Some of My Favorite Apartment Games

I’d like to think a list like this needs no more introduction than a title, but I’ll go on introducing anyways. It’s a list of games: easy games, fun games, games which you can play in your own home (yes, do try these at home, folks!). In my home, these are the games I regularly play every week, but I’m sure there are many more. They can be also be played in houses, duplexes, public housing projects, or wherever you happen to dwell. Please share if you have any of your own! With no further ado…

Apartment Games:

  • Will I Require Pants? – A simple yet enjoyable game, suitable for many occasions. Play it next time you will be using a handsaw, running for the doorbell, carrying bags of garbage, talking on the phone with relatives, walking around the house at night, eating finger-food, sewing or doing needlework, or any of the many other situations where having (or not having) pants is so often uncertain.
  • Does This Go Here? – This game is not as well-known as some, but I guarantee it’s worth trying. The object is to find something in the home that is out of place. But you probably won’t win with just any ol’ dirty sock wrapped ’round a ceiling fan—you should seek out the most wildly unlikely, head-scratchingly bizarre, pickle-jar-full-of-melted-cheese-inside-a-fishtank type combination. Great with kids.
  • What Am I Supposed to Do With This? – Much similar in idea to the classic game “Hot Potato,” but picks up where it leaves off. The giver hands the receiver a “potato,” which is, let’s say, a large freezer bag full of pipe cleaners. No matter how seemingly unimportant or stupid, whatever it is mustn’t be thrown away! Instead, the receiver must decide what next to do with it. You’ll discover this is easier said than done…
  • You Go Here Now – Like Tetris, spatial awareness and strategic thinking are necessary to win at this game. The challenge is to fit something into a space which really can’t possibly accomodate one more thing. How is that possible, you ask? When you finally find out, make sure to yell, “You Go Here Now!”
  • I Come In Here For Something – Fun for all ages, and can be played anytime, with equipment you probably already have. All that’s needed are two or more rooms, a collection of stuff which cannot be stored in only one of them, and another (hopefully larger!) collection of mental distractions. Simply mix and begin play. Plan a series of such games for hours of entertainment.
  • Find The Smell – One of my least favorites, unfortunately, since I’m generally quite good at it. This game is distinct in that winning isn’t always much fun (as “The Smell” is often something unpleasant/unwanted/disturbing), but still not as bad as losing. Rotten fruit, pet feces, standing water, household pests, building damage, questionable visitors, and all manner of dead things are usually good props utilized for play. Similar to hide-n-seek, but more viscerally revolting.
  • Secret Weakness – Hard to explain the rules for this one. Can be played alone or with any size group. A sort-of riddle game, the idea is to find something (not previously expected) that makes you feel suddenly, gut-puchingly powerless. For example, if one player has a job with a strict dress code, use the last of his/her leftover purple hair dye. An elegant game when played correctly.
  • I Need A Hug – Collect as many hugs as you require in the shortest amount of time, from as many people you find tolerable. Usually played after other games, like Secret Weakness or Find The Smell.

There you have it! Hope you enjoyed my list, and please, please, do send me more if you have them. I’m always up for more fun!


Goodbye, old roommate. Hello new roommate. Oh! Hello, second new roommate.

Jerome got his bed yesterday. He was sleeping on the couch before that. He was sleeping in our apartment because he’ll be staying with us the next three months. Three months! This is Jerome (and this is Jerome en English). He is Quebecois, from Quebec City. An international traveler extraordinaire, he planned a three-month internship as a Mac developer, not to mention found a place to stay (with me), completely through Gmail. That’s impressive.

Jerome, meet Rhiannon. She’s our roommate—as of two weeks ago. Yup. She had to move three times in the past two months to find a place as good as ours. She’s planning on settling down and having some action figures. We met her at Bad Movie Night and kept coming back, long enough to make friends with the girl taking our $5 every week. Now it’s free for us. You can come too, Jerome, and be subjected to the horror that is “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.” It’s ok, though! It didn’t actually win any Razzies, so that means it must be a good movie.

