Home Ownership and Rice Cookers

I looked at a house today. I thought I was going to like it. I didn’t. The lighting was high and sparse except on the second floor where the reflections off of parking lots, clouds, and brick row homes flooded in prismatic shades of grey. Most of the rooms were long or trapezoidal and had a Wonderland aspect to them. I couldn’t see myself living there. I made the barest effort to hide my disappointment as I left and another group entered to look around.

I had taken off early from work to go see the house which is less than a block from where I live. I logged back in to my work laptop and my boss shot me a message of “done so soon?”. I said I didn’t like it and she said you won’t like the first 100.

I decided that a house was something I wanted about two weeks ago. Exams were getting me down, so I thought about buying a house or dating again so I chose the easier of the two, home ownership. Ideally, Mike would relocate with me and I could stay within a few blocks of a subway station. Mass transit or simply time to get to places is probably my largest consideration after just having the check box of “enough space for my things” marked. The whole process so far has been impolite. The agents for properties I’m looking for lead with questions regarding financing when I’m largely driven by opportunity. Lenders seem to have no interest in sychronizing with incentives for first-time homebuyers and only vaguely aware of them. I don’t need to move, in fact my rent is going up by a whopping 1.6% this year. Getting a letter of credit and having that drive my house purchasing seems to putting the cart before the horse. I will look at places, I will like them, or I will not, and I will go from there. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Matt is considering moving back into the suburbs which I suppose has its benefits. Cost per square foot is certainly lower but there’s a certain emptiness that I feel I’d run into there. The constancy of people in the city is comforting, even if it borders on a kind of slightly angry truce with those around me. At the same time, I feel a growing itch that I should be doing more with the city I’m in. An alternative plan would be to move elsewhere until I finish my exam sequence, save up, and return with a proper apartment sometime when I can afford the $350k properties that tend to get me salivating.

I could also jettison the idea of living with someone and cut my space requirements considerably. But something magical seems to happen once you get two bedrooms. Suddenly a living room becomes a necessity and the kitchen becomes a proper room. I have more exploring to do.

This proved all too heavy for me so I wiped away thoughts of a house and decided to make a rice cooker cake. My rice cooker is just a heating coil combined with a thermometer. If the thermometer registers a temperature abouve about 215°F it turns off, presuming all the excess water has boiled away or been absorbed. Cakes generally want an internal temperature of about 210°F so all should be right in the world.

I pour the batter into the rice cooker, hit start, and three minutes later the rice cooker turned off. Darn. I hit start again and it immediately switched off. I waited a few minutes, hit start again and again the rice cooker stayed on for about three minutes. My fix to this cycle was to jam a spoon in the start switch to keep it in “ON” mode and 30 minutes later I smelled something nicely toasted…a little too toasted…maybe way too toasted… On closer inspection, the cooking time wasn’t 60 minutes but closer to 20, which I suppose is partly good, but the flip side is that I think I broke my rice cooker. The cake isn’t bad once you cut off the burnt part. Ce la vie.