Monday, September 18, 2006

Very Eclectic Day

So yesterday was a heck of an eclectic day... I started out the day by heading down to Putney, VT to attend a meeting at the Putney Meeting House (Quakers)... Truth be told, for the last few years I've been something of a lone practitioner of my Faith (due to the vehement anti-gay attitude, rampant hypocrisy, and poisonous dogma that I've encountered within the church) so I am currently on the market for a church where I feel that the true spirit of God and Christianity resides. The Putney Friends Meeting was a bit unusual within the context of my church experience. I was raised in Baptist/Evangelical circles, so the structure of the meeting/service is very different from what I am used to, but still there is something refreshing about this group. I've been reading a lot about Quakerism lately and thus far, it seems to make far more sense than some of the philosophies I was raised in. They seem like a very grounded group of folks and I am going to attend more meetings, possibly at different locations, before I claim to have any sort of real opinion on this particular religion.

While I was down there, I had a look around a really cool little thrift store. I forgot the name of it, but it was not your typical thrift store fare. There were a lot of new clothes in the mix, some nice antique items, a lot of art, and a nice selection of funky housewares. They were naturally more expensive than a standard thrift store, but the prices were still a decent value for what was offered. I also got a chance to sample a breakfast dish at the Putney Diner and I was very impressed. I think I'll be eating there again after the next meeting.

I got home around mid-afternoon, cleaned house, then I had Dimitri, Pasha, and Ronald over for dinner. Together, we cooked a nice, simple coq au vin, and Dimitri brought a nice pasta salad. Pasha brought some really good (if not slightly odd) appetizers: curried buckwheat pâté and homemade red bean dip. We watched the Dark Side of Oz and had a dessert of Ronald and Pasha's invention known as an "Apple Pie Milkshake". Wow, was the food ever good :). Minor side note: I owe about 80% of what I know about cooking to Pasha, the guy is a heck of a frugal gourmet in his own rite.

As feared, my new landlord has raised the rent, not just a little... he raised it 25%!!!! I went to the property manager to give him my notice that I would be moving out within 2 months and he immediately rescinded his first rent quote. We are now in negotiation over it and I am hoping I can talk him down to something far more reasonable. For those of you who don't know my housing history... the place I am in now was disgusting. My (at the time) partner and I dumped loads of elbow grease and sweat into getting the place fixed up nicely, and I have been enjoying a reasonable rent price because I am a low-maintenance tenant... I tend to do all my own repairs, I keep the heat turned down, and I am good to the neighbors in the building. For this town, $900 a month is a ridiculous price to pay for an apartment unless it is really large or completely furnished with all utilities included. Here's hoping that I don't have to enter the real estate market earlier than expected *fingers crossed*

Back onto a more positive note, the leaves are changing, the sun is shining, and there is more housework to be done, and I am out of here. You all have a good one :)

09/18/06 - Update: The building manager just came to my door and told me that he discussed the issue with the man who purchased my building and he has decided to leave my rent as it is!!! It certainly pays to speak your mind and state your needs in a plain-spoken, polite fashion. Thank Heavens I don't have to start frantically house-shopping!!


Shelby said...

$900 a month AND he's raising it? Or that's what it will be after the rent-hike? That's a lot. You could rent a whole house for that up my way (Fairlee area). I rent a cottage for $450 a month. It has a lot of "character" very little insulation, no closets and a bathroom that's been dubbed "the airplane bathroom" by any visitor, since it's THAT small. *giggles*

nonsequitur said...

That's what it WOULD have been after the rent hike, but he just barely came to my door and told me that he decided to leave the rent as it was!!! YIPPEEEEE!!!!

nonsequitur said...

BTW... I used to live in an apartment with an "airplane bathroom" also... and the curious thing about it... it ACTUALLY had a bathtub... smallest bathtub you'll ever see. One had to be something of a contortionist to get into it (the yoga classes I was taking at the time paid off, haha). Apartments with "character" are actually cool in my book :)

Shelby said...

Oh, I love mine...airplane bathroom and all. It used to be a's like 150 years old, and it's all hand-hewn posts and beams and barn-boards. It has a big stone chimney that runs through the middle of the cottage, too. Very cute!

And yes, my airplane bathroom has a tub oxymoronic-ly big fancy clawfoot tub...but you can totally tell that the bathroom was built AROUND the tub, which is hilarious. ;)

Steve S said...

Most apartments around here start at about 1,100 so you're almost paying a california price, although I don't know how much you get out here for that. It would probably put you in a rough neighborhood, but this place is so overpriced.

We rent a 3 bedroom house for 1,500 a month and we've gotten a great deal, most other houses this size start at about 1,800. But we've lived here for over 10 years, so have probably bought the place for our landlord. We do like you do, and do all our own maintenance and stuff, there's no way he can complain, we keep this place in such good shape.

Toney's on vacation this week and decided to paint the living room a green color. I wonder if the landlord will freak, we didn't ask, but he also hasn't set foot in this place in over 10 years, so it's not likely he'll know until we move, I suppose.

(btw, green really makes a room look smaller).

I'd love to own property, where we can just do what we want to it, whatever rebuilding we want. Sigh. The great American dream. I love the pictures you take.

Cuarentayuno said...

I once went to a quaker wedding and got incredibly bored because the spirit did not move anyone. How's everything going?

CrackerLilo said...

So glad the rent situation worked out!!!

Peterson Toscano said...

The Dark Side of Oz! I must see it!

Thanks for the tour of Putney. I only breezed through it before. I must spend more time there.

nonsequitur said...

Shelby, your cottage sounds really rustic and cool. You rent it for only $450!!!??? "Character" or not... that would be a ridiculously good rent price down here. Fairlee is rural, but a beautiful area. If I could make a living in my line of work in an area like that, I'd likely move there. I'm a bit jealous :)

Steve, yes there is something to be said for having low-maintenance tenants. If I were a landlord, I would heavily prefer having undemanding, reliable, quiet tenants who are paying less. I don't think I would be able to deal with demanding, sketchy tenants without a significant rise in blood pressure. I'm glad you enjoy the pictures :)

Cuarenta, quite well actually. Life is looking up in many respects. I am staying busy and am back to my old, creative self. Work and home life are a bit demanding as of lately, but I do not mind. I am still getting to be creative and use all of my skills at my job, which gives me a lot of satisfaction. More pictures of my projects to be posted within a few weeks :)

Peterson, good to see that you are having such a cool traveling experience. If you're ever up this way again, do drop me a line and I'll show you some of the local eats & color.

nonsequitur said...

Oh yeah, and Cracker, good to see you are still in the blogosphere. Sorry to hear about the harsh emotional crap you've been going through. For what it's worth, I know quite a few fundy Christians who take the same approach as your aunt. Rather exasperating to say the least. You and L'ailee have some funky recipes that I really need to attempt when my culinary muse strikes again.