Monday, January 17, 2005

One Step Up

Well, I'm still unemployed, uninsured, and homeless....but at least I'm not living with my parents anymore. That's a move in the right direction, isn't it? ;p

The drive here was uneventful, as usual. I spent Saturday and some of Sunday afternoon looking for apartments (Barbara came along on Saturday). We went to a lot of places, so I spent Saturday evening setting up a spread sheet on my computer (have I mentioned that Henry's not a paperweight anymore? Yes, thanks to the generous help of my church, he has a new hard drive and is back up and running, although we've still not recovered any data from my old hard drive. But, at least he's no longer a $3000 paperweight!). Since everywhere had some different variation of pet fees, student discounts, utilities, specials, and laundry issues, I decided to compare them over the course of a year rather than month-to-month. So, I'd add together the monthly rent for twelve months, any monthly pet fees for twelve months, any monthly utility estimates for twelve months, then add in any one-time fees like the application fee, add in an estimate for laundry costs if a washer and dryer weren't included in the apartment, and subtract any discounts. Not surprisingly, the two efficiencies that I looked at topped the list of cheapest place to live over a year. Far more surprisingly, for only ~$200 more (over the course of the year, not monthly), I can get a 1BR apartment, newly renovated, in one of the nicer areas of Laurel (Montpelier). It even comes with an alarm system and is actually ground-level (not "ground floor" which ends up being down several steps quite often) - making the installation of the piano _MUCH_ easier. They've even got one coming available this Saturday.

The only "catch" is that I need to have income before they'll lease it to me. I can probably get my parents to co-sign for me if it comes to that, but the alternative would be a letter of intent from where ever I plan to work. Some of the other places would take six months of bank statements, but not this one, and money in the bank doesn't seem to make much of a difference. That makes me wonder how really rich people who don't need to work manage to rent apartments. Maybe they just buy stuff.

Anyway, so that sent me to job hunting today. I've just applied online to a place in Silver Spring where I'd be a software tester, do some tech support, and write users manuals. That might actually be the low-stress job that I'm looking for. Another alternative is the Army Research Lab. I was talking to the dad of one of the girls I grew up with at church, telling him about how I was looking for a job, etc. and the guy behind him asked what I did, then gave me his card. He works for SAIC at ARL. That might work out well too, although I would imagine that they do a lot of work with defense stuff and I've never been too keen on that. Don't get me wrong, I think that wars are necessary from time to time (this time included), and I'm glad that there are people who are willing and able to design, build, and use defensive and offensive weapons and equiment, but I'm just not one of those people. But then again, it's a job, and it's right down the road from the nicer of the two efficiencies (which is running a close second to the 1BR due to its location and the friendliess of the staff). I'll email him and see what he can find for me. Most of the other jobs I've seen in the papers I've looked in have been "driver" or "assistant," etc.

I also need to email someone in the aerospace department. I'm still not able to register for classes and no one seems to know why. The person that I was sent to didn't answer my voicemail, so I'll try email now. I've still got over a week before classes start, but I really need to take care of this.

I'm pretty stressed about it all right now. I know that everything is happening according to His plan, but _I'd_ certainly like it all to be settled.

I hope to go to the inauguration on Thursday. I don't think I've ever been to one, despite living in the area for most of my life. I vaguely remember working the day of the last inaugural (about two blocks away, actually) and thinking that I should have walked over.

Anyway, that's where I am right now.

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