10 August 2005

Apartment hunting and backpacks

So I may or may not be apartment hunting because of my (and my roommates' and the co-op's) stupid timing error.
Here's how to look for an apartment in Berkeley:
(1) Craigslist.org is your friend. It has actually put other listing services out of business (mostly the other free/cheap ones) but others remain (mainly ehousing.com - $35/month). Craigslist will be the easiest and cheapest route. I focused my search by looking for only 2 bedrooms, max price $1500 and searching for street names where I'd like to live. This requires a map ...
(2) Google maps is also your friend ... if only there were a way of combinding google maps and craigslist .... like at ...
(3) Housingmaps.com gives you a geopraphic view of craigslist housing ads and has additional filters.
If the above sites don't get you the apartment you're looking for then try some more common Berkeley apartment rental broker types:
www.kands.com (actually called K & S)
I'm not ready to jump the Fenwick ship, but these sites gave me the best idea of what the real market is for Elmwood area apartments.

I am a complusive shopper, and being Jewish I'm good at it. I bought my last pack about 3 years ago and it has served me well ... but the bottom is ready to fall out and I don't think it's ready for any more legal texts (neither am I for that matter ... school starts 8-22, so much beer, so little drunk).
So I began applying all my powers of Jew to the finicky filly we call the backpack market. Basically I just wanted another backpack like the one I had but, if possible cheaper and comfier.
I decided that I'd go with Jansport again. This is mostly a time saving meassure. I considered North Face, but, well, it's too Berkeley yuppie for me. Jansport has this crazy gellyrubbergoofilled strap "technology" (otherwise know as rubber) that's pretty nice when carrying 3000 pages of soon to be forgoten BS plus a laptop (an IBM T42, the "black because its owners want to pretend to be executives, it's better than Dell, penal substitute of laptops," highly recommended if your work/school cannot deal with Apple ... a sure sign of how law school pushs students to become corporate whores if there ever was one).
There are two ways to go from here: (1) eBay which has some of last years' models (no difference really, but can be cheaper though more time comsuming) and (2) eBags which often has closeouts and "coupon codes" to reduce the price by about 20nd ship for free (coupons cna be found at www.fatwallet.com under "hot deals"). eBags has user reviews, loads of pictures from different angles, and standard prices to compare the eBay prices with. Go there to find what you want--then go to eBay to find a better price.
Searching eBay for "Jansport Air" (air is in the name of most the bags with the crazy goo straps) gave me some prety affordable options. It certainly beat the $43 prices of eBags. I'm going with the Jansport Air Zone Ultra, Equinox, Skyrim, Airlift, or Air Juice depending on which has the lowest auction price. Use hammertap auction stealer to "snipe" auctions (bid at the last second).

Finally, here's my daily list of joys and worries:
Meg is bummed about the prospect of moving and a bummed Megan leads to a bummed Abe. I crawled all over Berkeley to find about 20 moving boxed I hope never to use (thanks Berkeley strangers on Craigslist!) and took pictures of apartments on Southside and in Elmwood ... most were too expensive (the ones I could contemplate living in), already rented out, or 1 rather than 2 bedrooms. Then I wasted time reading about how to succeed during my first year at law school (1 year too late). My older brother Marc sent me an invite to his post wedding party in Forrestvile which should be fun (Marc is a lawyer too, provides free legal aid to those accused of violating their parole in what are called Morrisey hearings). Doug has a giant beanbag couch thing, that's awesome. Megan's dad is coming home from the hospital (he had stomach cancer, he had it removed sugrically, now he's on the recovery trip and relaxing on the mattress Megan and I picked up for at Costco ... great mattress btw, or as Veljko would say ... actually, that is probably too graphic for the holy 0's and 1's we call the internet). Tomorrow I am going to look at an apartment I have little desire to rent at 11 then I have to get some tart to do her gardening workshift and then I've got an appointment with "Career services" to help me plot an attack against a lawyerly/corporate future. I just finished putting some bolts onto Megan's Corolla that hold an important looking crossmember in place (wonder what's been holding it here for the past XX years, sure weren't any bolts to be seen). Before that I spent 45 minutes trying to break into my friend Misti's apartment (the bottom lock, a relic from Berkeley in the 60's, was busted but somehow locked in place) to feed her cats ... both of whom hate me (cats don't often seem to like me ... you know how some cats are friendly and they like everyone but others only like maybe 1 in 50 people, well I'm always one of the left over 49, I'm just not a cat person I guess). And I started using my blog as a diary sort of thing, probably just so Ronnie can read about my troubles without acutally having to interact with me since he's left me for the muggy streets of NY City.

PS - anyone looking for a husband (e.g. women of UC Davis) look no further:

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