Still Life with Kitty

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Two scoops of Django

Django 1.5 Upgrade

Two scoops of Django

Delicious knowledge

Reading Two Scoops of Django and trying to apply some of this newfound knowledge on the reboot of the Assassins site.

I’ve upgraded the site to Django 1.5 and take advantage of the new extendable AbstractClass user model. Unfortunately django-registration 1.0 isn’t completely 1.5 compatible and still directly imports User directly instead of using the new get_user method. Luckily the folks at django-registration were kind enough to post all the edits you need to make to their code to get it up and running with less work than I’d feared.

Hipster

Stop Being Ironic, Austin

Hipster

MUSTACHE TATTOO


Tracy Chan’s Austinist article, Stop Being Ironic, Austin (summarizing a NY Times Article articulates what irritates me about a lot of hipster culture. While there’s nothing wrong with silly for silliness’s sake, I think the irony is an attempt to deal with the self aware shallowness.

Camping at Palmetto State Park

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Had a great time camping this weekend with Jericho. Nature is so healing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

low key christmas!

In Buenos Aires Christmas falls in Summer and Santa Clause wears shorts. It’s nice to come back and have some nice, down to earth, and really “normal”. This Christmas was low key, more like the ones in sitcoms than movies.

This year was the first time I did the rosary thing at Annette’s house. Everyone kneels on the floor and repeats Our Fathers and Hail Marys. It gets old quickly. I’m used to Judaism where even if you aren’t sure what’s being said, trying to figure out what page you’re on is at least a great brain teaser for the kids. You can focus on understanding what the Hebrew means. The praying was in Spanish so by the second time I’d figured it out. I think you repeat it 50 times… At the end there’s a small Jesus doll that people kiss the doll and get a giftbag of an orange and some chocolate.

After the rosary were the gifts. Growing up Jewish, Christmas as always what the “other” kids did. We’d have Hannukah and all. I remember always hearing about the kids who had one Christian and one Jewish parent and got presents for both holidays. That was epic, I thought.

Each year Annette’s family does a white elephant gift exchange. While I’m a part of it, I am not told or expected to participate because I don’t know anyone in Annette’s extended family. Instead, Annette’s mom buys presents for the people whose names I “draw” and when I show up I get presents from people who hardly know who I am. It’s funny because people thank me for things and I have to figure out what I apparently bought for them.

 

austin house hunt and alori property managers


I should warn you that this post is just a bunch of whining. Mostly about a really bad property management company. Coming to a new place is tough in a lot of ways. If one were all settled. One of the toughest is getting started (housing and job) while not having either of the two. Here’s a story of Alori Property Managementand how they made the process a little harder.

The first job is housing. It’s hard to apply to jobs without a home so it’s good to get that first. The last I looked for housing in the States was four years ago and craigslist was the way. Now, however, while there are lots of advertisements for places, it seems to have been co-opted by property managers or agents, both of which take their cut. Our experience was probably typical. In our first day looking we saw maybe 7 different places. There were a few nice ones and at the end of the day we decided on one we liked a lot.

The apartment was run by a property manager called Alori Apartments. We went to the place and filled out the application and put a deposit down. The first bad sign was that they seemed to have called it a day at 5:30 and were already drinking in the office. Everything seemed in order but it was odd because they didn’t seem excited about renting to us.

We both have impeccable credit but they were only interested in our rental history (we had none from the USA, only Buenos Aires) and if we had jobs (we just got into town). So they asked for a two guarantors. This was fine but when I asked if one would be ok, they got snippity. I asked for a few other questions like how the deposit worked, what happened in case of breaking the lease, and if we could look at the lease. They didn’t like answering any of them. I assume it was the alcohol.

My dad agreed to guarantee us they faxed him a blank form saying basically he guaranteed us. He asked for a copy of the lease (or something saying how much we were paying in rent, etc.) and they refused to provide it. He said he’d like to know what he was guaranteeing.

When I called at 11am the next day, they said that there’d been a terrible mistake and apparently they’d rented the apartment to someone else who had put in a deposit before us. I asked them why they’d accepted our deposit and he said it was a clerical error. He refused to say anything more or explain how it had happened. I asked him if it was usually their policy to accept deposits on a property while not telling applicants that they were considering other people. The man refused to answer.

It makes no sense why they did any of that. I really doubt someone was actually in front of us. Someone else just probably arrived after us but had a rental history and a job and so after taking our deposit they decided on someone else.

It was frustrating and emotionally draining because we had really like the apartment. It was strange too because Alori never actually told us that they preferred the other people, just that we weren’t fast enough in getting all our information in, something that they had been holding up.

So not a big deal, but it is really indicative of our experience here. It’s weird that a company like this could be so cavalier and unprofessional but it’s something that’s been coming up a lot. From the temp agency who doesn’t answer their phone to the tutoring agency who wanted me to sign a contract saying I wouldn’t tutor for any other company for two years.

It’s Texas and people here seem to make their own law.

texnat?

Let me just briefly explain the title of the blog:

It started with EXNAT, my blog about being an expatriate in buenos aires (expat+nathan=exnat). Now, after what will be three years abroad, I’m moving to Texas. Yes, Texas.

I once drove around the country for 3 months visiting 36 of our 50 fine states but when I never messed with Texas. My friend and I drove over 20 hours across the state to avoid sleeping there. Texas has always been a bit of a scary place to me. It was the mythical place that cowboys came from. Not cowboys from Westerns, the cowboys in my high school who chewed tobacco and always looked like if they ever actually noticed me they would beat me up. I’m from Sacramento and the “cowboys” from Sacramento are just working class white idiots who dress that way for the image. They’re not idiots because of dressing that way. They’re idiots for the chewing tobacco, among other things.

But anyways, it’s time for me to ride off into the sunset towards Texas country. Why Texas? A girl. Her name is Annette.

 

ANNETTE

ANNETTE