It’s been a very bad year. In January, I lost my baby, my 16 year old cat named Mufasa. He was diagnosed with kidney failure in September of last year. I changed his food, gave him meds and subcutaneous injections all while working 12-14 hour days as a restaurant manager. He died in my arms, and I haven’t been the same. His 16 year old brother, Diablo is fine, but he has never been alone, so he is needy. In February, I was let go because of the “drastic financial cutbacks.” And now it’s March. This time last year, I started dating my now ex-boyfriend. Fuck. What’s a girl to do? Well, I started doing the things I never had time to do. I am decorating my apartment. I am taking classes online…all of them: spanish, web design, app design and business management. I have been dreaming about running my own business for years, and it is about to come to fruition. So for now, I am trying to make 2013 my bitch.
It’s my birthday!
I moved back to New York on July 29th last year. There have been plenty of ups and downs, too many jobs, more drama and not enough sex. All I can say is that I am sure I have more social, cultural and romantic opportunities here than I did in Miami Beach. In fact, concerning the dating world, I’ve had more action in the year that I have been here than the five years I lived in Florida! So now I’m renting a room with my friend from Miami and in a few months, we’re getting our own apartment. After going back and forth between working in a restaurant kitchen and working as a private chef, I’ve decided that neither of those two options are the right fit for me. I have two interviews scheduled this week and I worked as an extra for a commercial. I don’t feel stifled anymore. I feel like I can do whatever I want, whenever I want with whoever I want. Faith…it’s a good thing.
After staying in Sofa City at a bunch of friends’ apartments, I found a room for rent at $125/week. I thought I hit the jackpot, but what I found was actually a tad illegal and shady. I went to a real estate manager’s office for short term rentals. I filled out an application, and was shown this apartment. It was small but they would take my cats and it was a two minute walk to the subway station, not to mention the grocery store across the street. I gave my first week and last week’s rent to my roommate, who also managed the apartment, and picked up my cats from the kennel. Fast forward to a few months later, to where I come home and my roomie’s friend who owns the dry cleaning store across the street is there. He tells me that my roomie is in Miami for a few weeks and he would collect the rent. My roommate lived in Miami for about a year and has friends there, so I didn’t think anything of it. The following day, I got up, did all my laundry, cleaned my room, cleaned the cat litter box and went out to dinner and a conference with a friend. Later that evening, I come home to a messy apartment. Apparently, a search warrant is a piece of paper that allows the police to ransack your apartment, throw your shit on the floor and search everything, including your underwear and your cat litter box. One of my cats, Diablo, who rarely socializes or meows, greeted me at the front door, crying like a crazy cat. Great. I’m living my own version of Law & Order, except there is no hot detective to help me. I read the warrant and it looks as though they searched this apartment and another one for fraudulent papers, aka a fake passport or Social Security Card ring. Now I’m pissed. I don’t feel safe and my cats feel violated. Who keeps fraudulent documents in a cat litter box? I cleaned my room, calmed the cats and went to bed. A few days later, my roommate’s wife comes by the apartment looking for my weekly rent. I explained to her what happened and that no one was here to collect the rent after the warrant incident. She told me I had to have last week’s rent and this week’s rent to her by tomorrow. I said fine. The next day, I told her to come by and pick it up before 230pm and she said okay. At 2:10pm, she asked me to drop it off at the dry cleaner place across the street. I did so, only because I know the owner and I gave it to him after txting her that I gave him the money. The next morning, the super knocked on my door asking for rent. What? I told him that my roommate does that. A few hours later, the building manager comes by, saying that my roommate is two months behind in rent. Of course, he has no business card, and no phone number for me to contact him, but I give him my roommate’s wife’s number. Interesting. As soon as the manager left, I went across the street and asked Mr. Dry Cleaning if the wife picked up my rent money. He said no, prompting me to tell him that the super and the building manager came by asking for rent. I called her, and she did not pick up. So I asked for my rent money, and he gave it to me. A few minutes later, she sent me a txt message saying that she was going to give the apartment back to the building manager in seven or eight days and that it was too much work for her. I just said okay. She then txtd me saying her sister has a room in Manhattan for $150/wk if I wanted it. I declined. I’m not stupid. This morning, she came by asking why I took my rent money back. My other roommate popped in and said, quite frankly, “You told us last week that we have to be out of here by this week because you’re giving the apartment back in a few days, and after the search warrant incident, you still want us to pay? Hell no.” I stiffled my laugh. I told her that she still had my last week of rent from my deposit and that I put a deposit on a new apartment and gave money to the building manager. I also said that she is two months behind in rent and I refuse to give any more money to anyone else until I am guaranteed a place to stay. She had nothing to say about it. My other roommate let her have it, because the police dumped everything he owned on his bed and the floor. Before she left, she said that she would be giving the keys to the super or the building manager on Friday. Yesterday, the super told me there was a woman in the building renting a room for the same price, and it’s actually on the same floor. Meanwhile, I posted ads for the mini fridge, the futon and other things that my roommate let me use. And I’m taking the cable modem, the router, and the tv. Class, what have we learned? If the apartment is cheap and too good to be true, it’s most likely illegal. If you think you’re being screwed, try to stay one step ahead and sell their shit. Class dismissed!
