after area to live in nowadays. My quest to find the perfect apartment started after my roommate and I decided to ditch our cushy 2bedroom 2 bath apartment in Westwood for our own places. I mean we’re both in our 30s and one day one of us would get hitched or decide to quit their job on some Eat, Pray, Love ish (probably me). Looking for an apartment in LA is a lot like dating for me in that it requires a lot more effort than before and the pickings are slim.
 
In the beginning I decided to do what everyone does when looking for an apartment, check Craigslist religiously and purchase a Westside Rentals account. Which, by the way, Westside Rentals is free now courtesy of apartments.com. But they sure didn’t stop me from purchasing that useless $55/mo. membership! Anywho, first thing I noticed is that the rent is WAY more expensive than when I got my first LA apartment in 2011. So when you do see a reasonably priced place on the westside people descend upon it like vultures. I went to an open house that no lie had like 30 people there for the shittest smallest studio I had ever seen. I watched as everyone tried to sweet talk the realtor into renting to them. Another LA dating analogy, shitty options with lots of competition. So I started to get more aggressive with my search upping my budget and expanding my desired living area to K-Town and I even looked into some spots in the South Bay. Which is sad because I wouldn’t even date someone who lived in those areas much less live there myself. But I was getting desperate.
 
Then there were the managers you had to contact to see these properties. Maybe it’s just me but are you required to be an old eccentric weirdo in order to manage properties in LA? Because every single manger I met with was weird AF. There was the old man who showed me the Westchester apartment that was great at ‘selling’ me on the apartment; “No kids, No AC, it’s not that big, there’s no pets, oh and did mention NO KIDS”. I don’t have kids but he sounded like he’d shoot one if he saw them on the premises.
Then there was the old half senile half racist Asian lady I called to view the 1 bedroom in West LA. The conversation went something like this;
Me: Hi I’m calling about the one bedroom for rent, is it still available?
Asian Lady (thick accent with abrasive tone): Yes! How old?
Me: I’m 33.
Asian Lady: Oh you are YOUNG! No pets, no kids, no boyfriend, no girlfriend, no music!
Me: Okay I’m single.
Asian Lady: No pets, no kids, no boyfriend, no girlfriend, no music!
Me; Got it, I’m single.
She then asks for the spelling of my first and last name. This took a full 5 minutes.
Asian Lady: Garner? Where you from?
Me: I’m from LA.
Asian lady: No! Like you French, German, etc?
Me: I’m black.
Asian lady: What!?
Me: I’m African American, black.
Asian lady: Ohhh black..
Me:
 
It goes on for a while like that, needless to say I didn’t end up viewing that apartment. Then I started to lose hope. Would I have to settle? I wanted to move by June 1st but there were no viable options. So I decided I was moving out no matter what. I went even harder on my search and decided to show up to these viewings prepared to show these managers that I was about this apartment life! With my pay stubs, banking statements, and application fees in hand, I went to see a cute studio in Miracle Mile. This time there was only 3 people waiting to see it. When I saw it I realized I had paid no attention to the square footage, 275ft to be exact. It was by far the smallest apartment I’d ever seen in my life but it somehow managed to have a full kitchen and no closet. But in my desperation and determination to find a place asap, I filled out an application on the spot and was approved! I think I was more excited about the location than I was about the actual apartment; walking distance from the LACMA, bars, and a health food market. The neighborhood was like the Manhattan of LA.

But when I started telling friends about the new apartment their attention shifted to the size. I knew it was small but my thought process was much like someone in a toxic relationship, who thinks; “I can make this work”. So my co workers started sending me links to other apartments in the area. I thought if I could hold off the manager of the shoebox sized apartment I could find something better. And I did, a studio apartment in the middle of Culver City and Mid City. It was a palace compared to the Miracle Mile apartment; faux wood floors, closets, actual closet space, and a full kitchen. I dropped my deposit and ghosted the prison cell apartment.

Now that the apartment hunt stress is over, work has calmed down (barely and only momentarily), I can channel that same determination I used to find an apartment in writing!

