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Friday Afternoon Confessional: A Frank Assessment of My Apartment in Kalamazoo

I confess that when I moved to Kalamazoo, my primary criterion in seeking an apartment was price. I succeeded in finding an apartment so cheap that it makes all my Chicago friends jealous and even sounds cheap to my suburban relatives. I also found a place that is free of insects and small rodents (there are occasional spiders, but I leave them alone in the belief that they eat insects); that is located in easy walking distance to the college, the Amtrak station, downtown Kalamazoo, and (recently) a grocery store; and that has working appliances, ample electrical outlets, and a reliable furnace.

I confess that I find certain aspects of this apartment to be undesirable, however. As I related in the comments to this week’s Tuesday Hatred, I have to shovel my own walkway. This wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the fact that all the runoff from the roof joins with the ice on the sidewalk to become an impenetrable block — so that my sidewalk paradoxically becomes much more icy as it becomes warmer. I have been known to attack this block of ice with the claw end of a hammer, to little effect. My apartment is also located on the opposite side of the house from all the others, making it difficult for delivery people to find.

One frequent delivery service is my laundry service, which I use because there are no laundry facilities open to me. It’s not that there are no laundry facilities in the building — there are, but they are for the sole use of one apartment out of the three. As I don’t have a car and there are no laundromats within even a very generous concept of walking distance, the delivery service is my only option other than doing it by hand in the tub (which I briefly tried). I confess that I am afraid to complain about anything to them, because they might get mad at me and refuse to do my laundry anymore. I confess that this fear extends to their habit of occasionally choosing a counterintuitive and more expensive option (such as dry cleaning and pressing my sheets), which I interpret as “punishing” me for not using their service consistently enough. I confess that having professionally pressed dressed shirts is really, really nice, however.

I confess that my apartment is a converted attic with low ceilings and an awkward layout. I confess that the low ceilings once resulted in me eviscerating my finger on the ceiling fan while hanging up laundry during my experiment in doing it by hand.

The only way to move into the apartment is by way of a narrow staircase with a narrow door at the top — this resulted in several items not making it into the apartment when I first moved in and, I confess, me using the f-word in front of my parents. I confess that I am terrified at the prospect of moving back out, in part because I purchased a new home-assemble desk that I’m all but certain won’t fit through the door in its present state. I confess that I am tempted to take an axe to it and leave it in the garbage rather than even try to move it out. But that would require me to buy an axe, and I know of no hardware stores within a reasonable distance!

I confess that I have to leave the kitchen and bathroom sinks running at full blast for approximately five minutes before hot water comes out — and then it’s unbearably hot. I confess that, mysteriously but blessedly, the shower works normally. I confess that my apartment has an electric range, and I prefer gas. I confess that there is virtually no counterspace in the kitchen and that I had to repurpose a desk to gain some. I confess that there are almost no circumstances under which a usable amount of natural light enters my apartment.

I confess that my apartment comes with a designated parking spot. I confess that despite not owning a car, I initially became annoyed last year when one of the other residents caught on and started parking there. This last is a true confession: although I did not act on that feeling, the fact that it even occurred reflects poorly on me as a person.

I confess that I got what I paid for.


January 28, 2011 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. I confess that I have signed up to participate in the “Candid Confessional” — primarily by playing music for it, though also perhaps with a confession to be read aloud (up to 8 minutes).

    I confess that I am currently toying with confessing (to a room full of people) just how much pleasure I got out of my divorce.

    I confess that I took myself to see a movie at four in the afternoon, which movie, Blue Valentine, inspired the above confession.

    Comment by k-sky | January 28, 2011

  2. i confess i dug the car yesterday almost 2 hrs just to unearth it from the snow, tried to drive it today , but it felt impossible to get ut of the nest w/ o hittind the now pretty tall wall of the snow right in front of it which looks really hard like a real wall, so have to go by bus now
    i confess i watched_archer_yesterday and liked it
    watching hgtv always leave me jealous, people
    pay 11 hundred mortgage and live in nice houses which they renovate on 1k, that’s just a hundred more than my rent and these walls are too thin for food smells and noise
    i wish there was a law for people to eat yogurt in the evenings and not cook savory food smelling all over the place if the walls are too thin
    moving to a new place sounds so great, can’t wait for the summer

    Comment by read | January 28, 2011

  3. i confess i tried to like the post but it needs subscription, never knew, thought it works like on fb or ytb

    Comment by read | January 28, 2011

  4. I confess I forgot about Archer last night. Do they do multiple viewings of that show like some of the other cable networks?

