something that happened in my life – roommate interviews – october 2011


$605 Room for rent in chinatown (financial district) (map)

Date: 2011-10-27, 3:24PM PDT
Reply to: your anonymous craigslist address will appear here

If you are looking for a place with an awesome location and a low price, this place is right up your alley. The $605 includes all utilities, including electricity, water, and internet. There is a $800 deposit.
We are located near Kearny and Sacramento, at the border of Chinatown and the Financial District. It is also walking distance to Union Square and North Beach. It is within 10 minutes of all major Muni lines and BART, and within two blocks of the 1, 30, 45, and the 8X. There is also an awesome Banksy and Asian themed mural and more tourists than you could ever ask for.
The room is fairly small and would maybe fit a double bed and a small desk. The room is ideal for people who are looking for a place to sleep with not that much stuff. The kitchen is quite nice with everything you might need. There is a washer and dryer in the house.
Overall, the (other 6) housemates are in their 20s and are very laid back, friendly, and respectful. We have various interests, which include everything from comic books to exercise to alternate reality games to TV to music.
We are looking for a friendly, clean, responsible, and respectful person who can move in ASAP. If you are interested, send me a couple sentences about yourself and when you would be free to see the house. Ideally, you could see the house today Sunday or Monday evening.
If you were to throw a themed house party, what would the theme be and what would you do for the theme?


kelsey moved out, so i had the pleasure of interviewing housemates!  which on the one hand is quite tiring, but i also find incredibly fun.  the idea that you could be choosing your next best friend, it’s like speed dating for friends!  meeting people from all walks of life and just being exposed to all the spectrum of the world. 

we had a musician, electrician, culinary student who plucked flowers for 14 hours a day for free just to get experience, people washing dishes or being a licensed accountant.  REI, trader joes, everything.  a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful motorcyclist/teacher who gladly proclaimed “the marina is awesome” with no irony or sarcasm. 

OH.  also fun being hyper-judgmental and “fight for people”, whatever that means. it’s like i’m a reality tv judge. 

having a room for rent in sf makes me wonder if this is what life is like if you’re beautiful.

  • you have something that everyone wants, where demand vastly exceeds supply
  • people are WAY NICER TO YOU because of it, in a potentially disingenuous way because they are so desperate/distracted that they don’t really care about your personality
  • you are looking for exactly one person, which involves getting everyone’s hopes up and breaking a lot of people’s hearts

having to reject so many people broke my heart.  but i think people expect this.  some of these people have been looking for months.  some of these people traveled from marin across golden gate bridge or from bernal heights for a shitty 10 minute interview where we judge you 5 seconds after we see you. 

marina motorcyclist was SO NICE TO US.  SO NICE TO US.  it’s like opposite world.  when do people like that ever talk to us. 

selfishness.  for reasons that i will describe later, i really wanted one housemate over another.  the reasons were largely self-serving, and mars specifically liked another applicant over my favorite.  ugh, on the second day of interviewing, i was only introducing to mars applicants that i thought were spectacular, and it was this quasi disaster in slow motion, because i could tell that mars liked this applicant more than my favorite applicant, and i wanted to jump in and undo everything and not introduce her and ugh.  just freaking out in my head, hahaha…

i partially regret not fighting for my favorite more.  but i think that ultimately we made the right choice.  the new housemate i think will be overall more liked by the house.  she creates gender balance.  similar interests.  similar lifestyle (part time student/part time worker doing odd shifts here and there). 

that said, i really wanted a salaried person.  it was definitely awkward trying to argue with mars why it would have been nice to have other people who were not living paycheck to paycheck in the house without offending mars/the other housemates.  like i end up footing the bill for a lot of stuff, which nobody asks me to do and is totally fine, but it would be nice to share that burden.  i think there are other arguments, not really that compelling.  also (not that i need more social engagements), but he definitely would have been working fewer hours than the new housemate and we would just see more of him, which is ultimately the situation that i would want.  HE ALSO WEARS COLLARED SHIRTS.  nobody else in the house wears collared shirts. 