GHOSTING

We’ve all been there before, some guy or girl you met that you thought you vibed with so well, they were so cute, and they could even possibly be ‘the one’. You’d know from that one time meeting that you’d at least get the chance to introduce them at a friend’s gathering. It’d go something like this, This is (insert new bae’s name), we met IRL, and he’s an actor/writer/owns his own business. And your friends would think you’re so cool for dating a new guy who’s agreed to meet your friends so soon… <— and this daydream right here is probably what caused him to ghost you in the first place, crazy! I’m not a social scientist but I’m pretty sure that 90% of ghosting happens because the one being ghosted is too eager (i.e. appears desperate). And there are a few things that can make you look thristy to your new bae, maybe you:

1) Texted them 5 days after meeting them instead of the standard 8 weeks.Clearly, you have no life.

2) When you did text them, you asked them a general question about their life (i.e. how many siblings do you have).What’s next? Asking them what their ring size is?!

3) You followed up about the date THEY planned.Sounds like someone is getting clingy.

4) You called them. Which means you’re a total sociopath.

There’s a new group of people who have adopted ghosting, job recruiters. It’s one thing to be ignored by a person but to be ignored by an entire company, that’s just pathetic. But THEY reached out to me, THEY asked me for a phone interview, and THEY told me THEY were gonna follow up, then radio silence. I guess I just have to adapt to this new way of rejecting people, when it’s too soon for the “sorry we went with someone else” email or the “sorry I’m not interested” text, it’s considered more socially acceptable to just…

 

F*ck Jesse Williams.

Yo f*ck Jesse Williams. Like seriously. He comes in our lives with his good looks and perfect body and then has the nerve to drop knowledge on us! You can’t be fine AND woke. It does not work like that sir. The things he says should only come out of the mouth of some guy I’m in no way attracted to. So when he speaks I’m actually listening to what he says and not distracted by his piercing blue or whatever-color-they-choose-to-be-that-day, eyes. You know what Jesse Williams is to single women? False hope. I’m supposed to believe that men like him exist in real life? Nah bruh, I need some kind of scandalous information to come out about you like; you kick dogs, you litter, you put bowls of cereal in the fridge, or you’re a sex addict — actually that last one wouldn’t even be an L in his case. Sh*t, something has to be off about this man so we can all breath a sigh of relief that he’s imperfect just like the rest of us.

I’m being facetious of course. I don’t know much about Jesse Williams besides a handful of his tweets, a controversial/brilliant award acceptance speech, and a ton of shirtless Grey’s scenes. And then there was that one time he came in for a meeting at the network I was working for. I was working the front desk. He walked in and headed straight for me. Time stopped. It was like a movie when a character encounters their crush and they’re so busy daydreaming that they don’t even hear what their crush is saying in the present moment. “I’m here to see (insert network executive).” I like to believe he imprinted on me that day and that all the unicorn energy he gives off somehow rubbed off on me and one day I’ll meet my own Jesse Williams, and he’ll be fine AND woke.
You shut your gorgeous mouth!

SAVAGE

SAVAGE1 {adjective}: An act that is either cool or hardcore, going beyond the normal scope of the given situation.
2 {noun}: A person who often displays savage behaviour according to the above definition – Urban Dictionary 
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(For the kids reading this, that’s Ben and Fred Savage)

I love new slang especially when it gets archaic. Savage is being used a lot these days it’s even the name of post-trap rapper, 21 Savage. Pause. I like 21 Savage’s music and I judge myself for it everyday so you don’t have to. It’s like, the more ignorant the better.

Anyway, the term is also used to describe someone who gives no f*cks.  Rihanna uses it to describe herself to a man who confuses sex with love in, Needed Me.  It can also be used to describe a man eater (Female) or womanizer (Male). Feminist side note: why does a promiscuous man have a cool/smooth sounding name and a promiscuous woman is called something so…savage? 

