Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Movin' on up.

Well, here we are. I've got a lot to cover, so this is going to be a long one. Go make a cup of tea or a rum and coke or something, because you're gonna need about half an hour.

After a couple of weeks of abortive stops and starts, Katie having called in family members as diverse as her mother, her step-aunt, and her step-cousin for advice and support, it looks like we've finally nailed down a new apartment in Manhattan.

I've had a song going in my head since yesterday.

Yeah, that's the one.

(While we're not actually moving to the East Side, it's debatable whether the second storey qualifies as "the sky", and I don't like fish, I still feel some kinship with George and Weezie.)

Backstory: when we first moved to New York, the chief concern for Katie and her mom in doing the apartment hunting (I wasn't a part of the process because I was busy in Newfoundland securing legal entry to Murka) was proximity to my place of work, in Queens. Now, as we've learned since, Queens is the largest borough in New York City, and the neighbourhoods of Astoria and Glendale are quite a ways apart from each other.

Regardless, it was in Glendale we ended up, surrounded by the dead. Glendale is a lovely, quiet neighbourhood. Our landlady is an absolute sweetheart, if a little slow-moving when it comes to repairs and such. (Which, I suppose, is similar to criticizing milk for being white.) We have neighbours whose company we legitimately enjoy.

BUT, the hour-and-a-half commute is killing us. I work in DUMBO, and Katie's on the Upper West Side. We needed to move.

We found the 'perfect' apartment last Saturday. A two-bedroom around the corner from family/friends Emily and Derrick. $1500 a month. $1250 broker's fee. We felt we could swing it, got the application in on Monday, lost out to someone who applied on Sunday.


But things work in weird ways. After the fact, I was researching the management company (who would have effectively been our landlords) on one of the internets, and lo and behold, scores of blog posts about how XYZ Management are "a bunch of fucking slumlords" and "stay far away from 000 Something Ave [the very building we were looking at]."

Days pass. Craigslist was pored over. E-mails were sent. On this Saturday past we looked at apartments in our desired neighbourhood again.

The result was an absolutely massive one-bedroom on the same block as the one we missed out on (but not in the same building). The rent is only slightly higher than what we're paying now, and it includes heat and hot water (which we currently pay for separately). Plus, no broker's fee. 25 minutes will get Katie to work, about 45 for me. We sign the lease on Thursday. (There was a bit of additional drama regarding some unreasonable expectations on the landlord's part regarding what constitutes 'adequate' personal savings, but we were lucky enough to know some very cool people who proved clearly that teamwork makes it happen.)

So, that's the big news from New York. So long dental plan Glendale, Lisa needs braces hello, Inwood! Photos, videos, and hilarious commentary on several local street names forthcoming (i.e. the intersection of Seaman and Cumming LOL).

On to the rest of the world.

A fantastic birthday present that you can actually buy and read:
There are also, allegedly, ninjas in it. Adam want.

Observe! The Cajun Crawler: "Like a Segway, but with a dozen creepy feet."

Let us discuss free games. Those who care not for games can go fuck themselves may skip this part.

There is something called Dwarf Fortress. The sheer size and scope of the game causes my head to spin. I spent a few minutes reading the tutorial, and I fear it. I fear it in the way I once feared World of Warcraft, a primal fear that my very soul would be devoured were I to venture too near its blinding brightness. Having proven that I am man enough to both play World of Warcraft and also lead a sensible and reasonably normal life at the same time, I edge closer to Dwarf Fortress each day, and my anxiety grows. I fear I am lost.

More accessible, less potentially-time-consuming, are our friends the Flash games:

In Music Catch 2, you must catch yellow notes while avoiding red ones. Music plays. It is soothing.

Loops of Zen is also soothing, in a maddening sort of way. Turn things until they make no sense. Suddenly, a breakthrough, and you see the pattern briefly before being thrown to the next meaningless jumble of lines. Is that zen? I am ignorant.

Bowja the Ninja 2: In Big Man's Compound is not particularly soothing, but you can take your time and you never die. I finished it in about fifteen minutes. A standard click-on-the-right-thing-at-the-right-time game.

Ultimate Crab Battle is not soothing. It is batshit insane. Good God. Never let go of the A key.

There seems to be something of a vogue going around the video game websites lately. Chemistry.
I Heart Chaos has assembled a periodic table with video game characters instead of elements. It's colorful and fun. It will serve as a desktop background.
The reason I call it a vogue rather than an oddity is the fact that someone else created a thematically-similar if less brightly-colored periodic table featuring a timeline of game console controllers. It's interesting to look at, but less ideal for downloading and sticking on your computer's desktop.

People who play video games are often very, very stupid. Nothing evidences this truth more than fanboyism, wherein a person chooses a side and then sticks with it through thick and thin, the nerd equivalent of rooting for a given pro sports team.

Nor do I claim to be immune to fanboyism. In my formative years, I had a NES, and my neighbour Darrell Whitten had a Sega Master System. He thought the Sega games were great, and I knew that a system featuring Mario, Link, Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior and Startropics had to be superior. Even now, in my sage wisdom, I refuse to consider purchasing an Xbox 360, not because I have any particular affection for Sony's ridiculously-priced monolith, but more because I think Microsoft has quite enough money (which they use to create hilarious pranks like Windows Vista), thank you very much.

That said, the way some people talk to each other about video games makes my heart hurt. "HAY U GUISE R ALL GHEY WITH UR HOMO PS3S LOL" or "wii is so gay its only for littel kids", and their ilk succeed in offending on many, many levels. Which is why it was refreshing to find these cute cartoons on, of all places, the IGN comment boards. (Do not click that link. It is not worth your time.) I repost them here in the spirit of camaraderie.
The Xbox 360 sick in bed with the Red Ring of Death made me laugh out loud, and the last one reminded me that I really am going to have to pick up a second-hand Dreamcast sometime in the future.

A shout-out is due to the person who created Fuck You, Penguin. Good work, lad.

I will leave you with the frank and honest statement that I do not know what the fuck this is.

But I very much want to watch the whole thing.

That's all! Exciting times ahead!

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
You'll need to have _six months'_ rent in the bank to even be considered. Fuck. That.


Blogger Jody said...

congrats on the apartment! and the rest of the stuff? well, it's 7:24am.


7:25 pm, March 31, 2009  
Blogger LisasClassroomSongs said...

6 MONTHS RENT!!! That's insane! Enjoy your new place. Can't wait to see some pictures...

7:37 pm, March 31, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, um is yous hotel still free.


12:15 am, April 01, 2009  
Blogger AdamFireFist said...

Jody: if you're looking for pity, you should never have taken the job as head Kindy teacher.

galpine70: Who are you? The mystery confounds me.

Paul: Yes, but I'm going to charge, like, three times as much per night.

8:17 am, April 03, 2009  

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