BUT I WANTED THIS PERSON TO BE MY NEW BEST FRIEND, MARS!!!!!!!!  dammit.  on the one hand, i feel like i deserve ultimate say because i put so much effort into this house, but on the other hand, mars really liked our new housemate more (my favorite wasn’t even mars’s second, he was mars’s 3rd choice) and mars would be living right next to her.  why do i do all this work if i’m not the one who gets to be happy!?  why do i give other people the option if i ultimately want to make the decision?

i need to stop living this fantasy though.  this guy wouldn’t have been my best friend.  let’s move on.

bro friends.  lately, i’ve really been craving bro friends.  straight guy friends?  i think it’s because i’ve been significantly amping up my time spent with gay guys. because maybe i can finally hide my nerdy side and feel a little bit athletic enough to maybe talk to them.  because i don’t spend any more time with mark.  because i’ve never really felt cool enough to be friends with bros, and maybe this was my chance.  because people like sean s, run club patrick, or mitch really balance my social circles.  i think those are the only people who tell me how hot girls are.  i think it would be nice/healthy to spend more time with people like them vs the group now where i talk a lot about hot guys, gay clubs, and gay issues. 

anyway.  said guy was a bro, but a really approachable, nice one.  he was also really into exercise.  haha, probably didn’t help that the only anecdote mars heard was about dude talking about this hot best buy cashier who was featured in the best buy commercial. 

heartbreak.  insult to injury, the guy who i was vouching for was also someone who zach beat out two months ago, and happened to come by to the same house to interview for another room.  it kills me because he’s such a good guy and wanted the room so bad. 

from dale to james

Hey James,

I liked the room yesterday and I think the house is really cool so I hope you choose me to move in. If theres anything else youd like to ask me feel free to email or call/text me.


from james to dale


i’m really, really sorry to inform you that we decided to go with someone else for the room.  we discussed it for a long time, but ultimately we thought that someone else was a slightly better fit.  mars and i both really liked you, and i feel like you deserve it for having come out the last time, but it’s just… i don’t know, so many people.  you know how it goes. 

i know it’s like zero consolation, but the next room is yours the next time a room opens up and you’re still looking/interested…. really sorry, again.  thanks for coming out, and i wish you the best with the housing search. 


from dale to james

Hey James,

No worries, thanks for getting back to me. Just one question, it was a hot chick huh? Jk 🙂 And the next room being mine is consolation. I may be moved in to someplace else by then, but if not, I will take you up on that! Thanks again.

from james to dale


was a girl, hopefully not chosen because of her attractiveness (or despite of, who knows, think i will stay out of this discussion, lol).  maybe mars thinks she’s hot, hmm….

perhaps/hopefully will see you around.  evaluation period is over/guarantee of the room is confirmed, so you feel free to start being a jerk, haha.  we’ll invite you to the next house party.  probably will not be halloween themed, but may be batman themed (did not play a significant part in the discussion, but it did not help that we have two comic book fans and the new housemate suggested a batman themed party……… yes, will go with life being unfair)

from dale to james

Ah, batman did me in! No worries about the room, ill continue my search but if fir any reason she ends up not liking it and moving out or one of the other housemates puts in their 30 day notice, please let me know, you have my number and email. Best of luck, though, and i look forward to the house party!

people have met through weirder ways.  okay, this is up there. is that last email excessive?  ugh. 

roommate review.  this is the stuff that gets me in trouble.  i’ve always wanted to write a book or something about all the shit that went down at our house.  time estimates are all approximate.   roommate ratings are based on temperament.  and i love paragraph debriefs of people. 