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So last week my boss scheduled a meeting with me or a ‘sync’ as we cool business people call it. I thought it just going to be to touch bases about new work but it was to tell me I got a raise. Not a real raise but the shitty 3-4% ‘raise’ they give everyone for doing the bare minimum at their job, you know, showing up. And I as excited as I was about this ‘raise’, I immediately (while I was in the meeting) asked my friend in HR if these ‘raises’ were negotiable. She said yes, but then I thought about how arguing for a raise, getting it, and then leaving this job for my dream writing gig in a few short months, would be kind of f*cked up. But you know who wouldn’t think that was f*cked up? A man, because when it comes to getting the respect, appreciation, and compensation that they deserve, men are savages.

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‘Adult’ Parties

Whenever I go to a house party in LA I feel like I’ve been transported back in time to college, many, many, many years ago, circa 2005. We still talk about what we wanna be when we grow up, who we have a crush on, and drink Fireball straight up. College was like our model for how parties should look. It’s not like we learn a new way to party as an adult. I mean, we can pretend to party like adults by mimicking what we see on TV, films, and Pintrest. You know, charcuterie plates, wine, indie music, and adult conversations (i.e. who are you dating?, do you like your new job?, etc.) . But somehow, some way, the night always ends with pizza and flip cup.

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And there are a few people you always encounter at these ‘adult’ parties:
The Girl Who Gets Too Drunk – She’s like a pit bull off her leash and we have no idea what she’s gonna do next. One thing we do know, she will wake up the next day with many regrets.
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The Guy Who Stands Against A Wall The Whole Night And Sips His Drink – Who is this guy? Who invited him? Did he come alone? Why? Maybe some girl invited him and he thought they were gonna hang out, but she’s wasted, and dancing with some other guy…
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The Dancers – The 2-4 people who start dancing that people make a circle around. The onlookers take pics and video to add to their Snap and Insta-stories to validate how ‘Lit’ the party was.
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The People Making Out – Maybe they’re a couple or maybe they just met at the party. Either way, they’re drunk enough to not care about anyone watching.
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The Owner Of The House – They’re pretending to have fun but are secretly hoping everyone magically disappears before the neighbors call the cops.
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The Clique – The girls or guys who stay in their friend group the whole night and don’t branch out.
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Which category do I fall in, you ask?
The Introvert – The person who walks around, talks to only people they know, checks their phone a million times, has a drink or two, and finds a place to sit and observe. They do all of this within 35 minutes and are ready to go because they’ve met their social interaction quota for the day. They Irish exit the party because saying good bye gives them even more social anxiety. They need to go home to be alone and recharge so they can do it all again at the next party.
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Momentum.

I write this post today from my bed on Friday at 930am. I’m on a staycation BIT*HES! And it’s the best time to be writing in bed because a storm is brewing so it’s cold and gloomy outside. The perfect environment for a long day of writing. I wish I could get a day like this every week. This setting, this mood. Just once a week be able to write for a whole day. Finish something, God I just want to finish something! All these projects left undone is making me feel undone.

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Momentum, that’s always been an issue for me. It’s like something good happens and instead of letting that propel me to do more, work harder, I decide to take a break, pretend like I can pause and celebrate my tiny victory. When I should be going harder than ever because the next win won’t be as easy, you’re going to need to stretch yourself even farther in order to get to the next level.

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Momentum effects every area of your life; love, career, wanting to finish errands but instead going home for a nap, which is what inspired this post. I had a ton of errands to do on Saturday and an event or two to attend and I started to get tired and feel like all these tiny errands weren’t amounting to anything. I felt like I needed to go home and rest and perhaps put things off till tomorrow. But when I got home and realized how much I had to do my mind wouldn’t let me rest.  It’s a gift and a curse. I’m always doing something but I’m not really doing anything at all. It’s all a distraction. A distraction from doing exactly what I should be doing, writing.
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Social Meltdown