Nice to finally introduce you two. This place isn’t the cleanest in the world, now that our former roommate is gone. She sure liked that cleaning. So there’s some Dr. Pepper boxes that are being saved for no reason. We’ve got extra couches, now (not sure what to do with those). I’ll be the first to admit that there’s too many open projects to count. Expect things to be in unlikely places, like my hats on the couch or network cable strung up in the hallway. It’s a creative disorder, a constantly brewing ferment of materials and activities and ideas all swirling around in too small a space for their own good. Welcome.

Wishing Away the Smell

Project Room Full of Projects There’s a room in my house that smells like abandoned building. I know this, because I’ve been in many, many abandoned buildings. For the past few days San Francisco has had (while not quite “Biblical” as described by some) torrential rains, and the normally warmer drier Mission has seen as much as the rest of town. And I love my apartment; my neighborhood is great despite some evidence to the contrary.

It’s just that the place is a bit of an old girl, you know. She does the job… the job of being inhabited… just, sometimes she shows her age is all. One room at the back of the apartment I call the “project room” (pictured, to the left) despite the fact that no “projects” to speak of have been completed there. We just called it that when we moved in. Besides, it’s easier than calling it the “sitting slash storage slash plant slash kiln room.” It’s actually one of our cooler rooms and used to be outdoors in fact, which is why it has two windows looking in on it from other rooms of the house (err apartment—a personal history of single-family home residency is apparent in my mental constructs). Perfect RoomIt also doesn’t really hold in warmth too well which makes it not-too-handy for sitting in seats as far as “sitting room” goes, but which is pretty handy when Lynae’s kiln hits the 2400 Fahrenheit mark. Except of course when it rains and water starts coming in under the door, which doesn’t fit because it’s swelled up in the rain.  And as far as the rain goes it doesn’t stop at the door. The roof hasn’t started leaking… yet; however, one gets an inkling of why I might notice a little aroma of dilapidation. I think you kind of get the picture here: the room is neat for its uniqueness and its feeling of history, but has its disadvantages as concerns actually taking care of the place.

Well, I did want to live in an abandoned building once. I guess we ought to be careful what we wish for.

Response to the Question

Hiya there! Long time no see, although I suppose it is a large town (especially when you live here). Pardon the delayed reaction. There’s been a lot of ups and downs and just upside downs in life of late. Dude. This place is awesome, and it’s only fair, since you asked, I tell you how much.

I live in the Mission. Not the apartment I wrote about awhile ago on The Glot, if you happen to’ve read it. This was a classic dumb-luck good-find. Our landlord practically pushed the place on us, so as a former electricity salesmen in Australia (great job if you like travel but hate money) I naturally thought there was something wrong with it. My roommates lovingly, patiently convinced me that I was being a dumbass and we got it the next day. So far, so good. It’s an old Victorian or Victorian-esque from at least the 1940’s although we aren’t quite sure; that’s just as long as it’s been in the family. It’s aged well. I sleep in a blue heptagonal room on the third floor with bay windows, with 2 grounded outlets and 13 things that require power, with a walled off fireplace that now hosts a gas heater, along with my girlfriend Lynae. We moved in awhile ago and things have been hectic since. I’m getting used to having a quick pace but being raised in the suburbs never can prepare one properly.

By my room there’s a slightly smaller room looking into the “courtyard,” where my other roommates are. Emily, my best friend from college, former punkrawkr and now cosmetologist/wannabe domestic, and her skatepunk/bartender boyfriend Matt are right adjacent. Down the yellow hallway is a pink living room with two orange chairs garnered from moving into a different old house, some 70s lamps from the same cache, and the dreaded television. Let us not speak of it, for it is my sworn… strong dislike. Our kitchen, beyond there, is bigger than you could hope. I found the perfect table on Craigslist FREE the one day I had a Budget rental van. Happened to be the same day I found our FREE washing machine (which actually worked for almost a month). Now it just sits in the washroom/pantry/does-this-go-here room. There’s also a spare room full of junk plus plants. The Venus Flytrap is growing nicely—caught her first ant just the other day. I water them in the mornings, with a half-decent view to Bernal Hill. Rounding out my whirlwind, totally-TMI tour, we have a backyard! Yay! Other people’s dogs poop there. At least there’s a bike rack, and some chairs. The whole place runs us only $1800 a month so between four we’re doing alright.

It’s near the corner of 23rd and Harrison in the Mission if you wanted to know. S’all for now. There might be a party sometime, but we’re still in negotiations.