  • maurice. (~2 years ending 11/10). 3/10 – yes, he wildly mismanaged the house, pocket a couple hundred a month from other tenants, destroyed the room, and was difficult to remove from the house, but honestly, he was given responsibilities he shouldn’t have been given and was not at all prepared for.  he had to deal with crazy ass roommates and people who couldn’t pay the rent, but he would take the heat from the landlord instead of passing it on.  he was a good-hearted guy and in the end, wasn’t a douchebag and did not squat.  i had an incredibly difficult time interacting with him, but i am still so thankful that he “chose” me to live in this house that i love so much now.
  • claudia. (~1 year ending 11/10). 1/10 – claudia was psycho and a bitch.  stuck in the past and would not compromise on any of the solutions that mars and i were working on to try to get the house out of our financial quagmire.  she refused to pay for toilet paper because “she could get free toilet paper from work.” she was the one who broke the handle of my favorite knife to try to break into her room when she locked herself out.  she was likely responsible for the “mysterious ghost that locked all the doors and dumped the cat litter in the bathtub” incident.  she did, however, pay the rent on time and moved out largely out of the blue, largely greeted with choruses of “ding dong, the witch is dead” between mars and i.  (may have been facilitated by the fact that mars and i started working actively against her after she clearly was not going to cooperate with us.  mars and i would walk around union square in the middle of the night plotting.)
  • james “white james” v. (3 months ending 8/10). 10/10 – james was, hands down, the best.  i miss him a lot.  we moved in the same week and he lived next door to me, so we shared that common bond (as well as the “why is this place such a shithole” bond).  he was a great friend in addition to being a great roommate.  we would watch tv together, cook together, dominate beer pong together (which then led to my throwing up in golden gate park…. my fault), alcatraz together.  incredibly pleasant mannered and polite and got along with everyone.  despite knowing that he was only staying for 3 months, put in a lot of effort in the initial cleaning of the house and got the ball rolling.  always down to put in a helping a hand.  really, really, really good character.  not sure if i would have survived the move without him. part of me thinks that the guy i wanted to live here would have been the next james.
  • denis. (~6 months ending 11/10). 5/10 – denis…. he really tried making ends meet, i think, but i don’t think he could.  he ended up getting a dog as well as not being able to pay the rent, which was ultimately the end of him.  fairly nice about moving out.  i also heard him having sex with his girlfriend, which i don’t really regard as a positive or a negative.
  • lindsy. (~1 year ending 12/10). 8/10 – didn’t see much of lindsy, but she was super nice, friendly, and responsible.  helped cut people’s hair.  no complaints.  wish i got to know her better.
  • chris. (10 months since 9/10). 7/10 – honestly, don’t see much of chris either.  he’s a lot more quiet, and in retrospect, i think he’s pretty lucky that mars put in a good word for him to get him into the house, especially given how competitive the interviews are.  he has let me in a fair number of times when i get locked out, so i really have to be incredibly thankful for that.i think he signs for most of the packages as well. otherwise, he’s fairly clean and responsible about the rent. 
  • mars. (~1.5 years since 6/10).  8/10 – mars has been with me through everything.  he is my true partner in crime and is a great person to bounce ideas off of.  he is fun, super interesting and quirky, and supportive.  he cares about the house as much as i do, which makes my job a helluva lot easier. the only reason he gets slightly dinged is because he has trouble paying the rent sometimes, which sometimes gets us some heat from the landlords. 
  • stephanie. (1 month around 1/11). 2/10 – she was psycho.  she was actually fairly good during the interviews (i think, i wasn’t around) but ended up being crazy.  we were moving from a “rent+X in utilities” to “pay flat amount for utilities”, and she flipped out, saying that we were lying to her and constantly changing our story.  it is true that we were asking her to accommodate certain changes, but none of the changes were screwing her at all, and i was trying to be as communicative and as transparent as possible.  she also sent emails in images that she could take down, super annoying.  she also expected me to refund her full deposit despite moving out mid-month.  fucker. 
  • kimberly. (~1 year since 1/11). 8/10 – good about paying rent.  i actually think kimberly is really funny and she definitely brings the life to the dinner parties.  i wish i saw kimberly more.  she lives next to me, but doesn’t complain about the noise.  and she’s fairly quiet.  i appreciate how easygoing she is.  when she cleans the bathroom or kitchen, the place is spotless.
  • tristan. (~1 year ending 9/11). 9/10 – i actually fought mars to bring tristan into the house.  my intentions were maybe not totally pure, as this was when i wanted to meet more gay people and i knew tristan was gay and worked at badlands.  tristan and i didn’t get along well as people (i thought he was judgmental, he thought i was uptight), but tristan was absolutely incredible at getting things done.  he’s the one who good copped (while i badcopped) the maurice move-out, he was the driving force behind the house repaint-job.  he cracked the whip when i didn’t want to/was too scared to.  he was the one who made the push with the kitchen cleanliness.  always levelheaded and provided really great feedback to whatever plan i had and really probably was the one who turned this apartment from a living space into a home. 
  • wendy. (6 months since 4/11). 9/10 – wendy is fun to have around, without a doubt.  she has been around a bit less, but she is definitely one of those great roommates who is always willing to share and always greets you with a smile.  she is really easygoing about house going-ons, which i appreciate.  i’m really glad she joined us. 
  • kayla. (2 months ending 8/11). 2/10 – kayla screwed the landlord out of rent and did move out (whew) but refused to pay the missing rent.  ugh.  didn’t see much of her.  lost major points with the landlord due to kayla. 
  • kelsey. (2 months ending 10/11). 3/10 – kelsey…. saw so little of her.  i still remember the first welcome dinner she was so excited to come to, but her boyfriend surprised her with night alcatraz tickets, so i gladly told her to go.  saw her maybe twice after that.  she ended up bouncing two checks to connie….. ugh, super frustrating, but she still moved out fairly quickly without a fight, which i am thankful for.  she did however forget to give me her keys to her room and i had to pick them up from her an hour before the first interviewer came to see the room.  heart attack.
  • zach. (2 months since 9/11). 9/10 – zach is the epitome of easygoing.  nothing phases him, nothing bothers him.  mars and i were half joking about… how he was able to impress tristan and wendy given that he is so laidback and not terribly extroverted, but honestly, he just makes you feel at ease when you’re around him.  (wendy also does a great zach-with-knapsack impression.) i don’t know if zach really gets along with anyone really well in the house, but we all get along well.  he’s an awesome exercise partner, and the house shares interests with him on games, music, etc.  thus far has been good about rent. 

