Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Affording my rock n' roll lifestyle

I'm not making any money doing this fellowship. It's highly likely I'm losing it, actually. Since I'm paying my rent on my place at home and all my bills, I'm simply fortunate to have my housing paid for while I'm here.

I grossly underestimated the degree to which doing this program would hamper my ability to maintain my lifestyle, and my quality of life. I can't drive, since I left my car at home. That means it takes forever to get anywhere, which would leave me time for reading on the bus if it weren't for the fact that I have to stand up for portions of the ride, or worry about giving up my seat to more infirm riders. I'd love to belong to a gym, as one of my goals for my time here is to lose 20 pounds. Unfortunately, there's simply no such thing as a continuum of offerings on any gym membership I'd be interested in--it's beaucoup cher no matter where, and yoga classes average $17 apiece. And food? Forget about organic and local unless I want to spent half my monthly stipend on it-- even Trader Joe's is about 15-30% more than it is in Cali.

Quality of life is the purview of the elite in this town, and don't you forget it. This place is absurd. How fortunate we are to live in Sacramento-- the weather is reasonable, good food is (relatively) cheap, it's mostly safe to walk around town, gyms run the gamut, the buses seat everyone comfortably, and you can live in a wealthy neighborhood without feeling the sting of deprivation. (I realize that, in the face of the inequality I see on the bus everyday, I am being whiny, but I am annoyed!)

On the bright side (I hope), I moved from the third floor to the first last night. I have the back part of the house now, which entails my own kitchen, bathroom and private entrance. It's like living in the section of IKEA that shows solutions for living in 265 square feet. And it finally rained, and will be cooler for the rest of the week.

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