Room in shared house, with dick

Best Craigslist ad ever: "Capitol Hill: Room in shared house, with dick." From the text of the ad, clearly the place includes a deck, not a dick. I was going to email a smartass reply, but by then they'd fixed the listing.

June 22, 2022

Maybe I can ease off on looking at Craigslist room-for-rent ads, though.

It's been a while since I've mentioned my flatmate Dean, who always always always wanted to talk at me. It was a problem, but it seems to have solved itself.

I didn't want him pissing into my almond milk, so I couldn't just tell Dean to shut up and fuck off and die. Instead I developed a Dean scheme, breezing past him with "Can't talk now" nine times out of ten, then listening for a few minutes on the tenth passing. Like Neville Chamberlain, it was a strategy of appeasement, and it meant suffering through another listen-to-Dean session about every 2-3 days.

Tacked to the wall just inside my bedroom, there's an index card with seven tick-marks, so I'd know when the next conversation is coming. It's been at seven ticks, though, for more than two weeks, since the last time Dean cornered me for conversation.

His big news that afternoon was that he'd been hired to cook for a downtown Hilton or Ramada or something. From that day to this, the house has been mostly Dean-silenced, and it's glorious.

Instead of hearing his pots and pans and talking to himself in our kitchen almost every morning and afternoon, he simply makes coffee in the very early hours, and then he's off to the Hilton/Ramada. Instead of hearing his lectures on unsalted butter and his life-history conversations with Robert through the kitchen walls, there's the delightful absence of sound.

Dean is gray, and told me he was retired, but maybe (like me) that only meant he was out of work. Never in my life have I been so happy that someone else found a job. Living here is sooooo much better now that Dean is employed, now that he's out of the house ten hours a day, and weary, not chatty, when he's home.

The floor still isn't flat, the hot water barely trickles, there are vermin, etc, and I don't like this boarding house, but I no longer abhor living here. When I leave my room, nobody's pleading for an unwanted conversation. Even if Dean's in the kitchen — which is uncommon now — when we see each other in passing, it's in passing. He lets me pass.

Today I did laundry, which requires walking past Dean's door four times over a couple of hours, but I didn't see him once. Boiled a can of vegetables, and Dean didn't emerge from his room to babble. Showered, and he wasn't waiting for me in the kitchen when I came out.

Midnight was meowing at the side door, so I opened it, let her outside, and stepped onto the porch to inhale some sunshine for a few minutes. Then I came back inside, walked through an empty hallway and kitchen into my bedroom, and said to myself, What a wonderful world. 

Not much is worse than being proselytized, so I'll try not to preach too often, but today I gotta. My car won't start so I'm getting around 100% on public transit, and enjoying it, because public transit frickin' rocks.

The bus in front of my house comes only twice an hour, so I have to pay attention to the printed schedule, but after that first ride, all my regular buses run frequently, so there's no need to even glance at a timetable. I can get to the diner, the library, the grocery store, and it's not much hassle — just enough hassle that it feels like a victory when I get somewhere and back.

I enjoy the calculations, too. Like, here comes a #60 when I'd rather take a #128. If I take the #60 I'll have to walk a few extra blocks to get home. The #128 comes closer, but is that convenience worth waiting maybe ten minutes?

And should I ding the bell and de-bus at this stop, then walk four blocks to my house, slightly uphill and then it gets steeper at the end? Or should I ride two stops further, making my walk home twice as long, but all gently downhill? Today I opted for the longer walk down the hill, but it was sunny; the calculations might be different when it rains.

It would be quicker to drive, of course, but there are more important things than 'quick'. It's a relief, getting around without being encased in my own Chevrolet, which could get dented or a flat at any corner. I love looking out the window, and not caring if another driver wanders out of his lane, or the light takes too long to turn green. And a bus ride anywhere costs less than half the price of a gallon of gas.

On the bus, shopping is limited by how much I'm willing to lug home in bags, and I'm lazy and weak, not willing to lug a lot a long ways. Problem solved, though: I've ordered one of those folding granny-style carts. When it gets here, assuming it's not a wobbly piece of trash, I'll be able to shop thinking only about what I need and what it costs, not about what it weighs.

And day after day, my car sits lonely at the side of the road. Eventually I'll call AAA for a tow or a new battery, but not yet.