Can we all agree that the internet is super creepy? It contains all of our information, like ALL of it, where we went to school, what our favorite foods are, who we cyber stalk, etc. And when we die, our profiles live on the internet forever….F-O-R-E-V-E-R.
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How’s that for a Black Mirror episode premise? With all this public information how does anyone keep anything on the DL? Well, we don’t really, you basically have to be a web developer to figure out Facebook’s privacy settings. But we need the internet it’s our friend. It tells us when it’s a friend’s birthday, what video has gone viral in a given day, why we should or shouldn’t vote for someone, when our arch nemesis gets that job we wanted, when our ex that we’re still in love with has moved on, when someone has died. Yup, the internet sure is our best friend. But what if it all just went away?  And by ‘it’ I mean, social media.  What if every social media platform that ever existed; Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine (wait that one is already gone), hell, even Myspace, was deleted? And there was no way to recover this information. How would our lives change? Well because I’m a weirdo I’ve actually given this some significant thought:
Our circle of friends would get smaller – People would probably develop PTSD from not having access to everyone’s lives everyday so they would create massive text groups so everyone could stay updated on each other’s lives. But what about those friends you only interact with on social media?  You don’t have their number so would that ‘connection’ just go away? Are there really people you call your friend whose number you don’t have? I guess DM’s and @’s have replaced phone numbers.
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We’d have to enjoy moments privately – What will you do when you take a trip, get a dish with a dope presentation, or have a date night with your new bae, and there’s nowhere to post that photo you can’t help but take? I guess you can still take the picture, look at it occasionally when you want to remember that moment, maybe even show it to a few people. But will you really feel validated if the picture isn’t capable of getting ‘likes’?
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We’d have to listen to each other in conversations – When you go out with friends and there’s no social media to constantly scroll through, how are you supoosed to get through that outing? You and your friends might have to, god forbid, talk to each other. And not just talk to each other but actually listen to what each other are saying instead of interrupting them every 5 mins with a new meme or gif of the salt sprinkling guy, which I have to admit is pretty hilarious. The internet has no chill.
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We’d have to look elsewhere for celeb gossip – How would we know what Kim K. and Kanye are doing if we can’t follow @shaderoom anymore? How Sway? We could probably pick up a trashy gossip magazine that will have pictures of them from a week ago with an inaccurate caption or headline. Which is VERY different from looking at a gossip IG account.
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We’d have to be productive at work – This one would probably affect me the most because I literately look at social media 85 times a day according to some article I read.
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(me at work)
We’d have to become humans again. You know, individuals capable of thoughts and emotions? Not the pseudo-human-drones social media has turned us into.
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I’m sure most of you who read this think I’m one of those anti-social-media-hippies who probably doesn’t have a TV. Clearly, I own a TV and watch it everyday. I’m just the average millennial noticing how we’re becoming less and less human due to our lack of interaction with reality. Also if the Russians really wanted to shake things up they’d just delete every social media platform and just wait…

Getting Familiar

So I go to the gym sometimes. 24 Hour Fitness because I’m basic AF.  I’ve been going to same 24 Hour Fitness for the past 2 or 3 years. I usually go around the same time through the week, between 5-6am. So naturally, I see the same front desk guy every time I go. Pause. Let’s back up to what I look like going to the gym between 5-6am; my hair is pulled back into a low ponytail that screams butch lesbian or mother of 4, I’m wearing a oversized KCRW hoodie, workout pants, and my eyebrows haven’t been filled in.
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So basically, I look like a wildebeest and I try not to make eye contact with humans. But that front desk guy, the black guy with dreads that would be cute if he didn’t work at 24 Hour Fitness, ALWAYS speaks to me. I know it’s his job to greet me as I’m checking in but is it also his job to start making small talk?
Front Desk Guy: “Hey I’ve seen you in here twice this week, good for you, enjoy your workout”, “You look tired this morning, that workout ought to help, enjoy your workout”, “Hey you’re here at a different time, you’re switching it up on me, enjoy your workout”.
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I’m sorry I don’t want my gym to be the place where everybody knows my name. I want to sweat in solitude and go home. The real issue here is that I just don’t like people getting familiar with me. This isn’t the 1950s where you walk down the street and every shop owner knows you. I don’t need the Trader Joes employee knowing my favorite snack (sweet potato tortilla chips). While there are some people who love being recognized at the establishments they frequent because it makes them feel important, I do not. Being a regular is just another sign that you’re getting old because you have a routine. For example, have you ever noticed when an old person tells you about a place they go to, they’ve been going there for ‘years’? Nope, not me. I’ll just keep juggling 4 Trader Joes just so no one gets familiar and directs me to the sweet potato tortilla chip aisle when I walk in.
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Hey – It’s Been a While