I made the calls, forwarded my resume, sent the follow-up emails and made the move. One sentence cannot emphasize the amount of stress I have gone through during the last two months. I packed up my apartment, donated most of my stuff, and put eight boxes and a bag in storage. I couldn’t fly with my cats so I rented a car and actually drove from Florida to Maryland. Oh…holy…Jesus…that was stressful. I haven’t driven a car since 2008 so yeah, not only my life was in danger, but also my cats, and anyone on the road or the sidewalk. I left Monday night, arrived in NYC on Wednesday afternoon. I slept for 10 hours in 3 days. I was a wreck. But now I’m so much happier. New York is amazing. I still haven’t found an apartment yet, and have resorted to staying with friends. I start my new job this week and I’m working on getting another one. I don’t know what is going to happen next, but I know I am much happier here.
I was working two jobs since October 2008. I…was…exhausted. I would rather go home, enjoy a glass of wine, and sleep than go out with friends, or even a date. I mean, I’m somewhat optimistic about dating. So beginning January 27, 2010, I went 2 months with one job. I was freaking out. I had the time but not enough money to do some of the things I wanted to do. But then the gods smiled on me and granted me a job at a lovely clothing company, allowing me a major discount on most frocks you would find in magazines. The only catch? It’s at night, setting up the displays. Ooooh. I ended up working for 20 hours between both jobs…in one day. I was beyond tired, I was hallucinating and having conversations with myself. I was off for the next 3 days from both jobs, and after that time off, I was happy. What is wrong with me?
Things are going well with the new apartment. The few friends who have come by like the layout and the open feeling when there. I just wish I had more furniture. I am focusing on decorating it, and putting something on the walls! I went from owning a 2BR/1.5BA with a basement and a deck in Baltimore to renting a studio apartment with an eat-in kitchen in Miami Beach. I’ve given away or sold most of my furniture from previous residences so I’m starting from scratch. My place looks like a serial killer lives there, with a mattress on the floor, a tv, a pitifully small futon, and a desk. There is no table to eat on and I have two forks, two spoons, two plates, two knives, etc. If more than one person comes over, I have to eat off paper plates. I strongly believe the word minimalism really means having no furniture and barewalls because you’re broke.
One work colleague is an amazing photographer. Another co-worker does wonderful drawings, and yet another is a painter. My best friend can read tarot cards and sometimes gets messages from the other side, you know, in the Ghost Whisperer/Medium kind of way. So I asked myself, what is my special talent? A long time ago, I thought it was my foreign language skills, and later on I thought I could work with computers. Just a few years ago, I pictured myself as an excellent chef. And now, I don’t know what to do. Drinking does not count as a talent, people. The uncanny ability to attract homeless men or dirty old men is a curse as far as I’m concerned. Being funny? Perhaps. The ability to blog about food, travel and tv at the same time should be considered an art. Meh…