Dad I’m living in a SRO, but it’s really cool. Don’t be mad ok?

But actually calling it a SRO is a bit negative. It’s a very small studio or maybe if you were really optimistic a very small loft (since loft seems to mean now apartment with no walls.)

I sublet a portion of my studio in Boyle Heights that I was illegally living in and I’m now using that income to pay for me to live at the Rosslyn.

Is that welfare? Is that capitalism? I don’t know it’s maybe a mixture of both.

I missed that Sex in the City gene of loving to shop and waste money (hey I thought that show was supposed to be satire…) To me paying rent is a waste of money, which means you should pay the least amount of rent that you can get away with.

In college when I moved out of the dorms I lived on Sunset and Fairfax directly across the street from the Virgin Megastore for four hundred dollars a month. Yes four hundred dollars!!!

That was one of my most proud achievements as a college student. I would invite people over and go, “Guess how much I pay?”

My old friends have grown tired of this game and always say thing like “Two dollars.”

Such jerks. That destroys the whole beauty of the game.

I’m currently wearing a coat that costs me five dollars. There is this great store by the Hammer, everything is five dollars.

In LA no one admires thrifty people.

I’m the cheapest most glamorous woman in the world.

I had a friend who used to brag about how she paid one million dollars to live in Mar Vista. I always thought that was a horrible story.

My parents are working class stock. I remember when applying to college my dad was actually very proud of the fact that he had worked so much over-time that I no longer qualified for need based financial aid.

My dad was happy to pay for my tuition at Mount St Mary’s College. He would have been happy to pay for me to go anywhere.

He had pasted the letters of the schools I had been accepted at and my SAT scores on his desk. The point of this I guess was because he was proud of me or maybe it was to show the guys at his job how much better his kid was in comparison to theirs.

Possibly it was both?

“She’s like that girl on Head of the Class,” Daddy.

Head of the Class was a TV show in the 80s where a bunch of gifted kids got to talk about how gifted they were.

I attempted to use that TV show as evidence of why I should not have to be forced into the LA Archdiocese school system for my final years of school, didn’t work..

His dream for me was for me to go to law school and to become super rich and to maybe get over my dressing like a homeless person thing.

“Do you need some money, so you can do something more fancy with your hair?” Daddy.

My mom tried more drastic measures. She would just throw my clothes away and my tennis shoes, tennis shoes that I had systematically made dirty and holey on purpose.

“You’re such a pretty girl, why do you want to look like a bum?” Mommy.

My first day of law school I went out to smoke and never went back. I guess I’m sort of a cliche.

Yeah so going back to my super cheap apartment.

Want to know how cheap it is 549 dollars a month. I’m thinking about just paying the whole year in advance, because 549 dollars. That’s practically free. I’m practically living in LA for free.

I also don’t have a car.

I won’t use my credit cards.

I got some half-ass scholarships, but mainly I got through school the old fashioned way, working. Eventually I got smart and became a school employee, a real one, so I could get a 50% discount on tuition (I was the worst secretary in the WORLD) and before I moved off campus I was a RA (at a different college—long story,) which included free rent and a stipend, but I hated telling people what to do. I was also bad in emergencies.

“There’s a fire Browne,” resident.
“I’m kind of busy smoking right now,” Browne.

So I have no college loans (thanks in part to Daddy who thought working on Christmas was the most fabulous thing ever!!!)

LA is one of the easiest big cities to live in, because the only thing that really costs money is the bells and whistles.

It’s the appearance of things we all get caught up in.

Unless you have kids and then this place is insane.

The Rosslyn has some weirdoes, well it has lots of weirdoes, but your rent is 549 dollars, which frees you to never have to be around the weirdoes.

I’m actually saving to buy a repo’d condo. I saw some for less that 200k. Can you imagine what it will be like at the end of next year?

Actually I’m kidding. I don’t want a repo’d condo, that seems like bad karma. I don’t want some else’s bad luck. Maybe a place in Paris or Lagos, so when this place becomes like Mad Max I will have a place to stay.

