Nov 112011

As I mentioned yesterday, Last Saturday was an eventful day.

In the morning, I went out to see a couple of apartments, I’d scheduled viewings through a real estate agent. I met her (the agent) in front of the first apartment, saw it, then she drove us to the second one. The first apartment was quite nice, but the place I’m in is a lot nicer. A lot more room, a lot more closet space, and a much better kitchen. The owners were asking for about $200 less than my current landlord would want for her place, so it wouldn’t really make sense.

The second place was actually pretty shitty, but it did have a pretty big back yard. I would probably be able to fit 10 people out there, a big table/chairs AND still be able to have a garden. Unfortunately, the place was kind of cut off. The closest public transport was about a 15 minute walk away. Now, that’s not a big deal on a normal day.. but when there’s 10 inches of snow on the ground and it’s -20 degrees outside, I can imagine that walk being a complete nightmare.

So, and read to the end before you judge me, this is where my brain went into complete retarded mode. I started thinking that I should take the place that I’m currently staying in. Jen, the landlord, is asking for $2800 a month. A couple of people have already seen the place, and had already put in applications. Jen was aiming to rent the place out unfurnished, but we talked, and she said she’d be willing to leave the main bed (it’s a two bedroom) and the TV with its little cabinet. Now, in my stressed out brain, that sounded like a good deal. Did I mention that utilities weren’t included in this deal? In Boston, most landlords cover heat and hot water. Jen was willing to cover the hot water, but that was it. Considering that my original budget when coming here was $1500 – $2000, I go back to what I said; my brain had gone full retard.

Thankfully, after a day of thinking, I came to my senses. I don’t need a two bedroom place, and I’m sure to find much better deals in the Back Bay area (rather than the South End, which is where I am, which is a bit.. fancy). Also, the fact that I still don’t have a checkbook, and there isn’t enough money in my account to cover the first payments on an apartment (first mont – last month – security (a month’s rent) – agent fee (up to a month’s rent… this is the maximum, some people don’t ask for one or two of those), then there was really no point continuing the search. I’m delaying all this for a couple of weeks.

Anyways. After seeing the second place, the realtor offered to drive me back to my place, but I decided to walk (that’s how I go an idea of how far the second place was from anything). On the way back home, I decided to go around and get things done. I passed by Starbucks and picked up a bag of ground coffee for the machine at home. It turns out that their ‘free tall coffee with every bag’ offer works here as well, so with free coffee in hand, I wandered off towards the Prudential Center. This is a mall that is quite close to my house. I knew there was a video game shop in there (GameStop) and I wanted to pass by and pick up the new Batman game that I’d heard was pretty good. Hooray for old habits!

I got there, found game, bought game, and then, honest, I was about to walk home, when I remembered that the Apple Store is right outside the Prudential (on the other side from my house). Now, I’ve been trying to get a laptop from Apple for a while, but due to all sorts of reasons, I haven’t been able to (really Apple? My mailing address is here, in the US. Why won’t you let me buy one of your delicious products with my credit card just because it has a billing address outside the US? Assholes).

So I went to the Apple Store and spent the next hour or so agonizing over the laptops. Now, I’d fully intended to walk out of the store with a 15-inch Macbook Pro in hand. The 17? :Bah! Too big!” I’d scoff, my voice quivering in contempt, “you can’t even carry it around! It’s not portable at all!”

Guess what I ended up buying.

Meet my new toy :D

My new baby

My new baby

As I’d purchased a RAM upgrade, I had to kill an hour until the Geniuses at the Apple Store called me back. And no, I’m not being an asshole. That’s what they call themselves. Geniuses.

I went back tot he Prudential to get some lunch. I found the best thing ever.

So there’s a fast food place here called Cheese Boy. It’s a fast food place that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches. I have no idea why I find this so funny, but I do. It’s brilliant. Take the easiest food in the world to make, and turn it into a franchise. Profit! I guess technically, Subway’s been doing that successfully for years. Good old capitalism. Always finds a way.

After lunch, I grabbed my laptop and headed home to play with it.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my eventful Saturday!

Oct 312011

There really isn’t much to update after Saturday’s shenanigans. I did a bunch of Internet searching on Sunday, trying to find out what events are happening around town, places to eat, and so on. I found a link to “healthy eating in Boston”, which pointed me to, get this, a fast food place called B. Good. According to the website, they focus on making organic and healthy fast food. And apparently there was one close to me, so, lunch was set.

At the same time, I was planning to get some groceries. I’d heard there was a Shaw’s near me, so I looked that up as well. Convenient route plotted, I went out.

B.Good : Veggie Burger with hand cut french fries : not the best I’d ever had, but pretty good. 3.5 stars, would go again. There’s one next to my office too, so that adds to my lunch options.

Shaw’s was also a success. Managed to get myself enough groceries that I don’t feel like I’m in an empty house anymore. Most of the stuff I got were ‘basics’ (rice, bread, oil, butter, etc), but I did get a few meals worth of stuff. Next time, it’s all recipe ingredients ;)

Aaaand that was basically it. Laundy, a bit of cooking, and then Playstation, TV, bed. Like I said, a quiet day.

So, to fluff up the word count, here’s a list of oddities, culture shocks, and so on that I’ve been running into.

  • I can’t throw out garbage any time I want. I can only take the trash out Thursday and Monday nights in my neighborhood. If I take it out any other time, I get a fine. The more you know.
  • The Shaw’s I went to is about a 15 minutes walk away. Carrying $100 worth of groceries over 15 minutes does wonderful things to your back and shoulders.
  • People will jog here, no matter what the weather is like. Icy weather post-snowstorm? No problem. Strap on those short shorts and work up a sweat.
  • There’s a dog park near my house. This is a park, for dogs. It’s a fenced in 10×10 (maybe) square, all concrete with, I love this, fake fire hydrants. People take their dogs there and just let them go nuts running around the ‘park’. So awesome.
More as I think of them :)