party themes.  some of the better ones.  great way to crowdsource simple brainstorming stuff.

  • Personally, I’m a fan of the simple “Champagne Campaign”, where everyone dresses classy and drinks champagne (usually a cheap bottle like Andre), as well as play various drinking games (i.e. champagne pong, flip cup). Works great with a small- to medium-sized crowd.
  • ABC(anything,but clothes, party)
  • Night at the Roxbury – Girls wear club clothes, guys just wear shiny things. It was pretty ridiculous
  • Senior Citizen – wrapped all the furniture in saran, prune juice chasers, jello shots
  • Cop Party – we tried this after we kept getting noise when got another the cops came in to see a house of cops.
  • If I were to throw a themed party, it’d be an Arrested Development – or Firefly – themed one. Or maybe, just maybe, I’d have everyone dress up as their favorite Batman nemesis! I’m more inclined towards the latter suggestion. :] [ed note: clincher, ended up getting her the room after intense negotiations with mars]
  • For the party I would tell half the invited guests it’s a fancy cocktail party and half the guests it’s a costume party… Making it a very akward and halirious MULTI themed party. 
  • I would throw a 1940′ noir house party where there would be a mystery that we would have to solve.
  • Here’s a party theme: Olympics party.  Form a team of three, pick a country, bring alcohol representing that country (e.g. Irish team would bring Jameson and Guinness), dress up to represent your country.  During the party, competitive inter-country drinking games.  Scoring and winners can be determined from performance in games, quality of costume, time spent speaking in country’s accent/language, etc. or no scoring, and just play for the love of the game, either would be fun.
  • My party would be a unicorn themed one and I would obvi dress as one as would all guests and serve a magical elixir aka vodka, champagne, and beer…and snacks.
  • P.S. My theme would be Silent Disco.  I would provide everyone with digital headsets and dress up as DISCO STU
  • You’re in chinatown so how about a Communist party? Get a couple gallons of that diesel-tasting dirt cheap Kharkov vodka. Everyone gets to dress up as their favorite red revolutionary, dictator, or philosopher (I call Marx, he had cool facial hair). At the end of the night everyone must be equally intoxicated. Kind of borrowed some of that from Wayne’s world.
  • Or you could just go low key and do a retro video game tournament night with some drink penalties. There are a lot more possibilities.

2 thoughts on “something that happened in my life – roommate interviews – october 2011

  1. Bri says:

    So were you able to show people the actual room/get a key?! You need an entry on your 1/2 marathon, I am curious!! So many good lines in this one… esp. “why do i do all this work if i’m not the one who gets to be happy!? why do i give other people the option if i ultimately want to make the decision?”… and the collared shirts bit 🙂

  2. phenothebest says:

    Man, I need you to run my Vegas pad!!!!

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