And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not… 

♦ ♦ ♦  

NY State is giving out hundreds of robots as companions for the elderly 

Sounds very useful, but the article is mostly about the tech. I'm more concerned about how the state would decide who merits such a marvelous tool, and who'll be left out.

♦ ♦ ♦   

Have we all noticed the increasing suckage of Google? 

♦ ♦ ♦   

"Add a hot babe." 

♦ ♦ ♦   

One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. > "Capital Hill: Room in shared house, with dick."



    All your public transportation talk makes me miss San Francisco even more.

    1. Seattle has plenty in common with San Francisco. Same hilly terrain, same liberal politics, and something like BART is under construction. The burritos don't compare, though.

  2. I can and have lived with a dick but where the hell is capital hill? Olympia?


    1. Yeah, it's a typo. Should've been 'Capitol Hill,' and I'm persnickety so I'm changing it. :)

      It's an upscale neighborhood, and uphill from downtown. Gayish, professional, has a subway station so it's easy to get to, and that's where the film festival was centered when I last attended.

  3. Go to the place Dean works, order one of everything on the menu, send everything back to the kitchen, demand to see the chef, skip on the check before he comes out, leave a stick of salted butter on the table as you exit.

    Follow it up with a salty Yelp review.

    1. You made me laugh twice here, but I want Dean to be very, very happy at his workplace. It keeps him very, very quiet in his homeplace.

  4. The best revenge is a joyous life. I think Abraham Lincoln said that.

    1. Was that before or after he got shot dead?

    2. But other than that, how was the play, Mrs Lincoln?

    3. The talkin' blues is an old slave tradition that reblossomed in the early 20th century among former slaves in conjunction with the birth of the blues. Here's Bob Dylan's talkin' blues about World War III . . . .

      Talkin' World War III Blues

      One time a crazy ol' dream came to me
      I dreamt I was walkin' into World War Three
      I went to the doctor the very next day
      To see what kinda words he could say
      He said it was a bad dream
      I wouldn't worry 'bout it none, though
      Them old dreams are only in your head

      I said, hold it, Doc, a World War passed through my brain
      He said, nurse, get your pad, this boy's insane
      He grabbed my arm, I said ouch
      As I landed on the psychiatric couch
      He said, tell me about it

      Well, the whole thing started at three o'clock fast
      It was all over by a quarter past
      I was down in the sewer with some little lover
      When I peeked out from a manhole cover
      Wondering who turned the lights on

      Well, I got up and walked around
      And up and down the lonesome town
      I stood a-wondering which way to go
      I lit a cigarette on a parking meter
      And walked on down the road
      It was a normal day

      Well, I rung the fallout shelter bell
      And I leaned my head and I gave a yell
      Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry man
      A shotgun fired and away I ran
      I don't blame them too much though
      They didn't know me

      Down at the corner by a hot-dog stand
      I seen a man, I said, 'howdy friend'
      I guess there's just us two
      He screamed a bit and away he flew
      Thought I was a Communist

      Well, I spied a girl and before she could leave
      I said, let's go and play Adam and Eve
      I took her by the hand and my heart it was thumpin'
      When she said, hey man, you crazy or sumpin'
      You seen what happened last time they started

      Well, I seen a Cadillac window uptown
      And there was nobody aroun'
      I got into the driver's seat
      And I drove down 42nd Street
      In my Cadillac
      Good car to drive after a war

      Well, I remember seein' some ad
      So I turned on my Conelrad
      But I didn't pay my Con Ed bill
      So the radio didn't work so well
      Turned on the radio
      It was Rock-A-Day Johnny singin'
      Tell your Ma, tell your Pa
      Our love's a-gonna grow ooh-wah, ooh-wah

      I was feelin' kinda lonesome and blue
      I needed somebody to talk to
      So I called up the operator of time
      Just to hear a voice of some kind
      When you hear the beep
      It will be three o'clock
      She said that for over an hour
      And I hung up

      Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then
      Sayin, Hey I've been havin' the same old dream
      But mine was a little different you see
      I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me
      I didn't see you around

      Well, time has passed and now it seems
      Everybody's having them dreams
      Everybody sees hisself walkin' around with no one else
      Half of the people can be part right all of the time
      Some of the people can be all right part of the time
      But all of the people can't be all right all of the time
      I think Abraham Lincoln said that

      I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours
      I said that

      B. Dylan, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, 1963


    4. My computer crashed bigtime. I'm at my sister's house today, so I have a keyboard rather than that damn smartphone. I don't have money to replace the computer so I'll be commenting on Wednesdays and Sundays for a while.