Hey – it’s been a while. I start email’s like that now, it’s like; [greeting] “-” [body of email]. It’s quick and to the point not like the comma. The comma is a foreshadowing of something long and possibly unpleasant to read. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to, writing robotic emails all day long and doing the work of two people. There are days when I’m so stressed out that I just lock up, freeze like a computer screen, and the rainbow pinwheel starts spinning in my mind. Then something snaps and I get this weird glaze over my eyes and start speaking to everyone like a Stepford wife.

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So when my job asked us who was taking time off for the holidays I immediately replied to that email: Hey – Abso-freakin’-lutely. No, I don’t have any real travel plans and yes, most of my family live in LA. Why are those the only times when we feel it’s acceptable to take vacation days? How about when you’re so stressed out that you can’t can’t sleep through the night, your weigh fluctuates, your face breaks out, and you have neck and shoulder pains from where you hold your stress. Why don’t we take days off to take a break from that? As bad as all that sounds I still feel like I’m just being dramatic and this is normal, everyone feels like this at work, right? Our jobs and society have us programmed to believe that we need to prove something that we need to kill ourselves in order to be happy. F*ck that! I had a realization the other day after one of my many breakdowns and that realization is that; This. Shit. Doesn’t. Matter. We’re not saving lives here people, it’s just a job, and I hear there’s more of them out there. Oh you didn’t send that email? You were late? You missed that meeting? But did you die though? No.

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So yeah, I would have liked to go to the grand canyon with my days off but I also just needed to decompress and get away from work before I had one of those private breakdowns, publicly. And yes, my company is cool as shit, but my job, my job is just shitty.

That was pretty agro but whatevs<—- And yeah, I talk like that sometimes.

RSVP

I RSVP to a lot of stuff. I probably don’t go to half of the stuff I RSVP for. Actually, I don’t go to most of it. I’m not saying that to brag about how cool my social life is or how popular I am, I say that to illustrate how useless an RSVP is at gauging how many people will attend an event. It’s 2016 there has to be a better way. Like, the government creating time machines exclusively for people to travel to the future to see how many people actually attend their event.

I don’t like RSVP’ing for events because chances are I’m not going to be able to go for reasons outside of my control. Reasons like; work, a conflicting event, traffic, or a new episode of Mr. Robot. Honestly, I hate committing to events because I hate obligation. Once I click ‘will attend’ I’ve sealed my future fate. I like to live in the present moment, the here, the now. What if I’m too tired to go when the day arrives? What if I get invited to a cooler event? What if I don’t find anyone to go with? Or what if I meet my soulmate and he asks me out on a date and I’m like, “Sorry bruh, I can’t go out with you because I RSVP’d this event”? Hey, it could happen. I like to consider myself a bit of a spontaneous planner. Subconsciously, I know I don’t want to go to that event or won’t be able to make it, but I don’t come to that realization till the very last minute. It usually goes something like this;

 
Stage One: Yes! I’m so excited about this event I can’t wait to go!
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Stage Two: That event is this weekend… I’m gonna be super tired from work…but I’ll still go. At least it’s open bar.
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Stage 3: Damnit, that event is in two days?! I still need to do laundry, clean my apt, go grocery shopping, find something to wear, get my nails done, do my taxes, slay a dragon…
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Stage 4: Shit! That event is tomorrow! I wonder if they’ll be mad if I don’t make it? I don’t even have anyone to go with….but I RSVP’d.
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Stage 5: FU*K! That event is in 2 hours. Can I make it there in 405 traffic? Ugh, I hate the 405. I’m gonna be so late. I hate being late! **Gets in Un-RSVP time machine and goes back in time to reply “will not attend”**
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