It may sound like I’m bragging. Well I am, but I just have never put much value on stuff.

I sometimes wish I liked stuff, my life would be so much easier.

I like drinking, hanging out with my significant other and going on vacation. In college I worked 40 plus hours a week at certain points, while taking 18 units (I hated homework and felt getting out of college as quickly as possible would help in making the homework thing go away, who knew all of these other problems would pop up after college.)

In college before I found out the school employee trick I worked as a cigarette girl, barista, a retail clerk, a fantasy phone girl, inventory, telemarketer….and then after college I worked in corporate America (I was shockingly good, I quit after they promoted me and wanted me to move to NY), nonprofits (some of people in nonprofits are sort of mean, no lots of them are mean) and the arts and I realized something working sucks and the more stuff you buy the more you have to work.

You can’t be a real adult if you aren’t in control of your life, so I’ve decided to have complete control over my life by owning nothing and investing in tax-deferred annuities.

Though I haven’t told my parents about my new place.

Do you think my dad will be more upset about the SRO, about with me going out with BusTard or that I never actually graduated from law school…

Maybe I should start a poll?

by Browne Molyneux

(Updates with pictures of the remodeling of my apartment shortly…I’ve spend the last month making it the most efficient 200 square feet of space in the world, I’m shocking handy with the tools…)

This entry was posted in Analysis, Greater Los Angeles, Personal and tagged , , by Browne Molyneux. Bookmark the permalink.

About Browne Molyneux

My name is Browne Molyneux. I'm a lady. I'm a radical feminist. I'm black. I'm an Angeleno. I'm an artist. I'm carFREE. I'm a freelance writer. I'm a blogger. I'm a philosopher. I'm a humanist. I'm a journalist. I formerly wrote a column on transportation, Tracks for LA City Beat. The above are all of the things I have to work on being, got questions email me. My topics of interests include but are not limited to politics, transportation, dark green issues, economics, race relations, feminism, culture, working class urban life, media, art, Los Angeles and literature.

15 thoughts on “Dad I’m living in a SRO, but it’s really cool. Don’t be mad ok?

  1. For some odd reason, today I was looking at this crappy magazine called “Beverly Hills” and it had an outfit composed of hip clothing articles. But when we added up the cost of said hip clothing, you’d be wearing about $6,000 worth of ugly cloth. HAHAHA! Chumptastic!

  2. This is a great post. I like how you put a lot of effort in trying to live and look like you put no effort into living or dressing a part?
    Almost like caring about not caring. OR not caring to the point of caring about not caring. Is that redundant?
    Meta? Post material-istas Unite!
    If there is a commercial for it, they don’t get my money. Except Magic Mountain.
    Can I come over when I’m in Lagos?

    And Beverly Hills will be underwater. We will snorkel for bling.

  3. Just a point of clarification. The Rosslyn is NOT an SRO. It is a “Residential Hotel,” which means that tenants are not limited to one person per room. Also, the Rosslyn does not take any public funds (like Section 8), which restrict the ability of the landlord to rent at anyone who passes the credit and background checks. Some of the older tenants, who live in unrenovated rooms, are holdovers from the older regime, but there a fewer of them than before.

    I think they did a great job with the renovated rooms. The orange floors are a little odd, but otherwise they are nice.

  4. P 3000,

    While this is my persona mocking me, I have to clarify this is me (well sort of…)

    I am sadly the bs that I satirize, but I hope at least my personal anecdotes are amusing. I think my theme song is “I’m a poseur and I don’t care,” though I’m not nearly even that cool.


    PS Bert. Sorry about the characterization of the Rosslyn as a SRO, that was very unPC of me. I should have named it I have a really small apartment. They do allow two people per room and dogs, though I don’t know what kind of sadistic sick f*ck would have a dog in there.

  5. No you’re not. I actually did some tours of some more fancy apartments, but the idea of paying 1300 dollars makes me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth.

    I don’t like the whole you’re paying 1300 dollars for an apartment that was going to be a condo and now it’s an apartment, but as soon as the real estate picks up again we’re totally going to throw you out, so the whole rent control thing isn’t going to count, because if you convert a building that was supposed to be condos into apartment, it’s relatively easy to get that switched back.

