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..cold…

even though the University’s early closing today was ridiculous, there’s no denying that it’s freakin cold outside right now. the temp is a frigid 27, which is fairly chilly anywhere, but especially so in Austin. just last week it was 84! there’s a thin sheet of ice on the ground that has accumulated from the drizzle of freezing rain that’s fallen for the past 6 hours. only a mom joke could bring warmth to Austin right now.

this brings me to my rant about my apartment. when we moved into this place, we were absolutely in love w/ it. we have the entire second floor of a fairly large house, built in 1913. we have just about 1500 sqft, and only pay $1250/month. 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, dining room, living room, small office, sunroom, pseudo foyer, new kitchen – we had the works! now, we knew the kitchen was lacking a dishwasher, which was totally shite since the kitchen was part of a brand new addition to the house, but for the value we were getting it was worth the sacrifice.

it took about a few weeks for the first inklings to develop that we’d been duped. there were no mirrors or toilet paper holders in the bathrooms, no curtains on any window (except one in the hallway and one in the second bathroom), the oven and refrigerator were still in our bedroom instead of the kitchen, and we had no closet space. all of these things were to be taken care of, we were assured by our landlord, within a matter of weeks. the fridge and oven were in our bedroom b/c technically we don’t have a kitchen! it’s against code! in fact our entire apartment is against code! this is supposed to be a single family home, not broken up into multiple apartments! the only legal kitchen is the one on the ground floor – we have an ‘artist studio’. once the inspector issue was taken care of, we’d be able to move the fridge and oven. we were also told to buy all the mirrors and toilet paper holders ourselves and relay the cost to the landlord. not such a big deal really, but come on! they rushed us into this place when we wanted another month, but they could totally have used that extra month to finish up the apartment. the landlord must’ve been really short on cash…

summer really kicked in about 2 months after we moved in. that’s when we realized that his house probably doesn’t have any insulation. at all. already accounting for the fact that all of the windows are single-paned double hung windows w/ massive air gaps between the top and bottom panels, our AC ran waaaay too much. oh, did i mention that we share our electric and utility bills w/ the other apartments in the house? that has to do w/ the illegal living situation, so there can only be one name on the bills. so in addition to our AC being on a lot, so was our neighbor’s – and he leaves just about every single appliance on, day and night. but wait – even though the AC was on, why did the kitchen feel like the waiting room in hell? b/c the AC wasn’t properly installed for this new addition on the house! so there was literally about a 15 degree difference between the kitchen and the rest of the house. we’d have to open windows when we cooked b/c the heat (plus the sun from the WEST FACING WINDOWS) would be too unbearable. i can’t believe that our landlord is an architect and overlooked such obvious issues. oh, one more thing about the ‘artist studio’ kitchen – there’s no exhaust hood.

let’s move onto the electric wiring. two words: sub par. this is wiring from 1913! the place has had additional wiring done every number of years, but never a comprehensive overhaul to bring it up to modern standards. most of the original outlets are located about waist high in the middle of the wall. other are located about 1.5’ off the ground like normal outlets. only one or two outlets in the entire apartment have a third hole for grounding. all of the lights flicker because there’s nothing to stop power surges.

back to the cold – i’m writing a paper in the small office, or as i like to call it my ‘studio’, or as my fiance likes to call it, my ‘messy room full of crap that i need to clean’. thanks mom! it really is a mess, though. there are four walls to my studio. one wall connects to the living room. another wall connects to the sunroom. the other two walls connect to the outside. the studio and sunroom used to be one big porch. it had already been converted from a porch to another room some time ago, but i think that my landlord added a wall to divide it into a sunroom and office. within this roughly 9’ x 9’ room, there are 6 windows. 6 very leaky windows (w/ respect to air infiltration). so there is definitely an influx of that lovely 27 degree air into this room. this cold air really helps demonstrate the concept of air stratification. my feet, resting on the ground beneath my desk, must be black with frostbite despite being clad in ski socks and slippers. my torso and head are doing ok. i’m pretty sure that up by the ceiling i could roast marshmallows if i had any to roast.

as i stated back in october, bb-fuckin-rrrrr.

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Categories: Austin, misc.
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