We Have It

We may just have it. I mean, we have it. The apartment. I have in my right jacket pocket a cashier’s check in the amount of $3680 and a contract signed by us, dated today. It’s going to happen. I’m going to live in this town, not just stay in it for an extended period.

A confluence of circumstances has led us to this occasion. This apartment isn’t perfect. Or rather, it’s not perfect for me. I won’t bother writing about the one we didn’t choose. We could’ve. I was persuaded, after Emily and Lynae persuaded me it was perfect for everyone. If this had come a couple days before or after it did, we wouldn’t have had it.

But we have it.

Critiquing the Viewing of the Dwelling

There are a lot of apartments in this world. Some of them are livable. Lemme tell you what…

There’s a place in the Marina with bay windows and a couple of big bedrooms. Hardwood floors. Private entry. Nice Chinese landlady. View to the bay (just a little). Extra room, almost as big as the bedrooms. Dining room’s gigantic too.

There’s another place in the Mission, on a corner. Got a lot of character and some nice bedrooms, really sunny. Been painted a dozen or more times and we could do the same. Sliding door between the bedrooms. Lots of stuff in the neighborhood, markets and little stores and maybe a crazy-cool neighbor downstairs.

Both places cost the same. They’re both spacious and close enough to public transit. Awesome party houses, if that turned out to be our thing. There are four roommates and we’re split down the middle. Not two and two, but each one of us liking the both of them. We applied to one. The other gets put in tomorrow. How do you decide these things? A coin toss seems somehow inadequate. They’re both good.

Then again, the Mission one is in what some would call “el Barrio.” Those charming taquerias and markets and community parks might harbor gang-bangers at night. The paint is peeling outside and the common courtyard has stained asphalt and a half-dozen neighbor’s windows. Loud music bumped from the place next-door, and I’d assume more of the same. The guy downstairs could just as easily be crazy-crazy. Valencia, the cool street in the Mission, is way farther than I’d like it. I think it’s also possible there’s ten people living next door.

But in contrast, the Marina spot is as boring as a lobotomy. There are enough cool restaurants to shake a toothpick at. A flavorless, bland and splintered toothpick. Union street is close, at several blocks away, and has lots of charming… upscale shops. Every room is ample (and then some) save for the kitchen—which wraps around both the hot water heater and the recycling and the back door and indeed, despite it’s granite-osity, still manages to seem cramped and uninviting. Did I mention that this place is situated on the main highway? Yeah, that’s our doorstep.

I’m not sure if I told everyone who reads this yet: me and three others are currently seeking an apartment in San Francisco. We’ve been living together in a small room on the fifth floor of a hostel in the Financial District, one that now houses a total of six, and we really want to move out by April 1st.

We’re gonna get a cat.

Moving-its a Process

I’m in San Francisco right now. I’ve been moving to San Fran since last Sunday the 17th. I’ve walked the entire length and breadth of the city, or at least it feels that way. I’ve applied to more jobs than I care to count. I haven’t been laughed at for it. Yet. And although I don’t technically have a job right now, I really am hoping I do. So I’ve started looking around for a place. I started with the internet, and writing out things like this:

About me:
I like things that I find. This has been most apparent in the past, when I lived at CSU Monterey Bay on the old Fort Ord. My rooms were decorated with army lamps, lost art, and all manner of discarded artifacts. They’re never scrapheaps; they’re galleries, with nice lighting and curtains. I like bringing guests into my spaces and so I take care of them.

For those wanting the jist: I’m clean, I have taste (and a decent hobby), and I’m cool enough I don’t make it a big deal.

To be fair I’ll offer some negs, too: I spend too much time on the computer (in the past, anyways). I sometimes get neurotic when things are out of place. I thought I was messy until I had roommates in college, and then I was the clean one with the cool room. I dislike television. I love meat pastries, so vegetarians/vegans have hereby been warned. And I won’t remember anything you tell me upon just waking up.
-from my profile

I’ve written many emails, received none. Am I being too eager? Too honest? Too smarmy? Quite possibly. But Imma keep looking, if for no other reason than because my hostel is a fourth-floor walkup. So I’m going to an open house right now. See you in an hour.