the beach at Arbroath, Scotland

3 July 2004
in which she writes about real estate

i love writing. i hate not having written. conjugate, anyone?

in the last two weeks, my life has been singularly consumed to such a point that it makes writing about anything else nearly impossible. since i got back from Maine on the 20th, i have sat down many times and tried to write about Haystack. it never happened, and that because i am currently embroiled in the hellhole known as apartment hunting.

apartment hunting is hard enough to begin with, but this time around it's made even more difficult by the fact that i still have not heard back from the last two residencies i applied to (in Houston and St. Petersburg, FL, respectively). so as you see, i'm in a tight spot: say i start apartment hunting, perhaps i find something i like at the right price, and put a deposit down, and then i hear from one of the residencies: we'd love to have you! while that would be great, it would be just my luck. so i called one, emailed the other. the one in St. Petersburg said they would get back to me in "a week or two" and Houston i have heard nary a thing.

this is frustrating for a person who needs to know what's happening NOW, preferably yesterday.

so i have been looking at a couple places. on Thursday i looked at two apartments in East Oak Lane. they're in a duplex split into four apartments, owned by a former Tyler student who rents only to current and former Tyler students (we like to keep in the family, see?). i looked at a painfully tiny two room studio on the second floor, which though it was maybe 250 square feet, had three closets, big windows and shelves already provided. the other unit i looked at was on the first floor, a bit more expensive (though still a steal), with a larger kitchen, a larger bathroom, and good size bedroom. maybe 400-450 square feet. that's the one i'm more fond of. the only downside is there's no living room, which i'll probably miss.

i also have a chance, a shot in the dark, really, of getting into a group house in West Philly. Paul lives there, and i have visited the place many times (each time expressing my strong desire to someday live there). it's insanely gorgeous - one of those HUGE duplexes near Penn and Drexel, eight bedrooms, two kitchens, four baths, studio space in the basement. which means i could essentially have a place to live and work for under $250 a month. yes, i am lobbying hard. trying to ignore the fact that the rooms in question aren't available until the end of August (my current lease is up August 1st). i told Paul if he could guarantee me a room, i would live in my car for a couple weeks. i really hope it doesn't come to that.

i made like a social animal last night and went to First Friday with my friend Lisa. while waiting for the train from Chestnut Hill, we discussed studios and expenses and kilns and electrical wiring. i think if the residencies don't work out (and i don't think they will), we're going to try to get a studio, get my kiln fixed up and functioning, and starting working. i need a place to work, there's so much i'm dying to do.

the whole residency thing makes me depressed when i think about it. i didn't get the one in New York City, either (found out while i was at Haystack). i can't believe i applied for 9 residencies and didn't get ANY of them. granted, they're much more difficult to get into that grad school, blah blah blah, very competitive climate, blah blah blah, but still. i spent all that time, all the money (a couple hundred bucks on the slide dupes alone), all that energy for pretty much naught. not completely for naught, of course, i now know how to write a mean cover letter, a good artist's statement and resume, as well as knowing how to rangle recommendations out of reluctant professors (a good skill to have). i keep telling myself that all this shit is happening for a reason, that something even better will come along, but i'm not so sure. does the world really work like that? i don't think so.

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