    I confess I’m leaving town this weekend for a friend’s birthday and have to leave the dogs with family. This is a source of stress for me until we pick the dogs up and confirm that they are a) alive, b) didn’t cause any bodily harm to themselves or anybody else, c) were overall more enjoyable to have around than a bother.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | January 28, 2011

  5. I confess that the last several times I’ve heard an American political figure speak, all I’ve felt is the desire to kick the shit out of them. I confess that I feel there needs to be less civility in American politics, not more. I confess that I want to see Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham beating the shit out of each other during roll call votes on C-SPAN, that every meaningless House resolution should end with stringing up the speaker and burning the fucking place to the ground.

    I confess that I’m still largely in denial about the realities of my unemployment.

    I confess that Matt should download Archer from his friendly neighborhood internet pirate.

    Comment by stras | January 28, 2011

  6. I confess that less than 12 hours after I got my sidewalk down to bare pavement, it’s already got an imposing ice hump in the accustomed spot (i.e., right at the bottom of the stairs). I’ve tried preemptively putting salt there, I’ve coated the spot in salt once the ice appears — I’m really at the end of my rope here.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 28, 2011

  7. yes, i started watching from the middle of the episode and thought there is another episode starting when it came back to where i started watching
    i recall people use sand to put on the ice to lessen the risk of slipping on the ice, so that you can have the ice but not slip on it
    it will be pretty messy once melted i guess though

    Comment by read | January 28, 2011

  8. I confess that I really like the performance of “Heart of the Sunrise” on Yes’ Yessongs.

    Comment by ben | January 28, 2011

  9. I wonder if a blowtorch would work?

    Comment by Hill | January 28, 2011

  10. 9. I had the same thought.

    Comment by jms | January 28, 2011

  11. I confess that if someone parked in my permanently vacant parking spot, I would spend the whole day thinking of passive aggressive ways to tell them not to, or to say that they could but with a certain amount implied disapproval–perhaps a note on the windshield or a planned ‘chance’ encounter. I confess I would feel good about myself for then deciding not to do any of these things.

    Comment by micah | January 28, 2011

  12. I confess I’d probably be more petty than to simply resent them using a spot that probably upped my rent. I’d likely buy a picnic table or something to put there. Then maybe I’d invite the neighbor over for Tom Collins in my parking spot or something.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | January 28, 2011

  13. I hope you guys have enjoyed the blog, because I’m going to fucking die when I get back to Kalamazoo Sunday night and my entire sidewalk is a solid block of ice. It’ll be really cinematic — dark-red blood flowing out of my shattered skull at just the right speed. Poignant piano music will play as the vertical shot zooms out further and further… Then the montage: pictures of me smiling as I eviscerate commenter after commenter, feverishly typing, sometimes in tears at my own wit (who tells better jokes than oneself?!).

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 28, 2011

  14. Brad will be regaling the other prisoners, shackled yet unbroken — “That Adam, he was a real asshole. Always pissing people off! Yeah, old Adam… he was a born dickhead.” Then there will be a black and white version of my Twitter avatar and they’ll zoom in on that until it becomes meaningless pixels.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 28, 2011

  15. Maybe you could get skates, Adam. That could be fun!

    Comment by jms | January 28, 2011

  16. Sounds like as good as ending as one can hope for.

    Comment by ben | January 28, 2011

  17. I confess I got a check* in the mail today, relating to a claim I filed in a class action lawsuit like three years ago. I’m rich, rich! I love the plaintiffs’ bar!

    *The check is for $81, but hey, free money.

    Comment by jms | January 28, 2011

  18. I confess that I ate a large, rich dinner despite not being even remotely hungry.

    Comment by ben | January 28, 2011

  19. The world is a screen, and life is a film. Hey-ho. :-)

    Comment by visitor | January 29, 2011

  20. i confess Victor Tsoi’s song _Strange tale(Strannaya skazka)_says almost the same thing though a bit sadder what V wrote, i tried to translate it recently, but am afraid it’s full of mistakes to reproduce it here
    i confess large rich dinners are perceived harmful for big toes, hopefully though that’s not the real concern

    Comment by read | January 29, 2011

  21. this song

    Comment by read | January 29, 2011

  22. I confess I would like read to become Prime Minister, or Minister of Justice, or whatever politician in a high position able to enact legislation like (see comment #2): a law for people to eat yogurt in the evenings and not cook savory food smelling all over the place if the walls are too thin.

    Comment by visitor | January 29, 2011

  23. the lactose intolerant people will be exempt from the duty to eat yogurt in the evenings during my reign of terror, a colon and right bracket

    Comment by read | January 29, 2011

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