I was rejected by the management company for the Chinatown place. Not enough proof of income - which I'm 100% resulted from a lack of effort on the part of the management company. I'm perfectly capable of paying monthly rent and have been doing so for nearly 10 years - which they would have discovered if they'd bothered anything beyond a cursory glance of my application. But that's neither here nor there. Apparently Chinatown didn't work out for the other guys either.
After two days of searching for an apartment I discovered that any place that is within my current budget is super sketchy. Not wanting to live in constant fear I determined to see if Natty (that's what I'm naming the lady I'm currently staying with) would let me live with her for an indeterminate period of time. She said yes. So I'm paying ridiculously cheap rent, and helping out with projects around the house etc. It's a little out of the way, but it's safe and kind of a great situation.
I think I'm going to buy a scooter to save on gas money since I'll be traveling quite a bit. With the money I'll be saving from cheap rent, no utilities, and gas savings, it should pay for itself in a matter of a few short months. After some initial research it seems that not every street-legal scooter is legal in the great state of CA where they seem to have a way of doing everything their own way regardless of the rest of the country. I infer that I also have to get a motorcycle license. So, it may be a process, but I think in the long run it'll be worth it. I'll keep you posted. Start thinking now of pretentious European names for my vintage scooter.