    No way. If I could get a 1300-1500 dollar apartment in downtown that I know would be safe with rent control possibly I could learn to like the taste of vomit, but not with the possibility of being screwed in a major way and then having thrown all that cash away.

    You know these building managers are major greedy assholes, they aren’t going to try to give you a deal if they want to sell your place, they are going to try to rip you off and make things seriously unpleasant.

  6. > Actually I’m kidding. I don’t want a repo’d condo, that seems
    > like bad karma. I don’t want some else’s bad luck.

    I’d feel weird about taking advantage of somebody else’s karmic debt too, but I just saw a news report about how Habitat for Humanity is snapping that shit up left and right. So, at least some good is coming of it.

  7. “but as soon as the real estate picks up again we’re totally going to throw you out, so the whole rent control thing isn’t going to count, because if you convert a building that was supposed to be condos into apartment, it’s relatively easy to get that switched back.”

    You’re right, but given the economic climate, you’re going to have at least three years and likely more before you have to face a condo conversion.

    When I was apartment hunting recently, I avoided single family houses because I was convinced that a lot of those were owned by people who tried to flip them but couldn’t find a buyer. I was scared that my landlord would stop paying the mortgage and I’d be tossed out when the bank foreclosed.

  8. I like your thinking browne because I think the same way. I don’t want to work for my things, I want to work to have fun and enjoy life. Unlike you, I’m still at the phase of my life that has me crashing at my best friends house while working a menial job and paying my way through school. Co-workers and friends are always ragging on me for wearing old clothes and not going to the gap or old navy to go buy new clothes. I love the way I dress and it make it work for me. The way things are and rent rates we all have to be creative in making the most of what we have.

  9. Browne, that’s even better that it is real in the reality sense of La La Land.

    I think a lot of us do have these hobo nouveau tendencies to balance out the tendencies of accessorization nation. Everything finds a balance, que no?

    I may have or may not have an apt open for rent in BH that will honor rental control.

  10. “I just saw a news report about how Habitat for Humanity is snapping that shit up left and right. So, at least some good is coming of it.” Spencer

    Hopefully. I try to be positive about nonprofits (doesn’t Jimmy Carter run that, he seems like a good guy, but he could just have a good manager,) but I’m always suspect of you once you’ve been on Oprah…lol…


  11. Random hero I was a menial jobs for years. I can tell you about every single menial job that exists (except piece work or working in a factory,) but maid, I’ve done that. I watched a roach give birth it was a beautiful thing. Phone psychic and dominatrix, interesting…telemarketer good stop gap, lots of actor types can be annoying, barista at coffee bean, borders and various other places, cigarette girl: where I went to clubs and raves and sold cigarettes, just got that job because I could fit the outfit of the chick that quit…the part of the interview was show me your sexy dance…lol…

    Mall jobs, airports jobs, office jobs, delivery jobs, begging for money from various nonprofit jobs…writing people’s papers job, working for free somewhere cool to get a job and then they give the job to their nephew from Yale job…lots of stupid menial jobs…..


  12. When we moved to ELA from the Westside we shaved $1000 off our rent. We lost some sq-footage too, but the savings and mental-health benefits of living in a real community made the move worth the loss of space. Of course, my Mom doesn’t really approve of the location or size, but then, my gf’s Mom is happy, since we’re w/i walking distance of her now, so I guess it’s a wash, Mom-wise.

    Living in a smaller place has reinspired me to jettison my materialistic impulses, but unforch, unlike you, anit-materialism doesn’t come naturally to me. I think of my materialism as an addiction that I’m trying to curb. The world is mostly against me, though.

  13. Abbi – step 1 in getting rid of consumer bullshit is to stop reading all but a few key magazines. Magazines are mostly ads, stories about shit to buy, and that kind of garbage.

  14. step two, get rid of your tv.

    step three would probably be about the internet, but i’m a bit addicted to that.

    😉 browne

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