Why we are not moving

December 3, 2010

So Husband Guy and our kid and I live in this really small apartment. Just how small is subject to family debate: Husband Guy once said, in a really authoritative tone, that our apartment was no more than 450 square feet, something I now suspect to be FALSE. (It is actually very small, though.)

It’s a cute apartment, and it has a little garden where I attempt to grow vegetables (tomatoes and chard: easy. Cucumbers: impossible.) and in general it has lots to recommend it. But it’s very small, so we recently decided that we were going to start looking around for a new place. We were very optimistic as we went into this process, having heard that it was a total RENTER’S MARKET here in LA.

Anyway – Husband Guy stays at home with our kid, so for a couple of days, after I finished writing/pretending to write for the day, I would leave work and check out some apartments on the way home. You know – do the first pass, just to see what was out there.

OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. Looking for a place to live is the grimmest activity.

Here are the three first places I saw:

1: Overpriced, kind of unpleasant, run-down townhouse. At the end of the tour I asked the lady if there was anything else I should know about it. A haunted YET ODDLY ANGRY look crossed her face and her lips went very thin and she gritted out: “Someone died here two and a half years ago. I’m only required to tell you about for three years afterward. SO.”

2: An apartment in a large complex. Nothing interesting… until you got to the part of the tour where both bathrooms were side-by-side. With a door between the two toilets. The manager-lady (who had insisted on photocopying my ID, “because she had to know who she was going out on the property with” – WHAT IS THIS, AN APARTMENT COMPLEX/NUCLEAR FACILITY?) refused to acknowledge that there was anything humorous about this. “It’s convenient,” she insisted. …why? So you can… pass reading material back and forth? WHAT IS CONVENIENT ABOUT HAVING TWO TOILETS NEXT TO EACH OTHER???

3: A small house in the Valley. It was unpleasant, poorly-maintained, and there was a back house that took up most of the back yard and which hadn’t been mentioned in the ad. There was also an elderly blind man who lived in the guest house – “the caretaker”. And his “guide dog”, who was mangy and wearing a cone and who snarled at me. “I have a baby,” I told the lady showing me around (I was trying to GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS STEPHEN KING NOVEL) “How does the dog like children?”

“Well,” she said. “They’d have to get used to each other.” (As the dog curls a lip menacingly.)

And then the tarp draped over the side of the guest house lifted in the wind, snapping back to reveal:


(No really.)

So. We’re staying put for a while. Our apartment is little, and the bathroom is directly off the kitchen, but at least it doesn’t have clown statues, ghosts, or tandem toilets.

Also. Christmas is coming, and I decided to rent a tree (yes – hold on, I’ll explain) from The Living Christmas Co.: a hippie outfit that will rent you a living tree in a pot and take it away again after a few weeks. Today Husband Guy was checking our bank balance, and he gets this very… odd thing going on with his body language. And he says:

“Did you–”


“Did you spend 57.60 on… I mean, listen, it’s none of my business, but…”

“What? WHAT?”


And then he said that of course he supported my spirituality and whatnot, he was just wondering, because of the charge on our account from


Finally, I have been writing a lot of treatments, lately. I wish I had found this totally accurate Terry Rossio article about treatments earlier. Really – it’s eerie how 100% exactly true-to-life it is.