    5. Bob Dylan is the rare artist who's heavily praised but generally deserves it. Well, until the Nobel Prize anyways.

      Condolences on the computer's death or dismemberment. For what (little) it's worth, I always recommend and buy refurbished devices, a few hundred bucks instead of a thousand or whatever, and the used computer shops usually do repairs too, at reasonable rates.

      (Advice nobody asked for is always a perennial favorite.)

    6. Thanks. Beats a QWERTY kB too small for fingers. Mules hit.


    7. The tiny keyboard, yeah. That's part of what's kept me from adopting smart-phone technology. I can't write on those things. Also, touching the screen to do anything seems far clunkier than pushing a mouse across a few inches of flat space.

    8. According to Suze Rotolo Dylan wrote most of Freewheelin in the margins of newspapers and magazines. He did four years of sometimes brilliant work. Ten years later he published one more terrific album ten years later. Then the void.


    9. My thumb makes no sense; it lacks continuity. Phrases collide headlong with clauses creating chaos. Bring on Libre.


    10. Let's hear it for writers who fill the margins of magazines with something worthwhile. I try to be one myself...

      Blame Christianity for Dylan's time in the void. He converted, and started writing and singing Jesus music, as I recall.

      Libre has its annoying quirks, but not as many and not as frustrating as Microsoft Word, and Libre users will actually answer questions when you're stumped.

      I miss you while you're semi-gone.

    11. I miss me too. This is an inspiring place to write. You write quality posts every day. Even on the rare day you swing and miss your enduring honesty and love of detail pull you through.

      I always feel obligated to bring my A game when I write here. I don’t always succeed but failure makes me work harder the next time. I’ll be thumbing for a couple months; I’ll do my best with that digit until the others can join in.

      I send brotherly love.


    12. Sometimes my brothers drive me crazy, so your love is received here as better than brotherly.

  5. Ha. The fone didn’t like muleshit.


    1. So what do you do about software? Windows, Word, Excel, etc. if you get a refurb? I should know but don't. Nice to type, though. type, type, type.


    2. . . . and I do appreciate the advice. . . jtb

      I'd write more but the dogs are after me again. C'EST LA POOCH. Ouch. j

    3. At all the refurbish/repair shops I've bought from (San Francisco, Kansas City, and Madison) a refurbished computer comes loaded with Windows, and the basic software everyone uses. My last few had Libre, a free and better alternative to Microsoft's Office suite, which I use with no hassle.

      Google refurbished computers [city]. :)

    4. They’re gone now but will be back at it Wednesday. I’ve always suspected that there are cat people and dog people but people are usually more complicated than that. So are cats. Dogs, not so much.

      We’re I to tell you I have nine cats, I’d be admitting to a violation of local statutes so I have six.

      This fingering is hard work. Sounds like a quote from an xxx movie screenwrit by an English major but it’s only me thumbing my way home.

      Goodnight and good luck.


    5. You do pretty good fingering. Never tried it, but my sister has an app on her device that translates her spoken words to text, so she never types me an email or text message, she speaks it, with only occasional and sometimes humorous goofs.

    6. I am barely responsible enough to care for one cat, but I do pet the flatmate's cat often, and let her in or out as she commands.

    7. I married info it. I had one cat named McG (after the ‘72 candidate) when I got hitched. It’s been uphill or downhill since. She lived in four different houses with me until she got hit by a car. After thirty years I stilll grieve.


    8. Tried to leave a poem on your email from my fone. No soap. The words faded like chalk marks in the rain and crashed like thunder. All was silent and bare. Nothing remained.


    9. I promise, I have no poem-filters set up, except in my mind. You comment itself was rather poetic...

      Also condolences on the cat. Cats are people, basically, only less annoying and easier to love.

    10. This is my day to write and I've been working for the last 10 hours. I'll try for Wednesday. Warmest wishes for a Big Bang Day. The dogs didn't eat me, but there were close calls.

      Take care, my brother,


    11. The dogs didn't eat you, but did you eat the dogs?

      My neighbors down the hill made dogs for the 4th, and I usually don't think of dogs as smelling particularly good, but damn they smelled good enough to probably sell me some Oscar Meyer next time I'm at the store.

      After the dogs, the bastards shot fireworks into the air until 1AM, almost frightfully close to the walls of my house.


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