Ken Larsen's website - House guest
2019 has been a bizarre year for me. In January I met a young lady at a swing dance, and on May 18th, she moved in with me ... to occupy an upstairs guest room in my house. This web page explains what happened.
The lady is Ecaterina "Katuisha/Kat" Staricovici. She was born in Moldova (used to part of the Soviet Union), but has lived in North Carolina since 1999 when her mom brought her here as a 5 year old. She is a very sweet lady who has an infectious smile and laugh. I danced with her about six times at a January swing dance and another six times in February. She did an excellent job of following my quirky dance moves. I looked forward to dancing with her at future dances, but she told me that she was moving away ... to live with her mom and younger brother in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She then said that she might return occasionally for a visit. I gave her my card and told her about guest rooms in my house that she would be welcome to stay in. The guests rooms are upstairs in my two story house. I sleep downstairs. Each level has its own full bathroom. It's great for guests. It gives them privacy.
March 19, 2019: To my pleasant surprise, I get a Facebook message from Kat asking if she can stay overnight at my house for a couple of days while she meets with an old friend who was visiting from China and thought that Kat was still living in Chapel Hill. Kat arrives late on March 22nd and leaves midday on March 24th. I give her my upstairs Master bedroom which has a large walk-in closet.
During Kat's March 22-24 visit, I left her alone ... to give her privacy and to make her feel as comfortable as possible, but we did get to chat for a few hours on Saturday evening. During that chat we discovered that we share some habits: We both keep diaries, we both highlight stuff in our diaries, we both prepare "talking points" prior to meeting with someone, we both prefer to learn via video rather than classroom education, and we both are runners.
I told Kat that there was one area [besides our age] that we were polar opposites on: religion. At the February dance I noticed that she wore a cross. Well, I'm an atheist. I document that on my website. She said she didn't see that on my website. I asked her what she read on my website. Her response was "your cat pictures". She loved them. I joked, "When you read a guy's website, you have to view more than just the cat pictures." She laughed.
On May 13th Kat sent me a bombshell of an email. For a variety of reasons, her stay with her mom and younger brother became a very toxic experience, and Kat's only recourse was to move out. She needed a place to stay and asked me, "Is there anyway I could stay at your house for a while, until I find a place for myself?" Some decisions in life are wretchedly hard, but this one was super easy. It would be nice to have some company + my house could definitely use a female touch.
Kat arrived at my house on May 18th just shortly after I had left for a Godiva Track Club Awards banquet. I joked to some of my friends at the banquet, "When she visited me in March, she brought one backpack's worth of stuff. I fear that this time she's hired a moving van, and I'll find all of my stuff moved to the crawlspace." That drew a lot of laughs, but my assessment wasn't off by much. It took her 10 days to unpack! LOL
Food that Kat at bought for us on May 29th:
|Note the Periodic Table of the Elements. I'm a geek.|
My house has never had so much food!
Katuisha has great skills as a cook (example), is very nutrition conscious [something I need to learn], is very clean, plays the piano (example 1, example 2, example 3), juggles (example), is an excellent sprinter [ran the 100 meter dash in 15.41 at a June 12th Carolina Godiva Track Club meet], and can walk on her hands.
Status as of June 21, 2019: Today is day 34 of Kat's stay with me. Her long term goal is to get a PhD in psychology, but before she applies for grad school, she wants to get a job and pay off some of her undergraduate school debt. Her ideal job is as an office manager with a psychology department. That type of job would provide both learning and funding for her. Here is Kat's resume. On June 15th she began a temporary job as a sales associate for Victoria Secret at Southpoint Mall in Durham. She also landed a second part time job as a gymnastics instructor.
Here is a web page that I created which contrasts how easy I had it growing up versus someone of Katuisha's age. Katuisha's generation is having a rough time.
Father's Day 2019 - Katuisha bakes me a large brownie.
Status as of June 29, 2019: Katuisha returns from a four day visit to her mom and younger brother in Hendersonville, North Carolina. It went well. The toxicity from May 12th was amicably resolved. I'm happy about that. However, amusingly, Kat has returned with a carload of her stuff that she had in her mom's place. She's more resolute than ever to live in Chapel Hill rather than return to Hendersonville. She's now lived with me for six weeks. I don't expect her to leave any time soon. I don't charge her anything, and she doesn't yet have a job that could pay for her own place. I enjoy her company, so all is well.
July 12, 2019: I learn that Katuisha is not a United States citizen. She is a "Permanent Resident" ... has a Green Card ... but is not a citizen. Becoming a U.S. citizen would require paying a fee of $ 725 ... which she can't afford at this time. To me, that $ 725 fee is a huge impediment to people becoming citizens. It was much lower years ago. Permanent residents have to pay $ 455 every ten years to renew their green card. [Katuisha's green card expires in 2025.] Permanent residents are obliged to notify the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) every time they change address. [details] Permanent residents cannot vote and cannot be accepted for government jobs.
July 21, 2019: Kat has now lived with me for 9 weeks. She's been working two temporary jobs for $ 11/hour. That is not adequate for Kat to afford her own place. Chapel Hill is an expensive place to live. Rents average $ 1200/month. [How much rent can a particular hourly pay afford?]
Kat aspires a permanent job that is in line with her UNC biology degree. Here is a web page I created which documents companies she's looking at.
July 30, 2019: I created this web page to explain the story behind Katuisha's name.
July 30, 2019: Kat has lived my house for 73 days. That's a long time. I've enjoyed her company and would love to have her stay a lot longer, but we're not compatible on many levels (age, religion, food, and interests). Kat's goal is still to move to a place of her own, but to achieve that goal, she needs a good paying job plus a compatible house or apartment mate. If anyone reading this web page can help her, please contact her or I.
August 2, 2019: Today Katuisha set a record at my house, 76 days, for the longest consecutive day stay of any house guest I've ever had. The previous record was 75 days ... back in 2008 ... by a friend named Katarina (also nicknamed "Kat").
August 15, 2019: Katuisha intended to visit her mom August 11-16, but she cut her visit short by two days and returned an emotional wreck. From Kat's Facebook pictures, her mom is a stunningly attractive woman, but that physical appeal is unfortunately counterbalanced by a "taskmaster" personality. She nitpicked Katuisha for frivolous issues that stressed out Katuisha. Parents should uplift their children, not disparage them.